News

ORGANIC REMEDIES BRINGS UNIQUE MEDICAL MARIJUANA THERAPIES TO PATIENTS IN BETHEL PARK, PA

New Dispensary Provides Safe, Effective Therapies for Pittsburgh Patients Suffering with Serious Medical Conditions.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Apr. 13, 2022)- Organic Remedies, a medical marijuana cultivation and research organization based in south central Pennsylvania, is celebrating the upcoming opening of its sixth Pennsylvania dispensary at 5002 Library Rd., Bethel Park, PA. Organic Remedies President Eric Hauser, RPh., along with state and local dignitaries and medical marijuana advocates, cut the ceremonial ribbon during the Open House event on Wednesday, Apr. 13 at 12:00 p.m. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by local and state officials and hosted by South Hills Chamber of Commerce.

“We are proud to bring our unique brand of patient-focused healthcare to Pittsburgh patients,” said Eric Hauser, RPh., President, Organic Remedies. “Since 2018, we have been strongly focused on improving the health and wellness of Pennsylvania patients. With our newest dispensary in the greater Pittsburgh area, we are looking forward to helping even more patients realize the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana. We are also committed to becoming a vital member of the Bethel Park community by offering new employment opportunities, supporting local veterans’ organizations, participating in community outreach events, and giving back through charitable contributions.”

The Bethel Park dispensary is expected to officially open for business Monday, Apr. 18. Delivering affordable products for patients on a budget is important to Organic Remedies. The company offers patient discounts for seniors (60 and over), military veterans, and birthdays. In addition, Organic Remedies’ rewards program offers patients increased savings along with an annual 30% OFF discount that can be used at any time during the year. Curbside and inside service is available. CanPay is accepted as an alternative to cash transactions.

The Bethel Park dispensary is expected to officially open for business Monday, Apr. 18. Delivering affordable products for patients on a budget is important to Organic Remedies. The company offers patient discounts for seniors (60 and over), military veterans, and birthdays. In addition, Organic Remedies’ rewards program offers patients increased savings along with an annual 30% OFF discount that can be used at any time during the year. Curbside and inside service is available. CanPay is accepted as an alternative to cash transactions.

New patients can visit the company’s website at www.organicremediespa.com to learn more about products and services or to schedule a free pharmacist consultation. Once the dispensary is officially open for business, only patients with a valid Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana card may enter the dispensary.

 

Bethel Park 1

About Organic Remedies

Organic Remedies is a life science organization committed to improving the overall wellness of patients by producing and dispensing affordable quality medical marijuana products while continuing the advancement of medical marijuana therapies through genetics, collaborative research, and superior patient care. Based in Carlisle, Pa., Organic Remedies cultivates and manufactures safe, effective medical marijuana products for certified Pennsylvania patients. Organic Remedies’ dispensaries are located in Chambersburg, Enola, N. Pittsburgh, S. Pittsburgh, Paoli, and York. Specially trained pharmacists and patient care consultants deliver a clinical approach for the utilization of medical marijuana that is patient-focused, collaborative and outcomes-based. For more information, visit  www.OrganicRemediesPA.com.

INCREASED FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR ELIGIBLE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS

Good news for patients and caregivers in the PA Medical Marijuana Program. As a patient, you may be eligible for a no-cost patient identification card. In addition, new or first-time caregivers in the MMJ program will no longer need to pay fees for background checks.

On March 1, the PA Department of Health implemented Phase 1 and 2 of the PA Medical Marijuana Assistance Program (MMAP). This program is a special fund created by the State Treasury to financially assist eligible patients in the Medical Marijuana program.

Initially, patients eligible for financial assistance received a 50-percent discount on their annual identification card; eligible caregivers received 65-percent discount on their background check fees.

With this new enhancement to the program, eligible patients and caregivers will no longer pay an annual card fee, and new caregivers will no longer pay background check fees.

Patients and caregivers registered in an existing state financial hardship program are eligible for MMAP. These programs include:

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Medicaid
  • Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • PACE Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP)
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

What You Should Know About MMAP

  • If you are eligible for one of the state’s financial hardship programs, your identification card fee will be removed during the online process.
  • When you confirm you are participating in one of the state’s financial hardship programs, your fee will be reduced to $0, and no payment is required.
  • First-time caregivers will not be charged a fee for background checks when they visit the IdentoGo website to be fingerprinted.

