Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022

Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022

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cannabis patient care | vol. 3 no. 2 6 from the editor c a n n a b i s patient c a r e ® | j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 2 2 | v o l 3 • n o 2 Megan L'Heureux Editor-in-Chief How Is Medical Cannabis Helping Patients with Autoimmune Diseases? WELCOME TO THE LATEST EDITION of Cannabis Pa- tient Care! The focus of this issue is autoimmune diseases. When I was younger a dear friend's moth- er developed lupus. I recall that at first the doctors were slightly baffled by what was wrong with her. She went through various tests, and saw lots of dif- ferent doctors and specialists all while her symp- toms persisted. Eventually, they did conclude that it was lupus and that was the first time I had ever learned of such a disease. This was probably 20- 30 years ago, but I still remember feeling confused about it all. If they knew what was wrong, then they could give her a medicine and she'd be all better, right? That's what my experience had been with illness up to that point in my life, so naturally I thought it was always that way. Of course, I know that is not the case anymore and that autoimmune diseases can be difficult not only to diagnose but also to treat. There must be more out there for pa- tients experiencing these conditions. This issue takes a deep dive into the research and medical guidance around medical cannabis as a treatment for autoimmune diseases. First, we take a high-level look at the current state of research ef- forts with Ruth Fisher. Fisher concluded that medical cannabis can suppresses immune system activity, which does help reduce hyperactive immune sys- tems in patients with autoimmune disease, thereby providing relief. However, Fisher cautioned that we must recognize that a primary role of the immune system is to fight off infections so using cannabis to suppress immune system activity may inadvertently increase patients' susceptibility to infections. We also have several doctor perspectives in this issue. Dr. Dustin Sulak discusses how stress is a ma- jor factor in the development and progression of au- toimmune diseases and how cannabis can be a great tool in alleviating symptoms. He also shares an ex- cellent overview of autoimmune diseases—what they are and why the occur—as well as how it plays into the endocannabinoid system and more. In an- other article, Dr. Janice Knox shares her background in the medical cannabis field, her experiences with autoimmune patients, and the role cannabis and en- docannabinologists can play in treatment. Finally, we spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Hughes about her role as a dermatologist as well as her unique perspectives on health, the influence of the subconscious, and incor- porating cannabidiol (CBD) oil as part of treatments. On the patient side, William Dolphin from Amer- icans for Safe Access interviewed patient turned medical cannabis advocate Carla Basante. Basante shares how she began using medical cannabis about 15 years ago to manage chronic pain from a severe back injury and symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and how the plant continues to help her manage her health ailments. In addition, Eloise Theisen, NP, AGPCNP-BC, cov- ers the nursing perspective for us this month. Thei- sen shares that evidence suggests that tetrahydro- cannabinol (THC), CBD, and other cannabinoids can be beneficial in the treatment of many symptoms re- lated to autoimmune diseases. Finally, I am pleased to announce that both Dr. Dustin Sulak and Eloise Theisen, along with Leaf411, have agreed to be regular contributors for Cannabis Patient Care. They both offer a wealth of knowledge, and we are so thrilled to have them join us to share that information with our readers on specific topics in each issue. We are also excited to share that the next in per- son event for the Cannabis Science Conference is happening September 14-16, 2022, in Baltimore, Mar- yland. Our publications have been long time partners of the conference and we were thrilled when our par- ent company joined forces with the conference earlier this year. The entire agenda is jam-packed with excel- lent presentations. We will also have printed excerpts of Cannabis Patient Care, so be sure to stop by our booth and introduce yourselves to us. We love meet- ing you all in person! Enjoy this issue!

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