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Jacqui Childs; I’m facing the most important battle of my life

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Jacqui Childs is a woman who has endured many ups and downs in life and has come through the other end the most authentic version of herself. A couple of years ago, Jacqui pivoted her significant social following to focus solely on cannabis and how she uses it to help her with health issues – both mental and physical. We were lucky to catch up with Jacqui and get some time out of her busy schedule as she faces one of the hardest struggles of her life.

AW: You’re very honest about your personal struggles on social media. Tell us about your journey and why you’re so transparent with the more sensitive details of your life.

First I’d like to say thank you so much for thinking of me and your interest in my journey. It means so much to me.

I had started to answer these questions a few days ago when I received some pretty scary news about my health, everything I thought I knew or wanted to share seems so meaningless at the moment. The last several years have been very interesting for me health wise, yet professionally they’ve been absolutely amazing.

I found that being completely transparent and authentic was much easier than feeling shame or guilt. I don’t have to remember lies that I’ve told myself or others, so if I hear a rumour or some nonsense about my character, I know it’s clearly fabricated. I proudly stand up for myself because I’ve bared my soul. What more could anyone want?

AW: Why is cannabis important to you at this stage of your life?

I’m pretty new to cannabis, just 2 years. I suffer from Crohns, anxiety and depression. And that’s the cookie cutter answer. Until today. I recently went to the doctors for a hernia check up and during the very painful ultrasound I was made aware that it wasn’t a hernia after all, but an ovary that was full of cysts. Shocking because two years ago I had a full hysterectomy and everything was removed due to my high risk of cancer… or so I thought. I went home from the appointment and made a fresh cannabis smoothie, ingested high levels of thc and cbd and waited, stunned, until my next appointment.

My family doctor (which I don’t see often since trying to live pharma free) called 2 days later and asked to see me as soon as possible. This is where it gets good. This is the first time I’m speaking publicly about this and I hope to not have to share it too often.

AW: Being a person who opens themselves up on social media requires a lot of bravery. What in your personal life enabled you to be such a brave woman? Do you believe you are brave and if so, do you purposefully cultivate your bravery? How do you do this?

This where I guess my “bravery” comes in.

I headed to the doctor the following day (just this past week), worrying and wondering the entire drive. I sat patiently in the waiting room and snapped 2 pics to document “Jacqui Before the news”. I knew it was bad.

First, I freaked out about having an ovary that I mourned the loss of 2 years ago. And now said ovary has cysts.  And those cysts are bleeding.

The next bit of news is where my bravery kinda went into hiding as I crumbled to the floor. “You have spots.” Huh??? “Spots on your liver, kidney and gallbladder and the ones on your gallbladder need surgery right away.” What the hell are spots? My life flashed before my eyes… and now I wait ( still waiting as I write this).

AW: You’re a well-known social influencer in the cannabis space. Why did you specifically choose cannabis as your influencer space?

I never choose to be a cannabis influencer. I was working in the music space promoting bands, events and festivals and I started to share my struggles, and how CBD was helping me. People watched and listened.  I started getting invited to speak about my journey.  I wrote a book about my struggles with drugs and alcohol that became an international best seller (Ignite Your Inner Warrior) and I started to use my online presence to share cannabis news and women’s health issues. My following grew…and so did my heart and soul. #jacpot was born!

AW: Along with speaking openly about the ups and downs of your personal journey, you’ve also cultivated a wonderfully delicious and luscious image of a sexy woman in the prime of her life – and not giving any f*%ks – on your social channels. Why did you choose this path and do you ever get any backlash from women or the brands you represent? If so, what is your response?

I’ve always been a big mouth, and I’ve always liked to dress up (and wear no clothes ar all) but since learning to enjoy cannabis I think my images and my thoughts have gotten a lot sexier….I’m aging….we all are. Ohhhh backlash, I still feel sorry for people that don’t get it. Can’t be comfortable in their own skin, so they lash out at me. Whatever.

