Carolina Cannabis News recently caught up with busy mom and business owner Rachel Grano. Following her on social media and reading about the educational workshops she hosts made us curious about her, and we thought you might be too.

Grano is the new communications director for NC NORML and the founder of Cannabliss Health, a cannabis therapeutics company based in Murphy, North Carolina.

Years ago, Grano left North Carolina for California. There she met her husband and started a family. All was well until she was rear-ended by a vehicle traveling at a high speed. Thus began her new normal of managing life with chronic pain.

During her recovery she reacquainted herself with cannabis, learning all she could. Soon after she became a cannabis educator focused on teaching others about the endocannabinoid system.

Grano recently returned to her North Carolina hometown to raise her daughter and become part of the cannabis reform movement here.

“I feel like I was robbed of two years of my life”

Grano’s own cannabis education began after the injuries she sustained in her accident sent her down a doctor-prescribed route of opioids and other painkillers.

Over the next two years, her doctors prescribed 10 different medications. That pharmaceutical cocktail led to numerous side-effects including stomach pain and the feeling that she was locked in a zombie-like fog.

“I wasn’t social at all with my friends or family,” Grano says. “I ended up in the doctor’s office for the stomach pain. They wanted to give me another pill, and I was like, ‘No, I’m not taking another pill to fix the problems the other pills caused!’ That’s when I finally set out to find out what was really wrong.”

Three years ago, Grano was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which explained the constant pain. With no proven medications for the condition, she decided to make a change.

“This time I was going to fix it my way,” Grano says.

She began researching and learned that a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system can lead to fibromyalgia. Her research led her to change her diet and to work to improve her mental health. She decided to try cannabis again, too.

“I wish I had thought of it sooner,” she says.

“Like most people my age, I smoked pot as a teen from time to time. Living in Cali made it easier to get (cannabis), but when I got pregnant I quit smoking and drinking alcohol,” said Grano.

During her recovery, finding her cannabis ‘sweet spot’ has helped Grano arrive at her own stasis, she says. She reports that her fibromyalgia symptoms have improved.

“People need to know that there is a sweet spot for this type of medicine … You get the best results when all parts of the plant are present and working together, this helps create what scientist refer to as the ‘entourage effect’ within the body,” according to Grano.

Sharing knowledge

“Most people aren’t even aware that this major system in our body exists due to the efforts from prohibition,” says Grano. “I wanted to find a way to get this information out there to people.”

After settling back into hometown life she started an integrative therapeutics consultancy to further her efforts to educate others on the endocannabinoid system which works in tandem with the other systems in our body and seems to help the lot of them maintain homeostasis.

“[We] can find the right combination of CBD, CBG, CBT, CBN and THC to create [our] own homeostasis. When CBD is used alongside THC, it creates a buffer, reducing the intoxicating side effects some can experience from high doses of THC.”

Of course, full-spectrum cannabis not being legally accessible in North Carolina creates issues for Grano. However, she remains optimistic and committed to her wellness and hopes to create change in her beloved home state through activism and education.

“I’ll manage as best I can with what I’m given to work with. I use all sorts of CBD products to get the cannabinoids in my system in every way possible. I also eat very clean and stay away from foods that cause me to have a ‘fibro-flare’.”

Now, she says, “I feel like a different person. I know that once our human rights to cannabis are restored and I am able to legally supplement with all the cannabinoids, including THC, my condition could go into remission.”

Legislative Relief?

Education relief.

Unfortunately for Grano and the multitude of others who could benefit from medicinal cannabis, North Carolinians have not seen any medical cannabis bill debated on the floor of the General Assembly.

“I was told by a woman that a senator said, ‘Don’t waste your time, my campaign is funded by pharmaceutical companies,’” says Grano.

Grano admitted that when she had the chance to vote to end cannabis prohibition she didn’t. “I voted ‘no’ on Prop 64, California’s adult use legislation,” she says.

“What the general public saw was legalization, but in the fine print of the bill you will find a hefty tax upwards of 40 percent, small farms being eliminated and the farmers of Humboldt County being cut out of a business, that without them, would not exist.”

Her cautionary tale is to pay attention and to read the legislation filed in the General Assembly, the governmental body likely to decide the fate of cannabis in North Carolina.

Grano is sure cannabis reform is coming so she is driving herself and others toward that end.

“The best thing for North Carolina is to educate ourselves and others. Education leads to change,” Grano says.

Learn more about NORML NC at NORMLnc.org.

Cara Wilson

Cara Wilson

Contributor

Cara Wilson is a cannabis advocate and freelance writer based in Hickory, N.C.

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