Robyn, 20


Robyn was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at age 17.  She suffered horrific physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her parents.  Robyn was sexually assaulted beginning at age 13.  Later on, she was struck by a car.   It was a lot for a young woman to cope with.  She began a 5 year struggle with cutting and self harming as well as periodic seizures before finally finding a doctor that would listen to her.

Once getting the help, Robyn was started on a string of pharmaceuticals.  She took 8 25mg tablets of Zoloft a day for BPD  and OCD.  At one point doctors thought she might have Lupus (an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissues and results in chronic inflammation) so she was placed on a heavy dose of steroids.  They prescribed her a multitude of anti inflammatory drugs and Tylenol 3s.  Because of the harshness of these drugs, she was placed on stomach medications and migraine medications to combat the side effects of other pills.  At one point, Robyn, barely out of her teens, was on 25 pills a day.

She discovered in 2017 that smoking cannabis helped take the edge off of her symptoms and allowed her body to rest and sleep, easing some of the physical pain she had.  She discovered cannabis also helped stop her seizures and has allowed her to be seizure free for months.   After all the medications, Robyn was finding it difficult to eat, cannabis gave that back.  It allowed her to start cutting back on the prescription medications she was taking.  Once she started cutting back on the prescriptions she lost 125 lbs in a year.

“I still have my bad days but they are no where near picking up a blade or wanting to hurt myself.”  

Since beginning therapy she’s been diagnosed with PTSD,  Fibromyalgia and complex seizure disorder. She currently takes Cymbalta, an iron supplement for anemia and medical cannabis daily.

“The biggest thing I notice is the difference in my quality of sleep.  I haven’t had night terrors in a long time.”  Robyn tells me.

I asked her how it has helped her mental state.  “It helps to level me out.  I’m not crying in my bathroom every night.  I’m not self harming anymore and I actually want to get up more often in the mornings.”

For Robyn, cannabis has saved her life.  It’s given her a new lease and a new perspective on life.  It’s given her hope.

There are so many people out there struggling with mental disorders, traumas, PTSD and physical pain.  Robyn’s advice- “Research your disorders and learn what’s worked well for others.  It’s not just about smoking.  Topicals and edibles all play a role in healing so consider all the options.”

Cannabis Topicals
Cannabis Topicals

For Robyn, she uses the topicals and she prefers to smoke strains like Sour Diesel which is a fast acting sativa dominant strain that offers energizing and uplifting effects.  It’s a popular favorite for medical patients.  She also likes God’s Blue Diesel (a cross strain of God Bud, New York City Diesel and  Blueberry) and Kosher Kush which is a tasty indica dominant strain good for relaxation and pain.

Sour D
Sour Diesel

“I research the strains and dosages first.”  

Robyn currently uses a dispensary for her meds.  “I wanted to try ***** (LP)  but I’m so nervous to buy from the LPs with all the recalls.  It’s a little scary.  I know the stuff I get from the dispensary has all been lab tested so I feel more comfortable buying from them.”

Robyn usually smokes a couple of hours before work, when she gets home and before bed.  “If I wake up in the middle of the night now, I have an edible and go right back to sleep.  I rarely wake from pain anymore.”


When I asked Robyn about the impending Legalization, she said “Medical and Recreational need to be separate.”  She also feels that selling cannabis in liquor stores is only going to open up more options for young people to mix alcohol and cannabis and possibly hurt themselves or others.  “I feel like it could make the roads a little less safe.  People have to have a responsibility to not drive while impaired.”

Robyn currently works at a local dispensary.  She wanted to help other patients suffering from chronic pain and mental illness.  “We need to do the best we can for the patients.”  She has been seizure free for months and avidly promotes medical cannabis use.  “It helps a lot of people and we need to make sure it continues to help people.”


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Images/Further Reading


Sour Diesel

Topical Cannabis


Jane, 36

opiate abuseI met Jane online.  She wanted to remain anonymous.


Jane was in high school when she first experimented with cannabis, hallucinogens, pills and cocaine.  She admits that when she was in elementary school she looked forward to doing the very drugs she was warned about in her fifth grade DARE class.  


“I think I already had it in me”  when she talks about engaging in risky behavior as a teen.  After high school she moved on to using MDMA and used it heavily for several months.  She then enjoyed a brief period of sobriety from hard drugs.  Cannabis remained a constant.  


At 21, Jane broke up with her boyfriend and moved back home.  Her mother had been diagnosed with MS, leaving Jane with ready access to Fentanyl patches and Oxycontin of varying strengths.  


“This is how I got hooked on opiates.  I was looking in the medicine cabinet one day for Tylenol and stumbled upon a bottle that said ‘May cause fatigue’, so I took 2.  They were Oxy 20s.  I literally had no clue what they were at the time.  After taking those 2 pills, I was hooked.”  Jane proceeded to take those pills every day not realizing they would become physically addictive.  


