Todd and I have been married for 12 years and have two beautiful daughters. But ever since we met, he was never the guy I could go for a long walk with.
We could never go to a concert with standing-room-only tickets. We had to have seats. We really couldn’t do anything that involved standing or walking for too long. In fact, he even wore sneakers to our wedding. It’s amazing how, looking back, it’s so clear. But in the beginning we had no idea how sick Todd really was.
Shortly after the birth of our first daughter, Emma, we realized Todd was more than just uncomfortable. After months of painful tests and doctors’ appointments, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. At this point, he couldn’t walk or stand for longer than five minutes, and pain had started to spread to his hands as well.
I’ve been a dietitian with a private practice in New York City for nearly 15 years. My main business has always been around health and wellness, with a focus on weight loss. Both professionally and personally, I’ve always considered myself open-minded and happy to learn about new foods, supplements, treatments—really anything that could help improve my patients’ outcomes.
Being married to a dietitian is not always so fun; I had Todd on every diet that I could find to try to help him feel better. At one point he was basically eating liver and raw cabbage—I’m still shocked he stayed married to me through that.
Unfortunately, the crazy diets didn’t help and by the time we had our second daughter, Ryder, Todd needed painkillers just to be able to even walk around our apartment. I was desperately trying to help in the way that I felt I could.
Eventually, and unsurprisingly, Todd asked me to stop with all the diets. I didn’t blame him, because nothing we did made enough of a difference. I felt useless, to be honest. But I gave him the space he requested.
But it was around this time that some studies and articles about CBD started to intrigue me. We have a joke in my business now about how I proposed the idea of using CBD to Todd—I basically said “I don’t know much about it, but it has something to do with pot.” Todd is what you might call “cannabis friendly,” so I knew he would be open to trying one more thing.
And yes, it was a lot easier to convince him to try CBD than the liver and cabbage.
What happened next spoke for itself. About a month after Todd began to use a full-spectrum CBD tincture, the time came for us to teach our eldest how to ride a bicycle.
Normally Todd would have been able to walk with us to the park, but then it would be up to me to chase the kids, as he couldn’t walk or stand anymore after those two blocks. This time though, we got to the park and Todd said he wanted to do the first round. Surprising, I figured, but it’s a big life event for a parent, and maybe he simply decided to grin and bear the pain.
But after the first round of bike training, he didn’t stop. He kept going, and going, and somehow he was able to fully teach Emma to ride. This was something epic. When we got back home, Todd was in pain, but also in disbelief that he had been able to push himself that much.
It was the most he had been on his feet in years. The only thing that had been different in his life and routine was the CBD.
The scientist in me needed to learn more, so I started researching CBD further.
I found more interesting articles, including on the potential for CBD’s effects on anxiety, and I thought it may be beneficial to my patients who struggled with emotional eating. As it turned out, their feedback was equally as positive as Todd’s.
You can guess what happened next: I started taking CBD myself. I really have no major health issues to fix, but I like to try anything I recommend in my practice. I was astounded. I just felt like a better, more patient version of myself.
That’s the story of how I became a champion of this new movement. I went ahead and signed up for a program so I could become certified as a holistic cannabis practitioner—I knew I needed to learn everything I could to try to understand CBD. The entire time I was working on my certification, I continued to see drastic changes in my practice, and everything I learned reinforced what I saw with my own eyes.
Since then it’s been an amazing ride seeing where CBD has taken my practice, but more importantly, my husband and family. From my husband’s softgels that he takes every day, to the salves I rub on my daughters’ sore muscles from ice skating, to the powder I take during my marathon days, I’m so grateful for new discoveries.