Wellness bloggers, entrepreneurs, and sisters Shayda and Sydney Torabi have made it their mission to educate Austinites on the healing powers of CBD cannabis oil with their new line and North Austin shop, Restart CBD.
While there are plenty of smoke shops in town selling the much buzzed about concoction, the duo’s bright, airy storefront at 9705 Burnet Rd. #314A is a welcoming paradox, offering CBD tinctures, balms, and even pet products. Faux greenery lines the walls, potted plants rest on window sills, and the smiling sisters stand eager to answer any questions curious customers may have.
The Torabis launched their homegrown line earlier this year with goal of adding pure, no-nonsense CBD to the Austin market. Shayda was first introduced to CBD in 2015 after breaking her pelvis in a car accident. The fitness aficionado became forcibly sedentary, living with chronic pain, and faced with dismal options such as steroid injections or surgery to fix it.
Shayda knew there had to be a more holistic approach.
As a cannabis consumer for more than a decade, Shayda was well-versed in the properties of THC, yet when it came to CBD she was skeptical. Within three weeks of vaping CBD, using balms, and ingesting the oil, she noticed a massive improvement in her pain. She introduced CBD to the rest of her family, including her sister Sydney, a fitness blogger herself and a former University of Texas swimmer.
“The analogy I like to use is drinking water and coffee," Shayda says. “Yes, there is water and coffee but drinking water on its own will hydrate you and replenish your body. The same mentality can be applied to taking CBD isolate on its own away from THC.”
Over the past year, as its popularity within the health and wellness community has grown, so too has the mainstream conversation around CBD. (Just look at this lengthy piece in a recent edition of the Sunday New York Times.) Bloggers and podcasters began speaking out, local shops like Juiceland added it to its menu, and the 2018 SXSW Wellness Expo dedicated entire panels to its benefits.
The Torabi sisters realized it was time to take their shared passion for CBD to the general public, launching Restart CBD in August. “It’s really exciting to be able to stand up and say this is something that can really heal you and shouldn't be seen as something associated with a drug that is looked down upon,” Sydney says.
In looking at the market, the Torabis came across two main issues: products lacked dosage information or they were filled with additives and had an unpleasant taste. Restart CBD uses pure lab-tested CBD isolate and MCT oil for optimal absorption for its three tinctures: Replenish, Recover, and Relax. The result is a tasteless oil that's ideal for adding to a morning smoothie, taking at work to deal with occasional anxiety, or as a daily supplement. The brand also offers CBD roll-ons, a bath soak, a salve, and vape pens.
“When people describe to me that they have pain or can’t go to sleep at night my first thought is, 'have you tried CBD',” Sydney says. “I use it for literally everything.”
So what lay ahead? The Torabis recently started a monthly series, Canna Conversations, to make CBD education easily available and for those in the cannabis industry to share their knowledge.
“We get so many people that come through the door that just have questions and you can tell they want relief," says Sydney. "I really see that this is the beginning of us being able to talk about cannabis in an accessible way."