What does success look like for a woman wanting to achieve global recognition within the realm of medical cannabis? KushKush spoke to Dr. Shiksha Gallow; a South African pioneer in the field of international medical cannabis research who dreams of one day winning a Nobel Prize for curing cancer and HIV with this controversial compound.

Words: Justine Stafford

 Dr. Shiksha Gallow may hold an intimidating number of degrees – five to be precise, including a PhD in medical cannabinoid research which she is currently completing – but all the years of studying have been worth it, she says, because they've acted as the catalyst to her realising her soul’s higher purpose.

“I wanted to better understand, and effectively treat, diseases so I could help more people and cure ailments naturally. Studying the synergies between both Western and traditional medicines has allowed me to do just that.”

As the Medical Director of Biodata and Clinical Trial Executive at Labat Healthcare, based in East London, South Africa, Dr Gallow spends her days at work researching and carrying out clinical trials on the efficacy of cannabinoids, and other compounds, in treating different ailments.

She also creates holistic treatment plans for patients suffering from disease or injury, using a combination of cannabinoids, homeopathic essential oils, Ayurvedic medicines, Neuroscience techniques and mind-power work.

“All of these meds are natural, and have little-to-no side effects when used appropriately,” she explains, adding that every patient gets an individualised treatment plan because “we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.”

The main aim of any of her treatment plans is to treat the root cause - not the symptoms of the ailment – and in this way activate the internal human endocannabinoid system and encourage it to reach homeostasis. “We give the body the nourishment and healing mechanisms it needs to balance and then the body begins to heal itself.”

She’s personally invested too, using this same approach to move off the hard core pharmaceutical drugs she was taking for a painful hiatus hernia. “The usual medications prescribed have horrible side-effects: they suppress the immunity and absorb Vitamin B12 so I implemented my own healing protocols using Ayurvedic medicine and Cannabinoids and have never looked back. I’m off all those harmful medications and I feel great.” She’s similarly treated her husband’s asthma; and today he too is medication-free and living a happier, healthier life.

Despite the incredible rewards of finding new cures, healing herself, her loved ones and her patients, she admits there are daily frustrations working within a controversial industry that’s heavily regulated by bureaucratic red tape. “It’s also still a heavily male-dominated industry,” she sighs, adding that thanks to her academic prowess and experience, she’s able to hold her own and has gained recognition as one of the pioneers of the industry. “They call me The Medical Cannabis Research Queen”, she laughs.

What’s the end goal for someone so determined? Why, winning a Nobel Prize for finding the cure to HIV and Cancer, of course! She isn’t joking either, adding: “We’ve already started with our research into cancer and I’m excited to see where it leads.”

As for her advice to other women wanting to follow in her footsteps, she says it’s important to remain entirely dedicated to the end goal: “If you're passionate, strong willed and open minded and believe your soul purpose is to heal and help people, then this is the industry for you. Stay true to your vision and you will succeed.”

To connect with Dr. Shiksha Gallow, follow her on Facebook 

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