Join John with his guest Janna Champagne (BSN, RN) who has treated a multitude of patients on the autistic spectrum. You’ll find surprises you would have never have thought to discover in this enlightening and informative interview.
Janna Champagne RN – A Mother’s Love, Cannabis for Autism.
John Malanca ( 00:00 ):
Hi, everybody. Welcome back. This is John Malanca with United Patients Group: Be Informed and Be
John Malanca ( 00:05 ):
Today’s special guest is a dear friend. Not only is she a cannabis nurse, she’s a cannabis mom, but she was one of our head nurses at United Patients Group for years and… I don’t want to say gone on to bigger and better things, because we still want you back, but she’s a co-founder of Cannabis Nurses Network, and I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend, Janna Champagne. Welcome, Janna.
Janna Champagne ( 00:29 ):
Thank you, John. I’m so excited to be here. This is wonderful.
John Malanca ( 00:33 ):
Good to have you on. We’ve always talked via phone, and talking about patients, and what we’re doing,
and stuff like that. So, to have you on I think is great.
John Malanca ( 00:41 ):
Let’s talk about autism. Well, let’s go into… if you could talk about maybe a little about your background, and why autism really stands out, but I know you work with cannabis patients. We’ve sent you hundreds and hundreds of patients.
Janna Champagne ( 00:55 ):
John Malanca ( 00:56 ):
Yeah. A thousand, I think, something like that.
Janna Champagne ( 00:57 ):
John Malanca ( 00:58 ):
Everything from sleep issues, anxiety to cancer and everything in between. But in there falls the autism, and why that’s near and dear to your heart, and why you have not only been a cannabis expert in other ailments but also, really a cannabis expert with autism.
John Malanca ( 01:16 ):
So, can you share your background? And cannabis wasn’t always your lifestyle, as well. I think a lot of us have fallen into this sector where cannabis has not, but it is now, or Karin and I always say we’ve been adopted. We were recruited to help others. So, go for it, Janna.
Janna Champagne ( 01:37 ):
Well, thank you, John. I appreciate that. I’m a registered nurse in the state of Oregon, and I was working in a hospital full-time, working on my graduate degree, and homeschooling my kid with autism, ignoring all my red signals that something was wrong in my body and I was out of balance, and I suffered a major health collapse in 2012.
Janna Champagne ( 01:58 ):
And this is what brought me initially to cannabis. As a mainstream nurse, I had never considered it, I’m in Oregon and we had patients that would come through with it, and never really took it seriously as medicine at all until I started seeking options for myself. After almost two years of mainstream
treatment, I was still disabled, not able to work, non-functional a lot of the times, and turned to cannabis for pain relief.
Janna Champagne ( 02:22 ):
Lupus was one of my diagnoses, so I had a lot of joint pains and different issues going on around that. Knew I didn’t want to go down the opioid death pathway that, as a nurse, you see how that ends for patients, and… there’s a lot of motivation to avoid it when you really see what it does to people’s health.
Janna Champagne ( 02:39 ):
And so, I turned to cannabis just for pain, and the cannabis not only alleviated my pain, it lifted my brain fog and renewed my cognitive function, which… It got so bad at one point that I quit my master’s degree program eight credits shy of my degree; after eight years straight of school, I quit eight credits shy. Would have been one more quarter. I couldn’t write a paper anymore.
Janna Champagne ( 03:01 ):
It brought back my brain, it brought back… my immune function has improved significantly. In fact, my autoimmune lupus is now seroconverted, so I’m negative for lupus now, which is unheard of with the
mainstream approach. So, it did so many wonderful things for my own health.
Janna Champagne ( 03:15 ):
And then, a couple years later, my daughter with autism entered puberty crisis, which is synonymous to
about 50% of kids with autism, so it’s very common. She went from being this sweet, cuddly, eager-to-
please little girl to the puberty monster, where she was self-injurious, she would punch herself in the head, she had knocked holes in every wall of my house, she had punched holes through the doors, she was beating up every caregiver and parent and every authority figure in her life.
Janna Champagne ( 03:45 ):
So, this brought about a lot of safety issues, and at one point, she just nearly missed being placed out-of-home for safety issues. So, when we brought cannabis on board, and we started with non-intoxicating THCA, so I could take some time to research the considerations in children and adolescents using THC, but it eased her puberty crisis and it spared her out-of-home placement. And it brought us back to a place…
Janna Champagne ( 04:15 ):
It brought us back from that edge that we were teetering on with crisis in our family, and it calmed
everything down. It’s never perfect, but it made it manageable for her. And so, seeing this response, of course I began sharing my story, and there’s so many other autism families that have discovered cannabis as a safe and effective remedy for their child.
