August 21, 2023

Exploring the healing power of cannabis

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Samantha, South Africa

Cannabis grower. Holistic Chef. Author. Photographer.

" I discovered the remarkable synergy between cannabis and yoga. Together, they became instrumental in managing my intense emotions, offering me relief, and creating a nurturing space for my healing process."

Hi Samantha! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Samantha from South Africa. I've been deeply involved in the fascinating world of medicinal cannabis. I've managed a cannabis farm in California for 4 years, and I've also found my passion as a holistic chef, recipe developer, and yoga teacher.

Along side that, I pursue portraiture photography with a focus on capturing the beauty of motherhood and pregnant women. I'm truly inspired by creativity in all its forms, including art.

Currently, I'm publishing a book which centres around the idea of food as medicine, featuring recipes and travel experiences. With my own food and medicine garden, I’ll also be working on a next book delving into topics like foraging, fermenting, ancestral eating, and incorporating plants as medicine into our daily lives.

Living sustainably, growing my own food, and exploring the power of plant medicine are things that are very important to me.

Could you tell us the story about yourself and cannabis, how did everything start?

It all stared from my college years when I began using it recreationally. What fascinated me was the stark contrast it had to alcohol. Unlike alcohol, cannabis didn't have the negative effects on mind and body. However, it wasn't until I encountered atraumatic experience after graduating from university that I started viewing cannabis as a powerful plant medicine. Instead of relying on pharmaceuticals, I actively sought alternative methods to navigate through my grief. It was during this time that I discovered the remarkable synergy between cannabis and yoga. Together, they became instrumental in managing my intense emotions, offering me relief, and creating a nurturing space for my healing process.

How do you integrate cannabis into your daily life?

It depends on the product and how I use it. When it comes to using cannabis topically on my skin, such as in skincare products, it feels more like a regular part of my skincare routine. However, when I engage in activities like smoking or drinking cannabis as a tea, I approach it with a sense of ritual. I find that creating a moment of intention, expressing gratitude for the plant medicine, and being fully present enhances the experience for me. Ritualizing cannabis is important to me as it allows me to fully appreciate and connect with the power of the plant.

That’s very inspiring! What’s life like working on a cannabis farm?

My time on the medicinal cannabis farm in California was truly transformative. It all started when a friend invited me to explore what they were doing there. Intrigued, I decided to visit for a three-month period. Those months proved to be an incredible introduction to the world of cannabis cultivation and care for me. I immediately felt a deep connection to the plant and realized that this was something we could pursue long-term. Soon after, I received a job offer to run a medicinal cannabis farm, which marked the beginning of our journey in the industry.

Growing cannabis comes with its own unique challenges. From understanding the plant's specific requirements to ensuring optimal growth and quality, I had to learn and adapt quickly. Moreover, there was still a prevailing stigma surrounding cannabis. Overcoming this stigma and educating others about the medicinal benefits and potential of the plant became an ongoing challenge.

One of the most significant things for me was the legalization of cannabis, as it created a platform for education and allowed people to gain a deeper understanding of the plant, breaking down old stereotypes. Our journey involved starting from scratch, learning everything about growing cannabis, from seeds to clones, feeding, watering, pruning, and overall plant care. Day in and day out, for six months, we dedicated ourselves to the farm, building the soil from scratch.

Overall, my experience on the medicinal cannabis farm in California was a combination of personal growth, agricultural learning, and working to change perceptions about this remarkable plant.

Having cannabis can still be controversial in many places. What are the positive and negative effects of consuming cannabis?

When it comes to the positive effects of cannabis, there are several notable aspects. One of the most well-established areas is its usage intreating epilepsy and seizures. The evidence supporting its efficacy in these cases is compelling. Cannabis has shown to have instant effects, providing relief to individuals with epilepsy and significantly reducing seizures.

Another area where cannabis has shown promise is in managing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. I've witnessed remarkable transformations in individuals struggling with Parkinson's after using cannabis oil. Within minutes, their body relaxes, and the symptoms vanish. This is also supported by studies and offers hope for those dealing with this condition.

Cannabis is also effective in pain management, providing relief for various types of pain. Many individuals find it helpful in managing chronic pain and improving their overall quality of life.

In terms of assisting with cancer, the topical use of cannabis has shown promise in treating cancerous, tumours and growth.