“They didn’t teach us about opiates in DARE class” , she adds.


After about a week, Jane found herself addicted to the pills.  Her mother, in a weakened condition and looking for company and comfort in her vulnerable state, started giving Jane pills every day.  “I can’t imagine giving your child opiates now, but I think her mind had regressed and I think she was lonely.”  


Her father found out after a year and began locking up all the medication.  


During this period, Jane was still going to college, maintaining friendships, and knew some of her friends had also become addicts so she started looking around for pills but they weren’t as easy to come by and were costly.  She quickly discovered that meth took the edge off the opiate withdrawls.  She then went head first into a meth addiction giving up the tiresome search for pills.  


She used meth heavily for 2 years.  Her parents kicked her out of the home, her friends slowly disengaged from her.  “I was a mess.”  Jane tells me.


One day her family invited her over for dinner, which turned out to be an intervention.  They told her she could live at home as long as she was seeking help.  It took her a couple of weeks to find a 90 day rehab program but in the meantime, her mother started giving her pills again.  


“I went to rehab and it changed my life.  I realized that being a junkie was not my destiny.”


A year later, Jane’s mother passed away.  “Everyone was at the house, being supportive, and my aunt asked me to get a scarf my mother had knitted for her before her passing.  I found the scarf.  Inside the scarf was a bottle of Oxy 80s.  Without a second thought, I began using again.  I was back in school, had my friends and the trust of my family again but none of that mattered.”  


It was a full bottle so after a week, she was hooked on opiates again.  Before the bottle was empty, Jane realized she didn’t want to have to search for drugs on the street once the bottle was empty.  She called someone she met in meetings at rehab who quickly came over and helped Jane throw away the rest of the pills.  


“The next thing I did was get an ounce of cannabis.”  Jane retreated by herself to a cabin her family shared.  “I smoked cannabis the entire time, drank lots of water, ate healthy and took vitamins that are good for withdrawals and did a little exercise when I could.”  Cannabis helped her sleep, eat, and keep her mind off her addiction.  “I was living in Georgia at the time so I didn’t have my pick of strains or different ways to consume it.  I just found the best stuff I could and even after I returned home, I still smoked it everyday followed by long hot showers.”  She was free of opiates and free of meth.


It wasn’t too long after that Jane met her future husband and became pregnant.  “I know getting pregnant doesn’t change everybody, I certainly saw lots of pregnant women using during my meth days and kids that should have never been in those places, but I wanted to be healthy for the life growing inside of me.”  Jane says although it was hard to adjust to going to bed without cannabis, she felt great.  


Shortly after the birth of her first child, Jane became pregnant again.  


“I know it was me who did it.  Who quit using drugs, but having such a loving supportive partner and two little ones depending on me being a present loving mother helped me stay clean.”


Jane says she doesn’t attend meetings as she doesn’t subscribe to the belief that once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict and you need to remind yourself everyday.  ‘That’s just depressing.”  Jane adds.


After Jane was finished nursing her children, she started using cannabis again at night to help with sleeping and nausea.  Her and her family moved to California a few years ago and she found herself pregnant again.  This pregnancy caused a femoral nerve compression as she was carrying low.  After she delivered and nursed her third child, Jane got her medical cannabis card.  “Nothing helps nerve pain like cannabis does!”


At age 36, Jane says she’s not a fan of smoking cannabis anymore.  She prefers to vape oils and consume edibles.  “I prefer indica strains as I use cannabis at night- it’s like my night cap.”  Jane tells me it’s been years since she’s consumed cannabis during the day.


I asked Jane how her life has improved.  I can’t tell you how helpless it feels to be addicted to opiates. It’s miserable and it got to the point where I truly believed this is who I was and always will be. I saw people die. I was choosing to be around really horrible people who I hated. I hated myself and everything and everyone around me. I know people need opiates. I was given them in the hospital after my last daughter was born because of all the complications, but I told them not to send me home with any. I tell every doctor and dentist that. It’s been over 10 years but opiates are like a siren to me so I avoid them at all costs and treat pain with cannabis and ibuprofen instead.


Jane says she doesn’t think she would have made it without cannabis.  “It literally saved my life.  I think this is an important use of cannabis that needs to be shared.”


Jane is currently preparing for another move to D.C soon.  She buys her cannabis oils from dispensaries and makes her own edibles from trimmings she buys from the shops.  She’s been clean for 10 years.  Jane now spends her days caring for her 3 young daughters and trying to spread the word about the medical use of cannabis in treating addictions and PTSD.  