Janna Champagne ( 04:37 ):
Deep-diving into the research, I came to the conclusion that autism is endo-cannabinoid deficiency. And the deficiency in cannabinoids that we used to have in our diet every day. Before 1937, we were feeding it to our animals, we were eating it ourselves, and the cannabinoids are vital nutrients that keep our bodies in balance. And in autism, there’s three major areas that are out of balance, and cannabis helps to promote balance in all three of those. It’s the gut, the brain, and the immune system.
Janna Champagne ( 05:06 ):
So, it goes beyond just that superficial symptom management where it’s easing the situations. It’s
actually promoting healing in some of these underlying issues in autism. So, it’s been a huge hitter for us and so many families that I’ve worked with.
John Malanca ( 05:20 ):
Isn’t it amazing how much we learn about this plant? Because, like you, Karin and I, as I mentioned
earlier, we were just recruited into this industry, and Karin was anti-cannabis for years. And then we
started researching what was going on, and of course, her father, who’s still with us today, she says,
“Gosh, I cannot believe this is not a medicine.” It was a medicine in 1937.
John Malanca ( 05:44 ):
And you go deeper into it, and people always ask… they call us up, you know, “Does it work for this?
Does it work for that? Does it work for this? Does it work for that?” And I always laugh, because even
when I present at not only cannabis conferences but cancer conferences, I put a roll of duct tape on one of my presentations, and they look, it’s like, “Did you want that slide? Is that slide supposed to be there? It’s a roll of duct tape.”
John Malanca ( 06:05 ):
And I said, “This slide is specifically for the questions: does… I don’t want to say cannabis has a million and one uses like duct tape, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it really does.” I mean, there are 120 cannabinoids, plus and minus… I say plus and minus because some say 150, some say 113, and the cannabinoids…
John Malanca ( 06:23 ):
Each has a role. A major cannabinoid, and of course THC; CBD which is in every store, grocery store, gas station. I mean, you’re hearing about it everywhere you go. And then you go to acid form, which you mentioned that you did for your daughter, which is THCA, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It’s like juicing wheatgrass, and I think everyone should be on this. It’s almost like a daily nutrient, like a vitamin as well, keeping the body back to homeostasis but it’s great for inflammation.
John Malanca ( 06:52 ):
And so, do you still… I know its not a one-size-fits-all, but do you still recommend or work with patients that… maybe their child or their loved one is going through autism, do you still go right back to the THCA cannabinoid, or are you kind of mixing and matching? I know, again, as I mentioned, it’s not a one-size-fits-all.
Janna Champagne ( 07:16 ):
There really is no one-size-fits-all with autism, and most other diseases, as well, fall on a spectrum
where you have the more severe, you have the less severe, and everything in between.
Janna Champagne ( 07:27 ):
The nice thing about cannabis is, like you mentioned, John, it’s a vital nutrient. Our bodies require
cannabinoids, and what a lot of people don’t understand is that internally, we make endocannabinoids.
We have an endocannabinoid system that produces them. The most prolific source of endocannabinoids
that we make is breast milk, which really lends to that, “Oh, these are vital nutrients. They’re in breast milk.”
Janna Champagne ( 07:52 ):
But really, what it does is when these cannabinoids, either that we make internally or the ones from the plant, if we can’t make them internally or have some deficiency that way, the plant… the molecules in the plant act exactly like the ones we make. There’s an endocannabinoid called anandamide, and it’s synonymous with THC. There’s one called 2AG, it’s synonymous with CBD, and so on.
Janna Champagne ( 08:15 ):
And as you mentioned, we have hundreds of cannabinoids. I think the last number I heard was up in the
160s. But we’re finding new ones every day, so we’re very much in our infancy as far as our breadth of
knowledge around this plant and what we know for sure, but we do know that it’s a vital nutrient. We
know that it promotes health, we know that it promotes balance, and when you consider in a general
Janna Champagne ( 08:37 ):
I do hear a lot of skepticism, like, “How could one thing be good for so many different disorders?” But underlying in any health disorder, any health diagnosis, is imbalances that are causing the symptoms and causing the disease. So, when you consider that cannabis very intelligently promotes balance throughout the body, that really explains how it can be so high-impact for so many different things. Everything else, I take an individualized approach.
John Malanca ( 09:05 ):
Well, I know, and you’re such a great educator. And over the years, like you said, thousands of patients, and it’s just, “Janna, Janna, Janna, Janna has been great.” Can you share, because you are such a great educator, because I’d always get the feedback, receiving these feedbacks from the patients that we’d send you, and just giving them hope. And I never want to give anybody false hope, but when you go through something as severe as autism, or see your child go through this, or your spouse or whoever, yourself, going through an ailment, a disease in the body, your whole world comes rocking down on you.
