I received a few emails from readers who have more questions about medical marijuana and it’s use to treat cancer — namely where can they find a healthcare professional to get a consultation.
You need to look for doctors specializing in integrative medicine. Integrative medicine combines alternative treatments with conventional. Doctors treat the patient as a whole entity — body/mind/spirit. Conventional medicine focuses on a small part of the body. For example, my colorectal doctor is terrific but when I tell him about the neuropathy in my feet and legs, his eyes glaze over. He specializes in butts and the plumbing that goes along with it — not feet. If I want to discuss my foot problem, that’s a whole other doctor and doctor visit.
A doctor who specializes in integrative medicine will probably see the connection. In my case, the connection is — neuropathy is a side effect from chemotherapy. It’s been way over two years since my last treatment but the side effects remain and may never go away.
There is a doctor in San Francisco who specializes in integrative medicine and uses cannabis for his patients.
Donald Abrams, M.D. is a cancer and integrative medicine specialist at the UCSF using alternative therapies, including medical use of marijuana and traditional Chinese medicine herbal therapies. His office is located on 1545 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94115. (415) 353-7700.
I wrote about Dr. Abrams in my earlier post about medical marijuana and just ran across an interview done by Andrew Weil M.D. with Dr. Abrams, where they discuss the benefits of cannabis. You can read it here.
My guess is there are more out there but don’t openly advertise as such. I suggest Googling integrative medicine doctors in your area and go down the list, call each one and ask them.
* Please note: Integrative means the physician uses alternative and complementary but not necessarily cannabis as part of the treatment.
I would also ask the doctor who writes the medical cannabis recommendation. He/she should know someone in your area.
I found this article in the SF Weekly you many find interesting, “Miracle” Cannabis Oil: May Treat Cancer, But Money and the Law Stand in the Way of Finding Out. It came out last spring and gives some real insight about the obstacles cannabis researchers face.
Please keep your questions coming. We are all learning together what choices are out there when it comes to getting well and staying that way.
Peace and Good Health!