For many people, cannabis is about healing. Some turn to the plant to potentially ease their migraines or back pain; for others, it's for mental health. And for Shannon DeGrooms, co-founder and executive director of the This is Jane Project, cannabis was her pathway towards healing and the key to dealing with her PTSD caused by being held at gunpoint. “I was against cannabis. I often say it took a gun to my head to try cannabis because that's actually what happened,” DeGrooms shared.
After the incident, she finally came around to finding a reputable cannabis doctor in LA — and it opened up a whole world of healing that changed her life. “I was no longer terrified to leave the house. I could sleep through the night with minimal nightmares. It gave me a new outlook on life.”
With her experience in LGBTQ activism in LA and back home in New Jersey, DeGrooms knew that she had to shift her advocacy to cannabis and start the This is Jane Project.
This is Jane Project's mission
“The revolution is trauma-informed.”
The This is Jane Project is a queer-founded 501c3 nonprofit organization that offers a safe space for women and non-binary trauma survivors who can “tell their stories, get mental health resources, compassionate cannabis resources, and community.” They do this through a number of programs, like Puff and Paint sessions and compassionate cannabis donation events.
Taking steps toward healing is different for everyone, but acknowledging it is where it starts. DeGrooms said, “Sometimes it's hard for people to understand. A lot of people don't acknowledge that they have trauma, for a variety of reasons, but we don't understand the complexity of it. There are big T and little T traumas — it's not all a gun to your head like my experience. We just try to demystify those conversations, make space for them, and reach people like me who just saw [cannabis] as a drug.”
Getting involved with cannabis healing
One of the best ways to get involved is to get educated. Luckily, more research is emerging about cannabis and PTSD. A 2022 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research showed that “the types of cannabis available in recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries might hold promise as an alternative treatment for PTSD.”
And if you're looking for cannabis product recommendations, you've come to the right place.
Shannon DeGrooms' 5 favorite cannabis products
Here are Shannon Degrooms' favorite cannabis products, strains, and brands.
Humboldt's Finest flower
Pineapple Euphoria by Humboldt's Finest was the first strain that brought DeGrooms up to a place where she was open to healing, which is why it will always be a strain she loves and remembers. Although it may not be available anymore, the brand has a plethora of strains that offer the same sweet and uplifting effects.
DeGrooms' favorite all-around brand is Miss Grass, which is woman-owned and known for its pre-rolls made for any time of day or vibe. “In addition to being this beautifully crafted product with amazing packaging and awesome photography, they have been a huge supporter of the This is Jane Project, so that means a lot to us,” said DeGrooms.
Stone Road Farms
Stone Road Farms, a queer-owned brand by Lex Corwin, was an early supporter of the This is Jane Project and provided free cannabis to the survivors at their events. Its naturally and sustainably-grown cannabis comes in glass flower jars, pre-rolls, and concentrate.
WYLD Pear gummies
“I enjoy WYLD edibles, especially the pear,” DeGrooms said. The WYLD pear-flavored edibles are 1:1 CBG hybrid gummies for a potentially balanced high.
K-zen is Asian-American, women-owned, cannabis-infused beverage company specializing in infused nighttime and daytime spritzers, tonics, and drink mixes.