A mother’s fortitude leads Atlanta entrepreneur to swap oxycodone for CBD

A mother's fortitude leads Atlanta entrepreneur to swap oxycodone for CBD
Emma and Cola Pettiford (Image Source: Mo Barnes for Rolling Out)

Cola Pettiford has suffered from sickle cell disease all her life, so she’s no stranger to excruciating pain. The disease of the red blood cells can cause fatigue, severe pain, organ damage, stroke, even death. In 2017, Pettiford had a seizure and a stroke. “I had a severe crisis where my system started shutting down and they didn’t think I was going to pull through,” she explains.

Pettiford, the owner of We Got Soul restaurant in Atlanta, was later admitted to rehab where she learned to talk and walk again. Her fighting spirit waned and she would some days just lie in bed, nearly lifeless; it prompted her mother, Emma Pettiford, to record her on video. She continues, “I don’t remember anything. If my mom didn’t record videos, I wouldn’t believe her.


“They [the doctors] want to blame it on sickle cell. I was in so much pain. She remembers at one point I stopped talking or responding to anything.” Pettiford was released sooner than expected and was prescribed oxycodone. And then came hope. 

Here, Pettiford shares her story on why she opts for CBD instead of opioids. 


What medications were you prescribed prior to using CBD? 

Ibuprofen, oxycodone (which had me acting crazy and out my mind), tramadol, and hydrocodone. 

What gave you the courage to try CBD? 

After reviewing the video, I threw the bottles of oxycodone in the trash.

I’m a fighter and I believe love is powerful and there’s no love like a mother’s love. She never left my side. My mom and I discussed what happened. She remembers me having unbearable pain, crying out for help so she gave me the oxycodone – as it was prescribed and according to the label – which we think had detrimental effects on my body. 

I tried other treatments that didn’t alleviate my excruciating pain or at least provide me enough relief to function. I told my doctor I didn’t want to take a pill everyday, particularly when I was not in pain. My doctor wanted me to keep the medicine in my body, but I wasn’t compromising. I expressed I wanted something natural, so my amazing hematologist, Dr. Aduloju, recommended CBD. It changed my life and I haven’t taken any prescribed medication since I’ve been using it. 

How did you gain access to it? 

Immediately after my doctor mentioned it to me, I started researching. I became obsessed with CBD before I even tried it based on what I read. Although it’s a lot of CBD products on the internet to try, I wanted to purchase from someone I knew and trusted. I had it delivered to my home. 

Did you have to get a medical marijuana card?  

I have a card but I didn’t want any CBD with THC so I didn’t need my card. I don’t want to alter my state of mind.

Do you recommend it? 

Absolutely. The more I share my story, I realize I’m not alone. My story heals others. It’s a shame alcohol is legal but marijuana isn’t in most states. While I don’t smoke marijuana recreationally, I love hemp and CBD because it works. 

Not having to rely on so many different medications is such a wonderful feeling. I’ve always worried about damaging my kidneys and liver. I have none of those worries or concerns while taking CBD.

I sell the CBD coffee and tea at my restaurant. My website is www.miraclescbd.com and email is [email protected], if you want to learn more about the products. 

If you could stand before lawmakers, what would you share regarding your experience with oxycodone? 

Oxycodone should be banned or only prescribed to patients as a last resort.

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