Medical Marijuana Doctor: How I Became One

A lot of times I get asked


And, that’s the question I’ll be answering in this episode of Ask Dr. Patel.

I can tell you that it all serendipitously started by coming across an ad on Craigslist of all places. 🙂

So, just out of curiosity I clicked on the Medical and Health Jobs section. And, I came across an ad that said “Medical Marijuana Doctor Needed.” In the back of my mind, I remember thinking ”is this for real?” I had never heard of such a thing as a medical marijuana doctor until that moment.

From that point I kept on digging around for more information. I started by looking into the research.

I came across research in humans that showed some really compelling results. Participants in these studies were reporting that medical marijuana reduced pain for conditions like Fibromyalgia, Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. What I found most stunning is that some of these conditions are often resistant to conventional pain medications, which means that commonly prescribed pain medications don’t touch the pain in many of these conditions.

Then, I came across a study that showed that cannabis enhanced the effect of opioids. And, it was suggested in the study that the use of cannabis could help patients take lower doses of opioids.

Being raised in Jersey, I learned exercise a healthy dose of skepticism. So, I really needed to witness the results for myself before I actually bought into what the research showed. I needed to get a sense of how things played out clinically. So, I set off to work at a medical marijuana clinic in California to gain this clinical experience.

I went in expecting that medical marijuana would be one of the tools in the arsenal of treatments patients used to manage chronic pain.

But, instead I was taken aback by the results.

It didn’t just help to just reduce patient’s levels of pain. Many of my patients were coming off of the cocktail of prescription pain medications that they were on. That was a shocker. And, most importantly, it was improving the quality of their lives.

Patients are able to go back to doing the activities they enjoy. They were telling me that they were now able to go on long walks. They were able to swim, golf, and play tennis. They able to perform everyday tasks, like opening jars – something that many of us that don’t suffer with pain take for granted. And, I even had patients report that they were now able to carry their grandchildren without experiencing pain.

Patients also found that using medical marijuana helped to get their mind off the of the pain. And, in turn, they were able to concentrate better, which helped them to be more productive and improved their performance at work.

The patients I’ve treated have reported that the use of medical marijuana helps to reduce anxiety. It helps to patients to escape racing thoughts. It helps to reduce and even eliminate panic attacks.

And, I didn’t just see medical marijuana have an impact on chronic pain.

But I also saw patients with multiple sclerosis experience significantly fewer muscle spasms and therefore were able to sit more comfortably in their wheelchairs.

I also treated children who had seizures as often as every 10 minutes. But with the use of medical marijuana were able to play with their brothers and sisters for several hours at a time.

Then, I saw patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation who couldn’t hold down a sip of water. But, with the help of medical marijuana were finally able to reduce their nausea and feel hungry again.

I found myself impacting the lives of patients who were desperate for a solution that they otherwise weren’t finding in conventional medicine.

So, there you have it – my path to becoming a medical marijuana doctor. And, quite frankly, there’s no turning back at this point.

I hope this information gives you an idea of my why I’m so passionately pursuing my work as a medical marijuana doctor.

If you have questions for me, post them in the comments section below.

The information in this video and on the website ( is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not take the place of seeing a physician and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. It also does not establish a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Patel. Individual results may vary. The information contained in this video and on the website ( has not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

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