Dr. Trent Jones was in his practice one evening just before Christmas of 2013 when he received a call from a grandmother of a 7 year old child named, Noah. Noah suffered from a terrible disease called Dravet’s syndrome. One of Dravet’s leading consequences is chronic inflammation throughout the brain, specifically in the microglial cells. This inflammation leads to relentless epileptic seizures ranging from petit mal to grand mal seizures. The slightest changes in light, temperature, or immunity can cause a seizure; thus, making these children some of the most fragile humans on the planet. Noah averaged about 50 seizures per day and he was getting worse. Even though this little boy was receiving the finest allopathic care available, he could not talk or walk; he could not get out of his bed and required constant assistance. Noah was taking multiple “off label” epilepsy and neural suppressant prescriptions and he was literally dying from the relentless, chronic inflammatory patterns in his brain.
Lola did not know Dr. Jones, but she did know that Dr. Jones had been growing fish, plant foods and natural plant medicines via aquaponics for decades in Indiana. At the time, hemp derived CBD was emerging in the news media as a possible way to slow or stop catastrophic seizures. So, as longshot, Lola called Dr. Jones to ask him if he could grow hemp and CBD for Noah. After hearing Grandma Lola’s story about Noah and their family, Dr. Jones, who cared for more than 20,000 patients throughout the of his Chiropractic career, decided to retire from his Indiana practice in order to pursue the promise of helping Lola’s grandson, Noah.
His new mission and life’s work was dedicated to helping Noah, his family, and many others like them, to overcome this terrible disease. By February of 2014, the USDA Farm Bill fully legalized Industrial Hemp research and development. California was the only state that had local, state and federal legal hemp laws on the books. So, Dr. Jones began his journey by buying an off-grid property in the raw, mysterious and very sparse California Mojave Desert. The Mojave is a vast and very inhospitable place that would offer him seclusion and security from the potential dangers of cannabis (marijuana) cultivation. Dr. Jones ended up living on this property for over 2 and ½ years off-grid, without any running water or electricity.
There were several concerning issues at the time. Law enforcement did not know the difference between hemp and medical marijuana or cannabis. Industrial Hemp had to be under 0.3% THC content by weight, and developing plants that were that low in THC, while much higher in CBD would be very difficult to achieve. The current scientific literature suggested that it could take up five to ten years to selectively breed the THC out of the marijuana plants that exhibited naturally high levels of CBD.
When Jones drove from Indiana to California Mojave, he trailered a considerable amount of the same fish and pea gravel that he used in Indiana aquaponics farms so he could replicate his aquaponic farm designs in the California Mojave Desert. Initially, Jones built 4 aquaponic beds on this new farm. Without reservation, California is known for growing some of the finest Cannabis plants in the world. However, at that time, there weren’t any Industrial Hemp plants that were high in CBD and below 0.3% THC in the entire United States. So, Dr. Jones purchased various California grown Cannabis plant chemovars (varieties) that were high in CBD, but low in THC, and planted them in his new aquaponic beds in the California Mojave.
What happened next was what at first seemed like nothing short of a disaster, but as his often quoted parable of the Taoist farmer story proves, it was the blessing of a lifetime.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. During the month of March 2014, Dr. Jones was ready to grow plants. He did not have any experience growing hemp or cannabis, nor did he have any experience growing plants in the very intense Mojave Desert. Within 24 hours of planting, the very small, green cannabis plants had been sunburned and scalded so badly that the leaves had become white. After a week of various efforts to save these plants in their new Mojave aquaponic beds, all of these plants finally died. Not knowing what would happen to the now “dead” plants, Jones left them in place within the grow bed. After another week or so, these “dead” plants began sending up new cannabis plants! Somehow the roots survived the sun’s intense assault upon the leaves, stems and stalk, and sent up another plant that had genetically mutated into a high CBD Industrial Hemp plant that did not exceed 0.3% THC content.
Upon further investigation, Dr. Jones learned that these plants had genetically mutated in order to survive by dropping out the THC, and producing only CBD. Out of good faith and pure grace, Nature created and gave Dr. Jones and his Team a new Industrial Hemp strain that is named “Noah”. The chemistry of the “Noah’ Hemp was immediately verified by several independent cannabis and hemp testing laboratories.
In the Mojave Desert, Dr. Jones learned how to properly extract the oils from these plants, formulating various tinctures that were given to Noah. Within a few days, Noah’s seizure count went from about 50 per day down to 1 or 2 per day, and within a month or two, Noah’s seizure rate was down to 1 or 2 seizures per month. Not long after this milestone, Noah and his Family felt well enough to visit Walt Disney World in Florida!
It’s safe to say that this event was validating Jones' purpose, with each sequential month unearthing more and more opportunity to help people with a wide range of symptoms and chronic diseases, and expand the scope of his impact.
Another year had passed, and Jones learned how to recreate his mutation with plants that exhibited higher variability and diversity of biochemical compounds that are reputed to correlate to specific effects, target specific symptoms, and can collectively offer a more effective product when extracted as a whole plant. Removing THC from the plant was only the beginning, and adding individual variables that collectively form what we refer to as “the orchestra” became the subject of his research within his genetics program.
That year, the plants at his remote farm were destroyed by local police, and Jones was arrested, under suspicion of marijuana production without proper legal due diligence. Through a relationship he had made with a potential university research partner over the course of that year, his story made its way to a local district attorney, who testified on Jones behalf. After troubling and traumatic destruction of (most) of his plants, he relocated his farm to a new county, rebuilt, and pushed forward with his mission.
In anticipation of the 2018 farm bill, which legalized the production of industrial hemp, Jones had prepared nearly 30 million seeds on this farm. Partnering with local farmers just south of Bakersfield, CA, Jones successfully farmed a pilot of three acres with exceptional yields, which quickly transitioned into the first industrial scale hemp farm in the state of California since prohibition.