A HERO FOR FREEDOM
s n e r ' d il h C issue
When we began the magazine, we had no idea that (by our third issue) we would be read in over 44 countries and in all 50 states. We needed a name change to better represent our readers and our magazine. We had to grow and change.
WELCOME TO... GR AM MAGA ZINE Grass Roots America Magazine
This issue is about Children and Cannabis. A polarizing subject in most circles. Those who don’t grasp cannabis as medicine are worried that children are just getting high. Those who believe in the science behind the medicine see the medical purposes for cannabis. For parents who have to make a decision on how to provide the best life possible for their child when faced with a complex medical condition, this may be their last hope for a more “normal” life, or end of life for their child. How do they make those decisions, what do they go through in their community, with their families, and is there help available? Read on to learn about families and the decisions they made for their children when faced with that decision. Join us on our Journey… to understand cannabis helping children. OUR MISSION | EDUCATE THE SCIENCE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS
- Nan cy CORRECTION - Caroline Covone attended St. Bartholomew in middle school when September 11th occurred. She then moved down to Florida and attended high school at Gulf Coast High School in Bonita Springs.
OUR TEAM FOUNDER / EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Nancy Moss COPY EDITOR Dawn Hayford GRAPHIC DESIGN / PRODUCTION Melissa Morris WEB DESIGN / IT LEAD Alex Moss SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH Sarah Moss MARKETING Skylar Williams SOCIAL MARKETING TEAM Green House Healthy SALES Alex Raffay BLOG Antonio DeRose
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS/COLUMNISTS Alex Raffay Antonio DeRose Ben Owens Brian Houck Dr. Debra Kimless
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@GETGRAMNOW The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. Copyright Â© 2019. This magazine is protected by US and International copyright laws. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited.
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AUG 1- 4 | USCC | MIAMI, FL The U.S. Cannabis Conference and Expo will be held in Miami, FL and aims to conserve right through outreach, education and research. There will be over 100 exhibitors at the expo, all meeting to discuss new and innovative ideas in the cannabis industry.
AUG 23-24 | CANNACON | SPRINGFIELD, MA
Cannacon in Springfield, Massachusetts is the place where vendors from all areas of the cannabis space from come together to share knowledge acquired through experience in the field.
SEPT 4 - 6 | CSC | PORTLAND, OR
This conference pulls together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, policy makers and interested new faces. The overall goal of this conference is to improve cannabis science.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS GR AM VISITS MADRID KIDS AND CANNABIS SPECIAL CANNABIS ARTIST SECTION AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER CHILDHOOD CANCER INTR ACTABLE EPILEPSY CHRONIC PAIN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS NAUSE A & VOMITING FITNESS & CANNABIS
12 18 49 60 62 Di s 64 LIST 66 68 70 73
CONTRIBUTING ANTONIO DEROSE Antonio is the Co-Founder and COO of Green House Healthy, a health and wellness company promoting cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle at GreenHouseHealthy. com. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, competitive trail runner, freelance writer and speaker. In 2017, he became the first male to complete an entire 420 Games National Tour, a traveling athletic event series focused on de-stigmatizing the lazy stoner stereotype. He is also an official NORML Athlete, representing NORML Athletics.
HE ATHER DEROSE Heather is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green House Healthy. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, trail runner, writer, and speaker. In 2017, she became the first female to complete an entire 420 Games National Tour, an athletic event series focused on raising awareness about cannabis and its consumers. Heather speaks about how cannabis helps her epilepsy, PTSD, anxiety, weight management and as an athlete. It is her mission to share the many benefits of cannabis for people, animals, and the planet!
BRIAN HOUCK Brian is a promising young journalist who studied at Florida Gulf Coast University. Brian has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and continues his education by learning about people and their stories. He worked briefly at Naples Daily News and also contributed post-Hurricane Irma coverage for National Geographic. Brian has worked diligently to educate himself on the medical uses of cannabis and sees it as a potential key to slow down the opioid epidemic that is plaguing the United States.
DR. DEBRA KIMLESS Debra Kimless, M.D. graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Muhlenberg College with a double major in Natural Sciences and Biology. She attended medical school at Rutgers, residency at Temple University Hospital, and is a board-certified Anesthesiologist with a subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine. Motivated by her mother, who at the end of her life suffered with intractable pain and responded paradoxically to opiates, Dr. Kimless traveled the world to learn if medical cannabis could have been an option. She consults with patients pro bono, treating them with whole food, all plant diets and medical cannabis, and collects patient data to present at conferences and seminars around the world.
WRITERS SAR AH MOSS Sarah attends Auburn University’s College of Science and Mathematics where she studies Biomedical science with a focus on molecular biology. She is also working on her Masters degree in Clinical Genetics and plans to complete a PhD in epigenetic before continuing onto medical school. She has completed 3 summers of research at a world class biotechnology institute as a bioinformatics intern under Dr. Elizabeth Worthey, along with being an undergraduate research assistant at Auburn University in the drug discovery and development department under Dr. Murali Dhanasekaran.
BEN OWENS Ben attended the University of Missouri – Columbia. Graduating with a Masters and Bachelor’s in Strategic Communication & Journalism; his focus has been on integrating the professionalism and high standards of the advertising and journalism industries into the cannabis and counter culture realm. In March 2019, he founded CannaVenture® as a merger between two of his utmost passions: the outdoors and cannabis.
ALE X R AFFAY Alex is currently completing his senior year at Florida Gulf Coast University where he is studying marketing at the school of business. Alex is also a part of the cannabis pathway at FGCU and has taken classes such as The Impact of Marijuana on Society and the DrugStore Society. Alex is in sales with GRAM and is a part of the core team.
MA XINE TAYLOR Maxine Taylor is a pioneer in astrology. She was integral in getting astrology legalized in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the first person in the country to be a licensed astrologer. As of late, she is focused on spiritual coaching/healing, doing readings, and keeping with the times. She has a YouTube channel (Maxine Taylor) where she posts videos multiple times a week in an attempt to reach out and touch as many people as possible.
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Churro Shop San Ginés
‘La Osa y el Madroño’ Bear Statue
BY ALEX RAFFAY
TAPAS, WARM WEATHER AND FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE. WHAT COMES TO MIND? SPAIN! Hi, my name is Alex Raffay, I’m in the Sales and Marketing department at Grass Roots America Magazine (GRAM). I had the privilege of bringing along GRAM to one of my favorite places, Madrid, last month. I spent over two years living in Madrid when I was in high school learning the language and culture of this beautiful country. Although I learned a lot about the people and language, I did not have much knowledge, on how cannabis influences the culture. I brought GRAM to the places I love to visit in and around Madrid, Spain. Our first stop was to breath the fresh mountain air next to the castle ‘Los Mendoza’ in Manzanares el Real. Next stop for us was to visit a famous churro shop called San Ginés. Our stomachs filled with churros, we went to the center of the city and said hello to the bear statue ‘La Osa y el Madroño.’
Alex with Lucas Tuya
Alex with Adrian Perez
We found this cannabis store adjacent to the plaza ‘Puerta Del Sol.’ When we entered, we were greeted by Adrian and Lucas. These gentlemen understand the public opinion of the industry and what the social life is like. They allowed me to ask a few questions about the cannabis industry in Madrid. I found an open and friendly environment that immersed me into a foreign cannabis culture.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF...
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE AMBITIONS?
ADRIAN: I am 25 years old and I am from Madrid. I currently work at this cannabis shop, and I like to socialize after work.
ADRIAN & LUCAS: We both have plans to continue in this industry. We are interested in becoming cannabis entrepreneurs. Part of our plans is to create a cannabis club in Madrid.
LUCAS: I am 26 years old and was born in Madrid. I work along with Adrian in the cannabis shop. During my off time, I enjoy being part of a rock band.
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INTO CANNABIS... ADRIAN: When I was in high school, my friends introduced me to cannabis. LUCAS: I was introduced when I was with foreign exchange students from high school.
WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT CANNABIS? ADRIAN: I derive my passion from being able to share memorable moments with friends. I love to learn more about the properties and effects of cannabis. LUCAS: I enjoy cannabis because it is not dangerous or life-damaging. I also enjoy networking with other enthusiasts and learning about their path into the cannabis world. Smoking cannabis is relaxing, comfortable, and an easy habit to control.
DO YOU THINK CANNABIS SHOULD GO RECREATIONAL IN SPAIN? ADRIAN: I think that cannabis should go completely legal for a couple of reasons. These reasons are similar to the opinions in the U.S. Along with the improved quality of cannabis, the control over it could come to benefit the country, overall. LUCAS: I think it should be regulated, in the same way that alcohol is. I think being illegal causes the same effect that Prohibition had in USA with alcohol: mafias controlling the market, people looking for hard drinks like whiskey because beer wasn’t worth going to jail for. It also makes it easier to get for underaged people, and more dangerous because people don’t really know anything about it, just that it’s either fun or dangerous, depending on who talked to them about it.
DO YOU THINK MARIJUANA WILL BECOME RECREATIONAL IN SPAIN? WHY? ADRIAN: I do not think cannabis will be legalized. The reasoning for this is Spain’s past. Not too long ago, in the 70’s, Spain had a
dictator by the name of Francisco Franco. Franco ruled after the Spanish civil war, from 1939 until his death in 1975. Adrian stated, “due to Franco’s ruling, Spain has carried a conservative mindset.” LUCAS: Possibly. I personally think so, and I hope so, but I think it’s going to take a long time. If you think about it, there’s no country in Europe where it is legal, just in the city of Amsterdam (not even in Holland). I think cannabis clubs will evolve and become more legal/legitimate, but they will not be as widely accepted as in the states for a long time.
EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS LIKE BEING IN A CANNABIS CLUB. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RULES? WHAT ARE THE PEOPLE IN THE CLUBS LIKE? ADRIAN: My first experience with the cannabis clubs in Madrid was only days before we met. The people I met the first night did not come off as friendly. The cannabis clubs used to allow people only if they had a connection; now you can join without knowing people in the club. My club is well organized with a 500-gram allotment after fees have been paid. While the clubs in Madrid are strict and few in count, Barcelona is very relaxed with their clubs, and they are more abundant. LUCAS: It is the closest thing to buying legal cannabis in Spain. You pay for a membership (10€ - 30€) and you can get it there. There are many strains (depends on the club size), and you can enjoy it there or grab it to smoke at home. It’s quite fine, but it has a lot of cons. First, it’s expensive. You pay around 3€ per gram more than if you were to get it on the streets. Second, quality is not always good and most of the people working there are not experts, so they’re not qualified to explain the different strains. Third, the most important: they are not completely legal. You know you can be stopped by the police, and they can take off your weed and make you pay for it (some clubs pay for you in that situation, but not all of them) before you reach your home. The police can close your club from one day to the next, which means you cannot buy there anymore, and the police will have your name on file. Cannabis clubs are the best and most legal method of buying cannabis in Spain, but they’re far from being real dispensaries.
‘Los Mendoza’ in Manzanares el Real
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CANNABIS + KIDS
Let’s clarify; no one advocates for the recreational use of cannabis for children. I think everyone would agree that it is not a good idea to use any brain-altering substance in a growing and developing brain, including nicotine, alcohol, and high fat and sugar foods. However, if a child has a condition that needs medical intervention, then all the tools in the toolbox should be considered, and a parent/caregiver must assess each of the risks and the benefits before choosing any intervention. That includes every medication, not just cannabis medicine. We will also agree that there is no such thing as a panacea. We are all individuals, and everyone responds differently to the same treatments. In order to make an informed decision, we need to understand what science and research provides. With the understanding that cannabis is medicine, the results of its use are quickly evolving.
WHAT DO WE KNOW? Tetrahydocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known molecule of over 400 molecules in the cannabis plant. Its popularity is mostly based on its ability to be intoxicating or cause a “high.” That does not mean that THC is not an important medicine, nor does it mean that all amounts of THC cause that intoxicating feeling. Synthetic THC—called dronabinol—has been FDA approved and available in all 50 states since 1986. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended transferring THC from a schedule I or II drug to schedule IV, citing its beneficial medical uses and low abuse potential when used for medical conditions. As the cannabis plant grows in nature, it actually makes THCA— the acid form of THC. Parents of children with epilepsy discovered that this non-intoxicating cannabinoid could help reduce their child’s seizures, along with traditional anti-seizure medications, when they found CBD to be ineffective. THC and THCA have been found to reduce pain and inflammation and decrease chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. In 2017, the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine found that cannabis is very effective for these indications. The question is if a child is being treated with chemotherapy does it make sense to use cannabis to reduce nausea and vomiting and improve appetite? The National
Academy report found three studies involving children treated with chemotherapy. Comparing the response of cannabinoids against standard anti-nausea and vomiting treatment: two of the three studies showed cannabinoids were better than standard treatment, and the third showed no difference in benefit. There are some physicians who have reported success with treating autism using an integrated approach including a diet change and small doses of THC. See Dr. Christian Bogner’s lecture on autism, the endocannabinoid system and THC: https://www.slideshare.net/ChristianBogner/endocannabinoid-signaling-in-autism Cannabidiol (CBD) has become very popular since the Dr. Sanjay Gupta report highlighting this cannabinoid for its anti-seizure properties and that it doesn’t cause the intoxication or “high” like THC. GW Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval for the indication of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. The WHO recently reported that CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans (and animals) and is not associated with any negative public health effects or potential for abuse. Since that report, CBD is now readily found almost everywhere—from food and beverages to room air fresheners! However, that doesn’t mean CBD should be used without discretion. Just like grapefruit, CBD does interfere with metabolic pathways and may interfere with the breakdown of other medications.
not work for everyone. Studies in animals and preliminary studies in Israel suggest that CBD may work for some autism patients and with less side effects than other treatments. CBD is also being studied for treating children with ADHD or anxiety symptoms that often accompany ADHD. Patient reports suggest that CBD successfully reduces the anxiety related to ADHD. CBD is being used for various painful conditions. There are patient reports that show CBD to be effective in children for the treatment of pain. The use of CBD could reduce or replace other pain medications that may have more serious side effects. These are but a few exa-mples of how cannabis or cannabinoids may play an important therapeutic role in the treatment of children with certain medical conditions. Of course, more studies need to be conducted so we can understand more clearly how to use cannabis in children and for which conditions. Until then, my advice is to seek out a physician to partner with who will help create a therapeutic strategy for your child. Start low and go slow is the cannabis treatment mantra. It really does take patience and may take some examination to discover an effective medicine for your child.
