I was born and raised in Venezuela and grew passionate about the healing properties of cannabis. I moved to Southern California for my postgraduate training where I had the opportunity to treat patients using medical cannabis as part of their treatment regime. After seeing first-hand the results and overall improvement to their emotional and physical wellbeing, it further increased my fascination and passion for the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. After medicinal cannabis was legalized across more of the U.S. in November 2016, I was invited by Cannasseur to complete my certification as a cannabis doctor in Puerto Rico and become part of a vertically integrated medical cannabis project. Through this experience and training, I was not only completely convinced of the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but I also had additional scientific evidence and skills to treat patients and help them start on their healing journey with medical cannabis.
It’s hard to find high quality educational programs that can teach and guide healthcare providers in how to properly treat patients using medical cannabis. I constantly receive messages from other practitioners asking for guidance, making it clear that more education for the masses is needed. I am trying to help raise awareness by teaching educational programs and speaking at conferences around the world about my experience treating patients with cannabis. I also think the endocannabinoid system and the medical uses of cannabis need to be more prevalent in the curriculum of medical and health programs. Ideally, I would love to see top universities offering certification courses for professionals to learn about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and how to use it to treat a variety of ailments in patients.
The future of cannabis research needs a greater focus on clinical trials, ideally with large samples of participants as well as highly qualified researchers backed by well-recognized research centers. It would also be really interesting to see research using whole plant/full spectrum preparations and high quality cannabis flowers rather than isolated molecules and synthetic cannabinoids. In my personal opinion the wisdom and knowledge that cannabis farmers have is often underestimated. It will be exciting to see them included in medical cannabis research. I like to think of cannabis as a snowball that's constantly growing. I would love to see medical cannabis in the near future as an standardized natural medicine that is also affordable and easy to access for patients around the world. I also hope for legalization and decriminalization of medical cannabis completely around the globe. As we continue to raise awareness through education and advocacy I would also hope for less stigmas around this natural medicine. Always get advice and guidance from a certified professional, ideally a Physician who is experienced in medicinal cannabis and how it is used to treat a range of health conditions. It’s also important to make sure you are using a product that is standardized, certified and tested by a third party laboratory to ensure the purity and ingredients. Following up with your healthcare provider is essential for the success of the treatment, especially since dosing adjustments are often needed. As general guidelines I always suggest to use full spectrum or at least whole plant extracts over isolates. Also remember to start at a low dose and build from there to find what works best for your specific needs. Above all, talk to your physician about cannabis and learn about the potential benefits it can have on your health and well being. About Dr. Avalrez Dr. Francisco Alvarez Divo was born and raised in Venezuela, both his parents and grandfathers were physicians as well, so since his early years he knew what his purpose in life was. He attended medical school at Universidad de Carabobo and obtained his Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree in 2009. After that he moved to the Caribbean to work with the rural and underserved population of Margarita Island, this is the place he likes to call home is a famous windsurfing and kitesurfing destination worldwide; it was here where his passion for theses sports and lifestyle medicine started.
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