James and Mariela, both Hispanic, were born and raised in Northern California in the small rural town of Williams, Ca. They met in 2014, fell in love, got married, and had a child named after them (the company) ;)
It all started with a jar of CBD-infused salve, created to help ease my husband (and co-owner), James's pain caused by a rare condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), which is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and large joints.
My husband has a "bamboo spine," meaning he has no cartilage between the vertebrae in his back. It is a miracle that he is still able to walk and do everything that a healthy person can do.
James's condition is what inspired us to research CBD natural remedies. Its healing properties were revealed to me when I noticed my husband, James, walking without crutches after his A.S. outbreak. He used to have frequent attacks.
During my childhood, I was taught that this plant was a drug. At school and at home, I was brainwashed.
I categorized people who consume cannabis as potheads, drug addicts, and criminals.
In my early twenties, I met James. Since that time, I've never looked at cannabis the same way. I learned that James uses it only for medicinal purposes. Back then, I thought his excuse for getting high was his medical condition.
One day, he decided to quit smoking because he was searching for a new job, so he needed to stay clean for the drug testing process.
After a week of not using cannabis, he became unable to walk; he was in so much pain! He was taken to the hospital with his primary doctors, and no one could help him with his pain or mobility.
Until I asked him, "Is this because you stopped using cannabis?" James didn't know what was the cause of this flare-up.
James smoked his medicine that night, and after 10 minutes, he walked to the bathroom without even thinking he was walking on his own. I was shocked to see cannabis help him. The plant brought my boyfriend back to normal.
We both cried happy tears, and this was when I became addicted to this plant, addicted to science, addicted to its healing powers, addicted to its history.
I was so impressed that my college English research project was on "Cannabis And Its Healing Powers."
In early 2016, I began my research into medical cannabis. I finally put all the natural oils and herbs together to make my first salve on December 23, 2016. It was not a very attractive salve, but it did its job. It helped alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by my husband's chronic, debilitating disease.
James was finally able to stop taking his prescribed monthly medications that were not only hurting us financially but were also causing more harm to his body. James is now fortunate that his condition is in remission, which means he still has AS, but it has not worsened.
We began to share our salve with our parents, who were also able to find relief from their pain. Just by word of mouth, we started getting requests for our natural, healing salve. We initially gave it out for free to friends and family. However, after those same people began requesting more salve, we started to focus on how we could improve it.
Fast forward three years later to 2019. I quit my full-time law enforcement job to focus on growing our small business. I named our company after us, James and Mariela, hence the name J&M Herbals.
Seven years later to 2022, I am a cannabis activist, alchemist, educator, practitioner, and CBD consultant who also owns a CBD company. We now help people like James all over the USA!
Perhaps my story can help those who think of cannabis as an evil substance understand how the drug can actually be beneficial to them and to those they love. In doing so, they can get past the false propaganda they've been fed.
I thank God for putting me on this journey; this is my mission.