Cameron is a cannabis social and lifestyle consultant. He has managed a dispensary in the past and is now half of Just Another Jay Blog where he and his partner, Nick Abell, write cannabis lifestyle blogs. They're cannabis blog offers everything from information about yoga and cannabis to how to look out for empty buzzwords on cannabis labeling/packaging. I had a blast getting to know Cameron and Nick. I felt like I could have sat there forever in the quaint little coffee shop talking "marijuana industry." I made an amazing, new friend and left feeling inspired about my business. This is Cameron's CBD journey...
Why do you use CBD?
I actually just recently started using CBD. I used to use strictly THC, just because for some reason CBD being non-psychoactive didn’t at all appeal to me, and then my partner and photographer Nick started using it and was able to get off his anti-depressants purely using CBD. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety or anything like that but I have a really hard time handling stress sometimes and CBD is the best thing for me. You don’t feel high, you just feel better.
Does anyone else in your family use CBD?
Oh yeah, absolutely. My whole family is very pro-cannabis. My aunt and her ex-husband actually used to grow cannabis in their basement in upstate New York and she was the one who started using CBD first in my family. Then my mom started using it for her arthritis. We have a lot of joint pain problems in our family. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and she uses CBD as well. It’s a great selling point that it’s non-psychoactive so a lot of people in my family who don’t necessarily want to feel high use CBD so they can still receive the benefits of the plant.
How did you discover CBD?
Before I started working as a content creator I was a general manager of a dispensary chain in Arizona. As I worked in the industry for a year and a half I learned a lot more about it. I would hear so many great things about people utilizing CBD and getting off their antidepressants and anxiety medications and I saw the benefits in my partner and knew I had to try it.
Was CBD hard for you to acquire?
No. I think because of my profession and being in the industry it was super easy. It’s hysterical how many people in the industry just throw something at you and say, “Hey, try this!” and I love it, I feel spoiled. So, I started seeing a lot of CBD in Arizona and I started looking out of state as well since it is legal in all 50 states.
How has it made a difference in your everyday life?
It’s literally part of our routine now. So you know you get up, get in the shower get everything you need to get done, take CBD. It’s a supplement for me and I noticed some people will feel it immediately and some people won’t feel it for a while so I’ve learned you kind of have to give it time. It took about 2 ½ weeks for me to feel the difference. It’s more so I can tell if I don’t take it. I can feel it in my body. There just feels like something is missing.
How has it affected your relationship with family/friends?
Well, I surround myself with like-minded people, which in a sense can be damaging and in a sense it can be great, but all of my family and friends are pro-cannabis. It’s just so embraced in my family and I know how lucky I am to have that situation because I know a lot of people who are entering the industry and their family or friends just don’t understand. It’s all so new we’re all being entrepreneurs and we put on so many hats and when we surround ourselves with likeminded people it’s hard to remember there’s people out there who are trying to shut it down.
Tell me about your life/pain before CBD…
Well before CBD, or cannabis at all really, I was living in New York working in fashion PR. Day-to-day I wasn’t smoking or using anything. New York really puts you through the ringer. I was feeling kind of crushed --- I discovered I didn’t want to be involved in fashion anymore. And I was thinking, “What the hell can I do?” It was actually my mom who reached out to me because essentially she couldn’t get out of bed anymore. So, over winter break I went to see her and she could not get out of bed, her hands were all twisted. She suffers from severe arthritis. It wasn’t until I saw her get her medical card and she’s a very loud, high-strung, New York woman so I saw CBD and THC bring that down. And I was like, “Oh.. I’m your son I know I’m very much like you, I probably need to try that.”
Has it affected your career in anyway?
It is my career. It’s completely changed everything. Listen, I’ve said this plenty of times, if you would’ve told me 5 years ago what I’m doing now I would’ve called you crazy. Because I was anti-cannabis, had no interest in it whatsoever. I mean I saw the benefits in it and was definitely supportive of the holistic aspect of it. I just was ignorant in my own right because I didn’t educate myself. I educated myself, I’m in a relationship with someone who is very pro-cannabis, and that obviously helped too, and it’s my job now. Which is crazy! When I first started in the industry I was a budtender and then I started managing and I was kind of just like a glorified drug dealer. I started to see a lack of elevation and a lack of really positive representation of communities and people. There was something lacking in the artistic sense of it so we launched our company and focused on lifestyle content.
Do/did you take any pharmaceutical medicine with/before CBD?
I don’t, no. I’m very anti-pharma. I just will not. Even when I got my wisdom teeth out I wouldn’t take the meds I just slept a lot. I’m just weird like that. In America right now there’s a huge mental health crisis and opioid addiction and the last thing I want to do is be part of that statistic. I would much rather have people have a bigger idea of what cannabis can do for them. We’re pumping literal chemicals in to our body when we could be using a medicine that comes from the earth, you know? So hopefully as cannabis legalization happens those opioid addiction statistics go down.
My partner was laid off a while ago, which kicked his depression up and he started taking anti-depressants and he was just a wall. I started losing him in a sense. And now since cannabis he’s a completely different person. And I don’t mean to keep talking about this, but my partners family is all Mormon and from Utah and won’t even talk about it. However, that area of the country has one of the highest opioid addiction rates out there. It’s a shame because there are people in that church that support CBD and there are a lot of people in that area that could benefit from it. Even his grandmother who is super religious acknowledged there is a problem with Mormonism and opioids.
Do you feel like there is a stigma with CBD?
Yeah, I think with anything new and the nature of how people kind of stay in their little bubbles of their states or communities or whatever, there are stigmas. I had a huge negative stigma association about it because I didn’t know anything about it. I’ve always found, whether you’re talking about cannabis, human rights, social justice, etc. you tend to see that there is a problem of mis-education. So when you start educating a community, tolerance is built. Tolerance and respect go hand in hand with education. So, absolutely I do see a stigma with CBD right now, but there shouldn’t be. There are so many different parameters that people throw at you. “I can’t take it because of my religion, I can’t take it for this or that.” You have every right to make a decision for yourself as a human being. It’s just a supplement for me. I take my B-12 and I take my CBD. So, hopefully as time progresses and more education spreads CBD will be more sought out. I just feel that cannabis is a human right at the end of the day.
Tell me about your CBD journey in a few words?
Magical. To be honest with you, I just feel like a happier person. I used to be very uptight and it’s nice to just decompress. At the end of the day, I’m my own worst enemy you know? And I need to just need shut those voices down for a second.