About Us: The Duby Story
Duby’s origins stem back to 2012, as co-founder and CTO Russell Thomas had mounting concerns about his nine-month-old son, Jack. “He was not meeting normal milestones” Thomas recalls, “such as crawling efficiently and developing physically.” This led to numerous pediatric consultations, wherein doctors issued a common blanket term used for children who are cognitively unresponsive — Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This was an unsatisfactory diagnosis for the Thomas family, and further investigation revealed that Jack had indeed been born with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) — a mutation of the X chromosome in male infants and the number one cause of Autism.
Determined to learn more, the Thomas family began seeking treatment options and the best medical advice they could find. This led them to Dr. Randi Hagerman in Sacramento, CA — director of the Fragile X Research and Treatment Center and medical director of the MIND Institute at UC Davis. Here the family learned that FXS is irreversible and treatment is therapy based, with strategies that teach physical functions to the child and behavioral coping strategies to the parents. It was also here that Russell first had the idea to treat the anxiety and hypersensitivity caused by Jack’s FXS with Cannabidiol (CBD). Given the time frame and legal status of cannabis, this treatment had yet to be prescribed. Unwilling to wait for legislation to catch up with Jack’s advancing condition, Russell Thomas took his son’s treatment into his own hands. He ambitiously acquired black tar hashish from overseas, broke it down using MCT (Multiple Chain Triglyceride) oil and administered the first dose of CBD when Jack was 18 months old.
Although Cannabidiol therapy had been successfully used in treating Child Autism cases, to the Thomases knowledge, Jack was the first Fragile X child to be treated with CBD. Russell was also encouraged by the fact that through years of observing the calming effects of cannabis, perhaps there was a chance of alleviating Jack’s suffering from acute anxiety. Within 72 hours of the first dose, Jack’s hypersensitivity was no longer hindering his ability to chew, swallow and keep down food. In fact, the overbearing aspect of too much sensory stimuli was diminished to a manageable level — which in turn reduced Jack’s constant state of heightened agitation. For the next 90 days, Russell documented every last development, however minor, in an effort to create a sort of pioneer’s road map to treating infant Fragile X with CBD. Russell shared the entirety of his documented research with the medical community. His diligence has since helped many families to successfully treat symptoms of infant FXS based on his protocols.
Initially, Jack’s treatments were costing around $3,000 per month. Yet, as medicinal marijuana began opening up in Colorado, the cost soon became manageable. As Russell recalls, it was then when he had an ‘ah ha’ moment. “I realized that if I could get into cannabis, perhaps I could get better access to medicine for Jack.” His long-dormant aspirations of being an entrepreneur were reawakened, and thus began his transition from a 20-year career as a Computer Security Specialist to the lead developer of a cannabis-based social network. “My dream is now to build equity in this company so that someday I can afford to treat Jack using CRISPR, which has just successfully reversed Fragile X in mice. Maybe I can not only be the first person to treat their Fragile X kid with CBD (which many parents now do), perhaps I can be the first to fix their kid permanently.”
In 2014, Russell Thomas partnered with his cousin Alec Rochford to create what would soon become the cannabis industry leader in social networking and digital media. Duby connects like-minded users from all over the world while de-stigmatizing the overall purpose and role of cannabis — socially, medically and industrially. Thomas and Rochford intend for Duby to help decriminalize the image of cannabis users while building medical credibility based on documented results.