After facing IVF, a cancer diagnosis and a hysterectomy, founder of Our Remedy, Rachel Mason is bringing women’s health and wellness to the forefront of the CBD industry.
After struggling to conceive naturally, Rachel Mason couldn’t have been happier when her first round of IVF was successful.
But around a year after giving birth to her son, she went to the doctors for a check-up complaining of feeling bloated.
She hadn’t been overly concerned, so was shocked when the hospital rang two days later and asked her to come in for an emergency appointment.
“I had felt a bit bloated, but I also wanted to get the process started for my second round of IVF, as there are so many checks involved and I knew I wanted another child,” she recalls.
“I went in and had the tests on the Friday and on the Monday morning they rang with an emergency appointment and said it looked like it was something more concerning, which was really unexpected.”
It turned out to be a 12cm tumour on her ovary. While doctors were able to remove it safely, a few months later Rachel was told she would need a hysterectomy.
“That was a particularly tough time as I really wanted another baby,” she says.
“I did get a few second opinions from other doctors, but in the end I felt I had to go through with it.”
By this point Rachel had already been using CBD for a number of months, finding that it was reduced her anxiety and helped her to sleep better during what was a difficult time.
“I do try my hardest to stay positive, such as taking the right supplements and eating a healthy diet and I feel like everything I went through I handled quite well, but there were definitely points where I was down,” she says.
“I’ve always been a bad sleeper anyway and everything that was going on was contributing to a lack of sleep and me feeling anxious. I found CBD really helpful.”
However, Rachel who ran a vape store with her husband at the time, was aware that were it not for the samples she received through the business, she probably wouldn’t have discovered the benefits of it.
“The two industries are so closely linked, it was almost common knowledge to us, but to other people CBD can seem such a strange concept, you can’t necessarily get your head around how it might work for you,” she says.
“It was around the time that I was due to have a hysterectomy that I started to think about the fact that no one was really aiming CBD at women or talking about how helpful it could be.”
“It was really important to me to make the brand appealing for women, for it to be something they would want to put on the bedside table and be proud of,” she says.
“Women’s health is definitely not focused on and in the CBD industry you often come across often big, faceless brands and high-margin products, with no one behind it advocating for anything.
Rachel continues: “It was important for me to talk about CBD in way that women could understand and to educate and raise awareness of this natural product, which means we don’t need to reach for the Ibuprofen every month or go to the doctors to be prescribed antidepressants.”
Increasingly women are reporting the benefits of CBD for chronic and painful conditions such as endometriosis and adenomyosis.
But it may also help with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hormone imbalance, PMS and the menopause, as well as boosting fertility and sex drive and helping soothe the general ups and downs of the menstrual cycle.
Our Remedy’s award-winning Moon Swings blend combines 500mg of broad-spectrum CBD, with essential oils of peppermint and clary sage – to soothe mood swings, PMS symptoms, cramps, bloating and support balanced hormones.
Meanwhile the Pretty Peaceful product contains CBD and geranium, lavender and sweet orange to create a natural remedy to help with sleep and anxiety.
“It’s been almost a year now and it has been really well received, I’ve had so many positive responses,” says Rachel.
“CBD is definitely having a moment and I think so many more people are reaching towards natural alternatives in general.”
The brand has now secured 30 CBD wholesale stockists, ranging from online stores, independent cafes & restaurants and boutiques.
But Rachel also donates to the UK’s leading period poverty charity, the Bloody Good Period, for every full price item sold.
“At the end of each month we donate a certain amount of sanitary pads or tampons,” she says.
“I’ve always supported my local women’s refuge and I understand that not everyone can afford these basic necessities. There was an obvious link with the CBD for periods but our philosophy to give back underpins everything we do.”
The brand is also committed to protecting the planet. It’s boxes are printed using eco-friendly soy inks and recycled card, the products are shipped in compostable mailer bags and biodegradable packaging and customers get incentives such as money off on plastic-free refills.
“Everything I do with the brand I try to be as eco-friendly as possible,” says Rachel.
