By Jenna Rubin, Co-Founder of Indorgro™
Our story started December 2011, when Indorgro™ Founder, Brad Rubin, was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. After 4 spinal surgeries, Brad was continuously prescribed opioid medications to treat his chronic pain. These recurring prescriptions of powerful medications impacted him and his family’s livelihood immensely.
The Problem and Solution
Canadians are not strangers to the negative effects of opioids:
Brad’s story, however, took a positive turn when he discovered medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids to treat and manage his chronic pain symptoms. After 5 long years of being prescribed opioid medication, Brad transitioned to taking medical cannabis May 2017, and thereby significantly improving his quality of life, as well as his family’s.
Still, this solution came at an astronomical cost. Therefore, Brad decided to educate himself on growing his own supply of cannabis at the highest quality and lowest cost. As well as better understanding the Health Canada legal framework and regulations of the production of cannabis for your own medical purposes.
Growing medicinal cannabis allowed Brad to find the right mixture of genetics that can be used to manage his chronic pain symptoms. Please see Appendix A for Health Canada documents and additional academic journals that support medicinal cannabis as an effective pain management for various conditions.
An action plan for pain in Canada
Working together to better understand, prevent and, manage chronic pain: What We Heard
Chronic Pain in Canada: Laying a Foundation for Action
Section 2: Current approaches to diagnosing and managing chronic pain in Canada, Opioids and cannabis warrant special attention in the current Canadian context p13. Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) and the Cannabinoids: (PDF Version, 2.18MB, 266 pages) This document is a comprehensive review of the endocannabinoid system, how cannabinoids work and the evidence regarding health benefits. Section 4.0: Potential Therapeutic Uses p18 Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Integrated Cannabis Research Strategy (ICRS):The overarching vision of the ICRS is that a well-coordinated series of activities can position Canada to be a world leader in developing the research capacity and amassing the research evidence needed to appropriately roll out policy and regulatory models for cannabis use. https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/50932.html
The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research from the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine: This is a comprehensive review of the relevant research regarding the health effects of cannabis published since 1999. The report summarizes what is known about potential therapeutic effects of cannabis use.4 Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767 Almog S, Aharon-Peretz J, Vulfsons S, et al. The pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of a novel selective-dose cannabis inhaler in patients with chronic pain: A randomized, double- blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Pain. 2020;24:1505–1516. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1605 Takakuwa KM, Hergenrather JY, Shofer FS, Schears RM (2019) The impact of medical cannabis on intermittent and chronic opioid users with back pain: how cannabis diminished prescription opioid usage, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 5:3, 263– 270, DOI: 10.1089/can.2019.0039.Giorgi, V., Bongiovanni, S., Atzeni, F., Marotto, D., Salaffi, F. and Sarzi-Puttini, P., 2020. Adding medical cannabis to standard analgesic treatment for fibromyalgia: a prospective observational study. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 38(123), pp.S53-S59.Hill KP. Medical marijuana for treatment of chronic pain and other medical and psychiatric problems: a clinical review. J Am Med Assoc. 2015;313:2474–83.Lucas P, Walsh Z. Medical cannabis access, use, and substitution for prescription opioids and other substances: a survey of authorized medical cannabis patients. Int J Drug Policy. 2017;42:30–5.MacCallum C, Russo EB. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing. Eur J Int Med. 2018;49:12–9.Maurer, G.E., Mathews, N.M., Schleich, K.T., Slayman, T.G. and Marcussen, B.L., 2020. Understanding cannabis-based therapeutics in sports medicine. Sports health, 12(6), pp.540-546.Naccache, D. (2020). Cannabis alleviates neuropathic pain and reverses weight loss in diabetic neuropathic cachexia in a previous heroin abuser. Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports 2020, 20-0108, available from: https://doi.org/10.1530/EDM-20-0108 Wiese B, Wilson-Poe AR. Emerging evidence for Cannabis’ role in opioid use disorder. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2018;3:179–89.