CBD is being investigated for treating children with autism. THC may
LET’S CLARIFY; NO ONE ADVOCATES FOR THE RECREATIONAL USE OF CANNABIS FOR CHILDREN. 19
CULTIVARS The cultivars (strains) below are high CBD options that are used for many different conditions. They offer relief to patients without the psychoactive effects.
HARLE-TSU Harle-Tsu is a combination of Harlequin and Sour Tsunami. It quickly achieves a pleasant relaxing state without strong sedation. It is good for pain as well as a positive mental state.
RINGOâ€™S GIFT This is a mix of Harle-Tsu and ACDC. It was created for patients seeking an almost completely CBD-driven strain with a 24:1 ratio. Good for inflammation and pain.
TJâ€™S CBD This high CBD cultivar has a skunky aroma that is followed by a sense of calm physical relaxation without the cloudiness of the mind. Its users boast about the helpfulness of this strain for pain and anxiety.
(FORMALLY KNOWN AS STRAINS) KUSH HEMP Kush Hemp carries 18.5% of CBD with less than .3% of THC. It has been bred with Pre98 Bubba and OG Kush. It follows suit to its signature OG Kush pine and citrus scent. Helpful with insomnia, anxiety, and pain.
ELEKTRA CBD HEMP FLOWER This features piney and citrusy flavors with a slight spiciness. Its THC content is less than .3%. It is known for its uplifting effects as well as its helpfulness with insomnia.
BLUE DRAGON DESERT FROST Blue Dragon Desert Frost carries 17% CBD and .6% of THC. It is a mixture of DJ Short’s Blueberry and Sour Diesel. Known for its aid to muscle, joint, and nerve pain.
cul·ti·var - /ˈkəltəˌvär/ - noun
A plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding.
COLLECTED BY SARAH MOSS
RESEARCH CORNER REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS TREATMENT IN AUTISM: ANALYSIS OF SAFETY AND EFFICACY In a study of 188 patients, 30.1% of those in treatment had significant improvement. 53.7% saw moderate improvement.
While in the study, the majority of the patients were treated with 30% CBD and 1.5% THC.
After the first month, 179 patients continued treatments. At the 6-month follow-up, 155 patients remained in ongoing treatments using the CBD enriched cannabis oil.
Restlessness was improved upon in 91.0% of patients in the study.
Rage attacks were improved by 90.3% in the 6 months of treatment. “In our study we have shown that a CBD enriched treatment of ASD patients can potentially lead to an improvement of behavioural symptoms. These findings are consistent with the findings of two double-blind, placebocontrolled crossover studies,” direct quote from study.
34.3% of patients in the study reported a reduction in medications in the following families: antipsychotics, antiepileptics, antidepressants, hypnotics, and sedatives.
WHAT IS MOST REMARKABLE TO ME IS GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE WAS REPORTED BY 31.3% OF PATIENTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STUDY, AND BY THE END OF THE 6-MONTH STUDY, 66.8% OF THE PATIENTS REPORTED HAVING A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE.
PMID: 30655581 (pubmed ID can be typed into the pubmed search bar) Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, Raphael Mechoulam, Naama Saban, Gal Meiri, and Victor Novack Sci Rep. 2019; 9: 200. Published online January 17, 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37570-y https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6336869/
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AUGUST AUG 2- 4 | UNITED STATES CANNABIS CONFERENCE | MIAMI, FL AUG 23-24 | CANNACON | SPRINGFIELD, MA
SEPTEMBER SEPT 4 - 6 | CANNABIS SCIENCE CONFERENCE | PORTLAND, OR SEPT 4 - 6 | BIZ CON INTERNATIONAL | TORONTO, CANADA SEPT 23-24 | CANNMED | PASADENA, CA SEPT 27-28 | CANNACON |OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
OCTOBER OCT 3-5 | USCCE | PHOENIX, AZ OCT 11-12 | COMMERCIAL CANNABIS CONFERENCE & EXPO | DETROIT, MI OCT 12-13 | HEMPFEST | MIAMI, FL
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BORTELL A HERO FOR FREEDOM
WRITTEN BY HEATHER DEROSE + PHOTOS BY JACQUELINE COLLINS
The cannabis community is filled with amazing stories of courageous people fighting for what they know is right. Cannabis remains federally illegal, even though the government holds the patent 6630507, referring to cannabinoids as antioxidants and as a neuroprotectant. The plant has affected so many people’s lives differently, and for some, it’s saved their life and ended their suffering. One amazing leader for the plant is 13-yearold Alexis Bortell. Her family moved from Texas to Colorado to treat her intractable epilepsy with cannabis. Alexis and her father, Dean Bortell, are taking a stand against the federal government. In fact, they are among several cannabis patients and advocates challenging the federal scheduling of cannabis. Grass Roots America Magazine recently had the honor of speaking with Alexis about her journey. “I didn’t start treating with cannabis or hemp products until we moved from Texas to Colorado in 2015 and I had my red card. I treat with medical cannabis for intractable epilepsy for which there is no other effective treatment. First, I tried low-THC oil, and it worked better than the pharmaceuticals, but I still had a seizure about a month after starting it. My doctors switched me from a 26:1 oil to a 15:1 Haleigh’s Hope oil and added highTHC products daily to my medicine. I am
ALEXIS AND HER FATHER, DEAN BORTELL, ARE TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. now over 4 years with no seizures and I am only taking Haleigh’s Hope botanical (hemp) oil, Cannatol THC oil, and Mary’s Medicinals THC products. Without HighTHC products I would NOT be seizure free.” Although Alexis has been seizure free for over 4 years, there are still challenges she faces every day, especially because of the laws pertaining to her traveling with her medication and limited access in her home state of Texas. Alexis says, “I don’t see my family much except for my parents and my sister, and when my grandparents from Oklahoma and Texas come visit me once or sometimes twice a year. We used to see them in Texas every weekend. It’s made our family here closer, but everything else has pretty much gone away because I can’t safely travel to Texas with my medication (which I need to
keep with me at all times, like an EPI-Pen) until the classification of cannabis under the controlled substance act is rescinded or deemed unconstitutional.” The Bortell family are very generous and passionate about helping others. Together they own and operate OneLuv Organics, where they make luxury hemp soaps, shampoos and more! “OneLuv Organics is my company (with my sister Avery and Mom) that I started to share products we make and use everyday to help raise money for my Patches of Hope program. Patches of Hope provides USDA Organic fruits and vegetables to homeless and medical refugee families at places like the Marion House in Colorado Springs. We have a 35 acre farm and since cannabis law prevents me from collecting most of my dad’s VA benefits or even going to veterinary or medical school (can’t test positive for THC and have a federal prescribers license), I had to find something I enjoy and I could do after high school. Right now, we make amazing soaps and shampoos that we sell nationwide online and in some retail stores. This summer (June), we are starting to sell our vegetables at farmers markets near Castle Rock, CO. I hope to expand my Patches of Hope program and OneLuv Organics products to every state someday.”
IF YOU LIVE IN A STATE THAT DOESN'T HAVE ACCESS TO CANNABIS AND MOST POLITICIANS WON'T HELP YOU, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T ADVOCATE FOR CANNABIS. INSTEAD, MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL ADVOCATE FOR 'BALLOT INITIATIVES' SO THE PEOPLE CAN DECIDE AND TAKE POWER BACK FROM THE GOVERNMENT.
Alexis has overcome and achieved so much and she does so with an admirable passion. Being part of a lawsuit against the federal government to allow access to her medicine for herself and the country is something she’s especially excited about. Alexis says she’s looking forward to, “Winning my lawsuit and having the same opportunities as anyone else if I work hard. Right now, I can’t. I can’t legally cross any state lines without committing a federal felony, so even with my business, I can’t travel so I’m limited. I can’t even go in a post office in legal states because it is federal property. It’s frustrating and makes my OneLuv Organics work harder because we ship soaps almost every day and I have to either hire or ask someone else to take them to the post office. Teachers say you can do anything if you work hard but for people like me, that’s not true. I don’t think the framers of the constitution would have ever agreed to create “medical refugees” when they wrote the constitution. That’s why I am researching Article V Convention of the States and have some current and former state legislators that are and will help me. Some in “non-legal” states even. I think if my lawsuit fails, Article V Convention of the States may be the only hope for freedom cannabis patients have.” Alexis understands there are so many people who do not have access to their medicine and recommends relocating to gain legal access. “If they are in Texas, I would recommend they move to Oklahoma. Seriously, I know it sounds terrible to have to pick up and move to another state just to be able to take necessary medication, but I think Texas leaders showed again this year that they believe in tyranny and not liberty. I think as long as Lt. Gov. Patrick and Gov. Abbott are in office, patients like me will never be Free. For everyone else, each state is different. If you live in a state that doesn’t have access to cannabis and most politicians won’t help you, maybe you shouldn’t
advocate for cannabis. Instead, maybe we should all advocate for ‘Ballot Initiatives’ so the people can decide and take power back from the government. That seems to get legislators attention more than asking for permission to get a plant. I’ve mostly lost faith in government and believe it is time to remind the government that our medical decisions and private life are NONE of their business.”
“CANNABIS ISN’T A CHOICE FOR ME, I NEED IT TO LIVE.” For those interested in learning more about cannabis medicine, Alexis recommends, “Find a doctor that will at least talk to you on the phone so you know what you are talking about. One of my doctors (Dr. Gedde) at Vibrant Healthcare used to do something like that and still might. I wouldn’t mention it to any doctor in an illegal state. I hear lots of stories about doctors and hospitals stabbing parents in the back and it’s sad.” Alexis is one of several plaintiffs in the Federal Cannabis Lawsuit against the federal government petitioning the rescheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 Drug. The lawsuit was filed against the Justice Department in 2017. Michael Hiller represents the Bortell family as well as the other plaintiffs. They include Sebastien Cotte, father of Jagger who needs cannabis medicine, Jose Belen, A united States Army Combat Veteran, Marvin Washington, former professional NFL player, and the Cannabis Cultural Association, which is a nonprofit. The Cannabis Cultural Association is based in New York who helps marginalized and underrepresented communities engage in the legal cannabis industry, emphasizing criminal justice re-
form, access to medical cannabis, and adult use legalization. Following the release that the Federal Appeals Court reinstated the complaint and declined the dismissal of the Federal Cannabis Lawsuit on May 30th, Hiller stated, “This case represents the first time in history that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act has survived dismissal.”
“This case, which we’ve been handling pro bono since its inception, has cost us over a million dollars to prosecute. And I wouldn’t take any of it back for a second. Some day, when the history is written on how the laws pertaining to cannabis changed, I’ll know that we were a part of something important that helped improve the lives of others. As a lawyer, I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
He told Grass Roots America Magazine, “That this is the most important legal battle in which I’ve been involved. Every day we work on this, we are reminded of how much is on the line. We are fighting for the rights of medical patients; fighting for principles of social justice and the hundreds of thousands of persons of color who have been wrongly incarcerated under the auspices of an unjust law; we are fighting for the personal freedom of millions of all Americans.”
We asked Alexis her thoughts about the lawsuit and recent announcement and here’s what she had to say. “This lawsuit may be my last chance federally except for my Article V work. If we lose in court I can’t really do anything with federal legislators because I can’t even go on federal property to lobby. And if I did, there would be a court ruling against me so if me or my parents could get arrested and we could potentially go to jail or my parents could be taken away from me and my sister. I want to be brave, but the thought of losing my parents or being separated from my sister scares me.”
“WITHOUT HIGHTHC PRODUCTS I WOULD NOT BE SEIZURE FREE.”
“AM I AFRAID THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL SAY I’M NOT EQUAL AND EVENTUALLY COME AFTER ME AND MY FAMILY? YES. I PRAY EVERY NIGHT THEY WON’T.”
