Thursday, December 27, 2018

MEDICAL CANNABIS TREND (part 2): CONSIDERING CBD/THC TREATMENT

By: Dr. Thomas G. O'Brien, II
(click image to enlarge)

When considering Medical Marijuana as a treatment option, one of the most difficult things to do is bypass the stigma associated with marijuana as an illegal substance. A popular concern is the fear of addiction and using a “psychedelic” drug.

Medical Marijuana:
  • is derived from a natural source and
  • acts on cannabinoid receptors that naturally exist in your cell membranes and which even naturally occur in breast milk!
CB1 (exists in the brain) and CB2 (found in your immune system and throughout the rest of your body) are your body’s cannabinoid receptors. So, it can be said that your body is “built for cannabinoids” which can play a healthy role in boosting your immune system; protecting your brain, nervous system and cells against disease; relieving pain and inflammation; and more.

As with any medication, personal responsibility is paramount. The same risks involved with the misuse of any medication apply, except that Medical Marijuana is carefully cultivated from a natural source. Medical Marijuana in New York State is strictly supervised and monitored in its production for the highest quality. It is your privilege to have the control of and the responsibility for the THC to CBD ratio that you determine is right for you. As always, responsible use of a controlled substance allows for us to keep our privileges and for many to benefit.

Your treatment will be a blend of the active ingredients of cannabis to yield the greatest benefits with the least amount of unwanted effects – preferably none. Because Medical Marijuana is derived from a natural, herbal source, like most herbs (and other medications), its properties can affect everyone differently. Some people may benefit from a higher THC concentration and others from a higher CBD ratio (see Understanding Dosage).

.................................................................................................................................................................

CLINICAL DOSAGES & RATIOS
After a thorough examination, should the patient choose to pursue a treatment plan including cannabis products, Dr. O’Brien may issue a certificate (similar to a prescription) for the patient to take to one of the certified dispensaries in the NY area to pick up the proper ratio of THC - CBD cannabis oil.  The ratio between CBD and THC varies on the patient’s specific needs. He explains that unlike the consumer level CBD drops sold in stores (anywhere from 150-350mg = 2-3 milligrams per ML), full spectrum CBD recommended by him typically measures at around 5000 Milligrams (50mg/ML) and is more concentrated for best results. And with the inclusion of the clinically regulated therapeutic support of THC in legal proportions, “you’ve got the makings of a clinical-grade solution for patient disorders.”

Dr. Obrien’s success with medical cannabis is widening based on the realities of its legal limits.   In a closing statement, this industry is clearly in its infancy stage where physicians like Dr. Obrien would like to see some sort of standardization for CBD as far as quality and efficacy. “Quality assurance and a governing agency to oversee this industry should be established so that consumer know what their buying.”   

ACCESS, DISPENSARIES & PRESCRIPTIONS
Dr. O'brien’s website indicates that to visit a New York State Certified Dispensary, you will be required to provide your (1) Medical Marijuana Qualifying Certificate from a New York State Medical Marijuana Certifying Physician; (2) Medical Marijuana ID issued by the State of New York; and (3) valid New York State ID. Some dispensaries may have additional requirements which should be listed on their websites. To find a New York State Certified Dispensary, click here.

Issuing a certificate is similar to a pharmaceutical prescription for the drug store – but with the distinct difference that dispensaries distribute only one non-FDA approved product.   A clinical dispensary carries a special license from the State of New York to grow, process, transport, and dispense medical marijuana. Only registered physicians are allowed to work with these dispensaries and must abide by the regulated THC/CBD extract percentages determined by each state. NY dispensaries include Vireo, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Etain, Med Men and PharmaCannis.  

END OF PART 2

........................................................................................................................................................

About Dr. O'Brien
Thomas G. O'Brien II, MS, DO, PC is a Board Certified Osteopathic Physician in Family and Integrative Medicine and was residency trained in St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY). He is one of the first physicians in NY State to be licensed to certify patients in Medical marijuana as well as the first in New York City to offer compassionate care. Jan 2019, he will begin his fourth year offering this service to our community.  He promotes the treatment of Cancer, Chronic Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Spinal Chord Injury, Epilepsy, Huntingtons Chorea, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Crohn's Dz, Ulcerativa Colitis (IBD), HIV / AIDS and Opioid Addiction.  He runs a non profit organization called Health Education Learning Program, Inc. (HELP) with his wife. Together, they help enrich the community with health education. www.HELP-10.com. He is also the host & producer and a four time Beta Award winning Health Education show sponsored by HELP. www.youtube.com/drtommyO.  He has recently published a text called "Medical Cannabis".  For complete information on Dr. (O'Brien, please visit: http://doctommy.com 

MEDICAL CANNABIS TREND (part 1): WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Evidence shows that for over 5000 years, Cannabis has been used as an anesthetic for chronic pain as well as a means of managing a wide list of disorders like rheumatism, malaria, tumors, jaundice and dysentery.  Today, extracts from medical marijuana (cannabinoids) are gaining significant attention as an herbal health treatment or supplement and is also growing in clinical use for managing a wide variety of disorders including cancers and musculoskeletal issues.

