Ever sat and wondered what the secret to a long and healthy life is? Well wonder no more, because one grandmother reckons that she has the answer… cannabis. Yes, Carol Francey, 70, said she has been smoking weed for five decades and ‘feels as fit as a fiddle’. In fact, she loves the plant so much, she made the decision to throw away all of her medication, and grow cannabis in her garden instead. Click below for more on her story.
Find out why our favorite Instagram account this month is @brandynico.
I continue to be blown away by the perseverance of parents pursuing medical cannabis to treat their children with life-threatening conditions. Searching hashtags like #hempcosmetics and #cbdoil on Instagram led to me scrolling through the @naturesroot feed, where I came across this heartwarming post:
Parenting in the age of social media–where trolls, mom-shamers, and fake news collide–is tough enough without the fear that comes with severe illness, stigmatized medicine, and being forced to choose between your child’s life, breaking the law, and/or seeking medical refuge.
Brandy Johnson, mother of 3, faces these challenges with faith, grace, and high hopes for her youngest son, 13-year-old Tres Johnson. Tres is 1 of 36 people in the world with diprosopus (also known as craniofacial duplication) which results in parts or all of the face to be duplicated on the head. But, as Brandy wrote on the GoFundMe page she created in early February, “He is the Only One in the World living with Diprosopus…and having Intractable Epilepsy.”
Since birth, Tres has undergone numerous surgeries and pharmaceutical treatments for both of these conditions: 14 facial/cranial surgeries, heavy doses of harmful and ineffective medicines, broken bones as a result of severe seizures, multiple resuscitations. Before starting treatment with cannabis oil about 4 years ago, Tres suffered approximately 400 seizures a day.
Tres reaching the age of 13 is a huge deal–it’s surreal knowing he’s made it this far. The past 13 years have been nothing but a fight for survival. – Brandy Johnson
Some of Tres treatments exacerbated his conditions, and in November 2012, Brandy and her family were told by doctors that every medical option had been exhausted. She decided to explore and investigate alternative, natural medicine and discovered the story of Charlotte Figi, after which the high-CBD strain of cannabis Charlotte’s Web is named. Charlotte’s parents were treating their daughter’s condition with medical cannabis and seeing encouraging results.
Brandy attempted to relocate Tres to Colorado from their home state of Missouri, so that he could legally acquire treatment that greatly improved Tres’ health and quality of life. Inadequate living accommodations and expenses drove them to return home, where Tres continues his treatment with cannabis, despite serious legal restrictions.
Brandy’s Instagram and other social media platforms show a tenacious mother and determined cannabis activist armed with faith, knowledge, and strength. You see the daily struggles, the small victories, the quest for progress, and the unconditional love.
Brandy’s most recent Facebook post reads:
I THANK GOD EVERY SINGLE DAY!🙏
🌱CANNABIS SAVED OUR SON✊
I learned through the years. That…THIS day.. not yesterday, is what matters and on This Day I Am Thankful. FOREVER GREATFUL. For the love that I have seen in my life. The miracles I had the pleasure of witnessing and The Grace God shows us every single day🌞🤗
Find out why our favorite Instagram account this month is @alexisbortell.
I want to be like Alexis Bortell when I grow up. A medical marijuana patient, cannabis activist, and hemp cultivator, 12-year-old Alexis has co-authored a book, Let’s Talk About Medical Cannabis, with her family and is one of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the federal government fighting the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Alexis and her family discovered medical cannabis to be an effective treatment for her epileptic seizures. Because she could not be legally treated for her debilitating condition in Texas, Alexis and her family were forced to uproot themselves and move to Colorado, where she found sanctuary as a medical refugee. With traditional medical treatment in Texas, the best she could hope for was 3 consecutive days seizure-free; since implementing a medical regime using cannabis, she has been seizure-free for over 800 days.
To top it all off, Alexis and her family–mom Liza, dad Dean, and younger sister Avery– are both entrepreneurial and philanthropic. The Bortell family owns and operates their own small business, a farm called OneLuv Organics. High in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the farm (@oneluvorganics on Instagram) produces USDA Organic Certified fruits and vegetables, which are donated to local charities dedicated to feeding the hungry, including “Patches of Hope.” They also farm organic hemp to produce medicine and natural personal care products, like an artisan line of goat milk hemp soaps. The proceeds from their sales support their contributions to “Patches of Hope” as well.
