Let’s dive into the world of cannabis and its potential in treating chronic pain. Our guest Sondra is a passionate advocate for the use of cannabis as an alternative way to manage her pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Stay tuned as we discuss her journey of healing through baking with cannabis and her plans for the future.
Table of Contents
- Release Date: Wednesday, July 12th, 2023
- Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 31
- Special Guest: Sondra Escobedo, founder of Wake and Bake 210
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Episode 31: From Pain Meds to Pot Brownies: Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis with Cannabis Edibles
Why You Will Love This Episode
In this episode, pastry chef and cannabis advocate Sondra Escobedo talks about her journey of managing pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with cannabis.
Sondra shares how her diagnosis led her to explore alternative natural ways to heal her body and manage chronic pain.
As a pastry chef, Sondra decided to combine her passion for baking with her advocacy for cannabis by experimenting with cannabis-infused edibles.
She shares her insights on the benefits of using concentrates and how they can provide relief for a range of symptoms.
We delve into the stigma surrounding cannabis use and the challenges of breaking down misconceptions about its effectiveness.
Sondra also talks about her hopes for the future of cannabis legalization, how it can positively impact people’s lives, and how she hopes to open her own cannabis bakery someday.
This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in learning more about using cannabis to manage chronic pain and the benefits of incorporating it into a wellness routine.
Sondra: I’ve noticed a big difference. I am not on my RA meds; I’m not on any pain medications for what I’m doing now. My doctor doesn’t like that I’m not on my medication. If you read what the RA medications could do to you, why would you want to take them?
Announcer: Welcome to the Well With Cannabis Podcast, a show dedicated to telling the life-changing stories of those who live well with cannabis all while teaching you how to do the same. Meet your host, Emily Kyle, a registered dietitian nutritionist turned certified holistic cannabis practitioner. Emily changed her life for the better with the help of the cannabis plant, and now she’s committed to helping others do the same.
Tune in each week to hear heartwarming stories and gain the knowledge you need to feel connected, inspired, and supported on your own cannabis journey. Whether you’re a new cannabis consumer or a lifetime lover, you’ll benefit from these uplifting tales of real-life journeys that will show you how you, too, can live your best life well with cannabis.
Disclaimer: Hi there. Before we jump into today’s episode, I wanted to share a note on potentially sensitive content. The episodes on the Well With Cannabis Podcast are created for adult audiences only. We will, at times, cover sensitive topics, including but not limited to suicide, abuse, mental illness, sex, drugs, alcohol, psychedelics, and the obvious use of plant medicine. Explicit language may be used occasionally. Please refrain from watching or listening to the show if you’re likely to be offended or adversely impacted by any of these topics.
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Emily: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the Well With Cannabis Podcast. I am so excited, we have a new friend here, Miss Sondra, and she is here to talk about her over-30-year relationship with cannabis and where it’s bringing her into the future. Welcome; thank you so much for being with us today.
Sondra: You’re so welcome. Thank you. This is awesome. I’m nervous, though.
Emily: I give you so much credit for coming here and doing this. It’s really brave to talk about cannabis in a really open way; I really appreciate it. Do you want to give us a little background? You said cannabis has been in your life for a long time. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
Sondra: Okay. So, I’m 48 years old. I’m from San Antonio, Texas. Cannabis has been in my life for a long time. Like everybody else, I started using cannabis in my early twenties when family and friends had it.
Sondra: Cannabis has always been my relaxer, but it wasn’t until I was probably about 28 or 29 that I had certain issues with my bones, and I didn’t know what was happening. When I was diagnosed with arthritis, I had to make a lot of changes to my diet, but I noticed that when I would smoke, I still had pain, but I just felt like the edge was taken off.
Sondra: I didn’t necessarily put the two together then, but I knew it was helping me. I have had a healthcare background for over 20 years, but I was very wary of medication, especially rheumatoid arthritis medication. It’s very dangerous. One day I was talking about it with a friend, and she asked me why I’d never made myself some brownies since I bake all the time.
Sondra: Why didn’t I ever think of that? I had never baked with cannabis; I’d always smoked it. I did some research and figured I’d try it out and see how it went.
