I’m Mandy Harlan, and 9 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Shortly after my diagnosis, I was lucky enough to have a friend introduce me to cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, which I could no longer consume. As time went on, I realized cannabis was not only a great way to take my mind off the stresses of the week, but it was also an immense help managing my symptoms.
Gone are days where I do not eat because I have no appetite. I no longer get nauseated, painful cramps or sickness. I feel like a “normal” person again. For anyone living with Crohn’s disease, or any disease that effects your everyday life, this is HUGE. It feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I’m certain it is the result of cannabis. As of my last colonoscopy in 2018, I am in complete remission. I’m proud to say this is 100% without the use of prescription medicines that have terrible, even deadly, side effects that my doctors pushed for years.
I want to share my experience, and guide others through the medical cannabis process, because I’ve experienced the power of the plant and know it can help so many. My mother no longer takes multiple Tylenol PM every night to help with pain and insomnia. Instead, she uses tinctures to sleep and has never been more rested. My friend just weened off her anxiety medication because she can now vape from a CBD pen. I know cannabis isn’t a miracle drug, but it’s as close as I think we are going to get in this lifetime.
When I got my medical card, I learned that dispensaries in Florida operate differently than other states. In Florida, dispensaries must control the products they sell from seed to store. Meaning, all products in each dispensary will be unique to them. Unlike dispensaries in California & Colorado, you will not find multiple brands under one roof. Any patient looking for the most effective strain and delivery method for their particular condition must visit all 14 dispensaries to know what is truly out there. That is a lot of leg work, and responsibility on the patient, to ensure they are getting the right medication for treating their illness. Marijuana is very individualized, and it is important to find the right match that works best for you, to achieve the highest results consistently.