WORCESTER — As you walk in, jazzy hip-hop is playing, diffusers are steaming, and there is a spot on the couch or in one of the set of easy chairs.
And Your CBD Store Owner Alex Valle is there to welcome you (and your pet) and offer some relief.
“It’s a place where you feel good,” Mr. Valle, 34, said of his store at 91 Stafford St., No. 5. “CBD is not a treatment and not a cure, it’s a form of relief.”
CBD — or cannabidiol — is one of many chemicals found in cannabis, a plant known more commonly as marijuana. Most CBD is made from hemp, a cannabis variety cultivated for fiber or other use. But unlike THC, the primary psychoactive element in cannabis, CBD doesn’t get users high.
“It’s ‘the health without the high,’ as we say,” said Mr. Valle, reciting the motto of Your CBD Store.
Instead CBD is used to treat pain, calm anxiety, increase focus, and for other ailments, including epilepsy, nausea and even hangovers, although it is not an approved treatment for any of these ailments and has not been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Nevertheless, it has found a ready audience.
The CBD market is poised to grow 700%t this year and to approach $23.7 billion by 2023, according to a July report from Brightfield Group, a market and consumer intelligence firm for the legal CBD and cannabis industries.
And CBD is available everywhere — online, at smoke shops, at marijuana dispensaries, even at gas stations.
But there are a lot of unknowns and apprehension surrounding the product and exactly what it does and does not do.
That’s where Mr. Valle and his store come in. The store has its grand opening Wednesday and Mr. Valle said it is the only one of its kind in Central Massachusetts.
“I like just being able to educate people on what CBD is. It’s not marijuana,” Mr. Valle said.
The store offers tinctures, topical creams, bath balms, gummies, vaping products and more, including pet products. All products are made by SunMed, which means they are grown using organic process, are non-GMO, and are farmed in the U.S. SunMed products are also third-party verified by an independent lab, so that customers know the product is safe.
“I think it’s going to be good for Worcester,” said Mr. Valle. “I like the satisfaction you get from helping people with pain relief. You’re able to give them that small bit of relief and they walk out feeling better about themselves. It’s exciting.”