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Pot Patient Sammi Martin Discovered the Healing Power of Cannabis

Cannabis has helped our patient of the month to shed 60+ pounds and 10 medications over the past five years.

More than a dozen white-capped, orange-tinted cylinders littered the residence of Sammi Martin. Caught like a wildfire out of control, she had reached a point where she was taking daily medications simply to combat the side effects of other medications.

“I was just so numb,” said Sammi, a native of Glen Burnie, Maryland. “I was miserable and it became apparent [my attitude] was becoming an issue. My son said to me, ‘You’re just so mean all the time.’ I couldn’t do that anymore. Something had to change.”

Sammi had always been the one to bring a cheery spirit.

A tumbling toddler, she took an early liking to gymnastics at the age of three. As her athletic skills increased, she found joy in cheerleading and traveling across the country for competitions – even appearing with an all-star team on a live ESPN broadcast.

“I loved it,” the 38-year-old said. “Back then, I’d eat, sleep and breathe gymnastics and cheerleading.”

Her family on the floor, often soothed by a big crowd’s roar, provided an escape from her hectic home life.

Sammi’s father was a Vietnam veteran and he had returned to the states after the war with untreated PTSD. His mental illness manifested in the form of physical and psychological abuse – culminating in a substance abuse pattern that resulted in his death in 2013.

“I always said I had two fathers,” she said. “One was my dad – and he was amazing. Then there was Danny. That guy was an asshole who would steal from me, fight with my mom and stepmom in front of me, and even threatened to kill me and my son the last time I saw him.”

After nearly two decades on the mat, Sammi’s escapism through “cheernastics” was no longer an option. Her body, which had been so strong and capable through 16 years of competition, no longer wished to provide an escape from the unpleasantries of life. She spent her 29th birthday on a surgical table for a knee replacement – the first of 42 surgeries, 28 of which have been on her legs.

“I grew up so healthy; I was constantly in the gym working out,” said Sammi, letting out a large exhale and turning the blame to a 2008 pregnancy filled with complications. “After I got pregnant with my son, my body was destroyed. It all caught up to me and I’ve been paying for it ever since.”

Sammi was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, which is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration during pregnancy. Nine months of stress amplified the inflammation previously plaguing her body, placing Sammi in a permanent state of discomfort and pain. That pain led to a barrage of surgeries, before morphing into postpartum depression and a heavy reliance on pharmaceuticals.

Like translucent pill bottles on a kitchen counter, the years began to stack up with little differentiating one from another. That is, until Sammi found medical Cannabis.

“All that medicine? It was just a band-aid covering up what was really hurting,” she said, crediting weekly therapy sessions for a breakthrough.

Cannabis has helped her tune into her body more efficiently, allowing her to shed 60+ pounds and 10 medications over the past five years. The radical transformation has encouraged Sammi to take up a new career, earning a role as a budtender at CuraLeaf in Columbia, where she has guided patients for the past year.

“When first-time patients come in, it can be very overwhelming,” said Sammi, who has worked in a multitude of healthcare jobs, varying from primary care practices, radiologists, chiropractors, neurosurgeons and pediatric wards alike. “I want my patients to feel better. So I try to find a connection with them – whatever that takes – and go from there.”

After a year of experimenting with various forms of Cannabis, Sammi’s quality of life has drastically improved. She has dialed in her regimen to include a THC tincture and a joint in the morning – preferably a hybrid or indica. Her “best friend” – a Puffco Pro – is always nearby in case of a flare up or a bout of nausea.

“I don’t know why I waited so long to start using [Cannabis],” she said, surmising that her father’s drug use likely played a role in keeping her away. “Ever since I switched to medical marijuana, my life has done a complete 180°. I’m only on three meds now and I’ve lost 60 pounds. I’m much happier with things in my life and I see everything more positively.”

You can follow along Sammi’s Cannabis journey on Instagram @Ur_Hiighness_Sammi.

This article was originally published in the June 2023 issue of Maryland Leaf.

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