The United States national median age was 37.8 in 2015. Anywhere over that places an individual on the senior side of the population. According to the United States Census Bureau, 47 million seniors are living in the U.S. Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 14.5 percent of Americans will be 65 years and older by the year 2060. Baby boomers are the generation most identified as seniors. They are the most active, long-lived, and a majority are still technically not retired. Most are in their 60s, and with it comes the slowing down of everything as well as the appearance of age related illnesses. Surviving baby boomers will number 2.4 million by 2060, with the youngest among them age 96.
Radicle Health Chief Visionary Officer and co-founder Eloise Theisen is a board-certified Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner who started her career at John Muir Medical Center. Her journey to cannabis treatment and advocacy started with a car accident that left her with a disability she could not effectively treat with conventional pain medications. Although reluctant at first, she finally turned to an alternative treatment involving cannabis medications. Having experienced the relief in this form of treatment led her to starting her own cannabis practice five years ago. She has treated over 5,000 patients and is one of the first healthcare professionals to bring a clinical dosing regimen to cannabis therapeutics.
For a majority of patients, Radicle Health provides access to cannabis. This nature-based treatment is used to help those with age-related problems and chronic illnesses. Being a nurse herself, Theisen has initiated instructor-led seminars and self-paced, recorded curriculum packages that nurses can complete for continuing education credits. The Radicle Health team is comprised of Rebecca Byars who is the Chief Operating Officer, David Theisen who is the Chief Social Officer, and Timothy Byars who is the Chief Executive Officer. Cannabis, however, still bears a stigma from the War on Drugs. This is why patients are initially skeptical of a cannabis method. According to Radicle’s recent research, seniors are one of the fastest-growing demographics of cannabis users. It comes with the difficulty of finding the right resource. With legalization steadily being pushed through, sales are also on the rise, coupled with confusing information and low-quality products. Theisen realized the need for proper guidance and information to avoid patients disappointment and turning to pharmaceutical drugs, that can be addictive in the long run.
Radicle Health offers 55-minute consultations in which Theisen discusses the health history of the patient, their primary treatment goals, as well as the conditions they live in. She reviews the prescription medications to assess potential contraindications. Routes of administration are discussed to the patient, including therapeutic benefits, treatment plans, dosage, frequency of use, and when to increase dosage. Theisen notes a prevalence in patients suffering from chronic pain. Many have been spending for conventional drugs and not getting the desired relief they get from cannabis. Worse, many report that their pain doctors are no longer willing to renew their opiate prescriptions, due to fear of addiction. This is a major problem right now in the U.S. with an estimated 115 people losing their lives to opioid addiction daily.
Other major causes of discomfort for seniors are sleep-related issues, symptoms related to cancer and chemotherapy, anxiety and depression, as well as neurological disorders. Radicle Health has a growing number of patients in assisted living battling Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia being treated with cannabis. Theisen has a lot of unique feedback, with every experience different from each patient. However, they agree on one thing: that cannabis remedies have improved their lives.
“One of our favorite stories is from a 93- year-old woman who was diagnosed with advanced-stage dementia. Her 40-plus years of opiate use had lead her to become confused and disoriented, which led [her] to multiple falls. Once we started her on cannabis, we were able to eliminate her opiates, and she regained clarity and was no longer considered to have dementia.
Many of our patients tell us that they feel lost and overwhelmed by the process–what to order, where to go, how much to take–and they get little guidance from their other practitioners. After meeting with our clinicians, patients report that they feel more prepared to begin their cannabis journey.”
Radicle Health aims to get patients’ trust back to health professionals. Misinformation and biased or unclear laws have led them to put their confidence in mostly young retailers. Patients confess that budtenders know more about cannabis use to treat their illnesses than the patient’s physician.
Theisen further states:
“These budtenders have been on the frontlines of cannabis activism, providing help and guidance to patients who could find no help elsewhere. These men and women should be applauded for their work. That said, evaluating a patient and creating a treatment plan, especially for an older adult, is complex. We can’t expect a person with a non-medical degree to adequately assess a patient’s needs, especially senior patients.
“Consequently, first and foremost, Radicle Health wants to return cannabis health care to professionals through education and developing best practices. Second, Radicle Health intends to provide the medical community with education to promote standards and best practices to govern cannabis care.”
That being said, the company supports cannabis advocacy groups like The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), The Cannabis Nurses Network (CNN), United Patients Group, Patients Out Of Time, NORML, and project CBD.
Radicle Health is located at 2815 Mitchell Dr. Suite 119 in Walnut Creek, CA.
Patients may also call 925.357.8316 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patients may also visit their website at radiclehealthcare.com to find out more about their services or schedule appointments.