Sondra: I started working with flower and it’s a long process. I knew I could do it, eventually. My first batch gave me the best sleep I had had in a long time. I was working the night shift, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. If I do something, I go all in and start researching everything. So that’s what I did. I was doing it for myself, so I would practice and experiment a lot.
Sondra: But again, it was just a flower. I’ve known about cannabis, of course, but not what was coming out, like concentrates and tinctures. I didn’t know because I never really looked into the world of it other than knowing it makes me feel good. This is all I need. You know what I mean? I started researching it, and then I just happened to come across CTU, Cannabis Training University. I saw that they were doing that they had where you can get certified and whatnot. I looked into that and enrolled. I live in an illegal state right now, but I can prepare myself, and I can do what I can do for myself. Right after I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, about a year later, I started noticing my hands were hurting; my fingers were hurting a lot.
Sondra: I was having a lot of issues. I was a phlebotomist in the healthcare field, so I drew blood and started IVs all the time. It started to interfere. The doctor I saw told me that I had carpal tunnel in both wrists, and it was bad. I was supposed to have surgery that May, but Covid hit, so they wouldn’t perform the surgery then. I had to wait.
Sondra: I started looking into cannabis some more. The flower wasn’t really working for me. You know what I mean? It just wasn’t doing it. So when I was in CTU, I started really getting into it and learned about concentrates. I also started looking into that, and the first time I got some and bake with it, I was so nervous. When it comes to cooking with it and baking with it, I’m worried about wasting it. I don’t want to burn it. Again, the very first batch that I ever did with concentrate was a brownie. That was like my safety thing at first. Again, I got the best night’s sleep. Oh my God, this is something different. And this wasn’t even me looking into what the terpenes were. I was experimenting to see what works.
Sondra: I knew I couldn’t eat brownies and cookies all day, every day. So I made gummies. I’d take a few every day, and after about a week or so, I noticed my fingers weren’t hurting all the time like before. My knees didn’t bother me as much with my RA. It was amazing that one strain could do one thing, and another strain could do something else. It opened up my world tremendously. I went to pastry school and graduated in 2021.
Emily: Oh my gosh. Cannabis and pastry chef? Perfect match. Yes.
Sondra: Yes. And that was the thing. I like cakes. I’d decorate cakes and cupcakes. But when I went to school, I realized that I love pastries. I love baking pastries. I don’t know why. It’s just a thing.
Sondra: So I started just doing little things. I tried to infuse anything I could with cannabis to see the results. I just went from there. I will do whatever I need to do with cannabis always to have it in my system. I have it every day. But again, it has made a big impact on my life. It’s been about two and a half years now that I’ve been working with concentrates, and I’ve noticed a big difference. I am not on my RA meds; I’m not on any pain medications for what I’m doing now. My doctor doesn’t like that I’m not on my medication. If you read what the RA medications could do to you, why would you want to take them and suffer the side effects? He gets it, but he can’t tell me that it’s okay to use cannabis.
Emily: You’re in Texas, right?
Sondra: Yes. Yes ma’am.
Emily: So his hands are tied.
Sondra: Yep. And that’s why everybody asks me what I’m going to do with that. My friends know what I bake and cook with. It helps them, too. I was never really good at math in school, so the dosing…
Emily: Same! And it’s so hard when it comes to cannabis and my brain!
Sondra: Yeah, I’ll get confused sometimes. I had to really sit and concentrate. My son is really good with math, so he would sit down with me and show me. He makes it sounds so easy and then leaves. I’ve experimented with different dosing and different strains to get what works for me. Of course, I’ve taken too much before.
Sondra: My friends all ask me what I’m going to do with it. If I want to do anything here, it’s going to have to be done under the table, or I’ll have to wait. That’s fine. I’ve always wanted my own bakery. Now that’s changed, and I want my own cannabis bakery. I don’t want to have to leave the state to do it. I want to bring that to my hometown, and I already have a clientele with my regular baking. Most of my customers know that I have edibles and stuff, but that’s my goal. So anything that I can learn about it and do now, so when that time comes, when it’s legal… Boom. One step ahead. You know what I mean?
Emily: It’s the smartest plan you can have. And then you’re ready. Exactly. When it’s legal, many people will just be getting started, and you will be 10 steps ahead.
