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Utah in the Weeds Episode #108 – Brandon Voorhees, Medical Cannabis Patient

Episode 108 of Utah in the Weeds features Brandon Voorhees, a “marijuana missionary” who made the switch from traditional painkillers to cannabis after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Podcast Transcript

Tim Pickett:
Welcome everyone out to episode 108 of Utah in the Weeds. My name is Tim Pickett, and I am the host here. A podcast about cannabis in cannabis culture starting right here in Utah, trying to branch out a little bit here and there. Today is a great episode, great conversation with Brandon Voorhees, a Utah patient that found medical cannabis after a traumatic brain injury in a horrific accident that you should really hear about. Traumatic brain injury is something that a lot of people suffer from after getting in a car accident or getting in a bicycle accident. We treat patients who’ve been hit by cars and things like that. Great story, great guy too. Just a real positive take on what could’ve ended up being … And really what was, for a time, a devastating, devastating injury and situation for him.

Tim Pickett:
From a housekeeping perspective, Utah in the Weeds is well into its second … 100 episodes, weekly episodes. We release every Friday at 4:20, or at least we try to stay up to date. If you know somebody who you’d like to have share their story, or if you’re somebody who feels like they want to share their story, go to Utahmarijuana.org and find the podcast. Reach out to us on YouTube at Discover Marijuana. We’re doing giveaways on Discover Marijuana every couple of months. This week, I believe we’re giving away a desktop vaporizer Volcano in partnership with one of the Utah cannabis pharmacies, WholesomeCo out of Bountiful, Utah. A great pharmacy there. They do home delivery all over the state. Go to YouTube Discover Marijuana to find out more there. Thanks for subscribing to Utah in the Weeds. Again, my name is Tim Pickett, enjoy this interview and discussion with Brandon Voorhees. How are you involved in the cannabis space now?

Brandon Voorhees:
I have been using cannabis as medicine for close to 15 years-ish now. 13 years-ish about that. And so I was using it under the radar in the beginning anyways or trying to. As far as signing petitions and things, I wasn’t on doing the footwork like I wish I could. I was working and supporting a family and things. I was still one of the first cards. I’m card number 180. When the bomb dropped that your doctor could write you a notice saying, “You’re got your” … This is at least legal. I went to my doctor and he pulled the “Well, we don’t know what to do about that yet.” And I was like “Well, I think it’s time to find a new doctor.”

Brandon Voorhees:
I don’t know if you know who Rita Rutland is out at Restorative Health. She was one of the first few writing a letter, or at least giving that permission to say, “Hey, this is” … “We’re using it as medicine. It’s not a bunch of crap, it’s not kids being stupid.” And so I was ready to fill out for my card 10 minutes before it actually opened up on the EPS or the-

Tim Pickett:
The EVS.

Brandon Voorhees:
EVS. And so I got my card. I had one of the first cards and was able to go down to Dragonfly and buy a tincture within probably the first week maybe.

Tim Pickett:
That’s cool.

Brandon Voorhees:
I was still in the very beginning. Because of it as well, I am all about trying to change the stigma like yourself. There’s so much that people think it’s about getting high, but if you looked at the list of medications I was on prior, that’s not even a comparison to what I was dealing with prior. I openly talk to people about this. I actually was able to speak at the Brain Injury Alliance’s Wellness Fair. It happened to be going on the same exact days that UCann was. But I was able to get Julian to come out and do a little talk with me. Putting something together to try and help people realize that there is a better option than the pills that are out there. And not just is it another option, but I personally feel a better option, it’s a natural option. It’s not another pill that you’re taking. I was on pills for the side effects of the other pills.

Brandon Voorhees:
And worst case with the cannabis is that a night with some munchies and sitting on the couch. Back in the day when I was on medications, there was no … What do they call it? A NARCAN pill or nothing to save your life if you OD’d on opioids. And I was being prescribed 60 Percocet 7.5 every month. I used to carry them around in a little pill box in my pocket like a Pez dispenser, and I was never, without at least 20 … Or actually, it was 60 Percocet 7.5s and I was always had 25 in my pocket. I was always scared to be without it because of pain.

Tim Pickett:
Really? And that’s a lot of them, but that’s real. I mean, that 25 of them in your pocket all the time because you’re really scared of not being with them. I don’t know. I got to take that-

Brandon Voorhees:
Scary.