“If we lose the Federal Cannabis Lawsuit, I would still focus on OneLuv Organics and try to build the best future for myself I can in Colorado. Like I said, life isn’t perfect. That is one lesson I have learned. Cannabis isn’t a choice for me, I need it to live, so I choose to fight with this lawsuit, and if the court says I’m not equal, I will prove them wrong by building a great company in Colorado that hires cannabis patients equally to non-cannabis patients. I’ll never test employees for cannabis at OneLuv Organics no matter what the law is.” “I don’t support legalization and I’ll explain why. Legalization assumes in America we have positive liberty. That means our liberties come from government and they get to tell us what we can do. That is not what the framers of our constitution believed in, and in my opinion, it is a terrible system. The framers believed in Negative liberty which means our liberties come from ourselves and our creator. I use the example of a person in a field that has hidden traps and they need to get out. Positive liberty would be the government putting the traps there and then if they think you should have it, giving you a map to get out safely. With negative liberty, the government stays off your private property and out of your private life, meaning there are no traps in your field and you don’t need a map or help to get out. It’s pretty simple, but I don’t think they teach this in most schools and I think they should. (see my 1hr interview on DC420LA on YouTube for a live explanation of this)” “Instead of legalization, I support the government removing cannabis laws and leaving us alone to make our own medical decisions and grow our own gardens. If someone wants to create a product that has THC and pharmaceuticals in it, like a painkiller with fever reducer to sell commercially, that should be regulated by the FDA, but that’s not even the question.” ‘The real question is: “Should the government be allowed to take your property, freedom, or your life because of a safe plant that some people need to live?”.’ We at Grass Roots America Magazine fully support the Bortell family, all the courageous plaintiffs in this federal lawsuit, and their diligent attorney Michael Hiller for taking a stand against our government in the name of freedom. Cannabis has the ability to make the world a better place for us all. This lawsuit against the government marks a significant time in our nation’s history as we move forward with the needed de-scheduling and legalization of cannabis. It shows first hand, if we can work together for what we believe in to make the change we want to see for our future, together, we will prevail. It takes several brave heroes to make a difference in this world, and Alexis Bortell is certainly one of those heroes. With that being said, we’d like to end on the brave words Alexis gave as a response to the real question she asked previously. “Should the government be allowed to take your property, freedom, or your life because of a safe plant that some people need to live?” “I believe the answer is “no” and that the framers of the constitution would have agreed with me. Am I afraid the federal government will say I’m not equal and eventually come after me and my family? Yes. I pray every night they won’t.” - Alexis Bortell
OneLuv-Organics.myshopify.com GRAM is presenting this article unedited. We did not change anything in the quotes supplied for this article. Only very minor edits were made to the additional content.
“IF WE CAN WORK TOGETHER FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN TO MAKE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE FOR OUR FUTURE, TOGETHER, WE WILL PREVAIL.” 32
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BY ANTONIO DEROSE
In addition to focusing on the science behind how cannabis has been shown to benefit children with many conditions, one of the goals of this issue is to provide in-depth and relatable context to parents. Even parents who have children without conditions can relate to what it’s like wanting nothing but happiness for our kids and can understand the heartbreak other parents go through when they see their children struggle. Families who endure these struggles deserve to know they’re not alone, and we’re very proud to introduce you to Ashley Davis Markum, who is the founder of Missouri NFP, Ayden’s Alliance. She’s here to share the story of her son Ayden, who has seen success in treating his cerebral palsy and epilepsy with the use of CBD oil, and she offers advice to parents considering cannabis therapies. GRAM Tell us a little about how you got to where you are now. ASHLEY Gosh that is a long story, but I will try to shorten it! When Ayden was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and a rare form of Epilepsy. Being born 14 weeks too early, we knew he would likely have some delays, but we were not prepared for the challenges that we were about to face. We started right away with seizure medications because we were told if we didn’t get them under control, the prognosis was grim. Medication after medication—not only didn’t help with seizure control—they caused horrible side effects, some we are still dealing with today. After failing multiple medications, we started looking into alternative therapies, and that is when we came across CBD oil. Thankfully Ayden’s neurologist was supportive as long as we got Ayden a Hemp Card. At that time, the Hemp Card program was the only thing available, and it was only for patients with uncontrolled epilepsy. After starting the oil, we discovered the Amendment 2 campaign and got involved right away. GRAM If you don’t mind sharing, what have been some of your biggest struggles as a parent, either emotionally, financially, etc. that you’ve had to endure? ASHLEY Being a parent is hard. Being a Special Needs parent to a significantly involved child is next level hard. It’s more than being physically tired, it’s soul exhaustion. From the big things like recovering from surgeries, to the little things like mornings when you’re thankful the day hasn’t started with Ayden crying in pain from muscle spasms, but you also panic inside from the quiet because Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy is a real thing and a constant worry. GRAM Were there any struggles in your daily life because you chose to treat Ayden with cannabis? ASHLEY When we first started Ayden on this therapy, nobody knew what CBD even was. Now you see CBD on every corner. I think the fear was the biggest thing. We didn’t tell many to begin with because it was still such a taboo topic. I worried a lot if the wrong person was going to find out and what would happen. GRAM How did family and friends react to this treatment? ASHLEY We didn’t tell a whole lot of people to begin with. The family that did know were very supportive. My mom even helped us get Ayden’s first bottle of oil. GRAM Did you receive any encouragement or support in your journey? Where and when? ASHLEY After getting involved with the Amendment 2 campaign, we couldn’t hide it anymore that we were giving Ayden oil. Surprisingly most of our friends and family were very supportive. Most of our church even signed petitions both times we ran the campaign. My mindset has now changed to “Of course, why wouldn’t the people that love us sign it?” but back then, when we first started out, the fear was very real. I think seeing Ayden benefit so much from the oil was enough for even the doubters in our circle to become supportive. I will say the cannabis community has been one of the most caring and helpful groups we have ever been involved with. Even fellow patients that had little to give, have blessed our family immensely.
GRAM Is there help or resources you recommend for other parents? ASHLEY We started our non-profit, Ayden’s Alliance, to help Missouri patient families, financially and with educational support. Surprisingly social media groups have been great, not only for cannabis support, but for the unique challenges we face as special needs families. GRAM What are some ways people could help a family going through similar circumstances? ASHLEY Just be there. Listen, reach out and just love on them. If you see a need that you could help with, just do it. Don’t wait for us to ask for help, because most of the time, we won’t. GRAM What would you tell other parents considering cannabis as an option for their child? ASHLEY Gather all the information you can, and talk with other families that have been using cannabis for their children. Most of us have learned from other parents. Knowing what has worked for children similar to yours is a great place to start. And don’t get discouraged if one or two things do not help. There are so many cannabinoid options, and sometimes it takes trying several strains or even strain combos to see some positive results.
Rylie Maedler BY HEATHER DEROSE
The Grass Roots America Magazine Team attended the Cannabis Science Conference in Baltimore, Maryland earlier this year and saw Rylie Maedler take the stage as the Keynote Speaker on the Medical Cannabis Track. Rylie is accomplishing her goals and changing the world and laws, all while being a teenager and the CEO of her own cannabis oil company and foundation. She is an awe-inspiring activist and cannabis patient living in Delaware. She’s on a mission to share her story with the value of helping others benefit from cannabis legally. Rylie is in 7th grade and has been
using cannabis since she was just 7 years old, first trying it in 2013. We spoke with Rylie and her mother, Janie, about their journey with cannabis, how it has impacted and transformed their lives, and how it has empowered them to share their story in pursuit of their mission to improve the lives of others around the world.
“I was diagnosed with bone tumors in October of 2013, after my family started noticing that my face was looking strange and uneven. My teeth also were very loose.” Rylie said. “It took a long time to get an exact diagnosis. After many scary weeks, we finally got a diagnosis of Aggressive Giant Cell Granuloma (AGCG) and then the tumor team began planning what to do.” She was just 7 years old when she was diagnosed with life-threatening bone tumors. The extremely rare disease behaves similarly to bone cancer and causes tumors to destroy bones. “My mom had been looking into cannabis oils to help me with the tumors and decided there were no bad side effects and that she wanted me to have the best outcome.” Rylie had
surgery on her tumors and developed a severe seizure disorder ten days later. “I had a follow up MRI in December where we learned how much tumor was left behind. The normal treatment at this point for AGCG is chemotherapy or immunotherapy, but we were thankfully given a chance to watch and wait. I would start treatment once the tumor started to grow again.” Rylie’s mother, Janie Maedler, began cannabis treatment after Rylie’s MRI scan. “Right away, we noticed that my pain and inflammation got better.” She also saw improvement with her seizures. “I had regular MRI’s, and each time, the tumor left behind was shrinking, and my facial bones were regenerating at a quick rate. I ended up not needing any reconstructive surgery or dental implants as expected.” She is the only recorded AGCG patient in the world to have her bones grow back.
TODAY, RYLIE’S TUMORS ARE STABLE AND WE’RE SO THANKFUL TO HEAR HOW HER HEALTH HAS IMPROVED WITH CANNABIS MEDICINE. 37
Rylie, now a teenager, continues to share her story and advocate for those in need. She says, “My parents told me that if I did everything the doctors and nurses asked of me that they’d give me anything, within reason, that I wanted. As time went along and I made more friends with sick kids I started noticing things that were needed. I felt sad that a couple of other little kids died, and I was getting better every day. I knew my medicine was different and not available legally, but it was hard to talk to parents about this. I told my parents exactly one year after my diagnosis that I knew what I wanted: a way to help kids as much as possible. They said yes! I started off speaking at Rotaries and small groups about the lack of pediatric research for cancer and rare diseases. I wanted a way to meet families and bring joy to kids, so I gave away iPods! I also decided that I wanted to make my medicine legal for other kids to help their quality of life. I came out in the public to a Delaware Senator and our DEA. I begged them to help us make it legal for pediatrics.”
“I KNEW WHAT I WANTED: A WAY TO HELP KIDS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. “ Rylie’s Smile Foundation, her 501c3, became official in February of 2015. Rylie’s Smile Foundation is, “Focused on bringing the smiles back to sick children and their families by helping them achieve a better quality of life. We do this through providing health education, technology devices, advocating for more treatment options for seriously sick children and supporting research of less toxic therapies. When we know better we can do better for our children. As the foundation grows, we are looking forward to making a great impact in children’s lives globally.” Rylie fought for other children to be allowed to benefit from cannabis, and Rylie’s Law passed 3 months later. Rylie’s Law allows children to use cannabis oils for medicinal reasons in Delaware. She also passed for allowance on school property and autism as a qualifying condition in her home state of Delaware. In 2017, she founded Rylie’s Sunshine in order to research and develop cannabis treatments for overlooked targets. Their focus is to supply quality, medicinal, whole plant botanical oil to those looking for relief. All of her accomplishments have fueled Rylie’s passion to continue her mission. “I’m super excited about going to countries and areas where this is completely new to them and helping to encourage them in their medical cannabis policies. I am looking forward to working on legislation concerning our schools antidrug program. I’m excited to grow my business to the point that we can give needed products to families who are facing sad sicknesses with their kids.” From Rylie’s diagnosis to her creating her own companies and changing laws, she is on a mission to improve the lives of others around the world. Being a teenager is tough, but publicly coming out of the green closet to a U.S. Senator and the DEA is tough too! From such a young age, Rylie has proven to be a powerful patient advocate and activist, despite fighting for her own health
and wellness. We deeply appreciate and applaud her and her team’s work to help families around the world!
the cause of her seizures. They moved on and found a doctor who worked with them and their medical choices.
On this mission alongside Rylie is her mother Janie. Janie started her mission to treat her child and give her the best quality of life she possibly could.
For those looking for resources, Janie says, “I found that taking as many classes as possible helps! Cannabis Clinicians, healer.com, and even pubmed.com are great resources.” Janie says, “My family has found the most help by going to conferences and speaking to researchers in person. We are so thankful for Janie’s continued advocacy work and support for her daughter, Rylie. Janie’s message to other parents considering cannabis medicine is, “If what you’re looking for is for your child to live a better quality of life, cannabis is a great option. We have seen many kids with severely debilitating illnesses go on to lead productive happy lives after starting cannabis therapy.”
Treating a child with cannabis can be challenging for some parents. Rylie’s mother, Janie Maedler, explains, “In 2013, the challenges were very different than they are now. Just six years ago, it was harder to find CBD, especially CBD that was tested. Today, it’s a staple in dispensaries! I would say the biggest challenges are finding consistent products each time you need to purchase, transparency with the labels’ information since these are products given to your child daily, they must be fully lab tested.” Another challenge is finding a doctor who knows the truth about cannabis and its benefits. The family was working with a neurologist who claimed that Rylie must be addicted to cannabis and was
Rylie’s Smile Foundation also provides consulting to help families make choices concerning cannabis therapy.
