About CBD and Steel City’s Testimony

What is CBD and how did we become such a part of the CBD community.

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of over one hundred known cannabinoids, a group of active chemical compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant, also known as the Hemp plant. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound unlike THC, and is also a neuroprotective. It enhances inhibitory effects of THC on glioblasoma cell proliferation. CBD can make THC more potent as an anti-cancer substance. It also stimulates neurogenesis and mimicks and augments effects of endocannabinoids. By modulating the Endocannabinoid system and enhancing endocannabinoid tone, THC and CBD can slow or stop disease progression. CBD also inhibits cancer and tumor cell growth, offer a more powerful anti-inflammatory than aspirin, can stimulate your appetite and relax muscles. Cannabidiol also is antibacterial, promotes healthy bone growth, is an anticonvulsant which makes it great for those with epilepsy or Parkinson’s, also CBD has anti-spasticity properties. Cannabidiol reduces blood sugar, and reduces risk of artery blockage, osteoporosis, reduces small intestine contractions making it useful for those with IBS to gain relief. CBD is also a vasorelaxant, reducing blood pressure and helping with cramps, migraines, phantom limb, fibromyalgia, stress, as well as aiding in relieving the causes or symptoms of anorexia, GI Disorders, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Amniolateral Sclerosis, ADHD/ADD, Bipolar Disorder, and OCD.

Cannabidiol, and other cannabinoids, communicate with your endocannabinoid system through receptors, regulating a lot of important functions such as : appetite, digestion, immune function, inflammation including neuroinflammation, mood, sleep, reproduction/fertility, motor control, temperature regulation, memory, pain, pleasure/reward systems, circadian rhythms, cortisol levels, and so much more. Your body activates the ECS with precision so it impacts only what is necessary. Once our endocannabinoids bring things back to balance, certain enzymes come along to break down and prevent the cannabinoids from going too far and upsetting the balance in the opposite direction. Precise Response. Homeostasis is promoted by the actions of our endocannabinoid system and the CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout our entire bodies, which communicate to the endocannabinoid system any upset in function, which then prompts the ECS to produce the endocannabinoids or transport the cannabinoids where needed through these receptors to keep our systems functioning properly.

Homeostasis is essential to our health and survival, so when the endocannabinoid system isn’t working properly, a lot of issues arise and can cause upset within the body. Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids found in cannabis products stimulate the activity of the endocannabinoid system.

As science has learned more about the endocannabinoid system, discoveries show several conditions that appear to be related to the dysregulation of the system, called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). It is an umbrella term encompassing conditions with the ability to involve more than one system such as fibromyalgia, migraines, and IBS. These “functional conditions” or “central sensitivity syndromes” tend to be resistant to most treatments. Some other illnesses cannabinoids are being researched to treat are Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and diseases, neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, acute and chronic kidney disease, autoimmune disease, chronic inflammatory conditions and chronic pain conditions.

Implementing CBD products into your daily regimen could greatly reduce your symptoms and flare ups from these conditions and help you live a better quality of life.

My Story With CBD

I scrolled far enough through my pictures looking for a great skyline pic I took a while back of Birmingham, when I came across this picture I took of my arm and was reminded of why I started taking CBD to begin with. While this picture may look mild, this was in the beginning weeks of what would be known as the horror weeks of my third pregnancy. This is a picture of the hives I was suffering through that would flare up on my arms, legs, hands and all across my stomach.

This picture was taken in the summer of 2017. I was pregnant and my body was rejecting all of my medicationss I had been taking as prescribed for a while such as Effexor and Vyvanse, making me severely ill. I lost ten pounds in two weeks. Morning sickness wasn’t even the word for it. Hyperemesis Gravidarum was even not the phrase to call what was happening to me during the first two weeks of being pregnant this go round. It was more like Exorcist. At first, I didn’t know that it was my medications that my body was rejecting and that’s why I was so sick. It wasn’t until I missed a dose one day and had an okay day meaning able to leave the bathroom or trashcan at some point to get other things done than losing my stomach. The next day I took my meds and was violently ill for seventy two hours. That’s when I realized my body was rejecting my medications as if I were allergic to them. I hated being on them to begin with, but when you suffer with chronic depression, general anxiety disorder and CPTSD along with ADHD then meds like that are very helpful in functionality and overall wellness for a period of time.

