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Chris’s positive experiences within the Utah medical cannabis program have made him the ideal mentor to his local community in Cache county. He has worked hard throughout his adult life to overcome alcoholism, back surgery, and multiple mental health conditions. By sharing his success, Chris hopes to inspire others and show them that with patience and dedication, healing is possible.
Chris’s journey with medical cannabis began while recovering from a major back procedure. During this time he suffered intense chronic pain. Everyday tasks became a struggle and his active lifestyle consisting of golf, swimming, and weight lifting was put on hold. The negative side effects and temporary relief of pain pills almost made taking them not worth it. Chris was desperate for a more sustainable long-term solution.
His partner, who was familiar with CBD products, recommended he try topicals to help relieve pain and discomfort. While using CBD and prescription medications simultaneously, Chris began to notice improvements throughout his entire body. CBD gave Chris the opportunity to explore the medicinal benefits of cannabis and its relationship with the human body, without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Chris also struggles with bipolar disorder and anxiety and wondered if cannabis would help improve his mental health as well. His psychiatrist quickly turned down his interest, stating they did not believe in using cannabis as a treatment method. After witnessing the medicinal benefits of CBD firsthand, Chris disagreed with his mental health provider. He parted from traditional psychiatric care and took matters into his own hands, accepting guidance from medical professionals who specialized in cannabis.
Chris was connected with American Shaman, a CBD store with locations across the country. A qualified medical provider (QMP) at American Shaman informed him that chronic pain is a qualifying condition in Utah, and that combining THC with CBD could provide greater benefits to his health.
6 months as a cardholder
Over the past six months, cannabis has become an important tool that allows Chris to fully connect with his body, mind, and spirit. He began by learning the difference between indica and sativa flower strains. Throughout this process, he appreciated the willingness of WholesomeCo delivery drivers to educate him right at his doorstep. Understanding how his body reacted to each allowed him to address not only physical pain but control his emotions and moods as well. After six months, Chris was able to replace all of his prescription pain pills and mental health medications with cannabis.
His personal success makes him eager to learn more and support individuals facing similar situations. Chris believes everyone should have the right to open minded doctors and support systems. He is confident in his decision despite the controversy around cannabis and his own doctors pushing for prescription drugs.
Recently, Chris has been able to reincorporate physical activity back into his life and comfortably complete household chores. His healing has already inspired friends, family, and neighbors to pursue their own cannabis journeys, and even Chris’s dog medicates with cannabis today.
A source of inspiration
“In order to help others, you need to be honest with yourself,” Chris says. This is not the first instance where he has attempted to lead others toward success by sharing his own life experiences. Earlier in his life Chris struggled with alcohol addiction. Throughout his recovery, he spent many hours volunteering with the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) and Cache County Jail to share his story with younger generations.
Chris is passionate about giving back to the community that provided him with resources to take control of his own life. Sharing what he endured not only inspires those facing similar circumstances but also helps him stay true to himself and his health goals.
Volunteering within the court system also opened his eyes to the negative impacts controlled drugs can have on one's life. As a recovering alcoholic, addiction is something he takes seriously. In the past, Chris worried that painkillers would trigger addictive behaviors that he struggled with in the past. Cannabis now provides him with a more natural way to medicate, eliminating the potential for harmful and addictive side effects.
Chris’s preferred consumption method is flower, which he occasionally combines with bubble hash to increase potency and pain relieving qualities. Choosing a low THC percentage allows him to experience the flavors and medicinal benefits of cannabis, rather than an overpowering psychoactive high.
He has found that a daytime sativa strain helps with depressive bipolar moods while a more relaxing indica strain calms his anxiety. Cannabis also allows him to find balance in his appetite and sleep schedule, which was hard to achieve while using prescription drugs. Through research, trial and error, and tuning into his body, Chris curated a medication routine that specifically targets his personal symptoms and conditions.
In less than a year, his overall health and wellness has come a long way. It can be intimidating to experiment with a new type of treatment, especially when the outcome could have major impacts to a patient's health. Chris is thankful for the resources provided by the Utah medical program and the opportunity to pursue a natural healing method.
Experiencing the powerful medicinal benefits has made him quite the cannabis advocate, and he is excited to continue down the path of healing and inspiring others to do the same. WholesomeCo is proud to support Chris on this journey and excited to witness what the rest of the year has to contribute to his healing and growth.