Cannabis Patient Care - December 2021

Cannabis Patient Care December 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 39

26 cannabis patient care | vol. 2 no. 4 nurse focus E LISABETH MACK, RN, BSN, MBA, is on a mission. And cannabis has become one of her guides. She is one of those all-around nurses, a practitioner with an administrator background, who has always had a keen interest in better patient health and well-being. She has been a nurse for 35 years, working in hospitals along the way where she specialized in psychiatry and diabetes, always look- ing for better ways of helping patients. Mack founded a nursing group, Holistic Caring (1), in 2016 to help connect traditional and cannabis medicine through edu- cation, guidance, and supportive care for patients. "The mis- sion of Holistic Caring is to bridge the gap between convention- al and cannabis therapeutics for patients and professionals through targeted programs, and one-on-one patient care ser- vices," Mack said. "Holistic Caring works with all patients, not just post-traumatic stress (PTSD) or chronic pain, but also for patients suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Dis- ease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune conditions, autism, epi- lepsy, mental health, cancer, and pain." What she has seen over recent years as more interest in can- nabis as medicine has advanced in the medical community is a sort of grand and growing experiment in using cannabis with- out good medical practices and guidelines in place. "People are making (cannabis) medicines, and people are selling med- icines," she said. "But nobody's interpreting how to use them clinically for patients. That's what we do." Mack said that she spent her early years in hospitals work- ing in VA psychiatry, serving veterans. "But it's not just veterans struggling with PTSD," she said. "We all have some as we navi- gate through life. How many people really understand (the PTSD struggle)? When you're living consciously, you have awareness of what you're thinking. How am I responding to other people, my work, my relationships, and using my personal time? Am I living with trauma responses? Most of us don't ever wake up. We're not conscious to it. We're just in that default mode network (a net- work of interacting brain regions [2]) that is just spinning, and we are not tuned into cause and effect of what we're doing." Cannabis helps you be present and brings you to a level of awareness by quieting the mind, she explained. "When we acti- vate CB1 receptors within the hippocampus and amygdala that help us to reprocess memories and trauma to find that level of awareness," she added. CB1 receptors (3) are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) abundant in neurons, in which they modulate neurotransmis- sion. The CB1 receptors influence memory and learning to acti- vate ways to heal. Disease states associated with CB1 receptors are observed in addiction disorders, motor dysfunction, schizo- phrenia, as well as in bipolar, depression, and anxiety disorders. Her Personal Journey Mack told the story of how she crashed her bicycle in 2014, and from that accident, was introduced to cannabidiol (CBD) through a topical massage to help treat her injuries. She then tried some internal CBD, tinctures, and oils. "I got a full extract cannabis oil (FECO) syringe of CBD and as I started to dose that I was able to wean down the inflammation in my body," Mack said. "I started to heal 20 years of injuries with the CBD, but I really started to heal my mind with micro-doses of THC." Mack describes the way she approaches her work as hav- ing "one leg in healthcare and one leg in cannabis." She also has an MBA in healthcare administration (4). "So, I really do see things from a system building level and want to change the paradigm for others." Working with Patients One of her patients was Joe, who had been on psychiatric medicines for 30 years. "He was one of my favorite patients," she recalled. "He had a lot of traumas when he was growing up. But now he has Parkinson's too, so he came to me with tremors, pain, rigidity, and sleep issues. Through my full assessment, and review of systems, I asked what pharmaceuticals he was taking. We discussed his goals and objectives with respect to cannabis. Then I asked; 'How are you eating? How are you sleeping? How are you relaxing? How are you connecting with other people One Nurse's Approach to Body, Mind, Spirit Wellness Through Medical Cannabis: Guiding Patients and Providers About the Benefits of Medical Cannabis B Y D A V I D H O D E S

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Cannabis Patient Care - December 2021 - Cannabis Patient Care December 2021