Shira Adler, Founder & CEO of Shira Synergy
Shira Adler is the Visionary Integrative Care Advocate, Founder & CEO of Shira Synergy — a ComPASSIONate care holistic health & wellness company. Shira is a nationally recognized media-wellness personality (Reuters calls her "The Marijuana Mama"), author, speaker, CBD expert, educator, and activist.
The voice for our time, Shira serves as the "Mrs. Fields of Healing" — having spent a lifetime helping others (including her own children) use plant based medicine and integrative/holistic approaches to thrive in today's world. Her understanding of the gaping hole in the marketplace for healthy, safe, natural options to manage myriad other physical and emotional challenges led to her company's innovative wellness products — including the only CBD infused Aromatherapy line (ShiraSynergy Sprays) — and her first book —"The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)" called the "industry guide" — "a goldmine" — by practitioners, legal experts, patients, wellness seeking moms, and the canna-curious community looking to better understand the history, efficacy, usage, dosage, and relevance of CBD.
[00:00:01] You're listening to Thinking Outside the Bud where we speak with entrepreneurs investors thought leaders researchers advocates and policymakers who are finding new and exciting ways for cannabis to positively impact business society and culture. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.
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[00:01:07] Welcome everyone this is thinking outside the but Bruce I. I'm your host that our guest today is Shira Adler and Shira is Founder and CEO of Shira Synergy. She's also the author of the ABC is of CBD. So we're going to talk to her a little bit about the work she does. We can talk about CBD. We're going to talk about some of the products she has and work that she's done in the cannabis space. With that Shira welcome to the program.
[00:01:28] Thank you so much Bruce. I'm a big fan and it's an honor to be here.
[00:01:31] Well it's an honor to have you. So what are we to start with just a little bit of background. So how did you get into the cannabis space. Tell us how the book came about. What is your story.
[00:01:42] I got into this space I think actually in a way that a lot of entrepreneurs are. Currently we have a personal story. We have a passion for wanting to improve the health and wellness as someone that we love. We turn to plant medicine now I've actually I'm a little funkier than that. I've actually been on Bravo I've done a lot of work as a media personality. I'm that funky spiritual soccer mom. I love it. My background is actually clergy and healer. I really come from a quite a different background than the traditional that's a company. But it's afforded me an opportunity over the last job believe it or not 30 years to really work with people in the most intimate expressions of their lives where their pain points are where they're hurting and needing healing and help and support.
[00:02:26] And as a young mother and as a single mom for most of my kids I too needed that support. I was looking outside of the box for ways to improve the health and wellness and vibrancy of my own children. And I did that successfully by emerging let's say ancient wisdom with modern science by starting with plant medicine and mixing essential oils. And then eventually cannabinoids and that's really where the company came from that's where the the book came from it's it's the life that I've lived and the passion that I now wish to share with others.
[00:03:00] Yeah and what I guess what have been the challenges of kind of pursuing that path.
[00:03:05] You know talk to me about what the writing the book building a business around this where where have been the hard part.
[00:03:13] You know what's funny is that years ago when I was that out of the box kind of metaphysically oriented clergy person I get a lot of raised eyebrows for always talking about mind body spirit and how we're not just physical bodies and half my family would roll their eyes and you know like OK that Shira. And yet that background and how to put it into a business model is a lot more eyebrows especially with the book especially with now some people call me to Kanter Kanter all kinds of nicknames that both and then not so loving because I've also really struggled with what it is to be a personality.
[00:03:50] You know someone who's already been in public. My job is to help others I'm in service. But you can imagine some of the challenges that have come up when I'm out there speaking not just as an advocate an activist and business owner but also as a mother telling and encourage other parents to consider cannabis understand cannabinoids book you know that's really a step down into a rabbit hole that most people are not very comfortable going down into. And that's my role. The gap between the candid curiosity and the fear and and the history and the misunderstandings and and the abuse you know telling people that I have to. They were both minors when I got my kids on medical marijuana cards. That definitely raises a lot of eyebrows. But if I can't stand and authenticity and transparency how I've gotten here then I shouldn't be here.
[00:04:43] Yeah well so what are some of the challenging conversations that you encourage folks to have or things to consider.
