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“My whole world just fell apart”- Twice breast cancer survivor on CBD and recovery

Nicky Visser has channelled her experience of breast cancer and knowledge of cannabis into creating a new brand



Cancer: A portrait photo of Nicky Visser

Nicky Visser, who has survived breast cancer twice, talks to Cannabis Health about recovery, CBD and creating her own brand to help others manage their pain.

Nicky Visser discovered she had cancer by chance following a festival. The discovery was not only life-changing but career-changing too. She credits CBD with helping her cope with cancer, a mastectomy and a blood clot that built up in the scar. In living with excruciating pain, she was desperate to find a natural alternative.

“It was by pure chance that I found my cancer. I was at an outdoor festival where I burned my neck, when I got home, I tried to put some cream on my neck after a shower and I could see an indentation in my breast,” Nicky explained.

Cancer: A banner advert for the medical cannabis clinic

A check-up with her doctor resulted in Nicky being sent to the hospital immediately. The doctors originally thought it may be a cyst but wanted to mammogram her breast to be sure. Following the mammogram, she also had a biopsy and ultrasound before suggesting she have a lumpectomy,  a surgery to remove cancerous breast tissue along with a rim of normal tissue surrounding it.

Nicky said: “It was just one tumour at the time but I needed to have it taken out followed by radiotherapy afterwards. I’ve lost family and friends to cancer so I was really worried. They wanted me to take tamoxifen too but I was really worried about the side effects.”

Cancer care

Nicky followed a strict healthy diet before eventually going vegan. She wanted to make sure she looked after herself as much as possible.

Originally from Holland, she returned home to see a specialist, who told her she had hormonal cancer.

She said: “There are different types of breast cancer and I have a hormonal one. I met a doctor in Holland who gave me lots of enzymes. I took those and felt great. I was also taking my cannabis oil, CBD and all of my supplements too.”

Nicky’s friends in Holland made a special oil for her with a specific strength to help with her breast cancer. She highlighted that different cancers need different blends depending on what and where they are.

“You need a different strength if you have hormonal cancer, you don’t have the receptors to take the THC which may make it worse. I had to find out the hard way.”

She added: “I was diagnosed in 2018 just as I met my partner Cindy and fell in love. I didn’t take all of my supplements and oil all the time as I was too busy being with the woman of my dreams and I was having fun.”

Cancer: A portrait of Nicky Visser

Cancer check-ups

Another ultrasound, following a routine check-up, revealed that Nicky had developed a second tumour where the lumpectomy scar was on her body. Doctors were keen to determine if it had spread to her lymph nodes. These are small structures in the body that are part of its immune system and can carry cancer from one organ to the next.

“My whole world just fell apart,” Nicky said.

“I needed a mastectomy which was booked in quickly. I had radiotherapy the next year and developed a blood clot as well. I had to have an operation where it was drained.”

She continued: “I went for a check-up and I had started to grow a breast again. It looked like I was pumping iron as it was getting bigger and bigger. It turned out I had a hematoma at 1.4 litres which had to be reopened in emergency surgery.”

Nicky’s scar from the surgery developed a small infection which left her unable to move her arm. She credits using CBD oil, along with seeing an osteopath in helping her to regain her movement.

“Nobody would think I’ve had a mastectomy and I’ve got no pains anymore. I had tried a lot of things that weren’t working including radiotherapy which I had to stop [early] at 13, despite needing 14 rounds.”

Nicky says the nurses failed to place cooling pads on her body, leaving her with burns from the radiotherapy. When they lifted the pads off, they left square burn marks which developed into harder skin. Afterwards, in trying to move, Nicky ripped all of the tendons in her arm, requiring another operation just before Covid-19 began.

Cancer: A portrait of Nicky Visser

Cancer and cannabis

Coming from Amsterdam, Nicky was familiar with cannabis. She was concerned that the pain killers she had been given were just masking the pain, rather than treating it, so she began to do her own research. She now has a diploma in medicinal cannabis and CBD. 

There needs to be more education when it comes to the different cannabis strains, she said: “People think you take some with the highest [amount of] THC, but it doesn’t work like that. You may need a strain that’s low in THC but higher in CBD – a lot of people don’t understand that.

Nicky began to study the different cannabinoids, along with aromatherapy. She began to make her own CBD and CBG oils to help with her cluster headaches. As her partner’s mother fell ill with diabetes complications, Nicky made her a CBD oil which she could use to help with the pain instead of pharmaceutical drugs. 

Cancer: A selection of flowers, pots and cannabis leaves advertising Mirari co oil

Image credit: Mirari Co Instagram

She began to get a lot of requests from friends who had heard about the success of the oil. This is where the idea for her own business, Mirari Co developed.

“I had another cancer patient who contacted me and she was going through the whole thing of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The doctors had put the chemotherapy into the wrong port and she had burns and could hardly walk. I sent her a sample for free to try and she found it helped her.”

The Mirari Co range has three different oils which offer a range of potential benefits. All of the oils were designed for different people or needs. They include the beneficial terpenes of different plants such as frankincense, lavender, black pepper, juniper and lemon among many others.

“We have the relaxing oil which is the first one that I made with lavender,” said Nicky.

“I made a warming one for people who have finished training or need help with the pain. There are also a lot of people out there with nut allergies so I thought I would make a nut-free version using safflower oil and argan oil. Argan oil has very good health properties.”

Despite the popularity of CBD, there are still patients who may be wary about trying it. Nicky highlighted that it is important that people understand the difference between CBD and THC. 

“I want more people to understand that CBD is not THC, and to not be scared of it,” she added.

“Big Pharma and the media have made it sound psychedelic… but I think people are waking up and if they hear personal stories like mine then they might take note and try it.”


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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