There are several ways to support Rylie’s Smile Foundation. Sharing and supporting on social media platforms, as well as sponsoring, shopping, and donating to the foundation will help share her message and efforts to help those in need. The laws are changing, but until everyone has safe and legal access, sharing and supporting is key. It’s so inspiring to see such an empowered young lady stand up for what’s right and work so hard to make the changes needed for those all around the world.
BY ANTONIO DEROSE
In our mission to provide the best references and resources in science and research, we are also dedicated to delivering the real-life stories of individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by cannabis. We recently connected with Tracy Ryan, who is a passionate advocate, entrepreneur, and parent. Some of you may recognize Tracy and her daughter Sophie from the recently-released film documentary, Weed The People, which is now available on Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, and Vudu. The film follows several families with children whose lives are impacted by cannabis, including Tracy’s daughter Sophie, who was diagnosed with an Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor at just 8 1/2 months old. The doctors said the tumor would cause Sophie to go blind in her left eye, and she would eventually lose sight in her right eye as well. Then, with the help of cannabis oil, the tumor shrunk, and her vision was saved. This ending may be a happy one, but as with most families who struggle through similar circumstances, it was not an easy road for the family to begin cannabis treatment. With that being said, we are honored to share the experience Tracy and her family went through to save Sophie, and create both CannaKids and SavingSophie.org to make a difference in the world.
In your own words can you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are now? Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely been a lot of hard work. Blood, sweat, and tears. I really built CannaKids with next to no money. We’re lucky enough to be closing some funding now, but we really have done this, just out of true desire passion and grit with my daughter being diagnosed with a tumor when she was 8 1/2 months old. It was really difficult for me to learn that there was basically no research being done for pediatric cancer and that only two drugs had come to market in the last 30 years. Only 2.8 percent of all government funding even goes to pediatric cancer research so these children are using medicine that not only is extraordinarily toxic, in many situations, it causes future issues like secondary cancers that are more aggressive and more deadly, also organ damage, addictive behaviors to opioids because the pain is so severe, and so on. I just knew I wasn’t going to settle for that, and I didn’t know how I was going to help my daughter, but I knew I had to do something extreme since no one else really seemed to care about these children. From a research standpoint and with these type of tumors, because it’s 85 percent or 90 percent survival rate traditionally, it’s also an 85 percent recurrence rate, so six years later, she’s still on chemotherapy, and we’ve got patients that have been on chemo with this type of tumor for up to 13 years, but there’s zero research being done on this tumor because it’s considered survivable. So, there was really no hope for my daughter except to take the path that Western medicine had available to her in hopes that at some point this tumor is going to stop messing with her. And that’s really what started all this. And it’s been through a lot of networking, advocacy, public speaking, and throwing events while aligning ourselves with politicians, celebrities, research scientists, and medical professionals that’s really helped us carve out the path that we are now walking down. It’s a very exciting one, and it’s one I never anticipated I would be on, but I’m thrilled to be participating in because the research we’re now doing due to Sophie being so successful with her treatments and also me being so desperate to find her better options. It’s led us down a path to where we now have 14 of our patients enrolled, or we’re studying the blood of patients who consume cannabis and looking at this from an immunotherapy standpoint, and my research scientist and I are going to be filing over 100 pages worth of
patentable cancer findings here in just the next couple of weeks that we’ve been able to discover over the last year, which is extremely fast for research. So, we’re very excited about that, and we are placing an order for more synthetic cannabinoids that we can get into the lab. We don’t have to use this schedule one license since we’re still in the process of trying to piggyback onto another license that someone holds at the university where this research is being done, but what we’re finding (just with the synthetics right now) is already absolutely groundbreaking and we know it’s going to continue to lead us to some really profound findings that we do believe will help us come up with novel drugs for cancer patients and not just one cancer but many cancers that are non-toxic and that’s really the goal. So that’s kind of the long and the short of it. Just pure desire, a little bit of luck—if you will—and a whole lot of hard work.
That’s phenomenal. Thank you for focusing on the research. It’s definitely something that always gets brought up is that there isn’t enough even though there is so much, so the more, the better.
Sure absolutely. We just need more in pediatrics because there’s some real profound things we’re seeing currently, and it is extremely exciting. The main goal for my scientist and myself in life is truly to help people. That’s all she cares about. That’s all I care about. And after her witnessing some of the things she’s seen in our cancer patients, she is now more excited than ever that we’re doing is going to be able to help patients of all ages with all disease types in this field shortly. We think this research is going to be very quick.
If you don’t mind sharing, what have been some of your biggest struggles as a parent either emotionally, financially, etc. that you’ve had to endure during this process?
Well, the emotional struggle has been a pretty profound one. We were very blessed and lucky at the very beginning of our journey when Sophie was the sickest she’s ever been. And we were the poorest we’ve ever been. Stephen Amell from the TV show Green Arrow did a Facebook campaign for us, and it was the first one he ever did on social media for a cancer family. It was a Monday, and I didn’t know how it was going to pay my rent on Friday. Plus, we were over $90,000 in debt with all of the medical bills that had been piling up and putting money on credit cards just trying to survive and all the
medicine that we were using for Sophie was just really bad and for middle income families which we were there really isn’t any help. We didn’t qualify for Medicaid and there were no financial services out there for people like us. You have to be really really broke and your tax returns had to be really pitiful in order to get support from most charities. We’ve been lucky to find a couple that really do cater to more middle income families. But Stephen, in two-weeks-time, raised us $95,000. And unfortunately, we didn’t keep much of that because we paid off all of our bills. It saved us from bankruptcy to allow us to really go down this path of CannaKids and Saving Sophie which has now become this really incredible movement that we’re a part of. But it’s been a real struggle, and I mean to this day we’re struggling, and as you know—as I mentioned a minute ago—we’re working on closing a really great round of funding, and we’re almost done. But between Sophie’s doctor’s appointments and hospital stays and now legalization has happened in the cannabis industry since 2018 which has been detrimental to so many brands because of the way the laws were structured including ours, to just the overall emotional roller coaster that we’ve been on for six solid years. I mean it’s not for the weak of heart. I will tell you that, and my husband and I both have had to do a lot of work on ourselves. It really affected our marriage in a very negative way, for about a good four and a half years, because when you have a sick kid you know you lose a lot of your friends. They don’t want to be around you because you’re no fun anymore. You’re the fun couple with the cute kid. Now you’re the sad couple who’s always in the hospital and really needing support and so most cancer parents lose a lot of their friends when this happens. You don’t have any money or you know you’re looking at a child that is just riddled with pain and vomiting and diarrhea and losing hair.
“IT’S NOT FOR THE WEAK OF HEART” So, the first person that you take it out on is your spouse. And it really caused a lot of distance between us for a while, and it was sad because we were such a happy couple when we had Sophie. We’ve really had to do a lot of work on ourselves, and we have. It’s really been quite profound over the last year-year and a half how we’ve both evolved, and we’ve evolved together. And I’m happy to say that we’re happier today than we’ve ever been. But it has been a real struggle to get here. 85% of all families who have a sick child end in divorce and only 15% of us actually stay married. That tells you how high the divorce rate is for couples like us. So, it’s been exhausting. It’s been heartbreaking, but there have also been so many wonderful beautiful things that have come from such a terrible situation. And my family and I really truly believe that this was just why we’re here. We believe that we’re here to suffer a little bit more than the rest, but to also use that suffering for good, and to continue to evolve our understanding of this plant, Western medicine, research, and patient care, so that we can take our individual struggles and help millions of people around the world not have to go through what we’ve had to go through
You mentioned part of the struggle was that you didn’t have anywhere to turn being in that situation. Are there any help or resources that you recommend for other parents?
The BumbleBee Foundation has been a really wonderful charity that’s local here in Los Angeles. They are a couple who lost their son to cancer, and they, too, were a middle income family, and they also saw there was just no help out there for parents who are used to making pretty good money. We were by no means rich, but we were by no means poor, and they have been so gracious and kind to us and wonderful. We’ve really been working very closely with them for a long time. Create A Smile is also another incredible charity that we’ve continued to work with and be friends with. They came in when Sophie was little and was having to be home schooled, and built out a whole little work center area for her, a little school zone in her bedroom so that she had somewhere to do her lessons with her teacher so she didn’t have to sit in the floor and do her work. They’ve been wonderful. Team Lilly Bumpus has also been gracious and kind over the years. Every holiday, they send care packages to the kiddos; Christmas, Easter, Halloween. We’re always getting these really great care packages stuffed full with gifts and Make A Wish has also been incredible. It’s then since Sophie was three where she had her make a wish, and man did they take good care of us. They were absolutely incredible.
Phenomenal organization and I highly recommend anyone that has the means to donate to their cause, because they really do a lot for families like us who just need a break. We need to unwind and disconnect and we need to do so in a fashion that works for us and works for our kid because you know it can be a roller coaster as to whether or not she’s healthy or sick. Can you tell us more about Sophie’s Make a Wish? Yeah it was an awesome trip. We got to go to Florida and stay at this resort called Give Kids the World run by all volunteers, and it’s strictly for children who have severe and terminal diseases, and it’s literally like Willy Wonka wonderland. Even the little houses you stay in are just so adorable and colorful, and they bring all the Disney characters, and they’ve got these little carts that come around at night that are driven around the streets with hot chocolate chip cookies and milk, and they do tuck in with the characters, and they’ve got a theme park. It’s just so amazing and then they you know they gave us tickets to all the amusement parks, every single one of them, spending money on t-shirts, airfare, limo service. It was really wonderful, and it was really something at the time that we really needed, and it really helped us.
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One of the other things you mentioned was the losing friends. What are some ways people could help a family going through similar circumstances?
You know, at the end of the day, me as a mom and as an individual, of course this is my opinion, about you know what my journey has been like. I don’t really need someone to feel sorry for me and do the woe is me and pat me on the back and say “There there; everything’s going to be okay.” Because at the end of the day reality is reality. Either it’s gonna be okay or it’s not going to be okay, and I don’t need someone to constantly remind me that you know everything’s gonna work out. I believe it’s gonna work out. But you just never know until you know although I’m 100% confident that Sophie is going to outlive all of us, as are her doctors. I need somebody just to be a friend. I need somebody that wants to just call and chat and get caught up on what’s going on in life. and how are we doing, do we want to go see a movie sometime or do we need somebody to come over and watch Sophie for a couple hours so we can go out and have a date and have couple time? My husband and I haven’t had a date in probably 9 or 10 months, maybe longer, and also oddly enough I really want, because of the type of person I am, I like it when people call me with their problems, and they need my help with figuring out how to navigate their lives, because then it helps me not feel so alone like I’m
the only one in the world that has these horrible issues. And it also takes my mind off of what I’m doing and allows me to give back and be of service to other people which also (for someone like me) is very therapeutic. We just need people to be people. We’ve never needed somebody to bring us meals every night, give us money, or come over and let us cry on their shoulders. We have family members that can be there for us and can do that. We just don’t wanna be left alone. We don’t want to be abandoned. We want to feel like the people that have been in our lives for a long time actually care enough to continue to stay there whether or not we’re going to be able to go out on the weekends with them and go out and have a drink here and there because we just don’t. We don’t have time for that nor do we really have the desire, but a phone call is great. And it’s just, for whatever reason, people aren’t always as kind hearted as what you would expect them to be. It’s a pretty sad circumstance.
“I NEED SOMEBODY JUST TO BE A FRIEND.” 45
What would you tell other parents considering cannabis as an option for their children? I always say if the world can jump into my head for five minutes and know what I know and see what I’ve seen no one would question whether or not this plant needs to be legalized. They just wouldn’t. They wouldn’t question it. I mean it’s absolutely and completely profound, what we have seen with the thousands and thousands and thousands of patients that we’ve worked with. We just had a little girl who has autism. Her mom sent as an email, the day before yesterday, and this is a little girl who was very autistic with very bad behavioral disorders in school and was just really struggling and having a hard time. We got her on our THC Full Spectrum Protocol and she has done so well that there were three students out of the whole school that were recognized for outstanding achievement and she won the most improved student award just a few days ago and got a certificate. And that’s on the regular whether it’s autism, ADD and ADHD patients, we help way more than we don’t. We’ve got a very high success rate with that condition. With cancer, I can tell you firsthand from a research standpoint, from doing hard cancer research with one of the world’s leading immunologist cancer scientists who has been in the field of cancer for 30 years, I can tell you firsthand that we now see the profound and positive impact that cannabis is having on the immune system. I intend on proving that every person on the face of this planet should be consuming CBD every day of their lives. We’re working to find out how important the role of THC is. I personally believe there needs to be a little bit of THC in everything, but I want to find out what the role is of using high THC. I can also tell you firsthand that if you know how to dose you can keep from ever getting high. I take 45 milligrams of THC at night and I feel next to nothing, because I’ve slowly over the last year, built up a tolerance so I could be at a higher dose. It helps me with the inflammation and the arthritis that I’ve had in my body in the past, helps me with sleep, helps me with immune system stimulation, and just overall stress and anxiety, and also blocks my nightmares that I tend to have when I don’t have my cannabis. I have had x-rays recently and the arthritis that I used to have in my body is now gone, and my chiropractor cannot explain it because my spine twisted and has been more than likely since birth that I have. I’ve got a slight curvature in my spine not necessarily like severe scoliosis, but I should have a lot more issues than what I have right now.