[00:04:48] I mean give us a sense of really what you cover in some of this content so I'm very honest about the fact that I wrote my book The ABCs of CBD while my son was in residential treatment he was smoking pot and he was smoking too much as a teenager. And a lot of us have kids that are doing that because they're really trying to self medicate. It's trying to navigate their lives and they may be making some choices that aren't super healthy. So on the one hand I'm a hardcore cannabis advocate. So by doing this properly by understanding that legalization is the best way to prevent our children from misusing the medicine in the way it's designed and that's really a conversation that I have all the time all over the. Because I'm not advocating for miners to be using THC and appropriately. I'm telling parents that if you want to get your kid or an aging baby boomer off of opioids or anyone who's got an addictive quality or it's Naledi the best way to do that is to use the very same plant. But to do it differently improperly and what is and what is differently improperly looked like so differently improperly it means that a minor shouldn't be over smoking a percentage of THC that's disproportionate ratio to the CBD. Right it should be. Let's say you've got PTSD or hardcore anxiety or chronic pain or some cancers. Sure. Then obviously you need to work with a practitioner and of course the caveat is I'm not a medical professional nothing you can say is meant to diagnose prevent you to cure any disease. I go into my voice over voice when I do that. I love it. The point is that there are more questions than available research or curiosity than available fundamental understanding of what cannabinoids do.
[00:06:27] So it's not to say you shouldn't have THC. It's just you shouldn't only have THC if you're a kid. You shouldn't be smoking something that you don't know. Never mind the THC. Does it have mold Charlotte pesticides organic Matt. You know that's actually part of the conversation and part of what I hope the book and the products and me is a just a speaker can get across to people that you have other things to worry about than your kids smoking. It's how much it's what type where did they get it. That's really part of this conversation.
[00:06:58] Yeah. Or is it the safety of the product itself. Sure. Well do you think. I mean so I mean generally would you say the legalization regulation process is is good or is there still problems and how we're doing the legalization regulate regulation relative to these issues.
[00:07:15] I think that we're in a little bit of you know in terms of the industry itself in terms of the progress that we're making towards legalization. Legalization is an absolute must. It is necessary it is right. It is the correct thing to do it's time. You know if you look at the history of the prohibition it's really just institutional racism and I do write about that in the book. I hear a lot of that. So I think that it must happen it should happen it needs to happen and it's correct to happen. That being said of course there are some issues you know at the same time that we legalize we have to decriminalize and not by. Oh well we've already been cutting back on the racial arrest known and I mean really legitimately appropriately decriminalize expunge the records rebuild communities.
[00:07:58] So you know we're kind of in the Wild West in terms of the fact there's a nascent industry and there's a lot of room for improvement. There are a lot of people that really care about not just pushing through legalization but the programs the education that go with it. That must go with it.
[00:08:16] Let's sucking just a little bit more on the parenting side. So I guess. So you've written the book.
[00:08:21] What how also you helping parents with children who are you know using or you know potentially have a benefit for using you know a kind of a space product. What else. Well I guess what other kind of platforms are you giving them or discussions are you having.
[00:08:35] Well I like to offer myself personally I'm a consultant so if families are really looking to dig deeper into what might work for them and what they're because I'm also a spiritual counselor and clergy I kind of bring all of that into the company and so I'm available as a consultant. Of course there is the book I do write for other outlets I'm on now a regular contributor for magazine on one of the activists M.D. is about to start on the other side. So there are other places that you can find the information that I'm trying to put out there of course I do events workshops. But the company itself my product line is really designed to be called more of a compassionate care company because it's the passion that goes into caring. You don't have to be a mother to be interested in these products you have to just care about yourself and others and use and utilize. I'd like to say a holistic regimen system if you have that foundation then you are educated you are asking the right questions you're using good products daily to support your own well-being and that of the people you love then I think where we've got somewhere to go.
[00:09:44] Yeah. Yeah. I'm curious have you and there's something that I find with a lot of folks that have gotten into the cannabis space is once they've kind of come out in cannabis it kind of changes their kind of family or social dynamics in a certain certain friends certain family you know are really curious other ones are like very judgmental.
[00:10:06] What has been your experience.
[00:10:08] Oh yeah. To say the least. So remember the. I'm so used to people rolling their eyes politely but I'll tell you that it's a funny story. You know that you've entered mainstream when you're asked by your synagogue leadership or hardass group to speak at a luncheon. To me that signifies in any faith tradition that a high watermark. Yeah right. When you get over your you know there are different words for. Like the blue haired ladies and later he starts speaking to groups that would previously have been completely afraid to hear what you have to say. That aside in my own family and community you know I did write about an incident in the book Honest. It is true. I won't say names but I've actually been reported to Child Protective Services. And every single time. By the time we got through all of these I'm fine. I think you know I've never done anything wrong. But people's fear is so substantial sometimes there is no other response than to deflect that back out on the source of information as opposed to really looking at what it is they're deeply afraid of. So I end up having conversations with CPS workers I've used their unofficial conversations with me because they can't go on the record as material or research in the book to show just how ridiculous the system is right now. And you know I'm not the type to be shy and retiring so opposed to backing off what I'm saying in line saying it. It actually propels me further because I feel more validation from even the Child Protective Service workers who end up leaving my house with brochures a baseline education velvet bar for internal culture just to talk about a complete don't mind flip. But it's everybody's hurting. Everybody's looking for support.
