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.”

 

Strainprint Technologies Ltd. Featured in The Growth Op

Recently, Strainprint Founder Stephanie Karasick was featured in The Growth Op. Here she talks about the launch of the Strainprint app that helped, and continues to help her and tens of thousands of other patients keep track of their medical marijuana dosage.

Read more about Steph’s journey, and Strainprint here:

https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-business/cannabis-experts/when-it-comes-to-cannabis-prescriptions-sometimes-less-is-more

 

Strainprint Technologies Ltd. – Steph’s Story

We are proud to present the genesis of Strainprint. Steph’s story is what defines us. With her story, and 1,000’s more like it we will continue to break the stigma & pave the way for the future of the cannabis industry.

Have a look at Steph’s story, and if it resonates with you, consider sharing!

 

 

 

5 Most Common Uses for Medical Cannabis in 65+ Demographic

Seniors are among one of the largest existing and largest growing demographics of medical cannabis users , evidenced by international trends as well as is supported by the data collected from the Strainprint app.

A report released late 2017 by Statistics Canada, indicated that older generations are the demographics consuming larger amounts of cannabis within the new age of legalization. This is a strong indicator that cannabis education, and cannabis culture should be targeting seniors, as we face one of the largest demographic shifts the world has seen with its aging Baby Boomers.

At Strainprint we are always curious about learning more about our users; especially when we identify trends in our data. We were interested in answering the following questions: What are seniors using cannabis for? How are they consuming? Here’s an overview of medical cannabis use in seniors, with a future focus on the emerging needs of seniors amidst a significant demographic shift.

Medicinal Use Among Seniors

The data collected by Strainprint on patients 65 years and older revealed that they were using cannabis for 5 common symptoms.

Joint Pain

Pain is our body’s response to inflammation and why people turn to prescriptions to manage the physical and emotional difficulty pain presents. For many, joint pain is the most described type of pain for medical cannabis users. Common joint pain conditions include arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pain, injuries, and cancer and cancer treatment-related pain.

Adding cannabis to the body’s already existing endocannabinoid system delivers a dose of cannabidiol (CBD) to the brain which works to interrupt the pain signals to the brain, bringing alternative pain relief through the natural analgesic effects cannabis is lauded for.

Statistics Canada in 2013 showed that two-thirds of medicinal marijuana users were registering for support for arthritis, which is considered a common later-life onset pain-related disease.

Insomnia

Insomnia and the inability to get a restful sleep is a common complaint amongst seniors. It’s often misconceived that you need less sleep as you age, but as you do get into older years, sleep is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental function and health. As people age, however, it’s commonly reported that many people aren’t able to fall asleep quickly, and stay asleep as they get older. Some of these causes include poor lifestyle habits including alcohol consumption before bed, napping during the day, or not getting enough physical activity.

Cannabis, especially Indica strains, can help people fall asleep faster, and maintain a restful sleep pattern. Those who promote cannabis for insomnia draw upon the way cannabis can also complement other national sleep aids due to the terpenoids present in each and what’s known as The Entourage Effect. Cannabis is also being explored amongst the medical community as a treatment of symptoms of sleep apnea, recognizing that cannabis has a way of inducing restful and relaxed effects on the body, and breathing, when used in proper doses.

Stress

The life’s transitions in older age are incredibly stressful and can be traumatic for many as they face many decisions about their future. People in their golden years should be able to enjoy these years stress-free.

For many, life’s transitions as we age, lead to a high level of stress and social anxiety, resulting in a desire to be reclusive or withdrawn to avoid stressful situations. A review of our data revealed many seniors are turning to their vaporizers to reduce stress and finding new ways to manage these transitions that make them more comfortable socializing.

Common strains like Green Crack and Pineapple Express are both sativa dominant strains that boast an energetic and uplifting high, that can be micro dosed for maximum effect without a strong high. When used in small doses through effective microdosing, it may help people move past their own perceived barriers, which is important when trying new things and taking on new social activities that help reduce stress.

Anxiety

The medical cannabis community has embraced CBD rich strains for its effects in boosting mood and increasing the way the brain receives serotonin through its serotonin receptors. CBD has been important in the discussion on medical cannabis for depression and anxiety.

CBD is being celebrated for its neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative properties, and is being embraced by many for its ability to heal the brain per se. The cannabis community and many groups such as Veterans are advocating for CBD access as an effective method to treat the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be helpful for older adults facing certain traumas through losses or life transitions.

What are Seniors Using?

Strainprint was interested in learning more about cannabis consumption amongst seniors. A data pull from the Strainprint database for this demographic revealed some very interesting trends for how seniors are using cannabis.

We looked at a sample of Strainprint users 65 years and older and discovered that seniors prefer vaping their cannabis, with the overwhelming majority choosing this method. Using oils (edibles, topically) was a close second. What we found interesting is that although vaping is most popular, there are more sessions reported among users of oils, showing more frequency of use for this ingestion method. Smoking cannabis is reported as the third most popular, but with a rather low occurrence of sessions/frequency. Tinctures with frequent use are next, while concentrates fall significantly behind for use among seniors in comparison to more convenient methods.

These statistics are important for clinicians, Licensed Providers, and medical cannabis users to understand insights into methods of use, dosing and effectiveness for treatment of medical conditions.

Engaging Seniors in Medical Cannabis Education

The prevalence of use for common conditions in seniors shows that there is a need to provide this demographic with targeted outreach and education on medical cannabis.

Here are some of the ways the cannabis industry is currently connecting with those over 65:

Cannabis dispensaries like Farmacy in Victoria, BC, revealed that over 50% of their customers are baby boomers. This could very well be due to the retro, classic rock design and culture of the dispensary and its focus on cannabis education for seniors, but either way, seniors are flocking to medical marijuana.

Canada’s big cannabis corporations like Canopy Growth Corporation have been making efforts to speak to retiree groups, as evidenced by a recent speaking event. Cannabis companies are ‘getting real about seniors’ role in cannabis.

Doctors in places like Sarnia, Ontario are embracing medical cannabis as a therapeutic option for many patients, particularly the elderly.
The great thing is that more people are emerging to meet the needs of North America’s senior citizens with medical cannabis.

Including Seniors in the Cannabis Community

As demographics shift in a very real way for our nations with Baby Boomers aging significantly over the next few years, medical cannabis may be getting a new face. When we recognize the uses for cannabis in those over 65, we see the need for a multi-generational approach within the cannabis community.
Dispensaries, Licensed Producers, and cannabis communities need to expand their sales strategies, cannabis education, and engagement to ensure that patients are being heard, understood and are able to maximize the privilege that being a legal medicinal cannabis patient affords.