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Vanessa, 40, Poet
Vanessa was born with cerebral palsy, which is caused by abnormal development or damage to parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture, and most commonly occurs during pregnancy.
There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy and many live on a cocktail of medications to manage their symptoms, such as spasticity, spasms, and involuntary movements. Vanessa also struggles with some psychiatric disorders, including anorexia and anxiety.
For about six years now, Vanessa has been smoking medical cannabis and has successfully weaned herself off of all other medications. In her words, cannabis “literally saved my life”. Vanessa had tried every other chemical intervention, multiple cocktails throughout her entire life. These medications significantly lowered her quality of life and made it difficult to function at everyday tasks. Vanessa uses the cannabis primarily to manage her anxiety, spastic muscles, and food issues.
“Cannabis is the best medication I’ve ever found, across the board, for soo many things in my own medical life. And without it, I wouldn’t be a functional adult. It goes against the idea that was drilled into us, that cannabis makes you unmotivated. But without it, I am not functional.”
Vanessa consumes about 1 ½ g a day of medical grade cannabis, such as CBD cannabis oil or other canna products. She turned to cannabis because she was desperate. She had returned home from treatment for anorexia on a cocktail of seven different pharmaceuticals that were not helpful, and were dangerous, for her in many ways. Her medical treatments and medications became increasingly more invasive, and the side effects became such that they were more troublesome than the symptoms they were treating.
Medical cannabis has changed all that. Vanessa is an accomplished poet, who does tours across North America, and cannabis, like CBD cannabis oil, has improved her quality of life significantly. Vanessa had difficulty getting access to canna products from her doctor, who didn’t see the therapeutic potential of the medicine and instead had to go through a cannabis dispensary to get a doctor willing to listen to her concerns. The legal grey-zone of cannabis products leaves her sometimes in limbo. She says the dispensaries aren’t always reliable. Twice in her area, they have been closed pre-emptively to avoid government raids, and a third time they closed altogether. Lack of cannabis would leave her no choice to go back to sub-par medications in terms of her quality of life and symptomology.