I’m Coming Out…..My New Career in Cannabis

As we saw with the #metoo movement, coming out and being vulnerable isn’t easy…..but it’s necessary.

Being raw and real can leave us open to judgement and criticism.  At the same time it can deepen our connections with others who can relate to our story.

I’m putting myself out there because something I believe in full heartedly is on the verge of revolutionizing health and wellbeing.

I’ve hidden parts of my story of how I got into the health industry because it could be stigmatized by our society as “bad” and in some parts of the country as even “criminal.”

That’s all changing.

It’s time to come out and share my secrets.  Aside from dance, yoga, and mindfulness meditation another “alternative therapy” plays a significant role in my healing, health, and happiness.


Also referred to as Marijuana, Hemp, Weed, Pot, and Mary Jane.

It’s now legal in California and I’m part of the movement to provide education and support during this huge transition in wellness.

I now work for Herban Industries as a Dispensary Advisor.  We support dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers as a resource for compliant product distribution and consumer education.   

Cannabis is used widely to treat a variety of health issues including pain, anxiety, depression, addiction, insomnia, fatigue, diabetes, cancer, and seizures.  There is a strong veterans community who support cannabis as a treatment for PTSD. Veterans make up our Executive team at Herban Industries.

Here’s some other interesting information:

91 Americans die from an Opioid overdose every day.  That’s more than gun violence or motor vehicle accidents.  

THe National Academies of Science and Medicine (NASEM) concluded that cannabis, a non-opioid pain-relieving drug, is indeed safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain.  

When a US state enacts a medical cannabis law, the opioid mortality rate drops by 24.8% –  and that percentage goes up the longer cannabis has been legal in a state.

I started using Medical Marijuana 7 years ago to treat Anxiety and Depression.  It was at a time where I felt overwhelmed by a huge transition in my career.

Most of my life, I used substances like food and alcohol to fill a void and “band aid” my pain.  My favorite was to “check out” in front of the Tv with a bag of chips.

“When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your immune system, your nervous system.  So the repression of emotion, which is a survival strategy, then becomes a source of physiological illness later on.”  – Dr. Gabor Mate

Struggling with my weight and food was ongoing drama.  It was the back pain that threw me for a tailspin.

Chronic muscle tension in my upper back was ruining the quality of my life!  I couldn’t sit still for 1 minute without fidgeting in an effort to find relief.

After a year of different treatments, the doctor finally said, “It’s in your head…..ANXIETY.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States.  Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

I had no idea what Anxiety was, but I felt a little relief in having a diagnosis and an answer to my pain.  He didn’t prescribe Opioids. Instead, he surprised me with a different prescription PROZAC.

I replied, “Prozac? But I’m not depressed!” I knew that for sure.

He began to explain how Prozac can help with treating anxiety as well.

A 6 month treatment on prozac started and it worked…kind of.  I had no back pain or anxiety! PLUS, no passion, sense of purpose, no longing or belonging.  I felt numb. No emotion. I became depressed.

I began to use one of my favorite vices.


Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders.

Since I was a child, I had an “eating disorder”………overeating and emotional eating (which I tried to cover up with dieting and exercise).

The depression became worse as my weight started to balloon.

Desperate, I confided in one of my co-workers who was also suffering from health issues, breast cancer.

She was a mom with a full time job and so her advice shocked me.

“Deirdra, you need to check out these Medical Marijuana pharmacies.  They have pot for everything even Anxiety and Depression.” She had been using marijuana to help fight nausea.

The day I started using Medical Marijuana was the day I stopped taking Prozac.  My back pain was gone, I was more relaxed, and I felt inspired again. That’s when I finally quit my job and started teaching Zumba full-time.

How Cannabis works with the human body is pretty fascinating.

Cannabis has over 100 chemical compounds called Cannabinoids which offer a variety of effects to healing.  Two of the most commonly known are THC and CBD. Humans have something called the endocannabinoid system which is made up of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body.

The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues.  It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress…shown to reduce body weight and improve cardiovascular risk factor (metabolic syndrome)…..and to treat neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases), epilepsy, anxiety, and stroke.  

It was the integrating of Cannabis with Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation where I hit the sweet spot to my own personal health and wellbeing.

For so many years, I had no idea that Chronic Stress was at the core of my health issues. Overeating, struggling with my weight, and back pain were all symptoms of anxiety & stress.  I always thought I had a weight problem, when it was really my nervous system getting hijacked.

Untreated chronic stress and anxiety influences the body’s nervous system taking it into “Fight or Flight mode.”  To preserve energy, it shuts down the metabolism and immune system. It can also wreak havoc on our hormones and make our body’s do crazy things like store belly fat, crave sugar, or stay up all night.

Cannabis, Yoga, and Mindfulness Meditation complement one another by calming the nervous system and bringing the body into homeostasis.  It is when the body is in homeostasis where all our systems (digestive, respiratory, reproductive, cardiovascular,etc.) flow and we reduce the risk of disease.

You don’t have to smoke marijuana or even get high to get the benefits.  One of the coolest things for me is hearing my 89 year old grandma rave about how much she loves the ointments for pain relief.  My mom started eating cannabis chocolates to help her sleep.

I became a health educator because I wanted to help people thrive in their bodies.  We can’t thrive if we’re experiencing chronic stress and not addressing it. I’ve learned that approaching health as an opportunity for healing can actually be a very uplifting journey.  Cannabis, Dance, Yoga, and Mindfulness Meditation have all played a major role in helping me thrive.

Want to learn more?  Then click here to get LIFTED with Cannabis Health Education from The Uplift Movement.  You’ll get email update on events, promotions, product recommendations, education, and research.

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