Tim Pickett:
When you take it in as a medical provider, and I’m sitting here thinking well, you’ve got patients you’re prescribing these medications to and things like that, but when you really think about it, okay, no, this person actually carries around their supply because … There’s a couple of things that go through my mind. One, you really are so dependent on it that you have to have it very close, right. You need to know where it is at all times. That’s another thing, the fact that you’re mentally is … It’s like a comfort blanket to have those pills in your pocket or with you, right, it’s a woobie blanket. To put that much dependency on a substance like that. Just the fact that we’ve gotten to that point with people and we’ve … It’s not that providers encourage it, but they sure don’t seem to be dealing with it, right. Your provider wasn’t necessarily dealing with it I’m guessing, right? Just don’t overuse or else I’m going to drug test you and then I’m going to cut you off.

Brandon Voorhees:
And mine wasn’t like that. I don’t know how much of my history you know, or if you’ve read my story on … I was featured on Wholesome’s patient page a little while ago.

Tim Pickett:
Talk about your story. People really need to hear this.

Brandon Voorhees:
Even if you’re not religious, there’s guardian angels out there. One night I had just proposed to my girlfriend all excited. She went to go pick up two children that she had from a previous marriage and I went to go meet them at home. I stopped at a drive-thru and picked up some shakes, and I forgot to put my seatbelt back on when I got my wallet out. I take off down 3300 south, and just above 2000 east, I had a Jeep Wrangler that was a little bit lifted in things and I got in an accident where I clipped the other guy’s front end. What he says, what I remember don’t jive, but either way, I rolled and was ejected from my Jeep. Literally fell out the soft top hitting the right side of my head and my … The whole upper shoulder and everything on the street. My dog ran home 26 blocks. She took off and ran home.

Brandon Voorhees:
I was sent to the U of U. I had two epidural hematomas that they had to evacuate so they did a C scar or a C flap surgery they call it, where they cut open all around here and had it opened. I’ve got 16 titanium screws and eight straps holding the sections on my skull together here under where I pretty much crushed it on the street. With that, I had a couple fractured vertebrae, broken scapula, shoulder blade. My whole shoulder up here is just a scar from hitting the road. I woke up in the burn section of the ICU of the U of U Hospital four days later.

Brandon Voorhees:
When they went to release me, they found that I was leaking CT fluid out my sinus cavity from a fracture in the forehead so I had punctured my dura. So they put a spinal tap in and kept me in there for a few more days until that had resolved and then they sent me on my way.This was back June 3rd of 2005. So as far as resources for brain injury go, being released and resources for anything else that time really there was nothing. They made sure I could walk, and talk, and I wasn’t a vegetable, and they gave me my papers and sent me on my way.

Brandon Voorhees:
From there, I was having, not just the pain issues but I was having a lot of emotional issues. And so at that point, who do you go to? It was finding someone who had some knowledge of brain injury. And it was put on the usual pain medication opioids along with … There was Gabapentin, there was amitriptyline, Celexa, or Citalopram. A whole host of them that I actually went through the whole gambit of different ones where they changed it to Lyrica. Tried another one, it didn’t work out. I had gone through Trileptal and Tegretol. Not just headaches, but where the scar was from where they cut my head open right by my ear. The suspicion, or what their thought is, that the scar tissue is pushing against my trigeminal nerve-

Tim Pickett:
Oh wow.

Brandon Voorhees:
And so it’s causing trigeminal pain in my jaw. It feels like I got in a bar fight the night before. Usually, it’s my face and my teeth that hurt. A lot of facial pain, and that’s my biggest issue there. I was at the point where I was just talking to a pain specialist about a subdermal pain pump. I had gone through a Gamma knife to try and desensitize some of the pain in the nerve. I was doing acupuncture. Pretty much all of these things. With all the medications up and down I was too emotionally … My wife was ready to be done with me, it was bad. That’s where I was, at least my injuries, to put me to where I was at that point where it was just boiling over. Too many things that were not working and just hurting me more than helping.

Tim Pickett:
How many years did you go through this before … And did you find cannabis in … What years are we talking about? Your injury’s in 2005. This is a long time before cannabis is legal in Utah. There’s only a couple of states that it was even legal in that point and not something that I would imagine you even considered.

