Mental Health, Psychiatry, and Cannabis: The Educational Shortcomings, The Solutions, and The Future with Dr. Napatia T. Gettings

Dr. Napatia T. Gettings Physician's Corner CannaSafe Interview

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About Dr. Napatia T. Gettings

Dr. Napatia T. Gettings understands that we are all a product of our collective experiences, biological predispositions, and nurturing process. With a wide array of clinical and leadership experience, Dr. Gettings has valuable expertise in the field of psychiatry. Her passion for holistic health and wellness includes educating her audience about preventative medicine and integrated wellness. Dr. Gettings’ practice within the field of psychiatry includes advocacy, legislative policy, mental health awareness, and patient education. 

Dr. Gettings began her medical career at just 17 as a rehabilitation aide at Misericordia Home on the south side of ChicagoWhile there, she first treated adults and children with profound intellectual disabilities. After completing her freshman year at Dartmouth College, she transferred to The University of Chicago as a Biological Sciences major. While attending the University of Chicago, she tutored youth treated at the University of Chicago’s Sonia Shankman Orthoepic School; a residential treatment facility that provided her with her first exposure to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. In 2003, Dr. Gettings obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and continued on to the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicinegraduating in 2007 with her Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Gettings then completed residency training in Adult Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. Afterward, she pursued further specialty training at the University of Illinois Institute of Juvenile Research where she completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012. As chief fellow at the institute, Dr. Gettings provided psychiatric care to detained youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and many children in foster care.  

Dr. Gettings’ mission as a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry is to increase mainstream awareness about brain health as well as to dismantle misconceptions associated with it.  As a brain health expert, she advocates for the safe usage of cannabis as a plant-based treatment modality for brain health conditions. As a registered physician with both the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and the Illinois Opioid Alternative Pilot Program, she has aided many patients igaining access to medical cannabis. 

Dr. Gettings is an active member of The American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and holds double board certifications in both Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.   She is licensed to practice medicine in Illinois, Florida, and California. She is the founder and medical director of Clarion Conscience LLC,  a  telehealth private practice providing mental health treatment across the nation to those in need. Her clinical work has been featured in many publications and media outlets. Through preventative medicine and education, Dr. Gettings helps her audience make the conscious decision to preserve their health. 

Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking? 

AbsolutelyI graduated from medical school in 2007 and received no education regarding the endocannabinoid system and disease. I graduated from my psychiatry fellowship in 2012 and once again received no education regarding one of the largest neurotransmitter systems in the brain, the endocannabinoid system. I did learn about the dangers of cannabis as it relates to substance abuse and its increased risk of psychosis. As a psychiatrist, I have treated patients acutely intoxicated with Cannabis and seen its deleterious effects. However, we are doing a huge disservice to the entire population if we eliminate access to an entire plant family comprised of many cannabinoids because some individuals have awful reactions to exposure to THC. Like pharmaceuticals, cannabis does not result in the same response to everyone but that doesn’t mean it should be discarded. 

What kind of cannabis research is needed that hasn’t been covered yet? 

We need doubleblind placebo-controlled trials of cannabis in individuals with a wide variety of diseases, including neurological disorders, chronic pain, inflammatory diseases, endocrine disorders, and autoimmune disorders. For the research to occur on the scale that it needs to we have to continue to advocate for legalization on a federal level.  

Where do you see medicinal cannabis in 5 years?  

I am hopeful that in 5 years the medical establishment will renormalize the usage of this plant in medical applications. This will happen with education as well as the removal of the stigma that has plagued this plant for too long.  

What is the best advice you can give to a first-time cannabis user?  

Fully understand what you are putting into your body as well as its mechanisms of action. Be educated on all of the properties of the plant you are consuming and why it may benefit your condition. And most importantly, understand the risks associated as you would with any treatment option.  


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Mieko Perez

Mieko Perez

Mieko Perez, CannaSafe’s Healthcare Ambassador, is also an International Autism Advocate, President of CA Corporate & Attorney Services Inc, Director of Product Development of MD Exclusive CBD, and much more. In 2009, Mieko Hester-Perez decided to go public with her son's success with medical cannabis and since that day in 2009, she has become a source of inspiration and information for families looking to explore alternative and holistic treatment options within the autism spectrum. With 20 years of legal experience and over 15 years of special education knowledge, Mrs. Perez currently consults internationally with healthcare providers in prominent autism centers, palliative care & cancer institutions as a healthcare ambassador for consumers who have exhausted all other treatment options.

For press inquiries about Dr. Gettings please contact Mieko Perez at [email protected]