Rev. Karen Urquhart
Karen is an Anglican Priest, cannabis educator and advocate and mother of four adult children. She grew up in Perth Western Australia and moved to Vancouver in 2014. She is currently the Rector of St Christopher’s in West Vancouver.
Prior to ordination in 2004 she worked in the disability field as a Social Trainer. After completing Post Grad studies in Counselling she specialized in Drug and Alcohol counselling and also worked as a sexual assault/ domestic violence counsellor for an Aboriginal Corporation prior to coming to Canada.
Despite living in a small rural town for 7 years that was known for its alternative lifestyle and cannabis use, Karen only tried cannabis once with a friend in 2011. She vowed she’d never use it again as the experience scared her and she risked losing her job and getting a criminal record if caught.
Karen has lived with a debilitating autoimmune condition since 1990. Immunologists, naturopaths, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, elimination diets, tests and supplements did little to improve her health. The side effects from prednisone and a variety of dangerous immunosuppressant’s caused her health to further decline.
Out of desperation, and because she was now in Vancouver where cannabis was legal for medical conditions, Karen did her own research on cannabis and found that some others with her condition had used it to help with side effects of the medications.
She vaped when she had a flare up and it helped her sleep. But unexpectedly one night after a severe flare up, she vaporized a strain that was different to the CBD dominant cannabis she had previously been using. During the night she had an incredible healing experience where she felt her entire body being rebalanced. She woke up in the morning symptom free and has not had any symptoms since. Her health has improved dramatically and even lost 35lbs.
This life-changing experience has inspired Karen to learn as much as she can about cannabis and share this with as many people as she can. She has a special interest in spirituality and the historical use of cannabis as a sacrament in the Hebrew and Jesus traditions. She believes that a healthy endocannabinoid system is the key to healing and wholeness – Cannabis is a gift from God. A humble plant that has been stigmatized and demonized for almost 100 years.