Green Acres Magazine — June 2012
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Dr. Patel: Breaking The Stereotype
Bernice Smith

No one would ever think a woman would give up the chance of being a leading Bollywood actress to be a doctor. But that is precisely what Sona Patel did before enrolling in medical school at Ross University in 1998. Where many women would have simply used their beauty to get what they wanted out of life, Dr. Patel decided there was more to life than being a pretty face. She graduated at the top of her class in 2002. When Dr. Patel decided to pursue the field of medical marijuana, she knew it would certainly be controversial. "Greatness is rarely, if ever, achieved without struggle and controversy," says Dr. Patel, CEO and Founder of Doc420. It was only after she gained extensive knowledge regarding medical marijuana research, including clinical trials, benefits, adverse effects, and even the law and politics surrounding its use, that she decided to pursue this field of medicine. However, no amount of research could have prepared her for what she was about to discover.

The results were amazing. Patients who were taking prescription pills just to maintain their medical conditions were all of sudden, actually improving! She began to gradually incorporate more medical marijuana into her practice.

"Time and time again, the benefits I saw in my patients were astounding. Eventually, I got to a point where prescribing conventional medications (pills) did not feel right to me anymore," Dr. Patel said.

If you're one of millions of people who sneer at the thought of the use of medical marijuana, then think about this; some of the side effects of a few commonly prescribed pain killers are: stomach bleeding, heart attack, stroke, nausea, constipation, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and yes, even death. Dr. Patel's clinical experience has shown that long-term and even daily marijuana use can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases. Dr. Patel's clinical experience has found only a "very minimal" impairment in memory and learning among long-term marijuana users.

Her care and compassion for her patients is part of the reason she began researching medical marijuana in the first place. Is she worried about being too controversial as a doctor? No. To her, the reward of having patients who can live without the side effects of commonly prescribed medications is her reward. "I personally am not worried about the controversy," Dr. Patel says. "I do my research and follow the legal guidelines and requirements for a medical doctor recommending medical marijuana."

Before Ross University, Dr. Patel was an Indian dancer and a model. Super Model India Search had crowned her Super Model India and Miss Photogenic. When she was only 17 years old, she traveled to India to give acting a chance. But the call to serve her community was too strong, so instead of signing a contract to star in a Bollywood film, she continued to model during the day and concentrated on medical school at night. Like every student struggling to make it through, there were many sleepless nights. Having desired to be a doctor since she was five, Dr. Patel was relentless in her studies. She still passed all of her courses with flying colors and graduated at the top of her class. She devotes herself to studying medicine and bettering her patient's lives. "It's a tough world out there for a business woman."

According to Dr. Patel, medical marijuana can heighten your sexual senses, relax you and make you feel hyper connected. There are also physiological effects from medical marijuana like increased heart rate, changes in blood flow and respiration that can affect sexuality, Dr. Patel explains. She is quick to make sure her patients know the facts about medical marijuana and its effects. There is no evidence that marijuana causes infertility in men or women. In animal studies, high doses of THC diminish the production of some sex hormones and can impair reproduction. However, most studies on humans have found that marijuana has no impact of sex hormones. In those studies, showing an impact is modest, temporary, and of no apparent consequence for reproduction. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana delays adolescent sexual development, that it has a feminizing effect on males, or a masculinizing effect on females.

Another myth is that marijuana kills brain cells and that used, over time, marijuana permanently alters brain structure and function, causing memory loss, cognitive impairment, personality deterioration and reduced productivity. Dr. Patel stresses that this is just a myth. None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long term, high-dose usage. The claim that marijuana kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.

Some people think that marijuana is highly addictive. This is also a myth. Dr. Patel stresses that most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty. Marijuana does not cause physical dependence. If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all, they are remarkably mild.

Often people who do not know her background get confused and wonder if that is really is her in those ads. Yes, it's her. It is one of the most commonly asked questions right up there with "why are you single". Dr. Patel breaks every stereotype of the traditional doctor. She's beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and artistic. Her creativity is clearly evident from all her lavishly decorated offices, which she did herself. "I like to stay as well rounded as possible," Dr. Patel explains. "It's so easy to get consumed in business and medicine."

Dr. Patel is truly devoted to her patients. She treats patients of all ages for many different illnesses, with impressive results. Patients come into her office, ranging in age from 18 to 90, seeking relief from the use of medical marijuana, which comes in a variety of forms; sodas, ice cream, topical creams, frozen dinners and concentrated pill form. There are many different medical conditions that can qualify patients, Dr. Patel explains. Some of the medical conditions are Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), HIV infection, Anorexia, Cachexia, Arthritis, Cancer, chronic pain, Glaucoma, Migraine headaches or chronic headaches, persistent muscle spasms, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizures and Epilepsy, severe nausea, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Insomnia, PMS symptoms, painful periods, Hepatitis C, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), Colitis (Chron's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), Urinary Incontinence, chronic abdominal pain, chronic pelvic pain, Neuropathy, Neuralgia, chronic low back pain, Asthma, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's Chorea, Wasting Syndrome, and many others. If you should have any questions for the doctor, you can reach her via her facebook, which she responds to herself (

Visit Dr. Patel's website at: Find answers to all your questions in Dr. Patel's new book, A Comprehensive Guide to Medical Marijuana, available on her website at www.doc420. Visit one of Dr. Patel's three locations for a FREE consultation:

4864 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Walk-ins Mon-Sat
No appointment necessary
Free consultation

Los Angeles:
314 Florence Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90003
Walk-ins Mon,Wed-Sat
No appointment necessary
Free consultation