For Parisa Rad, cannabis has always been a medicine. Since first using the herb to deal with PTSD symptoms after being told her daughter died during childbirth,only to discover her breathing minutes later, Rad now shows other mothers how cannabis can help them. Her MJ Momma Consulting business teaches other moms the healing power of cannabis, and she serves as market co-leader with Marvina Thomas for Phoenix Women Grow. Rad’s daughter, Yazy, was born blind and with cerebral palsy, and spent six months in the NICU.
“Carrying that was very challenging at times … I used [cannabis] to get through college,” Rad shares. “When I became a professional and joined the workforce, that became unacceptable … so I went to prescription drugs.”
For a while, that worked. When Yazy was 14, she underwent spinal fusion surgery, was prescribed opiates for recovery, and developed superior mesenteric artery syndrome. That rare, life-threatening condition, which causes the lower intestine to collapse, changed everything — Yazy had to feed from a tube. Believing pharmaceuticals weren’t the answer, Rad turned to cannabis in an attempt to help her eat. It worked. The Make-A-Wish Foundation scored Yazy Justin Bieber tickets, and a steady diet of RSO and infused edibles got her out of bed.
“I knew it had made me feel better, but I didn’t know it as a true medicine, like we know now that it is,” Rad declares. “[Cannabis] opened my eyes to the way it can treat several conditions; not just the nausea and the pain, but the depression [and] the anxiety. My daughter was loving food, she was going back to school, she was living a normal life again, all things considered.”
Unfortunately, a recent Arizona court ruling declared Yazy’s much-needed concentrates illegal, so Rad took her to New Mexico in the summer of 2018. There, Yazy’s stomach twisted, requiring emergency surgery at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and she is now in palliative care for gastroparesis.
Rad, boldly ignoring the legal risks involved with concentrate use in Arizona, has Yazy using a full regimen of cannabis products — including colleague Marvina Thomas’ 420 Skincare, tinctures from Health’s Angels and hemp RSO via the ECHO Connection. “Immediately, she felt better,” Rad describes. “[Cannabis] immediately made her quality of life improve.” Rad’s fight for access to medicine continues, but she isn’t giving up any time soon.