The Brain Behind the Bud

Cannabis. To some, this word means “illegal drug.’ For 26-year-old AJ Fabrizio, it became the heart of his lifelong research.

Fabrizio was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 17-years-old. Instead of letting his condition defeat him, the experience sparked his interest in studying the complex compounds of medical marijuana.


According to Fabrizio, medical marijuana has many health benefits for severe illnesses such as epilepsy. He first tried the drug in college and went from having multiple seizures a day, to having one every three weeks.

“It seems right now that the sky’s the limit. Even if we find the limit of therepeudics of this one plant, The Amazon rainforest is full of 200,000 species of plants,” Fabrizio said. “Who knows, maybe medicine in the future isn’t in a test tube, maybe it’s a new species of plant and seeing what it does.”

Fabrizio has dedicated the last six years to cannabis research even when it wasn’t widely accepted. His research has been crucial in the medical marijuana movement in Nevada, particularly in his role as the Chief Research Officer at Terra Tech.

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This story was produced for the Next Generation Radio Project- Walanya can be reached at or via twitter: @walanyav.

To read Walanya’s field notes on this piece and get behind the scenes, check out her blog

Hero image courtesy of Brett Levin Photography