Patient of the Month – Danielle Reseck

Often, when people talk about how cannabis has changed their life, they mention the fact that cannabis has, in some way, helped them reclaim their life. It’s helped them rediscover life without pain, or anxiety, or whatever it is that has impacted them for so long, where nothing else has. For them, using cannabis as medicine is no different than taking Tylonel, or a multivitamin each day, as it should be, and by simply living their daily lives while consuming cannabis, they’re breaking the stigma away, bit by bit.

Danielle Reseck is one of those patients. While originally from Georgia, Reseck has been an Oklahoman since she was three, and claims it as home. “Oklahoma is definitely where my heart is.” Like others, Reseck says she used cannabis in high school at times. “I used it for fun, and to help in social settings, but I always felt extremely guilty about it after, just because of the stigma that surrounded it.” For her, that guilt lingered, even into her 20s. “I felt like it was so risky to smoke, because the chance of getting caught, or failing a drug test at work terrified me.” 

While cannabis wasn’t something that was often discussed in her home growing up, Reseck says that changed for a while,” My parents never really talked to me about it, until they found my stash, then it was pretty clear they were opposed to it.” Though they were unhappy, she says that their concern was more over the legality of the plant, rather than the fear of danger from smoking it,” I knew my mom was more okay with it, but my stepdad had a lot of disdain for it. I’m finding that to be pretty typical for those who have never tried it.”

Reseck says that despite that guilt that she felt, she has always been pro-cannabis. “Now that I can smoke freely, the guilt has absolutely disappeared, and it is the best thing!” Like many patients, Reseck says she feels liberated by having her card. “I no longer feel bad medicating before family events, or even grocery shopping. Those are times I need cannabis the most, and now I can do my thing with zero worries.” She credits cannabis for helping her to manage her social anxiety especially. “I find it much better than taking a benzo from my doctor, like I was in the past.” Beyond just her use for managing her anxiety, however, Reseck says her list of other uses is nearly infinite. “It helps with cramps, stomach aches, any ache, really.”

As many other patients have over the last year, Reseck says she’s come out of the cannabis closet to her friends and loved ones. “My husband and I are both open books about our cannabis use. We don’t have children yet, but they will know as much as they care to learn about it. It’s become such a big part of my life now that I couldn’t hide it if I wanted to.” Reseck also credits cannabis for helping her family. “Cannabis has brought my family together, funny enough. When they see someone they trust using it, that helps break down stereotypes a bit.” She says that though there have been questions, they’ve not been negative. “Overall, everyone has been super cool about it, and end up asking a ton of questions about it. It feels good.”

While she hasn’t ventured into the cannabis industry, Reseck says she enjoys being a part of the online cannabis community immensely. “ I love seeing all my fellow Oklahomans pursue their passions in this industry, I know a lot of them have waited a long time to be vocal about something they love so much.” Even as a patient, however, Reseck says she can see the success so far, and the work still left to do,” I think the Oklahoma industry has exceeded expectations this last year, in a lot of ways. We are doing great, but we need more knowledgeable budtenders in the dispensaries. There are some I know that are really setting the bar, but there is an equal amount that fall flat.” Reseck’s observation is one that has been echoed more than once by other patients, and is a common factor in why patients go to certain dispensaries. “I hate going into a shop and feeling like I’m totally on my own.” In addition to the commonly-mentioned need for more education, Reseck is ready to see things progress further. “I’d really love to see a bigger push for decriminalization.”

 

For Reseck, one of the best things to come from the medical cannabis industry and community of patients is the openness with which important topics are discussed. “I have been so moved by hearing how much success people are having with cannabis, but the mental health stories are especially so uplifting to me. It’s really encouraged me to reach out more to the community, and share my own struggles with mental health.” The pro-mental-health aspect of the cannabis community is an important one, especially for Reseck, who says she tries to be a positive contribution to it,” I always want to be that open ear for patients trying to find their balance with cannabis, and offer any advice I have.”

It’s not uncommon for people who have never tried cannabis before to still feel a twinge of guilt or anxiety, or to even have a less-than-great experience the first time, and Reseck commented on the importance of not giving up, “Throw out every preconceived ideas you might have about cannabis; if you go into it feeling like you’re doing something wrong, you may not have results. It’s not uncommon for people to have to try different products and strains, because everyone’s different. Keep trying!”

For those worried about what their family, friends, or even coworkers may say, her advice is even simpler: “Don’t listen to what others think, especially if you are getting what you need from cannabis.”

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