Keep an eye on this trail blazer. Alexis Bortell is the face of the next generation of cannabis activists–and an inspiring role model for us grown-ups too.
Find out why our favorite Instagram account this month is @kate180days.
I met Kate Cochran Morgan at the Capitol of Texas, where she testified at the hearing for House Bill 2107, which sought to expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program. What stood out to me about Kate was her passion and drive for speaking up for Texan medical refugees. The US Navy veteran is a dedicated cannabis advocate and activist. She created Cannabis Connect 2.0 DFW, a Facebook page sharing cannabis law updates, community activism tips, advocacy for veterans, and original video content featuring Kate.
On Oct. 1, Kate posted the following on Facebook:
Be sure to come follow me on Instagram @Kate180Days I lost my DL in Texas for 1.8 grams of Cannabis. In the state of Texas you lose your license for 180 days. Even in first offense. Please come see how I figure out how to adapt and to overcome this crippling law. I wonder how taking someone’s license away really helps them and society. We will see. I am excited about this journey and making awareness about the importance of Cannabis Reform and Education. It’s starts with us. Thank you!
These days, more people are willing to share their personal experiences and bring intelligent, practical conversation about cannabis, but it is still a brave step to take. As Kate documents her journey on Instagram, she will no doubt offer valuable insight on how we can all work to break stereotypes and fight unfair laws related to cannabis.
Save the date! SXSW returns to Austin, TX in 2018 from Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 18. The festival will be here before we know it, and panels are already being put together.
Last year’s panels included cannabis-related topics such as Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed, and Business. This year, at least 13 cannabis-related panels are up for consideration, and the SXSW PanelPicker is allowing YOU to vote on which panels make it on the schedule! But you’ve gotta hurry–the deadline is this Sunday, Aug. 27.
Once you create your free account, revisit the link, click “Cast your votes now,” enter “cannabis” in the search bar, and “Vote Up” each one! I voted for each one, but if I had to choose a top 3, it would be these:
- Cannabis Industry Bootcamp: From Seed To Sale
- Will Cannabis Remain Open Source?
- Hemp: Fortifying the American Canna Revolution
“Each year, SXSW PanelPicker helps shape the majority of the SXSW Conference programming. Community Voting comprises 30% of the SXSW Conference programming decision,” writes Jordan Roberts, who has several articles featured on the SXSW site.
Speaking of voting, 2018 is an election year for Texas legislation. Open discussions on a huge platform as wide-reaching as SXSW can only serve to support leaders, educators, and advocates in the cannabis industry. Your vote matters, so please get to it now!
With the consumption trend leaning towards concentrates, I got to thinking of what used to immediately come to mind when someone mentioned herbal extracts–essential oils. Long used around the globe for healing, types of essential oils and their uses are as varied as are herbs. If your alternative well-being journey has recently led you to explore them, here are my suggestions on what oils to start with and how to use them.
Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Lavender oils are must-haves in my essential oil arsenal.
Peppermint: When it is super hot outside, I will put a few drops in my hand and rub it into the back of my neck. This helps my body cool down and masks any sweaty smells. I also use it on road trips to help ease any car sickness or claustrophobia by rubbing a very small amount on my temples (closer to my ears than my eyes).
Eucalyptus: This is my go-to when I’m feeling congested. I will put a few drops in my hand and rub some on my chest and throat. You can also pour a few drops in a warm bath; for a shower, pour a few drops on a sponge and keep it on the floor, where the warm water can hit it.
Tea Tree: I use it to solve skin and hair problems. Pour a drop or two on a Q-tip and gently dab it on a zit or bug bite. For larger skin irritations, pour a few drops on a cotton ball and gently rub into the affected area. If my scalp is feeling dry or itchy, I will add a few drops to about a teaspoon of my shampoo and wash my hair as usual.
Lavender: I use the calming, floral scent in lieu of perfume. This summer, I learned first-hand that lavender can soothe sunburned skin. Just mix 5-10 drops with a carrier oil (coconut is my fave) and rub on the affected area for relief. Known to relieve stress, a few drops rubbed on my temples or poured in the bath help enhance relaxation.
My “before-you-buy” tips:
Go organic when you can. Carefully read labels, as some brands will explicitly tell you they are not made for internal or topical use. Google and learn as much as you can about recommendations and side effects.
Thanks for tuning in!