“I try to contact and have conversations with as many local politicians I can about the benefits of cannabis for opiate abuse and PTSD.”


Way to go Jane!


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Opiate Addiction

Jeff, 43

Red Mountain BC
Red Mountain Skiing

Jeff had a major skiing accident.  An avid skier and mountain biker, Jeff took on Red Ski Mountain, BC whenever he had the chance.  In April 2000 he had a bad accident.   During his fall, his belt buckle wedged in to his ribs essentially pushing them in.  Doctors said they had pushed ribs back into place before but had never pulled them out.  So, they left it.  He also found out he had bruising around his heart.  He complained to doctors about the constant pain in his ribs.  They eventually healed but not properly.

Taking months to heal, Jeff got back on his mountain bike and then his skis.  In 2003 he had another skiing accident.  “When my ribs healed all crooked, it ended up throwing my lower back out.”  Jeff’s medical report indicates 2 spinal injuries.

In 2006, one of his best friends breaks his back skiing, Jeff suggests he get a medical cannabis prescription.  His friend does and gets set up with his own home grow.  A year later, he recommends Jeff get his for his back pain.  So Jeff fills out the forms and takes them to his doctor.  His doctor refused to give him a prescription despite the pain he was in.  When Jeff left, he was angry, he decided he would just grow it anyway.


“And I did for years and years until I moved up to Needles after a property dispute.”  Fed up, Jeff and his girlfriend found a nice acreage and set up their own RV site.  They built their home and lived peacefully for about 2 years.  That’s when Jeff met his new Wingnut Neighbor.  Jeff describes his first encounter where he witnessed the neighbor kicking his dog after chasing him in his car for getting out.  Over the next while, the other residents have their own encounters.  Many avoiding Wingnut, finding him nosy and off putting.  Jeff still tried to be neighborly offering him gas to run his generator and the odd doobie.  

busts-picIn February 2016, Jeff watches three cars pull up to his property.  Police.  With assault rifles drawn, they grabbed Jeff and threw him in a cruiser, at this point Jeff says to the officers, “Well, I guess I should have gotten a medical license.”  Even though at that time, in BC,  you couldn’t get a grow licence, you could only get set up with an LP.  They raided him, taking about 60 clones, 30 2 1/2 foot tall plants and three large plants.  They were looking for dry buds “because cops aren’t that educated on cannabis,” Jeff says.  They went through his entire house, through every drawer and even Jeff’s outhouse.  They questioned his girlfriend, Jeff insisted that it was all his, his girlfriend had nothing to do with it.  After a lengthy discussion, the police didn’t want to charge him but had to put it forth to the crown.  They even suggested how he should grow to avoid persecution.  Had he grown just 2 big plants with 2 big lights, they would have just cut it down and walked away.

Jeff was charged in February 2016 with Production and Possession plus a $5000 fine.  Charges against his girlfriend were dropped.

It turned out, they were looking for someone else in his area.  Someone with a large grow and trafficking operation.  Someone Jeff didn’t know.

During the Sheriff’s investigation of this more well known individual, he trespassed on Jeff’s property, found a couple of marijuana leaves in a bucket, but because he was trespassing he claimed instead that he could “smell wet marijuana vegetation” and filed for a warrant, was denied by the first judge but granted by the second.  Jeff’s lawyer was confident he could get his case thrown out, for a mere $18 000.

In the meantime, Jeff learns the Wingnut Neighbor has his own legal issues with unpaid child support and he learns he is the one who tipped off the police in the first place.  Jeff has a verbal altercation with the neighbor at which point the neighbor calls the police and tells them that Jeff is in a biker gang.  “The only bikes I ride are mountain bikes”  Jeff quips.  This begins a lengthy quarrel with this neighbor which even results in several YouTube videos posted by Wingnut against Jeff and the community.

In July 2016, a physical altercation erupted where Jeff was assaulted.  Jeff didn’t hit him back.  Instead Jeff files a complaint against Wingnut.  The police talked him out of pressing charges and didn’t take any witness statements but told him it would be kept on file.  A few days later, another altercation occurs where Jeff was once again assaulted.  Jeff presses charges this time.  The Neighbor claims that Jeff hit him and then Jeff is in turn charged.  He’s automatically put on probation from prior cannabis charges.  The charges were later dropped against Jeff and the charges against The Neighbor are reduced from assault to Fearful Injury.  

The case goes to court and was in the newspapers.

During this, Jeff gets his medical license and permit to grow because of the Allard injunction and Jeff’s Production and Possession charges are reduced to Possession over 30, no production and a $2600 fine.

Jeff can now grow his medicine in peace.  He likes indica strains best, Purple Kush is his personal favorite.  He prefers to smoke cannabis for pain relief in his ribs and back and it helps him to sleep.

