Tyler Blanton's Crohn's Journey with Extract Wellness Clinical Strength

Q&A with Tyler Blanton - Crohn's Warrior and Hope Ambassador

"This is the very first time in my life that we have control of the disease."

The following Q&A details an April 2018 discussion between Extract Wellness and Tyler Blanton, 21 and currently living in Colorado, regarding his Crohn's disease diagnosis, journey and current treatment protocol that includes Extract Wellness hemp extract oil.

EW: Tell me about your Crohn's disease journey. How were you diagnosed? What impact did your diagnosis have on your childhood, teenage years, etc.?

TB: I would love to say it started when I was 9 when I was diagnosed with Crohn's but it actually started a year or two before that. I was in the second and third percentile of height and weight growing up, when I was in elementary and middle school. That did become a bit of an issue, being the smallest guy. Along with that, the doctors at the time were telling me to basically eat anything I wanted to. They told me the most important thing I needed to focus on was my calorie intake so as a young kid, I was eating basically any junk food I could get my hands on and my doctors were supporting that. That did not help my case. It wasn't until college that my disease took an ultimate turn. Freshman year of college, I had upwards of 20 plus hospitalizations and had 3 surgeries that year and all 3 were major abdominal surgeries. I had complications from the surgeries. Eleven days after my second surgery, I went back to college at 117 pounds, walking with a cane, looking like a cancer patient and on prescribed opioids.

EW: Where are you today with things?

TB: That's what I'm really excited about. I just got to do a side-by-side comparison of the results of a colonoscopy I had 6 months ago when I was in Maryland (then 5 days after that I left Maryland to move to Colorado to start my alternative treatment) and the colonoscopy I just had. My treatment includes a very strict diet, cannabis (FECO oil and CBD from hemp extract) and Stelara. Comparing the results from 6 months ago to the results I got last week, it looks like two different people. . .there was scar tissue, bleeding ulcers and polyps and the intestinal wall was a yellowish gray color on the one from 6 months ago and the one I had done just last week, the doctors said it looks like that of a normal human being. And they said there is no evidence, even under the microscope of Crohn's. Best news I've had after 12 years. The doctors said I was in "deep, deep remission from a GI perspective. . .in the GI world, it's as good as it gets."

EW: What was the difference? What did you do differently in your treatment? What is different in your daily life?

TB: I think it's important to touch on what my treatment was before all of this. This is kind of the ongoing treatment for most Crohn's patients, medication is chosen usually based on some markers or based on insurance. I failed 3 biologics before I was allowed to go on another drug and that's kinds of standard. You have to stay on each drug for about 2 months. The protocol is usually medication and that's it. If it doesn't make you feel better they give you pain killers but that's really all they can do. That wasn't good enough for me. I was very much in the mindset that there has to be a correlation between what I'm putting in my body and what's happening in my stomach. So, diet was the first big swing and I'm on a specific carbohydrate diet or SCD and it's pretty restrictive but simple, too. I can't have any powders like any cooking powders, the reason being is because of the anti-caking things they use. It's not meant to be ingested and it causes more issues for someone like me that has inflammation issues. I eat a very clean diet - chicken with salt and pepper, apples that are freshly peeled, orange juice, no starches, no sugars, no compound foods. I also do cannabis suppositories and by cannabis I mean THC and CBD. It's a 1 to 1 ratio, twice a day, morning and night. Within the first 2 days of introducing that protocol, I felt like a different person. Both my parents noticed I had an energy I hadn't had in a long time. I woke up energized and ready to go and that was day 2 and now we're 6 months down the road and you heard about the results. I noticed relief in days but I know there have been healing properties over 6 months. This is the very first time in my life that we have control of the disease. After my surgeries they were telling me that I would have a year to two of remission. Instead, two weeks later I would need another surgery. So to have definitive healing in a case like mine is pretty big.

EW: Tell me more about CBD in your protocol. Where does Extract Wellness fit it?

TB: I have used a few different CBD oil products but I found many to be really expensive and inconsistent from a supply and quality standpoint. I found it difficult to find CBD - I'm in a legal state of Colorado and I was having trouble finding it. It's hard to find and it's three times as expensive. Extract Wellness gave me the consistency and the quality I needed to see the results.

EW: How far into your last 6 months of treatment did you introduce Extract Wellness hemp extract oil into your treatment protocol?

TB: It was at about month 2.

EW: You mentioned quality, consistency, availability and price - tell me more about that.

TB: It's really important that the product not be harvested too soon because the quality of the CBD product is impacted. It can cause some side effects like headaches. It's also become a cash crop so some are not harvesting and producing the product with any kind of quality standards. Someone like me needs standards - controlled seed to sale through growing and harvest, safe extraction methods, and rigorous testing for solvents, pesticides, and metals.

EW: The 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD (along with Stelara and diet) have been key factors for you, correct?

TB: Absolutely, yes. All 4 of those things work hand-in-hand. Everything I do in my protocol is key to my remission. [NOTE: Since the discussion, Tyler has reduced his THC intake and focused more on CBD from hemp extract oil for his overall wellness.]

EW: What happens to you if you make a change and remove one of the key elements?

TB: When I removed CBD, there were general wellness side effects like headaches coming back, anxiety, all day agitation - generalized wellness went downhill. When I introduced THC suppositories, I noticed a very quick positive impact and when I took them away, I noticed a pretty big negative impact. Diet I don't mess with. I ate a bag of Cheetos on the road and I felt horrible. Anytime I have messed with any part it has always been a negative reaction. I cook all of my own meals so I know what goes into them.