[00:11:54] And if you really get down into the what do we have in common. What makes sense. How do we use this. Why does it matter. The fact is we have more that pulls us together than the divisiveness that we're seeing in our current country right now. Administration.
[00:12:09] Well that's. I think that is one of the fascinating and fun things about sort of the cannabis industry is that it is it has such deep kind of social cultural political facets. You know roots impact that you know you do.
[00:12:23] You can't help but get involved in all these factors when you get involved in cannabis even if you're just an investor or an entrepreneur just looking at it from a business point of view.
[00:12:31] That's a really really good point and it's something I say at the end of when I do programs I said Look you may have entered this because of the low hanging fruit. You saw the dollar signs you're interested in and you know everyone's like it's bigger than dot com it's going to be exactly twenty two billion by 2022. That's all right. My focus with my company is about holistic regimen taking care of people people over profit. Sure the money will be there but what matters is doing this industry building it from the ground up correctly and understanding that whether you entered it for monetary reasons or as an investor or as an ancillary business you have become whether you meant to or not an inadvertent activist. And I invite people to change that from the unintentional aspect of caring about this industry to OK I'm actually a hardcore advocate an activist. I choose to show up effectively. I choose to offer support for other businesses for other companies for other ventures. Then I know we're doing something as a collective as a whole. That's really almost a reflection of the species for self.
[00:13:35] Yeah I like that I'm you're going to you're going to have an impact it's either intentional or unintentional.
[00:13:41] Why not make it intentional intentional make it count if you do something because you care about why you're doing it. And I think it's more about compassionate capitalism and you know people like well why are you making holistic products and why don't you sell lower tinctures and the answer is because I'm trying to help people not make a quick buck. You know my tinctures are stronger because I I understand and have lived through myself humanity's pain points and it's not OK to sell a 250 milligram tincture that's really mostly hemp oil or M.C. t TB and not it. No I'm not gonna do that I'm going to make beautiful strong products with great efficacy that are here to support the people who need them and care about using them.
[00:14:26] So let's dig into the CBD because that's what seems to be the focus of a product for you. Talk to us about CBD. Talk to us about this. There's hemp oil you know sort of the qualities the types the facets that go into CBD products and then let's talk about the product that you've developed and why you've developed them and the way that you have.
[00:14:46] Yeah. Well I think that actually CBD of course is the main focus for right now only because it's most familiar. Remember 10 years or 15 years ago nobody knew what econ issue was unless you were someone like me who is always between to the earth and then all of a sudden Asia was in like everything else it's a GNC it's a. But the same problem is is happening here in the cannabinoid world people are now getting turned on to things they're like oh Turpin this and cannabinoids that and they don't necessarily really understand the complexity of this plant medicine and it's not just really about CBD it's about CBD GM city and you know in the future I see that we will have more. Fine tuned kind of products based on a deeper understanding of the synergy of how each of these different cannabinoids works together but also the females in the flat Benoit's and the plant enzymes and everything it's everything. So I've always developed products based on the appreciation for the everything. Even though we don't have the research or even some of the manufacturing yet to go deep into it. So I think for now seeing CBD is really saying the full essence of this plant matter.
[00:15:57] But we're kind of pulling it into that one most commonly understood buzz worthy because people don't even know how to say cannabinoids I've done ad hits like a foreign language and I literally did a panel once in the the moderator God bless kind of said CBD as plural as if that were the name of the groups. I was like wow and this is an actual panel.
[00:16:24] And language is so hard. Say actually that I got I got schooled on a episode recently where we're talking about strains that I was I was told that I'll actually technically the strains are only used for pathogens and in cannabis it's really cultivars. So it's something that I mean everyone talks about. I could see it this industry is rife with language or consistency or development that's still going on.
[00:16:49] That's actually one of the biggest problems I think we're facing in the industry at this moment in time is that I'm seeing a lot of articles and things come out and a lot of questions come to me about let's say beauty and lifestyle aesthetic products right. And they're saying the CBD makeup and CBD this first of all certain products you don't even really I don't think that there would be any ethical city even putting it in. That's my own opinion. And also they're really mislabeling misrepresenting misstating not undress. There's a lot of confusion especially in the new beauty aspects seeing things that are just simply that's not even CBD. What they're referring to they're really referring to hemp oil and hemp oils not the same as CBD because essentially.
