Theraveda grows award-winning craft cannabis, using the proceeds to fund addiction and mental health treatment programming through its New Leaf Outreach project. With personal experience they are dedicated to supporting those affected by substance use and chronic health disorders in their community.
Theraveda grows award-winning craft cannabis, using the proceeds to fund addiction and mental health treatment programming through its New Leaf Outreach non-profit.
With personal experience of using cannabis to overcome chronic pain and achieve freedom from active addiction, founder Sapha Habibi is dedicated to supporting the people affected in his community by providing more adequate resources and holistic modalities to help improve their ability to function and gain agency over their lives.
In concept, Theraveda is about integrating modern cannabis therapeutics with the principles of ayurveda, the ancient Indian philosophy and science of healing the body, mind, and spirit.
This idea has proven popular in the craft cannabis community and their proprietary methodology with the team winning 1st place indica at the Grassroots Cup.
But for Sapha, the brand means much more than that. It is about responding to the overdose crisis in BC and funding social projects for public good by using legalization as a vehicle to create social change.
“A big part of what we’re doing is trying to educate the public and repair the damaged relationships in the communities,” says Sapha.
“We’re tackling the stigma and all the problems faced by people who use drugs. It’s important that the public understand it’s not a moral failing, it’s a public health issue.”
Sales from Theraveda fund New Leaf Outreach’s non-profit society, which is currently operating a supervised consumption site and detox and rehabilitation programs, among other projects pertaining to harm reduction initiatives and social justice.
“We are providing our local comminity with a more adequate response to the overdose crisis,” says Sapha.
“We’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re the drug users and here we are supplying the outreach services, harm reduction supplies, and overdose prevention,’ because people who use drugs right now in our communities, they’re the ones responding to overdoses the most.”
He hopes Theraveda and the cannabis industry as a whole can help people overcome stress and trauma, provide housing, and show those once opposed to cannabis or harm reduction initiatives that cannabis can fund bigger solutions for bigger issues.
“Theraveda is about my personal values of consciousness, collectiveness, community, collaboration, and using the experience that we have earned through life to help other people overcome whatever obstacles or challenges they’re facing,” says Sapha.
Sapha didn’t have the easiest start in life, growing up in poverty. Ironically, cannabis was forbidden in his family, but that didn’t stop him heading into addiction to hard drugs.
“I had lived using substances – hard drugs and alcohol – to escape my pain for almost 16 years,” says Sapha.
“When I realized I needed to get off drugs and find relief, I had to find ways and means to further my spiritual development and work on my physical health and mental health, so I could achieve freedom from addiction.”
Sapha started to see a pain specialist, and it was there he was introduced to medical cannabis.
“I started using medical cannabis for my pain because I couldn’t rely on the conventional medications and treatments that were available. I had tried those and had no success,” says Sapha.
Sapha was inspired to create a brand of cannabis after his medication and treatment led to a psychedelic experience, and a realization he could make a difference.
“Over the years, throughout the recovery process, medical cannabis was so valuable in helping me find ways to overcome the difficulties that I was faced with as an addict, that had a need for medication. I wanted to share that with others in the same position.”
Theraveda went from strength to strength, leading to Theraveda’s success at the Grassroots Cup – which is where he met Pasha’s Executive Chairman Patrick Brauckmann.
“What drew me to Pasha was that when I met Patrick, we connected on a level I hadn’t found yet in the cannabis industry,” says Sapha.
“The whole Pasha brands philosophy on collectivity, working together and unifying craft growers really stood out to me, because that’s what Theravada has always been about.”
“It’s about community, collectiveness, bringing people to the table that want to collaborate and work together. That’s one of the most important fundamentals about human life.”
For Sapha, the best thing about working with Pasha is that they understand his concept and philosophy, and they know the importance of community.
“For craft growers and people like us, who are looking to transition from the unregulated market into the regulated market, we need all the help we can get to do that efficiently,” says Sapha. “I’ve got all these people who are relying on me, depending on me, and those people are helped through the sale of my product.”
“But if we can’t do that legally, my days are numbered as a producer – that’s where Pasha stepped in and said, ‘We’re here for you, we’re going to help you get legal, and not only get legal, we’re going to help you give back.’”
“Pasha helps us put a lot of proceeds into the community, to help people in addiction and give people the equity they need in order to get to where they need to be.”