EW: In relation to the timeline of your protocol, was Extract Wellness the last thing you introduced into your protocol?

TB: I believe Extract Wellness was the final thing I introduced. I tried to remain on a consistent one to one ratio with THC and CBD and it wasn't consistent until I introduced Extract Wellness. I've been on CBD in some form from the get go but it was finally getting introduced to Extract Wellness that I could rely on the consistency and the quality of the product.

EW: You just got a new job that you'll start soon - congratulations - what is that going to be like for you and how will that impact your daily life?

TB: That is a great question! For the past 6 months I have been nothing but dedicated to getting my health straight. I withdrew from college twice, both times medically. That was very difficult for me to do. I'm not one to quit as my freshman year showed, so to have to withdraw twice in what was my sophomore year, was very difficult to me. I set everything on getting healthy. Now that I'm healthy, it's a whole new life starting. I'll be doing some speaking including the 4/20 conference on cannabis in Denver this weekend, some cannabis magazine interviews. This is new for me. It's a new lifestyle. It's something I haven't had in 12 years. College for me was a daily ritual of getting myself out of bed, dragging myself to classes and then coming back and getting back in bed. It wasn't the usual college experience others have. I've never had this energy to work with. I'm really eager to find out.

EW: I'm excited for you! What advice can you give others?

TB: Find your own hope. Find something that you believe in that does give you hope. That's going to be the difference between you getting through this disease a happy person or not at all. I had someone call me this morning telling me that I was the reason that their wife was choosing to be alive today. I asked for further explanation and he said that she was waking up throwing up every morning and had no quality of life. She was using morphine for pain. And, after hearing my story and what I'm able to do, where I've come from and the amount of relief I've had, she's willing to give suppositories a try (which is what I use) rather than give up life. That is her hope. That's what she found. She was ready to let go and now that hope is what is going to push her through. You have to find your own hope.

EW: What would like to tell people about CBD, hemp extract and specifically Extract Wellness?

TB: With the current state of marijuana and legalization, I think CBD should be the first thing introduced into the protocol of a sick person. CBD from hemp extract is legal. It is accessible in all 50 states. I don't see why someone shouldn't start it as soon as possible. People should go online and check out Extract Wellness and order it.

EW: I saw something pretty cool about you recently - I think it's "scar warrior" or something similar that you call yourself.

TB: It's "scar soldier" - it's actually written on my arm.

EW: I really feel like you are a hope ambassador and hope warrior and I am so inspired by you. You give others a lot of hope.

TB: When I was in Maryland, my Mom pushed me for years to go to a support group and being the typical, loving mother, she looked for everything she could find. I went to a support group of about 10 people and I was basically the guy that made everyone else feel good because they were all a bunch of 40 and 50 year olds battling the disease but they felt "hey, it could be worse, you could be 19 and dealing with it." So to go from being "that kid" to being the healthy guy that can offer some advice to others. To have battled it for 12 years and seen such a change in 6 months - that's what I want people to see. That's the hope I want them to get out of it!

EW: What are your goals for the future?

TB: I wish I could give you a career goal but I can't. I can give you a life goal. Being involved with my health, with cannabis and with CBD from hemp extract has opened a door for me to a lot of people. I would like to be able to reach more people like that - if I could get just one more than I had yesterday. Even if I don't change everyone's mind, I hope to change a few lives. If I can give them information for them or their son or their daughter - if I can reach that one more for the day, than that's my goal. Maybe it will blossom into a career goal. Life lessons from a 21 year old! Ha.

EW: Anything else you want to share?

TB: If I'm going to do this and talk about my life, I'm going to be really real about it. Like I said earlier, someone called and told me that their wife was ready to give up. I'm not going to talk like I haven't been there myself. Coming from being very sick for 12 years, I've been very low. My freshman year of college I had to think was this the quality of life that I want for the future. You know Crohn's won't kill me but it will make me suffer for the rest of my life so I had to really think about that. I had to think if I wanted to just end it now. And, something that I came to grips with and it really pushes me through each day is that, that kind of hurt is going to hurt my mother the most, hurt my father the most, it's not going to hurt me. That's why I wrote "scar soldier" on my arm - if I'm here someone else can learn from what I've gone through. You can't give up just because you're in pain because you're really going to hurt everyone else that really cares about you. Just one more reason to push through.

EW: You're very brave. As a parent, I can tell you, we hurt when our children hurt and we would do anything to make them feel better. To say "it would be easy for me to give up" is very brave.

TB: Giving up is the easy thing to do in this, unfortunately.

EW: I can't thank you enough for your honesty and openness about your story, advice for others and thoughts about the disease.

TB: I have had a number of families contact me that are all "Crohn's families" - if I can have an answer for them and tell them to go to Extract Wellness and pick up a bottle, I will. If others can get relief and find their hope, it's what I want for them. I think there needs to be a release of the stigma that comes along with cannabis - not just the cannabis but how it's taken. It's time to lose the stigma.

Interview was conducted on April 17, 2018 via FaceTime between Karen Sherman, a consultant to Extract Wellness and Tyler Blanton. Tyler and his mom, Michelle, were first introduced to Extract Wellness in 2017 when Michelle was looking into quality CBD oil products and came across Extract Wellness. She learned that the Extract Wellness founder and CEO was Jeff Amrein, a friend of hers from high school, and she immediately reached out to learn more about Extract Wellness products. Michelle, Tyler and Jeff have been partnering ever since to ensure Tyler has the consistent, high quality Extract Wellness hemp extract oil product he needs as a part of his daily treatment protocol. You can learn more about Extract Wellness at extractwellness.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.