We are in an opioid crisis. Wouldn't it be great if we had another tool to taper people to a lower opioid dose or off their opioids altogether? A group of almost 20 experts got together and drew up consensus guidelines on how to taper opioids with cannabis. We got Aaron Sihota - Pharmacist, Dr. Brennan K. Smith, PhD, and Dr. Colleen O'Connell MD from the consensus guidelines group together virtually to discuss how the guidelines were drawn up and how cannabis can help fight the opioid crisis
Dr. Suzy Pinnick, a family physician specializing in palliative medicine and remote northern medicine, shares her cannabis story with Kirk. In this episode, the two health professionals sit in a casual masked conversation within the warmth of the NIC’s office of a northern nursing station during a deep Covid19 Canadian winter evening. She is quick to say she has very little knowledge of cannabis, yet believes it is important to learn. When she was asked by parents to prescribe cannabis for one of her pediatric palliative care patients, Dr. Pinnick quickly recognized how little she knew. Kirk brings the story to Trevor, how this experienced doctor is willing to learn as she practices; how she learns the art of medicine while applying the formal duties of a doctor.
Therapeutic cannabis use is to cancer, as salt and pepper is to the dinner table; ubiquitous yet individualized. In the past 20 years, oncologist Paul Daeninck, MD, MSc, MSc., FRCPC has not only seen cannabis slowly infiltrate personalized cancer care treatment plans, but also how it eventually changed a country’s relationship with an illegal drug. Although we trust the chef to properly season our food, we know why people should not use salt and some people simply will not like pepper. In this episode, Kirk and Trevor sit at the table, feeding on the knowledge of Winnipeg’s Top Pot Doc learning how cannabis seasons his practise. Kirk and Trevor quickly come to understand how this unassuming man is so admired for his leadership, compassion, and research within Cancer Care Manitoba network, which is the provincially mandated cancer agency providing clinical services to both children and adults.
Remember when we could sit next to people on a plane? Imagine sitting next to a guy who said he was a Havard trained doc, who has pictures of himself learning to read on Carl Sagan's lap, who wrote a book on overcoming his own opioid addiction and who happens to think cannabis is a great medicine for treating many conditions. Wouldn't that be the best plane conversation ever? Well, buckle in, put up your tray table and return your seat to the upright and locked position. We are about the take off with Dr. Peter Grinspoon.
One of the reason Reefer MEDness started was becasuse Trevor couldn't understand why medicinal cannabis wasn't in pharmacies. Well, all the barriers aren't down yet but meet Rahim Dhalla. We've talked to Rahim before, but this time we dive into the workings of his pharmacy, Hybrid Pharm. Hybrid Pharm is a regular pharmacy where you can pick up your diabetes meds, get your flu shot and lately they are even doing COVID-19 testing. But Hybrid Pharm is special for many reasons. Not the least of which is, if all the paperwork is in place, you can walk into Hybrid Pharm and pick up your medicinal cannabis. Welcome to the future, as Kirk and Trevor talk with Rahim about how this all works.
In this episode we explore a series of unfortunate events started when a Registered Nurse decided to illegally grow cannabis as medicine. Society may consider nurses one of our most trustworthy groups however, employers and professional colleges have policies and procedures suggesting otherwise because the profession is plagued with addiction issues. This episode explores what happens when a nurse self-medicates using cannabis and is seen as having an addiction issue. There is a mismatch in understanding needs and medicine. Kirk and Trevor wonder if this is one of those stories where Cannabis is misunderstood and due to this lack of understanding, we are left with one less nurse.
Many family docs spend part of their time looking after patients in long term care homes. Two of the most common conditions in long term care are chronic pain and dementia. We don't have great options in the standard pharmaceutical tool box to treat either of these conditions. What if I told you a family doc in Sarnia, Ontario is having so much success treating both chronic pain and dementia symptoms in long term care that his colleagues are referring patients to him? Dr. Blake Pearson is treating chronic pain, dementia symptoms, autism symptoms and others with cannabis. His expertise is in such demand that he teaches other doctors how to use cannabis successfully in their practice. Come have a listen.
If you suffer from headaches, Dr. Carrie Cuttler, Assistant Professor at Washington State University, may offer some insights. This episode explores how migraine sufferers may benefit from cannabis. In her study, this cannabis researcher, uses Strainprint data to track people who use inhale cannabis to treat their migraines. Kirk and Trevor explore her research and also discuss how diminished anandamide levels, an important endocannabinoid, may also contribute to the headache pain. A deficiency in the `bliss` molecular causes a pain in the ...head?
Kirk and Trevor discuss PTSD with Dr. Mike Hart founder of ReadyToGo Clinic. Dr. Hart talks about how PTSD, migraines, IBS and some other conditions are due at least in part to an endocannabinoid deficiency. That means cannabis is an obvious treatment for PTSD. Also hear how cannabis can also be used in sports medicine and about Kirk's Runners' High on the Columbia Ice Fields.
