How I Stumbled Across Cannabis And Now Own A CBD Spa

By Adelina Sanchez

One of the most distinct memories from my childhood was taking care of my sister. She was born prematurely and faced disabling medical conditions, and as the oldest sister of eight, it was my job to assist her as much as I could. She has numerous brain and heart surgeries, not to mention all of the physical and occupational therapy she endured. We grew up in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where life was hard but we managed to find pockets of joy to get us through the day. One pocket of joy was taking my sister, Jazmin, to the Curandera. 

The Curandera was a holistic healer in Mexico who would always make Jazmin feel better. She would give her oils extracted from special “flowers”, which would increase her appetite and relieved some of the pain that she constantly endured. As a child, I always thought those flowers were amazing and their ability to put my sister at ease even just for a little while meant so much to our family. Her smile after her treatment proved that those flowers were indeed magical.

Jazmin unfortunately passed away in 2005, but she taught me that I was meant to help people who struggle with pain. I moved to Chicago and became a licensed massage therapist so that I could continue to help people and provide relief, much like the Curandera did for Jazmin. Everything came full circle when I was massaging a patient with extreme rheumatoid arthritis. Rather than use my own lotions, she asked that I massage her with a topical cream that she bought. The cream had a little leaf on it and suddenly everything clicked! The flowers were actually cannabis, and cannabis helped relieve pain. It was then that I knew exactly what I needed to do.

I learned all about the endocannabinoid system and CBD to fully understand how cannabis can actually heal medical ailments, and then I opened up my business, Leafly Therapy, as a tribute to Jazmin. While starting a business is by no means easy, she was my motivation to work hard and fulfill my American dream. I did a lot of research on CBD products and because CBD used to lack a lot of regulations, I decided that it would be best if I created my own products myself. I outsourced the pure CBD oil directly from a farm in the South so that I knew exactly what was in each product that I used on a patient. 

Seeing my baby sister in each of my patients, I made a promise that I would only use the best products and care to help bring them the relief they needed. I hand-make each of my products all by myself, much like the Curandera.

I now know that CBD is one of the best ways to achieve relaxation and find relief for chronic ailments. Each session activates the endocannabinoid system, which enables maximum relaxation, muscle manipulation, and better blood circulation. Before making the connection that my sister benefitted from cannabis treatment, I never thought about CBD from a medicinal perspective. It truly helped me to open my eyes and I want nothing more than to share this helpful information to anyone who could benefit from this natural remedy. I’ve seen patients’ conditions improve right in front of my eyes! 

Opening up a business was one of the hardest, yet most liberating things I have ever done. I have been a caretaker my entire life, but now I get to step up and make the rules. I help people not because I have to, like I did when I was a child, but because I want to. Seeing my clients get the relief they need is the most rewarding part, and I absolutely love what I do.

To any women out there who have had a challenging upbringing, I encourage you to channel that into something positive. Had I not grown up the way that I had, I probably would not have fallen into this career path, much less opened up my own business and discovered my lifelong passion!

Adelina Sanchez is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Chicago’s very first medical CBD massage spa, Leafly Therapy. She grew up in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and moved to Chicago to get her massage therapist license and BA in business marketing. She sources out pure CBD oil directly from a farm and creates all of her CBD products in-house by hand. For more information, please visit
Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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