My CBD Journey | Houmatala and Shelby Taloa

My CBD Journey | Houmatala and Shelby Taloa

Houmatala and Shelby are loving parents who are extremely proud of their CBD use in their home. Houmatala has had two liver transplants and uses CBD to prevent dialysis from his anti-rejection medications. Shelby plans on becoming a nurse with a cannabis specialty and uses CBD for a variety of symptoms, most effectively- weight loss.

Why do you use CBD?
S: I use CBD for chronic pain, for PTSD, for my depression and anxiety and I’ve had really great effects with cannabis in general with my weight loss. Weight loss is 115lbs total within the last three years of cannabis use.
H: I’ve had two liver transplants and my kidneys are already taking a hit from anti-rejection medications I take from liver transplants.
These meds, which I’ve been taking for the past 20 years, damages the kidney in a slow process. I wanted to help my kidneys and avoid dialysis and avoid a kidney transplant. It helps a lot.

Does anyone else in your family use CBD?
S: Just each other and the kids. Everyone in our house does. But, as far as extended family, it’s been more of us educating them. My dad uses salve, he loves it. That’s it.
H: My family supports that I use it because they see how much it helps my heath with the transplants and everything. They love me and want me to be healthy, but I would never ask them to take it themselves that would be crossing a line for them because of the way they see cannabis. They are very happy for me to have found CBD, though.

Was CBD hard for you to acquire.
S: No. We have cousin in California who extracts CBD oil. We reached out him when my dad was going through sepsis. We got a bottle for from him for $300. Nothing was labeled, nothing showed what the extraction method was, no testing or anything of that nature. It was all we had. So we put it on my dad’s feet, that were completely black, and two minutes later the skin is pink and you could literally see the oxygen returning. Now it is easy to get in dispensaries or smoke shops --- even online!

How has CBD made a difference in your everyday life?
S: For myself, it helps more with depression and taking care of three kids with a sick husband, going to nursing school, working full time, owning my own business. I think it helps with the energy, clarity, the anxiety, and the not-feeling-so-anxious part that can go with all of those tasks.
H: I brought it up to my doctor before the transplant. He said they didn’t know enough about it, what the side effects were or how it was extracted, the bacteria or fungus on that plant. Because I take anti-rejection meds, I have to be careful of anything that can trigger my liver to be rejected. When that happens, it’s too late and you can go into sepsis. I take it daily now. When I first started they were just monitoring me closely and told me that if I thought it would help I should take it, but they weren’t telling me to. So they monitored me and right away they called and said they hadn’t seen my levels look that good in five years. Sine then I’ve been taking CBD everyday and all my levels have been great ever since. My liver is 100% and my kidneys are back to normal.

How has it affected your relationship with your family/friends?
S: I think a lot of them were not okay with our decision when we first started this. I struggled for a lot of years with opioid addiction decided I was going to get my card. I asked my parents and they said if you really feel it’s going to be beneficial to you then we are okay with you doing that. It was just kind of the hidden things with the way that works in that (religious) society. So it just kind of makes it awkward if we even go to church, you know? They just know and you can feel the judgment.
My friends are totally on board. And there’s such a great cannabis community in this area. It’s just phenomenal. Great ladies with such great conversation, everyone is awesome.
H: Not really in judgment. I can do a lot of activities with my kids now. Before it was hard but then I started taking CBD and it gives me an extra boost to be with my family or go to the gym for a few hours. Once I take it I feel hype.
My family is Christian, it takes a lot of understanding. Before it was ‘oh are you going to be high? Are you taking drugs?’ It took a lot of understanding but I haven’t experienced anything really bad from it. It’s a societal and closed minded thing but once you understand what CBD does to your body you can change minds.

Tell me about your life/pain before CBD.
S: Like I said, for me it was years and years of pain. Bad backs run in my family so I went to the physician in pain and got sucked right into that opioid track. So every single day now I can be active I have clarity. I can stay motivated.
H: I had low levels at the doctor and I had a really tough time with pain in my chest/stomach, I was very stressed and not living life, you know? Right now I’m doing much better than before CBD. I feel upgraded. Like everyday I get a boost-one bar up. I feel energized, I’m able to do a lot of physical activity now.

How has it affected your career?
S: I have been in the health care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical assistant. Right now I am three classes away from finishing my Bachelors in nursing. For me I’ve been extremely loud and proud with the nursing community that I am a part of about CBD consumption for patients. Educating them on their options. This stuff is not being taught to us. I look at this as an amazing opportunity. Why wouldn’t I be sharing what CBD can do? There is legislation right now with the American Nursing Cannabis association for getting a specialty in cannabis nursing.
H: Well, I am a very hard worker even with pain. Somedays I would be struggling with symptoms of liver failure and I would still push myself to go to work and my boss would send me home. He would ask me why are you even here? I was even doing over time. So it didn’t change a thing really until my doctor had to write me a note that I gave to my boss saying I physically couldn’t work. Now I can work and not be in pain. My sick days have definitely decreased now.

Do you take pharmaceutical medications?
S: I am off of everything. Off anti-depressants. Off anxiety medication. Off pain medication. Off sleep medication… and going strong three years!
H: I have to because of my suppressed system. So I have to take anti-rejection medication. Other than that, this year alone I went to the doctor and got off 5 different medications. I didn’t think I needed them.

Do you feel there is a stigma with CBD?
S: I think just in the relation that it has with cannabis and hemp. People think its marijuana and they give it the association it comes with just from society and not being educated.
H: No. Nobody has ever really given me shit before. Just me before I understood it. But then with research we were able to find a pharmaceutical grade CBD and stigma went out the window.

Explain your CBD journey in a few words.
S: I love everything about my CBD journey I never shut up about it
Enlightenment on what CBD is doing.
H: Exactly.
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