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True Terpenes Founder’s Origin Story

True Terpenes founder story: Chris Campagna

Everyone in Cannabis has a "Why."

Our Founder and CEO Chris Campagna recently shared his:

One day I woke up, and my toes were numb.

A few days later, it was creeping up my legs.

About a week later, I was paralyzed from the waist down.

In a matter of weeks, I went from being completely healthy to 70% of my body paralyzed. The doctors at Legacy Emanuel here in Portland were hours away from putting me on a ventilator to keep my lungs functioning.

They did a spinal tap to confirm their hunch: I had a rare autoimmune disease. I was admitted for a long-term stay, and 9 weeks later, I rolled out of the hospital in a wheelchair. I finally got to go home.

Chris Campagna founder True Terpenes

After 6 months of treatment, I learned how to walk again. I was on medication after medication… 12 total. It seemed clear to me that this “medicine” was making me sicker. It was a brutal cycle. A new medication created a new side effect that I conveniently needed a new “medicine” to fix. I knew I had to find an alternative and wanted to try cannabis.

When I asked my doctor about it, he looked at me like I was insane. He told me it wouldn’t work, that there was no evidence it would help with anything. Hard no.

Spoiler alert: I tried it anyway, and it worked.

Over time, I had ditched every pharmaceutical and, most importantly… I WAS BETTER.

In these early days, I didn’t know much about the plant, but Dr. Ethan Russo’s “Taming THC” paper was formative for my understanding of terpenes and their role in cannabis’ therapeutic properties. I’m not one to run around telling people cannabis is a miracle cure but the work of early pioneers, the plant, and my personal experience was absolutely a miracle for me.

Fast forward 20 years, and I’ve devoted my life to cannabis. I’ve hired medical doctors, Ph.D. researchers, and many specialists. I’ve helped over 30,000 people get their medical cards across the country. I’ve built a state-of-the-art facility that powers cannabis products consumed all over the world by millions of people every year. I want to bring this plant to the world!

I started True Terpenes to create customizable, standardized, and scalable plant medicine. Med is now rec and vice versa, but the mission hasn’t changed. This plant is amazing in more ways than we understand yet, and we’re here to help other great companies bring it to the world.

I don’t usually like to talk about this because it was a difficult time in my life. But I recently shared this story on social media and the outpouring of support and messages from people with similar stories reminded me that I need to spread the word—and express my gratitude.

I couldn’t be more thankful for this plant and all the crazy people (like me) working to bring it to consumers. It’s been a wild ride in this industry, it’s not even close to over, and I’m enjoying every second of it.

Thank you, cannabis, and everyone who is fighting for it!


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