Sondra: Exactly. I think that’s why it was a no-brainer. It was new, and I didn’t know if the school would be very helpful, but it was. I learned so much, and I’m still learning. And to be honest with you, when I found your website, I guess a year after I had started, I was still nervous about certain things. I was so happy to find your website and slowly started seeing everything you were doing. It made sense. So I started doing it. I’ve followed you for a while and read your stuff. You’ve taught me a lot.
Sondra: I told my friend what you were doing, how you were helping people. I could help people in a different way by baking with people or making them stuff, but I wasn’t sure yet. There are so many avenues that you can go down. That’s just where I’m at right now. There’s only so much I can do now. But, like I told my friend, I don’t want to establish anything in a legal state that’s not home. I know that I may have to go somewhere else to learn more and gain experience, maybe get my foot in the door. I’m considering the possibility. I’m still green.
Sondra: It changed my life tremendously, especially when I switched to concentrates. I didn’t really know how good it was! I want to be able to get to where I can help people and educate them about the strains they have and what they do or bake something or make some candies for them. That’s where I am right now.
Emily: I find that so many of us in cannabis who have been so positively impacted now have to go out and share that with others. And whether we do that for a job or just as a mission, so many of us are like, “I have to share this with other people. I have to let people know how good I feel.” Doing that through baking can be such a beautiful thing. You’d be able to help so many people. And something I was also thinking of too is imagining how nice it would be for someone who maybe is unwell or an elderly person to have an edible that is pastry that is delicious, that is amazing, and that can help in so many different ways.
Sondra: Yes, ma’am. Yes ma’am. And that’s exactly what I could do. Because growing up, my grandparent, my grandmother, baked a lot with me and my cousin. When she made a cake or cookies, that was something that we were all excited about and shared. I always see my grandma, too. She’d have her coffee. I’ve made infused things like that before, and my friends love it. It gives me so much pleasure when I give them something or when people buy stuff from me. Then I’m a nervous wreck until I hear from them. Then they called me and told me they slept so well and had no pain. That’s what gets me. From the very first time I heard that, I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Emily: There’s feeling like it, to know that you can share the joy of the plant with others and then make them feel better, alleviate their suffering. It makes everything worth it.
Sondra: Yep. Marijuana has been condemned and looked down on since I was young. We would try to hide it. We didn’t want anyone to know that we smoked. Recently in the past year, I’ve noticed that it’s being talked about more, and people are more open about it. Before, you wouldn’t know about someone’s cannabis use unless you were a close friend. Nobody was going to tell you that they were using it. Now, I like to talk to the people that say you shouldn’t use cannabis and tell them about how much it helps. I encourage them to try it.
Emily: And that’s really what I’m trying to do with this podcast is get everyday people whose lives have been dramatically transformed to share their story in hopes that other people listening, whether they’re for cannabis or don’t feel comfortable using it yet or are anti-cannabis, listen to these stories. I feel like when you listen to these stories yourself; you cannot say anything bad about cannabis. When people say it improves the quality of their lives with little to no side effects, do you need anything more? It’s amazing.
Sondra: Exactly. And that’s what got me because I never thought that I would be able to stop taking pain medication with just that. Now and again, I would smoke. It took the edge off but wouldn’t completely remove it. I would use Rick Simpson Oil as well every day with my tea. I’d put it in there to get my system, and I wanted to ensure it was always in me. I couldn’t take it for four or five days and then came back to it. I need to have it continuously so I can see if it’s going to work for me. And so that’s what I did. My fingers weren’t hurting when I woke up. My knees weren’t hurting. It didn’t take me a minute to be able to walk. Then I noticed that I had more pain pills than normal because I wasn’t taking them.
Sondra: I like to challenge myself sometimes with certain things. I used to smoke cigarettes and started just seeing how long I could go without them. I’ll do little things like that. I started doing that with my pain pills to see if I could go all day without one, just using cannabis edibles and lollipops. Sometimes I need those lollipops, and sometimes I don’t finish them. I am guilty of waking up with them in my hair or stuck to my shirt because I didn’t finish it! I was able to stop using pain medication, and now I only use cannabis, no other prescriptions. I don’t really suffer much. I still do. I won’t like and say the pain is all gone, but it’s very tolerable compared to years ago.
