Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022

Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 29

21 july/augustl 2022 | cannabis patient care The Knox Docs Story: A Family of Endocannabinologists B Y D A V I D H O D E S O NCE UPON A TIME, a newly retired career board certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Janice Knox, began getting into more natural medicines, using the nat- ural curiosity that was always part of her 35 years of work as a doctor. She had married a doctor in 1977, Dr. David Knox, and their two daughters, Jessica and Rachel, would follow in their parents footsteps, leading them all to work with canna- bis as medicine for better patient wellness. Dr. Knox said that she was introduced into the cannabis space because she was invited to work at a clinic that wrote medical cannabis cards—cards that are issued by the govern- ment for those who qualify or have a medical condition. "At first I hesitated to do that because I absolutely knew nothing about cannabis," she explained. She had attended the University of California-Berkeley as an undergraduate in the 1970s, where the student culture in- cluded lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and cannabis as a key part of their social scene. "I absolutely knew nothing about cannabis, even after spending all those years at Berkeley," she said. "So, I hesitated initially because of that." But she decided to go ahead and see who showed up to get their medical cannabis card—and it became a life-changing moment for her. "I was shocked by who I saw come through the door of the clinic, because they looked like everyday peo- ple. They were retired people, doctors, lawyers, grandmoth- ers, grandfathers, parents bringing their babies, and parents bringing their teenagers. So, I'm going 'Oh my god, who are these people?'" It quickly became apparent to her that these people were spending their last bit of money for cannabis because con- ventional medicine had failed them. "I was so intimidated, or shocked, because here I was an anesthesiologist who knew physiology and pharmacology. But I couldn't tell them a thing about cannabis." Invigorated by what she saw, and with her curiosity piqued, she then proceeded to dig into finding out what the canna- bis plant offered. "When I found that information out, I was shocked at the medicinal benefits of cannabis. And then I dug into why it was banned," she said. "When I read the con- gressional records, I was shocked again. And then I dug a lit- tle deeper because I liked looking under the hood, as it were. When I found the physiology that supported the use of canna- bis, then I became a real advocate" (1). Connecting the Dots Then Dr. Knox started putting together the pieces of the puzzle about patient treatment from what she had witnessed as an anesthesiologist over her long career and began connecting the dots about the benefits of medical cannabis that would quickly build up her interest. "Before I left my anesthesia practice, one of the final sights that sticks in my mind to this day is what the recovery room looked like," she said. "There were patients who had been put on just tons of pain medications and were screaming for more. All I could think of is that what we've done is created drug-seeking patients. They came to surgery on these mas- sive amounts of drugs and as an anesthesiologist, I had to jug- gle those medications, and keep them safe through all of this. I started thinking 'Oh my goodness, what have we done here'?" She said that she thought all medical professionals, includ- ing clinicians like her, and their patients, were trained in a certain way about pharmaceuticals and therapy for patients. "We all believe anything that comes from the pharmaceutical industry is okay to take," she said (2). "But it can have a list of 50 side effects. I tell patients the further we move away from what's natural, the more complications we're going to see." Dr. Knox recalled a patient who called her and told her that her son was on a certain pharmaceutical drug. "We don't like giv- ing kids Paxil because it puts them in a dark place," explained Dr. Knox. "But once again, we have been so brainwashed about what's acceptable, that people are terrified of cannabis. We're seeing great results and long-term results with cannabis. But you pose using cannabis to a patient, and they say 'Oh, no, no, no, I can't take that.'" She believes that it's about educating the public and edu- cating clinicians. "We just have to think differently. And we're just not there." Asking the Extra Question Dr. Knox said that she has always been a disrupter, something she attributes to her educational fine-tuning at Berkeley where students are taught to be disruptive. They are taught to ask the doctor focus

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022 - Cannabis Patient Care - August 2022