Thankfully, Laura was able to rise above the stigma, describing it as life-changing:
“For those without ADHD, the best description of cannabis and ADHD is:
“Imagine you are colour blind and someone gives you cannabis, and once you have used the medication, you can see all the colours of the rainbow!
“This is what cannabis feels like for my ADHD!
All ready for Easter: Laura dresses up for her children over Easter
“It’s not a cure, but my goodness, it helps better than anything I have ever tried before.
“And, yes, I have tried everything: mediation, exercise, eating diets, medications, therapy etc.”
Laura discussed her amazement with how much cannabis changed her life:
“I cried a lot at the beginning. I was so upset at society for not allowing people with ADHD to have this as their main medication.
“No other medications helps my brain function the way cannabis does. This is how I imagine ‘normal’ brains function.
“I was able to find a doctor who would prescribe me cannabis by the autumn of 2017.
“At first, I only used cannabis infrequently to help with my math skills to play ‘cribbage’ with my husband.
“We love board games and spending time together playing these things. It’s our special time.
“Before my husband would have to double check my math. Every. Single. Time.
“As an adult, it can be embarrassing to have others need to double check your work. I felt stupid and wrong.
“With cannabis, I could do math on my own, rarely getting the math wrong.
“My husband still out of habit double checks my cribbage hand. But it’s rare that I miss a point now. (I win a lot more now too haha!)
Cannabis allows those with ADHD to function without being ‘zoned out’ from Methylphenidate, but does come with side-effects, like any medication.
Those who argue against cannabis legalisation claim that doing so could bring danger to our roads, with more people driving under the influence.
Laura, however, like any regular patient, takes necessary precautions to ensure her cannabis use does not pose a threat to society or her job, much in the same way someone prescribed with Tramadol would:
“For my daily routine, I have to work around my cannabis use and driving.
“If I’m going somewhere out of work hours, I will arrive, use my medical cannabis, and stay for two hours at least before driving again.
“Regular life normally looks the same: I Get up, feed kids, pack backpack and lunch, walk daughter to school, play with younger daughter at home, make lunch, etc., you get the idea.
“On the days where I can “wake and bake,” the whole morning routine works better and I can see my children smiling more and enjoying life! We sing and dance while we get ready.
“We smile more. Not just me, but others around me.
“I annoy people less and can be more considerate.”
One of the greatest changes cannabis has had on Laura’s life is her parenting.
ADHD suffers find it difficult in concentrating on one task, never mind multiple tasks at the same time, making ‘play-time’ especially challenging for parents with ADHD.
Since beginning her medical cannabis treatment, Laura told us how these challenges with raising her children have been eased:
“I love playing LEGO with my family when I use cannabis!
“LEGO is fun, but it comes with sensory issues which can be really problematic for us with ADHD.
“For example, it can get really loud when your digging for pieces, and it’s sharp and pointy on the corners, a really unpleasant feeling and sound.
“When I play with LEGO un-medicated it’s overwhelming to both play and talk to my girls. I had to choose one or the other.
“Now, with cannabis, I can choose both!
Cannabis infused gummie sweets: A safe way Laura medicates with cannabis
“I not only can filter out the sensory overload of noise and touch but I can focus on the girls as they learn and grow. Bouncing back and forth between playing with my own creation and paying attention to them as they request my attention.
“For my regular paperwork, cannabis is the best thing to ever happen to me.
“I don’t use cannabis when I’m teaching first aid in the classroom. Stigma sucks.”
Progressive states and countries around the world are legalising cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Canada has taken the unprecedented step of becoming the first country in the world to legalise cannabis in its entirety, a massive boost for medical cannabis patients:
“I live in Canada, so soon it will be legal for everyone to access. For now, I have my medical marijuana prescription. It is legal for me.
Raising the stakes: Canada will become first country in world to legalise cannabis
“I did try it when it was not legal, but I had to hide my use of it from the outside world.
“My husband knew, but he was worried how it would affect his job if they found out. It was stressful.”
ADHD is often diagnosed with other mental illnesses, particularly high anxiety and depression. Low self-value due to a perceived lack of worth, combined with a pharmaceutical medication known to cause depression, can be a deadly cocktail.
Laura explained how cannabis improved her mental health, allowing her to live life with a more positive outlook:
“The biggest relationship impacted by my cannabis was the relationship with myself. I don’t beat myself up about mistakes or ADHD issues anymore.
“The relationship it did not help with is the one with my parents.
“They do not agree with my cannabis use and ask me to stop posting online about it. They do not want me to stand out in the crowd. It’s causing them a lot of stress.”