Toni Braxton thought her career in music was over when a doctor first diagnosed her with lupus, a painful inflammatory disease that attacks your tissues, about a decade ago.
Then she discovered CBD, a legal cannabinoid extract, which vastly improved the quality of her life and provided the relief necessary to continue touring.
"CBD is the stuff that gets you feeling good without you feeling good," said Braxton, referring to the non-psychoactive properties of the cannabis-derived chemical.
Her epiphany led to a brand partnership with Uncle Bud's, the brainchild of 23-year-old entrepreneur Garrett Greller, who suffers from arthritis and has long relied on CBD for relief.
"It all started as one pain relief product that worked incredibly well," Greller told Cheddar.
The brand has since expanded into a six-product line-up of infused creams, soaps, supplements, and other personal care products.
Greller was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder at 14 and spent years fighting off pain in his knees, back, hips, and ankles with doctor-prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
Then he heard about CBD from a documentary by neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta and quickly started pushing his parents to let him give it a shot. While a junior in high school, he even wrote a four-page essay explaining its health benefits and slipped it across his parents' desk.
They eventually relented and Greller became a regular user for the rest of his teens.
"I tried it with CBD balm," he said. "It was the first thing that ever worked for me."
The brand specializes in pain relief, personal care, and skincare, and the product line includes a topical pain reliever, bodywash, sunburn soother, and hand and foot creams. Braxton said she incorporates a number of the products into her daily routine to treat the painful effects of lupus.
"I knew nothing about CBD, I'm going to be honest. I actually found out about his product by default," the Grammy Award-winning artist said.
One day Braxton said she couldn't find her regular Lupus medication and stumbled on an Uncle Bud's product under the sink. When she applied it to her knees, the relief was immediate — though at that point she still worried if the drug would make her high.
Once she learned that it wasn't like THC, the active component in cannabis that causes the "high", she became a regular user and champion for CBD.
"Having lupus, I always try to be positive, but sometimes I have bad days like everybody else," Braxton said. "All the sudden, I put this product on and it just makes me feel better."