Imagine the first thing you do in the morning, before you rub the sleep from your eyes and start your pot of coffee, is to trepidatiously make your way into your child’s room to make sure they are still alive. Imagine. “This was the life of our co-founder and President, Heather Jackson, for almost a decade until she found hemp.”
The Realm of Caring Foundation was informally established by Heather Jackson and Paige Figi, the first two success stories using Charlotte’s Web™ in early 2012. After receiving several inquiries from families seeking help, the team recognized the need to create a formal organization to not only collect data on individuals using cannabis products; but also to educate and advocate about this often misunderstood form of therapy.
On August 13th, 2013, Realm of Caring received its 501c3 designation as a recognized non-profit entity, to support families who were out of medical options. With families at the helm, the vision and mission of the organization would soon be realized, emphasizing the interest of the client and acting as a benefit to the community. By creating educational resources, conducting research, and assisting families with data-rich answers to their questions, Realm of Caring began and continues to be a leader in the cannabinoid field as a high impact non-profit, reimagining the way we think, talk, and respond to cannabis and the people who use it.
WF talks to Sasha Kalcheff-Korn, the education coordinator at ROC to get a little more information on CBD and its health benefits for our community.
WF: Hi Sasha – thank you for taking the time to meet with us to discuss a topic that has been in the news a lot lately. Especially given the number of states that have legalized marijuana use since the election.
Last week we spoke with Terrace Global CEO Stephen Lermer – to help to dispel some of the myths surrounding the CBD industry. He took the time to talk to us about all the testing and clinical trials that have been completed. Also, he explained how cannabinoids like CBD work with our Endocannabinoid System (much like our nervous system) .
WF: As we age, we’ve noticed a number of ailments creeping into our day to day lives such as anxiety, inflammation and joint pain. As newcomers to the world of cannabis, we too are looking for specific guidance, like ‘an idiots guide’ that tells us what and how much to take, and what format and what brand. How de we get started?
SKK: Understanding the world of CBD can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning. There is simply A LOT to learn – from understanding the types of cannabinoids to terpenes and flavonoids.
CBD is not condition specific, its role is to bring a balance within the body. For example, if you suffer from depression, CBD won’t increase the amount of serotonin your body creates like an antidepressant medication might; rather it is going to help your body utilize the serotonin it already creates – just more efficiently.
But, what we always recommend to our clients is start with a very low amount of a high quality product. We have a few companies we have personally vetted to be safe and consistent so you can trust the product you are taking. As a consumer it is your right to know what is in your product, always ask for a certificate of analysis. Patience is also important when starting out, it may take some time before you realize benefits.
If taking CBD or cannabis orally isn’t for you and you are looking for a localized area of relief on the body a small amount of a topical cream is a good way to start and gradually increase as needed.
Like I said, it’s overwhelming. But that’s why we’re here to help!
WF: Can you explain to us a little bit about who are your main clients?
SKK: We often have caregivers coming to us because they want to help their children or their elderly parents who are suffering from an ailment or chronic condition. Then when they become more aware of all of the benefits, the conversation turns to how we can help them achieve a better quality of life. They may be suffering from insomnia, anxiety, stress, or pain. Sometimes it takes talking to us and understanding the benefits before they may recognize they want to try it for themselves.I am happy to see that more people are starting to come to us about their own self-care. It is so important, especially now.
We also work with a lot of doctors, as this is not something taught in medical school and they want to have an understanding to be able to help their patients. More recently, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of international clients, particularly from the UK since they just passed the legalization of CBD there. We even have clients coming to us for their pets. In fact, one of our clients has a lion who we have helped.
WF: For our clients that are looking to take advantage of your service – how does service work?
SKK: Realm of Caring is a free service as we are a not for profit. We service all of our clients, worldwide, one on one – either by phone or by email.
WF: The service you provide is amazing! Since all of the counselling you provide is free – what is your source of funding?
SKK: We are very fortunate to be the beneficiary of generous donors. As well we qualify for a number of grants.
WF: Our last question is around research. So far, we’ve been able to find an abundance of anecdotal information, but very little funded research. In what areas can we find the most reliable research (and if possible, can you share that with us)
SKK: We are working on that. We now have the largest observational research registry for cannabinoid therapy in the world with our partners at Johns Hopkins University. In fact, we recently produced a joint study of our results. The registry is still open for cannabis users and non-users alike, it’s a great chance to be a part of this massive, informative machine that is paving the way for clinical trials. We need this research so that the medical community can recognize that people are using plant-based therapies as their medicine, and it’s saving lives.
WF: We know that you are planning a big event in memory of Charlotte Figi on April 7th. Please tell us a little bit about it and let us know how our community can participate.
SKK: Yes! We are hosting a free, virtual memorial and benefit concert for Charlotte Figi on April 7th. Charlotte is the little girl who changed the face of cannabis as we know it, she is our light and she tragically passed away last year at just 13 years old. We aim to pay tribute to her and allow our global community to celebrate, heal, and dance. We are so excited to have appearances from Sanjay Gupta and Realm of Caring families as well as performances by Jason Mraz, Michael Franti, Graham Nash, Sarah Jarosz, The Avett Brothers, Ruthie Foster and soo many more.
You can find all of the amazing details and claim your free tickets at rocktheroc.org.
WF: Sasha it has been great chatting with you today. Thank you for your time and helping us to understand a little more about CBD.