Golnesa Gharachedaghi, known to millions of fans as “GG,” is the breakout star of the hit Bravo reality television series Shahs of Sunset. The hit show features the captivating lives of six young Persian-American Hollywood socialites. Produced by Ryan Seacrest, the show came out in 2012 and is now going into its 7th Season debuting August 2nd. GG is known for her fiery temper, and I personally find her the most entertaining character to watch on the show.
GG’s life is like an open book, exhibiting her love of knives, her exotic cat, her recovery from addiction, her battle with rheumatoid arthritis and her whirlwind romance that ended in divorce that she’s currently going through. Now for the first time on a network reality show, we get to see her launch her new legal cannabis product line in California on national television.
Streaming goliath, Netflix has launched cannabis shows like Cooking on High and Disjointed, along with documentaries that, by the time they come out, are already dated and obsolete. For last the 5 years, I’ve heard of cannabis reality shows being filmed and pitched, some even featuring the Edibles List team. But never have we actually seen cable television allow cannabis content to air, aside from CNN’s Weed documentary and MSNBC’s mini series Pot Barons. Notable mentions include Kris Jenner eating edibles with her mom in 2014 on E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Tamar Braxton going into a dispensary and picking up a copy of Edibles Magazine™ on Braxton Family Values on WeTV.
This is the first time in history a reality TV star who is famous for being themselves is launching their own entire cannabis line. GG not only has a platform of loyal fans to spread the word to, she herself is a true medical cannabis patient, using cannabis to treat her rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
“It took almost two years to find out it was rheumatoid arthritis. It started with my hands, and then it was my knees and then it was my shoulders. I think at that point I decided I needed to see a rheumatologist. It wasn’t for maybe, 8 years later that I use cannabis as a form of treatment. I was 27 when it started happening. It started there. My fingers were the size of sausages. I had surgery on this finger, you can see the jigsaw line. I had so much steroids injected to keep the swelling down, that they couldn’t inject anymore, so they had to open it up.,” GG said.
She points out that autoimmune disorders are typically genetic. “My dad got diagnosed with a form of rheumatism, probably two and a half to three years after I got diagnosed. So, if it comes from anywhere it’s coming from my dad.”
In many cases with a chronic pain illness like RA, the condition can be misdiagnosed. GG was spared the hassle of the wrong medications for the wrong illness. “Rheumatoid was definitely the first prognosis and diagnosis, before that it was tendonitis, bursitis, and all this other stuff. They were so easily injecting the corticosteroids in every part of my body and didn’t realize it was an autoimmune [disorder].”
When I asked her what other remedies she tried, she said, “I tried everything, holistic, from Eastern to Western. I did it all. But it took me a long time to come to cannabis, because I was an addict. And I got clean in 2005, so it was scary for me thinking, ‘If I have this, oh my gosh, is that going to do this to me’ But I listened to my mom, because my mom forced me to do this. And here it is, this is what I’m doing, helping people.”
Her mother has never smoked a day in her life, which shocked me for someone wholeheartedly promoting its medical benefits. “She read online. She heard about it because it’s natural, she started really researching. And that’s what I tell my followers, research, do your own research, and you’ll learn. She just believed in the benefits.”
GG’s mom convinced her to research the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis and then she went to a cannabis doctor. “My mom took me to Dr. Frankel. He’s located in Santa Monica, California and he’s known to be an M.D. that was treating his patients with cannabis. Unfortunately, Western medicine wasn’t really allowing that at the time. He created his own practice. So my mommy took me to him, and he taught me how to dose, how to look for strains, and do all that stuff.”
What is Chemotherapy supposed to do for Arthritis patients?
