#SheReviews Breaking Habits

April 16, 2019

The story

Ever thought of farming cannabis for a change of career? Well, Christine Meeusen did exactly that. When the movie, Breaking Habits began I wondered what was to come as the intro was somewhat different to the normal commercial films screened.

Based on a true story, this modern-day wild west documentary did not disappoint. High flying executive Christine was cheated on by her polygamist husband of 17 years as she strived to support him and their three children. He was a stay at home husband and had been secretly working on his alternative future plans. Consequently, he left the family penniless, with his pockets full.

A mother’s instincts and determination for survival can never be under-estimated. Christine, who later became Sister Kate for reasons explained in the movie, discovers the lucrative business of cannabis farming.

She found through her research and trials, there was a demand for medicinal cannabis for people in genuine need, albeit illegally grown. It wasn’t long before she produced her own crops which proved to be quite a challenge given the presence of deadly black-market thieves and the threatening local sheriff.

There were a few “ooo’s and aah’s” in the audience and in time we began to understand the reasons behind the rebellious Sister Kate’s battles. She gave hope to her growing supporters and eventually becomes founder of a medicinal marijuana empire. Her team of disciples Sisters of the Valley, were all in their 20’s and became known for their dressing in white. Their nun-like habits were not based on any church or religion and they resolutely defended their purpose when challenged by the general public.

Behind the scenes cast

Writer and Director, Rob Ryan: discovers Sisters of the Valley in an article on the branding of cannabis products in an online media company magazine ATTN:. He wanted to find out Sister Kate’s motivation to run her farm dressed as a nun so he self-funded an exploratory trip to a place called Merced in California.  Rob, representing Film Constellation, Deuce Films, was also one of the privileged few to be invited to attend a ritual carried out for a new moon CBD seed planting ceremony. His introduction to an American Native Elder, David, was a real coup. Rob was mesmerised with all his stories and given a revealing insight into their extreme but wise culture that connects to the story.

Principle Cast, Sister Kate (Christine Meeusen) & Sisters of the Valley:  who revealed how her brother was attached by a gang, her nephew shooting and killing one of the gang member and how she had been attacked and shot at 14 times. The Sisters had to deal with real life gangs, cartels and local corruption. Sister Kate persevered with her philosophy to heal, often in dangerous circumstances and is a testament to her ongoing courage. She has become a fearless business woman on her quest and nothing is going to stop her. She estimates it will take up to 18 months to make her business legitimate and is the face of this new world CBD movement. Her plight continues today.

Medicinal cannabis

I have learned that there are two primary forms of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol CBD) that occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant commonly known as cannabis and there is difference between them.

Both substances interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain, but they differ dramatically in their effects. CBD is non-psychoactive which means that it will not get the user high and because of this trait CBD appears more frequently in dietary and natural supplements. CBD ingested for medicinal purposes is more likely to provide relief of a person’s unwanted discomfort with little or no noticeable effect on cognitive abilities.

Research studies indicate that CBD may be useful in helping people with : Pain (neuropathic, chronic, cancer-related, etc.), Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, Inflammation, Acne, Dyskinesia, Psoriasis, Broken Bones, Mad Cow Disease, Depression, Bacterial Infections, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Nausea, Anxiety, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse/Withdrawal, Heart Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

In Australia, you can only buy CBD oil after a qualified doctor has prescribed you the cannabis oil product. It is not currently available over the counter. There are approximately 30 CBD oils scheduled products on the market and once it has been decriminalised, you will be able to buy CBD oil from pharmacies. As it is mostly an unregistered medicine, the doctor must be authorised to prescribe at both the Australian Federal (Therapeutic Goods Administration; TGA) and State/Territory level (unfortunately this differs between States/Territories).

There is a significant need for larger, high-quality studies to better explore the potential benefits, limitations and safety issues associated with medicinal cannabis treatment across a range of health conditions and symptoms. There is very limited evidence to show how medicinal cannabis reacts with other approved medications.

In conclusion

Sister Kates story is informative and enlightening. I walked away with not only an education on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, but with a better understanding of Sister Kate’s plight as well as an opened mind.  I was also left with more questions as did my friend who attended the movie with me. This story gives hope to people in need and is a topic for serious consideration.

I was pleased to attend on behalf of SheSociety and thank Icon Films for this unique screening. I always find their movies different, thought provoking and to continually hold my attention.

Acknowledgments: https://cbdoilreview.org/cbd-cannabidiol/thc-cbd,  https://medium.com/cbd-origin/cbd-vs-thc-the-difference-explained, https://cbdoilreview.org/cbd-cannabidiol/thc-cbd, https://www.mamamia.com.au/cannabis-oil-australia, https://cannabiscompany.com.au/blogs/news/how-to-access-cbd-medical-cannabis-in-australia, https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/guidance-use-medicinal-cannabis-australia-patient-information.pdf,

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