[00:17:30] Yeah. So. So explain this for us.
[00:17:32] You can have hemp oil just like you can have coconut oil you can have nutritional qualities to them you can have an extraction that's you know depending where you're pulling it from which part of the plant etc.. And that might be a lovely oil but it doesn't mean it has a specifically concentrated amount of that specific cannabinoid CBD or any of them CBD to be AMS to be a what it would mean is is the difference between saying well you've seen hemp seeds that we can toss into our estimate of these hemp oil. Right. You can have that in beauty products. It's a different class it's a different way of extracting and manufacturing that product. It has a different purpose. It is not going to be the same as taking a let's say my company we have high powered ones we start at 1000 mg ships in a bottle. Most companies go somewhere between two hundred I've seen even fifty thirty five mg but that numbers is referring to how much actual CBD is in the whole bottle. So I have a problem when people are saying CBD when they really mean hemp oil or saying this much concentration when actually if you looked at their lab testing it really isn't. They really don't have as much of the product in it as they say they do and that's. That's not just for cannabinoids that's for a problem with marketing and packaging and labelling across every industry. We all know that but I think that this particular industry is a little more prone to misstatements mislabeling. We talk about it at every conference and until there really is a set bar and a standard and a couple of really authentic organisations like us hemp roundtable and people that are saying here is the Okay seal of approval for an authentic clean reputable solid the testing is there the consistency of the products as they are we need that but we don't have that yet. And again it's the Wild West. You've got people saying all kinds of stuff when they don't. Sometimes it's completely not what's actually in the product.
[00:19:31] Yeah well it is all state by state too so it's you know there's there's very little consistency.
[00:19:36] So so are you Are you an advocate for federal control of all this so that you can get that consistency is that is that the solution.
[00:19:43] Well I think that that's kind of a slippery slope I'm not sure if I really I would love to leave it up to individual farmers and and the ethics of people in their own personal drive to be correct and authentic and pure unfortunately that's not the way people are. And unfortunately also we all know that as soon as an industry looks to be appealing we are going to have big brother watching us. We are going to have you know. No offence. White men in suits coming in. It does change the landscape so it's hard. On one hand I am a hard core advocate for all things and all people having equal rights and access to creating industry but that is not the nature of the beast and I think what we saw with the passage of the farm bill most recently was that we poked. The sleeping bear meaning the FDA. And I think it is an inevitable step. Whether I like it or not is kind of not the point because I think it is. It is happened and it will happen a lot. It is it just is we know this.
[00:20:41] So then the bigger question is well OK so if we are going to be governed by new licensing and this much money to pay for this kind of what else can we do to still assure equitable fairness and treatment of everyone and opportunities and how can I show up to be an effective coach and encourager of other people other moms and other people under represented in industry. How can I grow the 22 percent women and c suite positions. I still feel that there's a lot we can do. We just have to be a little more creative to do it because the fact is this industry will be like most others and it will be controlled and organized by a certain set of structures. That that's that's the path we're being led down right now. I think.
[00:21:24] So tell us more about the specific product that you've been developing.
[00:21:27] How have you developed in terms of a strategy or process have you decide and then talk to us about what you've learned about the seduction process I'm assuming you're not growing your own plants and pressing them in your garage.
[00:21:40] Like how have you developed your supply chain and what have been the lowering so well.
[00:21:44] Yeah can you imagine considering how much trouble I've already gotten in my career. I think any plants in my garage. You know I started this company in 2011 which makes me kind of one of the old school chicks in this business but I didn't really start dabbling with the CBD aspects and infusing until about 2014. I started with aroma therapy for a simple reason before people got into Turpin. We've always had essential oils and aroma therapy is the oldest modality on the planet across every religion every culture everything that can affect change on all three levels of your being simultaneously mind body and spirit.