John Malanca ( 09:43 ):
And so, I probably should say, maybe a lot of our followers right now are probably parents like you who are researching on internet, trying to find information. Their loved one has autism, and can you share, you being such a great educator, putting you on the spot, but can you share what the endocannabinoid system is? Every mammal, [inaudible 00:10:05]?
Janna Champagne ( 10:05 ):
Yes, and it’s a little sketchy, so I’ll try to get through this.
Janna Champagne ( 10:19 ):
The endocannabinoid system is the 12th system in our body. It was discovered in 1992 by a researcher
named Raphael Mechoulam, and he found this receptor that interacts with THC and cannabis. That’s
initially how he found it. So, as we continued to learn about the endocannabinoid system, we learned
that it acts like the endocrine system.
Janna Champagne ( 10:41 ):
There’s receptors throughout our body, and every other system of our body, and when cannabinoids,
whether internally produced or from the plant, interact with our endocannabinoid system, it promotes
homeostasis, or balance in our body. So, that’s kind of the big-picture view. The research supports that life would not be possible without an endocannabinoid system, so it truly is vital, these nutrients are vital…
Janna Champagne ( 11:07 ):
And if you look historically, when we took cannabis off of the market in 1937, they taxed it so highly that nobody could afford it anymore; it was no longer being fed to our animals, it wasn’t in our eggs and our meat and our milk, we weren’t consuming it ourselves as medicine or as food, and we triggered this historical flip in the health of our society. And all of the sudden, chronic illness became rampant.
Janna Champagne ( 11:32 ):
And I think this term “endocannabinoid deficiency” was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004, and he links
it with every single chronic illness that’s known to man, that endocannabinoid system deficiency is a
cause of every chronic illness, basically. So, it’s huge impact for so many people.
John Malanca ( 11:53 ):
And I always say, endocannabinoid system, in layman terms, what does it crave? It craves cannabinoids,
bringing the body back to balance, back to homeostasis. And I’m sorry, it’s funny, was my speaker earlier going in and out? Because a thing popped up and said, “Your speaker,” and I hadn’t touched anything. Anyway, glad we’re back on here.
Janna Champagne ( 12:15 ):
Yeah, I thought it was my internet, so…
John Malanca ( 12:17 ):
Oh, no, no, I’ll take full blame on that. Let’s talk about the cannabinoids that you generally use in
treating not only your daughter but other patients that come to you. Because a lot of them don’t have
access to THCA or THC. THC, a lot of patients say, “Help. I don’t want the recreational part of the plant, I want the medical part of the plant,” and so, can you talk… all the cannabinoids, the importance of all cannabinoids, how they all play a role in bringing the body back to homeostasis and healing? And the entourage effect, as well.
Janna Champagne ( 12:58 ):
Yes, absolutely. THC of course is intoxicating. It has this stigma that it’s just a recreational drug. But realistically, it has really bonafide medical uses, and one of them is for autoimmune. I credit THC for reducing my autoimmune markers, because research supports that it actually reduces the T-cell activity of the immune system, which is what triggers that self-attack or that hyper-reactivity of the immune system so your body starts attacking your own tissue. That is the definition of autoimmune.
Janna Champagne ( 13:35 ):
Another great use I can think of is PTSD. It can act as an amnesiac, it can help people forget the trauma, it can help them heal from that. Parkinson’s Disease is another one; we know THC increase dopamine, so it can replace some of the Parkinson’s medications when done correctly with physician oversight, of course, on that piece.
Janna Champagne ( 13:55 ):
So, it does have bonafide medical uses, as do all of the other cannabinoids. And for those who are
lacking access to THC, I mean, luckily we have several cannabinoid components that are available under
the current hemp law, which allows hemp in all 50 states. We have CBD, CBG, CBGA, CBDA, CBN is a
newer one on the market.
Janna Champagne ( 14:19 ):
So, we do have a lot of options to potentially help people even if they can’t access the THC, or prefer to stay with the non-intoxicating compounds.
John Malanca ( 14:28 ):
And so, for our followers who are… again, doing the research on here, can you please let them…
John Malanca ( 14:35 ):
Still to this day, a lot of the calls that we receive think the only way to ingest cannabis is via smoking. And so, the stigma of smoking is there, and so, can you talk about, “How am I supposed to get my daughter… she’s four and she’s autistic, and she can’t smoke,” and so you have to go back and…
John Malanca ( 14:54 ):
Do you receive those type of questions, as well?
Janna Champagne ( 14:57 ):
Oh, all the time. All the time. And I find that once you educate people, and they realize that there is such a thing as targeted medical use, where you’re individualizing a protocol, you’re relying on what the research supports for their specific situation or condition. It’s a very different approach. I don’t ever have a patient call me and pay for consultation so that they can get higher or more intoxicated. That just doesn’t happen. There is serious medical use.