“The amount of dosage that someone with RA [rheumatoid arthritis] gets of chemo is very different than someone with leukemia or cancer. In those cases, the chemo comes in to kill off all the cells, so the cells can renew themselves. With my case, it basically goes into shock. We need to shock the cells and put them in order. But you know, in the process, your entire immune system goes down to below zero, because you already have an autoimmune. Now you’re giving it medicine, that makes it even lower. So it was really hard, I was suffering a lot. A lot of throwing up, a lot of gaining weight, losing weight, mood swings. I resorted to alcohol. This [cannabis] saved me in a lot of ways,” GG said.
What’s your favorite way to medicate?
“I think it’s kind of personal. I think it’s personal for everybody. For me, it’s smoking. I’m from the day where that’s the only way we knew what to do with pot, we smoked it. So that’s more familiar for me. For me, it’s just smoking it. But that’s why we made so many different varieties, so you can choose, do you want a drink, do you want an inhaler, do you want to vape, do you want the actual flower? So, I think it’s just kind of a personal thing.”
We have powderized the THC and cannabis and put it into the juice, so this way, it metabolizes a lot faster in the body. So, you know, you won’t get that lingering kind of feeling and also feel it a little bit faster. I would like to have edibles as well one day. I just hear more people being a little fearful sometimes of edibles, because they’ve had a bad experience. We really have to get the right dosing, because I don’t want people to say anything bad about my brand. I want to make sure it’s perfect. So when that happens we can offer edibles.
Have you ever had the feeling of “Feeling Too High?”
“I didn’t like it. I had a chocolate, and then I had an entire bottle of CBD water. I was at a cannabis convention, High Times, a couple years ago, and it was one of those things where you can’t make it go away. You know, you do the head shake, to try to make it go away, it was like that.”
What’s been your favorite part of the process thus far in launching WüSah?
“It’s been a long time because, as you know, and as a lot of people out there know, it’s just a very difficult industry. The cannabis industry becoming newly legalized in California is awesome, but we got to make sure it’s done right. The process is tricky, and you want to make sure you’re doing everything the right way. It really took a lot, we really talked to a lot of people. We had a lot of meetings. We really wanted to know who we were dealing with. Where’s our flower coming from? What’s the process, what’s the breakdown? We wanted to make sure we’re not lying to anyone. It took a long time, but hey, don’t most works of art take a long time.
A lot of people, I think, rely on their celebrity as we have seen with certain companies now, that maybe they thought they could get away with whatever and their design and packaging is cool. Our design and packaging, as you can see, is so simple, it’s so soft and Zen. It’s about what the medicine is doing for you.”
How did you pick the name WüSah?
“It was the last word I agreed upon in my head that would be the name for this. I went a million, a gazillion names. I think the hardest process is naming something, but it suits me, it suits the product. Everyone knows me as this, you know, fiery personality. About two years ago, I went away and got some spiritual healing. I introduced cannabis into my life, and I calmed down.
I just love the word. It’s such a hip new word because of the movie Bad Boys where Martin Lawrence says, “Wusah….” I was like, this is a great word. Why not? It works for me, it works for the product, it works for society.”
Did you smoke weed in high school?
“Yes. The first thing I ever had was pot at 11 years old. I was young. I was a special child. I stopped using when I went to rehab in 2005. At the time, it was considered a drug, and at that time, no one had the proper education about what cannabis did. None of us did. I wasn’t smoking at that time because I thought it was healing me in anyway. It would just calm me down. So I quit everything in 2005 and I just started up again 2 years ago.”
What do you say to people that call Cannabis a drug?
“As someone who is not just an outsider starting a cannabis business, but as someone who has finished rehab, then checked herself into LMU (Loyola Marymount University) and finished with a degree in The Bio Psycho Social Behavior of an Addict with a Dual Diagnosis, I can sit here and very confidently say that addiction is up to you on how you want to go about it. If you know, that in your head you’re going to say, if I have this, I’m going to have to do that, you’re already weak, we know that. It’s a mindset. For me, this is now my medicine. I need this. I can’t function without it. I can’t. This is not a drug. This is not a toy.”
What can we expect to see when the new season debuts on August 2nd?
