Filipina entrepreneur on the many health benefits of CBD

Fil-Am business owner opens first CBD store in Alameda

ALAMEDA, CA — Malaya Botanicals is open to the public, becoming the first in Alameda to sell products with cannabidiol, or CBD – a popular remedy for many common ailments.

Its owner, Filipina American Pia Tuason Barton, used to work for companies that secured licenses and permits for cannabis stores.

But it was not until two years ago that she learned about the benefits of CBD.

“I am an injured triathlete, and I went from doing half-Ironmans, to almost being bedridden. And I was in a pain management program at Laiser and all they told me to do is to either get surgery or 2400 milligrams of ibuprofen. So that’s what O was taking for about two months. And until I discovered CBD, it took me about a month to wean myself completely off of it.”

Her store features over 25 CBD products that help with inflammation, stress, anxiety, skincare, pet health, and more.

She said many Filipinos can benefit from CBD.

“Filipinos, in general, from our genetics, inflammation is a big issue. Inflammation can be heart disease, of course gout. It could be our skin issues: psoriasis, eczema.”

According to Barton, Malaya Botanicals was created to give customers a unique experience when looking for the right CBD products.

“Right when you come into the store we greet you, we asked you if you’re familiar with CBD, so we know where your level is. We have that conversation with you, that you need for yourself. And not only that, you could try our products”.

Malaya Botanicals and the city of Alameda are hoping to help erase the stigma when it comes to cannabis.

“This is a healthier alternative for people and I think people are discovering it and that stigma is  going away certainly for my mom’s generation and even for my grandmother’s. I have an 86 year old grandmother who’s a Filipina, who you would never think uses any sort of cannabis or CBD and CBD is what helps her sleep,” said Councilmember Malia Vella.

Tuason Barton said the idea to call her shop by a Tagalog word was intended to empower people of color.

“Malaya means freedom so now we have the freedom to not just help people but help us and help them with their pain, anxiety, whatever that’s blocking them from being free.”

Malaya botanicals is open seven days a week. Check them out at

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