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Angie Roullier, Cannabis Tutor and Patient Educator– Interview Series

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“So many times, too many times, I hear of people either doubling up on the milligrams because its “not working” or losing track as to what they have consumed (took a 10mg gummy, hit a joint three times, and then took some tincture). This is such a rookie mistake. If you jump in the ring too hard and too fast, well… down goes Frazier.” 

Angie Roullier

In the field of cannabis education and patient empowerment, Angie stands as a guiding light. As a dedicated cannabis tutor and educator, she has played a pivotal role in helping thousands of individuals from diverse backgrounds find their unique path with cannabis. Her insights are shaped by profound experiences, having witnessed the transformative effects of cannabis for individuals grappling with physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Yet, Angie carries a vital message: cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it a panacea for every ailment. In this captivating interview, we delve into Angie's journey and her unwavering belief in cannabis' potential to offer natural, personalized support to those seeking it.

With your extensive experience in the cannabis industry, including working in various retail positions and engaging with diverse stakeholders, can you share some of the most impactful lessons you've learned about how cannabis operates in the real world, especially in the context of assisting individuals with physical, mental, and emotional conditions? 

Over the years I have found that the vast majority of people have very basic questions when it comes to cannabis and how it may apply to their medical conditions. More times than not, a person finds themselves at the cannabis counter as a last-ditch effort for some relief when the prescribed pharmaceuticals don’t get the job done. Consumers and retail employees have an independent, yet shared responsibility that is often not recognized when it comes to self-medicating with cannabis. The consumer must be honest about current and past therapies to ensure there are not any interactions with prescribed medications and/or lifestyle choices. In turn, the retailer has the responsibility to ensure that its employees are properly educated on a variety of clinical topics related to cannabis consumption. This instruction will assist the consultant not only with their product recommendations, but also in how to communicate effectively with the consumer. 

Education plays a vital role in the responsible use of cannabis. Could you elaborate on the importance of science-based cannabinoid education, dosages, and understanding prescription interactions? How do these factors contribute to safe and effective cannabis consumption?

There is a common statement that everyone seems to hold as gospel when it comes to cannabis consumption. Most people firmly believe that because cannabis is a plant, it is harmless. This lack of education can be downright dangerous. Negative drug interactions can absolutely take place, especially with drugs that are metabolized by the liver. Cannabis education is crucial when it comes to not only how different phytocannabinoids can interact with our ECS, but how a person chooses to consume their cannabis has a great deal to do with how their body will (or won’t) react to this plant-based medicine as well. We have been so conditioned to leaving any potential harms of medicine up to our doctors and pharmacists that most of us will not take the time to look into it ourselves. We most definitely do not have this luxury when it comes to cannabis, and it is up to personal responsibility to ensure you are learning everything you can to protect yourself.

You mention the significance of whole plant products, terpene profiles, and solventless extractions. Can you provide insights into how these elements contribute to the therapeutic potential of cannabis, and how can individuals make informed choices when selecting cannabis products?

There are several studies that back up the idea that when the cannabis plant is administered with all of its original properties intact, it not only works better, but it takes lower doses to achieve the same results as a higher dose isolate. For me, cannabis is all about taking less medicine and taking it in a healthier way. Educating yourself is one of the best ways to make informed choices. All those questions that run through your head while browsing cannabis sites or shops have answers, even if the counter consultant is unsure. For example, you may be interested in whole plant gummies. You can learn which extractions are the closest to the whole plant and use this knowledge to make your next purchase. Also, don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you want. There are some amazing consultants out there that are a treasure trove of information in the cannabis retail space with a true respect for this plant and the people it helps.

Cannabis is often viewed as a versatile remedy, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. How do you guide individuals in finding the right cannabis solutions for their specific needs, and what advice do you have for those who may be considering cannabis as an option for the first time?

First and foremost, the new-to-cannabis consumer should always check to make sure any prescribed drugs do not have a grapefruit warning. Both cannabis and grapefruit interact with the liver in such a way that it may alter the strength of your prescriptions. The second piece of advice is that old chestnut, “go low and slow”, and it should apply to all cannabis products, not just edibles. Whether you are inhaling, putting a few drops under your tongue, or even rubbing it on your skin, pay attention to what your body says about it! A person really has to be aware of their own body and heed the warnings it gives off. If you know that you are sensitive to dairy, you obviously scan labels to ensure that you won’t be doing yourself in. The same line of thinking has to go into any natural allergies you might have, as these very same terpenes that are found in this plant can also be found in the cannabis you are consuming, especially when smoking or vaporizing your flower or concentrates. Cannabis isn’t for everyone. As far as those that have been trying different products looking for their “sweet spot”, you need to really pay attention and be patient. So many times, too many times, I hear of people either doubling up on the milligrams because its “not working” or losing track as to what they have consumed (took a 10mg gummy, hit a joint three times, and then took some tincture). This is such a rookie mistake. If you jump in the ring too hard and too fast, well… down goes Frazier. What also happens is that you are not any closer to figuring out how many milligrams work or don’t work. In the long run, you’ll end up spending way more money on finding the right dose and product line. 

Looking ahead, you mention the importance of targeted and tailored cannabinoid and terpene medicine. How do you envision the future of the cannabis industry, especially in terms of personalized medicine, and what role do you believe education will play in shaping this future?

Targeted and tailored cannabinoid advancement isn’t going to do much if we don’t educate people on what cannabinoids/terpenes can and cannot do. Here in the United States, we have just recently had the door to cannabis as plant medicine reopened just enough to begin to grasp what potential this plant really may have. I am really looking forward to the day when it is common knowledge that CBDA is the safer, more natural route to go when combating chemo-induced nausea or Beta Caryophyllene is recommended as an anti-inflammatory for chronic pain instead of reaching for the stomach eating Motrin.

It was a great pleasure to have this conversation with Angie.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.