Kirk and Trevor talk to Janna Champagne. Janna was a critical care cardiac nurse thriving in a high pressure, high stakes, life and death work place. Suddenly her life was derailed by an illness. Janna discovered how cannabis could help her life and has become a Cannabis-Specialty Nurse to help others. Along the way, Janna found another benefit of cannabis to her family. Come listen to how cannabis helped Janna's daughter through an Autism puberty crisis and probably spared her from out of home placement.
Kieley Beaudry has so many facets to her cannabis knowledge, including Co-Founder of Parkland Flower Inc, President of the Alberta Cannabis Micro License Association, and parent of a child with Cystic Fibrosis (who uses cannabis). But Kieley agreed to enlighten Kirk and Trevor on a delicate and often overlooked topic. Kieley talks about cannabis as treatment for sexual dysfunction. Kieley is not a health care professional, but is extremely well read and knowledgeable. Kieley educates Trevor on topicals, suppositories and many other uses of cannabis especially as it pertains to female sexual health. This episode is in no way graphic but it does acknowledge the existence of sex, so if you are listening with people with sensitive ears be aware.
Rahim Dhalla is a pharmacist and CEO of Hybrid Pharm in Ottawa. Trevor constantly whines how he can't bring cannabis into his pharmacy to help patients. Well Rahim has found a way. Come listen to how Rahim helps patients with medical cannabis and he even compounds things like cannabis suppositories. Rahim is dedicated to helping improve his patients' lives and he has found cannabis is an important tool in health care.
"Marijuana Study Finds CBD Can Cause Liver Damage". This article in Forbes by Mike Adams blew up on Cannabis Twitter. What is the truth? Does the ubiquitous CBD beat up on the poor defenceless liver? Is this just junk science and hyperbole? Well...we called up the study authors and asked them. Get ready to be schooled by Dr. Igor Koturbash , Dr. Bill J. Gurly and Dr. Mitchell R. McGill. This conversation goes through the basic science involved in toxicology studies for any new medication. Get ready to nerd out on why mice are really livers with legs, acute vs chronic dosing studies and much more. Spoiler alert... these highly educated gentlemen don't hate CBD. They just want there to be more study on what CBD does to the liver and how it might effect other medications a person is taking. Be mindful in your cannabinoid use and have a listen.
Kirk and Trevor are live on stage at HempFest Saskatoon for a second time! This time Trevor talks with Sue Letwin(@LetwinSue). Sue has Lyme Disease. She explains how this misunderstood condition effects her life and how cannabis is helping her. In fact she finds the THC helps her more than CBD. And she make her own edibles. Come learn from Sue with us!
Kirk and Trevor were live on stage at HempFest Canada in Saskatoon June 2019 with Jacqui Childs (@JacquiChilds). Jacqui talks about her journey with Cannabis helping her with Crohn's, anxiety and depression. Now that Cannabis has helped her, Jacqui wants to help others. This savy social media marketer and author tells Kirk how she gets her message about cannabis out to the world.
You don't give cannabis products to children, right? Or what about that Charolette's Web stuff for seizures? Dr. Robert Sealey is a physician from Victoria with extensive cannabis experience. He see children and has recommended cannabis for some of them. From ADHD, to childhood schizophrenia, to Dravet syndrome this wide ranging conversation covers many pediatric cannabis topics. Come learn with Kirk and Trevor about kids and cannabis. Are three year olds different from thirteen year olds? And don't forget the chocolate milk! It's all about the chocolate milk.
Did you know medical cannabis is taxed? That is weirder than you might think. All other blood pressure pills, diabetes pills and depression pills that go through a pharmacy are not taxed. Yet medical cannabis, prescribed by a doctor or other health care professional is taxed. Ashleigh Brown (@Ashleigh02112447) is a medical cannabis patient, founder of the self help cannabis group SheCann (@shecannabis) and Community Manager and Patient Liaison at Strainprint. She is also an uber cannabis patient advocate. Listen to Ashleigh talk about how taxes increase her struggles to afford medicinal cannabis and increase the struggles of other patients.
In Part 2 Kirk leaves Vancouver Island and visits Gimli, Manitoba. He discovers how a family doctor becomes a Cannabis consultant. Dr. Shelley Turner (@TheShelleyT) discusses how a deep interest in addictions directed her practice toward Cannabis. Her new clinic, Ekosi, will teach patients and professionals alike to discover the harm reduction benefit of Cannabis. Dr. Turner's journey with her Cree and Settler heritage, her progression from ambulance driver to nurse to doctor is fascinating enough on its own. But her passion for data, evidence and her patients in all things cannabis is something you'll want to hear. From Newleaf Outreach and Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club in Part 1 to Ekosi in Part 2, the common thread in these three stories is how healing communities are people caring for each other. Is Cannabis an exit drug? Should peers and individuals direct their own Health Care? How can western medicine help with creating healing communities? Kirk and Trevor discuss these questions and offer up some canna-curious opinions.