After realizing that my body had developed an allergy to the medications I began to research all of the withdrawal symptoms of the medications I had been taking. I pinpointed most of my symptoms including the full body hives down to the Effexor (Venlafaxine) withdrawals. I even experienced the brain zaps, continuous pulsating shocks right through my forehead or temple that would leave me blinded and unable to move until it subsided. My ears rang constantly, one side would just go deaf for a couple of minutes then return to normal. I was irritable, paranoid, and close to becoming unhinged. All of these were symptoms of severe Effexor withdrawal, although some could have been contributed to the steroids the third doctor (who laughed at me and said it was just poison ivy, a rash I’ve had yearly for thirty years and am well familiar with by the way) prescribed me for my hives. However, I was a mess during that time and how I even made it through most days is beyond me, especially with two kids at home for the summer and my commitments made to the scout committee over the course of the next year.

I had these full body hives that showed up and stayed for weeks. I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and even a dermatologist but nothing worked and I felt incredibly helpless. The only relief I got was hanging out in the pool, which I would do for hours at a time because the constant itching and scratching was nerve wracking. The pool even helped ease the shocking pulsating sensations in my brain and helped my stomach feel at ease while I just floated there. Speaking of nerves, they were just about shot. I remember my last of about six different appointments for the hives I just cried to the doctor about how long it had been that I’d had them and I just couldn’t fathom continuing living like that. She prescribed me Eucrisa, which helped to relieve the itching while the hives were there, but didn’t prevent them from popping back up. By this point, I had suffered through the hives for around seven or eight weeks and was beginning to have wounds on my hands and arms from scratching so much, mainly in my sleep, and still have scars to this day. I was self conscious and wore a lot of long sleeve shirts so noone would see how bad my arms looked after a while, despite the 90 degree Alabama summers we tend to have.

Now I’m going to say this. I have always partaken in the plant. I have always been pro-plant, but what happened next changed my life in ways I cannot even begin to describe because the relief and revelations I encountered after using it regularly are unparalleled to any other treatment I’ve tried in the past.

One day, while hanging around the pool cleaning it out and debating on another soak to ease the itching, a dear friend who lived across the street from us at the time gave me CBD oil. We talked about the difference between it and marijuana that I had been smoking and what exactly was in it and what all it could do. I had heard of it before and read a couple of articles about CBD and other constituents of the cannabis plant, having done many term papers and “Medical Miracle” papers in college on the therapeutic effects of the cannabis plant and why it should be studied further and legalized for the health benefits it boasts with zero side effects whatsoever. I, of course, was all for this bottle of CBD given to me and anxious to see how it could help my situation. I have smoked for years, some of the finest strains in the USA, and I can say that CBD oil is without a doubt a completely different game changer than marijuana alone. Within days of using it my hives had stopped popping up and I began to regain my appetite. Within a month my strength had regained, which was just on time because I had to start packing up a house for a family of four and pets as we were downsizing and moving back home. That took a lot of energy and effort that I would not have had if it weren’t for the CBD. I gained the weight back slowly and had a very healthy rest of my pregnancy. It was a life changer for me. I have continued my regimen of CBD and since then, my journey with CBD has led me to overcome severe anxiety, helps me get out there socially, has gotten me off of trazodone, needing to take Ativan everyday, and has helped me be a better mom by allowing my thoughts to slow enough so I can focus on my tasks, not feel like I’m not getting crucial chores done around the house, giving me the energy to still go on hikes and campouts and adventures with my kids during their summer, and giving me more patience and clarity when it came to organizing school functions and extracurricular activities, which I’m now doing with ease with three kids. I wasn’t always a nice, fun mom. It seemed that way on the outside by all appearances, but truth be told I was constantly anxious over things out of my control, it made me incredibly nervous when my kids just acted like kids and ran around playing because anything could happen and I had no control over the situation. This would turn me anxious which in turn caused me irritability and impatience. Part of my anxiety produces as irritability, I don’t know why and I try to be aware and control it, but when I wasn’t on CBD and was super hormonal it became worse, so much so that I had to call a friend over and cried to her about mistakes I thought I was making with my children from my irritability and anxiety. I could go on all day about how CBD has helped my anxiety and how much my anxiety impacted my life before that I wasn’t fully aware of until I began to actually have control over it in a way that prescription drugs never allowed me to. Treating anxiety with a substance that won’t make me forget things, want to sleep and eat constantly, and could have seizures withdrawing from was no way to live. But treating my anxiety with CBD has given me a gift, a new start in life, a chance to start over with my children and build healthier relationships with people outside of my home. I’m no longer cowering in fear of rejection or lack of production due to my need for perfection to be accepted. Those worries left me and I didn’t even realize how burdensome they were until they were one day noticeably gone.

