Q & A: Shira Adler
Q: What made you want to become involved in the cannabis industry?
A: I was raised anti-pot (as many of us Gen Xers were)—even divorced one of my ex-husbands because he was such a "pot-head." However, after years struggling as a mostly single mom, raising two kids who had challenges in school—feeling healthy and happy—recovering from trauma in their young lives... and after multiple rounds of "traditional" yet abysmal failures of using old paradigms to "manage" their dysregulation and "diagnoses" I came to accept a simple truth.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You've heard of the old adage: necessity is the mother of invention. So, I became the "mother" who invented a unique and highly holistic approach to managing my kids myriad needs. I created a media and holistic consumer products "ComPASSIONate Care" company, Shira Synergy, focusing on education, connection, inspiration, and integration. I wanted to offer myself, my kids, and everyone else... an array of healing products (starting with my signature aromatherapy Shira Synergy series) which is the modern alchemy of ancient wisdom blended with modern science.
I guess you can say I had an epiphany—I had been another clueless captive (except for divorcing that dude... that was still the right call)—caught in a dense fog of my own self and societally imposed stigma which—once shattered—I emerged with a new perspective and pride to stand in my power as a "recovering, formerly-anti-pot-parent." My mission now is to use the trauma, trials, and truth my kids and I experienced to offer complimentary / integrative approaches and support for any other canna-curious person / family seeking more natural solutions to the myriad physical and emotional (and spiritual) challenges facing us in this very tough world today. That's why in addition to founding my company, Shira Synergy, I wrote the book "The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)" and am a staunch advocate / activist. I was able to help my kids (both of whom are now off of all western meds) but unable to help my parents—both of whom have passed—and both who had "states of dis-ease" the research indicates would be have been strongly helped by cannabis.
Q: How has CBD changed your life and the lives around you?
A: I can't express how full my heart is that I get to wake up every morning and make a difference in this world... not just my family's life, but for others. CBD (and all cannabinoids, really) got my kids off Western meds... healed beyond hospitalizations and multiple traumatic incidents in their early years... Cannabis has helped me find a purpose and mission for my own life and has helped me personally be a better mother, and a more self-loving woman. I had never dreamed I'd start a company... or even write a book. Doing both became a moral imperative... and despite the occasional sleep deprivation, and overworking that all Fempreneurs are occasionally guilty of, I could't be more inspired by what I see and hear daily in this industry. Knowing your experience, education, and general reputation can bring someone else hope and an ability to become their own best self-advocates... that's more meaningful than I can say. To see people shift through myriad painful past and current challenges through my products and book... that's just beyond words. That's why in addition to founding my company, Shira Synergy, I wrote the book "The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)" and am a staunch advocate / activist.
Q: What is your advice to others who have never tried CBD but want to?
A: There's a saying in our industry... start low, and go slow... and I add "but don't go below..." meaning don't take such a low dose or be conned into spending a small fortune for some really low milligram strength product (one of my pet peeve's...I've seen bottles ranging from 25-500 mg. and I consider those ALL to be too low). But more than anything else, try to really "know" the company... who is heading it? A real person with a strong reputation? Or a nameless, faceless brand named backed by a corporation with a lot of funding and a board that has no moral dilemma with selling mediocre (or far worse) product in too low of a milligram strength to have any real efficacy.
Q: What enticed you to write The ABCs of CBD?
A: As is the case with almost everything I do of great significance in my life—my kids—are what inspired me to write the book. Specifically two things happened... my second child was in residential treatment at a place that was supposed to be a wilderness therapy program. It wasn't... and my son was a really bright, but typical teen who I was afraid was going to be unduly influenced by basically EVERY kid in his age group who I knew was already "self-medicating" to manage their social-emotional stress. So, I sent him to this program where he was supposed to do some deep interpersonal work and get himself into a healthier mindset. Instead, the program provided "drug counseling" and one day my son reported to me that the drug counselor said "All cannabinoids are equally bad. CBD is as bad as THC." This was a state funded program and they were espousing complete BULL! My son, well educated by a passionate mother, knew this and stood up and challenged the counselor saying "that's entirely false..." and then proceeded to give the entire group an accurate lesson on the neuroscience behind cannabinoids. My late Father was an early neuroscience... and despite the fact that my son could care less about traditional school... he's an exceedingly bright kid so at home, he would read my Dad's old college textbooks.
The second catalyst for writing the book was when my daughter's therapist reported me to Child Protective Services for "treating my minors with marijuana" knowing full well (she had been a friend of mine) that my products were hemp-derived CBD... so technically from the cannabis species... but had always been a Federally compliant hemp-based cannabinoid product. Why? Because she had misdiagnosed my daughter and sent her to see the psychiatrist in the practice who didn't believe in prescribing medical marijuana to help teens manage extreme PTSD, anxiety, etc. However, he also incorrectly e-dictated an Rx into the computer which came out the other end at the pharmacy with what would have been a life-threatening (actually, life ending) overdose level prescription for not one, but THREE, heavy medications... none of which my daughter needed (or ever took).
I realized if I didn't start talking and sharing with other parents, mistakes that apparently are far more common than we know or would ever wish to believe, could hurt someone else or their child. I then sat down and channeled (literally... can barely remember writing any of it) an entire book and had it published on a small imprint within three months. That "The ABCS of CBD" is now a trademarked educational platform, and as a book is sold internationally and nationally on Amazon and at every book retailer (they just have to order it)... is SHOCKINGLY great.
Q: What do you think the social stigma of cannabis will be in 10 years from now?
A: Stigma? What stigma?! LOL... I'm sure there will still be some... however, the statistics are clear... and the trend has picked up speed and that rolling boulder is gaining momentum. It's more than time to correct the social injustice (aka institutional racism) that is, and has always been what marijuana prohibition is all about. So, the more we show the faces of what it is to be a "Regular" person / parent / practitioner in support of all forms of cannabis... the better it is for all of us. We are, after all, stewards of each other—and this planet.
Shira Adler has spent a lifetime helping others overcome myriad life challenges, obstacles, and personal issues. An author, speaker, advocate, entrepreneur, and instigator, Shira was forced to go beyond Western medicine to seek answers and new tools to help her own family survive and thrive in today's complicated world. That personal history—along with Shira’s eclectic background which includes 20+ years as a spiritual counselor/clergy and healer (Certified Past Life Regressionist— is why she is “that funky spiritual soccer mom” from Bravo, and a recognized media-wellness personality—hailed as "the voice for our time." Shira has been featured on GMA, Today, Dr. Oz, across myriad digital and linear platforms, written in, or reviewed in major outlets including Huff Post, Thrive Global, High Times, Dope, Skunk, Westchester Parent, Working Mother Magazine, etc. Shira is Founder & CEO of Shira Synergy, a ComPASSIONate Care Co. — creating modern alchemy for holistic wellness to ensure CBD companies are doing the right thing, in the right way. Her core tenet: people over profit.
Shira is also known as the acclaimed author of The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too) described by colleagues, industry professionals, consumers, and the everyday canna-curious as “the definitive industry guide" — “a goldmine.” (”Author Chat” interview) The ABCs of CBD™ is the foundation of Shira’s educational, advocacy, and spiritual activism platform—the (recently revised) book is available through Amazon and book retailers internationally. Shira—a FemPowerment champion—is also working on her second book about women in the cannabis and hemp industries—“Pink Moccasins: and other footwear inspired tales of empowerment” (Because you can’t walk in another woman’s shoes, but you can sure as hell admire them)—due Summer 2019.