Restart CBD, Educating on Cannabis in a Conservative State
Patients-turned-advocates can make the most difference in educating at the local level. Often, they educate and influence legislators who can help change laws. When someone is helped with cannabis, they are often compelled to share what they’ve learned with others.
One young woman’s folly became the conservative State of Texas’ good fortune when Austin-born and raised Shayda Torabi helped herself with CBD.
She was 25 years old in 2015, facing a life of chronic pain after being hit by a car as a pedestrian.”I fractured my sacrum, had two breaks in my pelvis, and a skeletal fracture on my face and nose,” Shayda shared. “After going through physical therapy and learning to walk again, I took steroid injections every week, but the pain was still there.”Her doctor recommended surgery, but her mother, who was already open to natural and alternative therapies, suggested she look into cannabidiol (CBD) for the pain.
No strangers to cannabis, close family members had already been partaking of whole-plant cannabis via smoking, in a don’t ask, don’t tell scenario common in states like Texas. Shadya admits that she also smoked flower with THC to quell the pain, but without proper education on ingesting or dosing, she admitted to being challenged.”Texas cannabis laws are not as advanced as Colorado,” she laughed. In 2015, especially in the conservative state of Texas, information on cannabis wasn’t available, let alone how to dose cannabidiol or hemp-derived CBD.
So, like many patients, even in medically legal states, Shayda went through the proactive process of trial and error to find a dose strong enough to quell the pain.After questioning surgery for her daughter, mom took a deep dive into sourcing and then making remedies to ease her pain. “My mom sourced isolates, then hemp material from Kentucky,” she explained.
“She made edibles, tinctures – we tried everything. I’m a fan of the ratio products of CBD to THC and began experimenting with dosing.”After taking a high ratio formulation of upwards of 500 to 1,000 milligrams of high-dose CBD, Shayda said she had an “aha” moment
“I hadn’t been able to sleep on my left side; the pain was so persistent,” she said. “Then, one morning, I woke up on my left side with no pain. I realized the CBD had kicked in and found my dose.”
Finding a correct dose with CBD to low dose THC ratios is much more difficult in treating serious pain, as opposed to myriad anecdotal stories of relief using whole plant, high THC cannabis, either smoking or ingesting. But the State of Texas might as well be another planet regarding progressive topics such as bypassing pharmaceuticals and using a plant proactively for pain.
Don’t Mess With Texas
According to World Population Review (WPR), surprisingly, the state of Texas doesn’t rank on its top 10 list of most conservative states in the U.S. But, the City of Arlington, Texas, places fourth on the WPR’s list as one of the most conservative cities in the country. Just three hours south of Arlington sits the State’s Capitol of Austin. Birthplace of the Torbai sisters.
Austin has long been considered a patch of blue in a sea of red (denoting blue for liberal/Democratic and red for conservative/Republican parties), paradoxically listed with the WPR as number 14 of the most liberal cities in the U.S.Since the U.S.’s failed War on Drugs began, cannabis has become a top political tool and hot button for debates during campaign season.
Empty promises have followed few changes in Federal cannabis laws year after year, with Federal Prohibition still intact; and cannabis continuing to be listed with the Department of Health Services as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin, with no medicinal value.
At the State levels, however, there are now 37 legal for medicinal use; 19 states legal for recreational use; with the U.S. Farm Bill of 2018 making CBD (with .3 THC) legal and shippable throughout all 50 states, including Texas.
In June 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1325 into law, laying the ground rules for growing hemp in the state while establishing minimal regulations for agriculture, manufacturing, and sales of CBD products testing with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) less than three percent. Five percent of medical patients qualify for a medical cannabis card referred by a doctor, with a narrow list of ailments approved.
The initial ban on smokable products in the state was done away with before it began. Much to the relief of many hemp smokers in the state, with some stating they are hopeful it will leave the door cracked open when whole plant, high THC cannabis is finally allowed, if ever.
