Michael M.

Couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The staff were very knowledgeable and made the whole process as easy as possible. Don’t hesitate to call them if you’re considering a new card.

Megan P.

I visited Canna Care Docs for a renewal appointment. I had a lot of questions as soon as I arrived and was nervous about the process going smoothly. As soon as I came in, I was greeted at the front desk and my concerns were alleviated right away. All the staff there were exceptionally warm, knowledgeable, and made me feel like I was in the right hands.

Debra C.

The service was great, and the workers knew how to answer all our questions. I walked out a happy person. I recommend this place to anyone looking for the alternative using cannabis. Super friendly and nice. Five Stars!!

Sheana P.

I recently visited and I was more than pleased! I was impressed with the staff’s knowledge about cannabis. It was way more in depth than I expected. I was extremely satisfied with the explanations/ breakdowns of cannabis and all its forms. It was a warm welcoming vibe and a staff that knows their facts!

Shawn G.

Canna Care Docs are professional, knowledgeable and make the process very easy. It was very confusing, and they made it simple! Thank you Canna Care Docs!

The foundation of cannabis-infused beauty products

Cannabis infused beauty products with CBD is a growing trend.

One of the newest trends is cannabis-infused beauty products containing the cannabinoid CBD. As you may know, CBD is one of the active components within cannabis, however in its isolated form is non-psychoactive, and can offer many of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the “high.”

Recently consumers may have noticed an increase in new cannabis-infused beauty products that claim to harness the powers of CBD in the forms of bath bombs, creams, lotions, lip balms, and moisturizers. For any passionate medical cannabis patient, these products are an exciting new way to consume cannabis without inhaling harmful smoke. However, those claims suggesting that cannabinoids can be absorbed through the skin are currently rooted only in anecdotal evidence, and not clinical research.

There is emerging research suggesting that transdermal cannabis consumption, that is, cannabis absorbed through the skin, can address arthritis and surface level pain. However, everyone reacts differently to these medicinal products and results may vary. Always consult your Canna Care Docs practitioner when trying new a new form of medicine.


Grandma is the new face of cannabis

Seniors are using cannabis to treat arthritis, chronic pain and problems with sleep.

Silver haze in the golden years

Even as the boomer generation — the one known for “tuning in and dropping out” — approaches retirement, there’s a long-held stigma surrounding marijuana among older people. For many who were young in the 1960s and 70s, cannabis was something seen at parties, possibly experimented with, but for the most part set aside. It’s hard to get past decades of federal prohibition and criminalization, so it’s little wonder that in 2017 only three percent of adults over 65 years old reported being “current smokers.”1

However, with medical cannabis continuing to spread through the country — and with more and more research pointing to its benefits for everything from chronic pain and sleep problems to anxiety and arthritis — the tide seems to be turning. In fact, in the 30 states that allow medical or recreational use, the fastest growing demographic of users is adults over 50.2 The face of who is using this substance is getting older and wiser. 

But what explains this turnaround, and what do seniors need to be aware of when it comes to medical cannabis? Let’s take a closer look.

Marijuana as medicine

Ultimately, beyond increased access, a big reason that seniors are turning to cannabis is that it helps with a range of health issues. Not only that, some of these effects are specifically beneficial for the medical concerns and needs of older adults. How so? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Chronic pain: A growing body of research is showing that use of cannabis helps manage and minimize chronic pain, a very frequently reported issue among those over 65. A recently published review article assessing the current state of research noted there were numerous studies supporting significant pain-managing effects.3 In addition, this study—alongside others — localized on the fact that cannabis users with chronic pain took significantly less prescribed medications, such as opioids.

Arthritis: The use of CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis which can be extracted separately from psychoactive THC, has been shown in multiple studies to be effective in taking on arthritis pain and discomfort. A review article published in the journal, European Journal of Neuroscience, noted “promising results” and clear effects on inflammation, the source of much discomfort.4

Sleep: Disruptions in sleep are very common in older adults, especially those who are taking certain prescribed medications. Here too, cannabis has been shown to have a distinct effect. A study published in the journal, Chemistry & Biodiversity, noted “marked improvement” in the quality of sleep in patients with chronic pain problems.5 Cannabis is proving to be a safe alternative to sometimes addictive prescribed drugs.

