Michele Ross

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Michele Ross
Author of Vitamin Weed Dr. Michele Ross featured speaker at O'Cannabiz Conference in Toronto, Canada
Ross in 2018
Michele Ann Osztrogonacz

(1982-06-16) June 16, 1982 (age 41)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Other namesMichele Ann Noonan
EducationBoston College (BA)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (PhD)
Occupation(s)Author, media personality, neuroscientist
Years active2008–present

Michele Noonan Ross (born June 16, 1982), also known as Michele Ann Noonan, Michele Osztrogonacz, and Michele Osztrogonacz Ross,[1][2] is an American neuroscientist,[3] author,[4] and media personality.[5] She is a noted drug policy reform activist,[6][7] promoting cannabis, magic mushroom, and kratom legalization.

Early life[edit]

Ross was born on June 16, 1982, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Iselin where she attended John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. Ross was the first member of her family to attend college and went to Boston College, where she studied psychology and was in the class of 2004.[2] In 2008, she graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas with a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Media appearances[edit]

Ross was the first scientist to participate in the American version of Big Brother,[8] appearing in the eleventh season of the reality television series Big Brother in 2009, where she finished in fourth place.[9] She claimed housemate and future Big Brother All Stars 2 contestant Kevin Campbell tried to poison her on the show.[10][11] She and Lydia Tavera were the first bisexual women to compete on the series, and Ross came out of the closet on the show.[12] Ross was an advocate of LGBTQ rights and was featured in as part of the Big Brother Cares NOH8 Campaign.[13] In 2010 Ross appeared on the "Reality Gone Wild" episode of Playboy TV's Foursome.[14] Ross won her episode of the dating competition reality show Baggage hosted by Jerry Springer in 2010. In 2013, she won her episode of the dating competition reality show Excused.

In 2015 she was noted by The Chicago Tribune as an expert on cannabis for the platform Cannabis Club TV streaming to cannabis dispensaries.[15]



Ross studied how drugs, including cannabis[16] and cocaine,[17][18] impacted the birth of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis, and what role these newborn cells had in drug addiction.[19] In October 2017, Marijuana Venture magazine featured Ross as one of their "Women To Watch" and highlighted her work as a cannabis scientist.[20] In 2019, Ross was a featured speaker along with former NFL player and Celebrity Big Brother star Ricky Williams at SXSW on a panel called Cannabis and Wellness: The Body and Beyond.[21]


In 2012, Ross co-authored a book about the neuroscience of weight loss called Train Your Brain To Get Thin which was chosen by the Today show as one of the top diet books of the year.[22] In 2018 Ross published Vitamin Weed, the first guide for doctors and patients to understanding diseases of endocannabinoid deficiency and why cannabis treats them.[23] In 2019 Ross published a column called Chronically Cannabis for chronic illness network The Mighty.[24] CBD Oil For Health was published in 2020, featuring 100 different ways to use CBD oil including medical purposes, beauty recipes, and in food. In 2021 Ross published her fourth book Kratom Is Medicine, the first guide for both doctors and patients on the medical use of kratom.


Ross received her Executive MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology in 2018. She has created several companies, including Infused Health, a platform for cannabis coaching and education,[25] and AURA Therapeutics, the first kratom company focused on women's health.[26][27] Ross has served as a medical advisor to numerous companies in the cannabis and wellness space.[28]



Ross is considered one of the top ten influential people in cannabis.[29][30][31][32] Ross founded the Endocannabinoid Deficiency Foundation in Los Angeles, California, which later changed to the name IMPACT Network in 2016 after moving to Denver, Colorado. IMPACT Network, a 501c3 nonprofit which stands for Improving Marijuana Policy and Accelerating Cannabis Therapeutics for women worldwide,[33] received grant funding from multiple sources including Drug Policy Alliance.[34] Ross is now a Professor at the Institute of Plant-Assisted Therapy and the Holistic Cannabis Academy.[35]


Ross is known as being one of the earliest scientists to advocate for psychedelic medicine.[36] She gave an interview in 2014 to Emmy-winning journalist Amber Lyon of Reset.Me about DMT,[37][38] which garnered over three million views on Youtube.[39] She was a co-founder of Decriminalize Denver,[40] which successfully decriminalized magic mushrooms in the first city in the United States in 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Ross currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shortly before appearing on Big Brother her brother John Osztrogonacz died.[41] Besides having fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),[42] she has struggled with severe pelvic pain and was once put in a psychiatric hold because of it.[43] Ross says without cannabis, she would have killed herself from pain and depression.[44]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Boyd, Melinda with Michele Noonan (2012). Train Your Brain To Get Thin: Prime Your Gray Cells For Weight Loss, Wellness, and Exercise. ISBN 978-1-4405-4015-8
  • Ross, Michele N. (2018). Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan To Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency. ISBN 978-0-692-09066-4
  • Ross, Michele (2020). CBD Oil For Health: 100 Amazing Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil. ISBN 978-1-5072-1398-8
  • Ross, Michele (2021). Kratom Is Medicine: Natural Relief For Anxiety, Pain, Fatigue, and More. ISBN 978-0-578-86646-8


  1. ^ Weiskopf, Alexandra (June 1, 2020), "Class notes - Class of 2004", Boston College Magazine, p. 67, Michele Osztrogonacz Ross is now the wellness director at mommy complex, a CBD line for moms
  2. ^ a b Weiskopf, Alexandra (September 29, 2011), "Class notes - Class of 2004", Boston College Magazine, p. 23, Michele (Osztrogonacz) Noonan is a neuroscientist, author and TV and radio personality.
  3. ^ Lyon, Amber. "Why Dr. Michele Ross Went From Anti-drug Researcher To Marijuana & Psychedelics Advocate". Reset.Me.
  4. ^ Elyachar, Jacob (August 31, 2020). "'Big Brother' alum & author Dr. Michele Ross". Jake’s Take Podcast.
  5. ^ Nadolny, Marisa. "Reality TV Star Michele Noonan Raises Science To An Art From". Byron Academy.
  6. ^ Capps, Reilly (January 30, 2018). "Former 'Big Brother' contestant turns to drugs, but in a good way". Rooster.
  7. ^ Sequoia, Strawberry (16 August 2019). "Ask a Neuroscientist! Cannabis for Pregnancy, PTSD, Arthritis, and Beyond". Mary Jane Experience. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Hartman, Ben (14 April 2021). "'I feel almost the same as before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia'". Cannigma.
  9. ^ Rice, Lynette (September 9, 2009). "'Big Brother 11's' Michele Noonan: awkward, yes. Villainous, no". Entertainment Weekly.
  10. ^ Sim, Bernardo (September 1, 2020). "Big Brother 22: Michele Ross Accuses Kevin Campbell Of Poisoning Her On BB11". ScreenRant.
  11. ^ Scoop, Sarah. ""Big Brother" Star Michele Ross Was Fearful for Her Life in the House". The Sarah Scoop Show.
  12. ^ "'Big Brother' Girls Stay Connected - at the Mouth". TMZ. January 12, 2010.
  13. ^ "Big Brother Cares". NOH8 Campaign.
  14. ^ Dehnart, Andy (August 31, 2010). "Big Brother 11's Michele is on Playboy's sex-on-TV reality show Foursome". Reality Blurred.
  15. ^ Glionna, John M. (October 14, 2015). "News pot users could use: Duo works on TV platform for marijuana ads". The Chicago Tribune. p. 4. Features – Interviews with experts like self-professed "pot Dr." Michele Ross...
  16. ^ Noonan, Michele A.; Eisch, Amelia J. (September 1, 2006). "Regulation of adult neurogenesis by cannabinoids". Chem Today. 24: 84–88. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-07-08.
