Interview with Holliday of Rainbo and Stephen of Onda

Medicinal mushrooms are increasingly relevant, much like CBD, because of their ancient healing powers on an array of modern-day ailments. These fungi superfoods contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to have health-enhancing effects in the body, bringing with it a combination of unique healing properties. In a subtle, natural way, mushrooms normalize and optimize body system functionality.

Medicinal Mushroom Benefits

  • Immune boosting
  • Increased cognitive focus
  • Balanced energy

Whole Hemp™ CBD Benefits

  • Alleviates anxiety
  • Reduced pain and inflammation
  • Improved sleep

Super Multi-Mushroom Synergy

One of our favorite medicinal mushroom brands is Rainbo. Their mushrooms are vegan, organic, and sustainably cultivated in Canada, where the Rainbo team is rooted. Rainbo’s array of mushroom tinctures make it easy for everyone to find what they’re looking for based on their unique needs. The 11:11 tincture was their first product launched – as well as their bestselling – a super multi-mushroom synergy combining: Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Oyster, Mesima, Agarikon, Shiitake, Royal Sun, and Maitake.

Cannabis Without the High. Mushrooms Without the Trip.

Yes, there is such a thing as taking these two powerful plant medicines together. The synergistic combination of both hemp-derived CBD and medicinal mushrooms enables one to experience enhanced effects. Rainbo and Onda are the perfect duo to my morning routine. The 11:11 Rainbo tincture keeps me afloat, allowing me to find a rhythm through enhanced focus and strengthened immune, while Onda’s Whole Hemp™ CBD tincture brings me rest-assuredness of any stressors throughout the day, allowing me to feel even keel. Both of them have unique properties that fight diseases and improve mental and physical health. You can try the combination to reap the benefits yourself, but always start low and go slow to find a suitable dosage.

Interview with Holliday Cartar and Stephen Smith

I asked Holliday Cartar, Rainbo’s first employee and company educator, and Stephen Smith, Co-Founder of Onda a few questions regarding medicinal mushrooms and CBD.

photo by William J Dunkerley IG: @dunksmushroom
Medicinal mushrooms VS. psychedelic mushrooms?

We are advocates for all medicinal mushrooms, and although we don’t have psychedelic mushrooms in our products, there is no denying that psychedelic mushrooms are medicinal.

With the ability to help us turn off our habitual and rigid thought patterns, psychedelic mushrooms open the mind creating new neural connections that allow for insight, creativity, and uplifts in the mood. Clinical studies of psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) are showing incredible therapeutic results for brain injury, treatment-resistant depression, and other mood disorders. There is also evidence that psychedelic mushrooms may lower inflammation in the body – a state that is associated with many pathologies. So yes, psychedelic mushrooms are medicinal mushrooms!

Non-psychoactive medicinal mushrooms, such as those found in our tinctures, are not producing any changes in perception. However, through the subtle strengthening of our body’s systems, our minds can heal in similar ways too.

CBD vs. THC?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Both are naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis/hemp plant however each has a very different effect on the body. While CBD may help stabilize the body’s Endocannabinoid system by reducing anxiety and inflammation as well as helping with sleep THC has a psychoactive effect on the brain and can help stimulate appetite and suppress nausea, for example. Both very important along with the rest of the over 100 other cannabinoids in the plant. 

What is your favorite Rainbo product? Why?

This is such a hard question to answer! I love all of our tinctures and rotate through them monthly. 11:11 is a staple that I use regularly to keep my immune system tuned, primed, and ready. I work with the other single mushroom tinctures when I have a specific goal in mind. Lately, I’ve been loving our cordyceps tincture for boosts in sexual/creative energy.

What is your favorite Onda product? Why?

If I had to pick one, I would choose the 25mg capsules. I take one during the day when needed for anti-anxiety and two for soreness and 3-4 for super deep sleep. Love them. The combo with the 600mg tincture is the dream team.

What does dual extracted mean?

Dual-extracted means that our mushrooms have been subjected to two extraction methods. One with hot water, which extracts the water-soluble compounds from the mushroom such as the bioactive polysaccharides. The other extraction is done with alcohol, which extracts the water-insoluble compounds such as bioactive terpenes and sterols. The two extracts are then combined and blended together to create our dual-extracted tincture – the most bioavailable way to consume medicinal mushrooms.

What is an adaptogen?

We wrote a blog post called “What is an adaptogen, really?” answering this very question! You can read it here. Basically, an adaptogen is an herb or fungi that help our body adapt to stress by modulating our natural stress response.

What is your ideal morning routine?

An early rise, face wash & serums, large lemon water + ACV, meditate for 10-15 minutes, a few morning stretches and sometimes journalling, then I brew myself a french pressed coffee and make a mushroomy latte before opening my computer for work.


Wake up before the sun, bundle up, watch the sunrise over the prairie while the water is boiling. Make my blend of decaf, regular, and some herbs and mushrooms with butter and some cream in the yeti. Stretch and do some yoga then meditate for 10-30 minutes then take that first sip of coffee afterward. Bacon and egg tacos and I’m ready to rock.

What do you use medicinal mushrooms for? What do you use CBD for?

I use medicinal mushrooms for preventative medicine in whole-body support – aware of how they work to boost our immune system, and understanding how our immune system comes into play in almost all displays of internal health, from cancer to acne. I also take medicinal mushrooms to support my brain, my gut, and my energy/stress levels. I take CBD to support stress levels if I feel anxious during the day, and I take CBD at night to support my sleep! My go-to sleep ally.


I use mushrooms for endurance, immunity, and brainpower. I use CBD to regulate my adrenals, balance, rest, and recover.

Holliday Cartar

Rainbo’s first ever employee, has a background in cancer research, working in both pre-clinical and clinical research labs for over 5 years after getting her BSc. in Biology from McGill university. Her most recent studies investigating immunotherapies down in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018 led to her interest in finding natural ways to support the immune system. 

A deep dive into the world of medicinal mushrooms coincided with personal mushroom cultivation and brought her back home to Toronto, Canada where she started working for Rainbo since its launch in 2019. As the first employee of Rainbo, she is helping see out it’s vision of spreading education about the power of fungi as a functional food and getting more mushroom medicine into the hands of those who could benefit from their support.

Stephen Smith

Co-Founder of Onda, received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Colorado while exploring the Rocky Mountains. It was a five-month solo motorcycle adventure through South America that piqued Stephen’s interest in farming, grape growing, and wine-making. 

By 2012, Stephen found his next job back in Colorado to work as the Director of Business Development for the first Organic distillery in the US and first Biodynamic farm in Colorado. Experiencing half a year on this 90,000-acre cattle ranch opened Stephen’s eyes to large scale land management, animal husbandry, and agricultural and economic diversification. 

Stephen’s fascination with hemp goes back over 20 years when he wrote his high school research paper on the many uses of hemp. “My mind was blown by how dynamic this crop is and by the strange fact that hemp is not being used for building materials, medicines, food, fiber and more. This truly feels like my life’s work. Time to bring hemp back.”


Joanna Washington said on November 13th, et al. “Medicinal Mushrooms: Powerful Healers or Just Hype?”, 4 Jan. 2019, 

Lee, Kuo-Hsiung, et al. “Recent Progress of Research on Medicinal Mushrooms, Foods, and Other Herbal Products Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Apr. 2012, 

“Our Story.” Rainbo,