Roundtable Discussion for Nurses Week 2019: Why Are You A Cannabis Nurse?

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According to a gallop poll done in late 2018, nurses consistently rank at the top of the country’s most trusted professionals. More than four in five Americans (84%) again rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” or “high,” earning them the top spot among a diverse list of professions for the 17th consecutive year.

And this week, America celebrates them.

National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and concludes on May 12, the birthday of the most famous of nurses, Florence Nightingale.

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Today’s cannabis nurses, play various roles including being a patient advocate and educator and are tasked with the key role in helping patients and their caregivers, understand cannabis, from how they can use it, how often to use it, and help them figure out drug interaction from their other medications.

In addition to guiding the use of cannabis in a way that minimizes unwanted side effects, cannabis nurses must also identify drug interactions, assist in titrating or tapering doses, test strains, and educate the patient and family members – encouraging them to discuss treatment with other healthcare providers in the continuum of care.

We spoke with several cannabis nurses who attended the recent Cannabis Nurses Network Conference earlier this year, joined us in a roundtable discussion to ask the important question: Why are you a Cannabis Nurse?

“I am a cannabis nurse because I believe in the power of the plant to heal our bodies and minds in a natural way.  I believe in cannabis therapeutics because our bodies have an Endo-cannabinoid system that is dependent on our ingestion of cannabinoids and we have research now that suggests when we are deficient in cannabinoids that it actually leads to other illness and disease processes.  Cannabis is a wellness drug we should all consume in some form.” –James Schwartz BSN, LNC, CEO

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“I became a cannabis nurse by accident. After a critical illness left me on a ventilator, in a coma, my recovery was difficult. Wheelchair bound, with serious PTSD, I spent endless hours researching a road to recovery. Crippled by pain, insomnia and anxiety, nothing seemed to help. It was my children who suggested I try cannabis. Like many people I currently see at Magnolia Wellness, I had to overcome my personal biases and give cannabis a try. There is an old saying about “and the children will lead us”, let me tell you this, it will be cannabis nurses holding their hands! Health and wellness are the right of everyone, and cannabis can help give them that. I became a cannabis nurse to educate and facilitate their successful path.” –Barbara Blaser RN

“I am a cannabis nurse because this is where I am called at this time in my life. I knew from a young age this plant was special. I only regret that I never questioned the propaganda of the past but vow to fight for the right for humankind to use this plant in any way they may find useful to increase quality of life for now and all future generations.” –Dawn-Marie Steenstra LPN, SDC, IC, QA, SCC

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“I believe in it. I believe cannabis medicine changes lives, and as long as I have air in my lungs, I will fight for access for my patients. Everyone deserves autonomy to their health care, and I will die fighting for that right.” -Gina Lucero RN

 

“I am a Cannabis Nurse because cannabis has helped me through my second battle with breast cancer and my lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression. There is a world of education necessary to teach other nurses and it is important to change the stigma of cannabis as it relates to Scheduling and the therapeutic benefits it has as medicine. Raising awareness for Cannabinoid Therapeutics and alternative therapies that enhance the Endocannabinoid System has become a passionate part of my nursing career. As a nurse it is necessary to learn about the future of healthcare and the importance of alternative therapies to assist in the crisis of the national opioid epidemic as well as our national crisis of suicide. Cannabis will change the way we look at heaTHCare.” –Nique Pichette, MSN RN

“As a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Registered Nurse I’ve been directly involved in the care of many Michigan patients whose end-of-life journey was significantly affected by the use of medical cannabis. Watching their successes and struggles I saw the need for unbiased scientific cannabis education.” -Cathleen Graham RN CHPN

“Cannabis has made an enormous impact in my own life, and in the life of my daughter, by sparing our individual health crises.    These are the reasons for my passion doing this work.   I find it rewarding to utilize my own life experiences and the knowledge gained to educate patients in need, as this gives purpose to the pain and furthers my own healing process in return.   I believe promoting cannabis as a viable medical option and requiring that patients are prioritized over profits will promote a badly needed health care paradigm shift, thereby improving outcomes for those patients who are falling between the cracks of our current system.  Having my own quality of life spared by cannabis, I am wholly committed to this pursuit, and won’t stop advocating until cannabis access is considered a basic human right.” -Janna Champagne, BSN, RN

