Article by Peter Kenter, Financial Post
When Toronto resident Anne Wisdom was first prescribed medical cannabis last year, her mother was against it. Wisdom is 57 and her mother is 93.
“A lot of older people still equate medical cannabis with a party substance,” says Wisdom. “I was even a little reluctant to consider medical cannabis when I didn’t yet have all the answers I needed.”
Wisdom was born with cerebral palsy and had controlled pain and muscle spasms with a variety of medications, including opioids. Investigating the possibilities of medical cannabis, she landed on the website of WeedMD, a licensed Canadian medical cannabis producer.
“The website had a lot of answers and even explained the right way to apply for a medical cannabis licence,” she says. “I’m still taking medications, but I believe that medical cannabis has allowed me to take fewer drugs to control my symptoms, and I’m experiencing fewer overall side effects.”
Wisdom adds that people who are interested in exploring cannabis as a potential therapy should first educate themselves. She herself did so much research to educate herself that she is now a proponent of medical cannabis and volunteers with Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM).
Providing that education has become a passion for Dr. Jonas Vanderzwan, clinical director at WeedMD. He’s been a primary care family physician for 15 years and has been practising cannabis medicine for the last three years. Over that time, he has assessed and treated some 1,200 patients with medical cannabis and, more recently, he’s noted a shift in the types of patients seeking information.
“While seniors seemed initially reluctant to consider cannabis as a treatment, we’ve seen a recent shift in the demographic and they are now curious and more accepting of medical cannabis,” he says.