The next phase of the MMAP program will provide a monetary benefit to eligible patients. The start date for Phase 3 has not yet been announced, but this next phase will give patients a pre-determined amount of funding for medications. We will keep you informed when there are more details to share.

For more information on MMAP, visit PA MMAP

Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Assistance Program (MMAP)

ORGANIC REMEDIES EXPANDS INTO EASTERN PA, OPENING STATE’S FIFTH DISPENSARY IN GREATER PHILADELPHIA AREA

New Dispensary Provides Safe, Effective Therapies for Philadelphia Patients Suffering with Serious Medical Conditions

CARLISLE, Pa. (January 28, 2022)- Organic Remedies, a medical marijuana cultivation and research organization based in south central Pennsylvania, is celebrating the upcoming opening of its fifth Pennsylvania dispensary at 1538 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, PA, 19301. Organic Remedies President Eric Hauser, RPh., along with state and local dignitaries and medical marijuana advocates, cut the ceremonial ribbon during the Open House event on Friday, Jan. 28 at 12:00 p.m.

“We are proud to bring our unique brand of patient-focused healthcare to patients in the greater Philadelphia region,” said Eric Hauser, RPh., President, Organic Remedies. “Since 2018, we have been strongly focused on improving the health and wellness of Pennsylvania patients. With this newest dispensary, we are looking forward to helping even more patients realize the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana. We are also committed to becoming a vital business partner in Paoli by offering new employment opportunities, supporting local veterans’ organizations, participating in community outreach events, and giving back to our communities through charitable contributions.”

The new Paoli dispensary will provide a wide selection of therapeutic products for patients suffering from qualifying health conditions, including the company’s own line of branded products. Organic Remedies’ state-of-the-art cultivation and manufacturing facility, located in Carlisle, PA, grows dozens of strains of premium medical marijuana and produces numerous forms of the plant for a variety of health conditions. Unique among its products are Elixirs, Nano HT and Nano-emulsion Capsules, which are all formulated using a proprietary technology creating water-based products that enhance bioavailability and may be easier for some patients to digest.

OR_Paoli_01

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by local and state officials and hosted by Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry.

The Paoli dispensary is expected to officially open for business Monday, Feb. 7. Curbside and inside service will be offered. New patients can visit the company’s website at www.organicremediespa.com to learn more about products and services or to schedule a free pharmacist consultation. Once the dispensary is officially open for business, only patients with a valid Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana card may enter the dispensary.

About Organic Remedies

Organic Remedies is a life science organization committed to improving the overall wellness of patients by producing and dispensing affordable quality medical marijuana products while continuing the advancement of medical marijuana therapies through genetics, collaborative research, and superior patient care. Based in Carlisle, Pa., Organic Remedies cultivates and manufactures safe, effective medical marijuana products for certified Pennsylvania patients. Organic Remedies dispensaries, located in Chambersburg, Enola, N. Pittsburgh, Paoli, and York, deliver a clinical approach for the utilization of medical marijuana that is patient-focused, collaborative and outcomes based. For more information, visit www.OrganicRemediesPA.com.

 

ORGANIC REMEDIES EXPANDS INTO WESTERN PA OPENING STATE’S FOURTH DISPENSARY IN GREATER PITTSBURGH AREA

New Dispensary Provides Safe, Effective Therapies for Pittsburgh Patients Suffering with Serious Medical Conditions.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Nov. 19, 2021)- Organic Remedies, a medical marijuana cultivation and research organization based in south central Pennsylvania, is celebrating the upcoming opening of its fourth Pennsylvania dispensary at 7402 McKnight Rd., Pittsburgh, Pa 15237. Organic Remedies President Eric Hauser, RPh., along with state and local dignitaries and medical marijuana advocates, cut the ceremonial ribbon during the Open House event on Fri., Nov. 19 at 12:00 p.m.

“We are proud to bring our unique brand of patient-focused healthcare to Pittsburgh patients,” said Eric Hauser, RPh., President, Organic Remedies. “Since 2018, we have been strongly focused on improving the health and wellness of Pennsylvania patients. With our newest dispensary in the greater Pittsburgh area, we are looking forward to helping even more patients realize the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana. We are also committed to becoming a vital member of Ross Township by offering new employment opportunities, supporting local veterans’ organizations, participating in community outreach events, and giving back to our communities through charitable contributions.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by local and state officials and hosted by the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The McKnight Road dispensary will host an Open House on Fri., Nov 19 and Sat., Nov 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The public is invited to visit, tour the dispensary, and meet with the company’s specially trained pharmacists and staff. In addition, medical marijuana cultivators and manufacturers from around the state will be available to answer product questions.