As far as social media, engagement is engagement. In real life there’s something about me that rubs most women the wrong way, possibly the plastic parts, I don’t know. I’m a leo could it be that? Maybe just the word Influencer. It definitely bothers me, lol. When I decided to talk so publicly about my cannabis use I lost a few mainstream contracts and sponsors but that was nothing compared to friends and family. Perhaps I changed? I think for the better.

AW: Social media continues to be subsumed by the toxic web, and it’s even being said that it’s (especially Facebook) a danger to democracy itself. What are your thoughts on this and where do you see social media going in the next 5 years?

Can you imagine for a minute if you had over 2 million people criticizing you, cutting you up, offering unwanted advice and messaging you morning, noon and night? That’s my reality with Facebook,  I definitely have a love hate with the angry, sad and aggressive social media world.

I’m too fat, too short, too old, my boobs are fake, my hair is yellow “ who do you think you are”? Ugh. Yep it does get overwhelming, but I’m really focused on spreading kindness and healing the hate inside myself and others.

I have tried to predict where social media and Facebook will take us next. Who knows. I do love that Instagram took likes away. Who cares? I have a message, I’m leaving behind bits and pieces of myself. It’s an online diary that I’m not always proud of but I’m human. I was here.

AW: Will the negative perception of social media channels change how marketers perceive influencers, in your opinion? What does influencer marketing look like in 5 years?

I’m having a real struggle with the word Influencer. I’m not a young girl taking pics of her food, I’m not really selling anything – maybe just kindness. I think it will get a lot harder for Influencers especially if you’re fake and hiding behind a filter in a one dimensional world. I see all the “bong babes” or the “stoner chics” making funny videos and reviewing products. That’s cool and there’s clearly a place for it, perhaps that’s an Influencer? I’m more of a story teller. Telling my story in all its craziness (did I mention I’m waiting for a kidney and liver specialist, hence why I’m up now, who can sleep when you’re full of questions and concerns?)

AW: Tell us about your greatest challenge and your greatest achievement.

Telling the truth to myself and others. Sharing my demons and not letting the judgers get to me.

I enjoyed winning the O’Cannabiz influencer award, even though I didn’t promote it or attend the awards gala. It put a bee in a lot peoples bonnets, I like that. I don’t do what I do for awards. Living pharma-free is reward enough.

AW: What do you do to keep yourself mentally and physically fit?

Not enough lol. Physically…I have a lot of sex and laugh a lot. Mentally? Same answer and eat a lot of edibles and mushrooms.

AW: What excites you the most about the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada?

It’s now an option for so many more and something I can talk openly about with my children and help them make educated informed decisions…and I LOVE growing my own.

AW: What do you dislike the most about the legalization of recreational cannabis?

That damn stigma…the Government hasn’t done the best job. I’ll give them a break because we’re only in year one.

AW: What’s your favourite method of consuming cannabis?

I like edibles, I love making them. For health reasons (especially now) I’m using vaginal and rectal suppositories and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM.

AW: Where is your favourite place in the whole world?

Really great question. A week ago I would have said Amsterdam or Jamaica but as of right now I would have to say anywhere I can feel free to laugh and love out loud. I’m scared, really scared. I’m not well and this has been going on for a while. I want to remain in this world even for just a while longer. I hope I get the chance to see the cannabis space grow to a genuine place of kindness, peace and freedom. I’ve never considered myself an Activist or Advocate…until now. It’s time to practice what I preach and if I actually believe in the plant like I say I do, I leave it all up to (whatever I believe in).

Follow Jacqui on Instagram on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Leslie Andrachuk

As a bilingual pioneer in global digital publishing and marketing, Leslie is happiest when creating new things and inspiring her teams. She is passionate about changing biases that hold women back from realizing their true power and is grateful that at this point in her career she has the skills to make real change.

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