Women's Lib: Tracy Ryan Talks CannaKids
One supermom is changing the face of cannabis.
After her infant daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, supermom Tracy Ryan dedicated a huge part of her life to educating herself on the medicinal powers of medical marijuana—in how it applied to treating her daughter's disease, as well as to other pediatric and adult cancers, epilepsy, autism, and beyond.
Now, Ryan is the CEO and lead consultant for CannaKids, a California cooperative that specializes in the creation of lab tested, and PhD scientist extracted cannabis oils.
Tracy Ryan is one of those people who is always making the world a better place, with CannaKids as just the beginning.
The KIND: What is CannaKids and why did you start it?
Tracy Ryan: CannaKids is a California-based cooperative with a focus on supplying medical cannabis oil to adults and children looking for holistic relief for serious health conditions. The birth of CannaKids was inspired by my own daughter Sophie Ryan. Sophie was diagnosed at 8 1/2 months old with an extremely rare brain tumor called an Optic Pathway Glioma. After using cannabis oil in combination with her chemo protocol, Sophie’s tumor shrunk by over 90 percent! A tumor that doctors said minimal shrinkage would be a best-case scenario.
The KIND: What are some of the challenges you face as a cannabis advocate, especially for kids?
Tracy Ryan: Mostly making sure we are compliant with laws that are constantly changing. I talk to my attorneys multiple times a week to ensure we are doing everything above board. It's arduous! Not being allowed to have a bank account comes with its own set of issues, as well. There's always the fear that because we are working with kids, we could have a target on our backs, but I'm in too deep to let that slow me down. I have seen too much, and too many children have gotten their lives back, to stop us now. It can be scary, but the rewards way outlive the fears.
Tracy and her team at the 420 Games. Image via LA Weekly
The Kind: What's it like being a woman in this space?
Tracy Ryan: This is a women-dominated industry, in part due to our maternal instincts. How my family came to learn about this miracle plant, is because we were looking to save our child in any means possible. This is where it led us. I have seen the therapeutic benefits first hand. It is my mission to help others and share my knowledge.
The Kind: What do you love most about your job?
Tracy Ryan: I'm collaborating with some of the most brilliant people in the world when it comes to cannabinoid research, which continually elevates my knowledge base of this plant. I am so humbled to be collaborating with these researchers and physicians that I would otherwise have no access to. All of them want to help my daughter, which just in itself is life changing! The studies that will be done on my daughter's clinical data and brain tumor tissue will help us treat her more effectively, and also help us save more kids just like her. It is the most incredible silver lining to this tragedy my family has had to endure.
The Kind: What's your favorite kind of cannabis? Where is your favorite smoke spot?
Tracy Ryan: I'm not a big smoker at all. I love W Vape pens. When I need a little extra help managing anxiety or sleeplessness, I will take a puff or two. I eat 5-15 mgs of Kiva's chocolate covered blueberries every night to help battle my insomnia. As a result, it has also fixed the arthritis pain in my knees. I can wear heels for the first time in 10 years. I can carry my daughter down a flight of stairs without wincing! Their blueberries are delicious, and the dosing is very accurate. I don't ever want to be so high I can't care for my daughter; so having a trusted product that I know is accurately dosed is paramount.