I have energy, and am sleeping better than I have in years. I am able to do all the work required to run a business on top of keeping up with household finances and bill paying and all the duties that come along with being a mom of three- appointments, recreation, etc, with more focus and clarity than I’ve ever had.

On top of the hives and the sickness and the anxiety, I had debilitating nerve pain for years. I have spent so much in tests and doctor fees to try and get it diagnosed but have had no such luck. I would have sharp pains that would leave me in the middle of Home Depot with my kids, clutching the shopping cart and holding back tears from what felt like a repeated stabbing in my shin, unable to put weight on it and wondering how I was going to make it out to the car with my children. Or I’d be driving down I-65 with my kids in the car and all of a sudden feel a constant stabbing pain in my clavicle or right above my wrist, or the worst was when it was one of the more severe sharp shooting pains that suddenly was pulsating right above my right ankle as I was driving, paralyzing that leg in pain. All the while I tried to remain calm while biting back tears of fear and pain and frustration, and taking over gingerly with my left foot on the pedals until the pain subsided moments later and I fortunately made it safely home. Fear in those paralyzingly painful moments was very real. All of the what-ifs and the whys. It was unpredictable. I knew it was going to happen but when, where? While we’re going 70 down I-65? While I’m holding their hands crossing a busy intersection? While I was at work taking care of my quadriplegic client? In the middle of getting him from his bed to his chair while he’s dangling in his Hoyer lift waiting on me to get my nerves together so I could move another inch? It didn’t even matter why anymore because I was too broke from doctor bills and too tired from living with it to care. I was just fed up and exhausted living that way and had turned to other forms of self-medicating that weren’t so healthy such as trying to numb the pain with alcohol or running five to ten miles a day every day so I’d be too sore from other pain to notice, plus I thought and still think running helped me through a lot of that before CBD was implemented in my regimen. I seriously still don’t know what was wrong with me and have never gotten a diagnoses even after all the scans, bloodwork, different specialists and thousands of dollars in bills paid.

However, after being on CBD for a while I have had an “aha” moment and realized I haven’t had one of those pains in months. They were daily, many times a day. Some worse than others, but now, gone.  I can’t tell you the last time in the past two years I’ve had one of those sharp, paralyzing nerve pains. I feel like I have this brand new body and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

After having these effects in my own personal life, my husband and I talked with our family and friends and have gotten them on the bandwagon. Thanks to CBD, a family member is off of diabetic medication, blood pressure and pain meds. A friend is off of pain meds and has noticed an incredible decrease in migraines. Another friends is able to walk around pain free after being in a horrible accident, and another friend is off anxiety meds and pain meds. The testimonies are very real and are a tribute to why I am doing what I do. I want to help people live a better quality of life. 