“I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THERE NEEDS TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF THC IN EVERYTHING” There was a study recently that came out that showed that cannabis is literally reversing arthritis, and I’m living proof of that. I’ve seen it on my own scans and with these other children who have seizures. You take my kid off of cannabis, and she’ll have ten seizures in two days.
You put her back on and she’ll have one or two a month. And we see that with children. I’m not gonna say every single child has that much success, but they traditionally have way more success with candidates than they do with the pharmaceutical therapeutics that are available to them today in the observational studies we’ve done and the anecdotal data tracking that we do. That’s just a few of the types of diseases. We’ve treated hundreds of different kinds of diseases, and I’ve even seen reporting in the past that leads to the fact that cannabis can actually work for over 500 different ailments and diseases— from being an anti-inflammatory, to a sleep aid, to a painkiller, all the way to a cancer preventative, a cancer killer, and everything in between. So now, with the research we’re doing, we are starting to understand why that too is the case. Why is it that we have this one plant that’s helping with so many things? What is that mechanism of action? What is it that is taking place in the body that’s allowing the body’s immune system to auto correct itself and fix the diseases in them, and what’s broken within their body with just this one medicine? We are very close to being ready to file that patent ,and as soon as it is accepted and our data is protected, we’re going to be communicating those results quite vocally.
Is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t covered or that you would like to bring attention to? Sure. You know a lot of the things that we’re doing on the research side, we’re able to afford through philanthropic donations from individuals who really believe in this cause, who have disposable income that they want to put towards participating in this research to a tax deductible donation. We really need to continue raising more and more money that way. Right now, the next set of trials that we need to do that we believe are going to result in some of the most important findings the community has seen in the world of cancer, are going to cost us about $230,000. We are going to be doing an event the Friday before Thanksgiving on November 22nd. We also have the ability for people to go to SavingSophie. org and make direct donations there. We really want to ask the community to pitch in and help, whether it’s $5, $5000, or, $500,000. Every dollar helps us get one step closer to being able to really provide incredibly powerful medicine that isn’t going to brutalize these patients the way [traditional medicine] has in the past. So that’s really the one message we always tend to put out there, is that if you are willing to support us please do, because we really need the financial help to keep these trials moving and moving swiftly. The other thing that I’d like to say is that for patients out there who are looking for support, who are still on the fence about cannabis, and who just in general don’t know how to navigate this very complex medicine, where there’s a million different options and all
different types of dosing possibilities. We have nurses that you can call, you can book a phone call with, and through that phone call we will first do a full medical intake; we’ll give you paperwork you can fill out on your iPhone or on your computer digitally, and our nurse will review that medical information. After reviewing it she will customize the dosing protocols specifically for that patient, recommend products to take for that ailment, and then also how to titrate that medicine in a way that keeps them from becoming psychoactive because it’s really our goal here to get patients well, not high. And that’s a really amazing opportunity that we have available to patients that most brands don’t offer. And I can tell you firsthand, it is a very difficult medicine to navigate, because again there’s just so many different ways that you can take it, potencies, formulations, cannabinoid compounds, and so forth. We try to make it as easy as possible, while also really treating this like a medicine from a scientific standpoint based on years of research and anecdotal evidence.
“THE MAIN GOAL FOR MY SCIENTIST AND MYSELF IN LIFE IS TRULY TO HELP PEOPLE.” 47
BY BRIAN HOUCK
The brothers Kole and Kyle Trent from Nugtopia are a force to be reckoned with. Kyle, the older brother is 25 years old and handles the business side of things allowing Kole, 23, to focus solely on his art. The trent brothers grew up with paintings by Michael Goddard in their childhood home. Goddard is an artist who would bring to life olives from martini glasses, giving them arms and legs and have them moving all over his pieces. Kole drew inspiration from Goddard and would later do for the cannabis flower what Goddard did to the olives. Kole is all self-taught and has been a gifted artist from a young age. This dates back to his senior year of high school when he started painting the bottom of his surfboards, which his friends would see and and ask Kole to do theirs. Kyle, recalled that his brothers paintings were, “well above where someone should be that has no formal training.” Kole talked his parents into letting him pursue art during a semester break before he was supposed to start studying nursing. As his brother Kyle remembers, “he did a bunch of shows, a bunch of different events around the state, and within that six months he did well enough that he could open up his first gallery.” About three years ago, their mother Patricia had been diagnosed with benign nodules in her breast tissue. She went to Colorado to receive medical cannabis treatment and when she came back to Florida for the surgery to remove the nodules the surgeons couldn’t find the tumors at all. The two nodules had been reduced to the size of, “grains of sand.” “Thats really where it had all derived from, was our mother and her journey through that and Kole wanted to continue to help people like our mother was helped, just the way that he can.”
Kyle Trent explained his brother Kole, “wanted to take the taboo out of the industry because of how it affected our family and helped our mother.” The only way he knew how to do that was through his artwork. Kole painted a piece called “OG Kush” which turned out to be the genesis of his work bringing the flower of cannabis to life. Kole created a whole line of cannabis characters with different looks and personalities to go along with their individual strain. He also paints his characters in different scenes like his painting Maui Waui’s Luau, in which all of his cannabis characters are on the beach surrounded by palm trees having a Luau. Kyle’s favorite piece is one that Kole had painted him after his dog, a Bishon Frise named Snoopy, passed away. It depicts that classic Snoopy the dog cartoon character, in cannabis form of course, laying on top of his dog house looking to the sky surrounded by a galaxy scene. All of Kole’s paintings are three-dimensional. They may not physically pop off the canvas but the layering of acrylic paint that Kole uses make his pieces come to life when you put on threedimensional-glasses. Kole does most of his work on canvas but recently he has expanded to much larger surfaces. Kole has been commissioned by the City of Cocoa Beach to paint six murals across the town as part of the Cocoa Beach Mural Project. In the future, the Trent brothers are looking to expand Nugtopia to reach as many people as they can by breaking the stigma and helping people to see cannabis in a different light so others can be helped just like their mother. You can find Nugtopia’s work online at nugtopia.net, on their Instagram @Nugtopiaart, or at their galley in Cocoa Beach.
Alice in Wonderland
LAURIE STARR BY BRIAN HOUCK
K EEPI NG CA N NA BIS CL ASSY If Laurie Starr looks familiar, it might be because the California-based cannabis model graced the cover of our spring issue. Her goal during the two years she has been modeling online and in print: To shift the imagery of cannabis culture. Starr chose cannabis modeling after viewing a provocative photo on Instagram of a woman on her knees, wearing marijuana leaf thong underwear, with cash on her back and paraphernalia scattered around her. She knew the depiction didn’t represent the people in her life who used cannabis. “This is not at all what anyone that I know experiences when it comes to weed,” Starr said. When she works with cannabis, Starr aims to portray classy and classic images. Online at LaurieStar.com, Starr displays a series which reproduces classic cigarette ads such as the Marlboro Man, swapping cannabis for tobacco. She wants cannabis to be as socially acceptable as tobacco products were only a few decades ago. To promote that point, she recreated a picture of movie star Audrey Hepburn smoking a cigarette from a long filter. Starr put on the dress, the necklace, and the earrings, but held a foot-long joint between her fingers instead of a cigarette. A recent photo shoot for this magazine featured Starr recreating a classic Florida orange juice ad mimicking a similar campaign by singer Anita Bryant in an orange grove. (At one time, Bryant was a spokeswoman for Florida orange juice.) Starr was excited about the shoot, but later was shocked to learn that Bryant was an outspoken opponent to gay rights in Florida during the 1970s. Starr believes in inclusion and knew the shoot couldn’t proceed without something changing. Starr’s solution? Be pied in the face to “make sure that we were representing the LGBTQ community in the proper way” she said. Starr was “super-stoked” that the magazine was “adamant about following through with keeping everything on the positive side of equality.” She noted that since the cannabis industry is fighting for equal rights, it’s nice to know the industry is providing mutual support to others. Based in Mendocino, CA, it’s difficult for Starr to do acting jobs, but she’s looking to shape cannabis perception in that industry as well. She is hoping to do informative pieces demystifying cannabis for new patients and showing them how to use and receive benefits from the plant. “There are people out there who don’t have information who should have information,” Starr stated. “There just needs to be a real huge social and soulful mindset change as to how cannabis is interpreted, whether that be recreationally or medicinally” she said. “My ultimate goal is to help make sure that cannabis remains classy.” You can find more of Starr’s work on her website or on Instagram @Cannastarr. You can also follow the hashtag #KeepCannabisClassy.
PHOTOGRAPHER/EDITOR: STEVE RITCHIE
Erik Pflueger has always been artistic; “It may very well go back to the crib,” he recalls. He notes that it was vital for him to start expressing his artistic side at a young age, even if that is not the path for all artists. Pflueger started a graphic design firm straight out of college called Cygnus Arts; a firm which does architectural renderings, graphic design, and fine art. His deep and detailed artwork did not come about overnight, however, “It takes a lifetime to get there to begin with.” Pflueger lives with autism and has personally had cannabis impact him in a positive way. He does not derive inspiration from cannabis in his art but he does recognize that the style of his art can be easily admired by the cannabis community. In his work he brings real-life elements into non-reality. By using real-life effects, Pflueger notes that, “One little nod to reality helps sell the non-reality.” We also talked about how an artist’s personality is in some way represented in their artwork, and Pflueger is no exception to that idea. He is an intelligent man and the priority he places on details are reflected in pieces such as “Relativity,” one of his favorite pieces that depicts a cosmic scape surrounded by a futuristic frame. “It’s not always the message but capturing attention,” Pflueger understands that people today have short attention spans, and, if a painting cannot capture its viewer’s attention quickly, one may bypass the work altogether. He uses visually striking images and strong colors to draw the viewer in and then keep them there with profound imagery and stunning detail. FGRM
James Joyce’s concept of aesthetic arrest is what Pflueger aims to emulate in his work. “It’s supposed to neither make you want the object represented or not want it, it’s just meant to hold you in place and be fascinated by it.” Most of Pflueger’s works are about the size of a record album, but for his latest piece, he is working on a roughly four-foot-tall canvas. The painting is called “The Force” and will depict the interconnected relationship between the living force and the cosmic force. He chose to do such a large piece to challenge himself, dipping his toe in the water to see if he can translate his work from a smaller surface to one that is almost four times its usual size. When asked if there was anything he wished to pass on to our readers, Pflueger shared two quotes that have had a great impact on him. The first is a quote from Joseph Campbell who said, “Follow your bliss.” The second was imparted to him from actor/comedian Kevin Smith who shared the philosophy of asking yourself why not, instead of asking yourself why. These quotes showed Pflueger that he should love the work he does and do the work he loves, and he hopes everyone does the same.
BY HEATHER DEROSE
Autism, also referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex neurodevelopment disorder characterized by a diverse range of conditions, including challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. These symptoms affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States are affected by the disorder and more than 70 million people worldwide. ASD occurrence among boys is four times more than girls and occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Children with autism typically express indicators by age 2 or 3. There’s a wide range of factors that may influence the development of the disorder: gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and attention issues. There is no defined standard medical approach to treat the condition, and growing research and anecdotal evidence suggest cannabis may help, which has parents interested in trying cannabis therapy for their children.
1 IN 59 CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES ARE AFFECTED Among the parents seeing positive results with cannabis use and their children is Adam Meredith. Adam is the father of Adyson and AJ who live in Missouri. Adyson was diagnosed with ADS when she was 3 years old. In his own words, Adam has, “Personally been a long-time consumer of cannabis and have incorporated it into my protocol as a professional MMA fighter, so I already knew first hand of its potential benefits.” He first started adding hemp foods into his daughter’s diet when she was 5 and added full spectrum CBD when she was 7 years old. “I began incorporating cannabis foods into her diet at first in the form of hemp seeds.” He also added CBD to her food and started giving her the drops directly. In addition, the family provided early childhood education for her speech and language development as well as social skills. “It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing because we take a very holistic approach to health by incorporating many
healthy behaviors, but since implementing cannabis products into Adyson’s regular routine, we have certainly seen improvements with her rest and mood. I often give CBD to Adyson before bed because it aids in giving her a restful night sleep which is essential to everyone’s health.” Adam also says, “I highly recommend parents of all children—on and off of the spectrum—to incorporate cannabis products, whether that’s hemp seeds or CBD drops; everyone can benefit.” Several states allow the use of cannabis for those with autism. After years of talking with legislatures, Colorado has added Autism Spectrum Disorder to the list qualifying conditions. The study “Real Life Experience of Medical Cannabis Treatment in Autism; Analysis of Safety and Efficacy” followed 188 ASD patients over six months, 156 of the patients were under the age of 18. There’s more to learn about cannabis
treatment in children, but the study concludes, “Cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders patients appears to be well-tolerated, safe and seemingly effective option to relieve symptoms, mainly: seizures, tics, depression, restlessness and rage attacks.” Another study led by Dr. Adi Aran, director of the pediatric neurology unit in Jerusalem, found cannabis treatment with high concentrated CBD improved the condition for 80% of the children. The study consisted of 60 children whose condition was not improved with conventional therapies. Both children on the spectrum and parents are finding natural symptom relief for their families. With more research and anecdotal evidence, more and more families are treating symptoms with cannabis. Among those providing education and community for autism is Autism Speaks. The organization hosted its first scientific leadership conference on cannabis and autism late last year in New York City. The conference focused on research into the safety and potential benefits of cannabis therapies for autism and its associ-
ated medical conditions. Other members of the community shared their personal experiences, hoping to further research. Families interested can support ongoing autism and cannabis studies with Autism Speaks. There are other organizations like the Realm of Caring in Colorado that work with hospitals, doctors, and researchers to stay at the forefront of cannabis science and offer education to the general public and healthcare practitioners. There are only a few FDA-approved medications for managing ADS symptoms. These approved drugs are only prescribed for irritability in autism and do not address other symptoms of the condition. They also come with the horrifying black box warnings indicating death as a possible side effect. These possibly fatal side-effect warnings have many parents electing cannabis therapy for their children and seeing improvements. As cannabis becomes legal across the globe, research is confirming it as a helpful, natural alternative to improve patients’ quality of life without the risks of medications typically prescribed in traditional treatment plans.
