By Evan Tompros
Dr. Bridget Williams is an established board-certified family physician, best selling author of Courage In Cannabis, and CEO of Green Harvest Health, a network of medical cannabis and integrative health clinics located in Ohio. With nearly 20 years of experience in family medicine from The Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Bridget combines her medical background with certifications in life and cannabis coaching into her practice, providing valuable ‘medical motivational talks’ on medical cannabis, CBD, life balance and confidence.
When not seeing patients, Dr. Bridget hosts podcast shows, creates educational videos for the Cannabis Hub, and holds an advisory and curriculum development position with the Cleveland School of Cannabis. Dr. Williams is the founder of the nonprofit GHH Community Foundation, and “The Cannabis Can Project”. Throughout her career, she has received notable recognition as Top Female Business and Top Minority Business with the Ohio MBE 2021, Women in Medicine Top Doctor 2021, Top 100 Entrepreneurs 2022, and Disruptors 50 Under 50 Brightest Disruptors, Thought Leaders And Experts In Their Industries.
To learn more about Dr. Bridget Williams and her inspiring professional career, enjoy the following Q&A below and join her featured speaking session at the upcoming Southern Hemp Expo, August 18-20, in Nashville, TN.
1) When and why did you get into the hemp/ cannabis industry?
My interest in cannabis began with one amazing patient approximately 15 years old that was courageous enough to ask what I thought about utilizing marijuana as medicine for her recently treated breast cancer and her newly diagnosed diabetes. Respectfully, I thought she was nuts! During that time, many patients were asking about numerous homeopathic treatments and practices, so it was not uncommon for me to research an herb or trend in supplements but she was the first to ask about cannabis. Despite my initial reservations, I gathered information about this distinctive plant. Much to my surprise there were incredible medicinal possibilities for this unjustly villainized plant. I chose to support my patient on her journey as she made edibles and inhaled cannabis and I researched dosing and created titration schedules. Over months, I saw her body fat decrease and her blood sugars become balanced. She was sleeping better, her productivity at work was improving and her stress was incredibly better. From there, I knew I needed to know more. When medical cannabis was legalized in Ohio, I decided to become a certified cannabis educator and life coach. It was time to provide the care I felt my patients requested. To do so, I opened my own offices and supported patients with personalized care by providing empathy, education and encouraging empowerment.
What I did not expect was what cannabis would do for me. I had been fascinated by cannabinoid medicine for years. I knew if it were ever legalized in my area, it would provide a medical alternative that could change lives. However, for me, it gave me freedom from the confinements of traditional health systems. It brought together my desire to help patients reclaim and own their wellness, and potentially get off some medications that often become a crutch. Cannabis allowed medicine to make sense to me again when I was close to leaving the medical profession entirely. I was burnt out and had lost faith in our current health systems that have replaced the art of medicine with pharmaceutical medicine. My days were filled with pressured 15 minute visits that pushed a pill for every diagnosis.
2) What are the barriers for patients or other physicians to use or recommend medical cannabis and how have you addressed them?
Adequate education for patients that teaches them how to find the correct cannabinoid/terpene profile(s) that fit their specific health condition. In addition, physicians and other healthcare providers lack proper cannabis education and cannot help guide their patients due to the legalities of cannabis. I address this by offering cannabis education for both patients, and health care providers.
3) What has your work at Cleveland Clinic contributed to your understanding of patients, wellness and cannabis?
Patients are demanding to be seen, heard, and respected. Patients would wait for over an hour to see me because they knew I would give them the time. I would make treatment plans for the person, not just their condition.
4) Do you have any current or upcoming projects you’re working on that you would like to let folks know about?
I have developed a tincture with Dr. Jennifer Andersion M.D., a Family Doctor with a focus on Cannabinoids for Pediatrics. It focuses on pediatric seizures. My CBD company, Green Harvest Health has also launched Resilience Capsules (CBD, CBDA, CBGA, and vitamins) which focuses on the immune system, and I am writing the 2nd edition of my book, Courage In Cannabis.
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Evan Tompros is a detail-oriented professional with 7+ years of experience in project and team management, executing successful marketing campaigns and event production for a diverse group of clients across varying industries in the U.S. and internationally.