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The Cannabis Enigma

Author: The Cannigma

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Doctors, patients, scientists, and families talk medical cannabis. Cutting through the smoke to have intelligent conversations about medical marijuana, what it can treat, human stories, and the questions we’re all thinking about but never had anyone to ask.Hosted by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Brought to you by The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
33 Episodes
When Mara Gordon started using medical cannabis there wasn’t any lab testing — or any way to know how much of each cannabinoid or terpene was in a given strain . There was definitely no way of ensuring that you got the same effect from it consistently.So she drew on her training as a process engineer and decided to start doing it herself.Gordon has been featured in the Netflix documentary, Weed the People, and owns and operates two medical cannabis companies. One of the things she does is collect and analyze data about cannabis products and how patients with different medical conditions respond to them. All of that data is packaged into software doctors can use to manage their patients’ medical marijuana treatment.“I know how to collect data. I know how to analyze data. I know how to make incredibly good medicine, but [doctors] have to be the ones managing [their] patients’ care,” Gordon says on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast.What’s one of the most surprising things she’s learned from all of that data? “The lack of correlation between the weight of the patient and the dose,” Gordon says. “That was shocking.”This episode was originally released in December 2019.Produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man and Elana Goldberg, and edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma Podcast is a co-production of Americans for Safe Access and The Cannigma. Music by Desca.
The Women of Cannabis

