Conversation with CannaPlus+ founder and CMO

CannaPlus+ is New Zealand’s first internationally affiliated Medicinal Cannabis clinic network and telemedicine platform.

Established in 2021, CannaPlus+ has secured an exclusive licensing agreement with CannaWay; Canada’s largest physician-led medical cannabis network.

Good sat down and talked with founder and CEO, Eva Neshat and CMO Dr Afraz Adam about the launch of CannaPlus+ and medical cannabis.

Did the recent pandemic inspire or motivate you to launch CannaPlus+?

Eva: The pandemic has been an interesting experience for all of us.

It has definitely reconfirmed the belief I have on how important it is to be able to access the health care you want, need and deserve!  Natural wellbeing is right up there on my list of life’s non-negotiables.

Is this the first time Medicinal Cannabis has been available in New Zealand?

Eva: No, we have seen medical cannabis clinics spring up since legalisation here in NZ.

However, CannaPlus is the first internationally affiliated Medicinal Cannabis clinic in Australasia and seeing this is a new industry in NZ, having this breadth of experience is incredibly important.

There are some key advantages to being affiliated to industry leaders. We are able to bring Kiwis the experience and credibility they deserve to allow them to feel safe and comfortable making their own choices with a Medicinal Cannabis clinic they can trust.

We provide Kiwis with safe, research-based, legal and affordable access to consistent, high-quality Medicinal Cannabis treatment.

Founder and CEO Eva Neshat

Our partners, CannaWay, have assessed over 20,000 patients and are well-positioned as a respected and trusted medical cannabis clinic within the Canadian medical community.

We are Kiwi owned, backed by an incredibly strong KIWI based medical board and team and specialise in personalised treatment programmes that integrate holistic, alternative medicines into modern medical practice.

It’s not uncommon that anxiety and sleep-related issues have increased due to the pandemic, how does medicinal cannabis help our sleep quality?

Dr Afraz: Cannabis is an effective sleep aid because it restores a person’s natural sleep cycle, which so often falls out of sync with our schedules in today’s modern lifestyle.  

Cannabis is widely used as a sleep aid, both recreationally and among medicinal cannabis users. 

Around 70 per cent of young adults that casually use cannabis report that they do so to help them sleep.

Among people who use cannabis for medical reasons, such as pain relief, as many as 85 per cent say it improves their sleep. 

It is believed that the sleep-promoting effects of cannabinoids are due to their interactions with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When cannabinoids bind to these receptors, they send messages to increase levels of sleep-promoting adenosine levels and suppress the brain’s arousal system. Together, these effects may help cannabis users feel sedated or sleepy. 

What are the benefits of medicinal cannabis? 

Dr Afraz: There is anecdotal evidence that CBD and THC help a variety of ailments. Researchers are studying whether medical cannabis can help treat several conditions including: 

  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Appetite loss 
  • Cancer 
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Diseases affecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Nausea 
  • Pain 
  • Seizures 
  • Wasting syndrome (cachexia) 

The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relates to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS. 

CannaPlus+ has opened it’s doors in Ponsonby

Is Medicinal Cannabis something Kiwis can take long-term to help with any ailments or treatments? 

Dr Afraz: CBD may be used briefly to alleviate temporary symptoms or for more prolonged periods for chronic issues.

CBD is not addictive and therefore it can be stopped at any time with no dependence issues.

THC may potentially be psychoactive and is therefore prescribed in a very controlled manner at doses that minimise the potential for drug dependence. 

How can Medicinal Cannabis be taken?

Dr Afraz: There are various forms available. At CannaPlus+, oils for oral consumption are the only form prescribed at present. 

Teas have been one of the latest formulations to be offered by a pharmaceutical company and we are currently reviewing whether we would be offering this to our clients.

Vaporised formulations are also being used by some patients in NZ but this has not been approved as meeting minimum quality standards.

Neshat and Adam’s tips on how to improve your overall quality of life:

  • Exercise most days, eat lots of greens and meditate
  • Aim to live authentically with radical honestly
  • Always remember to be grateful
  • Don’t worry about what others think of you
  • Practise good personal hygiene
  • Identify what makes you happy and focus on that
  • Spend more time with your loved ones
  • Set aside time for leisure
  • Find meaning in your job
  • Disconnect from unhealthy relationships

CMO Dr Afraz Adam
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