Emily: I’m happy to hear that from you. And so many people say when their pain is alleviated, it improves their mental and physical health so much as well. Have you had that experience?
Sondra: Yes. And it’s crazy because you don’t think that pain affects you that way. You know you’re hurting, but you don’t think about the fact that you’ve been a grump all day or that you’re just irritable. All that stuff started slowly going away. And when all that stop started going away slowly. I started noticing that I would get up in the morning and was happy. I’m happy. I’m always a happy person. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not. But when I was hurting, it was just like, “Don’t talk to me. Just give me a minute; give me a couple of hours.” I know that affected my grandkids at times when they wanted to play, and I wasn’t feeling it.
Sondra: And so now it’s different because I notice I’m up. You know what I mean? I’ve just noticed a whole change in me because of that. People will be skeptical about the effects of a strain on pain and nausea.
Sondra: I like to learn from anywhere that I can. When I hear other people, like you said, when other people hear that regular people are, it’s helping them; that’s when you sit up, and you listen. You’ve helped me a lot, and I see what you’re doing. That’s the avenue I want to go down with baking. I’d love for people to tell me their ailments when they put in a cookie order and have a conversation about it.
Emily: I feel like you have such a bright future. I can see how that would be the future of medicine. Instead of going to the doctor, you’re going to see Sondra, and she’s going to make something that’s delicious, nutritious, and makes you feel good. And that, I really truly see that for the future. I know Texas isn’t that friendly, but I’m hopeful. As a country, we’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years, and I really think there’s nowhere to go but forward. I am just so excited that you’re making all these plans and these moves to have this ready when the time comes; you’re doing it right. But when the time comes, oh my gosh, imagine what’s going to happen to you! It’s so exciting.
Sondra: I know! When I think about it at night, I can picture it my in my little neighborhood, the bakery; it’s here. My mind starts just going because I always put myself there. Okay, if I saw a cannabis bakery, I’d be in there right quick.
Emily: Absolutely. It’s a place you’d want to be.
Sondra: Yes, ma’am. Yes ma’am. And basically, at the end of the day, I want somebody to be able to come in, pick what they want to order, what they want, go sit down right there, look out the window, or sit outside and enjoy your pastry. Hopefully, one day soon, we’ll be there.
Emily: You’ve spoken it out into the world now, so it’s just a matter of time before it comes to fruition for you. I’m so excited, and I’m really so thankful that you shared your story. Again, we’re just normal people, but our lives have been dramatically improved by the plant. So thank you so much for sharing. I want to be respectful of your time, but I also want to ask you the four questions I ask everybody. Are you ready? Okay. First. What are you most proud of in your life to date?
Sondra: I’m very proud of being a grandmother and my grandkids. Those three are my heart. Everything that I do is for them. But yeah, right now, yeah, I’m proud. Those are my three angels right there.
Emily: And then to hear you say that cannabis makes you a better grandma and be able to improve that relationship too. That’s so beautiful.
Sondra: Yes. I have a nine-year-old grandson, a three-year-old grandson, and a four-year-old granddaughter. Anytime that I’m with them, I’m just in a good place. And at that time, they were a little younger, but it made me cry when I wasn’t feeling it. It hurt my heart because I could see it in them. I’m able to go take them to do things now. And they know about my cannabis, and it’s always put up. My granddaughter asks about my “medicine candies” and asks when I’m going to eat them. They know I’m always in a good mood and whatnot.
Emily: So sweet. I’m so happy for you and for them. It brings us to our next question. If you didn’t have cannabis in your life, what do you think it would look like?
Sondra: Oh my gosh. Stressed, a nervous wreck. Worried individual. Not really happy, I don’t think. Ah, man, that’s a tough one.
Emily: Isn’t that a hard one? Everybody gets tripped up by that one. They’re like, “What did you just say?” No one wants to think of a life without it.
Sondra: There have been a couple of weeks where I didn’t have it, and yeah, you notice the difference.
Emily: It’s not an addiction by any means, but it’s I want to feel the way I felt before, which was good.
