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The ABCs of CBD – What You Should Know About the Popular Hemp Product


CBD has hit the shelves at health food stores, gyms, yoga studios and vape shops across the city. You can even sip CBD infused cocktails at some Chicago establishments. But is the hemp product worthy of its hype? In short, yes, but there are some things consumers should know.

While the scientific evidence is still lacking, anecdotal evidence to support using CBD is strong. I have many patients who incorporate CBD into their treatment plan to help lower anxiety and reduce chronic pain. CBD has also been shown to play a role in minimizing seizures for epilepsy patients, and may play a role in treating ADHD in the future.

So is the compound found in the cannabis plant a magic bullet for health issues? No. However, the potential health benefits of CBD are many, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. If you’re considering trying CBD, there are a few things you should know. 

  • Always read product labels carefully. CBD is not yet regulated by the FDA and there is no standard as to what must be on the label. Look for the amount of CBD in the product, where it originates from and what other ingredients are listed. We recommend using a full spectrum tincture, as it includes not just CBD, but other beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant as well.
  • Be willing to experiment with doses, as well as tinctures versus balms, to determine what best suits your individual needs. CBD quality can vary from product to product, so it’s often difficult to do a direct comparison without some level of trial and error. Also, be sure to follow directions when using tinctures and hold the oil under your tongue for 15-20 seconds before swallowing to help with absorption. For 250mg CBD or 500mg CBD tinctures, I recommend starting with ½ a dropper full twice a day, and increase as needed. I would recommend patients use CBD for at least 2 weeks before making any decisions on whether it works or not.
  • Carrier oils are used to deliver CBD, as the isolate itself would be difficult to measure in its pure form. Carrier oils can differ from product to product, and may impact CBD absorption into the body. Some, like grape seed oil, are anti-oxidants themselves, which may offer additional health benefits.

I have been working with a manufacturer in Colorado to develop a proprietary brand of CBD for Innovative Express Care so I could confidently recommend a CBD product to patients. We use organic hemp that is grown in the United States to create a high-quality, full spectrum tincture and two different CBD balms. We get lab testing on every batch of CBD produced.

Obviously, I believe in our product. I will say this, I trust this product so much, I have my 14-year-old use it twice a day for his condition. That’s how much I believe in our product.

Patients can learn more about CBD and what I give my son from any of our clinicians and can purchase products in our office or online at  

Valentine’s Day Botox at Innovative MedSpa

$50 off Botox now through Valentine’s Day along with 20% Off All Skinmedica products.

Every February it’s always the same: people going on and on about their schmoopies and the five pounds of rose petals forming a pathway to the bedroom and how the Mother of the Year baked individual heart-shaped cakes for all 27 kids in the kindergarten class and made sure every harried work-outside-the-home parent knew about it.

This Valentine’s Day, show yourself a little love with a visit to Innovative MedSpa! That’s right, no roses, no chocolate-covered strawberries, no Hallmark cards that cost how much? This year treat yo’ self to wrinkle-free skin and a relaxed look.

Starting today through Feb. 14, Innovative MedSpa is offering $50 off your BOTOX treatment. Space is limited so book now!

What is BOTOX®?

What is Botox, you might ask. It’s pretty much a miracle in a bottle, erasing fine lines with minimal discomfort. Sure, there’s a needle disarmingly close to your face, but once you see the results, you’ll forget all about that small detail.

BOTOX Cosmetic is a short and minimally invasive treatment that requires no downtime. During treatment, very low doses of BOTOX Cosmetic are administered by way of small injections directly into the muscles that cause frown lines between the brows and above the brows as well as the crow’s feet around the eyes. It can also reduce some lines on the lower lids, the bunny lines on the nose and the downward pull of the angles of the mouth.

Discomfort is minimal and brief and initial redness may occur near the injection sites. However, patients may return to their normal activities immediately following the treatment. Although individual results may vary, you can expect to see results just days after the treatment and the appearance of the area between your brows may continue to improve for up to one week. In fact, 89 percent of patients judged the appearance of their frown lines as improved one month after treatment. The effect of each treatment may last up to four months. After this time, repeat treatment may be necessary.

Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain

Chronic Conditions Managed with Medical Cannabis

Pain relief is the most cited reason for using medical cannabis. Most states that have legalized medical cannabis have a list of specific conditions that are eligible for a physician recommendation. These conditions are called qualifying conditions. Generally, qualifying conditions are determined by state appointed medical boards that are then signed into law.

Qualifying conditions are typically characterized by chronic pain with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Severe nausea
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Wasting syndrome (severe weight or muscle loss)


WBEZ Morning Shift: ER Doctors To The NRA: Gun Violence ‘Is Our Lane’

This morning Dr. Khare was interviewed by Tony Serabia of the Morning Shift on WBEZ. You can listen to the entire interview here.

“A deadly shooting at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital on Monday has once again brought into sharp focus the country’s ongoing epidemic of gun violence.

