Our first guest, Joya Halls, may need no introduction for many in the cannabis world- but we’ll take a moment to introduce her nonetheless. Joya has worked tirelessly in the cannabis space helping others for some time now, and most recently with us here at Strainprint! Joya loves working in the cannabis field, but more importantly when she thinks of cannabis she sees herself first as a patient.
Underneath that helpful, happy smile, Joya suffers from a chronic pain condition called trigeminal neuralgia affecting the trigeminal nerve, which essentially carries sensation from your face to your brain. People who suffer from TN often feel excruciating pain from even the mildest sensations or touches to the face area, including brushing your hair or even your teeth. Even as I spoke with Joya, she had to breathe through some of these painful sensations she calls “zaps”.
Joya, how did your journey with cannabis begin?
It’s a funny story, well kind of funny. My dad had MS and he had a cannabis plant in the closet when I was growing up and I didn’t really know what it was when I was young. When I was a teen he would ask for my help making edibles and stuff so I grew up with cannabis as medicine in my home, and now I make edibles all the time, so cannabis has come full circle for me!
I was put on Gabapentin to help control the pain from my trigeminal neuralgia but I always felt woozy, kind of like drunk feeling and really giddy; I didn’t like it at all and wanted to get off of it because I didn’t like the way it made me feel, but wasn’t sure what options there were. At the time I was working in an addiction centre and would watch patients taking the same thing as I was, getting hooked on pain medications and moving from illegal substances to prescription Methadone and I just knew there had to be something better for my pain out there.