On another note, The Wingnut Neighbor is arrested for terrorizing the community with a machete and chainsaw…  his home has since been burnt down, no one knows by who.

Jeff feels like the system failed him initially.  All of this could have been avoided had his doctor signed off on a medical cannabis prescription and grow license.

On Legalization,  Jeff feels like “It’s just another matter of controlling and reaping the benefits of that control.  14 years for selling a gram?  Ridiculous.”

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Read Roger’s story from last week…



Images/Further Reading

Red Mountain Ski Hill

Homegrow Image

Cannabis Bust Pic

Marijuana Laws in Canada

Roger, 52

Rick Simpson Oil

Five years ago, Roger had to leave his job as an inter provincial auto technician.  His hip was giving out and causing him a great deal of pain.  He had an unsuccessful hip surgery on one side and it impacted the other side from compensating for the weaker hip.  He had to wait 3 1/2 years for surgery.  Residing in New Brunswick, doctor wait lists and surgical wait times can be lengthy as is often the case in Eastern Canada.

July 2016, Roger had been involved in a dog attack resulting in severe right shoulder damage and nerve damage in his neck.  He is currently waiting on MRI results.

Prior to that, Roger had been involved in a motocross racing accident as a teenager that ended up crushing the bottom vertebrae in his lower spine.  Doctors told him that he could expect to be in a wheelchair by age 40.

“I’m a tough frenchman” Roger chuckles.

Roger managed his pain symptoms with a number of opiates and anxiety medications, “I can’t remember all the names, but they put me on SSRI’s…” he tells me he felt suicidal.  “I wanted to blow my brains out.  So for that reason, I turned to cannabis.”

“I can’t lie, since I’ve been young, I’ve preferred smoking cannabis over drinking but it wasn’t until 4 years ago that I started reading about the properties of cannabis and the pain management possibilities.”  Roger’s father had just passed away from cancer.  “Three months from diagnosis to death.”  Roger spent every day he could with him vowing to find an answer.  He discovered cannabis oils in regards to cancer treatment .  The results exceeded his expectations in regards to pain relief.  “I didn’t think ingesting oil would work as well as it did.  The first time I ran out, within 3 months my hip and back were both really bad.  However, within a few weeks of ingesting oil, I was able to do things again without a lot of hindrance.”  Sometimes not even noticing the relief he was getting until he was doing things he couldn’t do previously.

Roger now grows his own medicine.  He blends his own oils and makes cookies and infuses foods with it.  He prefers indica for the relaxed state of mind it gives him.  It also helps him sleep and relieves his anxiety, overall giving him a better quality of life.

Homegrown Medical Cannabis
Medical Cannabis

Now Roger focuses his talents and knowledge on developing a high THC high CBD strain to help people who need it.  It’s important to note, he doesn’t charge anyone.  “I’m not a rich man but I am a man of values and helping the sick is high on my list of priorities.”

“I’ve developed a strain that produces roughly 25% THC and 10% CBD.  It’s my go to strain for pain.”  Roger makes oil with this strain, which he calls Sheeba.  He says he has given it to 3 different people who were diagnosed with cancer.  “The best result was a brain tumor that shrunk by 75% within 3 months.  The doctor claimed the chemo pills were working, when in actuality, the patient never took them and only consumed the  cannabis oil.  He was given 3 months to live… 2 years ago.”

Homegrown Sheeba
Roger’s Sheeba

Roger does not use opiates or prescription anxiety medication anymore.

I asked Roger if he had any advice for people looking in to medical cannabis.  His answer, “Don’t look back.”

When asked about the impending Legalization, Roger said it’s a sticky situation.

“Its not going to be legalization so much as a monopoly run by a very organized cartel.  I agree with recreational use, but we cant combine medical and recreational, they are (altogether) different.”

He adds, (From a Facebook post)

“There are people that have had serious issues with pain management and a few other medical issues that have made them make the decision to either use opiates, or anxiety medication, what have you, (then they) try cannabis to control it.  I’m one of them.  After years of using pharmaceutical medications, I decided to try to help my body by going natural, and for me it works by ingesting the oil.  Then there are people trying to ride the medical train to just get high for recreation, don’t get me wrong, I get it, but it is wrong to flog the system.  To be fair about it why can’t people wait for the recreational to be legal?  It’s not like those people would do anything different anyway, so go get your weed and smoke it like you always have.  It makes me wonder about the dispensary doctors giving medical cards to anyone that has a $100, without medical documentation regarding their health problems.   All it takes is word of mouth to get one (prescription), if nothing else, I have had 3 doctors, not from a dispensary look at my medical conditions, looked at the years of opiates and other medications that haven’t worked and agreed, it is worth trying because of the long term issues I have and will have for the rest of my life, leaving me unable to walk for more than a couple of hours a day and limited use of my arms which is very trying at times.  For those of you who don’t know, I was supposed to be in a wheelchair by age 40, but I’ve battled adversity for a long time.  Being 52 now going on 53, things are getting very noticeable now compared to 10 years ago when I was very able.  Have I been around the “demon weed” most of my life?  Yep.. Did I use it for recreation?  Yep.  Did I enjoy it?  Yep.   But when I started ingesting cannabis oil for pain, I realized something I didn’t know, recreation and medical ARE two different things, and as of late I am seeing the differences between the two, so smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink, but leave my medicine alone.  Many say all use is medicinal, but I beg to differ.