CANNABIS AS A TREATMENT FOR ADS PATIENTS APPEARS TO BE WELL-TOLERATED, SAFE AND SEEMINGLY EFFECTIVE OPTION TO RELIEVE SYMPTOMS
Childhood Cancer BY BRIAN HOUCK
A topic like cannabis usually pairs well with something benign like food. Not everyone smokes but everyone has to eat, especially cannabis users. Conversations become inflammatory when the controversial topic of cannabis is combined with something deeply saddening like childhood cancer. When we ask questions like “should we give children medicinal cannabis to help ease side effects of chemotherapy?” or “can we use cannabis alone to cure our children’s cancer” debates begins to rage. An extreme case unfolded in St. Petersburg, Florida this year when the parents of a leukemia-stricken 3-year-old boy pulled the child out of chemotherapy after 10 days because his test results showed no sign of cancer cells. They were allowed to leave the hospital and went to Kentucky to get a second opinion on natural treatment options. The parents wanted to see if they could treat their son through medical marijuana, diet, and vitamins, instead of more rounds of chemicals. Legal action was taken against the child’s parents after they went to Kentucky. The Judge finally ruled that the child was to resume chemotherapy immediately, but could also explore other methods of treatment, including medical marijuana, that received doctor’s approval. The controversial case has spread across the country and started a conversation about cannabis being used to fight cancer in children and the parents’ right to choose treatment. Traditionally, medical cannabis is used during cancer treatment to help ease the side-effects associated with chemotherapy. Cannabis can help with nausea, pain, and loss of appetite that comes when the chemotherapy is working on the body. For adults with cancer, medical cannabis has become almost commonplace when recommended with cancer treatment, but it is still controversial when we talk about it being given to children. Cannabis has been given to children to treat the side effects of chemotherapy for years now, but the growing conversation, parallel to the parents’ right to choose the method of treatment, is can cannabis be seen as an equal to conventional cancer treatments? Can it be used as compliment to conventional treatments to fight cancer? Should it strictly be used to relieve the side effects of conventional treatment?
Mothers are seeing the benefits in their children who are using medical cannabis as well. So much so that some have started advocacy groups like the nationwide 501(c)(3) non-profit Cannamoms. On their website, Cannamoms.com, it states that they are “dedicated to raising awareness of and access to alternative and supplemental health care options for critically or chronically ill, medically complex, and special needs children.” This group of mothers saw cannabis have such positive effects on their children that they banded together in 2014 to, “fight diligently for common sense legislation, for rights and options for every parent in the care of their own children, and to provide other parents and their babies with hope, help, resources, and community.” Even with the vast support system that medicinal cannabis has, it can be difficult for doctors to recommend anything to a patient that they feel hasn't gone through sufficient study. While doctors may know the benefits that these children can see, they don't know every long-term risk that a child may face associated with medical cannabis treatment. This is in large part due to the DEA scheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, a drug that has no current medically accepted value. Drugs with this classification are very hard to study as they are illegal and need clearance from the DEA for each study. The climate is beginning to shift as more studies are allowed to be conducted and researchers are discovering more medical applications and are able to track long-term effects of cannabis use, especially in the developing brain.
their success was dependent on the dose given and the time allowed for research. They used mice for in vivo research, or research done inside of a living organism, in which they gave them daily injections of THC, CBD, or ethanol, into the thin lining of the abdomen, or gave them no treatment at all. These in vivo studies revealed that, “tumor growth in both the THC and CBD groups was significantly reduced.”1 A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that there is some evidence that, “cannabis-based medicines may be effective in treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea and delayed nausea and vomiting in children.”2 In this study, conducted by Shaare Zedek Hospital’s Pediatrics Department in Jerusalem, Israel, they gave children with cancer a less psychoactive form on medical cannabis during their chemotherapy treatment. “Two hours before the start of each cancer treatment and every six hours thereafter for 24 h, the children were given Δ8-THC as oil drops on the tongue or in a bite of food.”2
MOTHERS ARE SEEING THE BENEFITS IN THEIR CHILDREN WHO ARE USING MEDICAL CANNABIS
The endocannabinoid system is all across the body. When cannabis is consumed, it can have multiple benefits for the patient. The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are all over the body spanning from the brain and lungs, down to the liver, and all the way down to our skin and bones. So when cannabis is consumed and circulates through the bloodstream, it is absorbed in all the organs, so it can be beneficial in multiple medical applications. Researchers conducted a study that was published in The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1), that examined a common childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, which affects the pancreas. In vitro studies showed, “that both CBD and THC reduced the viability of NBL cells in a dose- and timedependent manner.” This means that the cannabinoids made it harder for the cancer cells to survive once introduced, and that
When their research concluded a total of 480 treatments had been administered. “the only side effects reported were slight irritability in two of the youngest children (3.5 and 4 years old)”2 In the rest of the children, no side effects were reported, and and nausea and vomiting were controlled.
It is extremely hard to see a child suffer the side effects of chemotherapy. A child might lose their hair or fingernails. Some suffer from insomnia. Some suffer from a lack of appetite and nausea and vomiting. Some have pain so severe that they feel their bones aching. The good news is that cannabis is a plant that is so complex and the branches of its tree of benefits stretch so far reaching that if can bring relief to many of these traumatic symptoms. As more studies are allowed to be conducted, we will know with more certainty the risks and full scope of benefits that children with cancer can receive from medical cannabis. We know that children with cancer can have their quality of life improved by using cannabis to ease effects of chemotherapy, but with more testing, we may also see cannabis recommended in lieu of chemotherapy, and and parents would have the right to choose.
References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/ 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7776837 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473390/
BY HEATHER DEROSE
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder associated with sudden surges of electrical activity in the brain which cause seizures. There are over 65 million people in the world living with the condition, and epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States. One in 26 people will experience a seizure at some point in their life. There are over 40 different types of seizures a person can experience. The term intractable epilepsy refers to the condition when seizures cannot be controlled by medications. It may also be referred to as refractory, uncontrolled, or drug-resistant epileptic seizures. Over 1/3 of people living with the condition have intractable epilepsy. This is typically because the medicine doesn’t work to stop seizure occurrence, it stops working, or causes severe side effects making it challenging to use. If medicines prescribed do not work, doctors may prescribe a high fat, low-carb lifestyle change, vagus nerve stimulation, brain surgery, or experimental trials.
TRYING A NATURAL PLANT MEDICINE THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE A PERSON’S LIFE, VERSUS HARSH MEDICATIONS, IMPLANTS, OR SURGERY SEEMS LIKE A NO-BRAINER. The Epilepsy Foundation still only recommends trying CBD oil after exhausting all conventional treatment options. With so many suffering from uncontrollable seizures who face the possibility of brain surgery (which has no guaranteed results), implants, and medicines with debilitating side effects being the “only” options, it’s not surprising many people are taking their health into their own hands and trying cannabis first instead of as a last resort. Trying a natural plant medicine that has the potential to dramatically change a person’s life, versus harsh medications, implants, or surgery seems like a no-brainer. Especially when there are studies and anecdotal evidence to show how cannabis 64
therapy has drastically improved the quality of life for so many people living with epilepsy. Epidolex is the first plant-derived, FDA-approved single cannabinoid treatment option. However, this drug only offers one of the over 100 cannabinoids in a cannabis plant and no other phytonutrient properties. However, the company-conducted trials in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Styndrome reduced drop seizure compared to placebo. It is also used to treat Dravet sydrome. Both are rare forms of severe epilepsy. These results are promising for those suffering from seizures and offer an alternative to surgery and side effects. However, science shows how whole plant medicine works
within each person’s ECS to create the entourage effect and increase efficacy of the medicinal properties and results. In addition, Epidolex is expensive and only offers one cannabinoid, which is one reason why patients are becoming refugees in states where they have access to legal cannabis. The research study, “On the application of cannabis in pediatrics and epileptology,” concluded that THC should be considered in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in adults and children. Despite the Epilepsy Foundation recommending trying cannabis after conventional treatment options, they are advocating for both state and federal barriers to be removed from cannabis research and support access to medical cannabis as a valuable resource for families. For parents and those with epilepsy, the Realm of Caring Foundation specializes in providing resources for those interested in trying cannabis therapy for themselves or their children. The foundation was cofounded by Heather Barnes Jackson (whose son has epilepsy) and the family who developed Charlotte’s Web for a pediatric epilepsy patient. The foundation also partners with several cannabis brands they give their approval to provide families with safe plant-based medicines. They also work with hospitals, doctors, and researchers to continue to learn about cannabis as medicine, in addition to providing education to the public and healthcare professionals. They also offer connections to participate in research studies to further learn about cannabis and epilepsy.
FAMILIES ARE CHOOSING CANNABIS OVER BRAIN SURGERY OR HARSH MEDICATIONS For the millions of people living with epilepsy, their futures often seem uncertain. With anecdotal evidence emerging in the community and more research showing cannabis can reduce seizure occurrence in those with intractable epilepsy, families are choosing cannabis over brain surgery or harsh medications for their children or themselves. For many families and children, having a natural option that may drastically improve their quality of life is a literal life saver. Yet, there are so many places cannabis is restricted or limited, which makes more research difficult to conduct. We encourage you to support and share information and stories and come out of the green closet to break down stigmas surrounding this plant medicine. We can all work together to expand access to those most in need and save lives all around us.
CANNABIS CHRONIC PAIN BY ANTONIO DEROSE
MULTIPLE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES POINT AT CANNABIS BEING AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN
According to an academic manuscript published in Children (an international peerreviewed open access journal of pediatrics), chronic pain in children is an issue all over the world “With conservative estimates that posit 20% to 35% of children and adolescents affected by it worldwide.”1 Shockingly, the manuscript goes on to state, “Pain experienced in children’s hospitals is known to be common, under-recognized, and undertreated, with more than 10% of hospitalized children showing features of chronic pain. Although the majority of children reporting chronic pain are not greatly disabled by it, about 3% of pediatric chronic pain patients require intensive rehabilitation.”1 Since chronic pain in children is often underrecognized and under-treated, one could suggest many children carry their pain with them into adulthood. In fact, a report released by the CDC in September 2018 stated that there are 50 million adults in the United States who suffer from chronic pain. That’s 20.4% of the adult population, meaning almost 1 in 4 adults in the United States are suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined by the American Chronic Pain Association as “Pain that continues a month or more beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness or that goes on for months or years due to a chronic condition.” Many medical conditions are associated with isolated or wide-spread pain. The previously mentioned manuscript listed the most common chronic pain disorders in pediatrics being primary headaches, centrally mediated abdominal pain syndromes, and/or chronic musculoskeletal and joint pain.1
Although the physical pain these children suffer from may seem like the worst part, it can lead to several negative consequences. Some pain can be physically debilitating, reducing regular functionality and making daily life tasks like bathing or walking a constant challenge. It can also lead to trouble sleeping, social isolation, mood changes, and even depression. Sadly, most treatment options for chronic pain include the prescription of pharmaceutical medications like opioids, which have been shown to cause harsh side effects, have a high risk for abuse, and can lead to addiction. This is where cannabis may be able to help. Several studies have linked cannabis to being effective in the use of managing chronic pain. A systematic review of randomized trials on the use of cannabinoids for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The review looked at data from eighteen scientific trials and included a total of 766 participants. These trials focused on researching several cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, and concluded, “The majority (15 trials) demonstrated a significant analgesic effect for the cannabinoid agent being investigated.” Four of the trials reviewed specifically examined smoking cannabis flower compared to placebo, and “All four trials found a positive effect with no serious adverse effects.”4 A more targeted research study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, took a closer look at people smoking cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain, and their conclusion was, “A single inhalation of 25 mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.” This review of multiple scientific studies points at cannabis being an effective tool for managing chronic pain. While I’m not suggesting children should start lighting up flower, these findings give more depth to the use of cannabinoids being successful in treating pain. Extensive research—specifically on children using cannabis—is limited due to its federal illegality, but there are several amazing success stories, like Coltyn Turner. Coltyn has Crohn’s Disease and manages his symptoms, including pain, with the help of cannabis. He was the first registered medical cannabis pediatric patient for Crohn’s disease in Colorado and possibly the US. He continues to advocate and spread awareness for cannabis as medicine and serves as a bright example for how this plant can provide comfort to children suffering chronic pain, allowing them to live happier, healthier lives and grow into adulthood. If you’re considering cannabis for your child, reach out to your local cannabis community for support. Talk to a qualified physician about your options. Cannabis isn’t for every person or every child, but it could help—and the science suggests it’s worth considering.