Organic Remedies McKnight Road Pittsburgh

The McKnight Road dispensary is expected to officially open for business Fri., Nov. 26. New patients can visit the company’s website at www.organicremediespa.com to learn more about the services provided or schedule a free pharmacist consultation. Once the dispensary is officially open for business, only patients with a valid Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana card may enter the dispensary.

About Organic Remedies

Organic Remedies is a life science organization committed to improving the overall wellness of patients by producing and dispensing affordable quality medical marijuana products while continuing the advancement of medical marijuana therapies through genetics, collaborative research, and superior patient care. Based in Carlisle, Pa., Organic Remedies provides safe, effective medical marijuana therapies to patients in Pennsylvania. Organic Remedies delivers a clinical approach for the utilization of medical marijuana that is patient-focused, collaborative and outcomes-based. For more information, visit www.OrganicRemediesPA.com.

 

ORGANIC REMEDIES SURPASSES WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA CAMPAIGN GOAL; SPONSORING WREATHS TO HONOR FALLEN HEROES

CARLISLE, Pa. (Nov. 15, 2021)- Organic Remedies, a medical marijuana cultivation and research organization based in southcentral Pennsylvania, is proud to announce it has surpassed its goal in sponsoring 1000 wreaths to honor veterans laid to rest at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, PA. As a corporate sponsor of Wreaths Across America, Organic Remedies has been raising funds since Sept. 2021 to sponsor wreaths so that every veteran at the cemetery is remembered and honored for his/her sacrifice for our country.

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization with a mission of remembering fallen U.S. veterans, honoring those who serve and teaching children the value of freedom.

Organic Remedies CEO Mark Toigo said, “Our team has been passionate and actively engaged in raising funds to support this worthy cause. We are proud to be a part of this tribute to all who have served in this country’s past, regardless of faith, gender or race, so that we may prosper today.  We at Organic Remedies are behind many missions including mental health, cancer and veteran support. We feel our participation supporting Wreaths Across America is a civilized contribution towards our country, community and beyond.”

The company has been raising funds through a grassroots campaign, including emails and calls to donors. The organization is also collecting donations at its three dispensaries, located in Enola, York and Chambersburg, PA. In addition, Organic Remedies is offering to contribute a portion of the proceeds of its new product line of Nano-Emulsion Capsules.

While online donations for sponsoring wreaths for the Indiantown Gap cemetery have exceeded the company’s goal of sponsoring 1000 wreaths, Toigo said the campaign is not over yet, and the team will continue to push for donations as the Dec. 1 deadline approaches.

“There are more than 44,500 veterans buried at Indiantown Gap, and many more wreaths are needed so that every grave has a remembrance wreath this holiday season. We hope to continue to narrow the gap and encourage everyone to give to this cause in the next two weeks,” said Toigo.

National Wreaths Across America day is designated as Saturday, Dec. 18 at 12:00 p.m. Volunteers will gather at Indiantown Gap for an impactful ceremony to honor the fallen, after which the sponsored live wreaths will be placed at each grave. The fallen hero’s name will be stated aloud in a moment of remembrance. The public is invited to this memorable event.

Click here to sponsor a wreath at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

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Two is Often Better Than One

One thing you can always count on in the medical marijuana field is change. We are in a time of incredible advancement, development and innovative therapies involving cannabis. When perusing medical marijuana menus, you may come across a 1:1 product. This is usually a half and half combination of CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

The THC Component is Important

Combining THC with CBD is showing promising results. The University of Western Ontario showed in 2019 for the first time the molecular mechanisms of CBD at work, block the psychoactive side-effects of THC. Uncovering those “molecular mechanisms” in mice, allowed the team to isolate the reaction of those given a CBD/THC combination. They presented fewer anxiety behaviors and other negative side effects.

The National Institutes of Health reports the 1:1 combination of THC:CBD appears to allow for higher doses of THC without increasing the risk of adverse side effects. It appears that CBD acts to antagonize some of the psychoactive and sedative effects of THC without interfering with intended THC effects, such as muscle relaxation and reduction of spasticity.

