Strainprint Patient Profile: Natashia Hrushka Jewett

“Strainprint is an app I wish I had throughout my whole medical cannabis journey,” says Strainprint user Natashia Hrushka Jewett, 32, “Strainprint to me is more than just a mindful minute or an app that keeps my medical diary.”

Natashia’s story is unique, yet so common amongst medical cannabis users.  

“I have been using cannabis for a good portion of my life,” says the young Canadian mother, “I was introduced to cannabis in my youth but never used it more than recreational, or so I thought. I was self-medicating my anxiety and depression for a few years before I even realized that I was doing so.” This is a journey we at Strainprint hear all too commonly. “For years I was dealing with anxiety and depression without even realizing it and that cannabis was there helping me cope.”

After a work-related vehicle accident, Natashia was left unable to work, with a bevy of prescription painkillers, that only resulted in more pain, depression and anxiety, while she continued to self-medicate with cannabis. “I was lucky to have my best friend and boyfriend by my side,” says Natashia, “He was the one who made me realize I was self-medicating.”

Becoming an ACMPR Patient

This was 8 years ago, and now Natashia is an ACMPR patient, after navigating her local medical system and finally finding a doctor that was willing to work with her pain with cannabis.

“Cannabis woke me up with the help of my prescriptions,” she says, “I started volunteering, upgrading my education, working out again, and even talking about trying for a family.”

Then she had another accident on the way to volunteering and suffered a torn hip flexor. “I went down the rabbit hole after that,” Natashia said about her experience.

At the same time as her accident, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. “Again, I wish Strainprint had been there through this. I would have been able to realize that I was hurting both emotionally and physically with Strainprint a lot faster.”

What Natashia is referring to is Strainprint’s 30 million data points generated from the over 700,000 tracked medical sessions  by users who have entered in information about their cannabis strains, sessions, and their results. This feeling of being overwhelmed and not being able to properly target symptoms with cannabis is what led Strainprint’s founder Stephanie Karasick to create Strainprint to “use cannabis better”.

Finally, it was time to start a family. With the help of her doctor, and cannabis, Natashia was able to remove her medications and get down to two pills a day. “The Strainprint app would have been helpful with the ability to track when I take my cannabis, helping me reduce my other medications much more effectively.” Despite this, she became pregnant and couldn’t be more delighted.

Sadly, Natashia suffered a miscarriage, and instead of prescription medications, she dedicated herself to living clean through mindfulness and cannabis use. “Mindfulness and cannabis were there to help me through my anxiety, depression, and pain.”

A New Hope with Cannabis

A bit over a year ago, Natashia and her partner were pregnant again and had decided to use cannabis to support her high-risk pregnancy with the supervision of the doctor. 9 months later, a beautiful baby girl was born, and Natashia decided to go off all medications, including cannabis while she breastfed.

Post-breastfeeding, Natashia’s fibromyalgia symptoms flared up again. “It hit me like a belly hits the water when you do a belly flop,” she describes.

Eager to do more research on how cannabis can treat symptoms of fibromyalgia, Natashia turned to an online group called SheCann: Empowering Canadian Women, a community of Canadian medical cannabis users who provide information on medical cannabis, and provide each other support in the medical cannabis journey.

This is where Strainprint came into Natashia’s medical cannabis journey to treat her fibromyalgia.

Her Strainprint Journey

Natashia was pleased with how easy it was to track her cannabis sessions and to pinpoint almost every detail of her cannabis experience so that it could be shared with her doctor. Her favourite feature of the app? “The incredible Snapshot!” she says.

“Snapshot helps me and my doctor see my progress,” she describes, “I can see when I start to tip in my pain and mental health management and so can my doctor. We can work together using Strainprint. Strainprint’s Snapshot is something I look into at least once a month and send my doctor who medically prescribes me cannabis once every 3 months.”

She and her doctor use Strainprint for troubleshooting treatment with her symptoms. “Just recently I used Strainprint snapshot with my doctor to see that we needed to up my medication. We were able to see I had a flare up and that a 1:1 ratio was helping me combat the flare-up.”

For Natashia, Strainprint has made all the difference in her journey from self-medicating to embracing “using cannabis better” in collaboration with her doctor to ensure she is using cannabis to her optimal benefit.

“Strainprint is one amazing app that I’m glad I have in my toolbox. Mediation, communication, and medication this is what Strainprint is for me and can offer other users as well. It’s just a couple of clicks away.”


Becoming a Legal Medical Cannabis Patient in Canada

Even though recreational cannabis will legally become available in Canada on October 17, the medical cannabis community within Canada remains strong and growing since its legal start in 2001.

As of March 2018 in Canada, there are 296,792 registrations under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), which has experienced a growth of over 120,000 since this time last year.

In the age of cannabis legalization, cannabis doctors, and Health Canada’s Licensed Producers (LPs) are poised to continue to grow and promote medical cannabis while discovering new medical and clinical applications for the plant. Strainprint will continue to be along for the journey of hundreds of thousands of cannabis patients nationwide.

Why Become a Medical Patient Before Recreational Legalization?

If you’re interested in using medical cannabis and are considering just waiting to try it once it’s fully legal and can be picked up in a store, you may be risking the route of self-medicating and falling short on the promises of medical cannabis.

Choosing to use cannabis under the supervision of a doctor will help you target your symptoms, and choose strains and methods of consumption that make a change to your medical diagnoses and their symptoms.

Accessing cannabis from a Health Canada Licenced Producer will ensure that you’re getting specific strains and products developed with medical cannabis treatment in mind. The vast array of LPs in Canada offer so many options, and there are dedicated online communities to help people navigate LPs.

