Compassionate Care with Medical Marijuana with Lynn Parodneck, M.D.Nov 30, 2020 10:00PM ● By Marilee Burrell
Dr. Lynn Parodneck
Patients come to her for consultation, symptom management and certification to use medical marijuana in New York State. A big part of her mission is teaching patients how to work with it.
“The educational component of the consult is as important as the actual patient’s disease,” she says. “When patients understand what cannabis is about and how it works, it’s much easier for them to reach what we call their sweet spot. The sweet spot is the proper dose.”
Medical marijuana, which contains THC as well as CBD and more than 100 other cannabinoids, is supplied by state-licensed dispensaries. In New York State, medical marijuana comes in several forms: pill; vaporizer; sublingual oil; mint or berry oral spray; lemon, orange and cherry chewies; and mint and cherry lozenges.
According to Parodneck, medical marijuana is helpful for combating a variety of physical problems, including nausea, muscle spasms, anorexia, opioid use disorder and chronic pain.
“More than half my practice is chronic pain patients,” she says. “If you can get pain relief without opioids, that’s a big present.” She will also work with a patient’s psychiatrist with the mutual goal of decreasing drug dependence.
She says those physical problems are often underlaid by psychological ones, especially anxiety, depression, insomnia and loss of appetite.
“Those are the big complaints,” she says. “But if you open up the can of worms of chronic pain, they are complaining that they haven’t slept a whole night in three years, that the last thing they really want to do is sit down and eat. Especially during Covid. The level of anxiety is through the roof.”
More Help on the Horizon
While Parodneck has been a witness to the dark psychological effects of Covid, she sees a brighter horizon since the election. She believes the incoming administration may be open to refining marijuana laws with the goal of further improving safety while broadening access to treatment.
“I think there’s going to be change in our country with the Democratic administration,” she says, “and a country to look at is Canada. In Canada it is recreationally legal, meaning patients can get a box in the mail every month with what they need and they don’t even have to call in for a refill.”
Legalizing recreational marijuana in New York State would cut down on the black market and potential contaminants, she says.
“That’s important because the legal market is required to do testing for pesticides, molds and heavy metals,” she says. “Contents are as stated. You know what you’re purchasing. And you’re not going to get sick from it.”
A Personalized Approach
A consult with Parodneck is relaxed and thorough, reflecting
both her empathetic approach to patient care and her classic medical training.
A graduate of New York Medical College, Parodneck interned at St. Vincent’s
Hospital in Greenwich Village and completed her residency at New York
University Bellevue. She has 20 years’ experience as a physician, having opened
a private practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side before transitioning to
a practice in Westchester County.
“I pride myself in putting a lot of attention and care into each patient experience,” she says. “I spend about an hour with each new patient. When they understand what I’m talking about, they can do a much better job getting there, and it’s much more straightforward.”
Unlike many physicians, Parodneck does not make her patients fill out a pile of paperwork. She does that herself and encourages her patients to do the talking.
“When people come in, I go through their whole day,” she says. “I come up with a day program and a night program. Each person is different. My job is not to send people to Mars. My job is to find that point where they’re comfortable but they’re not walking around stoned. The correct amount is relieving symptoms and allowing you to have the best quality of life as possible.”