The Amazing Benefits of Medical Marijuana

In this week’s episode of Body Wisdom, Dr. Michele Summers Colon interviews Dr. Rachna Patel on the uses and benefits of medical marijuana.

Dr. Patel has been practicing in the area of Medical Marijuana since 2012.  She step-by-step walks patients through how to use medical marijuana for their specific medical conditions.  She completed her medical studies at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine and her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University.  You can learn more about the work she does at

Main Questions Asked:

  1. What are the conditions you have most successfully treated with medical marijuana?
  • Helping with pain and other effects of arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, anxiety & insomnia.
  • Most patients who turn to medical marijuana have tried pharmaceutical medication, over the counter medication, and forms of alternative therapies but are still experiencing problems and pain.
  • Some patients just prefer using a more natural approach to healing rather than pharmaceuticals.
  • A lot of patients who are experiencing things like lack of appetite, severe nausea or vomiting get referred.
  1. What surprised you about the outcomes you saw in patients?
  • A lot of Dr. Rachel’s patients were either significantly reducing the amount of pharmaceutical medication they were taking, or were able to completely stop using them altogether.
  • Because the medicinal ingredients of marijuana get stored in the bodies fat cells, it can result in you not having to use it everyday.
  • She has found that on average her patients only have to use marijuana approximately 3 times a week. Some as little as once every few weeks, as opposed to taking pharmaceutical medication several times a day. This of course varies depending on the severity of the condition.
  1. Is it possible to avoid the side effects of marijuana?
  • Although side effects are rare in patients they usually happen when taking too much. By consulting with your doctor to find and aim for MED (minimum effective dosage) you can avoid any of the minimal unpleasant side effects.
  • Because of modern laboratory testing you can now see what concentrations of the two main chemicals THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are in the medical marijuana you plan on taking.
  1. What other ways could you use medical marijuana other than smoking it?
  • One method is called vaporization. Instead of burning the marijuana, it heats it up to avoid the chemical process of combustion which creates carcinogens which are harmful to the lungs.
  • Another way is by eating “edibles” like cookies or chocolate made with marijuana. There are now products being made for people with diabetes or gluten allergies as well.
  • You can also use “tinctures” which are drops that you would place under your tongue.
  • There are even vaginal and rectal formulations of marijuana.
  1. Who should not use medical marijuana?
  • Patients who have lung issues like asthma could potentially exacerbate those conditions by smoking or inhaling marijuana.
  • One of the common side effects of taking marijuana is increased heart rate which could cause problems in patients who have heart conditions.
  • Also be cautious of patients who have any history of psychotic episodes. For example, patients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder as it could exacerbate these conditions.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women. There are conflicting results both positive and negative from medical studies and more research needs to be done.


Links/Contact Info:

Dr. Rachna Patel, DO

The Medical Marijuana Expert

710 S. Broadway, Suite 204

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Phone:  (925) 708-9351



Social Media links:

For your listeners who are left with questions swirling in their heads after they listen to the episode, they’re welcome to leave questions for me on Ask Me Anything Wednesdays on my Facebook page and I’ll be more than happy to answer any of their questions.

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