Strainprint app users are able to share their experiences with the LPs and their products through the app.

How to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient

There are several ways that you can become a medical cannabis patient in the days before legalization and after. There’s no one-size fits all approach.

Here is a brief overview of the avenues you can take to access medical cannabis legally in Canada.

1) Talk to your doctor or Nurse Practitioner (in Ontario): Start the conversation about medical cannabis with your general practitioner. Discuss your reasons for interest, and what their procedures are for prescribing or recommending medical cannabis. Be aware that not all doctors are equipped to (or willing to) prescribe medical cannabis.

If your doctor is not interested in prescribing cannabis, you may opt for a cannabis-friendly clinic, which offer in-person or telemedicine appointments with educated, legal doctors who are equipped to help people retrieve their medical cannabis registration. If you use a clinic, your doctor may refer you or you may be asked to submit documentation supporting your diagnosis, and/or be assessed by the clinic’s health care team.

You can do this by requesting a copy of your medical records or having the clinic fax your doctors office on your behalf.

Some clinics have health care providers that can now diagnose anxiety and depression and other conditions without any documentation from your physician.

2. Once a doctor or Nurse Practitioner (NP) writes the prescription, it is time to choose a legal Licensed Producer (LP). We recommend choosing more than one based on your needs.

Your cannabis prescription will state a limit per day that you are allowed within your prescription. For instance, Jon Smith may be limited to consuming 1 gram per day. Some also have THC limits, depending on the doctor’s assessment. Some may also have other caveats such as using only oils.  

3. Once you’ve chosen your LP (or LPs), notify your doctor of your choices and your doctor will send the prescription to the LP(s).

4. You register on the websites on the LPs that you plan to access.

5. The LPs will contact you when they have received your prescription either via email or phone call, and let you know you can place your first order! The staff at the LP and the clinics can give you guidance on what to use and limited dosing information.

6. You place your first order online or via phone! It is mailed to you, usually via Canada post or Purolator. Note: the ONLY way to access legal medical cannabis currently in Canada is through the mail.

Track Your Use with Strainprint

Strainprint is equipped with data on the products, strains, and methods of consumption offered by Canada’s LPs. Users can track their symptoms and cannabis sessions, and report the effects of their sessions as they “use cannabis better” with Strainprint. With the explore feature, users can discover the journeys of other users and talk to their cannabis doctors about the approaches they would like to try or may be right for them.

App users can also choose to authorize their physician to have access to their journaling/tracking report to help track progress and achieve optimal efficacy.

The medical cannabis community is thriving, and we will rely on the efforts of medical patients, cannabis doctors, and LPs to collect data to help us understand and cannabis to its highest potential in the medical context.

StrainprintTM Technologies Ltd. Continues Rapid Growth, Welcoming Two New Senior Staff Members to the Expanding Team

TORONTO, August 01, 2018 – Strainprint Technologies Ltd. (Strainprint™) – the leader in cannabis strain data and analytics – is excited to announce the addition of two key senior team members: Michelle Arbus, Vice President of Research & Insights, and Noah Kauffman, Director of Sales.  

Michelle is a veteran of the market research industry with over a decade of experience at global research firms Ipsos and the NPD Group. While at these organizations, she conducted rigorous data analysis which provided multi-national corporations with data-driven insights and key recommendations to support their business decisions. Most recently, Michelle took her analytical expertise to the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) where she advised on issues such as cannabis, tobacco smoking, routine childhood immunizations and the flu. While at the Ministry of Health she led research that was instrumental for the strategic direction of health programs, initiatives or communications. Michelle will lead research efforts at Strainprint to identify key insights from Strainprint’s rich data set of 700,000 personal health records and over 10 million data-points that will lead to meaningful industry and customer reports. Michelle holds a BA Honours in Psychology from York University and an MBA from Dalhousie University.

Noah Kauffman has been helping customers purchase great software for over a decade. Utilizing a modern sales approach and a focus on customer success, Noah, has been a top producer at various technology companies like SysAid, Gubagoo, and As Director of Sales at Strainprint, Noah will be responsible for identifying market opportunities and developing inside and outbound sales processes to drive revenues. Noah holds a degree in Religious studies from the University of Waterloo.

“We are thrilled to have Noah & Michelle join our Strainprint team. These meaningful and strategic hires will help our us continue to rapidly grow as the largest longitudinal observational cannabis study in the world. Both Michelle and Noah bring unmatched skills combined with a passion for leadership and shared vision for the future of cannabis data and analytics.” Said Andrew Muroff, CEO, Strainprint Technologies Ltd.

About StrainprintTM:

Founded in Toronto in 2016, StrainprintTM Technologies Ltd. is the leading demand-side cannabis data and analytics company, gathering real-time cannabis consumption and efficacy data on lab-verified strains.  StrainprintTM data supports global cannabis research and provides advanced business intelligence and treatment guidance to producers, retailers, medical practitioners, pharma, government and industry. Strainprint is HIPAA, PIPEDA and PHIPA privacy compliant, military-grade encrypted and all patient data is completely anonymized and at rest in Canada. Strainprint can be seamlessly embedded or integrated with most electronic medical records (EMR) and seed2sale software systems.  Strainprint Analytics is accessed by customer subscription. The Strainprint App is free to patients and can be downloaded from both the iOS App Store and GooglePlay Store. facebook, twitter, linkedin

Media Contact:

Jessica Moran

StrainprintTM Technologies Ltd.