A 32-year-old man fatally shot an emergency room physician in a domestic dispute outside the hospital, Chicago police said. He then entered the hospital and killed a Chicago police officer, who was responding to the call, and a pharmacy resident, who was stepping off an elevator.

The gunman also died in the shooting. It’s not yet clear whether he died of self-inflicted wounds or from police gunfire.

“Every shooting in America is a tragedy,” a Mercy Hospital spokesman said in a news conference. “And it is especially senseless when a shooting occurs in the healing space of a hospital.”

Dr. Alison Tothy, a pediatric ER doctor at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Rahul Khare, who worked in the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a decade, joined Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia to reflect on the role that ER doctors play in addressing gun violence.”

You Can Listen to the Entire Interview Here >>

What “Different” Looks Like in Medicine: A Day at Innovative Express Care

Dr. Rahul Khare, CEO and President of Innovative Express Care, has a passion for integrating cannabis into his practice.

His phenomenal team of clinicians, right in the heart of Chicago, offers a variety of cutting-edge treatments. From ketamine infusion therapy to medical cannabis consultations and certifications, along with primary care, urgent care, and pain management.

Being that his clinic is fairly close to Rush Medical Center, where I do congenital heart disease research during the day, I had the fortune of visiting his practice for a little investigative reporting on one of their cannabis clinic days.

In short, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced at a doctor’s office.


Innovative Ketamine Treatment: We Take Insurance

What if you could utilize your insurance to get your Ketamine Infusions?

We are one of the only clinics in Chicago that take insurance. Since insurance does not pay for the actual Ketamine administration because it is not FDA approved, we do charge you $250 per infusion for the Ketamine infusion and we then bill your insurance for the visit, time with the doctor and IV insertion. Yes, if we take your insurance (check here), we will bill your insurance. So, you will pay: $250 + whatever your insurance will not cover. This will never be over $600 per treatment, and after you hit your deductible, will be $250 per visit. That’s pretty good… Mood Disorder Treatments consist of a series of 6 treatments over a 2-week period. Each IV infusion lasts approximately one hour.

  • $250 per infusion + we bill your insurance for Mood Disorders (Depression/Anxiety)

Chronic Pain Disorder Treatments are more intense and last 2-3 hours (with much higher dosages) and usually consist of a series of at least 3 treatments depending on the type of pain syndrome you have, but may require as few as 3 or as many as 10 total sessions.

  • Chronic Pain Disorder treatment costs: $600 per infusion + we bill insurance for around $250

Chronic Pain Disorder Treatments usually consist of a series of at least 3 treatments (but could be more) lasting 2-3 hours per infusion session. Infusion cost includes every aspect of treatment, and there are no added costs. We accept all major credit cards, CareCredit, and cash. No checks accepted.

As always, we are upfront about costs. Book your appointment to talk with our physician about the treatment now by clicking here.

In early 2019, we opened up a brand new, state of the art, beautiful clinic on Belmont and Sheffield Avenue. Dr. Khare and his staff decided to decorate it in the most peaceful and delicate decor, to give our patients the relaxation and calmness they need while getting their Ketamine infusions. Thought was put into the entire patient experience, including check-in process, sparkling water, comfortable couches, La-Z-Boy recliners, over-the-ear headphones with hand-picked, scientifically researched, relaxing music. Our staff are trained to be quiet, gentle, and patient to those seeking treatment with us. You get the personal email address of Dr. Khare for any issues that arise after the treatments. We are located at:

Innovative Ketamine

3221 N Sheffield Ave

Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 799-8520

Book your Ketamine Consultation



Rauner Has Signed a Bill Expanding Access to Medical Cannabis in Response to Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Cannabis Bill

Gaurav Dubey, MS and Rahul Khare, MD

Illinois, a state known for strict medical cannabis laws, just took a major step in easing those regulations and expanding access in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic. IL Governor, Bruce Rauner, has now signed Senate Bill 336 into law, which includes a major provision allowing patients to swap out their opioid narcotic prescriptions for medical cannabis access. Statistics from the IL Department of Health indicate almost 2,200 deaths in 2017 from opioids (up from 1,072 in 2013), with almost half being attributed to heroin (ILDPH, 2018). The expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program is the proposed solution to this crisis that is outlined in the bill.

Passing with unwavering bipartisan support across the IL house and senate floors, lawmakers desperately hope the bill will help quell the flames of the opioid endemic by dissolving prior sociopolitical and bureaucratic barriers to medical cannabis access. Additionally, it will offer a safer alternative to narcotic painkillers which are notorious for causing overdoses and deaths across the country in what is being called “the opioid alternative program”.

Currently, there are many requirements by the state to obtain a medical cannabis card, with fingerprinting and criminal background checks being one of the most restrictive and contentious regulations. However, in the new bill currently being signed into law by Gov. Rauner, this provision would go up in smoke, along with several others that make access to medical cannabis more difficult. Prospective patients applying to the traditional medical cannabis pilot program can expect lower wait times and will eventually have (estimated to start in January, 2019) immediate interim access to smaller amounts of medical cannabis (2.5g every two weeks) while their application for long term program membership processes with the state. Previously, patients had to wait 60-120 days to receive their medical cannabis cards, says the bill’s sponsor, IL democratic Sen. Don Harmon, quoted in a recent piece by the Herald Review.

