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Photos by Emily Davenport/QNS
Photos by Emily Davenport/QNS
Alex Rodriguez and Nick Aragonesi standing in front of CBD Superstore, located in Whitestone.

With more research coming out about the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) — an extract of the marijuana plant — for human and animal consumption, a local shop is looking to help patients get the care they need while breaking the stigma behind the products.

CBD Superstore, located at 150-51B 14th Ave. in Whitestone, has been selling CBD products to those who are looking for a legal, natural alternative to prescription medication for the past two years.

“It’s important to follow the trends and needs of the consumer,” said Nick Aragonesi, owner of CBD Superstore. “[Patients] want the medical benefit without any type of intoxication. They want to be able to go to work and to function on a normal daily basis, and that’s what we provide here.”

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CBD Superstore carries full-spectrum products made from the industrial hemp plant, a sister plant of the marijuana plant, grown in the United States. The CBD they sell comes in three forms: sublingual tinctures, oral syringes and phytocannabinoid-rich gel capsules.

The store also sells supplemental products ranging from CBD-infused anti-aging skin toners, dog treats, vaping cartridges and edibles such as popcorn, gummy bears and honey sticks.

Each product they carry is backed by a pharmacological lab report that is available to customers upon request.

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“We have a pharmacology lab report for any product we carry,” said Alex Rodriguez, CBD Superstore manager. “Anyone can see what’s in each product and can call up the lab if they wish to. Nobody [else] is carrying their lab reports on hand for customers to be able to look at.”

What sets CBD Superstore apart from your average pharmacy or vitamin store is their extensive knowledge on CBD products and fair pricing. While some stores may carry CBD products, they may not know much about what they’re carrying because CBD products are still relatively new.

“When we first started, there was a huge learning curve for us. Little by little we did our own research, reaching out to people and different businesses,” Rodriguez said. “We were lucky enough to speak to with some high-level individuals in the industry to be able to educate us and help us understand what we were selling. That’s one of the biggest ways we were able to separate us from everyone else.”

CBD Superstore gets customers from the city and from overseas coming in to seek a natural alternative treatment for many ailments, including pain, anxiety and depression. They also have customers coming in to treat side effects from Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia, and they even have cancer patients coming in looking to take CBD in conjunction with their chemotherapy treatments.

“We have a gentleman that comes in with severe Parkinson’s Disease. He’ll come in and he’ll buy a concentrated oral syringe, take his dosage, sit down on our couch for 10 minutes and then get up and walk out like nothing happened,” said Aragonesi. “Afterwards, he’s like a perfectly functioning human being for 24 hours without shaking. That’s proof in our self that the product is working and we’re proud to sell that type of product.”

While CBD oils and products may alleviate symptoms of chronic illness, CBD Superstore recognizes that it is by no means a cure for a patient’s condition.

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“CBD is not a cure; it’s a relief,” Aragonesi said. “It’s to get you to function normally without a prescription drug. If we can get you off of your prescription and you can function normally with the CBD, that’s the most important thing. It’s not a cure, but it is a natural alternative for prescription medicines.”

Despite the good that CBD can do for the human body, the store has faced a lot of the stigma in regards to the products they carry. CBD Superstore is often mistaken for a medical marijuana dispensary and the community has been worried that they are selling illegal drugs.

“There is a stigma behind it in the neighborhood here. We used to have a sign that had the leaf of a cannabis plant on it, and people took the misconception that we’re a marijuana store, that we’re selling drugs to kids or that we’re looking to get people high and that’s the farthest thing on our minds,” Aragonesi said. “Everything we sell is non-psychoactive, completely legal and nothing to be stigmatized.”

However, despite the neighborhood’s resistance, CBD Superstore is looking to make the community comfortable with their products.

“Times are changing. As medical marijuana becomes more prevalent in the states and is legalized and as states recreationalize it, people are going to find that that it’s not going anywhere,” Aragonesi said. “The fact of the matter is if it can help somebody live a normal life, there’s nothing wrong with [CBD] itself.”

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So what does the future hold for CBD Superstore?

“We would like to eventually evolve into more of a therapeutic studio/spa setting, where people can come in and try more of the products,” Aragonesi said. “That way, clients would be able to sit down and experience this in a relaxing setting than a retail setting.”

For more information about CBD Superstore, call 347-779-0575.

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