Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 19, Telaney Newton has been using Cannabis medicinally for about four years. Thanks to this incredible plant, her disease has remained in remission since her diagnosis. With a degree in Public Health and minors in Medical Ethics and Psychology, her goal is to eventually become a naturopathic doctor or work in the field of holistic medicine. She aims to one day provide others facing illness with an alternative approach. Learn more about Telaney and her methods of treatment in this month’s patient profile!
How did you first discover Cannabis?
Fortunately, my amazing sister who you may know as @terpodactyl_media, is quite the Cannabis connoisseur. I remember her telling my parents and I that we should look into Cannabis for treatment options, but I was so overwhelmed with appointments and information that it really went to the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I was experiencing an intense attack – where I literally thought I needed to go to the emergency room – that I can remember my dad calling my sister in a panic, running to the dispensary and bringing me back a bunch of different things. I specifically remember I took maybe one or two hits of a joint, and suddenly it was like night and day. Within minutes, I went from excruciating pain to walking around like it was a regular day. That’s when I knew just how much Cannabis could help me. I was thrilled to see Pete Davison’s interview on High Times and how Cannabis helps his Crohn’s, as I wish more IBD patients knew just how much of a difference it can make.
In what ways has Cannabis played a crucial role in enhancing your overall quality of life with Crohn’s disease?
I think one of the biggest things Cannabis has given me is just a sense of control. Life with a chronic illness can seem like a big question mark and before Cannabis, I used to just have to try to bear down and get through the horrible pain that would come with my Crohn’s attacks, as over-the-counter pain killers can actually make Crohn’s much worse. Fortunately, I haven’t had an attack in almost three years – roughly around the same time I started adding in my daily RSO, but now if I even feel like one may be coming, I can smoke a little and move on with my day. I know not every Crohn’s patient may have this experience with Cannabis, but it has really allowed me to feel a little more prepared for whatever my disease throws at me, and has definitely improved the quality of my health – both physically and mentally. Another important, but often overlooked, way Cannabis has helped me is in my social life. I’m only 22, but I basically gave up drinking, as alcohol doesn’t really agree with my stomach. Now when I go to parties, instead of sitting around and not participating, I can smoke and still feel engaged and social while knowing I’m actually doing my body good. In the grand scheme of things it may not seem like a pressing issue, but for me to be able to relax with my friends and still feel ‘normal’ – it means so much.
What cultivars and products help when experiencing various kinds of symptoms?
I use Siskiyou Sungrown or Genesis Pharms RSO every day. It was one of the first Cannabis products I started using regularly and I genuinely believe it pushed me into remission. If I can, I prefer to get my Cannabis intake through edibles or tinctures. I find if it goes straight to my GI tract, I get the most relief. I absolutely love all of Happy Kitchen’s edibles and the Cannavore Caramels are incredible. I also really love the Synergy Skinworx patches for discrete consumption. They are amazing for medical patients if you need that relief, but aren’t able to smoke – in fact, I have a vacation coming up and I’m planning on stocking up and wearing one 24/7. If I am experiencing an attack though, smoking heavier strains like Donny Burger offer such immediate relief. I also keep a dab pen with me when I go out with friends, just in case.
Are there particular cannabinoids that work better for you than others?
I typically use the high CBD RSO, as I take it in the morning and it doesn’t leave me groggy. I do find that if I am experiencing pain, high THC products are a must. I wouldn’t say either works better for me, but I use them differently and they both help immensely. I do occasionally experience anxiety specifically related to my health, and if that’s the case, I’ll usually find myself smoking or consuming strains with a higher CBD and lower THC content, to help offset any anxiety.