Q&A: What are the therapeutic aspects of cannabis? Special

Posted Jul 4, 2018 by Tim Sandle
To address ill-health conditions, some healthcare professionals are looking at an integrative approach with medical cannabis together with nutrition, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation. Laura Lagano of the Holistic Cannabis Academy explains more.
Discount Medical Marijuana cannabis shop at 970 Lincoln Street  Denver  Colorado.
Discount Medical Marijuana cannabis shop at 970 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado.
O'Dea (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Holistic Cannabis Academy provides an online training program led by experts that aims to educate and arm the health professional community with the training and knowledge needed to understand the therapeutic aspects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system with an integrative approach.
To find out more about this aspect of digital healthcare, Digital Journal spoke with co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy, located in Colorado U.S., Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN. Laura has personal experience with the medicinal value of cannabis (Laura has a daughter with developmental delay).
Digital Journal: Does cannabis present an alternative to opioids?
Laura Lagano: Yes, because cannabinoids (the constituents of cannabis, such as THC and CBD) have anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis is an alternative to opioids.
DJ: Is there any medical evidence to support this?
Lagano: Yes, numerous published studies are available to support cannabis for pain. Aclara Research conducted a study in Fall 2017 reporting that sixty seven percent of patients stopped using opioid medications after using medical cannabis. Also in the May 2018 JAMA Internal Medicine journal a study was published showing over 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed per year under Medicare Part D in states with medical cannabis laws. In fact, the United States government even has a patent on cannabinoids for inflammation.
DJ: How well prepared are the medical and nursing professions for the changes?
Lagano: Because the vast majority of medical and nursing schools do not teach about cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, few healthcare professionals understand cannabis and its application in healthcare. Some, however, have taken matters into their own hands educating themselves about the healing properties of this ancient plant by attending conferences and taking online education programs. We at the Holistic Cannabis Academy (HCA) know that Canadians, in particular, are interested in cannabis education. We have practitioners from across Canada enrolled in our program. In fact, our program has been awarded continuing education credit hours from the Canadian Health Coach Alliance and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in Canada.
DJ: What can be done to improve medical cannabis education among health care professionals?
Lagano: Certainly, attending medical conferences that focus on cannabis is helpful to improve knowledge. Finding an opportunity to shadow a cannabis clinician can be invaluable. Subscribing to reputable cannabis newsletters, such as from the Holistic Cannabis Academy, is a great way to start the learning process. Continuing with the education modules and program from HCA, which leads to a certificate as a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, is the ultimate way to get competent, better serve existing patients, and build a practice that includes cannabis coaching.
DJ: What services does the Holistic Cannabis Academy offer?
Lagano: The Holistic Cannabis Academy is an online education program about integrating cannabis into other holistic modalities, such as nutrition, aromatherapy, and yoga for health and wellness. At the completion of the program, qualified healthcare practitioners can take an online exam to become a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner and are listed in HCA’s online directory indicating certification. The Academy serves as a networking hub for practitioners looking to integrate cannabis care and education into their business and expand their scope of services.