Sondra: And I noticed one big thing I don’t eat right. Not that I don’t eat right, but it’s like I wish I could smoke before I eat.
Emily: Cannabis makes food so much better, period. It’s so much more enjoyable. I don’t know if we’ve spoken those words on the podcast before, but that is also a little-known secret of cannabis. The food tastes better. Doesn’t matter what it is. Kraft macaroni and cheese or filet mignon, it all tastes better, and that’s why it helps our friends who are struggling with eating, our elderly folks, our chemo friends, it helps. But even if you’re a regular person in your everyday life, I don’t find that I have like uncontrollable munchies or anything, but I enjoy food.
Sondra: Yes. And I’m just like you. I enjoy food. Now, I’m a baker. I don’t; I know how to cook. I don’t enjoy it. When baking, oh man, I’m in another world. But yeah, I love food. I don’t feel myself getting munchies like that anymore, but I love to eat, and everything tastes good. For breakfast, my oatmeal has a little square of cannabutter in there, and my coffee has cannasugar, and everything.
Emily: I’m getting there slowly. My coffee right now is cannabutter. And then, later in the afternoon, it’s a gummy. Then maybe before bed, it’ll be a chocolate. Like I feel like I’m expanding my selections every day. So our next question, now, you’ve always had a good relationship with cannabis, so I don’t know how applicable this will be. If you could go back 10, 20, or 30 years ago and give yourself a piece of advice about cannabis, what would it be?
Sondra: Oh my gosh, that’s a tough one, too. Enjoy. Don’t let anybody tell you anything else. I’m running with it.
Emily: Now, to wrap it up, our very last one. And we’ll talk about; I want to talk about your YouTube channel too. What do you most want to be remembered for in the cannabis space?
Sondra: I went above and beyond to make sure that everybody was taken care of, they were happy, and that they enjoyed their pastries, their cakes, whatever it was that they ordered, but that, that they loved coming in. I’m a people person. I love to talk, and sometimes you’ll have to cut that convo because I’ll keep talking. I wanted to take care of them. I was happy when they were happy.
Emily: That’s so sweet. I can’t wait for people to enter your bakery and feel the love through your baked goods. It’s amazing. In the meantime, you might not have an actual location, but you do have a YouTube channel. Tell us a little bit more about where people can find you.
Sondra: Okay, so I’m a new YouTuber. I know I have seen everybody’s platforms, different platforms, and I’ve never been one to follow them. I’m not a good videographer, but I’m just putting what I, whatever I use, I’m baking, whatever I’m making. I’ll upload the videos of what I made or what I infused, what I’m going to try, or if I’m just having fun on TikTok, I’ll put it up there. It’s for people who are curious about things like making gummies with concentrate. I don’t drag these videos out. I’m quick. I’ve always been one to find the simplest way to do things. I experiment. I fail. Sometimes it works. If you want to know how to make something, pop on my channel and see it. If you have questions, message me. I love to help!
Sondra: The channel is called Wake and Bake 210, which is what my bakery will be called as well when I open. I try to post a video at least once a week, depending on what I’m making or what I’m doing.
Emily: Thank you so much for sharing this. I am super excited. I’ll put the links here so everybody can connect with you and find you. It’s so generous of you to offer to answer questions for people, and it’s fun to follow along. People like on YouTube things that are natural; they actually don’t like things that are perfect. And as someone who started this cannabis business maybe four years ago, my best piece of advice would be just to get started. It does not have to be perfect, get it out into the world. So I’m so proud of you that you are.
Sondra: Thank you.
Emily: Absolutely. Awesome. So thank you so much. I’ll put the links; everybody can connect with you. I appreciate your time and wisdom and am so excited to see what the future holds for you.
Sondra: Thank you so much, and I truly appreciate you, the podcast that you’re doing, and everything that you’re doing as well. Without being able to follow you, see what you are doing, and learn from that, I wouldn’t be where I am. Honestly, I wouldn’t because you don’t realize how much I followed you. I was quiet in the background, but I was there. You’ve helped me a lot, as well. I appreciate it. And I am excited to get into this and will be messaging, letting you know how things are going, and following still. And so again, I appreciate you having me on here today. It was good fun.
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