In the ever-evolving landscape of medical cannabis, one name stands out – Frank Falvo. With a rich background in community pharmacy spanning three decades, Frank is making great strides at mainstreaming medical cannabis in Albany, NY. His journey was sparked by personal experience and a deep dive into the endocannabinoid system (ECS), transforming him into a medical cannabis pharmacist, advocate, and educator.
Frank's mission is vital; he's the founder and CEO of Libra Cannabis Consulting. His goal? To bridge the gap between traditional medicine and the promising world of plant-based treatments like medical cannabis. Frank believes that cannabis, especially cannabinoids, should be part of everyone's daily health routine, promoting balance in the ECS and overall well-being. Join us as we delve into his insights, his passion for education, and his commitment to reshaping perceptions of cannabis in modern healthcare.
With three decades of experience as a community pharmacist, you've witnessed significant changes in the healthcare landscape. How has your journey evolved, and what inspired you to also become a medical cannabis pharmacist in Albany, NY?
My journey has evolved from a pharmaceutical-only based focus to healthcare to a combination of cannabis, diet, and modern medicine.
I have personally consumed cannabis for over 40 years and have learned the health benefits, albeit without guidance. During this journey, I've learned how to make it work for better overall health.
I then learned about the endocannabinoid system, and that entirely changed the way I view the functioning of the human body. This inspired me to become a medical cannabis pharmacist, advocate, and educator.
You are the founder and CEO of Libra Cannabis Consulting. Can you briefly share what your company dies and the impact that it is making in the community.
After years of practicing and studying medical cannabis, I decided to start Libra Cannabis Consulting. My original goal was to consult patients, and educate healthcare providers but my focus has shifted to academics. I want to be active in curriculum building and teaching at the college level. Libra Cannabis Consulting still offers private consults, and healthcare provider education, and I'm still active in community pharmacy.
I feel that with these avenues we can reach more of the community and help mainstream cannabis without the “stoner” approach. All the while keeping in mind that it's illegal to make any health claims.
Cannabis as a therapeutic option is gaining recognition. What role do you see medical cannabis playing in modern healthcare, and how do you help bridge the gap between conventional medicine and plant-based treatments through your consulting services?
Cannabis, or at least, cannabinoids should be part of everyone's daily routine like vitamins. This keeps the ECS balanced and promotes homeostasis. This leads to better health and can decrease the amount of prescription medicines a patient takes. Some prescription medicines have many unwanted side effects, and only mask the condition.
Education is a vital aspect of your work. Could you share some insights into your approach to educating both healthcare professionals and the public about the potential benefits and safe usage of medical cannabis?
The goal of Libra Cannabis Consulting is to educate as many people as possible and mainstream cannabis as medicine. Our area has just begun teaching cannabis courses in colleges, but none are focused on the medical aspects of the plant and I've been meeting with department heads of area colleges in hopes of changing that.
As a pharmacist, you have a deep understanding of patient care. What advice do you have for individuals seeking alternative treatments like medical cannabis, and how should they approach discussing these options with their healthcare providers?
Due to the stigma, some patients and their healthcare providers are reluctant to discuss cannabis as medicine. Some providers are dead set against it, some are possibly open to it and some are all in. Education about the ECS is the difference and patients have to carefully find out where their provider stands. This results in patients using cannabis without their doctor's knowledge and without proper guidance. For example, the difference between edibles and inhaled products, strains, etc. Cannabis is inherently safe, but there are a few drug interactions, so using it without your doctor's knowledge can be dangerous.
In N.Y., any doctor can recommend medical cannabis for any reason, and can issue the patient a medical cannabis card. This means that the patient can purchase from a medical dispensary and have a consultation with a pharmacist at no cost. But many do not use medical cannabis dispensaries and are not getting the education that's needed to make it work optimally.
Also keep in mind that some providers regard cannabis as unhealthy, and would never consider it as a medical option. Therefore I feel that bringing cannabis education to institutions of higher learning will eventually change the public's and medical professional's perception of the plant.
It was a great honor and privilege to have this conversation with Frank Falvo RPh, Founder & CEO at Libra Cannabis Consulting. You can learn more about what he does by clicking here.