How CBD Can Help You Crush Life

Meet Poplar

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The wellness industry has greatly benefited from the Instagram generation proliferating #lifestylegoals. From fitness accounts to supplement companies, we’re reminded that we must take care of ourselves every time we pop onto the app. This newfound widespread desire to cater to our well-being (#treatyoself, anyone?) has given rise to many a new business in various burgeoning categories. CBD is one of them.

The legalization of cannabis paved the way for mainstream non-THC products, allowing states that aren’t on board to still capitalize on the plant’s benefits. Countless CBD products have been bursting onto the market and claiming various advantages, but the category seems to be evolving faster than consumer education. 

We know some of these goods can be super beneficial in a ton of life scenarios, and to help you cut through the trend’s noise, we enlisted Beryl Solomon, founder of CBD retailer Poplar. She left her job as CEO of an accessories company to create an informative, elevated e-commerce platform because—in classic entrepreneur fashion—she couldn’t find one that already existed.

So if you’ve been canna-curious but in the weeds (hehe), keep reading to find out which products can help you crush life and why, and let yourself be led by her very green thumb.

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Poplar / LinkedIn

ONE37pm: What are the biggest issues you see people turning to CBD for?

Beryl Solomon: Stress, sleep and anxiety, for sure. Studies keep reporting how stressed out we are as a nation—it has become our new normal. In my opinion, this is a modern-day epidemic.  

What opportunities do you see for CBD products to help people in terms of wellness, productivity, anxiety in any other capacity?  

Solomon: I certainly believe CBD can be an alternative to an antidepressant [note: Solomon emphasizes that this is the case only in certain situations]. I am by no means advocating that people who are struggling with their mental health cut their antidepressants cold turkey, but cannabis and CBD (one of over 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis) do have tremendous healing powers. 

At its core, CBD is anti-inflammatory and restores your body to homeostasis, meaning that any symptoms resulting from your body being off-balance could be positively impacted by CBD. From sleep to focus and everything in between, we are just beginning to understand what CBD can do.

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What specific items, products or formats do you think are the most beneficial?

Solomon: It totally depends on a person’s needs. For example, our email this week was about skincare, so let’s start there: If you have good skin, you probably don’t “need” CBD as an ingredient in your skin/grooming routine, but you are welcome to use CBD-infused products (the more the merrier), even though it likely won’t revolutionize your life. On the other hand, if you struggle with any skin issues (cue 50 million Americans annually) like acne, psoriasis or eczema (flaky, patchy, dry or itchy skin), CBD may work wonders! Many patients and doctors anecdotally rave about CBD playing a part in the special sauce that ultimately provides relief. When applied topically, CBD reduces inflammation and brings your skin back in balance. 

This kind of application is very straightforward. If you experience local muscle and joint pain, pick up a topical, apply liberally to the affected area and you’ll likely feel fast relief. Our favorites and bestsellers include Wildflower’s Healing Stick, Weed Sport and Mary’s Nutritionals Muscle Freeze.  

That said, in order to reap the optimal benefits from CBD, you need to ingest it. I like to compare CBD to a vitamin: It’s best to take it daily for prime results, especially since it can take a few weeks to ”kick in” and for new consumers to feel the effects. Ways to “ingest" include vaporizers, capsules and tinctures. In light of the vaping illnesses, we’re currently encouraging new customers to embrace the two latter. 

For capsules, Kaleidoscope makes some great ones. We’re exclusively carrying (and are loving) their Wake, Sleep and Soothe formulations through the holidays. In terms of tinctures, each differs based on the dosage (mg per bottle) and taste profile. I encourage beginners to start with a 300 to 600 mg bottle, while people who experience chronic pain most likely would benefit from a higher dosage like the Rosebud 1000mg and 1500mg Lily, two of our favorites. 

Do you have any specific examples of cases you've seen where someone's issue was solved after turning to a CBD product?

Solomon: Not to sound cliché, but I started Poplar because of a life-changing personal experience. I had been on a dosage of Prozac since tragically losing my younger brother in 2011 and decided to ask my doctor about “natural” alternatives on my annual well-visit in 2017. 

I had read that in legal cannabis markets, people were reporting successfully replacing standard antidepressants with cannabis or cannabis derivatives and I was intrigued. I hadn’t smoked pot since college and “stoner" was the opposite of my vibe. But I was eager to try something new. 

With the help of medical advisors, I significantly decreased my antidepressant dosage, added cannabis to my wellness routine and improved my physical and emotional well-being. I eliminated the IBS I’d had for over a decade that had never responded to medication, significantly decreased my quarterly crippling migraines, became a more patient mother and a more affectionate wife.

So I guess I am my own Exhibit A :) 

What advice would you have for someone who is just starting to dabble in CBD?

Solomon: I’d say ignore those annoying memes that lead you to believe CBD will solve all your problems once you pour it all over your body. Like anything else, it takes a minute to figure out how to best incorporate CBD to your health and wellness routine. Take your time, go slow and try a few different things. CBD is not a one-size-fits-all silver bullet. But it can be an amazing add to your wellness toolkit, aka your medicine cabinet.  

How can we trust a certain brand’s claims versus another?

Solomon: One of the things that makes Poplar unique is that we vet ALL the products we sell, so everything on Poplar is amazing. Think of us as the Mr. Porter of CBD—our inventory is top-notch, and we do the heavy lifting, so customers don't have to. 

Our special product review process is lengthy and comprehensive. I personally test and review each product. We then require third-party test reports for each product and testing must confirm total cannabinoid content, a lower than 0.3 percent THC content, and that they are free of solvents, heavy metals, toxins, pesticides and bacteria. We also go the extra step of verifying the third-party test reports.

We require all of our vendors to provide additional information via our brand questionnaire, which we send out and update quarterly to ensure we are ahead of the curve on what makes a product best in class. We have a group we affectionately call The Poplar 10, a multidisciplinary crew of experts that weigh in from Eastern medicine, Western medicine, a scientist, wellness expert, fashion executive, etc. It takes a village!

All of that to say, everything on the site is amazing. Check it out.  

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