“It’s down to us at the end of the day and as a consumer and business owner, I always try to choose products that are plant-friendly.
She adds: “Hopefully Our Remedy is giving people the option to make that choice too.”
Menopause and medical cannabis – how we’re tackling the stigma
A new event will explore how medical cannabis can help women manage symptoms of menopause
Ahead of World Menopause Day on Monday 18 October, Cannabis Health, Integro Medical Clinics and Cannabis Patients Advocacy and Support Services (CPASS) announce a new event exploring how cannabis can help manage symptoms.
The third episode in groundbreaking webinar series exploring the role of medical cannabis in women’s health, will focus on the multi-faceted and often challenging experiences of menopause and perimenopause.
Taking place online on Tuesday 30 November, a panel of expert clinicians and patients will discuss the experiences of women who have found these medicines helpful in managing their symptoms.
Menopause and perimenopause symptoms are chronically poorly treated in the modern healthcare system.
Many women are frequently, simply told to ‘manage their stress better’, ‘lose some weight’ or ‘do more exercise’ when seeking medical treatment for debilitating menopause symptoms which include anxiety, depression, insomnia, low libido, headaches and hot flushes, amongst others.
This lack of recognition can be both cultural and medical. Women often feel ashamed to speak openly about their experiences due to stigma and many doctors lack the training and time to treat symptoms effectively.
Increasingly women are finding cannabinoids helpful in managing some of their menopause symptoms.
Since the legalisation of cannabis-based medicines two years ago, female patients have been able to discover that the rebalancing of their endocannabinoid system can be incredibly helpful in the management of conditions ranging from Endometriosis, bladder and nerve pain, gynaecological pain and PMS to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Aimed at both the general public and caregivers, the event will explore the experiences of women who have lived with perimenopause and menopause symptoms and how they have found cannabis-based medicines helpful.
Dr Sally Ghazaleh
Women’s health consultant at Integro Clinics. She specialises in managing patients with lower back pain, neck pain, neuropathic pain, abdominal pain, cancer pain and complex regional pain syndrome.
Dr Mayur Bodani
A neuropsychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, he has successfully treated many patients with psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, psychosis, dementia and many other conditions.
Sarah Higgins CNS
Sarah is a clinical nurse specialist, with over 10 years of experience working in the NHS. She is also the women’s health lead at non-profit organisation CPASS Nurses Arm.
Having been a successful mental health nurse for 30 years, Lauren had to give up her career after being diagnosed with primary progressive MS. She has found cannabis medicines helpful in dealing with her MS symptoms and menopausal symptoms.
Rachel is founder of ‘Our Remedy’, a wellness brand for women. She has found CBD to be very helpful in dealing with her menopausal symptoms.
Lauren worked successfully as a mental health nurse for 30 years before menopause symptoms, alongside the symptoms of her primary progressive multiple sclerosis became so debilitating that she could no longer work and found daily life too difficult to handle.
“When I discovered cannabis medicines (CBMP’s), they completely changed my life. CBMP’s eased my anxiety and meant that I could get a decent night’s sleep. The fact that I was well-rested, meant that I could start to lightly exercise again, which was unthinkable a year ago,” Lauren said.
Medical cannabis has helped Lauren to deal with anxiety, brain fog, and gave her an overall sense of wellbeing. Lauren has found cannabis medicines have given her life back, she can once again exercise and return to her daily routine.
The webinar takes place on Tuesday 30 November at 7pm and is completely free of charge, go to the Eventbrite link here to register.
Integro Medical Clinics Ltd always recommends remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition while using cannabis-based medicines. The Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.
Breast milk of THC-positive mothers not harmful to short-term health of infants – study
Researchers reported no differences in short-term health impacts such as breathing difficulties or feeding issues.
According to a new study, the breast milk of THC-positive mothers was not found to be harmful to the short-term health of premature infants.
Researchers compared early pre-term infants who were breast-fed from mothers who consumed THC to those who were fed formula or breast milk from non-THC consuming mothers.
