California cannabis patient Sailene Ossman’s journey with the plant came after a horrific car accident when she was just 19 years old. Her injuries included a spinal fracture at the C2 vertebra, a fractured sternum, five broken ribs, a compound fracture of her right leg—nearly resulting in the amputation of her foot—as well as chronic pain, arthritis, and neck degeneration.
“It took months to learn to walk again, with my dad dubbing me his ‘walking miracle baby,’” she told High Times. “I had a tracheotomy and was in traction on my back in the ICU when a respiratory therapist compared cannabis to other medications as a bronchodilator or a productive cough that would loosen the phlegm, preventing my lungs from filling up and causing pneumonia. That’s when I realized she was telling me that cannabis was medicine.”
Once she returned home from the hospital, she dove headfirst into learning more about cannabis remedies, which continue to quell her pain to this day. Since then, her journey with cannabis has led to careers she never dreamt of having.
The Queen of Abbot Kinney Boulevard
The one-mile stretch hosting some of the hippest shops in Los Angeles makes up Abbot Kinney Boulevard in the eclectic town of Venice Beach, California. This is where Ossman began her career as owner of Abbott’s Habit, a community hub where she gained the title “The Queen of Venice” in the mid-1990s.
She had a secret life, however, establishing the first cannabis delivery service with no name in the beach town and branching out to found the Privee Social Club, which hosted infused gatherings and dinners around the country, including a soiree for P Diddy. The web series Smoke in the Kitchen with Mama Sailene found her cooking side by side with Snoop Dogg for his website, MERRY JANE. Merry Jane dubbed her “Mama Sailene” when they produced her video series with the tagline, “Mama Sailene, a mother to none, mama to all.” Ossman then went on to found the Glowing Goddess Getaways, a traveling cannabis camp-out for women.
Rolling Stone wrote that Ossman was “the goddess earth mother you always wished you had… Mama Sailene, the nurturing and cheery feminist cannabis guru of Southern California, really specializes in making sure everyone else is having a wonderful time—and always has enough weed.”
In 2020, Ossman published the book CBD Cocktails encouraging readers to “take the edge off with over 100 relaxing recipes.”
The book is unique in that each recipe incorporates various CBD (cannabidiol) tinctures made by different companies, available nationally either in dispensaries or by mail order. The idea is a novel one. How many times have you stood looking at the sea of CBD tinctures at a dispensary and wondered what else you could do with them besides simple dosing?
Ossman is an admitted California girl through and through. Since she doesn’t consume alcohol, she was only too eager to incorporate cannabis mocktails into her recreational and medicinal dosing regimen. One section of her book is devoted to mocktails. The trend of using cannabis, but not alcohol, has been called “Cali sober,” and Ossman has included beneficial and tasty recipes for those who prefer this lifestyle.
“As the plant loses its historical [negative] stigma, cannabis and CBD products have begun to flood the market, making the healthful benefits derived from CBD accessible to all, whether marijuana has been legalized where you live or not,” Ossman wrote in her book. “If it hasn’t, it soon will be, as everyone has begun to learn of the incredible health benefits derived from this miracle plant.”
In the book’s introduction, Ossman also offers a brief overview of the history of the plant and its origins dating back to ancient times in countries we know today as China, Tibet, and India. She expounds on the plant’s use as medicine and its place in shamanistic rituals. While the book is all about CBD, she also highlights the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids working in synergy.
“Cannabinoid receptors in the body need higher levels of THC to be activated than those present in CBD products alone,” Ossman wrote. “This is why users find that the products containing only CBD are less effective, and why products using the entire plant, THC and all, work best, especially when it comes to pain management.”
Today, Ossman is the founder and owner of the Brewja Elixir in Joshua Tree, California, where she makes her home in the high desert. In her shop, you’ll find mocktails and elixirs made with a variety of CBD products, herbs, plants, and fruits, including a myriad of medicinal mushrooms.
The cannabis plant has forever changed Ossman’s life.
“The benefits from plants, and the healing I’ve witnessed for myself and others from CBD and cannabis in general, are too numerous to detail,” she said. “This experience in witnessing the healing caused me to step up to the plate for this female plant, and there’s no turning back. Cannabis has been my life, all of my adult life now, for a good reason. She’s added so much to my life, and I’m honored to work for her.”
This is the ultimate form of sophistication in a glass. If you like a simple drink, reach for a simple CBD add on like a neutral tincture.
4 parts gin
1 part dry vermouth
1 lemon twist
Neutral CBD tincture, to taste
Glassware: cocktail glass
Place the gin and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain the mixture into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the lemon twist and the tincture.
Excepted from CBD Cocktails by Sailene Ossman
This article was originally published in the October 2022 issue of High Times Magazine.