Cannabis is not the simple plant that our grandparents warned us about. The cannabis used and sold today, with all its various parts, goes far beyond the rolled joint known commonly as marijuana, weed and Mary Jane.
We sat down with Tamara Richardson, the vice president of sales and operations at People’s Pharmacy and the founder, with Tamara Donnelle, of M.V.M.T., to get a better understanding of what it is, how to use it, and what it’s good for.
- What is cannabis and why is it so topical?
- Cannabis is a plant that was outlawed in the twentieth century for its THC content. Since then, scientists have worked hard studying the properties of cannabis and have successfully isolated its beneficial parts, which we call cannabinoids.
- How do the compounds in cannabis work?
- Cannabis is naturally therapeutic and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. By extracting or isolating the plant’s individual cannabinoids, we can experience a wide range of health benefits, legally, without consuming the heavily debated THC compound.
- Before you choose a cannabis product, consider what is best for you: either whole plant extraction, which will give you the full spectrum of benefits, or an isolate of specific cannabinoids. Depending on your lifestyle (maybe you are an athlete, or you are drug-tested at work), an isolate is the safest form until the whole plant is legalised.
- But is it legal?
- While THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, is still illegal in Bermuda at levels above one percent, there are many parts of the cannabis plant that we can enjoy and benefit from legally. Hemp, defined as cannabis with a THC level below one percent, is legal in Bermuda.
- What are the different cannabis products (known as cannabinoids) available in Bermuda?
- All cannabinoids currently available in the global market are available at People’s, with the exception of THC due to current laws. Our primary focus is on CBD, CBG, Delta-8 and various terpenes for their medicinal effects on pain management, anxiety reduction, inflammation, and sleep.
- Can you quickly walk us through what each product is and what it’s good for?
- CBD is the most widely studied and accepted cannabinoid. It’s a good sleep aid, promotes relaxation, helps alleviate chronic pain and inflammation and has been helpful in the treatment of seizure disorders and epilepsy.
- CBDa is used to support cancer treatment.
- CBG is often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids and is good for lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscles and has lots of anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- CBN is a great pain reliever and immune system regulator.
- Delta-8 is great for anyone suffering from insomnia or chronic pain.
- THCa also supports cancer treatment as it inhibits tumour growth and is great for relieving inflammation.
- THCv is helpful for treating obesity and lowering blood pressure.
- What forms do cannabinoids come in?
- Cannabinoids come in many different forms, including edibles (gummies, candies, chocolates and teas), tinctures (suspended in oils and taken under the tongue), flowers (for smoking), vape oils (for inhalation) and topical products, like creams and lotions. At People’s, we typically recommend a full-spectrum tincture (containing all cannabinoids, terpenes and essential oils present in the cannabis plant), but cannabinoids should be used in their isolate forms where more specific needs require it, such as by athletes or those who are drug-tested for THC at work.
- If someone is new to using cannabis products, what should they know beforehand?
- If you are new to using cannabis for medicinal reasons, you should know the following:
- Not all cannabis is the same. Read the label, know where and how it is grown and extracted, and speak to your People’s pharmacist about what it all means.
- Everyone’s endocannbinoid system is unique; therefore, everyone’s reaction to cannabis will be unique. Don’t be put off the entire plant because of someone’s account of their experience.
- Know what you are taking. Dosing matters and it is very important to know the amount of active cannabinoid in whatever form you are taking. If continuing with cannabis products, it’s important for you to keep track of which dosage helps you achieve your desired result.
- Cannabis is not a drug. It is a plant with powerful healing properties. Dosing is a guide, but each person is encouraged to listen to their bodies and increase or decrease as their body responds. People’s carries Goldleaf patient journals to help monitor cannabis dosing and achieve the result you are looking for.
- What are the most common health issues that can be alleviated by CBD?
- Pain management
- Are there age restrictions on cannabis products?
- No, cannabis products with a THC level under one percent are legal to use. However, anyone under the age of 16 is advised to speak with a pharmacist to determine their best use case and dosage.
- How can one find out more about the cannabis products available for purchase at People’s?
- For information on using cannabis medicinally, the health team at People’s is fully equipped to help you select the formula or compound that is right for you. If you require a more tailored approach to getting started with cannabis, please come in and speak with our pharmacists. For information on making cannabis a part of your wellness plan, follow Tamara @mvmtwithtamaradonnelle on all social platforms.
For over 30 years, People’s Pharmacy has been dedicated to helping locals feel their best. From baby care, kids toys and natural products to pharmacy services, beauty, senior living equipment and everything in between. Visit Peoples Pharmacy at 62 Victoria Street, Hamilton or online at www.peoples.bm.