CHATHAM – Something wasn’t right. The screaming pain Paul Borde could feel in his lower back was starting to affect his daily life. The discomfort was really unbearable for Borde, who struggled to sleep and walk throughout the summer of 2019. Perhaps worst of all, the pain hammering away at the bottom of his vertebrae was hindering Borde’s golf game, which really sounded alarms for the avid golfer.
“I thought my golfing career was over,” said Borde.
At the suggestion of his local chiropractor in Greenwich, Conn., Borde tried cannabidiol, better known as CBD. CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana, which contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive cannabinoid that triggers the feeling of being “high,” CBD isn’t psychoactive. That’s one of the main reasons CBD has become an attractive option for people yearning to halt pain or other symptoms without getting stoned or taking pharmaceutical drugs.
For Borde, a Chatham homeowner of 20-plus years, the introduction to CBD was a game-changer.
“Something was working. Big time,” said the 55-year-old Borde. “It impacted me very viscerally. It really helped. I was sleeping better and it completely helped my back.”
Borde’s personal experience with CBD was enough to turn his interest toward the industry. He made multiple visits to California, Colorado and New Jersey to learn more about CBD, the companies that produce it and the companies that sell it. What he discovered was an opportunity to create something special. Borde felt there was a need for a best-in-class product line that properly educated customers about CBD.
“The deeper I dug, the more I realized that a lot of start-up companies are taking a product, slapping a label on it and saying it’s CBD,” he said.
The idea of quickly profiting from CBD’s rise in popularity didn’t appeal to Borde, who instead decided he was in it for the long haul. He was so enamored by CBD that he left behind his 25-year career in the restaurant, bar and nightclub industry and moved from Connecticut to Chatham full time with his wife, Nanci, and their two Jack Russell terriers, Lily and Stanley, to start Primabee, a self-described “ultra-premium CBD daily essentials brand.”
Primabee’s website has only been live for a few weeks, but Borde has already seen an interest from customers. Part of the company’s early success stems from key partnerships Borde made with local, trusted brands, including Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich and Candles by Tarraza in Dennis. Borde and Cape Cod Lavender Farm owner Cynthia Sutphin have put together various packages that include CBD-infused bath bombs, lavender sachets and lavender scented candles. Collaborating with a successful brand such as Cape Cod Lavender was a no-brainer for Borde from a product standpoint, but the partnership also allowed him to plant deeper roots in the community, a key component he believes is critical for success.
“It’s very important because I’ve changed my life — I’ve moved here, I’m now a local in the town,” Borde said. “This is my community now, and I want to be supportive of the people around me and grow organically from where I live. I want to be able to walk down the street and see people who say, ‘Hey, that’s the guy who started Primabee and is in the CBD business.’ That’s really important to me.”
Primabee’s products — which also include CBD gummies, oil tinctures, sports cream, salves and even dog treats — all come from two manufacturing plants in Colorado. The manufacturers grow their own hemp on site and then bring it to an extraction facility where the CBD is extracted from the plant and formulated into various products. Borde has considered introducing honey bees to the farm in the future so that they can pollinate the hemp and provide a little more flavor to the brand, which garnered its name Primabee after Borde became enthralled by bees during his research.
“As I was traveling around the country learning more about CBD, I was randomly reading about bees,” he said. “I just liked the whole communal thing of wellness,” he continued. “Like you hear the expression, ‘busy as a bee’ — it’s scientifically proven that bees communicate with each other, they feel emotion and exhibit signs of happiness, gratitude and fear. They are living in harmony, honey bees in particular. I just gravitated toward it and thought it was a great way to model a business after something that’s communal based.”
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, the FDA has only approved one CBD product, a prescription drug used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. However, more and more doctors are recommending CBD to their patients as an option to address anxiety, insomnia and various types of pain. Borde stresses that it’s important for people to consult their doctors if they have any questions about CBD, and he flat-out refuses to make any guarantees or claims about CBD’s abilities, knowing everybody reacts to CBD differently. Still, as the industry rapidly grows around the country and Borde’s wellness continues to thrive while using his products, the Chatham resident is confident Primabee will have the staying power to be a successful venture for him and his family.
“CBD is trending in a far bigger way than anything in the restaurant, music or nightclub businesses,” said Borde. “This is a massive movement that’s happening and is going to, in my humble opinion, change habits of how people live their lives. The whole concept of wellness and balance is so important, and CBD has the capability of doing amazing things for some people.”
Visit https://primabee.com/ for more information about the company.