It might seem strange that any doctor would suggest that their patients eat ice cream to help manage anxiety, pain and even chemotherapy side effects.
But several Florida physicians are doing just that because this ice cream is infused with cannabis.
About 30 Florida clinics are selling a new ice cream called Heavenly Hash made with CBD (cannabidiol), the main non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana – meaning it won’t get you high.
The doctors say that ever since their patients began eating the product, they’ve seen them rely less on prescription medications to manage side effects of chronic conditions.
Several Florida doctor have begun selling their patients a cannabis-infused ice cream called Heavenly Has The ice cream was the idea of an oncology nurse who wanted to create a high-fat and high-protein ice cream containing CBD to make sure cancer patients were eating while reducing the side effects of chemotherapy treatments
Florida-based internal medicine physician Dr Ashok Khanna (pictured) says he’s seen his patients rely less on prescription medications to manage pain since he started selling the ice cream
Heavenly Hash Creamery, based in Manatee County, Florida, began in the kitchen of co-owner and COO Matthew Eastman and his wife as a regular ice cream shop.
That grew into Lickity Splits Ice Cream and, after lucrative deals with Tropicana Field and Amalie Arena – home of the MLB team Tampa Bay Rays and NHL Team Tampa Bay Lightning respectively – Eastman wanted to try a new venture.
He met oncology nurse Susan Scherer, who wanted to create a high-fat and high-protein ice cream containing CBD.
The idea was to make sure cancer patients were eating during chemotherapy treatments while reducing side effects such as nausea, vomiting and neuropathic pain, as well as modulating feelings of depression and anxiety.
‘With healthcare costs rising, we came up with a solution that they can control costs of the patients,’ Scherer told Daily Mail Online.
‘They don’t have to take opioids, medications to sleep, they don’t have to pay for anything anymore.’
Scherer added that one in four cancer patients will die of cachexia, which is the weakness and wasting of the body.
‘Here we’e able to help them with their treatments and give them something that’s high-fat and high-protein so they don’t lose weight.’
Dr Ashok Khanna’s Winter Garden clinic is one of about 30 that are selling the products.
On his website, he sells five of the seven flavors offered: French vanilla, creamy cocoa, mango, mint chocolate chip and lemon.
Patients can buy either one five-ounce container for $7.50 or five containers for $35.
He told Fox 35 that he advocates the use of a variety of CBD products, including Heavenly Hash, because he’s seen less of a reliance on prescription drugs for pain.
‘It makes sense to give them something that’ll make them feel better,’ Dr Khanna, an internal medicine physician, said.
The main compound used in the ice cream is CBD, and it contains no amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the euphoric, ‘high’ feeling often associated with marijuana.
The ice cream was the idea of an oncology nurse who wanted to create a high-fat and high-protein ice cream containing CBD to make sure cancer patients were eating while reducing the side effects of chemotherapy treatments
Co-owner and COO Matt Eastman (pictured) says Heavenly Hash is soon planning on building a larger, 20,000-square foot facility to keep up with its growing business
This means a user can’t get high and it can be sold to people even without a medical marijuana card.
THC interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety.
CBD does not fit these receptors well, and actually decreases the effects of THC.
‘As long as you’re [eating the ice cream] within a norm of use that you’re not overdoing it: it’s safe,’ Dr Khanna told the news station.
Scherer said they plan to have a new larger, 20,000-square foot facility to keep up with the growing business within two years.
The company also plans on erecting brick and mortar stores in addition to its online shop.
‘We hope that any street we have a store on that 420 is the address,’ Scherer joked, referencing the code-term for marijuana consumption.
She added that the response she’s received from cancer patients particularly has been ‘phenomenal’.
‘I think the main takeaway is that there’s alternatives to just pharmacology that can help all patients and to not be so scared,’ Scherer said.
‘We just want to increase the quality of someone’s life no matter how much time they have.;