Franco Loja: The Strain Hunter Who Died of Malaria

Franco Loja was a cannabis breeder, explorer, and activist who died on January 2, 2017, at the age of 42. He was a co-star of the popular Strain Hunters video series, which documented his adventures in search of rare and exotic cannabis strains around the world. He was also a co-owner and master breeder of Green House Seed Company, one of the most successful and award-winning cannabis seed banks in the world. He died of a severe case of malaria, which he contracted while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This article will celebrate his life, his work, and his legacy, as well as the cause and prevention of his fatal disease.

A Cannabis Legend

Franco Loja was born on May 20, 1974, in Turin, Italy. He developed a passion for cannabis at an early age, and started growing his own plants when he was 17. He moved to Amsterdam in 1998, where he met Arjan Roskam, the founder of Green House Seed Company. He joined the company as a breeder and researcher, and soon became Roskam’s right-hand man and business partner. He was responsible for creating and improving many of the company’s famous strains, such as Super Lemon Haze, Super Silver Haze, White Widow, and Himalayan Gold. He won numerous Cannabis Cups and other awards for his work, and was widely respected and admired in the cannabis industry.

Loja was also a co-star of the Strain Hunters video series, which he started with Roskam in 2008. The series followed their journeys to remote and dangerous locations, such as Morocco, India, Jamaica, Colombia, and Congo, where they sought to find and preserve the rarest and purest cannabis landraces. Landraces are the original and natural forms of cannabis, which have adapted to their specific environments over thousands of years. Loja believed that landraces were the basis of cannabis breeding, and that they could contain valuable genetic and medicinal properties that could benefit humanity. He also wanted to document and raise awareness about the cultures and traditions of the people who cultivated and consumed cannabis in different parts of the world.

Loja was not only a breeder and an explorer, but also an activist and an educator. He advocated for the legalization and regulation of cannabis, and for the recognition of its medical and social benefits. He also supported many humanitarian and environmental causes, such as the fight against malaria, deforestation, and poverty. He was a generous and compassionate person, who donated seeds, money, and equipment to the local communities he visited. He was also a mentor and a friend to many young and aspiring cannabis growers and enthusiasts, whom he taught and inspired with his knowledge and experience.

A Tragic Death

Loja died of a severe case of malaria, which he contracted while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was there to film a new episode of Strain Hunters, and to research the potential of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, to treat malaria and other diseases. He fell ill shortly after returning to Europe, and was hospitalized in Barcelona, Spain. He suffered from multiple organ failure, and slipped into a coma. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans by the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases in the world, especially in Africa, where it kills about 400,000 people every year, according to the World Health Organization. The symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills, vomiting, and anemia. If not treated promptly and effectively, malaria can cause severe complications, such as cerebral malaria, which affects the brain and can lead to coma and death.

The prevention of malaria is crucial, as there is no vaccine or cure for it. The best way to prevent malaria is to avoid mosquito bites, by using insect repellents, nets, and clothing that cover the skin. It is also advisable to take antimalarial drugs before, during, and after traveling to areas where malaria is prevalent. These drugs can reduce the risk of infection and complications, but they are not 100% effective, and they can have side effects. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if one develops any symptoms of malaria, even if one has taken preventive measures.

A Lasting Legacy

Franco Loja left behind a legacy of passion, innovation, and adventure. He was a pioneer and a visionary in the cannabis world, who dedicated his life to finding and preserving the best and most diverse cannabis strains on the planet. He was also a humanitarian and a leader, who used his platform and influence to promote and support the causes he cared about. He was a beloved and respected member of the cannabis community, who touched the lives of many people with his kindness, humor, and wisdom. He was also a loyal and devoted husband, father, and son, who cherished his family above all.

Loja’s work and spirit live on in his seeds, his videos, and his stories. He is remembered as a legend, a hero, and a friend, who gave his all to his passion and his mission. He is also remembered as a brave and resilient person, who faced his challenges with courage and optimism. He once said, “Life is a challenge, and I love challenges. I always try to do my best, and I always try to enjoy what I do.” He lived his life to the fullest, and he inspired others to do the same. He may be gone, but his seeds and his dreams will never die.