Monday, 21 January 2019

Some Memphis residents embracing curative effects of CBD products

A 55-year-old disabled veteran quit taking prescription opioids when he discovered the effects CBD oil had in treating his repetitive seizures.

During the 1980s, Tony Falasca experienced his first seizure, causing him to suffer a traumatic brain injury and retire from the Navy after three years of service. Falasca’s prescribed medications came with a variety of unpleasant side effects, so he researched CBD oil and began taking the oil in place of his medication.

“[The opioid medications] made me feel so bad that I would rather have God take me out with a seizure,” Falasca said. “I’m 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, so when I have a seizure, it’s just ugly.”

Falasca began making his own CBD oil to medicate himself. Once his health improved, Falasca started his business, 901 CBD, to make the oil available to others in Memphis who could benefit from it. 

CBD oil is a non-intoxicating marijuana extract that is made into medication. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that intoxicates people who smoke marijuana, is not the main ingredient of the oil, but rather the other active ingredient in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) is used in the oil to give the pharmaceutical effects that people like Falasca sought.

According to pro-medical marijuana organization Americans for Safe Access, in 2014, Tennessee legislatures passed a senate bill legalizing state universities to grow and manufacturer the CBD oil. In 2016, a bill was passed authorizing patients to possess CBD oils with no more than 0.9 percent THC if they have “a legal order or recommendation” to use the product. CBD products are currently illegal in only four states: Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Falasca said taking the oil regularly has caused his seizures to stop.

“It took the seizures completely away,” Falasca said. “It just really helps. It clears your mind and everything, and it’s just wonderful.”  

Falasca said none of his products contain THC but still help relieve stress and anxiety. 

“I don’t put [THC] in there because I work with the police, the first responders and the firemen,” Falasca said. “I’m giving them stuff to help them with their stress during the day.”

Jesse Williams, a customer of 901 CBD, said doctors prescribed him 30 milligrams of opioids a day to help with his herniated disc and arthritis conditions, but the medications weren’t helping cure the pain he experienced. He said CBD has helped his anxiety and pain.

“As soon as I started taking the 901 CBD with Tony Falasca, it lowered my anxiety,” Williams said. “The pain doesn’t hurt. My arthritis doesn’t hurt. I’ve quit taking any other drugs at all, outside of just the CBD oil.”

Eddie Davis, another customer of 901 CBD, said he needed an alternative substance to replace his medicine for blood sugar and blood pressure, which led him to contact Falasca for the CBD oil.

“I was having a lot of neuropathy pain in my feet and legs,” Davis said. “I did a little research and found out CBD oil might be good for that. I came up with Tony’s name. I called him and talked to him, and he was really informative about it.”

Since opening in June, 901 CBD has reached 130 sales per month, Falasca said.

901 CBD has two locations. One is in Bartlett, Tennessee, and the other is a kiosk in the Oak Court Mall. Falasca said his company is planning to open a new kiosk location in the Southland Mall. 

Businesses like Simply Hemp and Your CBD Store are a couple of other vendors that sell CBD oil in the Mid-South area.


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