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Doesn’t matter what ails you: there’s a strain for that

Joe+Veldon
Joe Veldon

Joe Veldon

Tom O'Leary

Tom O'Leary

Joe Veldon

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“Before I get started, a quick show of hands,” said Joe Veldon to an at-capacity Bentley 207 at Johnson State College (JSC) on Oct. 25. “How many of you were out there blazing up in the parking lot before coming in here?”

Veldon, who graduated from JSC in 1994 with a degree in environmental science, owns and operates Seven Leaf Organics with his wife in Morrisville, Vt. He was invited to the college as a part of its Science Speaker Series to discuss the current trends in the medical uses of cannabis and his lifelong experiences with the plant.

“My cannabis background begins with a strain called ‘Elvis,’ which a friend and I created during our time at Johnson,” Veldon said. “Fast-forward a few years and I am back at school, working on construction at a local golf course and learning a lot about growing a whole different kind of grass.”

“That was until fall of 2001, when I ended up shattering my ankle,” said Veldon. “I absolutely trashed it. I ended up having 13 surgeries over eight years to rebuild it. It was then that I really started experimenting with cannabis medicinally. I was prescribed a lot of opioids at the time and for long periods of time, and what I found is they messed up my circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. So what I found was strains that didn’t so much as take the pain away, but mitigate it, and . . . I found that to be a much milder alternative.”

When Veldon finally healed, he returned to his work on the golf course. “Then, in 2013, a friend and former JSC Badger approached me about an opportunity he had in Oregon,” he said. “A few weeks later, I was on a plane to Portland. Long story short, he had created an incubator of sorts — a place where cannabis growers could all come together on a farm that he owned and learn to grow and perfect their craft. I was hired to help that group of growers develop a breeding program, as well as help institute best grow practices.”

Veldon worked on the farm until last summer, when he partnered with his wife and one of the other growers to create a boutique recreational grow in Portland, Ore. where they produce pharmaceutical grade cannabis.

“There isn’t a person in here who can’t benefit from medicinal cannabis,” Veldon said. “When you leave here today, I want you to be able to go into any dispensary in the country and know what you’re looking for, why you want what you want, how to order what you want and how to make sure you are in fact getting what you want.”

Veldon proceeded to explain the cannabis industry nomenclature, such as how organic compounds in the cannabis plant like cannabinoids and terpenes react with the endocannabinoid system within the human body, which are receptors that were first discovered in porcupines.

Later on, he enlightened the audience on the many different ways that the organic compounds can be used medicinally, such as butane honey oil (BHO), which is extracted from cannabis using butane, and Rick Simpson’s oil (RSO), a cancer treatment using distilled cannabinoids.

Next Veldon elaborated on the innumerable strains in the medical cannabis industry and how the different compounds benefit the human body. The most popular and helpful compound is CBD, which can be found at high levels in strains like “Aloha Blue,” “Harlequin,” and “Charlotte’s Web.” In addition, he mentioned the uses of some of the Seven Leaf Organics original strains such as “Abenaki” and “Squibnocket.”

Lastly, he listed all of the current ways to get cannabinoids in your system including smoking, vaping/dabbing, edibles, tinctures, topicals, pills, and even suppositories.

Veldon concluded his presentation with an anecdote displaying the extensive reach that medical cannabis can have, before departing with his signature catch-phrase. “My dog Merlin is nine now, and he’s developed tremors in his jaw,” he said. “It was really affecting his quality of life, so we put him on CBDs, and it has significantly reduced the frequency, duration and intensity of his spasms. It doesn’t matter what ails you, there’s a strain for that.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Doesn’t matter what ails you: there’s a strain for that”

  1. Stacey Currie on November 13th, 2017 1:15 pm

    Fantastic lecture! I absolutely love the evolution of this lifelong passion!

    [Reply]

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Doesn’t matter what ails you: there’s a strain for that