Janna Champagne ( 15:25 ):
And then, I counter that even those that are inhaling or using adult use or recreational are still receiving medical benefits. There was a retrospective study done on cannabis smokers that have been using cannabis through inhalants only for 20 years, and they had an 80% less instance of diabetes. So, even if somebody is just using it recreationally, they’re still kind of self-medicating, and they’re still receiving some benefit from that.
Janna Champagne ( 15:54 ):
But for really targeted, serious medical use, I very rarely recommend inhalants. It’s usually tinctures, sublingual tinctures, or concentrates or topicals, something of that nature where the focus is not the intoxicating effect. Although inhalants can be very useful, and I have taught my daughter to use a vape pen, we only use it for emergency rescue. So, there are days still when she struggles with severe PMS and migraines, and you can see her ramping up in some behaviors. The vape pen will stop it in its tracks, and we’ve taught it to her, it’s her straw, and there are days that she’s really fighting to maintain control, and goes, “Straw!”, and we run for it, because it’s just so quick.
Janna Champagne ( 16:45 ):
Sublinguals are 10 to 15 minutes which, if your child is struggling to maintain control, that can feel like a really long time. It’s not for everybody, but it is a tool.
John Malanca ( 16:54 ):
And it’s amazing on the night and day… A friend of mine, her daughter has autism, and you can really
tell when it clicks in.
Janna Champagne ( 17:03 ):
John Malanca ( 17:03 ):
It’s like, “So, what are we doing today?” type of thing. Before, it was… like you said with your daughter, and you shared a lot of your stories with the holes in the walls and stuff like that.
John Malanca ( 17:13 ):
Just talk about minors and cannabis. Minors, this topic comes up: “I don’t want to give my minor…” Or, “How do I have this conversation with my doctor?” And can you share what you share with other
parents that are going through this, in a legal state or illegal state?”
John Malanca ( 17:33 ):
I always share [inaudible 00:17:34] sharing more. Is my speaker out again?
Janna Champagne ( 17:46 ):
I think it’s back.
John Malanca ( 17:49 ):
It’s funny. I’ve never [inaudible 00:17:51], so let me know if it goes south, but can you talk about, how does a parent talk about this with their child’s doctor?
Janna Champagne ( 18:01 ):
See, now, that’s a tricky part. Most physicians did not learn about the endocannabinoid system or the
science behind it in medical school. They’re still not teaching it in medical schools, they’re not teaching it in nursing schools, so it takes finding a medical professional that is open to cannabis, or already knows the benefits of cannabis therapy and is actively advocating.
Janna Champagne ( 18:24 ):
One thing that parents can do, if they’re in a legal state and they have a medical program, is get their child a medical card, and that protects them legally from any possible ramifications; if somebody wants to cause them a headache and finds out they’re giving their child cannabis, that will protect them. So, that’s a very important piece, and there are many physicians that… and most, many states that offer legal access to medical cannabis for autism specifically.
Janna Champagne ( 18:55 ):
And there is an organization named MAMMA. It’s Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana for
Autism, and they are really pushing to make autism a qualifying condition in legal cannabis states. So, that’s a great organization to connect with if you don’t have it in your state and you’re wondering what you can do.
Janna Champagne ( 19:14 ):
When it comes to actually treating the autism, the protocols… even with a professional like myself
advising, the very first recommendations may not be the best fit. It’s expected that it’s going to require some experimentation just because every kid with autism is so different. I do have an autism cannabis patient handbook that I’m offering for free download, and it gives some tidbits about, THCA might be good for these symptoms, CBD might be good for these symptoms, and what to consider as far as
pharmaceuticals and things like that. So, that’s always an option, as well, and I’ll give John the link for that. It’s integratedholisticcare.com/subscribe, and you put in your email and it takes you right to the download. That’s always an option.
Janna Champagne ( 20:02 ):
And we have nurses who are trained to work with kids with autism, as well. So, if you want more of the
individualized approach, or you’re worried about interactions with your child’s pharmaceuticals, things like that, we can do a more intensive consultation, as well.
John Malanca ( 20:16 ):
Can you hear me right now, or no?
Janna Champagne ( 20:17 ):
John Malanca ( 20:18 ):
Okay, because the thing still says, “Your speaker’s not working. Please check your connection or use a
Janna Champagne ( 20:23 ):
Oh. Very odd.
John Malanca ( 20:24 ):
This is me, my internet, not yours. And I’ve never seen this, and I’ve done hundreds of these.
Janna Champagne ( 20:29 ):
Thank God for editing, right?
