“Stigma” by definition is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person, and while the negative associations around cannabis are lessening every day, there are still many who are keeping the stigma alive. Why this negative stigma is continuing to perpetuate varies greatly, but we believe that for many it’s simply a lack of information or fear of judgement from friends, colleagues, and family members. Below are some inspiring and insightful stories about people that have found relief in cannabis, either for themselves, or their children and aging parents, and how they got there.
Kathryn Gurley, mother of a son with epilepsy and ventricular tachycardia
In a story published on The Fresh Toast, Kathryn details how their family came to use medicinal cannabis to help her son. In part of her story, Kathryn says: “If you told me 20 years ago I would be reminding my son to take his cannabis every night and advocating for cannabis to be available for everyone, I would have laughed in your face.I was never into pot. But sometimes when you want to do the best for your child, you have to think outside of the box and be creative. At one point Ben was taking 15 to 17 pharma pills a day with horrible side effects and still having seizures. The doctors mentioned taking out a part of Ben’s brain and we walked out. It was at that point I went rouge. First stop was to a naturopath where we started monitoring Ben’s blood work. Ben has been using Charlotte’s Web — a high-CBD strain effective for seizures — before bed every evening for a year and has had over three-quarters fewer seizures this year! He is taking even less pharma medication, enjoying sports, life and is a happier guy. When you have a kid who could die in their sleep from a seizure, you have to get creative. Everyone should be able to benefit from cannabis or at least be afforded the chance to try it.”
Whitney Beatty, mom, entrepreneur, and anxiety-sufferer
Whitney says, “I was raised in the age of Nancy Reagan and “Just Say No,” and I never ever smoked in high school and only a couple times in college. But after being diagnosed with anxiety, I had a doctor suggest it to me when I was having a hard time on the drugs they prescribed. I extensively researched the benefits of cannabis, shook off the years of stigma and decided to try it. As my knowledge of cannabis expanded, I became a proponent of the herb, but still didn’t identify with prevailing weed culture perpetuated in the media, nor the goods dripping with tie dye, green crosses and bikini clad women targeted at them.” Read more of Whitney’s story here.
Asara Tsehai, holistic health educator and insomnia
Fifty-nine year old Asara Tsehai, a holistic health educator and wellness coach in Oakland, was mystified when she reached menopause and suddenly began experiencing insomnia. When she reached her wits end, she tried a cannabis-infused gummy at the recommendation of a friend and after figuring out her correct dosage has since been able to sleep through the night. Read more about Asara here.
Carrie Tice, entrepreneur and daughter of a mother with Alzheimer’s
Carrie is forging a path for seniors, introducing the positive benefits of cannabis and presenting an alternative to the opioid epidemic affecting so many in this generation. She founded her company, Octavia Wellness, after seeking information about which cannabis products might help her own mom following her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. After researching the best cannabis treatment options for her, the discovery process left her frustrated, overwhelmed and confused. She began educating herself and sourcing the best cannabis products for family and friends. Within a year, she had created a network of people who were all being helped or were helping others gain safe access to reliable, trusted cannabis products. Shortly thereafter she resigned from her career in high-tech to start-up Octavia Wellness. Read more about Carrie’s story here.
Each of the stories above represents someone that had previous stigma and/or little experience with cannabis. Each story also represents someone who felt they were at their wits end with the treatment options being offered them. These stories of people putting aside past belief structures and keeping an open mind are so important in helping others with similar circumstances know they are not alone and that perceptions, and stigmas, ca
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. We encourage you to talk to your doctor, or other medical professional, about your options and how cannabis might make a difference for you or a loved one. Big Rock has invested in Octavia Wellness and Apothecarry.