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“When I first became knowledgeable about cannabis medicine I was in disbelief. Over the last 12 years I have been a hospice nurse, and the suffering both physically and mentally that I have witnessed is very real. I have spent a great deal of time learning the science while at the same time seeing the miracles of cannabis for patients. Reading and digesting the vast research and benefits of cannabis can seem like a slap in the face to any nurse who has spent their career trying to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Where was this tool, this miracle plant when I was witnessing so many pre-mature deaths and so much suffering?  Apparently, it was being hidden by our own government under the guise of a schedule 1 drug, with no medicinal benefits and a high potential for abuse. The truth is, that even now while some people can and do benefit enormously from cannabis medicine, others are still suffering and being criminalized for trying to.  It is impossible to get the full health benefits from this plant when current US researches aren’t being allowed to research it, when patients are being told what specific cannabinoid they can or cannot have, how many plants they may can grow or what percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol they can have. This plant and its benefits are not understood when nurses and doctors still claim to be “anti-pot”.  How can anyone even be allowed to be a health care provider and not comprehend the enormous importance of the ECS and the relationship of cannabis to supplement this system. How can we as nurses not fight for justice that this plant and every victim of the government deserves? I am a proud cannabis nurse because I am an educated patient advocate. I am a Cannabis Nurse because every nurse should be.” –Marcie Cooper, MSN RN APHN-BC

“Cannabis chose me to carry her message. Cannabis taught me about the endocannabinoid system, the largest receptor signaling system in the human body, responsible for modulating and creating systematic homeostasis. Cannabis taught me about endocannabinoid deficiency, and the benefits of supplementing this deficiency with cannabinoids, acupuncture, nutrition, and mindfulness. Cannabis has taught me how to be a better nurse, a non-judgmental nurse, a fierce patient advocate nurse, a “woke” nurse aware of my mission and responsibility to help lead a revolution in healthcare, allowing cannabis wisdom to be our guide.” –Heather Manus, RN

Cannabis Nurses Network promotes and provides quality Education for ongoing continued learning. Through education and shared information, nurses are supported in gaining knowledge, experience, and confidence. Knowledgeable nurses who have understanding of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid Therapeutics are making major impacts within the healthcare and legal systems, as well as, the wellness and cannabis industries worldwide.

 

For Nurses Week, during Nurses Week, CNN is offering discount membership, CNNC 2020 Early-bird tickets, and a new online Continued Education Program, “Rooted in Science: Nourished by Nature.” For more information, log to https://www.cannabisnursesnetwork.com/

CNN Conference Teaches Cannabis Medicine, Endocannabinoid System; Seeks Institutional Acceptance By Medical Community

CALIFORNIA: The Cannabis Nurses Network announced the success of its fourth Cannabis Nurses Network Conference, the only ongoing professional development and education conference in the country designed exclusively for Registered Nurses and wellness professionals to advance their understanding of cannabis medicine, the endocannabinoid system and practical applications in day-to-day patient care and practice. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released guidelines in July 2018 for cannabis patient care, proving the immediate need for medical professionals to gain practical medical marijuana patient care education.

For the past 17 years, nurses have been ranked as the most trusted profession, and with nurses being the heart of healthcare and the front line for patients, Heather Manus RN, CEO and founding member of the Cannabis Nurses Network, says it’s a travesty patients have been denied access to cannabis medicine. With the research now available and the support of the NCSBN, every nurse should be educated in cannabis medicine and the Endocannabinoid System, she said.

nurses_cnnc_2019“We are revolutionizing the future of healthcare,” Manus said. “The emergence and discovery surrounding the Endocannabinoid System is a paradigm shift for all practicing nurses. Once you understand it, there’s no turning back.”

The landmark conference, celebrating its fourth year, was hosted and welcomed for the first time by San Diego on Feb. 28. The event kicked off with councilwoman and future mayoral candidate Barbara Bry delivering opening remarks, thanking the hundreds of attendants for their compassionate work and for traveling from all parts of the country. With San Diego being a leader in life sciences and biotech along with its more than 80 research institutes, including the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, Bry declared the city as being the ideal backdrop for the conference.