John Malanca ( 20:30 ):
I know. Well, no, I think we’ll just let it go. I think it’s great and we’ll just do this podcast. We’re happy to do it this way.
Janna Champagne ( 20:37 ):
John Malanca ( 20:40 ):
You mentioned pharmaceuticals, and I’m glad you said that because it’s very important to look at
what’s… Cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all. Age, look at the age of the patient, weight of the patient, current health condition, and medications that they, he or she, may be on.
John Malanca ( 20:59 ):
And so, can you talk about making sure about combining cannabis with pharmaceuticals? Titrating off
should be with a medical professional, just don’t do it cold turkey, and if we could start with that, and then I wanted to talk to you about dosing afterwards.
Janna Champagne ( 21:17 ):
Sure, of course. Pharmaceuticals and concurrent use of cannabis is a major consideration, it should be
overseen by a medical professional that understands how they might interact and how you might need
to adjust your pharmaceuticals once you start cannabis. As a nurse, I don’t take care of that part. It has to be done by the prescribing physician or another physician, because I can’t counter a physician’s order, which a prescription is, unless it’s a PRN or As Needed. Then I can help advise. So, that’s one limitation of a nurse being involved in that piece.
Janna Champagne ( 21:51 ):
There are many other individual considerations of cannabis therapy, as well, and because of this, my
nurses and I put together a patient self-questionnaire, and it actually details reasons why you might
want to seek medical oversight before starting your cannabis therapy. Of course, pharmaceutical
medications is one of those. Cancer is another, diabetes, hypertension, use in child or adolescents, and that kind of comes back to what you asked before about the considerations there.
Janna Champagne ( 22:18 ):
With THC, there is one research study that supports that there could be neurodevelopmental risk factors with THC use in childhood or adolescence. So, once again, it’s making sure that a medical professional is assessing the situation. I’ve gotten to where I can look genetically to see if a child is predisposed to those risk factors, and help to mitigate them through nutrigenomics, which is a whole nother subject. But there are things you can do to help improve that risk factor, is the point.
Janna Champagne ( 22:48 ):
And really, it’s about weighing the risk versus benefit. Most kids that are using THC have got something more serious like cancer, or they have autism, so they already have neurodevelopmental issues, and they’re beating themselves up every day. If THC decreases that risk of harm, which is much more profound than the potential harm from cannabis, then that turns out to potentially be an option.
Janna Champagne ( 23:13 ):
That said, I always follow the parents’ lead. As a special needs mom myself, I feel like parents’ instinct is a powerful tool to help guide and make sure that we’re reaching success, their goals for their child with autism around the cannabis, and that’s really important, too, is to set up reasonable goals. And make sure they understand it may take some experimentation. It may not be perfect, you know? It may mean that we need to come back and try some different products, or try different dosing, or tweak some other things in order to really see optimal results.
Janna Champagne ( 23:46 ):
My daughter’s protocol changes depending on how she looks any given day. We have a protocol for
pain, we have a protocol for PMS, we have a protocol for just regular teenage moodiness…
John Malanca ( 23:56 ):
Life. Life, yeah.
Janna Champagne ( 23:59 ):
So, it’s flexible.
John Malanca ( 24:00 ):
Yeah. Which brings me to… the next question is, since it’s not a one-size-fits-all, and you say you have this arsenal… “Okay, how is she feeling today, and what are we putting in there?”
John Malanca ( 24:10 ):
Can you give an idea of dosing protocol? Is it five milligrams, or is it 150 milligrams? Where are we
looking at? Or is it… again, I know it’s different for everyone. And also, staying ahead, like in a pain patient. On a scale of one to 10, they’re at a 10, but when they take cannabis or their opioids, they’re down to a two… Don’t wait until you’re a 10 again before you take it.
John Malanca ( 24:35 ):
So, a lot of doctors will say, “Hey, before you get to that pain threshold, let’s stay ahead of the pain,” and the same thing I’m seeing with autistic children is keeping it in the system, not so where they’re drugged out all day but keeping it… and knowing, like you said, you know your daughter. A mother or father should know their child and what they’re going through, and saying, “Oh, we’re seeing this reaction,” or, “We’re seeing how their personality is changing here, and I can see this is about to come on. Every day at two o’clock, I’m running into the same thing.”
John Malanca ( 25:06 ):
And so, do you recommend, or do you do this with your daughter, where you stay ahead of, before the
Janna Champagne ( 25:14 ):
Absolutely, absolutely. And I teach that once you figure out what works for your child, and works for
what triggers those huge behaviors in them, then you can act preventatively. And as soon as you start
seeing signs that there’s disease or that they’re discontent and they’re starting to show signs of
agitation, you can treat early on and often prevent that huge exacerbation.