Brandon Voorhees:
It wasn’t for probably three or four years into it. I was 25. Or I was 28 so about 2008, just about 2009, where I was … I think we’d been on a trip to California … And I had used cannabis when I was a younger kid in later teen years, 17, 18, 19, and so I wasn’t … I was familiar with it, but it wasn’t until I was trying it later on that I was like wow, this is … Not just the pain issue, but it’s helping some of these other facets that are making it a little better off. One of the biggest problems with taking a handful of prescription pills for breakfast is you don’t … You’re not hungry, or it throws off your whole gut biome at the same time, which they’re now even finding out is your second brain.

Tim Pickett:
So I worked in GI surgery for seven years, and people who are on chronic medications, in general, but certainly chronic pain medications, and antidepressants, chronic pain medications, you talked about amitriptyline, you’re talking about messing with the motility of the gut in some serious ways. The other thing you’re about to say is, there are a significant amount of … The same receptors that we consider for depression, the serotonin receptors, there’s tons of those receptors in the gut, right. We’re talking about a lot of the same type of tissue. In fact, have you ever read that there’s a very similar tissue in the gut and the brain, right? This is somewhat similar tissue. So all these meds you’re taking for your brain injury are having a … They’re playing a number on your gut.

Brandon Voorhees:
Oh, yeah. And what good does your brain do if you can’t fuel it properly, if you’re not fueling it properly? I mean, my breakfast was maybe coffee, and then a lunch of a can of Pepsi, and then maybe I’d eat dinner because by then I would finally be hungry at the end of the day after all those pills had kicked off. It was not just their side effects but the trickling down other side effects of just taking them. Again, what good does a car do if you have no gas for it? It doesn’t get you anywhere.

Tim Pickett:
Right. So when did you start using cannabis at all?

Brandon Voorhees:
It was about 2008, 2009. Four or five years after my accident. Four.

Tim Pickett:
An aha moment you feel like or just something you were like oh, wow I mean, this feels good, it seems to help?

Brandon Voorhees:
That was a little bit of that aha moment. We had had a family trip to California and within that, there was a medication swap that threw me for a loop that was a family fight that I will not … I never want to bring up. That’s another side effect of medications. This is helping the pain and not stupefying me as much as the Percocets and the other issues. Because I was at that boiling-over point already, it was like I was reaching for something. Again, I told people I’d had an acupuncture appointment and people would look at you like you were crazy. You’re going to go get needles stuck in you. When you’re in enough pain, a bunch of needles being stuck in you, if it’s going to help, is nothing compared to other pains that you might be already feeling.

Tim Pickett:
Right.

Brandon Voorhees:
I was at that boiling-over point where I was searching outside the box. When the pain specialist told me, “You want to put me on oxycodone or Oxycontin, or whatever the strongest was at that point.” And then he talked about putting a pain pump under my skin that would refill monthly, that scared me to death. That scared me. And cannabis, the way it helped me … Because the only way to use it was to smoke it, inhalation. We didn’t have the options we now have here in Utah. That instant helping was huge. Because part of the problem I was finding also with the Percocet is, when you’re getting the onset of pain you have to take it or you weren’t going to get relief from it. You pretty much had to make sure. And sometimes was I going to be in pain? I don’t know but I was taking it anyways just to make sure because you didn’t want to be in pain it would ruin your day. Not just your day, it ruined your life. It ruins your life.

Brandon Voorhees:
And a Percocet takes how long to kick in? A good 45 minutes to an hour depending on what you’ve eaten. And then you’re stuck with it for a good six to eight hours, that whole issue with it as well. Smoking a little bit of cannabis at the time, I could wait for the onset. I could make sure I was having an actual pain onset or something was coming before I had to actually do it. And it was a lot more immediate. Granted, it did wear off a little bit sooner but sometimes I didn’t need that eight hours of relief. It’s not relief. Getting that over it in that hour or two was more what I needed rather than that Percocet that was stuck in my system for eight hours on that ride if you will.

Tim Pickett:
So essentially it’s giving you a little more control.

