Never did I think that weed would become a medical option in America. Probably because I grew up unaware of the benefits of what we now call cannabis. Like many of you I was a Nancy Reagan kid, “Say No To Drugs”. I clearly remember listening to Nancy clad in her red dresses making speeches across America deterring “drug” use and I took heed. I remember the 1980 commercials with the visual of the egg frying in the pan warning me that “This is your brain on drugs”. I also grew up during the height of the drug wars in Detroit and watched the daily cover on the evening news. Yes, I was terrified of “drugs” and marijuana was included in this fear.
Fast forward 20 plus years and I am now a Family Physician at the Cleveland Clinic. I was frustrated with the cycle of pill prescribing for every patient for every problem. As doctors we suggested, but rarely focused on lifestyle change or self-discovery. One of these patients mentioned marijuana as a medical option and I was honestly startled by the idea. But I respected her questions and I did my research. I was blown away by the possibility of cannabis and the potential of CBD.
Fast forward again another 10 plus years and I am now a cannabinoid physician and life coach in Columbus, Ohio. I realized that there is much research still to be done in medical cannabis but we have a great deal of work under our belt with over 10,000 human studies that have been reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Nearly 40% of adults in the U.S. use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. The majority of those surveyed were in search of something new to incorporate into their medical care. I believe patients want to feel empowered again and alternative medicine options put the ball back into the patients “court”. Cannabis is a medical option that has been used for over 5,000 years. So what holds us back from considering it as a medical option now? The stigma. But yet we use narcotics, an addictive, euphoric and life threatening drug because our society has deemed it as acceptable. I challenge everyone to determine what is best for their own health and their families health beyond the stigma. There are two things I know for sure, one: cannabis is not a gateway drug, alcohol is and two: cannabis won’t kill you, narcotics can. Here in Ohio we are at the dawn of an old medical option being made new again. It was a part of the US pharmacopeia from 1850-1942 and it has returned as a medical option with greater research and methods of administration. Whether it is CBD, CBG or Medical Cannabis with THC, you have a new option in your care. This is progress.