It’s been four years since medical cannabis became legal in Illinois, yet an alarmingly low percentage of physicians support patients who wish to incorporate cannabis into their healthcare. Rahul Khare, MD, president and founder of Innovative Wellness, believes it’s time for the medical community to step up and guide patients who wish to use cannabis alongside traditional medical treatments. Khare has expanded his services at Innovative Wellness to fill this void and offers cannabis consulting, as well as cannabis focused primary care.
“While many doctors approve patients for medical cannabis, that is typically where their involvement ends,” explains Khare. “Patients deserve more. We as physicians must look beyond the pharmaceuticals that we’ve become accustomed to prescribing. Cannabis can be an integral part of pain management, an effective anti-nausea and much more. Patients who incorporate cannabis as part of their healthcare deserve the same monitoring and support we extend when they are taking a prescription drug.”
Innovative Wellness has certified more than 10,000 patients for medical cannabis and is a trusted source for full spectrum hemp-based CBD products, which Khare uses personally, and for his teenage son. The medical clinic provides a continuum of care that does not exist elsewhere in Chicago, by consulting on cannabis use for symptom relief, including which strains may be most appropriate for a patient’s needs and dosing. The Innovative Wellness team has created protocols for 11 medical conditions to date and accepts medical insurance for appointments.
“We are a cannabis focused medical practice, so all of our providers understand the medicinal benefits of cannabis and help patients incorporate it into their treatment plan,” said Khare. “Patients can choose to see us for cannabis consulting only, or make Innovative Wellness their medical home for primary care.”
Consulting appointments begin by reviewing symptoms and patient goals for treatment. The consultant then provides information on consumption methods, strain differences, dosing and more. Innovative Wellness consultants have extensive knowledge of medical cannabis and have been tracking patient data for years in order to establish protocols that aim to shorten the trial-and-error period and allow patients to achieve symptom relief faster.
“Until now, most patients have been left to navigate medical cannabis on their own,” said Khare. “Many ask the ‘budtender’ at their dispensary for help, but those employees have varying levels of knowledge, and generally no medical background. Our goal is to guide and fully support patients who wish to incorporate cannabis into their medical care.”
Khare hopes that more medical practices will follow suit, as it is imperative that physicians and patients have open communication and work together to manage health conditions. The lingering stigma surrounding cannabis is a roadblock that hinders health and wellness.