Why I Started Sonoran Apothecary
I'm finally sitting down to write this blog post that I've had in the back of my mind for months. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to share a story that's deeply personal, and not the easiest subject to tackle in a short blog post. I've decided to share some of the struggles my family has been dealing with the past few years, and how hemp-derived CBD has played a large role in this journey. It's why I started Sonoran Apothecary, and it's why I'm determined to continue expanding the mission of my business. [Trigger warning: this post discusses severe illness.]
A Slow Decline
My dad has been suffering with a collection of debilitating diseases for the past 5 years. It started in his hands, with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, which led to a series of illnesses that have spread throughout his entire body. He's not quite terminal, because no doctor has given us an end date, but he's been hanging on by a thread for a few years now. He's been in and out of the hospital, and barely has enough stamina to leave the house for more than an hour at a time. Usually that time is spent in a doctor's office. I won't get into the gritty details of his ailments, for they're frankly horrific. Every day seems to bring more pain, some new part of his body that's slowly deteriorating. It's been a very isolating and frightening time for my family as we watch him go through the decline of disease. He's still with us, but it's impossible to know for how long.
My dad has tried just about everything to get better. He meets with specialists and various doctors weekly, and no one can seem to offer him much help. As one doctor put it, my dad is probably the only person in the United States with this specific mixture of diseases. Not exactly the best news to hear from your healthcare provider.
CBD for Pain Management
A few months ago I started making hemp-derived CBD lotion bars for my dad as a way to help ease some of his pain. My intention wasn't to cure or treat his illnesses, but to offer him some sort of relief from his daily discomfort. I started with a small dose, 325mg per bar. He would rub the lotion all over his hands and feet. He couldn't tell if it was working, but he did like the way it felt on his enflamed skin. I kept upping the dosage of the bars, until we landed on 600mg in a 2oz bar. He uses the bars daily now, and he says they've been one of the more effective things he's used on his skin to help ease discomfort. It hasn't completely removed his pain, but it has helped some. In his condition, that's a big win.
At one point, I tried making him an isolate-based tincture that he could ingest internally. Isolate has the lowest concentration of THC out of any hemp-derived CBD product*. He is HIGHLY sensitive to THC, but he wanted to try CBD internally since he is highly sensitive to prescription pain medications. The only medicine he can take for his specific type of pain causes serious mental confusion and can further damage his already fragile vital organs. The CBD tincture was not effective for him, it just made his heart race and left him feeling extremely anxious. I say this, because using CBD is very personalized. My dad finds relief from using it topically, but he was unable to ingest it.
I wish I had some exciting CBD success story. One where my dad tried CBD and it magically cured all of his diseases. In reality, it's simply helped relieve his pain just a bit. It hasn't taken it away entirely, but it does offer some sort of comfort. Making these products for my dad has deeply inspired me to share the potential benefits of CBD with others.
Health Claims Associated with CBD
There's an infinite number of claims out there that CBD is treating or curing seizures, cancer, chronic pain, and just about everything. These claims are often misleading and dangerous to individuals who are dealing with serious illnesses. While there are hundreds of anecdotes about the power of CBD, they're not backed up by clinical trials or concrete evidence. We don't know yet what conditions CBD has the potential to treat, or what doses are required for which disease. There are still thousands of unanswered questions, and we must tread carefully. We must find these answers, because there is hope that CBD may help certain individuals with certain health conditions.
With all this being said, CBD may help you or your loved one manage certain symptoms related to illness. It may help relieve pain, may help decrease anxiety, and may help your muscles and joints feel more pain-free. There are a number of topical and internal products now available on the market in case you want to give them a try. Always speak with your doctor before taking CBD, because it can make certain medications less effective!
A Common Thread
One thing that has struck me the most in these few short months of launching this business is the number of people who are also looking for ways to help their family members find relief from pain. This has hit home for me in a way I cannot describe, which is why I want to dedicate my business's mission to teaching others about CBD. We are just learning about this molecule, but there's still a long way to go. I hope by sharing this story to start a conversation about illness, and how we may help our loved ones navigate the difficult terrain of being sick.
*Hemp-derived CBD products typically contain a trace amount of THC. To be considered a hemp product, it must contain less than .3% THC.