Why We Need to Learn ‘The ABCs of CBD’

Author of ABCs of CBD Shia Adler.

New cannabisMD columnist Shira Adler discusses her journey into the CBD industry. Image Credit: cannabisMD.

Introducing the newest cannabisMD columnist, Shira Adler, who has been working in the cannabis space since 2011 and is widely considered an expert. Shira is a CBD author, speaker, activist, and entrepreneur. Her future columns will review an array of CBD products.

I am a woman who was raised to be strongly anti-marijuana. I come from a family that included conservative, highly-educated grandparents; a father who was a scientist, Ivy League professor and dean; and a mother, who was a wonderfully creative poet, but otherwise very shy and conservative. Marijuana was never discussed, encouraged, touched, or modeled for me in any way. In fact, I was told if I used it, I’d end up in horribly bad shape with severely damaged brain cells. (Remember the “this is your brain on drugs” cracked-egg commercial? I grew up with that.) It’s safe to say, I would be among the last people you’d expect to be open to cannabis.

That’s why I understand how anyone raised the same way is now skeptical of CBD, or any compound naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. On the one hand it’s still very difficult to shake the stigma of a decades long prohibition. Yet, with Illinois just becoming the 11th state to legalize marijuana, and medical marijuana programs as well as CBD centric consumer products sweeping the nation, this country is being called to question not just our own history and personal beliefs, but our emerging canna-curiosity.

As a mother, it’s a more difficult choice when you have loved ones who have been told for so long that only traditional pharma can offer wellness solutions for our kids, aging baby boomer parents, and ourselves. Yet as a society, we have never been more over-medicated, and under-served. This truth, and the explosion of cripplng health issues such as the opioid epidemic, plus a general, in my opinion, overprescription of side-effect-laden medications for children (like Ritalin) is prompting more people to consider plant-based medicine and products.

A potential bright future for patients with myriad physical and emotional challenges, ranging from Alzheimer’s to ADHD, mental-health disorders to cancer, is ironically based on one of the most ancient plant-medicine species known to man.


I was not led to this water easily (CBD infused or not). I was a single mom raising two kids who needed something “else”— and I was frustrated by the lack of safe, lasting, or side-effect free approaches to treating my kids who had myriad issues growing up. I was seeking something with a more integrative approach to help me manage their anxiety, depression, mood regulation, the need for better sleep, and increased focusing ability. For my family, CBD provided all that and more.

My now two teens, each of whom grew up with multiple prescriptions and hospitalizations, are completely off of prescription drugs. In fact, my son is now in a high school culinary arts program and working towards becoming a professional surfer, while his big sister made dean’s list her first semester of a prestigious arts college in NY, and is an actress, activist, model, and YouTuber on the side! 

Clearly I have become a believer.

Becoming an “Expert” in CBD

Seeing the positive impact CBD had on my kids is what fueled my passion for the cannabinoid which led to my becoming a CBD author, educator, speaker, activist, and founder and CEO of a holistic (CBD-centric) wellness company. I started my journey down the rabbit hole of natural wellness decades ago, and founded my company in 2011 — that’s practically antiquity considering the nascency of this new industry!

However, the cannabis business is a bit like the Wild West right now, which means consumers need advice, guidance, information, and trusted resources so they can make the most educated decisions about their own health.

If you’ve ever asked yourself how you can know, REALLY know, which kind of products, delivery method, brands, you should use, and then — how to take or use the products — you’ve come to the right place.

The harsh reality is that in an industry without regulations and oversight, we are already susceptible to “bad actors” taking short cuts and pushing unhealthy products with over-hyped health claims in order to get on board the Green Rush express.

We have products that have mold, toxins, pesticides, synthetics, and more just free-floating for the unaware consumer.

The biggest obstacle to avoiding these products, and companies, is to know the basics — which is why I wrote them all down in “The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)” and why I am honored to join cannabisMD — a trusted platform here to address and help you navigate all of your questions, concerns, and choices available in the marketplace today.

I am also here to share products by companies I trust, because in addition to being an author and speaker on the subject, I am also an educator.

Full disclosure: My first love is the products I create through my company, which include CBD tinctures and sprays. But for my first official review? CBD coffee! I happen to be a big fan of Flower Power Coffee, a gourmet coffee line which gives caffeine lovers an extra boost (or actually, a balancing calm) with 10 mg of CBD per cup. I know this company well — including the pharmacist behind it — and have investigated their standards, testing, and manufacturing process. It’s especially good for those who are sensitive to caffeine but don’t want to give up coffee altogether.

Shira Adler
Shira Adler
Shira Adler is the author of “The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (And Regular Folks Too).” She is also a well-known CBD speaker, educator, and activist and the founder and CEO of Synergy by Shira Adler — a holistic wellness company she founded in 2011. You can find more about her work at ShiraAdler.com.

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