Intern Profile: Loren Fillmore

Heady Vermont Staff 21 Mar 2018

Loren Fillmore is Heady Vermont’s social media intern, and the thumbs behind the Heady Vermont Instagram account. Loren lives in Burlington and attended the University of Vermont. She will graduate in May with a degree in public communications, specializing in marketing.

Loren manages her own Instagram with over 7,000 followers dedicated to self-love, empowering women and recognizing that standard media advertising techniques aim to diminish how women view themselves. Through her social media, Loren hopes to provide followers with a more transparent take on health and self-esteem.

Loren’s interest in cannabis:

“My interest in cannabis stems from her personal battle with epilepsy. I grew up having seizures since I was two or three. I’m adopted so obviously, for my parents, it was a huge shock when I had my first seizure. Being adopted and having epilepsy makes it even harder though, because we don’t know if it is hereditary or not.

The seizures were bad. They are called: ‘complex-partial temporal lobe’ seizures, but they look a lot like grand mal seizures. I had to try a lot of different drugs to see what worked, and a lot of them were very invasive. School and sports were always important to me. When I started having seizures during practices my high school told me I couldn’t participate anymore. It was hard, and it made my whole life schoolwork.

The worst part was that seizure medication works by slowing the rate at which neurons fire in your brain, so it literally made me slower. It was awful. I couldn’t play sports, and schoolwork was a challenge with my meds.

I’ve finally found a medication that works. However, after coming to UVM, I’ve become fascinated by medical cannabis. The medications I tried back in high school had awful side-effects. Excessive hair loss. Weight gain. Weight loss. Loss of appetite. Muscle weakness. Blurred vision. Depression. Anxiety. Thoughts of suicide. And my personal favorite: tremors and seizures!

I always thought it was so twisted that one of the side-effects of an antiepileptic drug was seizures. While medical cannabis has almost no negative side-effects, aside from the fact that you may eat all the Doritos you were saving.

I hope that by sharing my story, people who view cannabis as a dangerous Schedule 1 Drug will be a little more open to the healing properties of this amazing plant.

It took me a long time to realize that the mix of chemicals I am required to take every day to fit into normal society, are way more worthy of being classified as ‘dangerous drugs’ than cannabis.”

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