It’s only been a few months since I started working with CanniMed Ltd. and already I’ve spoken on the phone with so many patients, doctors, and others that I’ve lost count. If we haven’t already had a chance to chat, let me introduce myself.
My name is Jonathan, and I’m the on-staff pharmacist at CanniMed. I graduated from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan in 1993, and in the two decades since then I’ve practised in retail pharmacies in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. My job has always been to help patients better understand their medications, and to give clear, professional advice to patients who need help navigating complicated medical treatments. With CanniMed, this hasn’t changed.
Many patients who find their way to CanniMed have spent years in medical treatment of one kind or another, and they’re already familiar with the medications used to treat their illnesses. They often haven’t considered cannabis as a treatment option, and now that they’ve arrived here, they’re hungry for information. They want to know if medical marijuana is appropriate for their illness, what to expect from it, how it might interact with other medications they’re taking, and how to choose a variety that’s right for them. I’m grateful in these situations to be able to draw on my experience and education to answer these questions, and to support our patients in their medical care.
I’ve spoken to doctors and other medical professionals who have similar questions. Giving patients medical marijuana is a foreign, even uncomfortable concept for many doctors, and it’s my privilege to connect these physicians with the information they need to make informed decisions. The library of clinical research around cannabis is limited, but we’re working to grow our understanding. One example of this, our parent company Prairie Plant Systems Inc. had a clinical trial application approved by Health Canada a few weeks ago to study the effects of vaporized cannabis in adults with painful osteoarthritis of the knee. We will begin accepting patients in a few weeks.
I recently spoke with a patient who was interested in medical marijuana as a treatment option for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There’s evidence that consumption of cannabinoids have been effective in managing his PTSD symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbancesi. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown particular relevance for anxietyii, while delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to be an effective sleep aidiii. Patients should consult their doctor to see which combination of THC and CBD may be worth trying as it may take two or three types before finding the one that works best for individual conditions.
I have committed myself professionally to improving the health of patients and I am proud to work for a medical marijuana producer who does everything possible to protect patients from harm. The 281 points of quality control we employ ensure the safety and consistency of each lot and bottle of our product. And, having a pharmacist to help navigate patients and doctors through the learning curve is a service not found elsewhere in this market. Any question you have, please feel free to call.
i.Fraser, G. A. (2009). The use of a synthetic cannabinoid in the management of treatment-resistant nightmares in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CNS.Neurosci.Ther. 15: 84-88.
ii.Guimaraes, F. S., de Aguiar, J. C., Mechoulam, R., and Breuer, A. (1994). Anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol derivatives in the elevated plus-maze. Gen.Pharmacol. 25: 161-164.
iii.Gelinas, D. F, Miller, R. G, and Abood, M. (2002). Pilot study of safety and tolerability of delta 9-THC (Marinol) treatment for ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Other Motor Neuron Disord. 3: 23-24.