Today @ MAND – June 2019

June 16th, 2019

President’s Update

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the nice weather. We’ve certainly had a rainy spring, but as the days get longer and the sun begins to shine more frequently, I’m loving every single minute of it!

It’s so hard to believe, but this is my last President blog update. It’s been quite a year! I won’t say it’s always been easy, it’s been a busy year, there have been challenges, things that pushed me out of my comfort zone and I’ve learned so much but I am also proud of the things we’ve accomplished over the past year and most importantly I can honestly say it’s been a really great experience! I’ve had the chance to work with an amazing board of directors and ANCE planning committee and have made some life long friends. As I look back on the past year, our Board of Directors has accomplished many, many things! We have:

  • Updated MAND’s policy and procedure manual
  • Updated MAND’s strategic plan goals and strategies
  • Hosted several fun educational and networking events, including ANCE which is always such a great event
  • Increased our social media use, thanks to our super savvy social media manager
  • Had some excellent nominees for our 2019-2020 elections. I’m happy to report all of our board positions are filled for next year!
  • Encouraged more engagement in Academy action alerts and policy-related activities

If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition policy and advocacy, and perhaps meeting your members of Congress – then consider joining MAND’s Public Policy Panel members as they head to Washington, DC, for the Academy’s Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Summit on July 11-12th.

I want to thank our entire board and all our volunteers for their service this year and for all their help in accomplishing this amazing list. Many thanks to our two part-time staff members:
MAND Director of Operations Maureen Kelly Gonsalves, and Director of Public Policy Sarah Conca. MAND would be lost without you! I’m excited to pass the title of President to our current President-Elect Melanie Mott. I am confident MAND will be in excellent hands with Melanie at the helm, she’s shown great initiative and true pride in all things MAND. I’m very much looking forward to all she’ll accomplish.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as MAND president. We will continue to keep you informed on the latest issues and MAND’s efforts to promote and advance our profession. Be sure to follow MAND on social media and keep an eye out for our e-blasts for updates on what’s to come!

Healthy regards,

Monica Lebre, MS, RDN, LDN

Benefits of Cannabis

When I was visiting my 88-year old grandfather in Maine, he told me a story about how marijuana saved his nieces life. I’m sure you or someone you know has heard a story like this. She was diagnosed with life threatening cancer and tried several treatments until she gave up and resorted to cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis. She is now living cancer free thanks to this powerful medicinal plant.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, contains two popular compounds that I bet you’ve heard of. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary cannabinoids that occur naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. At this point, thousands of studies have been conducted in vitro and in vivo which show that these two cannabinoids posses the following cancer fighting properties:

1) Antiproliferative — It prevents cancer cells from reproducing.

2) Antiangiogenic — It prevents the formation of new blood vessels needed by the tumor to grow.

3) Antimetastatic — It prevents cancer from spreading to other organs.

4) Apoptotic — It induces the cancerous cell to commit suicide.

Our bodies have an existing endocannabinoid system, which is a nerve system that serves a vital purpose for our health and well-being because it regulates key aspects of our biology. Recent science has found that the endocannabinoid system does not just respond to the endocannabinoids produced in the body, but also responds to external cannabinoids like the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD. Introducing CBD to the body can help reduce the symptoms of a wide range of illnesses including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic inflammation, depression, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, and opioid withdrawal.

Marijuana is Illegal at the federal level, and permitted locally in some states allowing recreational or medical use. CBD oil (legal) is a compound in cannabis that has been shown to be responsible for the benefits mentioned above. However, research has shown that without the THC (psychoactive component), the benefits may not be present as they work synergistically to provide true health benefits. Several clients of mine take CBD oil regularly and report incredibly positive feedback, especially in autoimmune conditions. CBD doesn’t work with everyone; some people’s bodies seem to respond better to the THC and CBD components without isolation. CBD is generally not harmful, but when purchasing you want to look out for things like growing methods of the plants (no pesticides, organic, good manufacturing practice, third-party tested, purity) in order to be sure you aren’t wasting your money on snake oil (aka olive oil with 1 drop of CBD). If it’s cheap, chances are you are being scammed.


  1. Endogenous cannabinoid anandamide impairs cell growth and induces apoptosis in chondrocytes.
  2. Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System: A Systematic Review of Potential Clinical Interventions that Upregulate the ECS
  3. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes.
  4. Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress

Erin Kenney, MS, RD, LDN, HCP is a Registered Dietitian and Holistic Cannabis Practitioner at Nutrition Rewired. Article originally published on Dec 9, 2018.

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Topic Consideration Deadline:  Last day of each month

Approved Articles due by:  15th of the month

Please send all submissions to: Laura Kim and Sierra Parker, editors of Today@MAND:

Any Academy member, no matter their state of residency, can select MAND as their affiliate association. We welcome members from all locations! MAND members who have chosen another affiliate state may inquire about how to become a Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Supporter Member and start receiving all MAND benefits by e-mailing MAND’s Administrative Director, Maureen Kelly Gonsalves, MEd, RD, at

Posted by: Maureen Kelly Gonsalves

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