“You may know that our city legalized the entire supply chain for adult use, and we did so with few restrictions and barriers to cannabis testing facilities; and I’m very proud I was a co-author of the ordinance that we passed,” Bry said. “The exciting world of CBD research is still a fresh frontier, and it’s wonderful that you are all here today to share your knowledge and to learn new things. There’s a lot more to do to treat the many people out there who need help with cannabis, and that’s why this conference is so important.”

The Cannabis Nurses Network Awards were held the second evening of the conference. Jim Bartell, a local public affairs leader and former mayor of Santee, received an award for his work to draft a bill allowing cannabis to be used in all hospitals and medical facilities in California. Earlier this year, just six months after his son passed away from pancreatic cancer, Bartell drafted a bill that would permit all California hospitals to allow patients who are terminally ill to have access to cannabis treatment should they so choose. The bill has been introduced by California State Senator Ben Hueso, as SB 305, and is scheduled for review by the Senate Health Committee in March 2019. Cannabis Nurses Network has submitted a signed letter of support to Sen. Hueso for SB 305.

Other awardees included Leaders of Nursing; Marcie Cooper, Janna Champagne, James Schwartz, and Uwe Blesching who authored the Cannabis Health Index. Awardees also included the first graduating class of Speakers Bureau trained by Maureen McNamara of Cannabis Trainers

“We can not understate the efficacy of cannabis in medical treatment,” said Manus. “It’s important our nurses, who are at the forefront of patient care, learn all they can about the endocannabinoid system and the proper medicinal use of cannabis. We believe strongly believe that in five years or less, we will get medicinal cannabis approved for use in hospitals, medical centers, and nursing homes nationwide.”

Sponsors for the conference included: Eden Labs, Sacred Garden, Incredibles, Nature Nurse, and Cannabiniers.

Cannabis Nurses Network 2020 will take place in San Diego during Nurses Week, May 6th-May 8th.

“Breaking The Cycle Of Opioid Dependency Using Cannabis” Topic Of Cannabis Nurses Network Conference

Educational Session and Panel on Opioid Crisis will also include Professional Athlete, Boo Williams, Noted Cannabis Author Uwe Blesching, PhD and Hospice Nurse Marcie Cooper RN, MSN, AHN-BC.

CALIFORNIA:  Noted medical cannabis writer and author, Uwe Blesching, will address the timely topic of opioid addiction in an educational session titled “Breaking the Cycle of Opioid Addiction” at this year’s Cannabis Nurses Network Conference (CNNC), the annual professional development and education conference designed exclusively for Registered Nurses and wellness professionals to advance their understanding of cannabis medicine, the endocannabinoid system, and practical applications in day-to-day patient care & practice. This year’s conference will be held at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina from February 28th through March 2nd, 2019. 

Blesching is a regular contributor to the cannabinoid health sciences, mind-body medicine, phytopharmacology, as well as evidence-based illness prevention and treatment protocols.  Blesching’s books such as the Cannabis Health Index, Breaking the Cycle of Opioid Addiction, and Heal Yourself with Cannabis are based on Blesching’s rigorous in depth research and twenty years’ experience in emergency medicine as a Paramedic for the City of San Francisco. 

According to reports, states with medical cannabis laws have a 25% lower opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws. In addition, medical cannabis saves Medicare about $165 million annually in prescription costs alone.

Blesching will also join professional athlete, Boo Williams and hospice nurse, Marcie Cooper RN, MSN, AHN-BC for a panel titled “Cannabis & Opiate Harm Reduction” Williams, a former tight end for the New Orleans Saints and founder of Black Ghost Enterprises, now leads a multi-faceted branding company that includes a line of CBD cannabis products under the BooBeary brand.  As a former professional athlete, he brings his own personal experience with using cannabis for pain management and mental health, along with his vast industry knowledge, to lead his venture. 