The above is just some of what’s becoming an increasingly large body of evidence for cannabis as medicine. No doubt research in this vein will continue and our understanding will further expand.

Safe & sound

Another important aspect for seniors is that medicinal cannabis users tend to take less pharmaceutical drugs. Numerous studies point to that fact, especially in cases surrounding chronic pain and discomfort. Why is that important? Because, simply put, older adults are more likely to be on multiple medications, which can lead to negative drug interactions that interrupt sleep, affect mood, appetite, and motor skills, while sapping overall quality-of-life.

Finally, it’s important to note that smoking isn’t the only way to ingest this medicine. Cannabis—in both psychoactive and non-psychoactive forms—can be consumed as edibles, drops, or pills. Furthermore, it can be vaporized in the same way electronic cigarettes are, or even used topically for arthritis. Cannabis is a sound alternative to opioids, as use is manageable, and has minimal side-effects, which is in stark contrast to many pharmaceutical pills and medicines.

There’s value in exploring cannabis as medicine, no matter how old you are.

Works cited

1 “Americans Who Smoke Marijuana By Age Group 2017 | Statistic”. 2018. Statista. Accessed December 5 2018. https://www.statista.com/statistics/737849/share-americans-age-group-smokes-marijuana/
2 O’Neill, Stephanie. 2018. “Ticket To Ride: Pot Sellers Put Seniors On The Canna-Bus”. Npr.Org. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/17/648024454/ticket-to-ride-pot-sellers-put-seniors-on-the-canna-bus
3 Hill, Kevin P., Matthew D. Palastro, Brian Johnson, and Joseph W. Ditre. 2017. “Cannabis And Pain: A Clinical Review”. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research 2 (1): 96-104. Mary Ann Liebert Inc. doi:10.1089/can.2017.0017
4 La Porta C, et al. 2018. “Involvement Of The Endocannabinoid System In Osteoarthritis Pain. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed December 5 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24494687
5 Russo, Ethan B., Geoffrey W. Guy, and Philip J. Robson. 2007. “Cannabis, Pain, And Sleep: Lessons From Therapeutic Clinical Trials Of Sativex®, A Cannabis-Based Medicine”. Chemistry & Biodiversity 38 (47). doi:10.1002/chin.200747254

Saturday spotlight: Suzannah Rowan

Our team member uses medical cannabis in place of prescribed opioids.

In our Saturday Spotlight, we want to take some time to showcase some of the people that make up our amazing and hard-working team at Canna Care Docs.

Suzannah Rowan – Team Member, Hartford, CT

1. What would you say is your favorite aspect of working at Canna Care Docs?

My favorite aspect of the job is watching a patient come into education extremely nervous, doubting that this is going to work for them, and seeing them walk out full of hope and excited to start their cannabis journey. I often share my story with patients and it really helps them see that this is a real option, and that they could be a success story too. I enjoy educating patients on how cannabis can be used to treat so many different conditions, how to consume cannabis, and ensuring that they are comfortable when they start their journey into cannabis medicine.

2. In addition to working with us, you’re also a medical cannabis patient. What are the conditions you are currently treating with cannabis?

I have been using cannabis for a number of them. I have occipital neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, zygomatic neuralgia, temporal neuralgia, and facial neuropathy in my peripheral nerves.

3. How long have you been battling these conditions?

I was diagnosed in 2011. I went through over a year of testing, trialing around 50 medications to try and treat my conditions. I found a physician who developed an experimental surgery to treat the cause of my pain, not just the symptoms. From 2012-2013, I traveled back and forth to Washington D.C. and had 4 surgeries within a few months of each other. With no test available to confirm a diagnosis without surgery, this was by far the biggest risk I have taken in my life. With great success from the surgeries and the ability to treat my daily pain with cannabis, this has allowed me to be able to go back to work and have a normal life again.

4. What was the treatment plan your physicians originally recommended to you after you were diagnosed?

They prescribed me most available opioids to treat my pain. In addition to opioids, I was prescribed steroids, anti-depressants, anti-nausea medications, multiple different anti-seizure medications, anti-migraines… Well over 50 different pharmaceuticals at the age of 18. On top of the medications, I also went through many procedures to control the pain. I had multiple nerve blocks, radio frequency ablation, and acupuncture. I was even suggested to receive a neurostimulator implant which is like a pacemaker for your nerves.

