Nature Vibez Wellness CBD store opens in Troy

TROY — After countless emergency room visits and medical appointments, Troy resident Allison Joseph believed her struggle with chronic pain would be lifelong and irremediable.

That is until she said she was introduced to CBD or cannabidiol, an extract of the cannabis plant said to reduce pain, calm anxiety, aid sleep and provide relief for inflammation, nausea and other ailments.

Now, the 53-year-old is the proud owner of Nature Vibez Wellness, which opened in downtown Troy earlier this month. The small business sells cannabinoid hemp products in a variety of forms to promote health and wellness.

Years ago, when Joseph, riddled with medical issues, was recommended to try CBD to help manage her pain, she said her immediate reaction was fear.

“Coming from the background that I’m coming from, it still had that stigma that’s connected to cannabis,” said Joseph, who was born in Guyana before moving to Troy at the age of 18. “I’ve been so conditioned since childhood against cannabis that it scared me so much, even though I knew there were health benefits I was just too afraid.”

After researching the chemical found in marijuana and learning that it doesn’t elicit a high, Joseph said she became less fearful and decided to try it. “It’s been life-changing,” she said, adding that the drug has helped her walk better, reduced her trips to the doctor and reduced her anxiety.

Enthralled by the product’s impact on her health, Joseph decided she wanted to get her foot into the growing New York industry and set forth on a journey of education: learning about the active ingredient derived from the hemp plant and its medicinal properties.

In 2022, with the encouragement of her father, Joseph opened her first store in Brooklyn and could be regularly seen traveling to and from the city to run the business.

“What I realized in Brooklyn is that everyone who came in mostly was curious; hardly did anyone come in and say, ‘I want this product’ or really knew anything about it. When people walked in and I realized how curious they were but afraid of it, I always found myself in a position of educating others,” she explained.

After a year of growing the brand’s presence downstate, Joseph decided to bring the business closer to home and make CBD more accessible to her Troy community. The new store at 336 Congress St. carries flavored tinctures, ingestible gummies and topical products including body butter, lotion, sugar scrubs and roll-on gel.

“Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people coming in to get help with their seizures,” she said. “Of course, even though more doctors are recommending it to their patients these days, I still recommend people talk to their doctors because you never know what conditions they may have.”

The business also sells a selection of CBD products for pets, from salmon-flavored tinctures for cats to steak treats for dogs, which Joseph said can help with behavioral issues and anxiety, among other ailments. Joseph also recommends talking to a veterinarian before beginning treatment.

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