Nurse Cooper has been a hospice nurse for more than 10 years created and contributed to several nationally offered nursing CEU courses and programs on cannabis including Cannabinoid Connections in 2016. She has been teaching Geriatric Nursing and Transcultural Nursing in a BSN program and incorporating concepts of cannabis nursing into these traditional nursing courses. Providing direct patient care has always been and remains her first love and passion aside from teaching physicians and nurses. 

CNN Founding Member, Heather Manus, RN, “Patients are using cannabis legally, with or without medical oversight. Nurses are being encouraged by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to seek and gain knowledge regarding Cannabis Patient Care. I believe we are witnessing a revolution in healthcare, and Nurses are among those at the forefront.”

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to register to learn about cannabis science, research, and clinical applications related to the human endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics from world-class experts.

Event website for tickets is www.CannabisNursesNetwork.com/cnnc

National Nursing Standards Legitimize Cannabis Nursing

Cannabis Nurses Network Steps in as Essential Resource for Medical Marijuana Education

CALIFORNIA: When the National Council of State Boards of Nursing released guidelines for cannabis patient care, it simultaneously validated the legitimacy of cannabis nursing, and underscored the immediate necessity for medical professionals to gain practical medical marijuana patient care education.

Cannabis Nurses Network, a professional education and development network, is producing the only conference where licensed medical professionals can get the education recommended in the NCSBN Guidelines; essential cannabis knowledge, clinical recommendations, administration and ethical considerations are integral to the programming. Cannabis Nurses Network Conference (CNNC) comes to San Diego, California February 28th-March 2nd, 2019.

February 28 – March 2, 2019 | San Diego, California

February 28 – March 2, 2019 | San Diego, California

“Cannabis Nurses are revolutionizing the future of plant-based healthcare. In response to a national shift that is currently occurring in healthcare, and specifically within the nursing profession, it has become imperative to provide nurses with access to high-level education involving the science, research, and implementation required for sustaining evidence-based practice regarding cannabis patients. CNN is heeding the call to deliver this important education during CNNC,” says the Founder of CNN and longtime advocate Heather Manus, RN.

National nursing guidelines and recommendations regarding cannabis related issues have recently been published highlighting required areas for nurses to seek continued education.

People are using legal cannabis products in nearly every state in our nation, with or without medical advice. Nurses are the patients’ lifeline, the heartbeat of healthcare, the ones who must learn and understand the importance of the human endocannabinoid system.


Nurses Network is stepping in as an international resource for cannabis patient care with the conference, and an online fundamentals curriculum addressing medical marijuana education, scheduled for release in early 2019. The Cannabis Nurses Network Conference offers accredited continuing education, while bringing together thought leaders, educators and authors in medical cannabis education to advance the quality of cannabis patient care around the globe.

420MEDIA has been named an official media partner for the Cannabis Nurses Network Conference.

What Is CBD? The Everyday Guide To Cannabidiol

COLORADO: CannaInsider.com has published a comprehensive guide to CBD, the miracle cannabinoid endorsed and made popular in 2013 by a documentary produced by mainstream media health expert, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 80 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain and body and are responsible for the effects of cannabis, like feeling high, relaxed, or euphoric. The most popular cannabinoid, THC, is widely known as the compound that produces a high feeling.

CBD, which is rapidly gaining popularity, is known for its immense healing properties that are just being discovered as scientific research into the cannabis plant expands. Gupta’s documentary profiled five-year-old Charlotte Figi, who reduced her 300 seizures a week to just one a day with CBD treatment. CannaInsider’s Guide details what the scientific community knows about CBD and explains how the legal marijuana industry is responding. Learn more about CBD with CannaInsider’s Guide: http://www.cannainsider.com/reviews/what-is-cbd/.

“CBD is quickly expanding beyond the medical marijuana community and into totally new demographics (senior citizens and athletes, to name just two). This rapid growth is certain to continue as more and more individuals discover how CBD can play a positive role in their own healthcare outcomes,” said Patrick O’Malley, President of Good Life Colorado — the world’s only marijuana product incubator.