Janna Champagne ( 25:42 ):
And just to give you a little bit of perspective on that, at the height of my daughter’s puberty crisis, she was melting down and tantrum-ing… full-tilt tantrum. She would go for two or three hours, and she would literally exhaust herself physically and pass out at the end. So, I mean, this is what we’re trying to prevent. Nowadays if she gets upset, usually we can prevent a meltdown completely. Usually we can have her feeling better in maximum of 10 or 15 minutes, if we go with [inaudible 00:26:15]. She’s learning to self-soothe, she’s learning to self-comfort, she’ll actually give herself a time-out in her room when she’s not handling things well.
Janna Champagne ( 26:22 ):
So, it gives our kids… because our kids don’t feel good about their behaviors, either. A lot of times, they show remorse after the fact, and they feel badly. So, we’re giving them really important tools to self-manage at the same time that we’re medicating and helping to target some of the underlying causes of their behavior. It’s such a wonderful tool that way.
John Malanca ( 26:44 ):
What’s your daughter’s age now?
Janna Champagne ( 26:46 ):
She just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago.
John Malanca ( 26:49 ):
18 already? Oh, my gosh.
Janna Champagne ( 26:50 ):
John Malanca ( 26:50 ):
I think I did know that. What happens for a family that’s watching this right now and their child goes to school? Should they be taking it throughout the day, or do they take it before school and then after school? I know for some parents, because it’s probably not legal on the majority of school yards, a lot of parents will pick their child up throughout the day, drive down the street, administer the dose, and then drop the child back off at school.
John Malanca ( 27:22 ):
What can you share with families that are going through that, or have to go through that?
Janna Champagne ( 27:29 ):
Well, as far as just starting out, don’t ever, ever, ever start your child on cannabis for the very first time on a school morning and send them off to school. Please, please don’t do that. Please start on a day when it’s a weekend, you don’t have any plans, you can kind of assess their response.
Janna Champagne ( 27:47 ):
As far as dosing, the dosing ranges for my clients with autism are everything from two milligrams a day to 200 milligrams a day, literally. And half a dozen different compounds. THC, THCA, CBD, CBG, CBN. You have so many tools, so you really need to experiment and figure out your child’s sweet spot.
Janna Champagne ( 28:08 ):
Once you’ve done that, it’s perfectly safe to dose them and send them to school, once you know what to
expect from that. And legal states always highly encourage having that card, because if someone at
school picks it up and you’re in an IEP fight, like so many of us are, over trying to optimize our kid’s education, I’ve seen that used against parents before. And so, you just want to make sure you have your ducks in a row, make sure you know your ramifications if you’re not in a legal state and you’re using cannabis. You can make an informed decision about how to proceed on that.
Janna Champagne ( 28:41 ):
But, you know, it’s very flexible. My daughter, she’s on a regimen where she’s taking a capsule of
tincture twice a day. Morning is CBD, CBG, THCA, and a little bit of THC, and then nighttime is THC, CBN, and THCA. And then, in between, we do sublinguals, we do vaping, whatever the situation might call for.
Janna Champagne ( 29:05 ):
So, you can get to a point where you’re dosing a couple times a day, you have pretty good symptom
management, but if you have a harder day for whatever reasons, like our kids do, they’re consistently
inconsistent… never quite know what you’re going to get. It’s like that box of chocolates… It’s flexible. You can use it as needed very safely.
John Malanca ( 29:23 ):
Are there any terpenes that you’re finding beneficial for your daughter or other children going through autism?
Janna Champagne ( 29:32 ):
Yes. With autism, I tend to stick with the indica terpenes, meaning [inaudible 00:29:37], myrcene,
[inaudible 00:29:42]; beta-carophyllene is showing a lot of promise. And so, we want more of that
calming effect. The exception to that would be a child with ADD or ADHD, which is considered to be kind of high-functioning autism now, and those kids, especially if they respond therapeutic to stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin, oftentimes sativa will be calming for them. It’s kind of the opposite.
Janna Champagne ( 30:04 ):
But my go-to, if I don’t know their response to stimulants, is still to start with the indicas because those tend to be the more calming strains for autism.
John Malanca ( 30:15 ):
I heard… you broke up on that first one, [inaudible 00:30:18], which is linalool, which I heard, and I knew where you were going with that. Just for the followers that are watching this for the first time, and doing education for your loved one, I should say, a terpene is…
John Malanca ( 30:34 ):
My description is, stop and smell the roses. That is the terpene, the scent. Stopping and grabbing a
lemon or a lime, limonene, the pinene like the pine needles. You’re hearing these companies coming up
with essential oils. They’ve been around forever, and they do work. It’s great for calming, great for sleep, great for energy. And so, a lot of companies will [inaudible 00:30:58] leave the terpenes in there which, again, are very beneficial, as well, when healing yourself or your child that you’re working with.
