Editor’s note:A primary care physician should be consulted before taking any supplements. No one other than a doctor should provide medical advice. This article is not intended to include medical advice, nor should it be interpreted as such.
With the coronavirus continuing to spread nationally and locally rapidly, many people choose to either self-isolate or follow state or county officials' orders to stay home and only go out for necessities, like groceries, gas and prescriptions. Among them, medical marijuana and CBD.
"We're designated as a pharmacy," Chris Kohan, co-founder of The Healing Center in Washington, said. "We're just like any other pharmacy in that we are helping people deal with various ailments or conditions. There's no real gray area."
Kohan said business has increased since the pandemic began. While he attributes some growth to the "newness" of the industry, he believes coronavirus-driven anxiety created a boom.
"People thought we were going to be shut down, so they were looking to stock up," he said.
With pandemic disrupting life for many, Richard Greer, pharmacy director for Solevo Wellness, with locations in Squirrel Hill, Cranberry and Washington, agrees that people are looking for anxiety treatment.
"Anxiety is one of the newer approved conditions in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program; however, it has been approved for a year now so we have had plenty of opportunities to lower patients' anxiety levels," Greer said. "This is especially important for the patients of Pennsylvania right now considering we are living in very stressful times. Marijuana has the potential to lower anxiety by decreasing worry, repetitive thoughts, fear, nervousness, and stress levels."
Pennsylvania has determined that 23 qualifying conditions warrant treatment with medical marijuana or CBD. Some of the qualifying conditions include cancer, autism, Crohn's disease and epilepsy. A complete list of qualifying conditions can be found at solevowellness.com/conditions.
"Pennsylvanians with one of these conditions should consider getting a medical marijuana card. To obtain a card, a patient must see a certifying physician for medical marijuana, and receive an ID card from the state that will give them access to state dispensaries where they can legally purchase medical marijuana for use as a medication," Greer said.
Kohan stressed that people should educate themselves on the differences between medical marijuana and CBD.
"They are very different products," he said. "One is hemp and one is cannabis."
CBD is derived from the hemp plant, a kind of cannabis that, unlike marijuana, does not have the psychoactive effects produced by high THC levels.
Kohan said his business has been open since 2018 and has helped roughly 23,000 individuals treat various ailments.
"We've got roughly a 95% retention rate," he said. "We're really doing an awful lot of good. People are concerned about what hard drugs can do to their system, and we're offering an alternative."
Content is sponsored by The Healing Center, Compassionate Certification Center, Your CBD Store - Bethel Park/Canonsburg/Washington, Maitri Medicinals, Solevo Wellness and the Medicine Shoppe - Washington.