Christina Forbrich found her niche in the cannabis space after helping herself with the plant as a teenager. She dove deep into the science of the plant in college and came full-circle back to cannabis as remedy as an adult for myriad symptom relief.
Her consulting company, The Canncierge, is a play on words from a hotel’s concierge—someone who assists with whatever a guest needs. Not a far stretch from Forbrich’s business of customizing, what she calls, a “canna-plan” for each client.
“My work is personalized cannabis education, enabling folks to make informed consumption decisions,” she shared from her home in San Diego. “Each consultation begins with an interview,” she continued. “Then I synthesize their information to create a plan for integrating cannabis into their lifestyle.”
Clients are educated on plant compounds and applications, while providing references to legitimate research and resources aligned with their needs, with a focus on women and seniors.
“I have some male clients and have worked with entire families,” she added. “I don’t make too much of a differentiation between the medicinal aspects of the plant and recreational use. The main goal is to not have them overmedicate, get discouraged, and give-up for lack of information.”
Self-Medicating at 15
The forty year-old mother, wife, and entrepreneur grew up in Southern California. Her first time self-medicating with cannabis was at age 15, which is a surprisingly common admission for most adult patients who struggle with symptoms from the Autism Spectrum. This includes anxiety, depression, ADD or ADHD, and PTSD from any number of traumas.
“My first experience was out of curiosity,” she explained. “Very quickly – within a few months – I found cannabis to be an effective remedy for crippling social anxiety, stemming from a chaotic home life. As a bonus, it also treated excruciating menstrual cramps that left me physically and emotionally ill.”
Diagnosed as a young adult with Anxiety Disorder, with episodes of depression, Forbrich found that cannabis was a practical remedy for relief; including treating hip and back pain from years of injuries from playing soccer as goalkeeper, then irritated from childbirth.
In 1996 Forbrich turned 18 and was able to vote for California’s Proposition 215, making the state the first in the country to legalize cannabis as remedy. At the same time, she was introduced to Dennis Peron, founder of the Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco – one of the first cooperative care programs in the country.
“When all my friends were drinking copiously, I was more interested in the herb,” she said. “I substituted the herb for Advil and it worked. I saved stems and made tinctures before it was a thing. In college I studied Sociology and Economics and became, what I call, a ‘citizen scientist” of the plant – informally studying, not only the botanic and biologic characteristics of cannabis, but experimenting for my own benefits and knowledge.”
In college, Forbrich said she would study high, take tests high, and then compare the results when not medicated. She said she always killed it on the exams when using cannabis, as it gave her focus.
Forbrich laughs at the memory of excursions to the library, with most of the literature she found on cannabis on microfiche only, pre-internet.
Since California legalized for recreation in 2017, Forbrich said establishing her company in the same year was a given.
“Since college I’ve been the resident weed coach for my family and friends, which is the reason I began my consulting company – it was inevitable,” she surmised. “I literally professionalized my passion, and I’m beyond grateful to be in the space in this way.”
A Canncierge’s Purposeful Stash
Forbrich’s stash is kept in a handmade bag by Lisamarie Gonzales of CannaCoutured Stashbag, hand stamped with a cannabis leaf. The container holding flower is made by Canlock, and she says the jar is designed to express air out, keeping the bud fresh.
Spirit of The Herbs CBD Salve, made by Holly Hoops of Denver, is a go-to for skin issues, including her child’s eczema. She also uses it for aches and pains, plantar fasciitis, back pain, and more.
Her vape cartridge is made by Select Oil, and is filled with White Rhino, which she says is a consistent formulation, but she also gravitates towards small batch mixes from Out Co.
Sublingual Strips are made by Craft 1861, and are infused with CBD.
“I love the strips for freshening both my breath and my mood!” she laughed. “They come in a couple different dosages, so it makes it easy to personalize. They taste nice, work well and are discreet. My friend Eric Lujan is the maker – he’s a dogged advocate for cannabis reform, as well.”
Her go-to for menstrual cramps are cannabis vaginal suppositories in combination with a heating pad.
“I get extremely weepy and sensitive before my period, with Humane Society ads reducing me to bawling pretty quickly,” she shared. “Physically, on the day of my period, I feel nauseated, so this is when I’ll go for everything in my stash, and practice, what I’ve termed as, ‘Layer my Lifting,” combining products in a strategic way.”
She’ll use a 1:1 THC/CBD tincture, and dab a high THC concentrate to medicate for a longer duration of time. If it’s a workday, she’ll only do the 1:1. Using cannabis is proactive, and knowing what works via trials with successes and fails is the way most patients find their dose for what ails them.
“These are conditions I used to pop a pill to relieve without blinking,” she added. “I find that the combination of different modalities is essential to my cannabis consumption, and that thoughtful application of cannabis addresses my symptoms in a much more natural – and enjoyable – fashion.”
That said, after trial and error, Forbrich admits to keeping one pharmaceutical in her protocol.
“Cannabis replaced pain killers and has allowed me to reduce my dose of Zoloft substantially,” she shared. “I’ve been on more of it, on less of it, and completely off of it; and my doctor and I have found that my anxiety is very balanced on a dose of 100 milligrams – it works with my brain chemistry – along with the cannabis protocols.”
Forbrich said that the introduction to Cannabidiol into her regimen allowed her to skip every other day of taking the Zoloft, in effect, reducing her dose by 50 percent.
“I also use the plant to enhance my workouts, to focus, for socializing, and for creative work,” she added.
The tincture in the green bottle is homemade with MCT oil, made in a Magical Butter Machine with high quality trim and bud from Forbrich’s all-time favorite cultivar, Lemon Larry OG.
Another favorite found in many of the best stashes, is a pack of Raw papers and crutches, by Josh Kesselman, who is also one of the industry’s favorite characters. Raw papers are Vegan, made from minimally processed organic hemp fibers, with no dyes, chemicals or whiteners.
As quoted in Inc. magazine, Kesselman says, “Everyone wants to smoke the best… It’s like how people don’t want to eat Wonder Bread anymore – they want to eat all-natural, ancient grains.”
Lastly, the little pink pin is a nod to her sisters in green, representing the Pink Haze Society; a cannabis club for intergenerational women in San Diego.
“I still see cannabis legalization slowly moving toward every state,” she surmised. “The people want it. There are more and more people eschewing alcohol and drugs every day. I see the industry-side becoming less equitable with a serious diversity problem, not relating to the people. There’s been a lot of pain and set-backs, but I also see women, people of color, seniors and Veterans at the forefront of leadership – and this gives me hope for the future.”