Mirra Q&A: Laura White on How CBD is Changing the Wellness Industry
Remember when cannabis was synonymous with red eyes and the munchies? Well, those days are behind us. Today, cannabis has become an integral part of the wellness movement. Cannabidiol (or CBD) is now being touted for its positive effects on mood disorders, inflammation, chronic pain, and so much more, thanks to entrepreneurs like Laura White. Laura founded her company, Soul Addict, to make the powerful benefits of CBD more widely accessible. During our interview with Laura, she talks improving her anxiety with CBD, and reveals the truth behind the substance.
What was your inspiration for starting Soul Addict?
I first came across CBD in liquid form after researching different plant-based healing methods. I wanted to see if CBD would work, so I ordered some from a Colorado-based company. When I would add it to my smoothies, I began to notice a huge difference in my mood, and I wanted to help educate other people the power of CBD.
What did you notice specifically about your mood?
In the mornings after I would get up and right before bed, I began to notice a rise in my anxiety and stress levels. I think it’s in my nature to worry – and worry a lot. At times, I would try to take deep breaths to try and calm myself, meditate, read, etc. While it worked for a moment, it didn’t feel like a solution to me. When I began adding CBD to my daily wellness routine, I noticed such a huge difference in my anxiety – it just disappeared. The fact that a natural plant-based remedy worked for me when so many times I was told I’d need other, unnatural, medicinal routes really rocked my world.
I grew up outside of Asheville on a farm, so I think it was always in my blood to do something around agriculture. I’ve always wanted to find a way to get back to nature - this is definitely my lovechild.
We launched in New Orleans, a very culturally-rich city and it really was the perfect city for us to be born out of. I think New Orleans doesn’t play by the rules. It’s in its own little world in the US and, for me, that was really special. The community and support for wellness has been amazing so far.
How has it been supportive?
I think just the New Orleans spirit itself helped to define this as something I could do, especially because a lot of what we’re doing comes with its fair share of educating away the stigma around a ‘cannabis wellness brand.’ I love how open this city can be towards novel ideas!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is essentially a naturally occurring component found in cannabis. It can be found in both industrial hemp and marijuana as the word ‘cannabis’ refers to the Latin genus form of both. So, when we talk about ‘plant power’, this is the real deal - a powerful, functional food.
The biggest difference when you consume hemp-sourced CBD is that it will not alter your mind, there is absolutely no psychoactive effect when taking it. The ‘high’ feeling we’ve come to associate with the cannabinoid THC found in marijuana is not present when taking hemp-sourced CBD. None of our products contain marijuana, which is where a lot of the confusion in the industry can happen.
Hemp-sourced CBD is becoming more known in the wellness world because of the growing research and its medicinal properties it carries as more education about CBD spreads. Knowing there's a cannabis product that's available across the U.S. that doesn't get you 'high' and has health properties is really powerful for people navigating what their wellness path can look like when it comes to exploring natural wellness alternatives.
What is THC?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of over 80 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s more well-known because of its psychoactive attributes that cause the ‘high feeling’. High levels of THC are mostly found in marijuana vs. the hemp plant.
Tell me more about your product and who/what it’s used for.
I literally call our CBD elixir the coconut oil of cannabis - it’s very multi-use. From helping to combat inflammatory disorders, to helping subside anxiety and stress, to reducing nausea and vomiting, to being a natural alternative to pain management, it really is the definition of a multitasking ingredient.
One big question we’ve already gotten is “Is this going to show up in a drug test?” or, “Am I going to get high?” And the answer is absolutely not. It’s really not enough CBD for anything to happen. It’s not psychoactive and it’s not addictive. It is a great alternative if you want to add cannabis into your wellness rituals.
Why CBD for wellness?
I’ve seen more people ask questions and talk about it way more. CBD has several healing effects, which is the biggest reason why people are looking to it as an alternative.
It’s been shown to help anxiety, PTSD, neurological disorders, etc. Anxiety is always something that I’ve personally dealt with and when I discovered CBD… it was a game changer. You can put it in your smoothie or coffee in the morning. It’s a great alternative to alcohol. It’s got all the benefits of plant-based wellness. And I think CBD is, like, the next phase of what plant-based remedies are going to look like for women.
