It’s fitting that Tommy Sigen found a home at Phoenix’s Giving Tree dispensary. Just like his employer, the 26-year-old budtender sees cannabis as a way to help consumers heal, both mentally and physically.
Although Sigen still has a few years of school left before he can become a licensed psychiatrist, he is certain that cannabis will play a role in treating his future patients. For now, the all-star budtender is keeping his mind open and learning as much about the plant compounds and consumption methods as possible.
Phoenix New Times sat down with Sigen to get the lowdown on dabbing and what initially attracted him to the cannabis industry.
Phoenix New Times: Every cannabis enthusiast has their own cannabis journey that led them to fall in love with the plant. What’s yours?
Tommy Sigen: My parents were heavy opioid addicts. Just watching them kind of destroy their lives and destroy ours at such a young age, by comparison, made me choose a different path. I didn't want to be another person who just pedaled off the next drug. I'm actually going to school to be a licensed psychiatrist.
PNT: There are a lot of debates about the efficacy of cannabis for treating mental illness. Do you anticipate using cannabis in your practice one day?
Sigen: Absolutely! There’s a reason why a lot of these narcotics are called painkillers. They suppress rather than allow the person to really fix their problems. I want to approach mental health in a homeopathic, naturalistic way. Things like cannabis, things like musical therapy, things like regular exercise — a lot of those will actually change and improve your life drastically in so many different ways.
PNT: Personally speaking, are you more of a toker or a dabber?
Sigen: Oh, I am 100% a dab guy.
PNT: Take me through your dab rig setup.
Sigen: I've got a really, really nice piece right now. It's about a foot tall and 6 millimeters thick. I like to go ahead and put in some nice fresh ice water before I do dab. From there, I pull out a nice big glob of product, and I drop it in. If I'm not lying down and crying massive tears, it wasn't big enough (laughs).
PNT: What are you dabbing on these days?
Sigen: I just got a bunch of new samples from Holoh to go through. Definitely enjoying those right now.
PNT: What’s your favorite thing to do when stoned to the bone?
Sigen: I love to bake and read books. Like, I will bake anything I can get my hands on.
PNT: Do you have a go-to recipe?
Sigen: I like to think my snickerdoodles are pretty good.