Brandon Voorhees:
Exactly. A lot more ability to cater it to what I’m doing. And now, with all the abilities or things we have here in Utah with … I love topicals. All day I’ve got a topical on this nerve here. That does an amazing job without giving me the head change or the effects that I’m not looking for when I’m trying to work or have clarity. The other idea of layering our medications now is huge to be able to get through a night of sleep.

Tim Pickett:
Yes, it is.

Brandon Voorhees:
The medication they had me on for sleep was Seroquel, which was a high, strong, bipolar medication, to my understanding. And the day they took me off that medication and put me on Ambien, Ambien just … I’d be laying in bed and be like I’m not even ready for bed, I’m high now because the Ambien was nowhere near what the Seroquel would do. Again, one more medication that was thrown into the gambit for this, that, the other. Guess what? Cannabis can also really help the sleep. I mean, it was finding where it was needed. And this one medicine, I could make it work where all this plethora of pills were being thrown at the wall and some helping but still throwing me more out of balance.

Tim Pickett:
So did you end up getting completely rid of your pain medicine?

Brandon Voorhees:
I still sometimes take some Tylenol PM or Advil PM once in a while, and, of course, some Advil or whatever. I’ve gotten completely off of any prescription pills other than now prescribed cannabis that I was on in that time period. And I also put part of that to changing my diet. Every morning I now start out with a … I’m not a vegan, but it’s a vegan all-in-one shake that’s got my probiotics, my protein, my fiber, my veggies for the day, but it’s at least putting that in there.

Brandon Voorhees:
Because I still have that feeling where I don’t want to eat in the morning from the years of medication, but I need to have something to fuel my body and so that’s the … I’ve changed the way not just the medications, but at least how I’m feeding my brain. My wife will tell you that she can tell when I haven’t had my shake in a few days, my all-in-one, because it starts to throw my brain off, it really does. It’s in linked with natural cannabis, natural foods, and helping all in one has changed a lot for me, it changed my life completely.

Tim Pickett:
So what is it being legal? What is cannabis being legal and accessible to somebody like you really mean beyond just the use, right? You’ve talked a little bit about how using it has really freed you from the brain fog, it’s given you more control. You’ve used it to help your diet and your gut biome. Cannabis has it sounds like has really changed your life, and yet there’s this legality piece of it that we really haven’t talked about. When you started using it was still illegal, still under … You were having to buy it out of state or buy it on the black market. But now, all that’s changed. What’s that legality meant for you personally?

Brandon Voorhees:
Because it still even has such a stigma even with now it having this accessibility issue, there’s still so many people that frown upon it. It brings me so much peace to where I feel I’m not having to hide it from an employer, I’m not hiding it from my family, I’m not hiding it from my neighbors and my religion, or all these things. When your brain or your computer is broken and you have to tell it that it’s thinking wrong or something, it just adds to the issues when you feel like you’re hiding something. You’re not good enough, or it’s not … You’re in the dark being sneaky about something.

Brandon Voorhees:
I do try to be as open as possible now about it. I’m lucky enough, at least the last couple employers, I’ve been able to say, “I use medical cannabis”. The last employer, it wasn’t even completely out yet and he said, “That’s fine. I’ve seen the way you work, I’m happy with your performance.” It’s such a relief, a huge relief, to just … A weight off your shoulders. I mean, to not have to worry about looking over your shoulder and worry … Driving in the rearview mirror or thinking that you’re going to get pulled over and go to jail. I mean, when you’ve got a family, that’s even scarier. That’s even scarier when it’s illegal and you’ve got your family involved. It’s not just you being stupid about something.

Tim Pickett:
It affects a lot of people. I think that it’s lost on a lot of people where that legality is so important. But you also bring up the other point of that which is the stigma associated with cannabis use. And legality can’t … It doesn’t necessarily get rid of that, right. It doesn’t get rid of the stigma. It does for a lot of people and it does a lot of good, but we’re … I hear you saying, you don’t feel like we’re there yet. We’re just not there yet.

Brandon Voorhees:
We’ve made such strides but we haven’t crossed that finish line. Because you talk about it and people still laugh and go, “Oh yeah, right.”

Tim Pickett:
Medical marijuana.

Brandon Voorhees:
Sometimes then they hear your story. Right.

Tim Pickett:
But then they listen to-

Brandon Voorhees:
Exactly.

Tim Pickett:
I’m telling you, I mean, you listen to a story like yours and you’re like no, let me paint you a picture right here of Brandon Voorhees who got in the accident in 2005, was essentially … Who took a handful of pills for breakfast. And now is a contributing member of society, he’s not addicted to pain pills. We’re 15 years later, I mean, congratulations, man.

Brandon Voorhees:
Thanks. It’s been a long rough road. It’s been a really long rough road.

Tim Pickett:
And we still have work to do for the other people, right, because there’s-

Brandon Voorhees:
A lot of work.

Tim Pickett:
For every Brandon there is out there, there’s got to be 10, 20, 30 people who are still really in that mode of get up, got to have 25 pills with me all day in my pocket. You know what we ought to do? Do you carry your cannabis with you like that? I mean, it doesn’t seem like you probably need to.

Brandon Voorhees:
That’s the other thing is I don’t. It’s something I can leave at home. And I now get to work at home, fortunately, but it was something where I would use at home, I wouldn’t have to leave or take it with me and use it at work. It’s not something I would have to do like that. So it makes it a lot nicer in the fact that I can use pretty much just at home and I’m not worried about it.

Tim Pickett:
We were just talking about the stigma and how the stigma, right, the stigma of cannabis is still such a big issue. But honestly, it’s getting better because if there’s 30 people out there that are you in the past, and one of them listens to the podcast and finds cannabis then I guess we’ve done our job, right?

Brandon Voorhees:
That’s the idea is, if there’s at least one person who finds a better way to manage their pain and have a better quality of life from it, I mean, that’s what matters. I would never wish on anybody what I went through and had to go through as a guinea pig to learn that lesson and to deal with it. I mean, it was a literal nightmare. There’s no way to describe. I mean, night sweats, day sweats, restless leg syndrome. I mean, so many things that you wouldn’t even think of with a medication that’s supposed to be helping you, and you’re getting these other issues that are nowhere near what … And again, then you’re taking another one to counteract that and that one’s causing these.

Brandon Voorhees:
They had me on Tegretol and Trileptal, or switched them off, my wife … It was like a narcolept. I would sit down and pass out in 30 seconds. My wife couldn’t leave me alone with the kids. It’s scary that people are so afraid of what cannabis does to you, and if you ever saw what I looked like on all these medications. The next day I’d be like “Honey, what did we have for dinner?”

Tim Pickett:
Right. There should be a meme, right? You could be your own meme. Everybody’s so worried about me being a stoner, but this was me before, right?

Brandon Voorhees:
Right. Exactly.

Tim Pickett:
Me before addicted to drugs and having trouble keeping down a job, get my family. Me on pot, have a job, have a family, happier. What things do you do for fun now?

Brandon Voorhees:
Camping. We’re a big camping family, we like the outdoors. Gosh, my wife likes to play in her garden so pretty much playing outside. As long as it hasn’t been 102 degrees to kill you lately, it’s trying to get outside and enjoy it.

Tim Pickett:
That’s cool. Are you restricted? Do you still get migraine headaches? You said you use a topical still. I mean, using all kinds of cannabis, but you still get migraines from the TBI and still have some-

Brandon Voorhees:
Somewhat. I rarely get migraines. I did come from a family of migraine sufferers before so they were … Genealogically I did have them here and there already but nothing more because of it. I guess something that we refer to as drive-bys in my family. It’s like a bubble or something, you can feel it work its way through. I’ll be sitting there doing dishes or something and have a pinch behind my eye and be able to feel it sort of move on through even if you will. Sometimes those leave a little bit more residual pain. Sometimes they’ll come and go and just be gone. Those seem to be the other one that’s a little bit harder on me is the drive-bys. I’ll get a few of those a day sometimes and sometimes I won’t have one at all. But the bigger issue like the weather and things, that’s what sets off my jaw again like when we get the weird monsoon season. Clouds that can’t make up its mind when it’s cloudy and sunny and cloudy and sunny.

Tim Pickett:
So dude, what do you do for work?

Brandon Voorhees:
I did small engine repair so I work on chainsaws, lawnmowers, rebuilding small engines, and things like that. I actually just got hired to do it over the phone pretty much and help out dealers over the phone doing it.