“From beginning to the end of the season you’re going to see me going through the struggles and what not to do. A lot of people know, I’ve never had a job before in my life, so embarking on one of the most difficult industries was very challenging. Thank God I have my partner who has my back. Thanks homegirl!
People will see how difficult it was. It was a challenge, because I was so passionate about it, and I didn’t give up. I didn’t give up when those challenges kept coming at me, this law, that law, this law. I kept going.”
What’s been the craziest or favorite thing done on Shahs of Sunset?
“I think my favorite thing was… I just had surgery on my hand. I was in a really bad, dark place at that time in my life. I was taking a lot of pills and drinking a lot of alcohol. My friends knew that so they said they wanted to take me on an intervention. Obviously I didn’t know, I thought we were going camping, which is my absolute favorite thing in the whole wide world. I’m in a bit of a wrapped-up hand, they take me to a campground. It’s an intervention. The next morning I have to wake up and do one of those massive obstacle courses to show team leadership, we’re here for you, we’re here to support you. With my hand in a cast, I managed to literally get half way through. It was an awesome moment for me. Watching that, it was awesome because I got my mind right when the season had aired, so I was able to see how dark of a place I was in, and I was able to pull through. It kind of gave me motivation. It was very therapeutic.”
Any Regrets on the Show?
“The scumbag that calls himself my husband.”
How do you feel about marriage now?
“I never believed in marriage. I absolutely never believed in it. I was under different circumstances with him, I did something and it blew up in my face. I still don’t believe in marriage, and I still can recommend a really good divorce attorney.”
Is your RA under control now?
“My doctor says that by end of summer I’ll be in remission. The arthritis is under control. My doctor says, ‘Whatever it is you’re doing, just keep doing it. Just keep doing it.’ He won’t specifically say cannabis, because he’s a Western doctor. We’re not there yet with doctors. We will be soon.”
What do you think the Future of Cannabis is?
“You can’t call something medicine that’s causing another illness. You can’t say come have this to heal and now you have to heal something else. When you have a situation from pesticides being ingested, I’m sorry but cannabis can’t help you anymore. That’s a whole different situation. I would like to really see, the state, the government, whoever it is that controls this, that we understand we can’t grow with pesticides. We need to grow organically. We can’t promote healing if we’re hurting people.”
What do you think about the states that don’t test for pesticides?
“It’s so silly that it should even be mandatory. Test it, test it, test it. See what’s in it. Question your product. I always tell people research your product, research your brand, research your strain, find out where it is, what it is. It’s all about education.”
What products are in your initial line?
• Refresh Watermelon Pomegranate Mint Cold Pressed 8oz Organic Juice, 10mg THC/10mg CBD
• Cannabis Inhaler which is 10mg THC per puff/pump
• Disposable WuSah Vape Pen – 300mg THC oil
• Jar of Seven ½ Gram Hybrid Pre Rolls, totalling an eighth of an ounce of flower.
One last question, what does “Golnesa” mean?
Golnesa translates [in Farsi] as The Flower Lady.
(We literally laugh out loud together as she realizes for the first time the double meaning involved with her name!)
GG continues to undergo chemotherapy for her RA, until she is weaned off completely by next year.
From one female entrepreneur to another, I know how hard it is to launch a cannabis brand. GG seeks to empower and encourage females to be their best.
“We have carefully developed our supply side relationships. Greenstone Distribution has partnered us with Honeydew Farms one of the largest family owned cultivators in the state. Honeydew has decades of experience in organic farming practices and regenerative living soils. With the difficult state testing requirements Greenstone and Honeydew are part of only a few companies to currently have ample supply of clean tested cannabis. We are working on specific cultivars exclusive to Wusah that you can only get through our brand.”
Find out more about her brand at: WüSah.com #Wusah #Shahs
Follow her on Instagram @gg_golnesa
Tune in August 2nd for the 7th season premiere, Thursdays on Bravo 9pm PST.
B. Le Grand