I think we, as women, are very intuitive when it comes to our bodies, from our emotional state to how our bodies are feeling physically. Rituals and self-care come natural to us. In that respect, SA really focuses on women because our bodies are constantly in a state of changing with the seasons and navigating what works as those changes come. If CBD helps empower women to embrace that constant change, and help them feel better, that’s magical to me.
Not to mention the history of women and cannabis actually goes back to over 4,000 years ago. Pretty amazing, right?
How were you introduced to it?
I first came across CBD in liquid form. I had been researching different plant-based healing methods, Ayurvedic healing, etc. I wanted to see if it would work, so I ordered some from a Colorado-based company. I would add it to my smoothies and I noticed a huge difference in my mood. I wanted to help educate other people on its power.
What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?
We created a smoothie for our blog launch next month that I’d love to share. It’s our SA Zen Blueberry + Almond Tart Adaptogen Smoothie:
● Handful of frozen blueberries
● Tablespoon of almond butter (make sure it’s sans sugar!)
● 1 serving of SA’s CBD Wellness Elixir (15 drops)
● 1 cup of almond milk (or whatever non-dairy milk you’d like)
● Scoop of vanilla vegan protein - here’s our favorite!
● 1 teaspoon of maca power
I love to have it either first thing in the morning (the CBD helps any anxiety/stress I might be feeling), or I’ll have it for dessert when I’m craving something delicious, but still want to give to give my body some TLC. If I have it night, it also helps me sleep because it helps you chill out.
It helps with sleep too?
I’ll use it if I can’t sleep. And a lot of people come to me and they’ll tell me they’ll use it to help with bad dreams. It goes well with coconut milk and turmeric before bed.
What other uses does the CBD oil have?
The CBD is anti-inflammatory, so it helps you when you use it as a topical and when you ingest it. So, you can add it with honey to make a face mask. I’ll sometimes make a makeshift DIY face mask with it. Sometimes I’ll mix it with some neem in it if I’m having a breakout. I’ve never had anyone, in my personal experience, say they’ve had a bad reaction to using it topically.
What does it smell like?
It smells very, very earthy. Comparable, in taste, to an intense green juice. I like taking it straight in the morning sometimes if I’m in a rush, but I think a lot of people prefer to mix it in some kind of smoothie. It’s pretty easy to mask. One girl ate it with her avocado toast.
How is it sourced/made?
We’re sourcing from Colorado hemp farms at the moment. We actually use co2 extraction, which I like to compare to the “cold-press of juicing.” With Co2 extraction, you’re getting all those trace minerals, zinc, vitamin D’s from the CBD in its purest form.
There are a couple of ways to extract CBD, but you want to make sure that the company you’re sourcing from is doing third-party testing. Anytime you’re dealing with agriculture overseas, you will see a lot more pesticides, toxic metals, and you have to be wary of how they’re growing it, on top of that. Then you have to think of how it’s getting processed and how it’s being transported. We really want people to be educated on where their CBD is being sourced.
How did you come up with the name Soul Addict? What does it mean?
Back in high school, I was a big journal writer. I think I’ve had, like, four journals since the 4th grade - and I still have them. I had written something about being a “soul addict” in my journal a long time ago, but I couldn’t remember what exactly it was about. I just remember thinking of the name and feeling very attached to it and feeling like it would play a bigger role later in my life. And when I started thinking about launching this company, I remembered it – Soul Addict.
It’s strong and it’s heavy and I think it gets people thinking and on-board. That was kind of the vision behind the name. It just fit.
Has anyone inspired you on this journey?
I need to give a shoutout to Jessica Assaf of Cannibis Feminists. She’s been a huge inspiration and has been helping pave the way for women to take over this industry. The fact that it’s one of the most profitable healing industries and she’s at the forefront is so cool. I think over 50% of cannabis products are women-owned and I think it’ll be really interesting to see where this industry goes in the next 5 years.
I’m also a huge fan of Women Grow, who’s helping women really claim this space right now and make it everything it can be. I think that for the first time, we as women have a chance to set our own standards of how we want to do business. I’m so inspired by that conversation and how it can look.
Are any of your products tested on animals?
