Christian Vergara opened Noid Botanicals' storefront early this month in the Shoppes at East Wind in Wading River. . Photo: Julia-Anna Searson

Recent CBD legalization has many stores riding the wave and advertising CBD products for sale. But not all CBD products are created equal.

Christian Vergara, owner of Noid Botanicals, which just opened a storefront in Wading River, intends to educate consumers, answer their questions and settle any lingering unease about the product. Despite the recent uptick in sales, some people are still unsure of what CBD is and others are uneasy about using any CBD products, he says.

Noid Botanicals started as an online store in May, selling CBD products online, but Vergara wanted a physical storefront.

“We really did a want the physical location, because even talking to our vendors, people really do like to talk face-to-face and having someone that can answer their questions,” Vergara said.

The CBD shop is located at the Shoppes in East Wind and will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. The store offers an array of tinctures, topicals, edibles, gummies, capsules and dog treats; all made with CBD.

CBD is used to treat anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia and other ailments. A prescription version of CBD is FDA-approved to treat epilepsy.

CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a chemical compound that can be extracted from cannabis plants, marijuana or hemp. The U.S. government differentiates the two plants based on their levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in the plants. Hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC, marijuana contains at least more than 0.3%.

“All our products are hemp-derived so it’s the sister or cousin plant of the marijuana plant,” Vergara said.

The products at Noid Botanicals are non-intoxicating and more importantly, they are researched.

Hemp plants are bio-accumulators that will absorb anything in the soil they grow in. If the hemp plants are grown in soil with heavy metals or near industrial plants, the extracted product may contain harmful substances. The FDA does not regulate CBD products, which means companies do not have to follow strictly regulated growth or extraction practices.

“We really seek to be that source for the knowledge and the information and be the place that really verifies the claims that companies are making,” said Vergara. “We take a deep dive into the company. Where the hemp is grown, how the products are produced, and the safety standards and quality control that the company uses. We are really focusing on educating ourselves as well as the customer.”

Some of the companies whose products are sold by Noid Vergaraare award-winning, and most follow current “good manufacturing practices” defined by the FDA that regulate the quality of pharmaceuticals.

“We want to change the image people may have of this entire industry. We want to expand into multiple stores across Long Island,” said Vergara. “We really want to become that authority in the CBD space for Long Island.”

Vergara wants Noid Botanicals to become not only a commercial presence, but a community one. He plans to host CBD educational events and welcomes community members to walk into the store and ask questions without feeling pressured to buy anything.

“We can sit here for 30 minutes or an hour, whatever it takes to answer questions,” said Vergara.

When asked the one thing Vergara wanted everyone to know about CBD, he said he wanted people to be unafraid of the product and do their research.

“Most people do know that it is non-intoxicating, but some people are hesitant to take it,” Vergara said. “They’ll get it as a gift and leave it, because they are unsure. The one thing I really want people to know is they should be researching and really looking into the product,” he said.

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Julia-Anna is a Riverhead native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, with a degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. She currently lives in Cutchogue.