How Oregon Growers Are Putting Patients First

As more states pass medical cannabis laws and place this plant into regulated programs, it is essential that those involved remember that this legal industry was first born out of compassion for patients. Several growers in Oregon are making sure that continues to be the case.

It is widely known in the cannabis community, and is now even stated on Web MD, that “your body already makes [cannabis]-like chemicals that affect pain, inflammation, and many other processes. [Cannabis] can sometimes help those natural chemicals work better.”

Many growers are deeply committed to patient care and several throughout Oregon are making sure the medical patients are put first as they cultivate specific strains for them on their farms.

East Fork Medicinal is a small family farm, run by brothers Nathan and Aaron Howard in Southern Oregon, dedicated to growing the state’s highest-quality CBD cannabis for patients and dispensaries. When asked about supplying patients with medical cannabis Nathan said, “as with other medicinal herbs, the very medicinal properties in a plant that humans find useful are often there due to the plant creating defense mechanisms in the wild when posed with different challenges. We use that knowledge and apply it when growing CBD dominant strains like ACDC or CBD-rich varieties like OG-78 and, in turn, they express their medicinal properties and terpene profiles more fully.” Howard says that their patients often use high CBD strains such as these to treat pain and anxiety.

“Different strains have to be tended slightly differently just because they grow differently, and we figure out with all of the plants what helps them at their optimal quality and quantity and modify our cultivation practices accordingly,” added Josh Munk of Master Gardens and Cannley Cannabis Co. in Portland. “Shark’s Breath has been one of our crowd favorites and has fantastic therapeutic benefits.” he said.

James Knox of KLR Farms and Savant Plant Tech in Albany alluded to his work on the medical side, “I’ve got the most experience with patients who have chronic pain from spinal injury or rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV-positive patients. The majority of the HIV patients I work with had AIDS at one point and, after using the medical cannabis I grow, their AIDS went into remission and circled back to HIV-positive. Part of this is because they were finally able to keep their pills down since the cannabis helped so significantly with their nausea and sleep. The strain Cinex is a favorite for helping with sleep and appetite stimulation. My arthritis patients generally do well with strains that have a very high CBD and THC count, such as our Banana OG.”

Courtney Zehring of Tokie Farms in Ashland added, “I have found in my cultivation practices and in working with patients over the years, that the presence of both THC and CBD are essential to pain management. I have found, when working with genetics, one can have radically different results depending on who grows it and the conditions in which it is grown. I believe adamantly that high-quality medicine is made with high-quality inputs. I focus my cultivation practices less on strain specific and more on inputs to ensure specific terpene profiles which are beneficial to specific patient needs.”

Chris and Megan Graham of GEMM Farms in Portland agree with many of the growers DOPE Magazine spoke with. “Every strain is different and every patient is different. With patients’ varying needs, you have to grow a massive amount of product; you can’t just grow one strain. Our Canna Tsu and Frank’s Gift are both high CBD strains that we cultivate and provide for our patients with PTSD or anxiety issues, as well as many of our fibromyalgia patients.”

As people in the world of cannabis begin to navigate the recreational/adult use industry, it is essential that we continue to defend our plant—and patients—everywhere. These Oregon growers are doing just that as they skillfully cultivate medicinal strains in their gardens.

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