Philip Andrews’ love of woodworking is a family tradition, passed down through generations from his grandfather, Gerry Oorthuis, who, with his uncle, migrated from the Netherlands via a labor camp in Hamburg, Germany after World War II.
“My grandfather learned woodworking from his brother, Henk – a renowned violin and harp maker,” he shared. “My father immigrated to Canada in 1956 and opened a woodworking shop of his own – where I learned. He built custom cabinetry and furniture right up until he died in 1999. He was 80 years old.”
Today, Andrews is still working in the same shop his father established, with a new shingle and focus as Tree Trunk Studio, with his Uncle Tom beside him.
Growing up in Canada with a Dutch mother, Andrews said cannabis was never portrayed in a negative light.
“My mother smoked cannabis in the 1960s and 70s, and still occasionally smokes” he shared. “The day Canada legalized she went with a friend to attend the large public celebration, and smoked a joint at midnight in the crowd. Now, keep in mind, my mom is now 73 years old. She and her friend took public transit to be safe.”
Andrews’ first experience with cannabis was in high school, when he smoked with some friends.
“It was in the middle of the afternoon – we smoked in a car, then went and laid around in the park, laughing,” he continued. “Cannabis use, for me, is both medical and recreational, depending on the situation. I suffer from migraines, and use cannabis for pain relief, as well as a creativity enhancer during my design process.”
As a child Andrews remembers being in pain, crying and throwing up from the migraines.
Migraines are a neurological condition causing multiple symptoms, characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound.
A paper published in the National Institute of Health’s website in April of 2017 states, “currently there is not enough evidence from clinical trials, there are sufficient anecdotal and preliminary results, as well as plausible neurobiological mechanisms, to warrant properly designed clinical trials.”
A quick search on You Tube brought up several testimonies of success in using cannabis for migraines, with Dr. Shivang Joshi of the Dent Neurologic Institute giving a presentation on both help with migraines and cluster headaches, another debilitating neurologically-based disorder.
Dosing is a key issue in any cannabis protocol, and Dr. Joshi discusses decreasing pharmaceuticals, specifically opiate dependency, while increasing cannabis tincture dosing slowly, with realistic expectations. He states that it can take up to two weeks of consistent use to notice positive effects with CBD alone; but that whole plant, with the psychoactive compound of THC, can alleviate pain immediately. Transitioning from pharmaceuticals, he says, is a slower process due to withdrawal symptoms from the pharmaceuticals.
“I micro-dose daily using a vape pen to keep the migraines at bay,” he said. “If it’s real bad, I’ll only take an over-the-counter remedy with cannabis. I don’t like pills or prescription drugs.”
His own stash box comes from his woodworking shop, under the Tree Trunk brand, which includes rolling trays and other accessories in the works.
“The To-Go tray is always part of my stash because it’s small and portable,” he explained. “I use all of our trays, but enjoy the little one for on the go.”
His line of trays and accessories can now be found in MedMen shops in California, and include UV airtight jars for storing flower, referred to as Tree Trunk Flower Pots.
“I like using the flower vape from Pax, because you can really taste the cannabis and its flavor profile,” he said. “Pax also makes the best cartridge on the market, in my opinion – the ERA – which is a pen and pod system, makes consumption and micro-dosing very easy. My second favorite is the Puffco Pro 2, when I want to enjoy concentrates. I’m not a big concentrate person, but the pen is amazing.”
The ashtray is a classic from the Lowell Herb Co., gifted to him from the company after commissioning him to make a custom storage trunk for their products. The trunk is featured on the front page of Lowell’s website.
The lighter featured on his tray is from MedMen, in homage to his new retail deal; the other lighter is Tree Trunk swag. The grinder was purchased in The Bull Dog coffee shop on a trip to Amsterdam a few years back, and is a sentimental personal favorite.
“Some people collect refrigerator magnets or coffee mugs on vacations, I brought home a grinder,” he laughed. “I love the coffee shops in Amsterdam and The Bull Dog is a favorite.”
The glass spoon pipe is made by Illadelph, a high-end glass company established in 2002, found in shops throughout the U.S.
“Using a pipe is one of my preferred methods of smoking cannabis, and Illidelph makes one of the nicest spoons, in my opinion,” he added. “I feel the same way about papers, and RAW is another go-to. For fancy joints I use Shine 24K. I also love Elevate’s Colfax Dugout, and have been a huge fan of theirs since its inception.”
Shine papers are made out of 24 karat gold, and are the Champagne glass of the cannabis industry; the go-to for special celebrations. According to its website, the gold burns slowly and better, leaving gold in the ashes. But, they warn with a smile, you can’t take the ashes to the pawn shop for cash.
Lastly, the flower of the day on his tray comes from Cru Cannabis, a craft flower cultivator from Santa Cruz, California.
“I smoke for pleasure, but I also smoke for pain – so, great flower is important to me,” he surmised. “That’s really what this is all about – the plant. Cru Cannabis grows great stuff, plain and simple. All these products make my stash look good. It’s synergistic and tribal. I’m not sure if my grandfather would approve of this type of woodworking, but my migraines are managed, my mom is happy about that – and that’s all that matters.”