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Images/ Further Reading

RSO oil image

How cannabis oil is changing lives of cancer patients

Everything you need to know about Rick Simpson oil

How to make Rick Simpson Oil, Natural cure for cancer

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) Learn about Rick Simpson and how to make RSO


Rick, 68

EsophagectomyRick, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the father of Jessica.  He worked various jobs but the last 10 years, he worked in addictions recovery programs and various homelessness projects.  July of 2014, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  He underwent 25 radiation therapy treatments and 5 rounds of chemotherapy before the doctors were satisfied the tumor had shrunk.

He underwent 2 subsequent surgeries after that in November 2014 and January 2015 before doctors seemed confident they had gotten all the cancerous tissue out.  The surgical process for treating esophageal cancer can involve removing a section of your esophagus, the upper portion of your stomach as well as the lymph nodes.  The remaining esophagus is then reattached to the remaining stomach.  Doctors had to open up his rib cage and make an 8 inch incision on his right side.  After his surgeries, Rick found himself in miserable pain.  So bad, he threatened to end his life.

Rick was referred to a pain management team.  He was immediately put on a pain medication regime of Gabapentin and Hydromorphone.  He stopped taking the Gabapentin after a year, as he learned that it wasn’t good for depression.  He was experiencing side effects.

Rick, growing up in the 60s was no stranger to cannabis and had used it recreationally in his youth and a couple of years prior.  He started smoking it.  ‘It didn’t really help the pain initially because the pain was so intense, but it helped take the edge off.  I found comfort in it.”  

“it wasn’t until I was introduced to edibles containing the oil, that I noticed it helped that irritating tingling constant pain in my side”  

Medical Cannabis Oil
Cannabis Oil

His favorite so far has been oil infused cheesecake.  “It just gave me a better feeling, it was pleasant.” 

Cannabis cheesecake
Cannabis Cheesecake

About 8 months ago, Rick went to the doctor to get his prescription for Hydromorphone renewed.  He was handed an 18 page form to fill out.  It wasn’t worth it.  He didn’t bother.

While the Hydromorphone made Rick tired.  He now enjoys going dancing every Friday night with his buddies.  Rick adds, “I’m no professional dancer, but it gets the endorphins moving.”  He is much more physically active now, adding regular walks to his routine.

Rick says he doesn’t have a particular strain preference, but he like the relaxing effects of indica and oils.  He tells me that cannabis has made him feel better, more relaxed and calm; he feels grateful for it.


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~ Sam

Images/Further Reading


Cannabis Oil – “How to pick the best Medical Cannabis Oil”

Cannabis Cheesecake

Jessica, 44

Small Intestine TumorsThree years ago, Jessica started to not feel well.  She was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and nausea.  A tumor had formed in her small intestine.  It took a while to diagnose and find as tumors rarely grow in the small intestine being that’s it’s predominantly cartilage and it requires Endoscopic ultrasounds and scopes to detect.  The symptoms it causes include weight loss, bleeding if it becomes ulcerated, nausea and possible bowel obstruction.  It took four scopes and surgery and 8 months to locate the tumor and remove it.

During her ordeal, Jessica was finding herself riddled with anxiety and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and Fibromyalgia.  Anti depressants and Ativan were added to her already existing regimen of Morphine and Tramacet (an opioid analgesic combining acetaminophen and Tramadol) prescriptions.

One of the many negative side effects of opiates is stomach and bowel issues.  Jessica was finding herself in even more abdominal pain as the medication swelled her abdomen with painful gas and bloating.  “I looked 9 months pregnant.”  She didn’t want more morphine, it was just compounding the problem.

One day, seeing Jessica in pain and misery, her father (who happened to be recovering from esophageal cancer- stay tuned for his story) and aunt brought her some cannabis to try.

It helped.

Cannabis strains
Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Not only did she find it helped her abdominal pain, she found she could eat and sleep far better and didn’t experience the exhaustion and fatigue she had when she was taking pills.  She approached her doctor who was in support of Jessica using cannabis to treat her bowel pain.  Her husband, also a cannabis user now, supported her fully.  She got her prescription and she was on her way to feeling better.

