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How Kara Harrison’s Health Crisis Inspired Her SHEbd Health Products

Kara Harrison describes her path to starting her own company as a “journey from hell to health.” The severity of her endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus, led to numerous surgeries and medical difficulties. It was a profoundly difficult experience, but through her recovery, she found that CBD products were crucial in managing her chronic pain. Her passion for helping others led her to create SHEbd, a company focused on creating hemp supplements and health products for women.

“As I began my journey back to health (and life), I was determined to establish balance and homeostasis in my body,” said Harrison. “The more I learned about how to achieve balance with my health, namely the endocannabinoid system, the more I realized CBD plays an intricate role in establishing that balance. Of course, CBD didn’t heal me or cure my ailments; however, it has played a vital role in easing my inflammation and chronic pain. My passion to utilize CBD as a means to help others snowballed from here and led to creating SHEbd.”

Harrison’s full story is harrowing. Her long-term endometriosis led to pain and fertility issues, and she was eventually faced with a choice: treating her disease with opioids and a talk therapy group or undergoing a hysterectomy. Though it was a devastating situation for Harrison, she was determined to avoid relying on chronic painkillers. When there were complications following the surgery, she was prescribed a series of potent medications, which made Harrison deeply uncomfortable.

“I experienced times where I’d question whether I’d make it out alive, let alone lead a normal life again,” she recalled.

For Harrison, using CBD products was the key to improving and managing her health. She started SHEbd with the intention of bringing CBD products directly to consumers. Among the company’s products are hemp oils and soft gels, balms and creams intended for pain management, and a sheet mask.

The number one question Harrison receives – which tends to pop up during any discussion of CBD – is whether or not the products have the same intoxicating effect as marijuana. She stressed that CBD products lack THC, which is the chemical that creates that colloquial “high.” Instead, CBD products are intended to reduce anxiety and discomfort. While this is still a relatively new field, some studies have shown that it can be used to manage chronic pain or mental health conditions.

SHEbd’s website does more than provide photos of products. It also serves as an educational tool for those who are unsure about CBD products. As the company’s name implies, the majority of their focus is on working with women. 

“Women are an underserved market in the CBD community and often are apprehensive about CBD in terms of some of the stigma that still surrounds it. We want to serve women by educating them about the benefits of CBD in a sophisticated and beautiful manner, and empower them to take ownership of their health through informed choices,” said Harrison. “As a woman who’s suffered through a plethora of female-specific ailments and found relief through CBD, it was obvious for me how SHEbd would serve a greater purpose.”

SHEbd launched earlier this year in February in Redwood City, Calif. Harrison consulted with medical professionals and legal teams to ensure that her products were thoroughly designed and effective before going to market. She said she was glad to ensure a level of quality but joked that working in this field was time-consuming and certainly not for the faint of heart.

The company’s launch aligned with the 2020 Oscars, where they had an exciting debut. Traditionally, nominees for categories such as Best Actor and Actress or Best Director receive an “Everybody Wins” gift bag before the show begins. These bags are technically unofficial, as they are independently produced by Distinctive Assets. Still, they are highly coveted: just one bag from this year was worth over $200,000. Among all of the goodies in the bags was SHEbd’s Broad Spectrum Hemp Balm. 

In telling that story, Harrison took a moment to share gratitude for her public relations team, as they were the ones to manage the opportunity. She explained that SHEbd is female-focused right down to its staff – women lead crucial positions throughout the company. As she said, “When women support each other, incredible things happen.”

Of course, conversations about alleviating stress naturally led to talks about the current state of the world, particularly when dealing with COVID-19. Harrison felt that this topic was important to discuss – not to push her products, but to have an educational conversation about mental and physical self-care in a strange time.

“I understand that women are having to adapt to new roles and lifestyles that may be incredibly difficult. However, I find this to be a great opportunity to get back to the basics and become increasingly intentional towards finding balance and homeostasis physically, mentally, and emotionally,” said Harrison. “There’s always a silver lining in difficult times, and helping women around the world find their balance truly speaks to the mission of SHEbd.”

About the author

Laura Grant

As Managing Editor of Lioness, Laura Grant works with the editorial team and a slew of freelancers and regular contributors to produce a publication that offers equal parts inspiration and information. Laura is a graduate of Western New England University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master's degree in Communications. She spent her undergraduate term developing her writing and communication skills through internships, tutoring and student media involvement. Her goal is to publish a novel one day. Before joining Lioness full-time, Laura was a freelancer herself and wrote many stories for the magazine.

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