of Cannabis users are reducing prescription medication use
report using Cannabis to ease anxiety
use Cannabis to manage chronic pain
Dr. Miyabe Shields, PhD
Director of Education (C3RN)Medical Patient
Cannabis has saved my life more than once. It was my first medicine and eventually I found that it’s the only psychiatric medicine I can tolerate.
I have a severe anxiety disorder. I’ve seen many, many, many specialists, each with their own different diagnosis for my brain. I’ve been diagnosed with almost every mental health disorder. As of a 2018 neuropsychiatric assessment, there is still no conclusive diagnosis for my specific type of brain atypicality. The symptoms I still struggle with daily are general anxiety, social anxiety, mania and depression, difficulty with attention/concentration, impulse control, insomnia, sensory hypersensitivity, and chronic pain.
I’ve tried quite a few pharmaceutical drugs to manage my symptoms, but the side effects I experienced were horrible. I could not tolerate them. Cannabis is the only thing that allows me to function, as myself, without any significant negative side effects. I knew when I received my first medical card in CA in 2010 that the purpose of my life was to scientifically explain this.
I am a trained research scientist; my PhD is in Pharmaceutical Sciences. I chose to study the Endocannabinoid System, because I needed to understand how and why Cannabis works so well for me. I have a spontaneous/plastic/hyperactive brain – it’s both the best and worst thing about me – and Cannabis decreases the “background noise” in my brain that causes most of the symptoms above. I hope to continue to use my knowledge to empower other Cannabis users and de-stigmatize Cannabis as a medicine, because, really, for me it’s nothing short of a miracle drug.
Director of Sales
Quality of life is a phrase often used in the cannabis industry and something a lot of folks take for granted. I urge the community to think about this when they question the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine. I believe that quality of life is important for everyone, especially for those who have limited or even no other treatment options for their medical condition(s).
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsy (HNPP). HNPP is a nerve disorder that affects the peripheral nerves, and pressure on the nerves can cause tingling sensations, numbness, pain, weakness, muscle atrophy, and even paralyzation of affected area. Without cannabis, I experience chronic pain and fatigue on a daily basis.
When I received my diagnosis, I learned the disease was so rare that there is no treatment available.Cannabis has so many medicinal qualities; it not only helps me with chronic pain and numbness but also supports my mental health. Like so many others, I am passionate about a plant that allows me to have a better quality of life.
In 1975, I was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis or eczema. This is an autoimmune disorder that cause indiscriminate firing of type 2 T-Cells, a type of white blood cell into the blood system. The body’s response is to fight off a non-existent foreign body. The result is an uncontrollable itching feeling that leads to terrible rashes and open wounds from excessive scratching. I spent the next 40 years of my life being prescribed every topical and internal steroid on the market. I went through clinical trials on immunosuppressors which was a horrible experience of multiple blood drawings per day. All to no avail. The steroids caused migraine headaches and the topical steroids caused thinning of the skin which only exacerbated the situation. Long story short I have never been comfortable in my own skin.
I have been a cannabis user my entire adult life but only really in smokeable and edible form. In 2017 as the new emerging cannabis industry begin to migrate to Massachusetts, I became aware of a group of emerging products I had not been exposed to. Topical salves became available to me with a whole plant medicinal cannabis base. I began using the salve as a treatment for my eczema. I sit before you today stunned by the results. Within 2 days I saw decreased inflammation in my skin. Within 4 days I saw intense healing activity and about 3 weeks into using a particular salve twice per day my skin was completely rash and itch free. I am currently doing some more research into how this salve interacts with my body but until then I encourage you give it a try if you suffer from such a condition.