John Malanca ( 31:10 ):
Topic of pharmaceuticals is kind of… quite a bit, not really in this conversation. I heard you talk about pharmaceuticals and Ritalin, et cetera. Epidiolex. They kind of have the design… You want to get into the Epidiolex conversation? If not, no worries.
Janna Champagne ( 31:27 ):
No, we can do that. No, I’m game. Epidiolex is garbage. Don’t bother with it. That’s the short message.
John Malanca ( 31:41 ):
There’s the story. You heard it here. Thank you.
Janna Champagne ( 31:41 ):
The rationale is… okay, so, it’s isolate CBD plus they’ve added…
John Malanca ( 31:47 ):
Again, can you share… because there’s probably a lot of followers, like I said, they know nothing about cannabis. So, can you talk about why…
John Malanca ( 32:01 ):
I agree with you on the isolates. It’s not really the best thing. So, if you can share what isolates are, and talk about different compounds in the cannabis plant? And making medicine, what you’re looking for, whole-plant, full-plant medicine.
Janna Champagne ( 32:14 ):
Yes, yes, absolutely. And that’s one of the touchpoints that I teach to every single patient I talk to, is how to find medical-quality cannabis. And my nurses and I came up after researching this extensively, and seeing so many patients respond differently with different types of products, I began researching this. And what I found is that the formulations of cannabis that are taking the flower, which constitutes more than 500 therapeutic ingredients, and that’s over 150 cannabinoids, over 200 terpenes or essential oils, we have bioflavonoids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, all of that works together with the synergy that we call the entourage effect.
Janna Champagne ( 32:58 ):
And that’s going to provide the strongest homeostasis influence on the body, period, is what the
research says. And there’s research supporting what we call whole-plant or whole-spectrum
formulations that are concentrating that flower as nature intended with minimal if any loss of the
compounds, versus a CO2 extract, which… CO2 extractions are extremely popular right now, and they’re
very trendy, but the final product of CO2 is usually about a dozen compounds. Isolate is one compound.
It’s the CBD, or the THC, or whatever that might be.
Janna Champagne ( 33:34 ):
So, it’s removing all of those other 500 compounds, and you get a very different effect in the body. What research supports is that the isolate or CO2 exerts a bell curve in the body as far as the response, so as you’re increasing the dose, like we teach, you reach a peak, it falls off, and literally stops working. So, higher doses where we’re guiding [inaudible 00:33:59]… with cancer and autoimmune and some of the-
John Malanca ( 34:11 ):
You broke up on that last… you were going great, you broke up on that last thing. Can you rewind about 10 seconds, where it says… you’re hitting on the dosage.
Janna Champagne ( 34:17 ):
Yes. So, the bell curve response is you’re increasing the dose like we teach patients to do, you peak, fall off, then stop working. If you’re taking really high doses, you could be on the wrong side of that curve, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and literally getting little to no benefit.
Janna Champagne ( 34:34 ):
And the research is very clear on this, whereas with a whole-plant… extract or whole-spectrum, as you increase the dose, the effect is [inaudible 00:34:53] use, not optimal. Those are not the options you want. You want whole-plant, which is either food-grade ethanol extracted or infused. Butane is a close second, but there aren’t a lot of oral formulation of butane, so we tend to not utilize those.
Janna Champagne ( 35:05 ):
The other thing the research supports is that whole-plant extracts work just as well or better, with fewer side effects, at 20 to 25% of the dose of CO2 or isolate. So, that represents enormous cost savings for patients, and I wrote a paper on this subject, as well. It’s four criteria for ensuring medical-quality cannabis; it’s on my Integrated Holistic Care website. I can link it to John, as well, and it explains all of the rationale, has all of the research citations attached; to this day, I do not benefit from the sales of any products, so I don’t have any profit bias that way.
Janna Champagne ( 35:40 ):
As a patient who happens to be a nurse, I’m very much pro-patient and following patient needs.
Without that profit paradigm, the CO2 and isolates just don’t make any sense for medical use, which is
why I say don’t bother with the Epidiolex.
John Malanca ( 35:58 ):
In a roundabout way, you said don’t-
John Malanca ( 36:03 ):
Don’t bother with Epidiolex.
Janna Champagne ( 36:08 ):
Don’t bother with the Epidiolex. It’s isolate, they put Sucralose in there, which can actually trigger
seizures; a year of Epidiolex is… what is it, $32,000 or something? And you can get seizure-targeted, whole-plant formulation for about $1,500 a year. So, it’s more expensive-
John Malanca ( 36:28 ):
Janna Champagne ( 36:30 ):
More side effects, more money, just don’t even bother with it. It’s crap.
