24 Aug Natasha Ricke
I was born and raised in Humboldt County, California. For those who don’t know where that is, Humboldt is located in the real Northern California, touching borders with Oregon. We are well know for our giant Redwood forests, our coastal foggy beaches, and our world renowned cannabis. Looking back at my roots, I am so grateful to have grown up in this county, for these roots have shaped me into who I am today. I never knew that cannabis would change my life, but it did more than that for me, cannabis gave me my life back.
At 14 years old I started getting episodic migraines. Looking back I thought they were normal, I didn’t realize that going to the emergency room a couple times a year for my migraine pain was unordinary, It was just my life. When I was 21 I went in to the emergency room with a debilitating migraine and when I left the hospital, I didn’t have a single pain free day for over two years. I was diagnosed with a neurologic disorder otherwise known as Chronic Migraine, and yes chronic means every damn day. A good day felt like I had a hangover and a bad day felt like I would of rather be put out of misery than spend more time in pain. The pain I suffered with was debilitating and honestly changed me as a person. Some of my symptoms consist of nausea, vertigo, brain fog, vision loss, losing my ability of speech, stroke like symptoms, and of course the pain. Sometimes the pain is unfathomable, If I could explain a bad migraine to you I would say it feels like having the flu and a hangover together plus someone repeatedly stabbing an ice pick into my eyeball for hours or even days at a time…very gnarly to say the least, pure torture.
I remember the exact day cannabis changed my life. Fast forward to 24-year old me, was on the floor curled up in a ball crying in torturing pain when in the corner of my eye I saw my pipe and decided it might help. After one hit I felt relief, so I kept smoking. 5 minutes later the tears had faded, a smile had formed, and I was 100% pain free. That was the day my life was changed forever. From that day I started experimenting with different kinds of cannabis and found what worked for me to take away my pain. When I feel migraines symptoms coming I can either medicate my pain away instantly and sometimes during a migraine attack I can only dull the pain, but either way cannabis gives me relief.
I started medicating with cannabis daily and realized my migraines stopped coming all together. They were gone and if they did start to come I could medicate them away. I had two months pain free months with only one migraine. In those two months I found myself again and saw a glimpse of what my old and happy life was like. I set out to be as healthy as I could be and even weaned myself off of all medications. At one point I was taking 16 prescription pills a day, today I am proud to say I am prescription pill free. I’ve spent the last 4 months withdrawing from all my medication. It was one of the hardest times of my life getting all the toxins out of my body, but cannabis was there to give me relief and ease me through the process.
Cannabis has also done so much more for me than just giving me relief. After 4 years of suffering with chronic migraines, cannabis gave me my life back. Before using it, my quality of life was just trying to survive through the day. Now I am thriving. Cannabis has not only healed me and given me my life back but has given me a new perspective of life. I am so grateful for this plant. Now that I am healing I have set out to help others who are hurting and I want others to know that prescription pills aren’t always the answer. Stepping my foot in the cannabis Industry has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve found a huge support group of men and women who inspire me daily to share my story. This is just the beginning for me. Cannabis has opened so many doors for pain relief, and this plant has changed my life. I can’t wait to show you where my journey takes me. I am not cured but I am healing.
What do you do for work and how does it involve cannabis?
I wouldn’t really call my presence in the cannabis industry a job just yet. It’s more of a passion. I Started as a cannabis patient, and after I saw the healing effects first hand, I knew I had to get out and use my voice to help others.
I have a CBD line of products coming out, at this point it’s just my passion product. All my products are made out of the hemp plant so everything is 100% legal, this way I can send my product to those who live in non-compliant areas. I also have been dabbling in cannabis photography and it feeds my creative side. I’m sure someday I’ll make money, but right now I’m just happy helping others.
I work at my parents local business as a retail buyer for Humboldt County’s largest outdoor/work wear and surplus store. My family’s business is my legacy and my heart and soul.
What’s it like to be a woman in the industry?
Being a woman in the industry is more fun and supportive than I ever expected. The love and support has helped me thought the hardest parts of my journey to wellness, I really don’t know where I’d be without my followers. My followers are my support system and for that I am forever grateful for them.
Through this journey I have found my soul sisters and have been given so many amazing opportunities. I’m amazed at the kindness these ladies have, we all want to watch each other succeed. Women supporting women is a beautiful thing. The future is so looking so bright… and female.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to see my self heavily involved in the cannabis industry. Most importantly I want to be an advocate for others who are suffering from pain. I know for a fact I will have my own product…because it’s in the works and I really hope to help many people with the healing effects of CBD.
I hope to God that the stigma of using cannabis is gone and in the past. I also hope all the states will be legal and that everybody has access to this God gifted medicine. My dream is to have a sun-grown organic cannabis garden of my own, to grow medicine for those who can’t afford it. I really hope that the pill consumption of RX medications is down and that more people go the holistic route to healing.
Indica, Sativa, CBD? How do you medicate?
I am a Sativa Diva all the way. Although when I have a really intense migraine and know that I need to rest Indica is my best friend. I love anything with high CBD content.
Favorite song/music to smoke to?
I am a country girl through and through. I love listening to the country radio station, I’m honestly so in the moment when I am medicated that every song becomes my favorite. I love to dance and sing my heart out!
Favorite stoner movie of all time?
My favorite stoner movie of all time is What The Health….. I’m fascinated with what plants can do for our bodies.