Heather Manus, a native New Mexican and Registered Nurse who specializes in all aspects of medical cannabis care. Heather often becomes bombarded in public with questions about cannabidiol (CBD), a suddenly ubiquitous compound found in cannabis.
When at lunch Manus will often over-hear conversations about CBD, that someone has started giving CBD products to their dog; another talking about the help it may bring with human arthritis. According to Manus. a lot of senior citizens take it regularly to help with the many aches and pains of a long life. Although many of these conversations seem to reveal a lack of solid information about CBD and its uses.
After the 2018 Farm Bill reshaped the legal landscape, it opened doors to hemp-derived CBD products nationally. However, the situation is still very complicated, with large variations in state cannabis laws as well as little oversight of a CBD market that’s projected to reach over $20 billion by the year 2024(BDS Analytics).
What many people still seem to not understand is that CBD is not intoxicating, however it still may relieve feelings of anxiety, stress, or pain. Though most patients can use CBD in a variety of forms without an issue, some medical professionals ponder whether it is really the best approach. When few medical professionals are trained in medicine derived from cannabis, where can consumers turn for the most accurate information?
Heather Manus is not only an expert in Cannabis based medicine she is also the founder of Cannabis Nurses Network, through which she said aims to inform nurses about the use, benefits, and potential risks of cannabis and cannabis-derived medicines.
Nurses can be the first source of information about cannabis because they typically spend more time with patients, have a direct line of communication to doctors, and can serve as patient advocates. Courts have found that doctors have a constitutional right to recommend, though not prescribe, marijuana, however unfortunately some doctors still fear the potential risk to their license.
“Knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid Therapeutics is merely the tip of the iceberg; actually only scratching the surface, of the top, of the tip, of the iceberg. We have much more to learn and discover; it’s exciting and fascinating to explore the unknown inner-workings of ourselves and the human/plant relationship with Cannabis that is driving current science and research.“
Jenna Champagne, another nurse member of the Cannabis Nurses’ Network, encouraged patients to talk with their health professional before taking CBD. In some cases, the cannabinoid may interact with other medicines, either blunting or accelerating their combined effectiveness.
Champagne had five suggestions for someone considering CBD.
1. Learn first
Talk to a health-care professional, Champagne said, or at least educate yourself before beginning a regimen of CBD, or any other herbal supplement. “Make sure you don’t have any considerations that warrant medical oversight,” she said. “CBD combined with the wrong medication could become a risk factor,” she noted, particularly with blood thinners.
2. Remember that not all products are created equal
Look for quality suppliers that have been tested by a third party for purity and the concentration of CBD. There are also numerous methods for extracting CBD from the plant. Champagne recommends looking for broad-spectrum products that maintain as much of the complex chemicals of the plant as possible.
“Don’t just buy it because it has fancy marketing,” she said.
3. Make sure to do your research
One of our favorite suggestions by Champagne was to use the mnemonic acronym F.L.O.W., which stands for Flower-derived, Lab-tested, basically that Organic and from the Whole plant is much better. Unfortunately without FDA evaluation, consumers have little protection, while there remains a patchwork of laws governing the sale of CBD products around the country, and a variety of extraction methods in use.
4. Know Your Goal
Whether you want a sleep aid, or pain relief, or improved health Manus suggests looking at complete health goals, any medications taken regularly, as well as diet and exercise.
Knowing your health goals will help you decide exactly what kind of CBD product you may want as well as the strength that you may need.
If you are unsure about whether or not you should try CBD, you should check out the cannabis nurses network here. CBD can have some amazing benefits and with the immense popularity right now I am sure we will learn even more about this amazing cannabinoid. Until then the cannabis nurses network may just be the best resource for CBD information from medical professionals.