With the advancing interpretation of the 2018 Farm Bill, the sisters can now sell psychotropics, specifically Delta-8 and Delta-9. Delta-8 is a chemically derived THC isolate. Both low THC Hemp and Delta-8 have a cap of point three percent, as outlined in the Farm Bill.Delta-9 is THC, the psychoactive compound in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as Marijuana.
“Many customers use Delta-8 and 9 – with many preferring Delta-8,” she said. “They anecdotally report that they have less anxiety or paranoia than a high THC product. For pain management in Texas, having access to some THC is a positive – and considered harm reduction, compared to taking high doses of opioids.
“According to an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, a decline in opioid-related emergency visits has been noted in states that have legalized cannabis, whether for medicine or recreation.
Shayda received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Concordia University in Austin, so running a business was always foremost.
Her personal experience led her to educate, and she began a podcast, a WordPress site, and uses WooCommerce as a retail platform. Shayda also sits on the executive board of the Texas Hemp Coalition, is a Cannabinoids Council member for the Hemp Industries Association, and pens a regular column for the Texas Hemp Reporter.
Shayda’s sister, Sydney, a former elite athlete on the University of Texas at Austin swim team, was initially skeptical about Shayda’s cannabis.”Sydney was an athlete from a young age and then a collegiate athlete so that culture of being drug-free prevailed in her mind,” Shayda said. “She’s the Yin to my Yang. I was there in high school if there was a pot brownie table, but Sydney had a different mindset.
“With a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree in nutrition sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, Sydney successfully played the devil’s advocate in questioning the efficacy, safety, and testing of just about all of its formulations.”We came into the marketplace when customers also wanted to explore how to use these formulations,” she said.
“My sister learned by observing my success in quelling my pain, so we all learned by trial and error. The benefits to athletic recovery couldn’t be denied.”
Its line of products is impressive.
It includes a newly established Delta 9 Rose Wine Sour Bears and Delta 9 THC Mango Power shot. It leads to Austin Sober, mirroring Cali Sober, or the California Sober movement, where recreational drugs and alcohol are swapped out for cannabis products, including infused mocktails.”People are looking for alternative ways to unwind at the end of the day and still indulge in what they believe to be recreational partaking,” Shayda explained. “What we love about cannabis and CBD products is its wide range of applications from wellness to recreation.
I personally no longer drink alcohol but love our mango shots. I wake up feeling refreshed rather than suffering from an alcoholic hangover.”Its CBD, Delta 8, and 9 products include gummies in varying strengths, vape cartridges, CBD cigarettes, pre-rolls, brownie bitters, chocolate squares, sour bears, chews, peanut butter nugs, soda, tincture, lollipops, live resin, shake, and too many more to list here.
They also have a selection of capsules, tinctures, and topicals, including salve and cream in varying strengths. Its pet line is also bone-shaped shaped dog treats and CBD tinctures.
Its Hemp Flower Box is delivered monthly throughout the U.S., at $59.50, said to be an $89 value, filled with flowers and everything you need to partake.
Texas GreenAs of this writing, on Friday, June 24, the Texas Supreme Court issued its final rulings on smokable hemp. One step in the right direction, and when the state adds THC to the mix, the Torabi sisters will be ready.”While smokable hemp has been legal for retail sales and cultivation, the court decided to make the manufacturing and process legal,” Shayda added.
The sister’s CBD shop is a family affair, with its physical dispensary next door to their dad’s insurance agency.”Dad fully supports us,” Shayda concluded. “We have a lot of houseplants in the shop, and he’ll come over to the water for us. Everyone lends a hand.”The shop, located in North Austin, was voted #1
Dispensary in Austin, priding itself on education first and removing the stigma from this beneficial and versatile plant. “I love the feeling of THC and partake when I’m in legal states,” Shayda said. “As the industry grows, we’ll continue to provide accessible information and science-backed resources alongside high-quality products for all consumers because we understand that the plant is not a one-size-fits-all remedy.
But we do know it works for many – including us. That’s the thing, we are our customers, so our products reflect what we need, as much as what our customers need.”
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