Dr. Noel Palmer, Ph.D., The Chief Scientist at Mary’s Medicinals, an infused products company in Denver is equally enthusiastic the excitement around CBD, “CBD has amazing therapeutic efficacy for a large variety of conditions, but it doesn’t get you stoned. For those who want a plant-derived medicine, CBD is an great option with very few negative side effects.”

In the CNN documentary, Figi treated her severe Dravet Syndrome with a CBD oil produced by the popular Colorado-based brand, Realm of Caring, made from a strain of high CBD cannabis plants. However, CBD can also be found in the hemp plant. Hemp products are distributed nationally and are regulated by the Department of Agriculture. You can purchase CBD online and have it shipped to your home within the United States.

So, how do you distinguish between what’s quality and what’s not? CannaInsider.com also reviews CBD oil and products with in-depth analysis and pictures at: CO.

As America’s fastest growing industry, the legal cannabis industry is navigating unchartered territory by producing and selling products made from a versatile plant that has been in the shadows for the last 80 years. CannaInsider.com has published a glossary of terms related to the marijuana plant and industry to educate those interested in learning more. Explore this dictionary at: http://www.cannainsider.com/reviews/glossary/.

Is America Ready For Marijuana Moguls?

This Sunday, CNN presents “Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution,” a new special from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed at 10 p.m. ET/PT by the premiere of the CNN Original Series “High Profits.”

(CNN)At first blush, Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire seem like any other small business owners — polite, hardworking and passionate about what they do. But there’s the potential for things to get a little awkward when the conversation turns from “hi”s to highs.

“There’s always a moment of hesitation of ‘when are they going to ask us what we do?’ and ‘how are they going to receive that when we tell them?'” McGuire, 25, said.

She and Rogers, 34, own the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, a recreational marijuana dispensary in the historic and scenic ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

The couple started their business as a medical cannabis dispensary in 2010, but when Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, they saw a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity.

Is marijuana mainstream enough for Main Street?

 

Breaking: Obama States Full Support Of Medical Marijuana, Alternative Drug Treatment Models

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  In a CNN special to be aired on Sunday, not only will President Barack Obama state his full support of medical marijuana, he’ll also advocate for alternative models of drug abuse treatment which don’t involve incarceration.

The television special, called “Weed 3,” features CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon who came to support medical marijuana after reviewing the evidence. This time around, he’ll be delving into the politics of medical marijuana research and interviewing President Barack Obama, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Obama has previously predicted that more states will follow the lead of Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana, and confirmed that although marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, the Department of Justice will look the other way.

Colorado: From Demon Weed to God’s Plant

How five pot-farming brothers are leading Colorado’s evangelicals toward embracing marijuana legalization.

Jesse Stanley sees marijuana as “God’s plant.” He is one of five brothers—all alums of an evangelical high school—who grow medical marijuana from their two dispensaries in Colorado Springs, Colo. As he put it to the website FaithStreet: “God is moving in the hearts of men and women and children around the world about this plant in ways that I never would’ve imagined.” [Read more…]

Gupta: 'I Am Doubling Down' On Medical Marijuana

It’s been eight months since I last wrote about medical marijuana, apologizing for having not dug deeply into the beneficial effects of this plant and for writing articles dismissing its potential. I apologized for my own role in previously misleading people, and I feel very badly that people have suffered for too long, unable to obtain the legitimate medicine that may have helped them.

I have been reminded that a true and productive scientific journey involves a willingness to let go of established notions and get at the truth, even if it is uncomfortable and even it means having to say “sorry.”

It is not easy to apologize and take your lumps, but this was never about me. [Read more…]

CNN Attempting to Shut Down Gupta Kush

NEW YORK: Last week we reported that Boulder-based Helping Hands Dispensary had named a new organic strain medical marijuana after Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who recently made a very public reversal regarding his stance on the pros of cannabis.

Evidently, 24 hours after the Helping Hands press release was published, CNN contacted the dispensary demanding they stop sales of Gupta Kush.

“We may have to change the name,” owner Jeff Kless told Animalnewyork.com  “CNN phoned us and asked us to remove it. I think we’ll leave it alone for the weekend and see what happens.”

No word yet as to whether CNN followed through with an actually cease and desist order.