Dropping the Medications
I know few people that actually like taking medications. Most worry about the taste, the timing, the idea of putting a little pill in your body and not quite sure what it may or may not do. To be compliant, you have to stay on a schedule with your medications and of course most worry about the SIDE EFFECTS!
Whether it is somnolence or flatulence, the unpredictable nature of medications can be unnerving. According to the National Institutes of Health, ⅓ of Americans seek alternative forms of medical treatment. This includes anything from fish oil, chiropractors, melatonin to cannabis. Is the goal to abandon pharmaceutical medications all together? For some yes. For others they simply want options. I have never seen patients more angry when another doctor has told them they will be on certain medications for the rest of their lives.
Options and alternatives do exist in some cases. Fish oil is the most common natural product taken by children and adults. 7.8% used it in 2012 that is up from 4.8% in 2007. Many do so to avoid cholesterol medications. In a study conducted by Brightfield Group and HelloMD, 42% of CBD users said they stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had switched to cannabis instead. These are only two examples of how consumers are switching to alternative treatments. I hear it every day in my family medicine and cannabis offices. But doing it safely is key.
When choosing to switch from pharmaceutical medications to alternative options there are a few things to consider:
1- Stopping medications to an alternative option still means you have to engage in that alternative option regularly. Many patients are disappointed when they choose cannabis over traditional medications and they think they can use the cannabis as needed. If you are choosing an alternative treatment it has to be a regular part of your daily schedule just like a pharmaceutical drug. Irregular or haphazard treatment of your condition can not only be irresponsible, but dangerous.
2- When stopping a pharmaceutical and starting an alternative treatment, reduce medications gradually. It takes time for CBD or cannabis to get a therapeutic level that you can depend on. Do not stop your traditional medicine cold turkey. As you reach your therapeutic goal with CBD, slowly wean off your prescribed medications under the guidance of your physician.
3- All medicines are a tool to help you reach your goals, utilize multiple tools to be successful. CBD or cannabis is a tool, not a cure. With any treatment you should engage other healthy tools to find balance. Consider healthy eating, exercise, reiki, massage or restorative practices like yoga. One of these is great but together they work synergistically to help you soar!
4- Most importantly, stopping medications can be dangerous. Only change your medication regimen under the guidance of a physician. Explain your goals and dedication to a healthier and more natural lifestyle. Not all medications can be replaced with alternative options, so keep an open mind to the right treatment that keeps you safe and alive, no matter what the source may be.
Have questions or would like to suggest a subject for my next column? Please email me at DrBridget@greenharvest.health
Dr. Williams is a Board-certified family physician, cannabinoid physician and life coach. She is the owner of Green Harvest Health Clinics and GHH CBD Medicinals. Learn more at www.greenharvest.health.
I have two very good friends in the throes of a breast cancer diagnosis. One is at the very beginning. The cancer was just revealed to her two weeks ago and the other is one year out from a unilateral mastectomy and riding the roller coaster of subsequent mammograms, MRIs, and biopsies with the fear of cancer being found in the other breast. Cancer is never easy no matter which end you are on. There are so many life changing decisions that must be made and the oncologist always insist you keep your life as normal as possible. But it is not normal.
Most oncologist support the use of cannabis for an adjunct to traditional treatment. One of my friends is choosing Rick Simpson Oil as her treatment and is foregoing chemotherapy. The other friend uses Full Spectrum CBD and surgery (radiation and chemo were not an option).
Wherever you may lie in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, as the patient or the supporter, please know there are options. Please know there is support. Credible research has found cannabis to decrease cancer cell spread, growth and blood supply. (https://integrativeonc.org/news/research-blog/277-does-cannabis-cure-cancer). It can also make life more comfortable regarding controlling neuropathic pain, increasing appetite and decreasing nausea. Look to see which options are right for you and your family and know we at Green Harvest Health are here to support you as cannabis advocates, physicians and friends.
Green Harvest Health offers Medical Life Coaching. We are an adjunct to your medical team, help you choose the right cannabis option of you, support you and your family during the struggle and will communicate with your physicians. Don’t hesitate to reach out to see how we can serve you!
Be the support and advocate that you need…Reclaim Your Wellness!
If you have questions, please give our office a call at 614-636-5003 or 440-226-3398, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.