CANNABIS FOR RELIEF FROM CROHN’S & AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
What brought you to Oregon? I’m originally from Boston, Mass. but I
moved to Eugene, Ore. two years ago to be with my girlfriend who struggles with the same disease. We bonded over our love of Cannabis and how it ameliorates our Crohn’s symptoms. I absolutely love everything about Oregon – from the decriminalization of growing to (some) doctors being open to discussing it as a treatment option. Oregon has such beauty and I am honored to live so close to the ocean and the mountains.
Can you tell me about your official diagnosis? I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age six. It’s a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a digestive, autoimmune disease. Crohn’s is caused by an overactive immune system response that attacks the intestines and other parts of the body.
What do you use Cannabis for specifically? I utilize Cannabis to treat
symptoms caused by my Crohn’s. Cannabis helps control my nausea and very severe abdominal pain. I’ve always had a hard time maintaining weight or holding food down. Cannabis allows me to have a positive relationship with food and maintain my weight, which can fluctuate significantly. For me, Cannabis assists in treating the negative side effects caused by pharmaceutical medications. Crohn’s also causes arthritis, leading to severe joint pain. I’m pleased that Cannabis allows me to not be on narcotic pain medication. Since I started using Cannabis regularly, I haven’t had any inpatient hospital stays! I spent the majority of my childhood in the hospital – I know Cannabis is the difference in my health.
Can you tell me a little bit about your Advanced Grow semester at the New England Grass Roots Institute? In Quincy,
Mass. I attended the New England Grass Roots Institute. The Grass Roots Institute provided students an environment to thrive and safely learn how to grow Cannabis. The curriculum included everything from the basics to more advanced concepts such as ventilation, proper lighting/understanding spectrum, discreet indoor growing practices and perpetual harvesting planning. Students also learned how to put these concepts to use through execution, such as seed starts and cloning, to learning how to veg plants successfully through to flower. We were immersed in a curriculum that showed us how to make edibles, RSO and topicals. I give credit to my teachers for my comprehensive Cannabis knowledge.
What kind of cultivars are you growing and why? Currently, I’m
growing Garlic Butter and Mule Fuel by Thug Pug Genetics. I utilize Thug Pug since a lot of his genetics relieve pain and provide superior structure and terpene profiles. I also enjoy growing genetics from Archive Seeds, Dynasty Genetics and Exotic Genetix.
Living with an autoimmune disorder must make you extra conscientious of what you put into your body. How do you go about growing your meds with this in mind? Are there any methods, inputs or techniques that you’ve adopted? My teachers
drilled home the importance of growing organic when you’re immunocompromised. They taught us mostly organic growing practices and I then took it upon myself to start growing no-till, utilizing compost teas, and adding different species of fungi and bacteria to the soil.
I know you’re a fan of edibles and quite the home chef yourself! What types of Cannabis products do you like to cook with and what recipes are you excited about right now? I’ve
always enjoyed cooking for others. When I originally took classes at the New England Grass Roots Institute, I learned how to infuse Cannabis into a variety of foods (sweet and savory) and that sparked my love for edible making. My Crohn’s significantly benefits from Cannabis edibles, as their effects are longer lasting. I enjoy infusing everything from medicated Thanksgiving dinner to infused caramels and chocolate bars. Currently, I’m enjoying making infused chocolate truffles with caramel or fruit filling. Cannabis edibles have been a complete game-changer in treating my Crohn’s Disease and controlling my constant chronic pain!
“SINCE I STARTED USING CANNABIS REGULARLY, I HAVEN’T HAD ANY INPATIENT HOSPITAL STAYS! I SPENT THE MAJORITY OF MY CHILDHOOD IN THE HOSPITAL – I KNOW CANNABIS IS THE DIFFERENCE IN MY HEALTH.”
>> Two years ago, Alec Morrissey moved from Massachusetts for
the love of two ladies: Mary Jane and his girlfriend Sara. The trio shared a bond forged through the fight for a better quality of life – one that pharmaceuticals had yet to offer. Today, Alec is mastering his medicated meals in Oregon while enjoying our state’s acceptance of the plant that gives him and his partner a chance to live. INTERVIEW & PORTRAIT by AMANDA DAY @TERPODACTYL_MEDIA