I Don’t Want to get High, So Why the THC?

Organic Remedies COO and Pharmacist Tammy Royer says, “THC helps CBD bind to the receptors resulting in increased effectiveness of the CBD, while CBD lowers some of the euphoric effects of THC, without losing the value of THC. A one-to-one ratio has minimal euphoric effects, but can be very helpful for symptom relief for many qualifying conditions.”

Royer also points out an easy way for patients to open discussions about their treatment. All Organic Remedies products label the amounts of THC and CBD, “The higher the percentage of CBD to THC in a product, the less euphoria or psychoactive effect will be experienced,” says Royer.

CBD is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory, for nerve pain relief, and in relieving anxiety. Royer adds, “use of even minimal amounts of THC in a CBD product will mean greater levels of attachment to receptors and more relief, especially if taken regularly to saturate the receptors.”

Some Products to Consider

Organic Remedies offers several choices in a one-to-one formula, including Cherry CBD, Cherry CBD RSO, 1:1 Rest Tincture, and a 1:2 Cherry CBD Tincture.

Dialing in your own CBD:THC ratio and dose can have a learning curve, but Organic Remedies Patient Care Consultants and Pharmacists can help. Ultimately, the goal is finding the right ratio of CBD to THC.

Patients can start off adding 1mg of THC at a time with their normal CBD dose and slowly build up to a level that produces the best result. Organic Remedies Pharmacist Patrick Gladfelter says, “By titrating up slowly, the patient can determine an effective dose, while achieving the desired relief. At the same time, he or she can perform daily tasks with minimal unwanted side effects.”

While both compounds can help reduce symptoms, including inflammation, pain, anxiety, and nausea, the concentration of CBD:THC can affect the experience. Gladfelter says, “When choosing a product and initial dosing, in general, I base my recommendation on THC concentration to avoid unwanted side effects such as anxiety or euphoria. Then as CBD builds up during the 7to10-day loading phase, the synergy of THC and CBD really kicks in!”

Available research and anecdotal evidence show that CBD and THC are a complementary pair. Gladfelter adds, “As new information and data is collected, we are gaining a better understanding of cannabis and its many components. These two important cannabinoids not only work better together, but may also provide the same amount of relief, possibly better, with less euphoria compared to a THC product alone.”

Organic Remedies can help you find the right product and ratio depending on your preference.

An Organic Remedies pharmacist is always available to answer your questions!

A beautiful sheet of cannabis marijuana in the defocus with the image of the formula CBD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Cannabis

A shocking, scary, or dangerous event can cause the body to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is natural to feel fear during and immediately after a traumatic situation. Split second decisions are made in the “fight or flight” response. But, when a person does not recover naturally from a trauma, the long-term effects can be devastating.

Step One: Talk to your Organic Remedies Pharmacist

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD and are considering medical marijuana therapy, Organic Remedies Pharmacist Shannon Ye says, “Information gathered from non-professional sources may not always provide the best results. Treatments can greatly differ among patients. Efficacy is closely tied to finding the appropriate dose and strains.”

While the most studied type of medications for treating PTSD are antidepressants, which may help control symptoms including sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside, medical cannabis may also be helpful in alleviating many different symptoms as well. Other common problems associated with PTSD, that may be helped by medical cannabis, include loss of sleep and nightmares.

The National Institute of Mental Health says medical professionals and patients should work together to find the best medication or medication combination, as well as the right dose. Ye agrees that this is important with medical cannabis as well, saying, “For example, a dose too high in THC and pinene may worsen PTSD related symptoms therefore agitating anxiety and irritability. Having a traumatic experience from cannabis may not only worsen PTSD symptoms, but may also prevent a patient from trying cannabis again in the future.”

Individualized Therapy

The NIMH also recommends psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” for people with PTSD, but stresses every patient is different. What works for one, often does not work for another. “I always ask the patient about their goals of therapy and what dosage forms they may feel most comfortable using,” says Ye.  “Although more research is needed, there is evidence that supports cannabis alleviates difficult to treat symptoms of PTSD such as insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, and irritability. There is also evidence that cannabis can help a PTSD patient experience a "trigger" without an associated terror response.”

