Hi, I’m Tom.
I’m an advocate for cannabis and hemp. This is a little crazy, because it’s not what I set out to do. In fact, for most of my life, advocating for cannabis would have been unthinkable — I didn’t even touch weed for a few decades.
Yet here I am, with an itch to:
- Learn more about this amazing plant and how it can help us live better.
- Connect with scientists, doctors and activists who are making new discoveries and leading us into the post-prohibition era.
- Help you find the safest, most effective cannabis and hemp products.
What happened, and how did I become someone who, gasp, promotes the use of marijuana?
I was a journalist. I graduated from Michigan State. moved out west and happily chased stories as a reporter and editor in Southern California. As computers began changing everything, I shifted into marketing, as a copywriter in educational software, executive coaching and banking. I often had freelance gigs along the way, and one was with a company selling CBD oil (this was in 2012, before CBD became the new pumpkin spice). When I learned that CBD was saving young children from the horrible seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome, it was an ‘aha!’ moment.
Then it quickly became a ‘what the fu*k?’ moment.
‘Aha’ because I’m human and there’s nothing worse than seeing a young child suffer. Being able to reverse that by giving parents and young children a non-toxic medicine that actually works and saves lives — hurray!
WTF because… epilepsy became a trigger for me when my younger brother Mike began having seizures after being in a car accident. Ultimately he died, way too young, from complications around the disease. Although a lot of time had passed, learning that CBD could effectively treat epilepsy brought up several things for me:
- Outrage. My brother might still be alive today if his doctors hadn’t prescribed toxic pharmaceuticals that destroyed his body from within. CBD is a non-toxic, plant-based medicine without negative side effects and it could well have saved Mike’s life.
- Confusion. I had fallen for the reefer madness lie. You know, cannabis is a gateway drug for do-nothing stoners, a dangerous killer of ambition, with no medicinal value — and therefore CBD, anything hemp-related, is off-limits and criminal too. Not too long ago, I was certain that medical marijuana was a ruse, an excuse used by stoners to stay locked to the couch. I’ve since realized that we were lied to for nearly 100 years about the life-saving value of this plant-based medicine. Why?
- Curiosity. With a bit of digging, I learned that CBD also helps soldiers deal with symptoms of PTSD; that cancer patients use cannabis to ease the side effects of chemotherapy; that CBD and cannabis can help with anxiety, insomnia and pain. In fact, we have an endocannabinoid system that keeps us in balance — our bodies need cannabinoids. We now know that CBD and cannabis are versatile and powerful medicines that people are using to fight many forms of disease, and to support all-around wellness. And there’s still lots to learn.
- Determination. More recently, both of my parents passed. Each was over 90 and had lived a good, long life. But I believe that cannabis and CBD / hemp could have helped relieve the end-of-life suffering around my dad’s cancer (CBD did help him over the last year) and my mom’s Alzheimer’s Disease (she was in a nursing home, and we were unable to give her cannabis or CBD). We are all going to have health-related challenges sooner or later. I’ve educated myself about cannabis / hemp, and I’m convinced that every family has a story about how insane cannabis policies have resulted in unnecessary suffering in our loved ones.
So I’ve arrived at this point of view: We were backwards in our thinking that using marijuana was a moral failing. Incredibly, there are still prohibitionists pushing reefer madness lies. But cannabis is a safe and effective medicine, and it’s a tragedy and a travesty that this is still not widely recognized and accepted. And because it affects every single one of us, in significant ways, I’m kind of obsessed with this.
As hippie-dippy as it sounds, cannabis can help improve our relationships — with our bodies, with each other and with the earth. I truly believe we can reduce suffering and increase wellness by helping people better understand the medicinal power of cannabis.
On top of this, now is the right time for cannabis. Our healthcare system is badly broken. More so than in other places in the world, we each need to watch out for our own well-being. We need to listen to and intelligently respond to our bodies, and not cede all that power to the broken healthcare system. Surgery and pharmaceuticals are often called for, but prevention matters too. Sleep, diet and exercise are fundamental, and cannabis can be a cornerstone for all of these. It already has been for thousands of years; we just veered away from it over the last century.
I’m also a long-time runner, and at an age where insomnia has become an acquaintance. I’ve found that CBD and cannabis help me with these, with no side effects, and I’ve seen many of my friends and family members benefit from CBD too. But one size does not fit all. It can get complex, and it requires a test-and-learn approach to find out what is really going to work for your unique body.
Now you know how telling the truth about cannabis became my obsession. I have journalistic skills and a passion to spread this knowledge, so I’ve made this my job. The Kannaboom Credo defines my beliefs about the plant, and what follows is my approach to making this work.