TALK TO A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN ABOUT YOUR OPTIONS. 67
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More studies are showing that cannabis can alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). With the amount of people diagnosed with the condition, finding a natural way to manage symptoms is crucial to avoid harsh side effects of harmful pain medications or muscle relaxants. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “8,000-10,000 children (up to 18 years old) in the United States have MS, and another 10,000-15,000 experience at least one symptom suggestive of MS. Studies suggest that two to five percent of all people with MS have a history of symptom onset before age 18.” Diagnosing children is more challenging because symptoms such as seizures and lethargy can be experienced, which adults typically do not exhibit. It is estimated that nearly 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS. The Society also states environmental factors like cigarette smoking and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to higher risks of MS.1 According to Leafly, “Over half of those diagnosed with MS will suffer depression and become twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.” Those affected by MS experience symptoms due to damage within the central nervous system, which include the brain, spinal cord, and optic (eye) nerves. The chronic inflammation causes irreversible damage and inhibits the ability of nerves to communicate throughout the body,
which causes chronic pain, loss of motor control, depression, problems with memory and concentration, blurred vision, double vision, imbalance, numbness, fatigue, and muscle spasticity and weakness. More serious symptoms can include tremors, paralysis, and blindness. Currently, there is not a cure for MS, but there are FDA approved medications that can limit areas of damage. Many of the FDA approved disease modifying therapies used for adults are prescribed off-label for children diagnosed with MS. There are other non-FDA approved treatments for pediatric patients. Therapeutic and technological advances are helping those affected by the condition manage their symptoms. “The Society supports the rights of people with MS to work with their MS healthcare providers to access marijuana for medical purposes.”
STUDIES SUGGEST THAT TWO TO FIVE PERCENT OF ALL PEOPLE WITH MS HAVE A HISTORY OF SYMPTOM ONSET BEFORE AGE 18. Cannabis has been studied on those with the condition and shown to help
with common symptoms. “Participants with stable MS were randomly assigned to receive oral cannabis extract (144 people) or placebo (135 people), and reported their perceptions of changes in muscle stiffness before and after 12 weeks of treatment. Muscle stiffness improved by almost two-fold in the group taking cannabis compared to placebo, and improvements were also noted in body pain, spasms, and sleep quality.” This study reported these findings among those diagnosed with MS and cannabis use, “47% have considered using for their MS, 26% have used for their MS, 20% have spoken with their physician about use, and 16% are currently using cannabis.” The United States holds a patent on the cannabinoids that have been found to have antioxidant properties and neuroprotectant benefits, which could be used to treat inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Those with MS can see improved symptoms because of the cannabinoids activating receptors throughout the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) that are associated with pain, mood, memory, appetite, and the entire regulatory system that promotes the healing process. Patients are seeing improved quality of life with minimal side effects. Another study by The University of Plymouth, England in 2012, found cannabis to be twice as effective at providing muscle pain and spasms compared to a placebo. Cannabis has been found to reduce inflammation, aid in digestion, promote sleep, improve vision and mood, as well as support the vital ECS for overall health and wellness. For anyone interested in learning more about how cannabis can help those diagnosed with MS, the Realm of Caring in Colorado (www.theroc. us) helps families that can benefit from cannabis therapy. The Realm of Caring’s Research Library offers specific research about cannabis and MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org ) provides information about children and adults in regards to cannabis as a treatment option.
THE SOCIETY SUPPORTS THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH MS TO WORK WITH THEIR MS HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS TO ACCESS MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES.
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Nausea affects many people in their daily lives. Whether its motion sickness while riding in a car or from acid reflux, for some, nausea is an issue that can only be solved through the use of medicine. Drugs that are used to stave off nausea and vomiting are known as antiemetic medicines. Some of the over the counter antiemetics are drugs like Emetrol, Nauzene, even Dramamine. People use these every day to stifle the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, but we are now aware that these symptoms can be treated with the use of medicinal cannabis.
It is not a chalky pink bismuth that coats the stomach but rather a vivacious green bud that, when ground up and smoked, has a chemical reaction in the brain that acts as an antagonist to the feeling of nausea. For some, a few drops from a CBD tincture are enough to relieve their symptoms of nausea, but others require medicine with a higher THC content. Both cannabinoids bind and stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which spans across the body and brain. THC and CBD are CB1 agonists which means they suppress the urge to vomit, as opposed to antagonists of the CB1 receptor which promote vomiting. “Considerable evidence demonstrates that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals,”1 noted a study done by the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. As it pertains to nausea, when cannabis is consumed, THC and CBD are absorbed into the CB1 receptors located in our gastrointestinal intestinal tract. These receptors and allow us to receive help in the organs themselves. There are also multiple CB1 receptors in the brain that have a direct correlation with the mental experience of nausea. When THC is absorbed in these receptors, it exhibits a psychoactive effect that helps by taking the patient’s mind off of the nausea. The combination of the locations helps to fight the nausea in the mind and body in tandem. When a sudden wave of nausea hits, you need to take something that will act fast to combat it. The most common—and more importantly—the quickest way to get medical cannabis into the bloodstream is through inhalation. This is caused by
Another element that helps explain cannabis’ effect on nausea is terpenes. Terpenes are what give cannabis and other plants, like the herbs in your garden, their unique smell. Terpenes aren’t just there to smell nice though, different terpenes can have an array of physiological effects on the body when consumed. For instance, myrcene is a terpene that is in plants like basil, but in marijuana it has pain relieving and sedative effects. The terpene that is associated with nausea relief is limonene. As you probably could’ve guessed limonene can be found in all kinds of fruit and gives it that citrus smell. The same applies to cannabis, but when ingested it can display a variety of benefits including, nausea relief. In clinical trials, Limonene has even shown the ability to inhibit lung cancer growth. 2 However, patients with cancer often are more attracted to cannabis’ ability to soothe the grueling nausea that comes as a side-effect of their chemotherapy. “Nausea is often reported as more distressing than vomiting, because it is a continuous sensation,”1 cites the study done on the regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids by the University of Guelph. “Although chemotherapy-induced vomiting is well controlled in most patients by conventionally available drugs, nausea (acute, delayed and anticipatory) continues to be a challenge.”1 The same study concludes, “Evidence from animal experiments suggests that cannabinoids may be especially useful in treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea and anticipatory nausea in chemotherapy patients, which are less well controlled by the currently available conventional pharmaceutical agents.”1 As more studies are allowed to be done, we are finding more benefits for what the cannabis plant can do. Its many different elements compliment each other to produce benefits that can aid ailments across the board. From those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy, to people who get motion sick in the backseat of a car, and anyone in between may have the ability to have their nausea relieved by the soothing effects of medicinal cannabis.
It’s estimated that the average surface area of the adult human lung when fully stretched out is about the size of a tennis court, so there is more than enough room for smoke to absorbed quickly and make its way to the blood vessels through the thin barrier.
References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5894671/
two factors, one, when the smoke enters the lungs, THC and CBD are absorbed through blood vessel coated air sacs that inflate and take in air of smoke; and two, the lungs have the most surface area for absorption.
MAKING FITNESS FUN WITH THE FAMILY BY ANTONIO DEROSE
Did you know, research published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found a positive relationship between the exercise habits of parents and the amount of physical activity their children participated in? It’s important to understand just how much of a positive influence we can have on the health of our children through a focus on fitness. The best part is, it’s probably not what you think when you first hear the word fitness, and it can be fun for the whole family. In order to increase our understanding for how important our own health behaviors can have on the health and well-being of our children, it’s helpful to look at the results of that same study where family and support where concluded to provide a positive influence. The study from the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine concluded several key points, including, “parental exercising significantly predicts adolescents’ engagement in sport.”1 Although this conclusion indicates a strong
significance between parental exercise and adolescent involvement in physical activity through sports, there were a few caveats. The habits of both parents were shown to have an impact on the daughter’s participation in sports, but a son’s participation was related only to the father’s habits. So, if you have a son, moms can tell dad to start getting in shape, but if you have a daughter, then it’s better to have the whole family developing healthy habits together. Although, my honest opinion would be to get the whole family involved either way! Regular exercise is known to promote physical and mental health benefits in adults, as well as being important for children’s physical and cognitive growth. So much so, the World Health Organization recommends “Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.” This amount of activity benefits children by improving
their cardiorespiratory system, and increasing the strength of their muscles, joints, and bones. Now we’re not talking about a bunch of kids lifting weights at the gym, even though there are some who do. These physical activity recommendations can easily be achieved through more than just traditional exercise routines and playing sports. Encouraging physical fitness can be as easy as having more play time at the park, or even assigning chores around the home. As a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, I believe consistent movement, even in the simplest ways, is the key to mobility and a better overall quality of life. I say it can be easy, but the truth is, there are several families with children who suffer from medical conditions preventing them from performing even daily life tasks. A lot of these children avoid physical activity due to their pain or even anxiety or depression. As discussed in this month’s issue about chronic pain in children, several families
are finding relief for these symptoms using cannabis in some form. Physical therapy and exercise are proving to be vital tools in the treatment of children with many pain conditions, as stated in an academic manuscript, published in Children, an international peer-reviewed open access journal of pediatrics. It’s important to note the manuscript indicated several positive effects of physical exercise on children experiencing pain, including a reduced risk for depression. However, it was also noted functionality and mobility were found to improve faster than reduction of pain.3 This means the pain doesn’t typically go away or start to improve immediately. There are some sections stating pain may even increase when beginning more physical exercise, but in the long run, will decrease over time as a result of increased activity.
The connection between cannabis, fitness, and our children comes down to common goals. We want to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and extend longevity. Remember, it’s as easy as encouraging more play time. When it comes to incorporating cannabis into the family fitness routine, don’t do anything different than you’re already doing. Keep your same routine, just schedule more time for activities requiring some sort of movement, and most importantly, something they have fun doing. At the end of the day, we really just want to see our children smile, be happy, and have fun, and we can do it together as a family.
CANNABIS in the OUTDOORS FAMILY OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
BY BEN OWENS
Thanks to cannabis, many children are able to experience the proven benefits that nature can have. Try these tips out on your adventures and avoid some of the most common mistakes. As a child, I was all but groomed for outdoor adventures. I spent hours building forts out of dead logs, going camping in a tent with my entire family, and hiking endless trails throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest. I only attempt to adequately convey the sense of satisfaction, wonder, and awe that is found after a long day’s hike, watching a sunset from the summit of the trail, or getting up early to catch a sun rise while boiling breakfast on a tiny, backpacking stove. Unfortunately, not every child is able to experience the wonders that outdoor adventures offer due to conditions beyond their control. Some are unable to carry heavy items, exert physical energy for sustained periods of time, or even interact with their friends and family due to
incapacitating symptoms such as uncontrollable seizures or chronic pain. Cannabis has allowed these families, and these children, to live “normal” lives, enjoying “normal” activities without the restrictions that come with handfuls of pharmaceuticals. Many treatments can all but sedate children. Cannabis allows them to enjoy a better quality of life and take advantage of outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping and backpacking. This article will discuss the impact that nature can have on a young life, the benefits of encouraging adventures with children, and some tips for avoiding those typical “first timer” mistakes while enjoying the great outdoors.
IMPACT THAT NATURE CAN HAVE ON A YOUNG LIFE
Once you become accustomed to your child’s cannabis treatments, regulating appropriate dosages, and accounting for differences in effects, introducing them to the outdoors can be an eye-opening experience. It may instill a deeper appreciation for nature and the world around them, especially if they’ve never gotten the chance to enjoy a hike through the woods or a campfire on the beach. Studies1 have shown that outdoor environments have a positive impact on our health and may influence how physically active an individual is or becomes. The health benefits of doing so are greater among those who previously did not participate in outdoor or physical activities. Studies have also shown that spending time in nature can help with stress reduction and social cohesion,1 helping your child bond with others in a relaxing environment. Hiking and time spent in nature has also been shown to stop negative, obsessive thoughts,2 which children may have if they feel negatively affected by their conditions or their need for medical cannabis.
MAKE ADVENTURES A FAMILY OUTING
When I was growing up, we spent countless weekends setting up tents, cooking hot dogs over the fire, and going for long hikes. We often set out with no destination in mind—simply to enjoy the breeze, trees, ocean or escape the busy bustle of school, sports, and activities. One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is to do so with people who you enjoy. Whether you’re a parent, family member, best friend, scout leader, or any other adult role model, sharing the activities that you enjoy with children in your life helps make that energy contagious. If you love the outdoors, share that love with a child in your life.
