Health

The 'nuns' who grow medical marijuana

Published 7:21 PM ET, Thu April 7, 2016
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01 cnnphotos Sisters of Valley RESTRICTED01 cnnphotos Sisters of Valley RESTRICTED
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The spiritual Sisters of the Valley grow medical marijuana in California. They use it to make lotions, tinctures and other products. Although they wear habits and modern clothing, the sisters have no official connection to the Catholic Church. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
Photographer Shaughn Crawford said the art in the sisters' house was a fascinating mix of Catholic items and tchotchkes that hint at cannabis culture. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
The sisters grow potent varieties of medical marijuana they say are rich in cannabidiols, the chemicals thought to reduce nausea, suppress seizures, lower inflammation and help with anxiety and depression. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
The sisters use simple crockpots and coffee filters to create the special mix that goes into their products. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
The mix is used in a variety of products. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
"When we do these projects, we are not just trying to capture the people, but we are also trying to show a glimpse of the places and things that go on around them," said John DuBois, who photographed the sisters along with Crawford. "And the detail like their calendar with the water and growing cycles on the wall are all interesting details that really tell their story." Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
Marijuana is stored at the sisters' home. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
Jars hold the sisters' products. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
"They were really welcoming and transparent about everything they did in their lives," DuBois said. "Sometimes people are guarded and don't know if they can trust you, but sitting with them confirmed this was the right project." Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
The sisters' products are harvested around the lunar cycle and cultivated during prayer. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
They say their products have little or no THC, the chemical that gets users high. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois
One of the sisters smokes a joint. Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois