When you do any career related to health, the therapeutic aspect of cannabis is not valued as a possible adjuvant therapy. There are subjects in which it is possibly mentioned, but it usually coincides with its narcotic character.
My personal experience in the health care working world has led me to meet patients who use cannabis therapeutically, without professional monitoring and who get it on the black market or self-cultivation. I started working in a hospital in 2007 as a nursing assistant. I met patients who were not afraid to confess to me that they were cannabis users, while they were unable to tell the doctors. They felt discriminated against and afraid of being reprimanded on many occasions. If in confidence I asked them why they were using cannabis, the answer was: "because it feels good, it relieves me". Most of them were oncology and palliative patients.
The nurses generated a confidence that obtains that the patients count certain intimacies to us. When they explained to me how they got the marijuana, I often felt chills. At that moment the associations of cannabis did not exist and I did not stop imagining that lady of 60 years, taking the car and calling to the door of a stranger to obtain a little relief for the pain. I was wondering: What if one day something happens to her, how does she know that this herb is clean of pesticides? Many of the people who consume therapeutic cannabis are immunocompromised, who assures them that they don't smoke a mushroom? Little by little I was discovering and learning about my patients who consume therapeutic cannabis. This made me think about the need to investigate and open ourselves to the possibility of using cannabis as a therapy.
In 2014 I began to work as a nurse. I still remember the joy that was to finish the race after so much effort, the desire with which you leave to learn and the youthful head of wanting to eat the world. I suppose that the nurses who have finished this year start their professional careers very different from mine: with desire but with fear because of this pandemic that has come upon us. I began like many others, walking around the hospital from service to service, learning about all the specialties until one day they place you in a certain department. Lucky for me, it opened the doors to discover the relationship between cannabis and cancer. Between one thing and another, I saw a multitude of patients for whom the cannabis was already more normalized, in addition already existed associations of cannabis (CSC).
Even so, I continued finding the fear of many patients to be cataloged like consumers of drugs and that they put them in the clinical history. In year 2015 I began to work like nurse of Anesthesia, Reanimation and treatment of the pain in the operating room, you know how many people, being in the stretcher in front of the operating room, while I made the anamnesis to them did not say to me that they consumed or they had been consumers of cannabis during years? Imagine the fear of being discriminated against that people have. It was not until 2017, after the Spannabis fair, that I had my first contact with the world of medical cannabis. The relation between consumers and ailments like the chronic fatigue, fibromialgia, multiple sclerosis, the children with refractory epilepsy that the parents no longer know that to make, etc. people to whom many conventional medicines had failed to them and must go to the cannabis like last resource. Anyway, it was not only my patients who helped me see the benefits of cannabis, it was also my own experience: many of my colleagues self-medicate with benzodiazepines, my approach was as follows: Why would I want to take any MAP (lorazepam, diazepam, lormetazepam, alprazolam, etc.), or any benzodiazepine that is much more harmful than making a conscious and controlled use of cannabis? Personally as a nurse I feel responsible to educate the population and to prevent and reduce risks.
Thanks to the appearance of the cannabis associations many people no longer have to go to the black market, why people with health problems must hide and must put their health at risk? As health personnel we are scientists, our arguments are based on science.
Several groups of health professionals and scientists have emerged who advocate the right of people to decide whether they want to make therapeutic use of cannabis or not. There are a lot of scientific articles where the properties of cannabis are studied, but despite this, more research is needed. Most of the congresses I have been to conclude that more scientific research is needed. This 6 and 7 of October the 3 ° Cannabmed congress is made. This year 2020 due to the COVID-19is retransmitted on-line. I invite you to follow it or even see the previous editions on Youtube. Listen to professionals but above all, do not miss the experiences of patients!
Article written by:
Jamila A. Manozzo Hernandez @greennursehc
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