Our CBD oils are not tested on animals. As far as the industry as a whole, it’s essentially really highly used in veterinarian clinics, as well. It’s not just for humans. CBD doesn’t really discriminate when it comes to helping. You can actually give your dogs some to help with pain and anxiety.
If you start to google CBD and pets, you’ll see a huge amount of people saying, “I give my pets CBD all the time!” It helps them a lot.
In 1992, doctors discovered that we actually have an entire system whose sole purpose is to break down cannabis called the endocannabinoid system. It’s made up of a bunch of receptors that essentially are the link between our body and mind. When I realized this, it opened up a whole new thought process on how we view cannabis today and the intimate, natural relationship with it within our own body.
What do you do to maintain a life of wellness and health?
Anything and everything within what feels good – that’s my mantra. My eating habits - I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over ten years and then I jumped into veganism for 4 years and now I just eat what feels right. I call myself a ‘seasonal vegan’ most of the time, which people laugh at. I’ve really paid attention to what my body needs and I try to change up my exercise routine accordingly. One thing I don’t mess with, though, is that I always stay away from dairy.
I think my wellness philosophy is: we really do change every season. What worked for me when I was 18, 22, 25, doesn’t work for me now at 27. So I think that’s really how I live - from season to season. I just try to think about what I’m putting in my body and Ayurvedic healing.
When I became a vegan, I found Kimberly Snyder, and she’s very much in alignment with Ayurveda. I learned a ton from her, including that Ayurveda is the oldest medicine system in the world. There’s so much information to take in, but it’s pretty simple in the philosophy – listen to your body and eating habits with the change of seasons.
For fall, you eat heavier, orange, warming foods. You want to incorporate more ginger and lemon water and soups. I live off of my Lentil Curry Coconut soup all fall and winter. And then it goes all the way into summer, where you should be thinking about cooling foods, like watermelons, bell peppers, cucumbers. Ice water is also a big no-no. They say when you drink it, your organs literally get stiff. And that was one of the things that really stuck with me because in America we douse our water with ice. These really simple tips are so life-changing for our livers, kidneys, etc. and helping our body’s own healing system within us.
I’m also just an all-around outdoors person and I go through phases with my exercise routine. Sometimes I’m all about yoga or hiking and sometimes I’m all about hanging out on the couch. This year has really been about nature for me. I try to go home and walk around and hike a lot. Everybody places this importance on balance, and yeah, sure it is about balance, but I kind of just do what feels good for me every day. Right now, that’s paying attention to what I’m eating, walking, exercising, and obviously, taking CBD every day.
Are there any healthy foods you enjoy to maintain a life of wellness?
I love mixing our CBD oil with a blue-green algae, like Chlorella or Spirulina to help with daily life stressors.
I also really love Zen Bunni. They make these biodynamic chocolates that I love. I do the Canyon Coco, which is like a hot chocolate mix that’s 1000% times better (and better for you). I mix it with hemp milk and then I’ll throw in some CBD oil in it before bed to help me
I use ghee in everything too. They have naturally-flavored versions, but I always get the Fourth and Heart Ghee in 'Madagascar Vanilla Bean.’ I put it in my morning coffee, sometimes. I love it for cooking and baking - it’s like a pure form of butter.
What’s next for Soul Addict?
We’re launching our raw vegan chocolate CDB edibles next month, which is super exciting. We’ll start with the launch of those here in New Orleans and then they’ll be available for shipping nation-wide in time for the holidays.
Our edibles are sweetened with coconut sugar, so everything is mindfully indulgent and, naturally, the most important part is that they’re a complete functional food that is infused with CBD. When I need to relax and have some ‘me time’ I skip the red wine and head straight for our edibles and a hot bath. And by next year, we want to continue our line of CBD products. The universe is the limit.
How soon do you feel results after consuming an edible?
It really comes down to everyone’s specific body type. An average dose is 4.2 milligrams and some people take that much and it’s good for them. I add it to my coffee and I’m good to go. On the other hand, for some people it really takes a little more - like 25 milligrams. It just depends on your body. For me, it hovers somewhere in the middle, around 10 milligrams. There’s really no ‘right or wrong’ dosage. Empower what feels good for you, which is essentially our SA mantra.