By Danaé Reid
To the naked eye, Natalie Bustamante looks like your ordinary, successful, beautiful Latina woman, but below the surface there’s a history of physical pain and that once prevented her from completing even the simplest functions without one pill or another.
Bustamante spent the bulk of her adolescence medicated for a myriad of legitimate reasons, (i.e anxiety, chronic back pain, insomnia , etc.), citing that there were times that she took 4-5 different pills a day.
Over time, the heavy use of such medications affected the lining of her stomach, consequently resulting in a case of chronic gastritis. Eventually, Bustamante could no longer function without the very drugs that were adversely affecting her health.
The decision to finally wean herself off of the medications and venture into other forms of treatment came only after a decision to teach and volunteer in Thailand revealed that her insurance company would only prescribe her three months worth of supplies regardless of records that clearly displayed her need for them and the fact that her trip would span longer than three months.
Years of researching natural and alternative forms of medicine led her to inquiring about the abundance of healing properties found in cannabis, thus compelling Bustamante to create her own CBD brand, Vital Tonics.
With the help of Dr. Laurel Dunn, a doctor from the University of Georgia who specializes in stabilizing formulas, Bustamante was able to create Vital Tonics. “VT” has a host of ethically sourced, pesticide free, non-GMO, and organically grown hemp products, including a tincture, a lip balm, cellulose face masks, bath soaks, and dog treats. Bustamante has worked hard to create a “water soluble and nano emulsified solution with molecules so small that they cannot be swallowed.” Many CBD products on the market use oils because it is “significantly cheaper”, but the effects are not the same.
“CBD goes into your bloodstream in order to reach your endocannabinoid system,” Bustamante said. “Your blood is 92% water. Water and oil we know do not mix. Why would I use an oil as a carrier for my raw CBD if we already know oil is not water soluble? Because it’s diluted in water and not oil, your blood will actually absorb the doses you are consuming. ”
Bustamante cites that the process of finding the perfect solution for these products was arduous, however after a year of reworking, she can now say that she’s a part of a fast growing industry and belongs to a collective of individuals who want to dismantle the negative stigma and the racist stereotypes surrounding the hemp plant. She’s been able to witness the positive effects that her products have had on her customers and wishes to eradicate the taboos revolving around the subject.
In an effort to do this, she is currently researching organizations that provide legal counsel to groups who have long been targeted and remain in prison for having sold and/or used n the past. A portion of her sales will be donated in the hopes of reducing unfair prison sentences or obtaining early release for prisoners of non-violent, cannabis-based crimes.
That said, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
“I want people to know that they will not get high,” Bustamante said. “You will not see colors change. You will not see objects move around you. CBD will help you feel like a more relaxed version of yourself. You will not become addicted to it. You cannot overdose on it. The worst thing that can happen to you after consuming too much CBD is that you will feel extremely relaxed.”