Let’s talk about Cannabis Use and Nutrition
Mental and Healthcare Professionals Say Cannabis and Self-Care Can Work Well Together
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Cannabis and Nutrition: Is it safe to eat marijuana?
You are what you eat and as cannabis use becomes more mainstream, it’s not uncommon to see the leafy plant and other cannabinoids infused in food and supplements.

Join the next Conversations on Cannabis live virtual forum on January 27, 2022, at noon to hear medical and culinary experts talk about eating cannabis, as well as the nutritional benefits and associated risks.
Some Doctors Say Cannabis and ‘Self-Care’ Can Work Well Together
Anyone who does something to feel better either mentally or physically, or both, is experiencing “self-care.” That term would seem to be self-explanatory, however, it’s open to interpretation. Getting a manicure may be someone’s way of alleviating stress, while going for a long walk may be another’s preferred method for realizing the same benefits.
“Essentially, self-care is more of a conscientious decision to prioritize yourself and deal with the things that are really the foundation for a lot of the stress that we feel on the surface. People don't associate this with self-care,” explains Dr. Alishea Rowley, a mental health clinician and associate professor in counselor education at Florida A&M University (FAMU).
Neuropsychologist Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton, associate professor and chair of FAMU’s Department of Psychology, agrees and says there are significant benefits to practicing intentional self-care. 

“Research has shown that it decreases blood pressure. It can improve our cognitive processing along with how well we sleep, our thinking, our relationships, because we're calmer, we're positive, we're happier. It helps us to balance so many aspects of our lives. I strongly urge everyone, if you're not engaging in self-care intentionally, identify some intentional practices to engage in starting today,” Singleton said. 

But you don’t have to take the “self” part literally. You may need to get help with improving your overall well-being, whether through expert advice on nutrition, with medical marijuana treatments or with therapy.
Dr. Genester Wilson-King is a firm believer in taking a natural approach to healthcare. She is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who provides integrative wellness at the Victory Rejuvenation Center in Lake Mary near Orlando. In addition to advising her patients to eat real food, drink clean water and breathe fresh air, as a qualified medical marijuana physician in Florida, Dr. Wilson-King has helped hundreds of her patients make legal cannabis and CBD treatments part of their self-care regimens.

“There are many self-care practices that cannabis can help with,” says Wilson-King. “One of the main reasons to use it is for REM (rapid eye movement) sleep which really helps heal, repair and rejuvenate your body. Oftentimes, sleep medicines will not get you into REM sleep. They just zonk you out. Low-dose cannabis does not disrupt the sleep architecture.”

She says insomnia is often caused by other medical issues, such as pain and anxieties, that medical marijuana also is effective at treating. 
All of the doctors stress the importance self-care plays in establishing a better quality of life. Dr. Rowley, who has more than 15 years of experience as a mental health counselor, recommends visiting a therapist as part of a self-care routine. 

“We've gone through a very, very difficult time with COVID. If people are having mental health disturbances, a therapist is someone they can talk to and get some of that toxicity out of their system,” she said.

Click here to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum on YouTube featuring Dr. Alishea Rowley, Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton and Dr. Genester Wilson-King. Visit MMERI’s website at http://mmeri.famu.edu.
Cannabis News Roundup
How to Get Medical Marijuana in Florida
Only a qualified physician can recommend medical marijuana in Florida. However, a patient still must get a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Card to obtain the drug from an approved treatment center.
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What People Are Saying About Marijuana

During each Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum, we ask audience members to share their views or experiences.

“I am a longtime advocate for the benefits of marijuana. I was arrested in 2012 for possession with intent and lost my student financial aid as a result.” - E.P., Navarre, FL

“When I started my PhD program back in 2018, I was also dealing with separating from my physically and emotionally abusive spouse. As one who received my BA and MA from an HBCU, I was also experiencing extreme culture shock and isolation. When I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was prescribed Prozac, which made me have homicidal and suicidal thoughts. One of my friends suggested I apply for my medical marijuana card, so I found another doctor who diagnosed me with PTSD, not just from the abuse during marriage, but also from my very traumatic childhood. I received my medical card last November and I have flourished! My mental state is clear. I can focus on my classwork. I am so grateful for this method of care!” - N.K., Bowling Green, OH

“I smoked off and on mainly to sleep for many years and had no idea how to use it for medicine otherwise. When I started taking microdoses of Full Extract Cannabis oil, things started getting better and I was able to go off a lot of prescriptions one by one as my body healed. I can't heal everything, but it sure makes my mental and physical things much better and makes life easier to deal with for me.” P.L., Umatilla, FL
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