As a nurse MSN, RN, and educator of over 15 years, Sandra Guynes found her start with cannabis education as a patient.
After suffering from illnesses, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, Guynes was prescribed multiple medications she felt were not helping. With the healthcare system not working in her favor and needing an advocate, she branched out and finally found some relief through CBD products.
This made her realize there was more to cannabis than the taboos she had been taught growing up.
“There’s something here,” she recalls thinking as she delved deeper into researching data, studies, and information. Guynes wanted to share what she discovered about cannabis through reliable sources so others could learn more.
Thanks to the National Council for the State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) publishing guidelines for medical marijuana in 2018, Guynes was in a place where she could provide education to people and help them find healing through cannabis.
Her website The Kush Nurse offers many services for people looking to learn how cannabis can transform their life. DIY workshops, communities, and a podcast are just some of the provided tools she offers.
While she now mostly works with women of childbearing age and older, Guynes felt that if she could provide the necessary information consumers needed to understand cannabis, it could help them live a better quality of life.
One way she wants to do this is through learning courses.
As a co-founder of Cannabis Nurses of Color, an advocacy group for Black and brown nurses in cannabis, Guynes wants cannabis taught in nursing programs and universities to help educate the next generation of nurses.
“We shouldn’t wait until nurses are already in the field to teach them [about cannabis],” she explains. This is why the group is creating courses for up and coming nurses as a way to help them gain knowledge about cannabis to work with patients.
She also wants to empower nurses to work in policy and legislation.
“There are opportunities for nurses to be at the table.” With nursing as the most trusted profession 19 years in a row, Guynes believes they can help build confidence with the multitudes of information available and educate their patients to engage with their providers about using cannabis medicinally.
She expresses her luck with being surrounded by so many women in her network that are accomplishing many amazing things. Since nursing is predominantly a female role, Guynes believes having more of them in the cannabis space is crucial as the industry grows.
“We need women to help bring the compassion and the beauty and love of the plant,” she expresses. While there’s been a decline in executive positions for women in cannabis, nurses like Guynes are creating a revolution in healthcare that is helping to make them leaders.
Despite the rapidly evolving industry, women can certainly find their way to the table to bring their skills, knowledge, and desire to do more.
“Remember what your passion is and why you came into cannabis in the first place. Use this as your compass.”