A pleasant side effect of cannabis for Jessica has been how it’s improved her overall mood and reduced her anxiety.  She happily reports she only takes her antidepressant daily now.  She was able to get off of Ativan, Morphine and Tramacet replacing all 3 medications with simple Sativa strains from an online cannabis dispensary.  “I was using a local compassion care program but it was just too expensive.”  Jessica tells me.

Sativa Strains

Jessica has been smoking cannabis for about three years now.  She’s feeling a lot better, the tumor was removed and was determined to be benign.

“I prefer cannabis because it’s natural and doesn’t have the (awful) side effects or the (ugly) addiction side that many pharmaceuticals have.  It’s consistent and doesn’t make me sleepy”  Jessica says about Sativa dominant strains.

Jessica, her husband and fully grown son all use cannabis for pain and anxiety.  “We love the Leafly app, it breaks down all the strains and how you can expect it to make you feel, it’s really helpful”  

On the impending Legalization, Jessica says “They should leave the (already existing) dispensaries alone.  Most of these people have been around cannabis for a long time, they have experience and extensive knowledge and just a better understanding on how it works.”

“Cannabis is just an amazing substitute for so many drugs out there.”

Jessica currently resides in Russell, Manitoba with her husband and daughter.

Check out other great Patient Stories like Jay-Anne

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Small IntestineTumors

Strains Guide

Cannabis Sativa Strains

Jeremy, 35

Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety Depressive Disorder

Jeremy found himself sitting in a cold bleak room in a mental health unit for 14 hours.  The room in itself was depressing.  There were missing chips of paint on the walls, no baseboards and the only thing in the room being a rusty old stretcher.  His stay in the hospital ended up lasting 3 days.  “3 of the longest days of my life.”  He says.

“I always knew I was different but I really noticed changes by age 28.”  Jeremy tells me.  It was about three years ago when he first went to the doctor because his boss noticed something wasn’t right with him.  Jeremy, a chef by trade, would go from happy and upbeat to severely depressed and withdrawn a couple of days later.

He was prescribed Effexor but finding the right dosage when beginning anti depressants is an adjustment period.  He tried different dosages and was referred to a psychiatrist.  Although the medication was beginning to work, he was still experiencing bouts of severe anxiety socially and at work.  He began researching cannabis and its effects on depression and anxiety.  That’s when he spoke to his family doctor about medical cannabis.

“She was very supportive of it.” Jeremy adds.  For the last 4 months he has been using cannabis to combat the anxiety and depression.  Successfully.  He visited a local dispensary in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  They were able to recommend a few sativa dominant strains for him to try.  His current favorite is Sunkiss.  A creeping sativa blend with an orange aromatic that’s good for functional pain relief as well as stress reduction; good for mood enhancement, depression and PTSD.  He smokes cannabis currently but is very interested in trying oils.

Sunkiss Sativa

“It levels me out.  I feel good and my head doesn’t feel like it’s going to spin off my shoulders.”  Jeremy reveals.  He feels much more positive than he did before.  He feels increasingly  confident in his cooking skills, and he tells me he can concentrate and focus more on creating his dishes.

I asked Jeremy what he thought of the impending Legalization.  “I think it’s great because we are pushed to take so many pills these days, if i can find a natural way, I’m going to choose it.”  Jeremy says he prefers going to a dispensary because it allows him to see the product, smell it and ask questions.  “We need a better education program in place to end the stigmas attached to marijuana.” He adds.

Jeremy also wants to remind people to not be afraid to ask for help from family and friends if you need it.  “As hard as it is to ask for help, I’m glad I did.”

If you or someone close to you is using cannabis to treat illness/injury or pain, I’d love to hear from you and share your story.




Depression Anxiety

Sunkiss bud

Rona (50s)

KidneysRenal cancer is terminal.  


Rona and her husband were wrapping up their 13 year old excavation business when she first got sick.  In 2014 doctors found a tumor in her kidney.  August 2014 one of her kidneys were removed.  She got sick again.  She tells me, she was advised that renal cancer is incurable and can resurface anywhere in the body, in the skin, the bones even the brain.  It’s unpredictable.  This time it showed up in her pancreas.  She qualified for the Whipple Procedure .  I read that only 15% of people diagnosed with cancer in the pancreas qualify for this procedure, it can only be done in the very beginning stages and is for patients whose tumors are located at the head of the pancreas.  It’s essentially a surgical bypass removing the tumor and re sectioning the remaining pancreas.  She had this surgery in 2016.  Then in November, 2016 they found 3 small clusters of tumors on her pancreas.  She has lost about 50% of her pancreas already so they can’t do anything more.  Chemotherapy is a last resort.  Radiation is not an option because it risks destroying what’s left of her pancreas, which would be fatal.


