Learning From Patients
In Oregon I worked in a small emergency room in a farming community. There were a lot of patients who had chronic pain and had been prescribed either daily narcotics or were taking daily over the counter medications. Most of them were unhappy with both options. Having grown up and completed my medical training in Kentucky, I had very little exposure to medical marijuana and it’s appropriate uses. When my first patient asked me if I would be willing to write them a physician’s letter allowing their use of medical marijuana, I realized that despite my favorable impression of the plant as a medicine, I was scared to actually recommend its use to a real live patient sitting in front of me in the ER. This was almost 10 years ago and there wasn’t as much data about safety, interactions with pharmaceutical medications, or about how to use different strains of cannabis to treat different problems.
I spoke with a friend who was a legal grower for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and he had collected a lot of anecdotal information about which strains worked well for which conditions. He also knew a lot of folks who were interested in medical marijuana who didn’t have a physician or had a physician who was uncomfortable with the idea of recommending medical cannabis.
I began seeing patients in my home who were interested in medical marijuana. I learned more in the first 6 months of talking to patients and legal growers than I had in years of reading the available research. I learned about topical preparations, tinctures, and began to see some patterns between the strains that patients were using and the conditions that they were treating. It also gave me a chance to explore the other ways of potentiating wellness and I began to invest more time learning about meditation, adaptogens, herbal therapies, etc. This ultimately lead to the pursuit of a board certification in integrative medicine.
Stillwater Medicine is focused on your health and wellness. By wellness, I mean your ability to stay well and respond to stressors. Cannabis can certainly be a part of this but functions best when the correct strain, dosage, and frequency, are attended to. Cannabis also functions best when the patient is engaged in other modalities of wellness and self care. Our physicians can help guide you towards an individualized holistic treatment plan.
Ohio’s medical marijuana program begins next month. Our physicians are well versed in the latest research and and have experience recommending cannabis for the treatment of pain as well as integrating cannabis into an overall plan for wellness. Check out our webpage for details about scheduling and please contact us with questions.