In July 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act to provide a comprehensive, safe and effective medical marijuana program that meets the needs of New Yorkers.  According to the NYS Dept. of Health, medical marijuana is available in New York for patients with the following severe debilitating or life threatening conditions: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington's disease, chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and as a replacement to prescription opioids. (see complete details in ref #1)

Since inception of this law, continued upgrades have been implemented to expand the medical rights of use of registered physicians. According to the office of the NYS Commissioner of Health, patients with "any severe debilitating pain that a practitioner determines degrading health and functional capability… (and) has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options; may qualify for medical marijuana.”  As of early 2019, over 1300 professional practitioners have been certified by the NYSDOH to prescribe medical marijuana and its products.



TODAY’S MEDICAL CANNABIS PRACTITIONER
After the Compassionate Care Act came into effect, Dr. Thomas O’Brien (http://doctommy.com ) upgraded his family practice in NYC to include the use of medical marijuana (THC & CBD solutions) for his patients by being one of the first certified physicians in the State of New York allowed to prescribe regulated dosages of THC and CBD as needed. His use of this treatment solution includes patients with a wide range of disorders from chronic pain to cancer and tumors.

For over 25 years, Dr. O’Brien has been recognized as an integrative practitioner with an holistic approach in his family medicine.  He defined his way of examining patients by covering “all the bases” from the physical/biochemical, the emotional/psychological to the spiritual.  His approach to patient exams through all these diagnostic paradigms is what he simply calls “truly listening to the entire patient.”   Credentialed as a clinical nutritionist, getting certified to treat patients with cannabis products has become a logical next-step evolution and a positive addition to Dr. O’Brien’s tool box.  His research with medical cannabis showed extensive clinical success and was also impressed by its nature-based solution to help a widening list of disorders without harmful side effects.

Patients who suffer with chronic pain, neuropathy, or neuropathic pain are given the option by Dr. O’Brien to use one of three ratio mixtures as allowed by State regulations. He detailed one example with patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy carrying signs of tingling, burning sensations, pins and needles sensations, in their feet, which is very common.  “This is called microvascular pathology- that's where the very small arteries just don't work well… they're not providing good nutrition and oxygen to the nerves. And the nerves start to fail in function and you start to get these side effects like burning sensation, tingling sensation, the pins and needles, or even lack of sensation.” 

Dr. O’Brien identifies a significant benefit of this CBD/THC clinical mixture as one that is ‘customizable’ based on the severity of the patient’s case. The ratio between the two compounds defines a conservative or aggressive treatment protocol whereby an aggressive strategy starts them on a one-to-one ratio, where the THC and CBD are equal.

After a four week follow-up, Dr. O’Brien states that his patients were coming back expressing how much better they feel in comparison to taking narcotics.  “Narcotics use may change your brain chemistry without you realizing it… it changes who you are and how you react, as well as how you respond to stimuli- including the effects on your family members.”


END OF PART 1

........................................................................................................................................................
About Dr. O'Brien
Thomas G. O'Brien II, MS, DO, PC is a Board Certified Osteopathic Physician in Family and Integrative Medicine and was residency trained in St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY). He is one of the first physicians in NY State to be licensed to certify patients in Medical marijuana as well as the first in New York City to offer compassionate care. Jan 2019, he will begin his fourth year offering this service to our community.  He promotes the treatment of Cancer, Chronic Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Spinal Chord Injury, Epilepsy, Huntingtons Chorea, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Crohn's Dz, Ulcerativa Colitis (IBD), HIV / AIDS and Opioid Addiction.  He runs a non profit organization called Health Education Learning Program, Inc. (HELP) with his wife. Together, they help enrich the community with health education. www.HELP-10.com. He is also the host & producer and a four time Beta Award winning Health Education show sponsored by HELP. www.youtube.com/drtommyO.  He has recently published a text called "Medical Cannabis".  For complete information on Dr. (O'Brien, please visit: http://doctommy.com 

INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE LAUNCHES JOINT CONFERENCE TREND

ACAM "Collaboration Cures" Conference 2019 October 14-17, 2019 marked the 4th Annual Collaboration Cures event by the Ameri...