Now she’s in the monitoring stage.  The clusters of tumors were about 1.5cm in size, so she begun consuming cannabis oil as a supplement to her prescription medication for her pancreas.  She puts the oil into capsules and says she uses an indica- based oil that’s high in THC and contains about 2% CBD.  This past August, for the first time since Rona’s ordeal began in 2014, her MRI showed no growth in the size of the cluster.  She continued to take the oil.  She takes almost a quarter of a gram at night for maintenance.  Her last MRI showed the cluster had actually shrunk by 3mm.  This was the first time in a year they had changed size at all, and they shrunk.  She admits this doesn’t sound like much but reminds me that they were small to begin with.  She feels the oil is definitely working.  She also tells me this is the best she’s felt physically since 2014.  


In the meantime, this past summer she noticed a large lump on her chest just below her collarbone and because of the type of cancer she has, they examined and removed it right away in case it was malignant.  It was.  A few weeks later, it came back again, within a month, it was back to its original size.   She couldn’t see the surgeon for a couple of weeks so she treated it topically with cannabis oil.  She covered the affected area in oil and bandaged it up for 4 days.  She did this twice.  By the time she saw the surgeon, there was nothing there.  No evidence of a tumor.  Her doctor told her that this particular type of skin cancer can come and go, but Rona says “I asked 4 other doctors if this was the case and they said that they had never heard of that happening before.”  She had more tests done on the area and was given the all clear.  No cancer.  She attributes this to the cannabis oil.


On the impending Legalization, Rona says “It’s probably going to do more damage than good with all the regulations attached.”  She feels cannabis should simply be decriminalized rather than legalized so it’s not against the law to have it, but you don’t need all these criminal restrictions.  “It’s a medicine, we definitely need it and at least medical patients should still have access to the (existing) dispensaries.  At least medical patients.”  She states “It’s a healing medicine and should be treated as such.  It can help so many people”   She also adds that doctors should be researching it more and that going through all the hassle of trying to get your prescription, renewing it yearly, abiding by the government rules to go with an LP, just to get garbage (sometimes tainted or poor quality) is just sad and needs to change.  


Rona lives with her husband in Sissiboo Falls in Weymouth, Nova Scotia.


If you are using cannabis to treat illness or injury please contact me through Comments or the Contact tab.





Human Kidneys

Cannabis oil in jars

Tina, 48


Tina was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS).  Pain resulting from 7 car accidents since 1999.  She has permanent nerve damage and limited use of her right arm.  A former employer from one of the National banks, Tina suffers from several sources of pain.  Fibromyalgia, Spinal Stenosis, bursitis in her shoulder,  sciatic nerve pain, herniated discs, and bone spurs.

Some of the medications she was prescribed resulted in permanent kidney damage.  She’s had a couple of surgeries for kidney stones.  After the last surgery in 2012, she sought out alternative medications when she had little to no appetite after being diagnosed with cataracts caused from steroid medication, and from high doses of Morphine in addition to drugs like Percocets, anti inflammatories, Lyrica, Gabapentin, muscle relaxers and even Oxycontin for a while.  She was up to 28 pills a day.

All I did was wake up to take medication then fall right back asleep.”  Tina tells me all she did was sleep.  It affected her relationships, especially with her children.  “My daughter called me a pill junkie when I was simply taking what the doctor prescribed, as it was prescribed.  I didn’t abuse my medications.”

She went cold turkey off of everything.  This is dangerous to do and I strongly urge you to see your doctor before making any drastic changes to your medications.  There can be deadly side effects, like seizures and even death.  Tina was supposed to be hospitalized and monitored closely as she withdrew from all the pharmaceuticals.  She chose to stay at home having someone with her monitor her withdrawl.

She has since begun growing her own medicine.  She uses the whole plant making everything from canna oil, to topical creams and bath bombs infused with cannabis.  She consumes her cannabis capsules throughout the day and then supplements with edibles, shatter and smoking some of her favorite strains.  She sticks to Sativa strains during the day and Indica for the evening.  Her favorites are strains like Holy Grail, Kalashnikova, Lemon OG, Ghost OG and Hawaiian Hash Plant.  “I strive to ingest about 1800 mg a day.”  Tina tells me that she begins her day with capsules, has an edible or 2 at lunchtime, a couple more capsules and has a joint before bed.  She takes her oil caps every 5-6 hours.  She ensures almost everything she eats contains cannabis, even in beverages, like hot chocolate.  If she needs to, she’ll supplement with some shatter but she admits, shatter lasts her a long time.  She has even experimented with micro-dosing psilocybin, the key component of “magic” mushrooms which has proven to have marvelous effects on pain and well-being.  She’s lost over 140 lbs since going off of all the prescription medications.

