Jen Noska’s before and after photos showing the changes in her appearance after replacing pharmaceuticals with cannabis are stunning. As with many patients’ stories, once a patient is helped with the plant, they often follow a higher calling to help others. For Noska, her transformation included becoming a sales rep for the very company that produced the remedy that helped her: Proof Extracts, of Sonoma County, California.
Noska’s laundry list of ailments includes fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, Narcolepsy without Cataplexy, sleep paralysis, seizures, myoclonus, sleep apnea, and more—all helped by switching to cannabis.
“A small dispensary opened up in my tiny town of Tracy, California, called Kiona’s Farmacy, and the beautiful doctor running it, Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, took the time to sit with me and talk about my ailments,” she shared. “She educated me on my endocannabinoid system – the biological system that accepts and distributes the beneficial compounds found in plants. She also gave me my first tincture, with specific cultivars to smoke. Although it all worked for the pain, I was riddled with anxiety from the potency of the THC.”
For many patients initially trying cannabis for illness, the single-most challenging effect from cannabis is the highly activated tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, that enacts a psychoactive response.
Historically, the plant did not begin with high levels of THC. We, as humans, hybridized the compound to new heights for recreation. And, while cannabis doesn’t negatively affect the cardio system, per se, it does affect the central nervous system, sometimes triggering anxiety. This is why a patient must build up tolerance to THC in order to find their correct dose, if THC is needed in whole, or in part, to treat the ailment.
Noska’s assumed negative symptoms from too much THC included cold feet, shakes and jitters, a racing heart, and the spins. Her anxiety was at an all-time high if she was faced with the everyday task of answering the door or telephone.
“When I learned about CBD and began adding it to my regimen, I noticed less anxiety right away,” she continued. “With an additional dose of CBD, I could tolerate the amount of THC I needed to treat my ailments.”
CBD or Cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant with little to no psychoactive properties and many healing compounds, treating a wide range of symptoms from many ailments. It’s the most popular and widely accepted compound, legal in all 50 states in the U.S., and allowed to be shipped across state lines.
Through her research she found Proof Extracts online through Empire Health & Wellness in Modesto, California. She initially used Proof’s 20:1 and a 1:1 CBD/THC tincture and capsules. These varying ratios are common in the CBD/THC market, allowing patients to find their dose.
“The brain-fog I’d been dealing with from fibromyalgia eased-up, my intracranial pressure backed off, and my chronic migraines lifted,” she added. “Then I started to eat better to see just how far I could take this getting healthier thing, before I decided to drop the pharmaceuticals altogether and just use cannabis for my medicine. I don’t advise anyone to do what I did, which was go cold-turkey. It was hardcore.”
The list of pharmaceuticals she gave up included Vicodin, Fentanyl, Codeine, Gabapentin, Effexor, Ritalin, Ambien, Acetazolamide, and Soma.
According to Healthline.com, side-effects from quitting pharmaceuticals without titrating the dose down depend on the substance, with death as the worst-case scenario, and a higher percentage of patients exhibiting a strong urge to use the substance again.
Transitioning off of pharmaceuticals is a process that requires titrating down on dosing gradually, while upping your cannabis intake. Working with a cannabis caregiver or consulting firm is key in making the transition. It also helps to have your doctor on-board – if they are educated enough on cannabis, and/or willing to assist.
The last pharmaceutical to come off her list was Zoloft, as she said her doctor wasn’t convinced she could do with it.
“A follow-up visit included an offer to bump my dose up again, so I finally said, no more,” she explained. “I stocked up on my Proof products and cannabis flowers – including topical products, and never looked back.
Answering the Call
When Noska’s health improved she knew she had to share the good news with others, so she began sharing on social media platforms. She said she was initially afraid to be judged by her family, friends, and church groups she belonged to, but was pleasantly surprised at the acceptance received.
“I was really taken with all the curiosity everyone had around my usage and healing – so, I knew I had an audience and I’ve never stopped talking about the plant and the products that helped me,” she said. “I was on a mission, and Proof took notice and reached out to meet me as their number one fan.”
Within a year’s time, Noska was brought on board as a sales consultant for Proof Extracts as a Cannabis Sales Consultant. April, 2020, marked her one year anniversary with the company.
“My territory covers Modesto, Sacramento, and surrounding areas throughout California’s Central Valley,” she said. “I spend two to three hours one to two times a week in each of my locations, educating customers on Proof products and helping them find their ratios. I always share my own story of healing, how I use the products, and how they work for me. I love seeing them return and hearing how excited they are to tell me how it’s working for them.”
Proof’s CEO, Matthew Ingram, is equally pleased to have Noska on board – as a patient and a representative of the company.
“Our entire team began seeing Jen’s posts on social media,” Ingram shared. “She was, and is, an authentic and passionate voice, and drew our attention immediately. She allows each of us to see our own health struggles and victories reflected in what she shares every day – and these messages from patients are precious, because they are the reason we do what we do.”
An Enviable Stash
Due to her travels and the amount of dispensaries and clubs she visits on her rounds, her stash is quite large.
“I work with more than 20 dispensaries and I’m around a large variety of products, so my stash is immense,” she laughed. “I microdose, so everything lasts a long time. It’s also important for me to see what’s out there. And even though Proof is my daily go-to, I do love trying new products and cultivars.”
Noska’s day begins by applying Proof face serum to manage rosacea flare-ups and dry skin. She also applies Proof’s body serum on her neck to help with pain from old injuries. She then doses with Proof 20:1 tincture or takes a capsule of the same to ease into her daily routine.
“Waking and baking is my special time to check out and enjoy some creativity and conversations via social media, or to get out of the house and enjoy being outdoors,” she said. “When I’m off the clock I enjoy smoking a wide variety of indica flower cultivars and hybrids. I’m actually more of a partaker than a patient when it comes to smoking, because anxiety and paranoia can kick-in easily for me when I’m around others. That said, I do like using flower as a way to relieve pain. I’ve found smoking also heightens my focus, feel and taste.”
In the evening, Noska adds a splash of Proof CBD-THC tincture to a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
“If I have a flare-up infection, or a bad pain day, I add some Proof FSO for some deep healing,” she said. “It’s commonly called RSO, but Proof labels it as FSO, or full spectrum oil. I use only small amounts at a time, so I don’t kick up my tolerance too fast. I’ve also used it topically for skin tags, with great success.”
RSO is an honorary acronym for Rick Simpson Oil. Simpson is a Canadian who found an old alcohol reduction recipe from the 1970s online nearly 20 years ago. After healing himself, he began sharing the recipe around the world. The reduction creates a strong essential oil that, depending on the plant material used, tests upwards of 80 to 90 percent activated THC, with a “full spectrum” of whole plant compounds.
“It’s surreal for me to be doing this work with this plant, healed by this plant; and remembering the first time I was handed a joint at just 12 years-old and I didn’t even know how to inhale!” Noska pondered. “Or remembering the first time my friends and I bought weed in Oakland, California, near where we grew up in San Lorenzo. We’d drive down a certain street and they’d ride-up on bikes, run out of doorways, and jump over fences – slapping bags of weed on the window for us to buy. Looking at my extensive stash today, and the beautiful packaging – all legal and tested – it’s a whole other world.”