Not having that terror response to a particular “trigger” is key in treatment. Ye says, “The success in treating symptoms may be due to PTSD patients having changes in their endocannabinoid system. However, it is not realistic for patients to expect medical cannabis to cure their PTSD as it is not a substitute for conventional treatment.”

PTSD is Personal

PTSD diagnosis is based on many factors including re-experiencing symptoms, avoiding certain things, and changes in mood and cognition. With so many things to consider, both patient and pharmacist can work together to find a way to improve the quality of life.

Ye says every case is one-of-a-kind, “As an example, one of my recent patients I spoke to was suffering PTSD due to a car accident from 2 years ago. Ye says the symptoms were paralyzing, “They were experiencing anger that led to blackouts and anxiety that caused panic attacks when in a car. They have noticed significant improvement in managing PTSD symptoms since starting cannabis.”

Finding the Right Combo

Ye says finding a particular strain for PTSD patients is important but when she digs deeper into therapy, Ye finds hope in the terpenes. “It may be best to avoid strains high in pinene, as the alerting effects may be anxiety-provoking and memory-enhancing to past trauma. However, strains higher in linalool may be anxiolytic and calming.

With an Organic Remedies’ Pharmacist guidance, quality of life reports continue to improve with the help of cannabis. Ye’s patient from the car accident is getting results from a higher CBD strain during the day. “Any 1:1 (CBD/THC) may be a suitable option, especially during the day. Limonene is an uplifting, antidepressant terpene that may be preferable during the day as well.”

With quality of sleep ranking high in PTSD patients another treatment may help at night. Ye says, “higher THC indica-dominant "Kush" and "Purple" strains may be effective towards the evening in treating sleep disturbances.”

An Organic Remedies pharmacist is always available to answer questions.

RESOURCES

From National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:
  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:

  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

Free Brochures and Shareable Resources

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/helping-children-and-adolescents-cope-with-disasters-and-other-traumatic-events/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/get-involved/education-awareness/shareable-resources-on-ptsd

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/txessentials/clinician_guide_meds.asp

https://medlineplus.gov/posttraumaticstressdisorder.html

 

Head shape with PTSD Post traumatic stress disorder.

710! Downright Upside Down!

On the heels of the July 4th holiday weekend, we are headed into a big weekend in the cannabis industry. July 10th, known as 710, is National Dab Day. Cannabis concentrate lovers around the globe celebrate July 10. The day now includes the celebration of all cannabis concentrate forms. During extraction, organic plant matter is separated from the plant’s resin containing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Here are some forms of cannabis concentrates:

  • Shatter
  • Wax
  • Crumble
  • Budder
  • Live Resin
  • Terp Sauce
  • Diamonds
  • Hash
  • Distillate
  • Oil
  • Isolate
  • Rosin

Organic Remedies is also adding a new dab called “sap.” Our Sap syringes are a combination of distillate and high terpene extract (HTE) oils, giving you the best of both worlds in THC and terpene content. It is fully activated and may be ingested or vaporized.

No matter what form you enjoy, 710 gives a nod to all cannabis concentrate forms.

710 is World-wide 

According to market research and consulting company,  Grand View Research, the global marijuana extract market size was valued at $7.3 billion in 2019. Grand View says there is no sign of slowing down. Growing medical and recreational markets around the world have increased the global presence and popularity of cannabis concentrates.

Why July 10?

710 has become a worldwide phenomenon due to legal cannabis markets’ introduction of cannabis concentrates to consumers. So, now under “concentrates,” we see a range from THC-potent wax to CBD-rich tincture that can be consumed orally or sublingually.

710 is now the unofficial designation for cannabis extracts solely because when you flip the 710 date upside down, it spells oil. (See the video!)

What is 710 Day?

Naturally, 710 Day turned into a special day to honor the resinous oil that comes from the cannabis plant. Every year, July 10th (7/10) is an international holiday for cannabis enthusiasts. People all over celebrate by vaporizing a wide selection of concentrates, and even the use of transdermal patches and creams fall under the “7/10” celebration.

It’s all in the number(s)

Like many things in the cannabis industry, the history of national oil day (7/10) is a mystery. 710 really took off with the legalization of cannabis in early-adopting states. As medical and recreational programs became popular, patients and grower/processors began to realize the benefits of a concentrated form of cannabis – or 710 in cannabis-speak.

