Seven years ago, Franco Brockelman’s mom was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Watching her pain grow from an annoyance to a chronic condition, with endless treatments being unable to provide her with relief, he suggested an alternative that he was almost sure she wouldn’t go for — cannabis.
After convincing her to try the stigmatized plant, Brockelman researched strains that would hopefully help. He stumbled upon a strain called “Master Kush,” which, from online reviews, appeared to have all the necessary “ingredients” to target her specific medical issues. Unfortunately, it only caused her sleeplessness and an increase in pain.
“The strain names, unfortunately, don’t mean a lot,” said Brockelman. “The idea of Blue Dream being the same everywhere is a wonderful idea, but unfortunately it just isn’t the case.”
Brockelman realized that a better resource was needed for understanding cannabis strains and to determine what would actually provide his mom the comfort she needed — a resource that was able to factor in the numerous differences between individuals and the strains they were consuming.
“We wanted to create a tool that took into account the range of users that were consuming these strains,” said Branden Hall, co-founder and CTO of Releaf. “For instance, some people are missing an enzyme that causes them to have no reaction to edibles. The endocannabinoid system is incredibly complex and while other drugs have had centuries of studies, we are in a situation where we know this helps people, but we don’t have a system in place to keep track.”
The Releaf team from left to right: Franco Brockelman, CEO & Founding Partner; Keenan Keeling, Co-Founder & COO; and Branden Hall, Founding Partner & CTO.
The app allows users to detail the strain of cannabis they’re trying in real time, track their successes/failures with each strain, and share