[00:22:21] And there's even research as to dementia and Alzheimer's patients responding to the sense of smell the olfactory sense was the first human sense to develop in the body so it affects the limbic system in the brain and the reptilian brain. It's fascinating stuff but at the end of the day I started because I was looking to create products that could be used in conjunction with anything else a person was on how they were raised what they used how they eat that would just kind of from an integrated approach help make a little bit of a difference and that's really where it started. I've always loved aroma therapy for that reason it worked on my own kids and then I grew into the well the world is getting tougher. The stresses are stronger the kids are showing up with anxiety and depression much much earlier and in greater levels. PTSD is a societal issue in my humble opinion right now literally actually. Whether it's the vets or the army movement. We have a lot of pain right now. And I needed to boost what the aroma therapy did. And to me the way of boosting it was using the other plant species instead of just essential oils. I now mixed with cannabis but the hemp cultivar I should say that you're right it's about the cultivars and I am still a head only based company with essential oils. I would like to and I will. I'm so able part of the R.A. will be to have let's say higher more medically focused products but we're not that yet for many reasons but that's where it came from. It's just what else could I do. What can I offer what can I create that regardless of your ethnicity background socioeconomic status education experience.
[00:24:03] You could pick up a product for a decent price point that would actually make an impact in how you are feeling in that moment and possibly extend beyond that and talk to us a little bit about the sort of the modes of application because I remember when we met at the New York show you got a great display and you're talking a lot about that process. So when you look at the ways in which to interact with the product itself what's your process or what's your theory and why have you chosen the method you have.
[00:24:30] I do have pretty bottles don't you think. Yes. So sure synergy the the core line which you should do is let's say everybody is right now into tinctures right. Teachers are great. The best way to take them into these stars is not really under your tongue it's dropped some in between the cheek and the gum. So it's most readily absorbed into your endo cannabinoid receptor system and then immediately follow with a series of aromatherapy sprays. Now I'm not going to get too hardcore into what they do and why they do that because that's a look more of the funky side. But let's just say that they alter how you're feeling and they affect your mood and they affect a lot of your energy. And each of the five sprays has a kind of specific focus and targets a part of you. So when you spray you're now boosting with a little bit of a micro dose of CBD in the sprays. What you just took is a tincture and you can use them in any order at any time.
[00:25:22] All of them all at once so it's actually tricky to do because it's a lot of high powered oil. So. It's not overpowering it won't give you a headache. Yeah I get it. They're pretty cool and the smells go away really quickly you just do two or three sprays round your face and you inhale and that's it. A little late morning and night. Any time you feel you need it. And what's really beautiful about this coming up topical is as well that children and people can start to identify and connect to one or two or all five of the sprays and what's beautiful is that if you have let's say a higher need state child somebody on the spectrum then learn how to self soothe and they now have a tool that is at their disposal that can really affect how they're feeling and how they're behaving how they're connecting how they're communicating how they're resting. I mean it's hard to find products that are not medical products that you can literally just immediately smell feel sit with that change and it's profound especially with children on the spectrum. That's a really profound thing to notice.
[00:26:29] You know that that is powerful.
[00:26:31] And so when and where you know in terms of free future products do you have anything in the works or anything that you're kind of planning on releasing in the coming months that you'd like to match.
[00:26:42] Well ironically the book just came out in a newly updated and revised edition partially because the farm bill passed and I also wanted to clarify a couple of things about vaping and I put in a couple of other sections so even if you read the book you can read the book again because there's something in it you probably didn't read the first time. And with the products. Absolutely. This is the first time in my entire history of this company since 2011 which has been bootstrapped we're about to do our first round and I'll get for you. Thank you. I'm really really excited. It has. It's just an incredibly beautiful thing to see the response that our kind from the thousands of people because I really just wanted to show up and help I was like you know make money I was in.
[00:27:23] In fact I gave away more product than I sold to be honest because that's where it came from. Now we're ready to and we must because it depends on these products are growing. So we have a lot of things coming down the line that will happen more readily soon as I get the funding because some really beautiful products are in the works. Really beautiful stuff that I'm excited to bring to the world. Emilio awesome.
[00:27:46] Sure. This was great. We're gonna to have time here. If people want to find out more about you about your products what's the best way to get that information.
[00:27:53] Sure. Well you can always find me anywhere on social and online. The company is Shira synergy and they can finally at Shira synergy and also Shira Adler dot com and share synergy dot com and on social I personally am at the one Shira Adler t h e the number one and my full name because there's another sheer app getting hassled by people and she is not in Canada is not in Canada. So it's better to make sure that you know you're dealing with this one over here.
[00:28:23] So perfect lol. All put the links and the handles on the show notes so people don't vote or harass. Roger Adler with web cannabis related questions like it's really she's in New York too. Yes so she sure you can come find you.
[00:28:40] The book is on Amazon and you can ask any book retailer we now have national distribution and be giving some book tour events and more conferences. So if you need me I'm here to be of service and thank you so much for having me.
[00:28:52] It's been my pleasure. Like I said I I learned a lot. I was a phone conversation. I appreciate your time. Absolutely.
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