Why are we doing this? Marigen founding story

Bob Chien
Bob Chien August 21, 2019

Hi! I’m Dr. Bob Chien, CEO and Co-founder of Marigen.

Throughout high school and college, I played basketball. As I got older, I started developing chronic back pain as a result of the intense training and games. The pain was real, and it interfered with my sleep and work. At times, I struggled with focus, depression, digestive problems, fatigue, and other health issues. 

Although I occasionally struggled, my issues were minor, and I felt that going to a clinic would be a waste of my time and money. I had heard a great deal about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and I decided to try medical marijuana. It helped control my back pain and helped me have a better night’s sleep, so it became one of my ‘go-to’ remedies when my back pain flared up or when I was having trouble sleeping. 


Cannabis/CBD is not a one size fits all solution. 

One night, I used a new, recommended product, and suddenly, a panic attack. Knowing this can be a side effect of cannabis, I didn’t think much of it because I had good results overall with measured cannabis use. The next time I had a flare up, I used the same product, and again, panic attack. Now I was sure; this recommended product was not right for me. The frustration was of course that it had been recommended by a knowledgeable source, and I still had left over product. But I could not continue to use this strain. When I started to do research, I realized that there are over 2,500 recorded strains, and that it would take years and thousands of dollars to test and work my way through enough of the strains and products to find the one that truly suited my needs.

This is when I realized this problem is not unique to me; most new medical marijuana patients have little knowledge about how their body will respond. Even knowledgeable sources, such as blogs and dispensaries, can only offer generic recommendations because they have no way of knowing how my body will respond to a strain or product.

I decided to apply my biological knowledge and training to this problem, so I took a DNA test and researched the markers that would help me understand my reaction to cannabis. I learned that I have a combination of genes that made me very sensitive to THC. I was using different forms of high THC product, which explained why I had bad reactions. I started recording my consumption behavior and feelings while using cannabis and armed with the information from my DNA, I tried strains with lower THC content and more CBD. In short order, I found the right products that worked for me.

Helping more people has always been the goal for life...

As friends and family realized what I was doing, some asked if I could help them too, so I streamlined this process into an algorithm that used their genetic profiles to find the right cannabis products for their needs. Since then, I have helped more than 30 customers. The majority of these people previously experienced bad side effects after consuming cannabis for medical purposes, even after seeking professional recommendations.

Complex problems require comprehensive solutions, in this case the ability to do genetic screening, mine all the available information from the scientific public databases and map this to available products on the market. When I looked for this solution, I found no platform that could satisfy my own needs, so I founded Marigen with my co-founder, Gary, to bring my solution to you!

Join our community of over 1,500 people that would like to send us their genetic data from companies such as 23andme and Ancestry. Finding your ideal product is easier now than it ever was, so stop guessing and let our science work for you!