Devil’s lettuce, weed, pot – all of these names are associated with recreational marijuana and often carry unhelpful negative stigmas associated with medical cannabis. Enter Charlie Piermarini .
Piermarini actively promotes holistic education and healthcare utilizing natural medicine, focusing on medical CBD (cannabidiol). He is a PA, co-founder of The Healing Joint and Integrative Medicine, and founder of Restorative CBD. He has three Masters in Physiology, Public Health, and Physician Assistant Sciences.
Piermarini remembers what he first thought of marijuana before learning about the medicinal benefits of marijuana’s cousin, hemp. “I thought people were just trying to get high,” he said. “They [medical schools] don’t teach us anything about the endocannabinoid system, so I researched it and started learning what I could.”
The Western approach to medicine, Piermarini found, was limiting. It focused on solving a specific problem instead of looking at the body and its issues as interconnected and fluid. His research, coupled with mentorship from Dr. Jyotiy Patel, inspired Piermarini to expand into integrative medicine.
“She instilled in me that you have to look at the patient as a whole. For example, you can’t just give diabetic people Metformin and talk about glipizide and send them on their way,” Piermarini said. Instead of just prescribing medicine for an ailment, he also talks with his patients about their lifestyle choices – what they are eating, how they are exercising, and other related questions.
“We’ve talked about high dose, 20,000-milligram vitamin C IVs and supplements, doing micronutrient testing and testing functional pathways for deficiencies in vitamins and micronutrients, and keeping you on a good regimen,” he said. “People are searching these things out. So I kind of want to meet patients where, you know, where they needed to be met.”
Piermarini pointed out that some medications may not work on a patient because they are vitamin and nutrient deficient. Focusing on the health of their gut and that they are synthesizing their intake properly, Piermarini believes, gets to the root of many patients’ health problems.
Improving Health with CBD
Cannabis and CBD provide unique opportunities for improving patients’ health because they can act as stimulants to the brain.
“We have a whole system in our body that is made to just respond to plant-like molecules like cannabis,” Piermarini said. “There’s a lot of healing properties behind cannabis.”
According to Piermarini, cannabis has zero overdose deaths. “There are no receptors on your brain stem that will suppress your breathing, unlike opioids,” he explained. Cannabis affects the brain and helps increase energy production. It also has shown to be a suitable replacement for opioids because it helps rewire the brain’s neural pathways and doesn’t pose the overdose risk.
Piermarini also offers a more controlled environment for patients to try cannabis as a natural alternative to their ailments. In integrative medicine, medications and dosages are tailored to the patient’s needs and then tailored again after monitoring the first-round results. This involved process can reap better results, as all of a person’s health variables are considered.
“It’s more of a collaborative effort than an authoritative one,” he said.
Starting the Conversation
Piermarini is a vocal advocate for CBD and natural medicine. He is a speaker for the USA CBD expo, Lucky Leaf Expo, and The CBD Expo and would have spoken at the World CBD Expo if not for CV-19. He continues to write and create resources for patients and doctors. He co-authored a review paper about how CBD works for pain management and was a lead author for a letter to the editor calling for more legitimate CBD products. He also finished his first book titled, “CBD Education From A Medical Professional”, to continue to help educate patients and other medical professionals about CBD. His book is available on Amazon and Kindle.
When CV-19 affected his clinic, Piermarini took the opportunity to create an online course for medical professionals and laypeople to educate them about CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and the difference between cannabis and hemp.
“I think it’s a great place to at least get people up to speed and understand the vernacular and what the endocannabinoid system is,” he said. Piermarini wants to educate people properly, especially since other resources on marijuana can fall to the extreme. “CBD is not a cure-all for everything,” Piermarini stated.
Currently, Piermarini is working with the Arizona state legislature to allow physician assistants to prescribe medical marijuana. “I’m working closely with a few legislators, and they just floated a bill right now for me to give all PAs and NPs the ability to recommend medical marijuana to our patients.”
The work has just begun for PA Charlie Piermarini, but he has a balanced view of the situation. More people are seeking natural alternatives to their medicine, and that’s encouraging.
“Vaccines are great antibody therapies, but all these other medications we’re doing are like Hail Mary’s,” Piermarini said. “If we were a society that prioritized primary prevention of disease, such as activity, eating a well-balanced diet, good supplements, getting good rest, I think we would have been in a little bit better of a situation.”
You can learn more about CBD and Piermarini’s work here. If you are interested in learning more about CBD, here’s our latest article, “Is a Recently Discovered Oil-Free CBD Technology the New Fountain of Wellness?”.