Ananda Clinics owner Dr Jamie Rickcord has a keen focus on integrative plant medicine.
Ananda Clinics owner Dr Jamie Rickcord has a keen focus on integrative plant medicine.

Cannabis doctor set up Northern Rivers clinic

THE name of a new medicinal cannabis clinic on Fletcher Street in Byron Bay is derived from the Sanskrit word "ananda" meaning bliss or delight, which is also one of the main cerebral effects of anandamide.

Anandamide receptors are directly involved with the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

For Ananda Clinics owner Dr Jamie Rickcord, integrative plant medicine and psychotherapeutic intervention have increasingly become a focus while working on the North Coast for the past eight years.

"After a few years as a GP I began to feel that I wanted to work in a more integrative fashion with my patients," Dr Rickcord said.

"I always knew that these medicines would become available in Australia and have always found the science compelling.

"The evidence of their effectiveness is building as more research globally continues but it is a fairly simple idea to approach health care with an integrative and holistic mindset while prescribing a natural plant medicine that contains compounds that if used correctly can have a profound healing effect on the physiology of the human body.

"With the absolute belief in that simple concept I decided to open Ananda to assist in moving the practice and science of the endocannabinoid system forward."

He also has a keen interest in exploring psychotherapeutic intervention and novel pharmacotherapies to assist humans in recovering from damaged psyches and move towards the full expression of their potential.

He is the co-chairman of the Byron Bay chapter of the non-for-profit Mind Medicine who lobby for the introduction of medicinal MDMA and psilocybin to treat mental health disorders and is studying a Masters in Trauma Informed - Psychotherapy through the University of Sydney.

Dr Rickcord believes medicinal cannabis should have a prominent place in the treatment of certain conditions and that increasingly society is beginning to perceive it as effective medicine provided it is dispensed in an informed, safe manner.

"I think the government is approaching this is an open but cautious manner," he said.

"Access has been provided.

"Education for medical practitioners is improving as is the evidence for and science of the cannabinoid medicine."