Travel with Kirk and Trevor beyond simple harm reduction strategies. Kirk brings us stories from Vancouver Island to Gimli, showing us how the Cannabis Culture helps people be well. In Part 1, we meet Kevin Donnelly from Newleaf Outreach. This new autonomous peer driven harm reduction group in Nanaimo, British Columbia promotes that drug peoples’ rights are human rights. They also believe cannabis plays a role for people with substance use disorders. Then Kirk goes south to see Julia Veintrop from the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. The VCBC is an important historic advocacy agency. They've taken cannabis cases to the Supreme Court, but more importantly they have 23 years of experience assisting people with accessing affordable cannabis as their medicine. From new to established, Vancouver Island shows us the strength of peers helping peers. We have a My Cannabis Story from Char about a not so positive experience at a Guns N Roses concert. Come back for Part 2! Gimli has more to offer than Crown Royal and the Icelandic Festival.
What is impairment? What does it mean to drive a car impaired? Kirk and Trevor talk to PJ Barclay CEO of DriveABLE (@DriveABLE). DriveABLE has tools that look a impairment and cognition. But the impairment can be from opioid pain medication, muscle relaxant, lack of sleep, alcohol or cannabis. Legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada changed many things. Let's talk about impairment and how everyone can stay safe on the roads.
Are you CannaCurious? What cannabis strain works best for a 47 year old woman in Manitoba for MS related spasticity? There is an app for that. Kirk and Trevor talk to long time podcast sponsor, Strainprint about their app and the many, many places Strainprint has gone lately. David Berg (@DaveBergSP ), the President and Chief Technology Officer of Strainprint Technologies geeks out with Kirk about endometriosis studies, migraine studies, software to help pharmacists find interactions between medications and cannabis, partnerships in Israel, partnerships with Duke University, the new Strainprint Community and frankly so many other cool things I'm getting tired just writing out this description. Go Listen!
Did you know some nurses could write prescriptions? Kirk talks to Nurse Practitioner Erin O'Shaughnessy about her practice. Erin works for Nalanda Health and prescribes cannabis for clients in need of help. Trevor talks to Carl Byrne a pharmacist at Nalanda Health who acts as a cannabis educator for Erin's clients. What does a medical cannabis clinic look like post legalization? How do these health care professional work together? Why shouldn't you just go to a recreational cannabis store and try some cannabis for your medical condition on your own. Listen and hear what Trevor and Kirk find out!
Plus a new My Cannabis Story from Jaqui Childs! - find her on @jacquichilds on Instagram.
Did you have that friend of a friend who grew their own in a basement? Kirk goes back to the future. An ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) legal grower, Paul, shows Kirk how he grows his own medicine! Paul is very environmentally conscious with his worm compost soil, no solvent resins and deep knowledge and respect for the cannabis plant. Plus he is an archivist of different medical strains. Come down the stairs... and learn with Trevor and Kirk.
My cannabis is labeled 17% THC. What dose that mean? Emily Kirkham, an analytical chemist, talks to Kirk and Trevor about cannabis potency testing, cannabinoids and terpenes. She also gets into pesticide testing and micro-contaminants like lead.
Ever wondered about the alphabet soup of regulations like the MMAR, ACMPR and how they came to be? Mike Boivin, pharmacist and designer of cannabis continuing education programs, gives us a great history lesson on the lawsuits that got us from 2001 to 2018. He talks about how proper use of medical cannabis can reduce polypharmacy and clinical pearls like if a medical patient feels high all the time on their cannabis try something different like a new strain or dose.
As an extra bonus, if you live in the Winnipeg area....go see Reefer Madness the Musical Dec 6-16, 2018! They provided us with the music this episode, and it will be a very fun and educational show!
What is the endocannabinoid system? Did you have that friend in high school with the hemp shirt who told you, "The body was designed to smoke pot, man!" That is not as crazy as it sounds. Trevor and Kirk talk to Dr. Robert Laprairie. He is a pharmacologist who studies the endocannabinoid system. Your body produces its own cannabinoids and has receptors that can accept external cannabinoids like THC and CBD. But just because cannabis is natural doesn't mean that it shouldn't be used with caution. Dr. Laprairie also discusses interactions with prescription medications and other thing to watch for. But in general Dr. Laprairie is very positive about cannabis research in a post-legalization Canada!
How is cannabis prescribed? Do American prescribers practice differently than on the Canadian side of the border? Kirk goes South to talk to Dr. Karen O'Brien a Naturopathic doctor in Arizona. Trevor stays North to talk to internist Dr. Blair Hrabarchuk. Listen as they explore medicinal cannabis on both sides of the 49th parallel.
You've decided to try medicinal cannabis. Now what? If only there was some support out there. We talk to Ashleigh Brown, the founder of SheCann, a Facebook Community of medical cannabis advocates. Then, you track your steps and sleep with a FitBit. You track you calories with a diet app. What if you could track your medicinal cannabis use? We talk to Stephanie Karasick the founder of Strainprint. Yup. There is an app for that. And we think it is pretty cool.
Do people take cannabis products for their ailments now? We have three: Kevin, Keijo and Dawn who will share with Trevor and Kirk if and how cannabis has improved their lives.