John Malanca ( 36:37 ):
But what do run into patients where cannabis is of course not covered by insurance, but they say they
can’t afford that, but Epidiolex is covered by insurance. Can you share that side, as a mom as well as a medical professional, and you’re talking to other patients that are going through this? And that might be their only option, is what I’m getting at.
Janna Champagne ( 37:00 ):
Right, and I haven’t run into that situation specifically; I do have patients who have resorted to isolate because they’re in an illegal state and they don’t want… they’re concerned about red flags; they don’t want THC in their child’s system the all. That’s one of the benefits of isolate, is that all the THC has been removed. That makes it really optimal for people that might have to drug test for their work, for example, but it’s not going to provide that underlying balancing effect that we’re after when we’re targeting the more curative potential of cannabis. It’s stripped away with isolates.
Janna Champagne ( 37:36 ):
So, it can certainly provide some symptom management. We just want to educate so patients
understand their options and understand the pros and cons and can make an informed decision.
John Malanca ( 37:45 ):
Right, and that’s the thing, is education, and that’s why we do podcast this, that’s why Janna does what she does. I always talk about, it’s like getting a pebble and throwing it into a pond, and the ripple effects of where this education goes.
John Malanca ( 37:58 ):
And so, Janna, I thank you for your knowledge and your friendship, but what you’re doing and… being a mom and hearing your stories over the years, I’ve shared a lot of your success with friends in my circle, and also patients that have come to us who are also [inaudible 00:38:20] know what to do, and I’m like, “Talk to Janna, talk to Janna.”
John Malanca ( 38:25 ):
So, can you share with us… do you have any closing words for our audience? One, but I’d like you also to share how they can get ahold of you, as well.
Janna Champagne ( 38:34 ):
Yes. I just encourage you, if you have any kind of chronic illness, cannabis tends to be the better answer, and I’m integral right now in trying to teach other medical professionals this information, that whenever there’s a patient with a need, we should be assessing and balancing and determining the risk versus benefit of all of the options, and when cannabis is included in that assessment, it’s often the logical first resort for patients, especially with chronic illness where mainstream medicine doesn’t have a lot of good answers.
Janna Champagne ( 39:08 ):
Mainstream medicine is great for acute care. You have a heart attack, by all means, go to the hospital, don’t go to your herbalist. But if it’s chronic illness, look at cannabis, look at it seriously, look at the research.
Janna Champagne ( 39:20 ):
If you want to reach out to me, the best place that kind of highlights all of the work I’m doing in this industry by following patient needs is jannachampagne.com. If you’re an autism parent, one of the
things we didn’t mention today is that my daughter’s story was published on the cover of a nationwide
cannabis industry magazine in 2017, and it talks about cannabis for autism. It has a lot of the research citations I mentioned today attached to that. That was my coming-out-of-the-cannabis-closet moment as a nurse. I was a holistic nurse before that.
Janna Champagne ( 39:50 ):
So, it’s been a huge impact, and I’m glad it’s reached a lot of people, and I just encourage you to look at this as a serious option for your child with autism. It could be life-changing. It has been for us, and so many more.
John Malanca ( 40:03 ):
Well, I thank you, Janna. And again, if you need to get ahold of Janna… you want to share your website one more time?
Janna Champagne ( 40:10 ):
Yes, jannachampagne.com. And then, the patient self-questionnaire and the handbook is on
integratedholisticcare.com. So, that’s another way to reach out if you’re interested in one of those
things. And I’ll give John some of the links, as well.
John Malanca ( 40:27 ):
[inaudible 00:40:27] Well, I always share with everyone that calls us, and I refer them up to Janna, that you’re in great hands with Janna, and put my reputation on that, as well. So, I thank you for what you’ve done for this industry, what you’ve done for my family and my wife, Karin, and I over the years, and continue to do so.
John Malanca ( 40:47 ):
And so, I’m excited for what you have coming up in the future, and proud of you, as well. Like I said,
we’ve been working together for quite some time. So, everyone, Janna Champagne. And this is John
Malanca with United Patients Group. Be informed, be well, and thanks for being with us. We’ll see you
Janna Champagne ( 41:05 ):
Thank you. Thank you, John.
John Malanca ( 41:07 ):
John Malanca ( 41:09 ):
Hi. John Malanca here with United Patients Group. I hope you’ve enjoyed our videos. Please click Like as well as Subscribe to our channel here on YouTube. Also follow us on Twitter at upatientsgroup, and on Facebook at United Patients Group. As well as for our podcasts, please click the link in the description below. We’ll see you there. Bye-bye.