Tim Pickett:
Whoa. Virtual small engine repair?

Brandon Voorhees:
I work for the manufacturer. So if you call to get a warranty, I’m the guy that now is going to be like okay, did you try these things? You do these things?

Tim Pickett:
Right. That’s cool. How technology has moved the needle. This is totally random. So I’ve heard small engines are … They’re the thing that we need to replace because they pollute the air more than cars. Is this something you guys talk about at work?

Brandon Voorhees:
Yes. And there is a yes and no with all the … Everything’s got a pro and a con. You’re giving and taking with all of that. A lot of people will preach that a Tesla is super clean emissions. Well, if you’ve got enough solar panels at your house to power it, then sure it’s free energy. Most of our stuff is still coming from burning coal. If you’re plugging it into the grid at home, you’re not a zero-emission vehicle. Now, the idea is you’re zero-emission at the point of use. However, that is here nor there, you’re still going to be getting pollution. And the idea is lithium battery mining and all that jazz. You’re getting into other stuff too.

Tim Pickett:
For example, I got a gas blower and a gas edger at my house. My kids are like “Dad, we need to buy the battery-powered ones.” And I say, “Look, this one works, I don’t have to. If I buy a new one then the new one is … I’ve got to waste this one,” which is … This one’s already operational so repairing this one seems like it’s less bad for the environment than buying the new one. And essentially all the plastic, all the boxing, all the battery. All that stuff for the new one has a significant cost compared to just using the one I have. I get that it pollutes. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just starting to become an old man. Am I becoming my own father?

Brandon Voorhees:
No. Probably, partially, maybe. I don’t know your dad so maybe. There’s this idea that it’s not powerful enough and things like that. Now, where you were touching on. Manufacturers do have to go by an emission standard. Granted there’s certain things that people are more likely to do to their small engines on their own. Most people aren’t ripping off their mufflers and catalytic converters on their cars and getting away with it very long. There is a certain standard that if a shop got caught doing certain things to your equipment that goes against the EPA, we can get fined $50,000 so it’s a big deal to go against it and make it worse if you will. But I know of cases even where people have brought equipment over from Europe and they’re getting it taken away because it does not meet the standards of what we have here. A whole different game there.

Brandon Voorhees:
Now, when it comes to your equipment when it wears out, I would probably recommend going with that. But I wouldn’t say replacing it right now is helping out because then you are wasting what you have already and you’re just putting that [inaudible 00:35:36] sort of passing it along. But this is also a whole other sales aspect. If you want to know the pros and cons we can go into that where it’s … You never have to go get gas for it. There’s a lot less issues with a gas … Or I mean, a battery power equipment than a gas-powered. There’s a lot more things you can do to ruin a gas-powered equipment. Not the proper oil or things like that. Where battery is-

Tim Pickett:
Go.

Brandon Voorhees:
Plug it in and that’s pretty much all there is.

Tim Pickett:
Interesting tangent.

Brandon Voorhees:
The future will go there eventually.

Tim Pickett:
Oh, yeah, for sure, right. The future is all going to be … It just seems like it’s all going to be electric except for weed.

Brandon Voorhees:
Hardest thing so I don’t think so.

Tim Pickett:
Man, you’re never going to get-

Brandon Voorhees:
No, we vaporized it now.

Tim Pickett:
Well, okay. Are you a flower guy, edibles, vape carts? What works best? You talked about topicals a little bit. Do you have a favorite strain?

Brandon Voorhees:
I don’t have a favorite strain. See now with all the science these days you don’t talk about indica and sativas, we talk about the terpene profiles. Prior ADHD as well as with … One of the things with some people with brain injuries, the over stimulation, that too much going on. Compared to the medications I was on, I don’t mind something a little more sedating usually. I feel that’s that oh, okay, I can breathe. For me personally, that’s my effect with it. Where I do still like what would be a little more uplifting and what some people would call sativas, but I do tend to lean a little more on that heavier side.

Tim Pickett:
Indica side.

Brandon Voorhees:
Myrcene and things that are going to give me a little more sedation just because it’s a little more relaxing for me. And like I said, the medications I was on had me so lethargic already it doesn’t bother me as much. Where some people, they call it couch lock and would be stuck for hours. I’m still the guy who wants to go hiking.