My self-made job description
So I have to fund my self-made job. Fortunately there’s a way to do this, it’s called affiliate marketing. It’s simple: I include links to products — hemp-derived CBD, and dry-herb vaporizers — here at Kannaboom; if and when you click through to the vendors selling these, and you actually purchase a product, I may earn a commission.
The truth is, I don’t love being sold to, therefore I don’t love selling to other people. I like to discover what I want, and then to buy it, so that’s the approach I take here. Much of marketing seems like people trying to convince other people to buy something they don’t really need. I figure you are smart enough to make the decision to buy what you want, without me trying to cajole you into making one choice or another.
Of course it depends on the product. I do appreciate the value of someone who shows people real solutions they might not have known about otherwise. This is why great salespeople like to sell, they are helping people solve problems, which in itself is rewarding.
All this is to say that sales is a process, and it involves relationships, between you, me and in the best case, a quality product that solves a real problem. Ideally it’s done out in the open, without trickery and deception. Zig Ziglar, the most famous sales guy ever, is credited with saying:
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
I like to believe that. I do believe that CBD is good for just about everyone, and there are valid reasons to take it. So to put my new job in Zig Ziglar terms: At this point, here’s what I want: Meaningful work that enables me to head into a secure semi-retirement with a way to pay the bills. As for helping other people get what they want, I am:
- Interviewing cannabis scientists and activists to amplify messages about how cannabis can make a positive difference in our lives.
- Pointing you to CBD (and eventually cannabis) products you can have confidence in. Right now, that means U.S. Hemp Authority-certified CBD.
- Delivering customers to companies who are making certified and responsible CBD, hemp and cannabis products.
Because here’s the thing: Not all CBD manufacturers are providing clean and safe products. The FDA has been largely hands-off, but they occasionally send a warning letter to CBD companies making health claims — this is not allowed for dietary supplements, which CBD is classified as — and they report to Congress every now and then on the wildly inaccurate labeling that goes on in the CBD industry.
Someday, when our government is functional again, we might have oversight in the CBD market. Until then, it’s buyer beware. From someone who’s been watching this space since 2012, here are a few pro tips:
- Don’t buy CBD at a gas station. Just don’t.
- Don’t buy it just because a celebrity endorses it.
- If a friend or family member recommends a brand of CBD, do some research.
- Massive short cut: See if the brand is U.S. Hemp Authority certified. If it is, buy it.
How Kannaboom is different from other affiliate sites
In affiliate marketing, the publisher or other party (me) attracts the attention of people (you) and directs them to the seller (in this case, companies who make certified CBD). When you buy the product, I’m awarded a commission.
This is happening all over online, in many industries; there’s almost no one blogging who is not an affiliate for some product or service. The difference between me and others who are directing readers, listeners and viewers — I resist calling people ‘consumers,’ or worse ‘users’— to CBD companies is that, as noted above, I provide links only to certified providers.
Why? Because there are now more than 3,000 CBD companies selling products in the U.S. It’s a green rush, and more come on line every day. Some cut corners, and some CBD products are better than others.
Some affiliate sites don’t care about standards at all — they will link to any vendor that offers them a commission. Other sites present various rationales, maybe they even do third-party testing of products. I don’t have the resources to test hundreds of products, and I’m not an organic chemist or a doctor, but I believe it’s critically important to put only the best CBD into your body. So I have outsourced the trust function.
Because it is imperative that you consume verifiably trust-worthy CBD, I recommend CBD that has been certified by the professionals at the U.S. Hemp Authority.
Whether you’re using CBD to treat insomnia, anxiety, aches and pains or many other conditions, and whether you want to smoke, vape, eat, drink, rub it in or slap on a transdermal patch, I’m here to help you make better decisions about hemp medicine and your health.
We all have standards when shopping. Like many people, once I’m assured of the quality level I’m seeking, I usually then look for the lowest price. Value is critical, and I will flag the best values as I find them, but transparency is also important to me.
Especially in this market, right now, there are flight-by-night operators, Johnny-come-latelys, and the looming specter of corporate behemoths entering the game. In this environment, you deserve to know:
- Who you are buying from
- The quality of what you are buying.
- How I am being compensated when you choose to buy products here.
My promise is to present only CBD products that have been certified as safe and effective. I don’t show you just any CBD, or products based on the size of the commissions they offer, and I don’t show you products I don’t use myself.
This is why I use and recommend only U.S. Hemp Authority-certified CBD.