Made with cannabis 

Tina is severely physically disabled now.  She uses aids to walk and dress.  She received a wheelchair this past June with funding due to severe nerve issues in her right leg.  However, much of her medical costs are out of pocket for Tina as her employer cancelled her disability back in 2009.  She has had a lawyer for the last seven years to overturn the decision and is currently awaiting her next court date in July 2018.  She also suffered a major house fire destroying all her medicine and her home.  She has since encountered problems with renewing her medical license due to a lack of a permanent address.  She perseveres.

Tina insists cannabis has improved her life drastically.  She’s not as tired and it helps manage her pain levels and improve her mood.  Even her relationships with friends and family, in particular, her children, have improved.  “I can walk and do things and have a routine.  I can carry on conversations.  I have more of a normal life now.”

On the impending Legalization Tina has concerns.  “They haven’t even got the medical side of it right yet.”  She is also unsupportive of cannabis being sold only at retail locations under the strict Liquor store model.  “Cannabis should be seen as medicine and treated as such.”  Like many pain patients, Tina resents being clumped in with the recreational users and terms like pothead because so many of us are simply trying to manage physical pain.
Are you using cannabis to treat/manage illness/pain?  Contact me through Comments or the Contact tab.  I’d love to share your story.

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Cannabis Oil Capsules (including guide)

Cannabis infused bath bombs

Cannabis infused lotions and salves

Cannabis edibles

Cannabis hot chocolate (including recipe)


Sue, 55

Thoracic Spine
Thoracic Spine

Sue was in the military for 21 years, retiring at only 38.  She worked in Military Transport and her specialty was Heavy Equipment.  One day, while on duty, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left her with whiplash.  She was treated for the whiplash for nearly two years, but later on learned that she also had 3 broken discs in her back, T5, T6 and T7 in addition to her neck injury.  After working in Heavy Equipment for over 20 years, that had also taken its toll on her back forcing her to retire early.  The military honorably discharged her for medical reasons.


She found herself in pain most of the time.  She was given courses of painkillers and muscle relaxants like Flexeril, Talwin, Demerol and Amitriptyline.  She couldn’t stand the feeling some of the painkillers were giving her.  They left her feeling groggy and cloudy.  She understood some of these drugs were actually habit forming and she didn’t want to end up being addicted to them in the long run.


Sue stumbled upon marijuana from her son.  Her son had brought some home and after being against it for so many years, she decided to give it a try much to her son’s surprise.


“Sitting there, I was all of a sudden- calm.  I was pain free and very tired.  My normal routine was to take pain pills for my back before bed but this night, I took NONE of them.  I got up the stairs with no pain, It didn’t take me hours to get comfortable and I ended up having the best night of sleep.  Ever.”


The next morning, Sue could actually think straight.  “On the pharmaceuticals, I was always disorientated and it took me a long time to wake up only to have to take more pills for the pain.”  She found that with cannabis, she was not only still pain free but it also kept her head clear thus beginning her three year journey to ween herself off of ALL the pharmaceuticals she was being prescribed..


Cannabis oil
Cannabis oil

From there she went on to research cannabis further, which led to growing her own plants as she is adamant about pesticides and ensuring her medicine is truly organic and chemical free.  She prefers to consume oils and coconut infused products as she found smoking it aggravated her back from coughing.


To tell you the truth I was scared of all this at first, but all the (prescription) drugs I was on left me feeling cloudy, unable to function, unable to think, unable to participate in work related duties or even family functions.”  Sue attributes cannabis to gaining her life back.

Vaping Cannabis
Vaping Cannabis

“I make my own cannabis infused oil and I use a vaporizer during the day if I need.”  Sue tells me that when she was on prescription drugs, she had to take them throughout the day in addition to the evening.  “With cannabis, I just basically need it in the evenings now.”  Sue states.


Sue, who has a run a feral cat sanctuary for years, feared that she would have to give it up.  The pharmaceuticals left her feeling worn out and not able to function.  She is happy to report her sanctuary is still going strong, helping feral cats in rural Nova Scotia thanks to cannabis.


She still has bad days and worse days, but the good days outweigh the bad now.


“I love cannabis medicine.  I’ve found a life now and it’s worth living.  I am living again!”


Are you treating illness or pain with cannabis?  Has it changed your life for the better?  Please drop me a line in Comments or hit the Contact tab.  You can also reach us at @902HigherLiving or @LezGeek on Twitter.







Spinal Diagram

Cannabis oil


Types of Vapes