Now, not everyone is a huge fan of the great outdoors. My dad, for instance, was not a fan of camping. My mom grew up loving everything about it. Eventually, her enthusiasm for everything outdoorsy caught on, first with my dad and eventually with my sister and I. Since, we’ve spent the last 20+ years camping every year for Thanksgiving. I’ve been to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, driven up and down the east coast exploring The Outer Banks and the shores of Maine, backpacked for almost two weeks in the backcountry of the Southwest, and explored scallop diving and natural springs in the panhandle of Florida. Every memory that I’ve made has been that much more memorable because I shared it with others. Making time to take a child, teenager, or young adult with you and share your passions—whether it's a day of disc golf or a week in a tent—will offer them years of memories to look back on and share with others when the time comes.
IPS FOR YO Now that I’ UR FIR ve convinc ed you to ta ST FAMILY ADVEN responsible T U RE ke a child o of me to pa n an outdo ss on a few o that adven r p adventure, ie c es of wisdo ture withou it’s only m to help y t running in ou and you to typical “f rs enjoy irst time” is sues. Bring extra water. One assuming of the first that they’v mistakes m e brought any people enough wa make on th ter. Always you end up eir adventu bring extra bringing an res is . Be st c a s e Start slow. e x tr a w scenario is a te Pick a sho r b o tt le that home. rt, easy ad unde r a c o venture for uple miles. your first o If you’re ca can always uting. If yo mping, tr y decide to g u’re going a single ov o a little fu hiking, kee ernight and rther up th p it see how th e trail or sta Take your at goes. Yo y one more time. One u of my bigg night at the summit, th est weakne e peak, the campgrou sses is a b n final camp d. journey an lind focus destination d taking in on the end . I’m regula all that I ca will still be result: the rly working n. Your adv there wheth on focusin entures do er it takes take picture g more on n’t have to you an hou s, touch, s the be races; th r or four. Ta mell, and fe e destinati aspects of ke time to el the worl o n re your adven s t, d b a reathe, drin round ture will tea k water, ch the child you. Showing appre Keep track ciation for ren in your of how far these group to d you’ve gon and how fa o the same e. Make su r you’ve go . re ne. Getting s o me o ne k people wh nows how lost can be o had a ba long you’v d experien s c ary, stress as adults. e be e n out ce in nature fu Avoid the p l and even as a child w otential for tr a u m a ti zing. Many ill steer cle this issue b ar of outdo y bringing GPS, or so o r a adventures map, settin me combin g a stopwa Bring a firs a ti o n o f tc th h, using a e above. t aid kit. Ev discomfort en if it’s a s leads to un mall cut or happiness a thorn tha . Having a t won’t com bandaids, small pack antiseptic, e out of a fi of common and tweez nger, ers can sa fi rs t aid items s ve you quit uch a s e the head ache.
The great outdoors offers an almost unlimited amount of potential adventures for you and the young ones in your life. Thanks to cannabis, many parents and children are now able to take advantage of natural areas, hikes, campouts, and even mild outings such as picnics or beach days. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with how cannabis is affecting those using it and how it is impacting their experiences. To learn more about outdoor adventures and how cannabis can empower and enhance your outings, be sure to follow this column in each issue. P.S. Don’t forget to take a few pictures or keep notes from your outings! My mother has journaled about every camp-out our family has taken, and I absolutely treasure these memories, many of which I was too young to remember first-hand. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182443 (1) “Nature and Health.” Terry Hartig, Richard Mitchell, Sjerp de Vries, Howard Frumkin. Annual Review of Public Health 2014 35:1, 207228. - https://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/04/08/doctors-explain-how-hiking-actually-changes-our-brains/ (2) “Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains.” Collective Evolution. April 8, 2016.
y l Ju
ASTROLOGY ALL SIGNS: July is not the month to begin new projects or ventures. Instead, tie up the loose ends of unfinished projects, plan for the future, and put new projects into action after August 1st.
ARIES (March 21 - April 19) July is a great month to spend time at home with family members, especially children. Take care of those domestic projects you’ve been meaning to tackle. By mid-month, you will be ready for fun. Look for a career advancement around the 15th.
LIBRA (Sept 23 - Oct 22) Your career and public image are excellent this month, so move upward and take the lead. Your friends want more of your time, so combine business with pleasure whenever possible. Toward midmonth, focus on your home and family. SCORPIO (Oct 23 - Nov 21) You see opportunities to expand and enhance your career this month. If you have the chance to travel, especially long distance, do it. This will give you a new view on life and show you opportunities/ options you didn’t know you had.
TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) If you are planning any trips, particularly if they involve visits with family members, keep them short and sweet until the 15th; after which, you will be ready to spread your wings and soar. If a long-distance trip appears on the horizon, go for it!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 21) Be a detective and look beneath the surface at what’s really going on, especially where joint financial ventures are concerned. By mid-month, you will have the answers to your questions, and your finances should increase.
GEMINI (May 21 - June 20) July is a great time to focus on your finances. The more positive attention you put on increasing your income, the more you will be able to do so. Be open to new ways of making money. By mid-month, your efforts can bear fruit.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 - January 19) You may be torn between spending time with others and being alone. You can do both. Check out what’s really going on in your relationships, especially where money is concerned. By mid-month, you are more confident and independent.
CANCER (June 21 - July 22) July is the month to do what you want, how you want, and when you want, especially where money is concerned. It’s your turn, so go for it! By mid-month, you will be pen to ideas from other people. Listen to them and take what works for you.
AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18) Both your work and your relationships are activated this month; so get out there, meet people, make friends, and combine your social life with your work whenever possible. By mid-month, you will want to pull back and enjoy your own company.
LEO (July 23 - Aug 22) You are ready to pull back and get away from it all. Solitude and privacy give you the freedom to do things your way, so enjoy your own company. You may need more sleep than usual. By mid-month, you’ll be able to focus on your work.
PISCES (February 19 - March 20) This is a great month to balance work and fun, since both are activated. Throw parties, invite your coworkers, and invited them to bring their friends. Combine your social life with your children’s. Reconnect with old friends around the 16th.
VIRGO (Aug 23 - Sept 22) You will want to divide your time between being with friends and being alone, especially if there is someone special in your life. Most of all, do what you want. By mid-month, you will be ready to play and have fun.
Maxine Taylor became America’s First Licensed Astrologer after mounting a legal challenge to legitimize astrology in the 1960’s Bible Belt state of Georgia. She became CNN’s Original On-Air Astrologer when the network launched. maxinetaylor.com
FOREC AST ARIES (March 21 - April 19) Play, party, and enjoy yourself all month! If you have children, include them in your social plans. Around the 14th, your outlook expands, and you see more options open to you. Your friends are a great source of enjoyment after the 15th.
Au g u s t
LIBRA (Sept 23 - Oct 22) You are a social person who loves to be with others, but you need time for yourself this month. You can do it all, particularly around the middle of the month when your outlook becomes more optimistic and your social life is activated.
TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) Put your attention on your home and family early in the month but leave time for an active social life as well. Include your children in your plans. Financial investments can show a profit, and your career can advance by mid-month.
SCORPIO (Oct 23 - Nov 21) Your career is strongly activated this month. Your popularity soars, and you can move upward. At the same time, you want to be with friends. Do both! By midmonth, your financial picture improves, and you can take time to relax.
GEMINI (May 21 - June 20) If boredom sets in early in August, a short, fun trip, especially a visit with family members, could be the solution. If a particular relationship has been on hold, it can move forward by mid-month.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 21) There are so many opportunities available to you now, and you want to take advantage of all of them. Get clear on where you want to go in your career, and put your plans into action after the 14th when your confidence is strong.
CANCER (June 21 - July 22) Put your attention on increasing your income and watch it grow. This is a good time to get clear on your priorities as well. Your job/employment situation, as well as your health, looks very nice starting around the 14th. LEO (July 23 - Aug 22) Your money and how you want to earn it/spend it is of importance to you this month Do it your way; the ball is in your court. Your social life expands, and all your relationships, whether personal or business, pick up around the 15th. VIRGO (Aug 23 - Sept 22) You want to be with your friends, but you also want the freedom to do things your way. The solution is to pull back, retreat, and do what you want. Around mid-month, both your home and family situation, as well as your job, look good.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 - January 19) You require privacy this month. This may be due to questions you have about mutually beneficial investments. Be a detective, do your due diligence, and after the 14th, when you are rested and your finances improve, you will see the big picture. AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18) All of your relationships, whether personal or business, are activated this month, so get out there and give others your attention. Both your humanitarian side and your natural inclination to march to your own drum kick in around the 14th. PISCES (February 19 - March 20) Both your work and health look good this month, so youâ€™ll be ready to socialize and be with others. While your career/public image are nicely activated around the 14th, so is your desire to pull back and enjoy your own company. Do it all!
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COOKING CANNABIS with
In February, a friend’s husband began taking CBD and getting relief from his symptoms. She became concerned when he began buying gummies from the gas station that didn’t have labeling. There was no listed amount of CBD in them, or any testing information available. He liked having his CBD in candy form, she liked knowing he was taking a product with integrity. The answer, make your own candies; and treats, as well as savory main dishes.
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN CANNABIS TREATS The mistake that is often made with edibles, is not waiting long enough for it to work its way into your bloodstream in its full dose, which may be up to 2 hours. By not waiting the full 2 hours, you potentially could either not get enough medicine into your bloodstream, or too much. Let’s start smart and begin with the serving size for each serving, per gummy, per chocolate square, per lollipop. Determine your serving size from your doctor’s recommendation, or your personal experience. Start low, especially with your first time making them. Count the number of servings that each recipe of makes. Now, check your tincture, or distillate, and cannabis butter for its potency. Number of Servings x milligrams per serving = total number of milligrams for each recipe: 50 squares x 5 milligrams per serving = 250 milligrams total needed for this recipe, I suggest you do this step twice - once when you first decide to make the batch, and again before you make it. It is important to get the potency correct. Read the entire recipe and have everything measured and ready before you begin. Stir, Stir, Stir to incorporate your cannabis completely. Then stir some more. Test your batch by eating ½ serving size, wait up to 2 hours before judging the potency for yourself. If 1 hour in, you have achieved your desired results, you should not add anymore to your system, and time the duration of your results. That will help you decide your personal serving size and duration. Adjust your next batch to be more to your desired results. Because you tried, now you know! Enjoying the fruits of your labor is the reward.
! y o j n E
Supplies Needed: Gummy molds Medium size saucepan Spatula Spoon/ladle to transfer liquid to molds Whisk Measuring glass Tincture - premeasured to add to recipe 3 tablespoons of honey Pinch of salt 5 tablespoons gelatin 1 cup fruit juice This recipe is for making the gummy pieces on a stovetop. Over medium-low heat stir together the fruit juice, honey, and salt to a boil. Whisk in the gelatin and stir for up to 5 minutes to incorporate. Remove from the heat, and stir in your cannabis tincture/distillate. Use a spoon/ladle to transfer the hot liquid into the candy molds. Let cool on counter for 5 minutes, then place molds into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, or until the gummy hardens. Transfer them to an air-tight container. Some prefer to dust them with either powdered sugar or cornstarch lightly to prevent them from sticking together.
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LOOK FOR OUR BOOTH AT THESE AMAZING EVENTS AND TELL US YOU READ ABOUT THE EVENT IN THIS CHILDRENâ€™S ISSUE AND RECEIVE A SPECIAL GIFT!
AUGUST AUG 2- 4 | UNITED STATES CANNABIS CONFERENCE | MIAMI, FL AUG 23-24 | CANNACON | SPRINGFIELD, MA
SEPTEMBER SEPT 4 - 6 | CANNABIS SCIENCE CONFERENCE | PORTLAND, OR SEPT 4 - 6 | BIZ CON INTERNATIONAL | TORONTO, CANADA SEPT 23-24 | CANNMED | PASADENA, CA SEPT 27-28 | CANNACON |OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
OCTOBER OCT 3-5 | USCCE | PHOENIX, AZ OCT 11-12 | COMMERCIAL CANNABIS CONFERENCE & EXPO | DETROIT, MI OCT 12-13 | HEMPFEST | MIAMI, FL
NOVEMBER NOV 3-5 | FLORIDA INDUSTRIAL HEMP CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION | ORLANDO, FL
DECEMBER DEC 11-13| MJ BIZ CON | LAS VEGAS, NV
See you there!
Wrap up... When the topic of a childrenâ€™s issue came up, some thought it too controversial as the main topic for a new magazine. We felt the right thing to do was to report the stories, in the parents or childrenâ€™s own words. The children and their families who we interviewed each have told their story of the help they received using cannabis to live happier, healthier lives. They are all strong advocates in cannabis history. If you or your child has a disease or disorder that science has reviewed and published studies that show cannabis helps, we suggest you take those studies to your physician and discuss your options. There are great doctors speaking, teaching and helping patients with cannabis every day.
- Nan cy