Tim Pickett:
So how long do you think it took you to get a regimen down to where you know what to use and you learned how to use it? Take you a few months you think or did it … Are you still working on it?

Brandon Voorhees:
That’s what I was just going to say. I mean, besides where that healing process might be, what level you’re at. Things have changed so much and drastically over the last few years. Now that there’s tinctures available for me and different ratio edibles. I mean, what was that five years ago? There weren’t ratios of CBG to CBD. It was edibles and they were trying to make them stronger and more potent with THC all the time.

Brandon Voorhees:
When you are going through the black market, and there’s that old term you trust your dealer, there was a few places it was kind of … It’s like shopping for a pharmacy now. I had to go for a few times and find someone who was more about it as a medicine than it was about making the money or a profit on it. He was actually giving me better stuff at a lower cost, but it was more … I still even tell people he was my apothecary. It was somewhere where I could trust him a little more and know what I was getting. He knew more about it than what everybody else had at the time. And he was also getting some … Was supplying stuff from out of state that was a little more what you would call exotic back in the day. I mean, we never saw all these other things.

Brandon Voorhees:
So it has become changing that regimen, going with it, but I still … Flower is my go-to. It was what I always used and grew up with if you will, or it grew with me. I also find that the flower gives you that little more ability of, this one’s a little more sedating or this one’s a little more uplifting. Where your edible is the same almost every time except on how much you’ve eaten that day, or that can change it. Where a tincture is very uniform. I love how a tincture, you know what you’re going to get out of using it. It’s changed all the time and it’s worked up to where it is. Like I said before, years ago all it would’ve been was a bunch of flower. Now, it’s mostly topical with some flower here and there throughout the day maybe.

Tim Pickett:
Cool. Well, this has been fun. Is there something that we’ve missed? Anything else you really talk about?

Brandon Voorhees:
Something I put together myself. Being a TBI sufferer, being traumatic brain injury, I took that and rolled with it so I put together what I call TBI cannabis, which is just … If there’s someone out there who wants to be informed on cannabis … Like yourself, Tim, I’m not a doctor though, I’m not a pharmacist, but I’m the guy who had to learn the lesson the hard way and has a little bit more of here this is what I would recommend trying. Again, just from being the person who was there. Because I’ve been to the pharmacies even where I ask the pharmacist, “Oh, well, what do you use?” And when the pharmacist tells you he’s never tried cannabis of any sort but he is working in a cannabis pharmacy, you go, “Look, I respect your word of what your patients have told you, but you don’t that firsthand knowledge.” It’s harder to connect with them at that point.

Tim Pickett:
It’s something to be said about it.

Brandon Voorhees:
So that’s where I’ve put that together just as being … It’s not like it’s a business or anything at this point, but if someone wants to ask me about it they can hit me up at TBI.cannabis@gmail and I’m willing to just let you know “Hey, these are some resources.” Your information is probably the first thing I throw out is your YouTube videos is “Here, here’s some info because I’ll just be a flood of too much and you’ll never get it all. Here’s some stuff to pick through and see what might help with you.” I just want to get it out there. I mean, let these people know who don’t even consider it. Don’t laugh at it. Give it some thought. I mean, it’s not about the highs.

Tim Pickett:
Give it a try.

Brandon Voorhees:
It’s about a quality of life.

Tim Pickett:
No. Well said. Well, Brandon, I appreciate you coming on telling your story. I think it’s powerful to hear, it’s good for people to hear. We don’t hear enough of it, frankly. There’s a lot going on in the Utah cannabis space now, and the more we can continue to just push legitimacy and push this type of use, the more the program will expand organically I think. And the more people can find it, that it will help. Congratulations again.

Brandon Voorhees:
Thank you. Thank you much. And for yourself, I love all you do and I am just a huge fan of the show, all the shows you do. The information all around is just … It’s phenomenal. Thank you.

Tim Pickett:
Thanks. I appreciate that. For those of you who aren’t subscribed to the podcast Utah in the Weeds, Utah in the Weeds, my name’s Tim Pickett. Brandon Voorhees, thanks for coming on. Stay safe out there, everybody.

By David Wells
Content Producer & Analyst at UtahMarijuana.org
Published August 5, 2022
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