Columns
August 22, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter

Navigating the aging journey

Julie Ann Soukoulis
Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging
May 10, 2019

Cannabis is one of the most investigated therapeutically active substances in history.  It is far exceeding nearly all pharmaceutical agents.  America is changing its view on marijuana. For the last 80 years marijuana has been treated as a dangerous drug, a public health menace and an illegal addictive drug. By the end of 2014 the U.S. reached a tipping point where for the first time a majority of Americans lived in states with some form of marijuana legality. 

By 2017, the legal industry made $10 billion in sales and supported 170,000 American jobs. Today you can shop in artistic boutique style shops and view a dazzling array of cannabis products. The November of 2016 election was a near landslide for legalization with 4 U.S. states embracing adult use legalization and 4 others opting for medical cannabis legalization.  Did you know by mid-2017, 29 states and the District of Colombia had gone medically legalizing marijuana? At the same time the 5th largest economy-California-prepared to open the largest marijuana market ever.

There is a deep shift in American culture around cannabis today.   Along with the cultural shifts, there are social and economic realignments making many pause and question the place for this curious tonic in our society.  In the last decade there has been a steady shift in the public’s perception of marijuana.  We are left confronting questions like what constitutes a single dose? What is the limit for drugged driving? Where is it acceptable to use? What form is best for you?  There are so many options: smoking, vaping, swallowing tinctures, consuming edibles, drinking marijuana-infused water or soda? What’s legal and what is not? What is the difference between THC and CBD? 

Is Cannabis better for chronic pain than opioids?  Cannabis use is reported to have improved quality-of-life from “bad” to “good” with very few side effects. The most common side-effects, dizziness and dry mouth, were reported in only ten percent and seven percent of patients, respectively. Two percent or less reported confusion, disorientation, or weakness.  The findings strongly support the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis, especially for elderly populations needing treatment for pain-related conditions.

To aid in clarifying all of this, I personally made the decision to explore all of the above. What I learned was so valuable I thought, I MUST share this with our community.  We hosted the first educational conference in Rohnert Park on Sept. 19, 2018 and due to community demand for MORE education on the topic, we have made the choice to host Medical Cannabis 2.0.

 Less than a year later, we are finding the once taboo conversations about cannabis have become common conversation with aging adults.

Home Instead Senior Care and Hospice Services of St. Joseph Health is once again bringing what is often times a controversial subject to light with the hopes of clarifying, educating and learning to navigate reliable sources of information about Cannabis as Medicine.

This year’s Keynote speakers will delve into the body’s responses with the practical application of Medical Cannabis and how it is being used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients by replacing the harsh and often over used big pharma medications, and, its use with patients suffering from chronic illness and end of life care.

Product vendors will be on hand to educate and showcase their products. There are many ways to administer cannabis as medicine and in one-on-one conversations with all of the vendors you will come away with new information on tinctures, edibles, creams/soaps/topicals, smoking/vaping and more. This presentation is being planned to meet the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. 

 On May 14 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cannabis as Medicine, Changing the Face of Aging will be held at Freidman’s event center in Santa Rosa.  We invite you to join us when Jeffery Y. Hergenrather MD cannabis consultant, Phillip M. Grob, MD Geriatric Psychiatrist, Kaylynn Cardoza from Mercy Wellness of Cotati and Nina Arbour from St. Joseph’s Health and Hospice services will be our guest speakers.  Seating is limited, but if you are truly interested in this educational conference please go to Eventbrite or phone my office to reserve your seat today! We would look forward to your attendance as a most welcome guest.

Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website,www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime