Sarnia doctor partners with Trillium Villa to assess benefits of medicinal marijuana, which may hold key to treating chronic conditions in seniors without affecting quality of life


Trillium Villa, a Steeves & Rozema long-term care home in Sarnia Ontario, is embarking on a new, trailblazing collaboration with a local physician to see if medicinal marijuana can improve quality of life for residents who are living with conditions such as chronic pain, movement disorders and anxiety.

Dr. Blake Pearson began visiting with Trillium Villa residents and their families about two weeks ago to discuss the initiative with them.

Dr. John O’Mahony, Trillium Villa’s attending physician, is identifying residents who may benefit from this therapy. Once selected to try the therapy, and after residents and their family members have given consent, nurse practitioner Oksana Konko will write referrals and Dr. Pearson will then write prescriptions.

“It’s early, but we’re really excited about (this collaboration), says Trillium Villa administrator Kim Van Dam. five of the care team members from Trillium Villa stand with their arms around each other smiling

“This is the first long-term care home in Sarnia (Dr. Pearson) has gone into (to discuss this treatment), so we are really excited to see the outcomes for the residents who agree to try this.”

Residents who choose to try this therapy and obtain a prescription will receive the medicinal marijuana in an oil-based form which can be mixed with food.

The oil residents will receive will have a higher ratio of cannabidiol (CBD) content to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. CBD is the most abundant, non-psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. Unlike THC, the most abundant chemical compound in cannabis, CBD will not get people “high.”

“People don’t get the ‘high’ – they get the benefits of (the CBD),” Kim explains, adding residents and their families have shown interest in learning more about how this type of therapy could help with pain management and controlling anxiety.

“There is a lot of interest about how this can assist our residents on a number of fronts,” Kim says.

“We have had families who are asking about it, and they are so thrilled because they did ask about it and now Dr. Pearson has come in, met with them and discussed how their loved one might benefit from this treatment.”

In photo (left to right): Dr. John O’Mahony, NP Oksana Konko, Trillium Villa administrator Kim Van Dam, Dr. Blake Pearson and resident care manager Kelly Batson.

This story was published by Axiom News, originally on S&R's website. Reposted with permission. 

There's more to this story. Read parts 2, 3 and 4 by clicking on the links below:
Part 2: Partnership to trial medicinal cannabis with Trillium Villa residents ‘an exciting opportunity,’ says doctor
Part 3: Medicinal cannabis could reduce usage of psychotropics, narcotics in LTC residents
Part 4: Medicinal cannabis may hold key to treating chronic conditions in seniors without affecting quality of life, says doctor