Caregiving for the Caregiver -- A discussion of cannabis medicine with Dr. Bonni Goldstein
Bonni Goldstein, MD is the Medical Director of Canna-Centers Wellness and Education, a California-based medical practice devoted to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious and chronic medical conditions. After years of working in the specialty of Pediatric Emergency medicine, she developed an interest in the science of medical cannabis after witnessing its beneficial effects in an ill friend. Since then she has evaluated thousands of patients for use of medical cannabis. She has a special interest in treating children with intractable epilepsy, autism, and advanced cancers. Dr. Goldstein recently authored the book Cannabis Revealed: How the world’s most misunderstood plant is treating everything from chronic pain to epilepsy. Dr. Goldstein has presented her clinical experiences at both national and international medical conferences. She has appeared on the TV show The Doctors and is featured in a new documentary called “Weed the People” featured at the 2018 South by Southwest festival.
One of Dr. Bonni's patients is Sophie, Elizabeth's daughter who has an intractable seizure disorder and severe developmental disabilities. Sophie was diagnosed at three months with infantile spasms that quickly became refractory, and after twenty different pharmaceuticals in various combinations and two trials of the ketogenic diet, she continued to seize hundreds of times a day. When she was nineteen years old, she was one of the first families to gain access to Charlotte's Web, the high CBD/low THC cannabis oil, and her seizures dramatically lessened for the first time in her life. Dr. Bonni continues to see Sophie and monitor her cannabis medicine and is one of Elizabeth's mentors and great friends.
Jason, Elizabeth and Bonni discuss the history of the marijuana plant and its medicinal benefits, as well as the obstacles families of children with complex healthcare needs have faced in access and use of cannabis medicine for their children.
Dr. Bonni also speaks as a caregiver to caregivers. She educates us about the endocannabinoid system, the history of the marijuana plant and the obstacles to its use in general, but she also reveals how the endocannabinoid system of caregivers and those who experience chronic stress can become unbalanced. She has numerous suggestions on how to right this imbalance, not only through cannabis medicine but also the various modalities that work with the endocannabinoid system: meditation, diet, exercise and yoga.
"It's not a belief, it's science," Dr. Goldstein and Elizabeth agree, and this episode will give you lots of information about self-care, that elusive gift we owe ourselves and sometimes find so difficult to administer.
For more information on Dr. Goldstein's educational center, see our Resource page!
Dr. Bonni recommends her book Cannabis Revealed.