The Hush Post: Ever heard of medical marijuana, which means charas or afeem as it is called in some parts of the country as medication. And also, ever heard of a doctor being asked questions like “Is smoking pot better than cannabis edible or a cannabis oil?”

These are the question being asked by patients in America’s Oregon and California to medical marijuana medics. It is being referred as a treatment to epilepsy, reduction of cancer related pain among other things.

But wouldn’t it be interesting to know that a family of four American doctors is practicing what vaids in Punjab and Himachal has been practicing for centuries — medical marijuana – casually speaking it means cure by consuming afeem or even charas, for the former licences had been issued in Punjab and Rajasthan till a few decades ago. These American doctors started it in 2012, when Janice Knox retired from a decades-long career in anesthesiology. One of 15 children, she grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and went for medical school in the 1970s. The Knoxes are a clan of four doctors living in Oregon and California and have started developing an expertise in medical marijuana. They seem to be doing quite well selling something that’s illegal in many states of America and also across the world except parts of South Asia and China.
“We’re all fighting the same fight,” said Janice Knox, the founding doctor behind American Cannabinoid Clinics in Portland, Oregon – and the mother of two fellow physicians and the wife of the other. “I think when they see us they’re surprised at who we are,” she said of her patients. The family aims for something not always associated with medical marijuana: professionalism.

After she stepped away from the job, she got a call to practice writing prescriptions for medical marijuana. One of the doctors couldn’t be found immediately. Could she fill in? was the question.

Knox wasn’t sure. Temporarily, though, she did fill in. Undaunted, she delved into research of what’s called the “endocannabinoid system” – a network of receptors in the body and brain that respond to cannabis and regulate, among other things, immune response, liver function and the production of insulin. “It’s very, very real,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

Knox’s husband, David Knox, an emergency room physician for 38 years, kept his day job but also started working at the clinic. He knew nothing about the endocannabinoid system but quickly saw the potential of cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy, cancer-therapy side effects and pain, particularly in the middle of an opioid epidemic.

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