Anne Marie had suffered from constant chronic pain from a very young age due to various health issues including spinal, joint, muscular and skeletal problems. She credits medicinal cannabis, prescribed by Dr David Porter, Nelson-based Rheumatology Specialist and Medical Kiwi Director, for completely changing her life.
“One simple medication, not a handful of pills, treats all of my different ailments with no side effects. I feel like a real human being and am able to do the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I can be the grandmother I want to be,” says Anne Marie. “My friends have all commented on how much better I am these days. I tell them I have a little bit of magic in my life.”
Doctors over the years had prescribed more and more medications with Anne Marie taking multiple medications in an attempt to combat the pain. “I was always concerned about how the different medications were going to interact with each other,” says Anne Marie. “And the side effects were terrible. I was regularly hammered by bad days and suffered from a long list of severe side effects.”
The lack of side effects is the most common feedback patients prescribed medicinal cannabis report and it’s what stands medicinal cannabis in complete contrast to all other conventional drugs used to treat chronic pain conditions.”Traditionally we were prescribing medications that were not only poorly effective at treating the pain, but they resulted in troublesome side effects. The most likely outcome was that we were giving patients more side effects, usually clouding of mental function, than effective treatment,” says Dr Porter. “I’ve been increasingly prescribing medicinal cannabis in the past 18 months. Compared to anything else I’ve prescribed, medicinal cannabis is head and shoulders above everything else because of the lack of side effects and positive benefits for patients in terms of sleep, mental and physical relaxation, mental clarity and pain control. The benefits in some are life changing.”
Anne Marie was cautious when Dr Porter first suggested prescribing medicinal cannabis for her pain treatment. “My eyeballs popped out of my head. I thought ‘we don’t do drugs in my family!’ But the more Dr Porter explained how medicinal cannabis worked, the chemical make-up of the medication and that it wasn’t going to get me high, I thought I’d give it a go,” says Anne Marie. “I’m still careful about who I tell that I’m using CBD, partly because of the misunderstanding of the difference between medicinal cannabis and recreational use.”
“I’m excited about the New Zealand legislation changing. I want to be able to easily access and afford this wonder medication. The two bottles I have been prescribed have been very effective, but the non-availability of a consistent, regular supply makes my life very precarious and, at times, leaves me in a very dark and painful place and isolates me from society,” says Anne Marie.
“The benefits offered by medicinal cannabis to people like Anne Marie are significant, but we know that access and affordability are two roadblocks people currently face,” says Dr Porter. Medical Kiwi seeks to address this. Medical Kiwi has been established to enable those suffering from illness, seeking alternative pain management and improved wellbeing to have access to safe, effective and affordable high quality medicinal and nutraceutical cannabis products.