  17. ^ Noonan, Michele A.; Bulin, Sarah E.; Fuller, Dwain C.; Eisch, Amelia J. (January 6, 2010). "Reduction of adult hippocampal neurogenesis confers vulnerability in an animal model of cocaine addiction". Journal of Neuroscience. 30 (1): 304–315. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4256-09.2010. PMC 2844797. PMID 20053911.
  18. ^ Noonan, Michele A.; Choi, Kwang H.; Self, David. W; Eisch, Amelia J. (March 5, 2008). "Withdrawal from Cocaine Self-Administration Normalizes Deficits in Proliferation and Enhances Maturity of Adult Generated Hippocampal Neurons" (PDF). Journal of Neuroscience. 28 (10): 2516–2526. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4661-07.2008. PMC 6671196. PMID 18322096.
  19. ^ Noonan, Michele Ann (January 14, 2009). The Role of Adult Neurogenesis in Cocaine Addiction (PDF). UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
  20. ^ Rudolph, Garrett (October 14, 2017). "Women To Watch: The Scientist". Marijuana Venture.
  21. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (November 27, 2018). "SXSW Sets Jessica Brillhart As Film Keynote; Adds Elisabeth Moss, Trevor Noah, And More As Featured Speakers". Deadline.
  22. ^ Fernstrom, Madelyn (January 18, 2013). "Science-y or emotional eater? Find the right diet book for you". Today Show.
  23. ^ Velez, Samantha (8 September 2020). "The 4 Must-Read Cannabis Books of 2020". Veriheal.
  24. ^ Ross, Michele (April 30, 2019). "Chronically Cannabis With Dr. Michele Ross: How Do I Try Cannabis If It's Not Legal?". The Mighty.
  25. ^ "Dr. Michele Ross Talks Cannabis for a Healthy, Full Life". 3Leaf. November 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Swift, Alice (16 February 2022). "A Doctor's Plant-Based Toolbox: Treating Chronic Pain with Cannabis and Kratom". Global Cannabis Intelligence. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Schwind, Wayne (December 17, 2020). "CBD, Kratom, and the Science of Plant Medicine". Periodic Effects.
  28. ^ Weed, Julie (August 30, 2018). "Cannabis Entrepreneurs Ask For More 'Science'". Forbes.
  29. ^ "10 most popular Cannabis Influencers you should check out". Cannabis Edibles Expo.
  30. ^ Maganis, Jeffrey (29 November 2018). "Top 10 Cannabis Influencers". Crowdcreate.
  31. ^ Braslavskaia, Lana (16 August 2021). "Top 10 Cannabis Influencers". Ask Growers.
  32. ^ "6 Cannabis Influencers Producing Killer Content Right Now". Blunt. 23 October 2020.
  33. ^ "IMPACT Network: Improving Marijuana Policy and Accelerating Cannabinoid Therapeutics". Guidestar.
  34. ^ Simmons, Kate McKee (October 4, 2016). "IMPACT Nets $10,000 Grant for Marijuana Research From the Drug Policy Alliance". Westword.
  35. ^ "The Holistic Cannabis Faculty: Holistic-Minded Health Practitioners". Holistic Cannabis Academy. 6 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Psychedelic Drug Researcher Dr. Michele Ross". Profoundly Pointless. March 4, 2020.
  37. ^ Tom Blackwell (April 3, 2018). "If you ingested DMT, crossed into another world and saw 'machine elves,' please take this survey". National Post. Toronto.
  38. ^ Reilly Capps (January 30, 2018), "Former 'Big Brother' contestant turns to drugs, but in a good way", Rooster Magazine
  39. ^ Lyon, Amber. "Neuroscientist Describes Her DMT Trip". Youtube. Reset.Me.
  40. ^ Awad, Ann Marie (March 5, 2018). "Denver May Get To Vote On Whether To Make Magic Mushrooms Legal". Colorado Public Radio.
  41. ^ "Connecticut news – Hartford". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. April 23, 2009. p. A11. Archived from the original on July 9, 2021.
  42. ^ "Advocating for Patients Through Stories of CBD Healing: An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Michele Ross". Hempzilla. July 29, 2021.
  43. ^ "'BIG BROTHER' STAR MICHELE ROSS Kaiser Ignored My Pain PLACED ME ON PSYCH HOLD". TMZ. March 18, 2014.
  44. ^ "Neuroscientist Dr. Michele Ross Says Without Cannabis She Would Have Killed Herself". Cannabis Health Radio. May 5, 2017.

External links[edit]