After leaving her job last month as a pharmacist — a position she held for two years — Dr. Najifa Choudhury is placing all her energy into her CBD company, Dr. Peace Lily, which she says is experiencing an influx of customers due to the wave of stress and anxiety created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Based in Troy, the 28-year-old’s business has seen its sales quadruple over the past year.
“I’m choosing to walk away from a six-figure income and a degree that I put blood, sweat, and tears into because of how passionate I am about these products and their impacts,” says Choudhury. “This is what truly excites me in life, bringing comfort to those who need it, especially in times like these.”
In 2018, while pursuing her pharmacology degree, Choudhury says a friend of hers suggested she try CBD to combat the stress and anxiety she was experiencing. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is directly derived from the hemp plant and is considered an all-natural remedy for stress, muscle pain, and more. Despite the preconceived notions she had about CBD, due in part to its relationship to THC and marijuana, she “fell in love” with a tincture product — an oil that’s placed under your tongue and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream — and continued to explore the substance.
As Choudhury’s curiosity grew, she realized that CBD was not far off from pharmaceutical practices. “Everything aligned as I was gearing up to start my business,” she says. “The studies behind the products, the pharmacology and concepts of how CBD metabolizes and interacts with the body, these are all things I already had an interest in with the study of other drugs.” She launched Dr. Peace Lily — a name that nods to the feeling Choudhury wants her customers to feel when they use her product and her love for houseplants — in 2019.
Today, she offers a range of 10 different products, including CBD bath bombs and tablets, and CBD oil made specifically for pets. The Magic Potion, a tincture with 500 mg of CBD, is among her most popular items. It helps with discomfort, supports neurological function, reduces nausea and vomiting, and relieves anxiety — Choudhury says it’s been instrumental in improving her mental health. The Tube of Gold, a 1000 mg CBD relief rub, is another top product. It provides relief for sore muscles, as well as combating stiffness or tension in the body, and Choudhury credits it for relieving her knee pain.
Marketing her products hasn’t always been easy, especially with the stigma that surrounds CBD and its use. “I sell my products at farmers markets and pop-ups occasionally, and I’m often met with comments like, ‘Oh, I don’t need those, I don’t smoke’ or ‘Those have weed in them,’ which is why education is so important to me,” Choudhury says.
She believes her credibility as a certified pharmacist and education from Wayne State University’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science have been great tools for helping her explain the benefits of CBD and debunking any misconceptions. In April, Choudhury was a featured panelist at the CBDExpo Midwest in Indiana, where she spoke on topics like CBD dosing and cannabinoid pharmacology.
To further educate, Choudhury also regularly posts on Dr. Peace Lily’s social media accounts about mental health and the most effective ways to use her CBD products to combat feelings of uneasiness. “I make an effort to share ways that CBD can be the most effective,” she says. “Even today, it’s stressful not knowing how things will be for the country in a month, six months, a year, and it’s important to find healthy ways to manage those feelings.”
For more information, visit drpeacelily.com.