They reported that breast milk caused no differences in short-term health impacts such as breathing difficulties, lung development or feeding issues.
The study analysed the medical records of 763 early pre-term babies from 2014 to 2020. Researchers discovered that 17 per cent of the mothers tested positive for THC at the time of giving birth. They also examined post-natal exposure through breast milk.
Researchers found that overall the babies born to mothers who tested positive for cannabis were similarly healthy at the time of their discharge when fed their mothers breast milk in comparison to those who did not receive their mother’s breast milk.
The authors wrote in the abstract: “In our study, we found no evidence that providing [mother’s milk] MM from THC-positive mothers was detrimental to the health of this early preterm population through hospital discharge. A better understanding of longer-term perinatal outcomes associated with THC exposure both in-utero and postnatally via MM would inform appropriate interventions to improve clinical outcomes and safely encourage MM provision for early preterm infants.”
Breast milk from mothers who consume THC is often restricted by neonatal intensive care units because the effects on early preterm infants are unknown. It is thought that the active ingredient can pass through breast milk. Studies have shown that breast milk is a good way to improve pre-term baby outcomes and reduce infection risk along with intestinal issues.
Researchers cautioned women to abstain as the long term effects are still unknown.
THC-positive breast milk
Natalie L. Davis, associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said: “Providing breast milk from THC-positive women to preterm infants remains controversial since long-term effects of this exposure are unknown.”
She added: “For this reason, we continue to strongly recommend that women avoid cannabis use while pregnant and while nursing their babies. Our study, however, did provide some reassuring news in terms of short-term health effects. It definitely indicates that more research is needed in this area to help provide women and doctors with further guidance.”
“Teasing out the effects of THC can be very difficult to study,” Dr Davis concluded. “We found that women who screened positive for THC were frequently late to obtain prenatal care, which can have a detrimental effect on their baby separate from cannabis use. This is important to note for future public health interventions.”
The study abstract will be presented at the virtual American Academy of Paediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.
Half of US breast cancer patients use cannabis alongside treatment
A study also revealed that many patients do not share this information with their doctors
New research indicates that almost half of US adults with breast cancer use cannabis alongside their cancer treatment to manage symptoms.
Cancer patients often turn to cannabis for symptom relief alongside their treatment, with symptoms including pain, fatigue, nausea and other difficulties depending on the type of cancer and treatment.
Cancer is also one of the qualifying conditions for a prescription in several different US states. However many doctors feel they do not have the knowledge to discuss it patients, making more education essential for those working in healthcare.
Researchers conducted an anonymous online survey designed to examine cannabis use among adults who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The participants were all members of the online communities, breastcancer.org and heathline.com.
The results revealed that of the 612 participants, 42 per cent reported using cannabis for symptom relief which included pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress and nausea. Among those, 75 per cent said it was extremely helpful at relieving their symptoms while 79 per cent said they used it during treatment such as systemic therapies, radiation and surgery.
Almost half of the participants who consumed cannabis believed that it can be used to treat cancer itself despite its effectiveness being unclear. Most participants believed that cannabis products are safe.
Patients in the survey used a wide variety of products with various qualities and purities. Half of the participants sought information online. They felt that other patients were the most helpful source of information while doctors ranked low on the list.
Most of the participants who sought information on cannabis use for medical purposes were unsatisfied with the information they were given.
Lead author Marisa Weiss, of Lankenau Medical Center, said: “Our study highlights an important opportunity for providers to initiate informed conversations about medical cannabis with their patients, as the evidence shows that many are using medical cannabis without our knowledge or guidance.”
She added: “Not knowing whether or not our cancer patients are using cannabis is a major blind spot in our ability to provide optimal care. As healthcare providers, we need to do a better job of initiating informed conversations about medical cannabis with our patients to make sure their symptoms and side effects are being adequately managed while minimising the risk of potential adverse effects, treatment interactions, or non-adherence to standard treatments due to misinformation about the use of medical cannabis to treat cancer.”
Introducing our new B2B title
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