“There is no other treatment that is effective - I experience instant relief” - Interview with Susan Sciarretto
Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer
Susan Sciarretto lives in Clementon, New Jersey, with her husband, John. They have a dog, cats, a bird, and a turtle, all of which are rescues. In addition to rescuing animals, in her spare time, Susan works with an unemployment help group, as well as Jeff’s Law advocates for allowing medical marijuana patients to home grow. She is also spending time conversing with legislators about the need for micro licenses for small businesses and startup companies in the marijuana industry in New Jersey.
Susan has experienced PTSD from a young age. She also has chronic pancreatitis. “I always self-medicated with marijuana until it became allowable under the law to prescribe marijuana to people living with PTSD,” she says. Susan also takes opioids and explains that she must still take them because of the astronomically high price of marijuana. “I can’t afford enough to control my chronic pain. That’s why I adamantly support home grow for medical patients,” she says.
When Susan first tried marijuana in 1984, she was 14 years old. “I saw stars for the first hour or so. Looked like a blank tv screen. I wasn’t scared, though, because I felt better than I had in a long, long time,” she recalls.
Susan finds medical cannabis to be extremely helpful. She says, “There is no other treatment for PTSD that is effective. I experience instant relief from the anxiety, the visions, the remuneration. I often have attacks while driving, so I use a tiny dose of an edible I make, which rewires my brain without affecting my judgment.”
Susan finds medical marijuana to be beneficial, and that “the only negative effects come from people, not the medicine. Uneducated people make judgments based on ancient thinking and out of date information.”
Susan lives near the Curaleaf dispensary in Bellmawr, but due to the prices, wait time, and quality, she instead chooses to make a longer trip to Compassionate Care Foundation or The Botanist in Egg Harbor. “They have the strain that works best for me when it’s in stock. They only have flower but just started selling carts. The people are friendly and AMAZING as well as knowledgeable,” she explains.
At MyCureAll, we research how different strains of cannabis can help different conditions, such as pain, anxiety, opioid use disorder, and many more conditions. We asked Susan about her strain selection. She prefers
Sour Banana Sherbet (SBS), which is 32% THC. “It’s $35 an eighth, but I still can’t afford my allotment. I buy shake because I grind it anyway since I dry herb vape. This way, I use the already ground and decarbed leftovers for cooking and my topical cannabutter. I have tried other strains and ALWAYS come back to my friend, SBS,” she says.
Because of the high prices of medical marijuana and difficulty in affording her allotment, as well as advocating for others, Susan supports Jeff’s Law. She encourages everyone to support home grow for patients. “Jeff Oakes, the incredible man, advocate, and cancer sufferer for whom this law is named, sadly passed away on November 8th, never seeing his legislation even considered,” she says.
We asked Susan if insurance should cover medical marijuana, especially when opioids are covered. “That’s my biggest problem,” she replied. “The state wants to help people who take dangerous and deadly opioids, like me, BUT they won’t go as far as allowing 2 or 3 plants for personal use. I spend over $350 per month on marijuana and $40 per month on opioids. That doesn’t include gas and tolls to get it. Insurance should ABSOLUTELY cover medical marijuana. The reason they give is that it’s illegal federally.” Susan tells the story of a medical marijuana patient who sued his insurance company to pay for his cannabis and won. “However, most people cannot afford the cost of a lawyer to fight for themselves. I’m all for a class action lawsuit versus the most popular insurance companies in the state,” she says.
Susan prides herself on being an advocate. “I will continue to fight for better policy and good new laws for the marijuana community. The first time I used my cannabutter was in an emergent moment, and it was the closest thing for me to grab. I was stung by an enormous wasp on the palm of my hand, and it blew up like a balloon. The pain was RIDICULOUS!! I was screaming and asked my husband what I should do, sent him downstairs for ice. I told him I was putting the cannabutter on it. I immediately felt relief from the pain and watched the swelling go down to almost normal. This happened by the time he got back upstairs with the ice. As a healthcare professional, I WAS STUNNED. After 15 minutes or so, I watched the swelling come back. I applied it 3 more times at 15-minute intervals, and the swelling never came back. I was profoundly affected by that experience and decided it was a crime against humanity that this is not available to everyone in the world. I have since perfected my recipe, and now it’s time to make policy that allows that to happen.”
The MyCureAll app provides a platform for targeted cannabis recommendations for cannabinoids that treat specific conditions and lower healthcare costs. As experts in the pharmaceutical and medical cannabis field, our mission is to properly, consistently, and effectively manage medical cannabis administration by aligning patients, doctors, dispensaries, and insurers to work hand-in-hand for safer and more effective healthcare.
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