When the Farm Bill in 2018 passed, things began to change significantly. See, I had been stagnant for a while. After leaving my job as a caregiver for five years to focus on my health and sobriety and family, I kind of grew stagnant and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life and to be honest didn’t care. 2018 started rough for me. 2017 was me healing my body with CBD, 2018 began with me giving birth to my third child, and when he was six weeks old we had a housefire that left us out of the home for six months. We lost some things but had each other. We were placed at the Marriott for six weeks. In retrospect it wasn’t that bad looking back but at the time, family of five with a newborn in a suite motel room with a tiny microwave, tiny fridge with basically no freezer, no washer or dryer and only one tiny sink for us all to use to get ready with in the mornings and also served as a bottle washing station for the baby is a great start to a horror novel. We made it through, and after those weeks at the Marriott were finally placed in a rental house in Vestavia while our house was being rebuilt. I am fortunate that we were taken care of, given money for food and replacement clothes, reimbursements for gas, mileage and all the exra utility costs from the large house in Vestavia in comparison to our well insulated house in Homewood, had a roof over our heads and a community who bonded together to support us should we need anything. All that moving and being displaced was exhausting, especially with a newborn, so my drive was pretty much depleted as far as finding work outside the home. My husband works, but I am the primary caretaker of the three kids, their carpooling, school, doctors and specialists visits, grocery shopping, bill payer, plus my husband’s secretary since he doesn’t have the daytime hours free to make certain calls. Exhausted was my state of mind. After the passing of the farm bill and the legalization of Hemp derived CBD substances in our great red bible belt state, another dear friend of mine who I have known over a decade and has been in the industry longer than I’ve known him gave me a wholesale list for products to be sold in a store he invested in made by the hemp farm he privately owns, and I thought this could be the start of something new for me. A new purpose. It has helped my life so much and I’m searching for something to do while I stay at home with my children and cater to all of their many appointments, meetings and errands. I already had a list of friends in mind and called them immediately. Working out the kinks at first was a learning curve. My orders were too low and I was trying to get bulk orders from friends and was going about it completely the wrong way. While I started ironing out the details of the business I wanted to build and how I wanted to try and fit it into my already busy life, I put the pieces together and formed an LLC and obtained proper licenses to go to work for myself to help people.

I started off on the brands on that wholesale list, tried most of them and determined what I preferred based on my individual needs and what worked well for me. I researched other brands based on the input from friends and what they were looking to treat. Once I got my first partnership it all just began to grow and take off from there. I couldn’t be more pleased with who all I’ve chosen to partner with, as their products are some of the finest quality products at the most affordable prices I have personally found on the market. I have tried them all, and if passed the test I have added them to my shop. I envisioned a broad selection of different products to suit individual needs and lifestyles. Not every body is the same and their needs vary as well. While some can easily take a full spectrum tincture, a broad spectrum might be better for others, or a hemp free product would be great for those who cannot even risk THC in their system due to their jobs or having a hemp allergy. Some people prefer to vape their CBD while others are old fashioned and might prefer to just take a capsule. I wanted options for my clients to be able to browse through and get an idea of what would fit into their lifestyle more. Because when you start CBD, you’re not just taking another daily supplement that you eventually forget to buy more of when you run out, you’re changing your lifestyle and enhance your quality of life. You’ll feel like a version of yourself you forgot was once part of you. It truly changes your life and even the lives of those around you.

Cannabidiol has given me a chance to feel a quality of life I didn’t know was possible. My mission is to help others through healing powers of hemp. I take these products daily and keep my friends and family well stocked. I hope to help many people change their lives and see a version of themselves they had forgotten about. CBD can do that. I truly believe that. 

Thank you for reading my story and for your continuous support as I work hard to bring you the highest quality products at affordable prices. My inbox is always open and I hope to be available for anyone needing assistance or advice on beginning their journey with CBD, or even just answer some questions you may have.

-Mary Jane Anderlik

For more information please email at info@steelcitycbd.net or call us at 205-201-0420. Making phone calls hard for you? Me, too! If you’re a texter like me you can text that number as well and it will come straight to my phone.