Likewise, patients participating in the opioid alternative program can take qualifying forms from a physician straight to the dispensary and purchase 2.5 grams of cannabis every two weeks for up to 90 days, giving them access to the plant-based medicine for a similar length of time that they would be prescribed opioids (ILGA, 2018). Skeptics claim this is a dangerous step towards increased addiction towards cannabis and even opiates, however, the science suggests otherwise. Several recent studies have demonstrated the role of our internal endocannabinoid system in the perception of pain and the efficacy of cannabis in treating it (Lucas, 2012)(Fine & Rosenfeld, 2013)(Fanelli et al., 2017)(Corroon et al., 2017)(Haroutounian et al., 2016)(Vigil et al., 2017). Of course, the stark differences in mortality rates between cannabis and opioids are to be reckoned with by the opposition; to this day, cannabis has not been attributed to a single fatal overdose. Needless to say, the skyrocketing death tolls from opioid overdose help put the urgency for legislation like this into perspective. To read an in-depth, scientific review on how cannabis is combating the opioid epidemic, check out my article on The Medical Cannabis Community website here.

Policymakers and healthcare professionals alike hope increasing access to medical cannabis as an alternative to opioid narcotics could help mitigate the endemic here in Illinois. Legislation concerning medical cannabis in IL, as defined by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, restricts use to only those patients certified by their physician as having at least one of about 40 “debilitating medical conditions”. Currently, intractable chronic pain is not one of them. However, the new bill currently being signed into law allows for physician authorization to access to medical cannabis as an alternative to opioid painkiller prescriptions. Longitudinal and statistical analyses indeed confirm reduced opioid prescriptions, overdoses and deaths in states that have implemented successful medical cannabis programs (Bradford et al., 2018) (Vigil et al., 2017). It is likely a more expansive and streamlined program in Illinois may help reduce opioid mortality rates as well—at least that is the hope.

With elections looming in the near future, democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker leads recent polls and actively advocates for full recreational cannabis legalization. It is speculated that Rauner, a longstanding critic of cannabis, has signed Senate Bill 336 due to its political popularity among Illinois residents.  How effective this bill will be at battling the opioid epidemic here in Illinois remains to be seen. However, scientific and epidemiological data investigating cannabis for pain and cannabis programs on public health have shown to be promising.

If you are interested in getting your medical cannabis card, Innovative Express Care can help you get your card in the most efficient manner possible. We offer what nobody else offers:

  • No processing fees
  • We take insurance (most cost-effective way to get your card)
  • We guarantee our work
  • We can help you with the opioid alternative program (which will likely start in January, 2019)
  • Education on cannabis, including: THC, CBD, and terpenes
  • Continued care, even after you receive your card, to help you get the right strains

Don’t go to any other doctor’s office for your medical cannabis card. We will help with your entire process. Just fill out the form and we will call you within 2 business days. We offer patient appointments within 5 days.

Innovative Express Care Among the First in Chicago to Sync Health Data with Apple Health Records

Lincoln Park clinic known for marrying technology and healthcare to enhance the patient experience puts health data on iPhone for one-touch access to lab results, health history

Chicago – Innovative Express Care is now connected to Apple Health Records, allowing patients access to their personal health data via their iPhone. The primary and urgent care clinic located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, is among the early adopters using the new feature within Apple’s Health application, and is one of only a few clinics in the Chicagoland area on Apple Health Records to date.

Bringing technology and modern conveniences together to improve the health care experience has been a cornerstone of Innovative Express Care’s mission since the clinic opened in 2015. “Our goal is to make access to quality healthcare more convenient,” said Rahul Khare, MD, president and founder of Innovative Express Care. “From online scheduling, to virtual telemedicine appointments that save patients a trip to the clinic for a routine follow up or minor illness, we use technology in our everyday practice to enhance our patient experience. Connecting our electronic health record with the Health Records feature on iPhone was a natural fit for our practice.”

Patients who sign in to Apple Health, which comes installed on all iPhones and was updated with IOS 11.3, can easily retrieve their electronic health record, allowing them to see lab results, immunizations, medications, procedures and more. As more practices join Apple Health Records, patients will have the ability to organize and access health information, across many providers, in one convenient location. Aggregating health data helps patients effectively manage their health and may support better reporting of health history, thereby improving continuity of care.

“Being able to retrieve health data from your iPhone has many conveniences and is especially helpful for patients who come to us for urgent care needs and wish to share test results or a diagnosis with their primary care physician,” said Khare. “It is also great for college students who turn to us for health needs during the school year, but may see another provider in their hometown during the summer months.”

Innovative Express Care offers walk-in urgent care, primary care and telemedicine appointments. For more information on services provided, please visit