710 became a mainstay in the cannabis community with the introduction of the 710 Cup in 2012, which takes place on the 10th of July. The event recognizes the best products in a number of categories including Distillate, Concentrate Sativa/Indica/Hybrid, CBD Concentrate, and more categories.

Since then, 710 has become an easy way to talk about dabs and dabbing, in general. 7/10 may not be as culturally significant as 4/20, but it is a great holiday to enjoy alone or with friends.

Do Not Confuse the Numbers!

By now, most cannabis patients and rec users know about 420. It refers to the decades-old marijuana holiday that occurs on April 20 (4/20). Cannabis users around the world gather to celebrate the psychedelic plant.  420 began in the early 70’s in California. A group of San Rafael High School students who referred to themselves as “The Waldos.” would meet up at 4:20 pm after school to search for a rumored weed stash on school grounds. It turns out, one of the Waldos, Dave Reddix, got a gig as a roadie for the Grateful Dead where the term started picking up steam. Eventually, the band produced flyers to invite fans to join them for some good tunes and smoke at, yes, 4:20 PM.

Happy 710 Day

7/10 events span far and wide in legal states such as Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington. Check out your nearest dispensary and favorite cannabis business for steep discounts on product and gear. If you love Piña Coladas, you can also celebrate National Piña Colada Day on July 10th. Love cats and kittens? 7/10 is also National Kitten Day.

If you have any questions about concentrates, don’t think you have to ask on 710! Our Organic Remedies pharmacists are always available to answer your questions.

710

Medical Marijuana May Be Beneficial in Managing Alzheimer’s Disease

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, so we turn our spotlight on this insidious disease and how medical cannabis may help. While there is a wealth of information about Alzheimer’s Disease, treating it, living with a loved one coping with it, and helping those afflicted are continuing challenges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Association in the Healthy Brain Initiative. The American Association of Retired People also offers a free “Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment” in June.

Warning Signs

Common signs of AD are often first noticed by the person affected. Memory changes as we age, but certain types of memory loss are not typical. The CDC offers these guidelines for early assessment. People with one or more of these 10 warning signs should see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives them a chance to seek treatment and plan.

·        Memory loss that disrupts daily life: forgetting events, repeating yourself or relying on more aids to help you remember (like sticky notes or reminders).

·        Challenges in planning or solving problems: having trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you have used for years.

·        Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: having problems with cooking, driving places, using a cell phone, or shopping.

·        Confusion with time or place: having trouble understanding an event that is happening later or losing track of dates.

·        Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relations: having more difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often.

·        New problems with words in speaking or writing: having trouble following or joining a conversation or struggling to find a word you are looking for (saying “that thing on your wrist that tells time” instead of “watch”).

·        Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: placing car keys in the washer or dryer or not being able to retrace steps to find something.

·        Decreased or poor judgment: being a victim of a scam, not managing money well, paying less attention to hygiene, or having trouble taking care of a pet.

·        Withdrawal from work or social activities: not wanting to go to church or other activities as you usually do, not being able to follow football games or keep up with what’s happening.

·        Changes in mood and personality: getting easily upset in common situations or being fearful or suspicious.

We turn to Organic Remedies’ Pharmacist, Nick Signorella for answers to how therapy with medical cannabis may help. “A lot of our treatment with Alzheimer’s has to do with symptom management. Specifically, marijuana can help with food intake, agitation, sleep, and overall mood.” Signorella adds, “THC can help to increase food intake, help with agitation at lower doses, improve sleep, and improve mood/depression at lower doses.”

AD symptoms that may respond to cannabis include, sleep problems, paranoia, anxiety, dysphoria, pain, poor appetite, and weight loss. Signorella says AD patients may live a better lifestyle by examining a medical marijuana therapy. “For example, THC can inhibit acetylcholinesterase through the CB1 receptor, which theoretically could help to minimize the decline in cognitive function.” Signorella goes deeper, “Additionally CB2 receptor levels are increased in Alzheimer’s patients. The anti-inflammatory effects from CBD activating the CBD2 receptor could help reduce inflammation and neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer’s.”

