CULTIVATE WITH DREW EMMER & SCOTT SWAIL
For you and your journey in the cannabis industry.
When the base ingredients for medicine are flower’s healing cannabinoids, that flower needs to stay potent and protected. In this interview with Hybrid Pharm, hear:
- Why get a medical card when adult-use cannabis is legal
- What cultivators can do to protect the quality and preserve potency they grow into cannabis
- What healthcare providers need to know about medicinal cannabis
We must keep patients at the forefront as adult-use becomes such a big business.
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Cannabis, it’s not so much about getting high, it’s about getting healthy
Cultivators can imagine that the flower they carefully grow, dry, cure and market has a higher purpose. Calming someone’s anxieties. Reducing a child’s seizures. Stopping the pain from chemo, multiple sclerosis or concussions.
That’s why cultivating cannabis comes with a such great responsibility. Those who revere the plant, grow cannabis like it’s medicine for mothers, children and themselves. And care for that cannabis by protecting its medicinal qualities and keeping it free from mold.
Licensed producers who cultivate cannabis safely and responsibly are the ones healthcare providers do business with. Providers like Rahim Dhalla and Angelo Muscari. Dhalla is a board certified pharmacist and CEO of Hybrid Pharm. It’s Ottawa, Ontario’s first specialty compounding pharmacy, which specializes in cannabis-based products and solutions. Certified cannabis consultant Muscari is the clinic’s manager.
Why get a medical card for cannabis if adult-use cannabis is legal?
In Canada, it’s legal for adults to consume cannabis. So why differentiate between medicinal and recreational use? Post legalization, there’s an uptick interest in cannabis. But often people are intimated to use cannabis as a medication. Or they’re concerned that cannabis will interact with other medications they are taking.
“Recreational has brought people out of the cannabis closet,” Muscari said. “But a lot of these people are still kind of left to their own volition.” Many patients who are considering cannabis for health and wellness have a lot of questions.
The cannabis-curious wonder, “ ‘How do I take this medicine, when do I take this medicine, should I even be taking this medicine?’ Just because it helped your friends, it may not be for you,” Muscari said.
“We want to make sure they [patients] are using medical cannabis in the most safe and effective way possible,” Dhalla said.
In Canada, patients can register with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) system. This allows patients to legally access cannabis for medical purposes under the guidance of healthcare professionals. And cannabis patients with medical cards often qualify for compassionate pricing from providers.
Why get medicinal cannabis from a licensed pharmacy?
Hybrid Pharms fills prescriptions as well as educates and supports patients with:
- Consultations with a board-certified pharmacist
- Drug interaction checks
- Recommendations on specific strains best suited to specific medical conditions
- Tincture and/or dosage schedules
- Regular follow-up appointments
Hybrid Pharm is also a compounding pharmacy, which can specifically tailor medicines to meet a patient’s needs. For example, the healthcare team can customize medicinal cannabis suppositories for endometriosis sufferers, creams for aching athletes, CBD capsules for the concussed or alternate dosages for children or the bedridden.
Dhalla helps patients improve their overall quality of life by combining traditional and non-traditional medicines. And he can recommend alternatives to over-prescribed medications, like painkillers. “There’s a zero mortality risk rate with cannabis, so why give an opioid or benzodiazepine that we know has actual data to support it does cause death when we could replace it with something that is actually safer.”
Why the cannabis industry should keep patients at the forefront
In legal markets, adult use is a big business. But that doesn’t mean the medicinal market is any less important. “The patient is competing with commerce to be relevant,” Drew Emmer said. “There’s a lot of people who get left in the dust when an industry starts to take off.”
Drew suggested that companies in the cannabis space could set aside funds for patients who cannot afford cannabis for conditions such as end-of-life care.
And cultivators can also make sure that high quality cannabis retains its medicinal benefits by properly humidifying flower. When flower is overly dry, the very essence of what makes cannabis effective literally evaporates into thin air and with it goes a patient’s relief.
Growers protect the quality of their flower and guard against mold with Boveda. Boveda’s unique formula creates a moisture shield of pure water vapor around trichomes to protect cannabinoids. But stops moisture from reaching a level where mold can grow inside jars and bags.
Cultivators find flower stays at an optimal moisture level for a long time when they use Boveda in containers and packaging—six months or more. Extending shelf-life with precise humidity control like Boveda preserves the healing effects of cannabis for patients. And preserves the integrity of a cultivator’s hard work.