In 2018, Shawnee Bonner, RPh was in a rollover car accident alongside her husband, leaving her with seven fractures, along with a broken foot and arm. Though Bonner has been a community pharmacist for over 25 years, this experience allowed her to see the other side of the healthcare system for a change.
"I ended up with two surgeries and more than a year of physical therapy just to get my mobility back," Bonner recalled, noting the trouble she was having with arthritis in her injured joints and difficulties with standing caused by inflammation. Her physical therapist recommended trying an herbal CBD salve, something she hadn't previously heard about.
"I had discounted any rumors about that type of thing due to a lack of human studies, and the DEA said it had no medicinal value, after all," Bonner said. "But I was so desperate for relief that I gave it a shot."
The results were surprising. Bonner was amazed with how CBD helped more than any of the conventional medications she had tried, with no side effects.
"I couldn't believe something like that existed and it wasn't known about by the medical community," Bonner said. "It just didn't make sense to me, so I started researching."
Excited about what she'd learned and wanting to share with others, Bonner went on to found Green Medicine Shop in Greenville, where consumers can find a selection of hemp-based oils, topicals, capsules, edibles, pet products, flower and more.
"We have products with CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THC and a variety of terpenes and other cannabinoids," Bonner explained, adding how her training in medical research gave her the resources and skills to learn all she could about the pharmacology and therapeutic applications of cannabis. "I use that knowledge, and my knowledge of pharmaceuticals, to provide our patients with strategies to improve their wellness and minimize the unwanted side effects of conventional medication by integrating a more natural option with cannabis."
Some people come to Bonner because they feel as though they've tried everything without relief, or are unhappy with the side effects of their prescription medicines.
"In those cases, I'm able to help in ways that most CBD stores or dispensaries cannot; I give free consultations to help patients decide the best options for their wellness needs and my staff are all trained in dosing and proper usage of the products we offer," Bonner said. "When patients have questions about using cannabis with their medications, my staff will set them up to meet with me."
Bonner finds the most rewarding part of her job is helping people understand their medications and how to safely use them to improve their wellness.
"Not only is cannabis no more addictive than chocolate or coffee, but it has many medicinal uses for conditions that are untreated or undertreated by conventional medications," she said. "Part of our mission at Green Medicine Shop is to help eliminate the stigma surrounding cannabis that prevents patients from the benefit this plant can offer."
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Jun/Jul '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.