I was so excited to go to our very first big-time-legit medical cannabis conference because they were going to have a panel on Cannabis and Alzheimer’s Disease! Dave was not as excited as I was cuz it was really expensive. We put it on a credit card, dressed in our cannabis-best and headed out to this very expensive medical conference that we below-the-line-film-workers had no real business attending. But I just HAD TO go!
There were literally thousands of doctors, nurses, and researchers from all over the world gathered at one of California’s most prestigious universities to talk about how cannabis heals. Incredibly powerful and validating experience for me.
The meeting space for the Cannabis and Alzheimer’s panel was huge, and it was packed. People lined the walls and every seat was taken. It was clear that people are looking for answers to what might help dementia. The panel had no doctors in practice, no clinicians. There was a well known Alzheimer’s researcher, a plant researcher and a research doctor from Canada. And their message to the thousands in attendance was grim…”well, maybe there might be some help, but we need more studies before we try it…and big pharma won’t ever do it cuz you can’t make money on plants…” was the gist.
I was beside myself. I had to tell those people that cannabis helped my mom! So I got up to “ask a question” and so did a remarkable clinician, Dr.Jeff Hergenrather who at the time was the president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and was treating dozens of people living with dementia in Northern California with primarily 1:1 CBD:THC ratio cannabis oil with great success! We bonded immediately. They say people bond over shared trauma. It was unconscionable that the panel would keep this information from everyone in attendance. The progress of breaking the stigma that cannabis prohibition caused is like a cha-cha: two steps forward, one step back.
We sat down with Dr. Hergenrather to talk about his work with people living with dementia in Northern California. We discuss dosing for older folks, starting low and going slow and about our own endocannabinoid system. A couple of the things we discuss are referenced here for you, and check out the glossary at the end of these notes also.
Patent # 6630507B1 held by the United States Department of Health since 1998 specifically for neuroprotection. “…cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia…”
Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System: A Systematic Review of Potential Clinical Interventions that Upregulate the Endocannabinoid System John M. McPartland
We hope you find EP3 with Dr. Jeff Hergenrather inspiring!
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Dr. Jeff Hergenrather
Society of Cannabis Clinicians
Opening music “Wishful Thinking” by Dan Lebowitz
…and thank you Mom, my greatest teacher.
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