by: Rachel Grano, Founding Mother of mother’s hemp
Cannabis has always had a place in my life except during pregnancy, early motherhood and during jobs prohibiting it. I love her smell, the way she tastes and most importantly how she makes me feel. Having no idea why cannabis worked so well for me, I began to research the topic extensively. My fascination with the Endocannabinoid System was born and so was my journey with plants over pills.
Severe pain sent me down a path of pain and worsening symptoms…
I am a self-taught cannabis educator, with the most important lesson being my own experience. Living in a constant state of severe pain from a high-speed, rear-end collision, sent me down a path of pills and worsening symptoms. My doctor’s prescribed an abundance of pharmaceuticals in an unsuccessful attempt to ease my severe, unexplained symptoms. My physicians referred me to every specialist imaginable. I even completed over a YEAR of physical therapy before finally receiving the diagnosis of having Fibromyalgia. Having a label for my myriad of symptoms didn’t prove helpful . The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, leaving treatment more than difficult. I personally experience chronic widespread body pain, specifically in my neck, back and hips. As well as chronic fatigue, diminished cognitive ability, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
All these symptoms are indicative of a failing Endocannabinoid System according to Dr. Ethan Russo, a neuroscientist who is a pioneer in researching the ECS. He believes, as do I, that these conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and irritable bowel syndrome, with unknown epidemiology and no know cure, are caused by an underlying Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.
Lost, scared and alone; an old familiar friend reemerges!
My health was steadily declining and I felt lost, scared and alone. Then, my long lost sister, Mary Jane re-entered my life and I started to see a change. Living in CA at the time enabled me safe and legal access to medical cannabis, which I began to use to self-treat my symptoms. Even as a once experienced user, I had no clue how to get the full benefits from it and the products available at the time were mostly high in THC. They didn’t contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids necessary to create the entourage effect. This lack of guidance I experienced when I first started using cannabis medicinally is what drives me to help teach others how to safely supplement with cannabis.
Plants over pills for the win!
The pharmaceuticals I was being prescribed were causing more symptoms and actually making my condition worse! I effectively supplemented with cannabis to titrate myself off ALL of these DRUGS including OPIOIDS! During that time, I also changed the other things I was putting into my body. I eliminated alcohol and consumed an anti-inflammatory diet, which led to the loss of over 60 pounds! This was the beginning to getting my life back. Plants over pills became my motto!
Starting to feel better physically enabled me to start working on my mental health. With the help of cannabis, I was able to open mind further and look inward to find my own spirituality. I gained an understanding of how to utilize food as medicine. I began to add routines including self-love, meditation and a clean diet to my cannabis regimen. Doing so created an over all sense of well-being that has brought me as close as possible to having a handle on this debilitating condition.
Moving across the country to a prohibition state…
Unable to work, we fell on hard times. We moved from California back to my hometown in North Carolina. North Carolina is currently a prohibition state. Not having the safe and legal access to medical cannabis I once had, put me back in a substantial amount of pain. I have dedicated the last year to researching legal CBD and other cannabinoids naturally present in hemp. I have studied how they can be combined with terpenes present in other foods and herbs to help enhance the legally low (0.3%) THC available.
Mother’s Hemp is born
This research inspired me to create Mother’s Hemp. Mother’s Hemp is a line of hemp derived CBD products focusing on plant synergy and organic derived ingredients. It is also what sparked my long time cannabis advocacy to be ignited into activism. This spark ignited me to speak out against the injustice of prohibition and tell my cannabis story. I recently took a position with North Carolina NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) on the board as the communications director to really make an impact in changing the conservative minds and utilizing the platform to help educate others and empower them to change minds as well in hopes of restoring our fundamental human rights to cannabis enabling us to choose plants over pills.