On the other hand, when it comes to negative effects, the main concern revolves around THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Consuming strains high in THC, particularly for individuals who are not accustomed to it, can potentially lead to anxiety or discomfort. Additionally, with the rise of high THC strains, there can be alack of balance due to reduced CBD levels in these strains. It's important for individuals to be mindful of their THC consumption and choose strains that align with their tolerance and desired effects.

Overall, cannabis has demonstrated positive effects in various medical conditions, but it's crucial to approach its usage responsibly and with proper knowledge.

What do you value most when it comes to cannabis cultivation and plant medicine?

When it comes to cannabis cultivation, my values lie in sustainability, quality, and the responsible use of natural resources. Embracing organic and environmentally friendly practices ensures the production of clean and safe cannabis medicine. I believe in the potential of cannabis as a powerful plant medicine that can alleviate suffering and enhance individuals' well-being. Its therapeutic properties and versatility make it a valuable addition to the world of natural remedies.

The entire process of cannabis cultivation brings me fulfilment, but there are two particular aspects that stand out to me. Firstly, the cultivation process itself, from nurturing the plants to witnessing their growth and development, creates a profound sense of fulfilment and deepens my connection to nature. It's an incredible journey to witness the transformation of a tiny seed into a thriving plant, knowing that it will eventually provide healing and relief.

Secondly, the most rewarding part is seeing the positive impact of cannabis medicine on people's lives. Witnessing how it can alleviate their suffering, improve their well-being, and bring them a better quality of life is truly fulfilling. It's heart warming to hear stories of individuals finding relief from pain, managing their conditions, and experiencing improved overall health using cannabis medicine.

What are your favourite cannabis products?

Some of my favourite cannabis products include high-quality tinctures and topicals. Tinctures are excellent due to their precise dosing and ease of use, allowing for discreet and controlled consumption. They are versatile and can be incorporated into various recipes, offering flexibility in how they can be enjoyed.

When it comes to topicals, such as creams and balms, I find them particularly appealing because they provide localized relief and have the potential to improve skin health. They can be soothing for muscle soreness, joint pain, and even skin conditions. The convenience of applying a topical product directly to the affected area makes them highly practical.

What makes these products stand out to me is their effectiveness in delivering the desired results, their convenience in terms of usage, and their potential for customization. Each person's preferences and needs can be met through proper dosing and the ability to personalize their experience.

I can suggest a couple of brands that have gained recognition for their quality and commitment to excellence. Old Pal is are put able company that focuses on classic cannabis flower. They maintain close relationships with small-scale farmers, ensuring the cultivation of top-notch products. Kiss Kanu is another brand known for offering CBD skincare products and suppositories for pain relief. Both brands prioritize small-batch production and maintain control over their entire process, resulting in reliable and high-quality products.

Are there any interesting trends in the cannabis industry that you keep an eye on?

One trend that has caught my attention is the combination of cannabis with other natural ingredients to enhance its efficacy and absorption. For instance, the creation of products like THC CBD menstrual rollers that include beneficial plants such as geranium, cramp bark, hibiscus, and red raspberry leaf. This approach, known as stacking, shows potential for creating synergistic effects and improving the effectiveness of cannabis products. It's an exciting development to watch as it expands the possibilities for combining cannabis with other natural substances.

Do you think cannabis should be legalized globally and accessible as medicine for everyone?

Absolutely. There are numerous beneficial properties and potential therapeutic applications associated with cannabis. Considering that other substances with potential risks are legal and readily available, it makes sense to regulate and legalize a plant that has demonstrated medicinal value. However, achieving global legalization and accessibility may be challenging due to various factors, including financial interests and differing cultural perspectives. It is important to have a balance between responsible regulation and ensuring accessibility to quality cannabis products. Striking the right balance will be essential for building a sustainable and ethical cannabis industry.

Do you have any advice for people who want to learn more about cannabis?

There are several resources available to learn more about cannabis. One of them is the Facebook group called "Moms and Cannabis," which focuses on supporting mothers who use cannabis for various reasons. Additionally, websites like Lea fly provide valuable information about cannabis products, strains, and related topics. Attending Cannabis Cup events in the US and Canada is another great way to learn and engage with cannabis brands, products, and experts. These events offer a physical space to explore and experience the world of cannabis.

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