What is CBD? Cannabidiol or CBD for short is made from either the marijuana plant that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or hemp which contains little to any THC. “Hemp-derived” means that the CBD generally contains less than 0.3% THC while “marijuana-derived” contains higher amounts of THC. It is THC — and not CBD — is the primary psychoactive or intoxicating component of marijuana. CBD can also be manufactured synthetically. CBD is routinely sold ...

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On a daily basis, patients of mine come in for office visits complaining of wear and tear injuries, as well as aches and pains, and their methods of dealing with chronic pain. As we all know, aging is a part of the normal life process. For instance, as we approach 70 years old, we typically lose three-quarters of our functioning kidney cells (nephrons) but do well with our limited reserve as ...

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In a recent talk I gave for colleagues, I ventured outside the box. I searched for a metaphor to make cancer treatments easy to understand. Around the same time, it so happened my kids decided we needed to re-watch all of The Avengers movies at home. (In order, of course). Here’s where you get some insight into an oncologist-mom’s brain. While we watched the movies, another part of my brain cogitated on my upcoming ...

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Last week I took the naloxone challenge. I walked up to a pharmacy window, waited in line, and requested naloxone from the pharmacist. She showed a supportive but knowing look, and I became acutely aware of the four people in line behind me. After giving her my name and date of birth, she was able to pull my insurance info from prior visits, and I left with a dose of ...

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Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal spray version of the drug Ketamine, named Spravato (esketamine), for use as a supplement to oral antidepressants taken by adults living with treatment-resistant depression. The announcement was accompanied by a flurry of media excitement as Spravato is the first medication for depression with a new mechanism of action since Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride) was approved in the late 1980s. The risks ...

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I often hear the mantra, “You must stay ahead of your pain, or else.” The president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, states a common mistake people make, is waiting too long to take pain medication. By the time you’re in pain, you’re starting from behind the eight ball. "It takes a lot more medicine to control pain after it’s started as opposed to starting it ahead of time," he ...

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I recently read an article -- "California Doctors Alarmed As State Links Their Opioid Prescriptions to Deaths" -- that infuriates and frightens me I'm furious that doctors are being persecuted for opioid prescriptions written years ago, and frightened that my doctor here in California may be pressured to stop prescribing them for my painful genetic disorder (Ehlers-Danlos). Twenty-six states have already implemented arbitrary restrictions on our ...

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As chair of general pediatrics for a large medical group, I knew our HPV vaccination rates back in 2016 were low, but didn’t completely understand why. I’m here to share how we figured it out, and how we improved. The first task was to understand the barriers, and we went straight to the front line. Our doctors and staff explained reasons why this vaccine can be such a hard sell – ...

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Very few things in the universe are 100 percent good or 100 percent bad. Cannabis is perfectly ordinary in having a mixture of good qualities (medical benefits) and bad qualities (medical risks). The people who want to make money – lots of money, by the way – from selling marijuana do a perfectly fine job of pointing out the good. But they don’t educate the public about the possible risks. They know it will ...

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“Try this,” whispers Kate Winslet as I wander past the Lancôme counter. “Your glowing skin will thank you.” The consequences of a celebrity endorsement are seemingly harmless when it comes to revamping a makeup routine, but what happens when this type of advertisement seeps into the world of health care? It has been proven many times that celebrity endorsements influence decisions about specific political candidates, issues or parties, and the positive ...

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