This is why I think educating the patients and helping combat mis-information is the most important part of our job. It reminds me of how I felt, hopeless, when I was diagnosed with my conditions and told I would be on opiates for the rest on my life to control the pain. There are other options out there and there is hope. I enjoy getting to be a part of that journey with our patients.

5. Which consumption methods of cannabis do you now utilize to treat your condition?

When I first decided to try cannabis as a treatment, flower was all that was available to me. Dispensaries were not available in Connecticut yet. It was the only thing I had tried that brought me immediate relief. As the medical program developed, I was able to try other options like vape pens and tinctures. Flower and vape pens are how I treat my breakthrough pain now. I utilize tinctures for longer lasting pain management throughout the day.

Medical cannabis consumption and “the munchies”

Cannabis could help stimulate appetite for patients suffering from HIV, AIDS and cancer.

Cannabis has long been associated with “the munchies,” an uncontrollable urge to snack or feast on a large assortment of healthy, or more likely, unhealthy food options. But this urge to consume food is far more important to medical cannabis patients, especially those suffering from HIV, AIDS, and cancer.

It has been known that cannabinoids like THC and CBD have an influence on how we as humans consume food, often playing a role in either weight gain or weight loss. Stimulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the body are known to increase cravings for food increasing weight gain, while “antagonism” of these CB receptors can cause weight loss.

While small doses of THC are known to not promote weight gain, extended and more frequent cannabis consumption is known to increase an individual’s daily caloric intake, likely due to more food intake, or snacks, between meals.

Cannabis-induced weight gain in patients with HIV, AIDS, and cancer

For patients with HIV or AIDS, it is of clinical certainty that cannabis consumption via smoking or oral consumption is effective in increasing food intake. In a University of California study, patients consuming cannabis with Dronabinol, and by smoking, saw a weight gain of 3.5 kg and 3.1 kg respectively. Similar results were seen across other studies.

Cancer patients can also experience weight gain with cannabis therapy. Studies going as far back as 1975 have suggested that cannabis could treat nausea and stimulate appetite. Furthermore, other clinical studies have suggested that cannabis use could increase food intake in those who are underweight, but not increase food intake in those who are either of normal weight, or who are overweight. This could be explained by other factors including the frequency of cannabis use, along with other substances at play within the individual user.

Cannabis as an alternative treatment method

Cannabis offers an alternative treatment to other drugs (like Megestrol) that aim to produce weight gain in HIV, AIDS, and cancer patients. While clinically proven to promote weight gain, cannabis isn’t known to produce more weight gain than existing, traditional treatment options.

Works cited

Sansone R. A., Sansone L. A. Marijuana and body weight. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. 2014;11(7-8):50–54.

Rhode Island: now allowing out of state medical marijuana cards

Residents of Rhode Island can get their medical cannabis card from Massachusetts and Connecticut too.

In July of 2018, Rhode Island expanded compassion center access to medical marijuana patients across state lines. At that time, the state’s MMJ regulatory body outlined regulations for sales to non-residents:

-Dispensaries must use “reasonably good-faith efforts” to verify non-resident medical marijuana ID cards by asking for a second form of government-issued photo ID.

-Non-resident patients must be entered in a state database that tracks sales.

-Non-resident patients are limited to how much cannabis they can buy – 2.5 ounces of marijuana or its equivalent in other forms every 15 days.

While Canna Care Docs is in full support of expanding access to out of state patients traveling through the Ocean State, the spirit of the regulations has been misinterpreted, putting some medical cannabis patients at risk of possessing a fraudulent medical cannabis certification. Patients who are lured by the notion of receiving instant California certifications, without having to demonstrate California residency, are in violation of medical cannabis law. There are reported incidents of revocation of these “out of state cards” putting cardholders in legal harm’s way. Plus, an inability to compliantly access one of the three State compassion centers, and a financial loss of the initial certification cost.

Canna Care Docs urges potential patients to use good judgement when choosing a medical cannabis provider. While an inexpensive and speedy certification may seem like the best pathway to gain access to a compassion center, the ramifications of doing so may cost more in the long term. Feel free to phone our patient contact center at 781-382-8053 with any questions. We are here to guide you through your journey compliantly.