Dosage

Signorella would advise AD patients to turn to the many newly created cannabis delivery options including tinctures and capsules. But, he says, “caution should be used with higher doses of THC as this can actually cause increased agitation and disorientation. In general, the starting dosage for agitation and sleep should be around 2.5-5mg of THC depending on experience. CBD on the other hand can help with agitation, typically at lower doses, usually starting around 5mg of CBD.”  He adds, “I would typically start with a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, around 2.5mg or 5mg of each. It would depend on the specific patient, but generally lower to moderate doses of both THC and CBD would be used.”

Searching for Answers

Evidence is not as robust for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, but there is some anecdotal evidence cannabis can be beneficial. Many of the mechanisms in the prescription drug donepezil, commonly used to treat AD, are similar. Signorella says, “overall cannabis can help to improve quality of life for both the patient and caregiver, while potentially help to manage disease progression as well.”

During this June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, remember your Organic Remedies pharmacist may be able to help!

More info: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alzheimer’s Association have created the Healthy Brain Initiative’s (HBI) State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map.

 

Senior with Alzheimer's or dementia has difficulty with puzzle pieces.

Help Make Permanent Changes to State’s Medical Marijuana Program

Thank you, Organic Remedies patients for stepping up and calling your lawmakers! Governor Wolf has extended the COVID Emergency Disaster Proclamation.

What it Means

The extension allows you to still pick up your medical marijuana curbside, to receive certifications via telehealth, purchase up to 90-day supplies, and for caregivers to serve more than 5 patients. All of which are very helpful options for many patients!

This is Temporary!

If you enjoy these services as a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana patient and want to make them permanent, you must pick up the phone or send an email. We are going to make that simple for you. Please take a moment and urge lawmakers to make these temporary provisions permanent.

There is More to be Done

Right now, with Governor Wolf’s extension, we have an opportunity to make permanent changes.

How Can You Help?

It is easy. A bipartisan bill, HB1024, will allow some of the temporary provisions in the Commonwealth's medical marijuana program to remain after Governor Wolf's Proclamation ends.

We encourage you to contact your state representative and senator to ask them to vote Yea (Yes) on HB1024 to amend Act 16 to allow these changes to remain in place permanently.

Here is a Link to your Lawmaker:

Find Your Legislator - PA General Assembly (state.pa.us)

It is one simple click. Find your Senator or Representative by address, map, or name. Calling and emailing make a difference as often it is the only way your lawmaker is aware of your concern. They are sworn to vote with you, the constituent. Three-to-five minutes right now could make a lifetime of difference for you and all medical marijuana patients in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Here is What to Say When Calling
“The temporary changes that were made by the Governor during the pandemic to facilitate safety in the medical marijuana program for patients, caregivers and dispensary employees have worked well and need to be made permanent." It is that simple.

Here is What to Say When Writing

"I am writing to ask that you vote "yea" on HB1024 to amend Act 16 and make several temporary changes to the PA Medical Marijuana program permanent. The temporary changes made by the Governor during the pandemic to facilitate safety in the medical marijuana program for patients, caregivers and dispensary employees have worked well and need to be made permanent with an amendment to Act 16.”

You can also contact House Health Committee Chairperson Cathy Rapp at (814) 723-5203 to urge her to move this important bill through her committee.

Among the provisions most beneficial to patients and the overall well-being of the PAMMJ program are:

  • Use of telehealth for certification visits.
  • Increased maximum number of patients under a caregiver's care.
  • Allow for curbside pickups.
  • Allow for purchase of a 90-day supply of medicine instead of 30-day supply.

The use of telehealth for certification visits is beneficial to all parties in the program. It keeps costs to patients and doctors lower, and it helps patients who are extremely ill, bedridden, or otherwise have difficulty traveling to access their certifying doctor without enduring pain or trauma.

Allowing caregivers to assist more than five patients helps more patients who require assistance to access their medicine. Often, there is a shortage of certified caregivers (especially in rural areas). Limiting caregivers to only five patients creates a higher demand than what can be supported. This leaves people sick, in pain, and without the medicine that can alleviate some of their symptoms. If caregivers can be assigned to the number of patients they can support, rather than an arbitrary number of patients, the potential for patient suffering is reduced.

Continuing to allow curbside pickups and the purchase of a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply helps patients, caregivers, and dispensaries. Curbside pickup is especially helpful for patients with compromised immune systems, limited mobility, or conditions like PTSD, which could be triggered in a busy dispensary. Most prescription medications can be purchased in 90-day supplies; medical marijuana should not be treated differently.

Photo by Andy Feliciotti