The Women of Cannabis


A lot has changed for the cannabis industry in the last 10 years. Yet, one thing we can’t seem to shake is the negative stigma that follows it around. In this episode, we speak with a woman who once feared and dismissed cannabis, only to become an activist for it in later life. “I thought it was dangerous,” says Joyce Gerber, “I believed it killed brain cells.” This all changed for Joyce when she and her husband traveled to Denver to experience cannabis under the guidance of industry expert, Goldie from City Sessions. Ever since then, Joyce has enjoyed a different outlook on cannabis, normalized it in her private life, turned it into a second career, and aims to tear down the stigma attached to it for the broader public. “It's not my natural habitat. People think this is some joke. They think it's a bunch of guys on a couch eating Cheetos. Maybe that was my preconception as well. [Now], I’m working in this industry, and every week I’m bringing on a new professional to talk on The Canna Mom Podcast about what they're doing in the industry. It's transformative.”With this mission in mind, Joyce was able to create a successful podcast during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In her pursuit to share stories of hope and to change the narrative, Joyce has interviewed over 50 inspirational guests and continues to be an advocate for cannabis change.   Produced by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Music by Desca.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:The Canna Mom Show The Canna Mom Show on FacebookThe Canna Mom Show on InstagramThe Canna Mom Show on LinkedInJoyce Gerber on LinkedInThe CannigmaCity Sessions Dr. Dustin Sulak
Finding the right cannabis product can be a daunting task for anyone, let alone a new medical patient without any guidance.When you walk into a hardware store, pharmacy, or even a liquor store, if you don't know exactly what product will meet your needs there's someone educated enough to point you to the right product and the data to back up that recommendation, says Tyler Dautrich, COO of Releaf."That's not really available in the cannabis industry," he explained on the Cannabis Enigma podcast. "That's where we're trying to fill that need and plug that gap and help individuals inform their purchase decision."The Releaf app allows users to journal and track what cannabis products they are using and what effects they have in order to build an evidence-based treatment regime.Anonymized data also helps scientists better understand the cannabis plant and what products and chemical profiles are most effective for treating different conditions and symptoms.Produced by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.Full transcript will be added soon.
When Kevin Nafte and his wife moved from Northern California’s Emerald Triangle to Uruguay, they already knew that they wanted to empower small, family farms to compete in the global cannabis industry. They had seen it work in California, and were determined to bring a similar model to South America.Less than three years later, they have 11 farms in their network and have already exported tons of cannabis to Europe.Speaking on The Cannabis Enigma podcast, Nafte explained the social and environmental vision of his company, YVY Life Sciences, and why he believes that there is a place for small farmers like those in his network in the global cannabis economy.He also explained what cannabis access looks like in the first country to legalize, and his own experience developing cannabis formulations to treat an auto-immune disorder.In the second part of the episode, Andrew Coon, policy coordinator for Americans for Safe Access, explains the significance of two recent political feats: the passage of the MORE Act in the House of Representatives, and the UN decision to reschedule cannabis.Produced, edited, and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Music by Desca.
“Start low and go slow,” the widespread refrain for finding the right dose of cannabis, is actually only half the phrase, Dr. Dustin Sulak explains on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. “But [people] often leave off the rest of the sentence — it's start low, go slow, and don't be afraid to go all the way."Dr. Sulak, a practicing physician and renowned cannabis educator, gives his recommendations for how to choose a cannabis strain, why we need to get rid of the terms indica and sativa once and for all, and how the way you take your cannabis can have a significant impact on its effects.“When we consume both THC and CBD and it gets into our stomach, mixed with some fat-containing food, that can enhance its absorption by up to four or five times.” Dr. Sulak says. “You might get something much stronger than you bargained for, depending on how close to a meal you had it.”Host Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man and Dr. Sulak also discuss how the opioid epidemic created a perfect storm for medical cannabis to go mainstream, and the sometimes different needs of patient groups — men and women, young and old, etc.In the second part of the episode, Americans for Safe Access Director Debbie Churgai explores the landmark UN vote to reschedule cannabis in a key international treaty this week.The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Edited, mixed, and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, with production assistance from Randy White. Music by Desca.
In some ways, cannabis won the 2020 general elections. Legalization measures won with healthy majorities in five separate states. The Biden-Harris platform was also the most progressive on cannabis than any other major party candidate in history. So what should we expect in the next four years?“It’s not going to be as exciting as people hope, unfortunately,” Founder and President of Americans for Safe Access Steph Sherer said on The Cannabis Enigma podcast.It’s not likely that Democrats will have full control of the Congress, without which it would be difficult to enact broad reforms.“There's policies they can change, but as far as legalizing medical cannabis, they're going to need Congress to do that,” Sherer explained, and “even with a Democratic senate majority, that still may be a tough haul.”The vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum support legalizing medical cannabis, polls have shown, and the majority of states have followed suit and legalized it. So why is cannabis still a partisan issue in national politics?Most people don’t vote for cannabis on the national ticket, Sherer said, which makes pressuring representatives on the federal level a difficult task.There is one idea for a major change that advocacy groups are pushing for, however: the creation of an Office of Medical Cannabis, a federal agency to oversee and coordinate medical cannabis policy among all other federal agencies.The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Edited, mixed, and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. 
How much do you know about the Endocannabinoid System — the system present in nearly every part of the human body that helps maintain balance, and which the chemicals in cannabis can help regulate?Dr. Rachel Knox explains everything you need to know about the Endocannabinoid System in a special episode brought to you and originally published by The Cannabis Conversation podcast, hosted by Anuj Desai.“In a basic sense, it’s this massive neurotransmitter system inside of our bodies,” Dr. Knox explains, “that keeps us in balance, that keeps us healthy. It modulates and controls every physiological system that you can think of in the body.”Dr. Knox discusses the interactions between CBD, THC and other chemicals in the cannabis plant and how they can be used to tailor treatments for different patients, her role in creating an endocannabinoid sub-specialty for other doctors, and how her family of four doctors all wound up in the field of cannabinoid medicine.Check out and subscribe to The Cannabis Conversation. Follow them on Twitter (@TheCannabisCon2) and LinkedInMixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
With so many products and so much conflicting information out there, how is a prospective patient supposed to figure out if CBD is for them? How do they learn to use it? And who is going to sift through all the science?Those are some of the questions that author Mary Biles set out to answer in her new book, “The CBD Book: The Essential Guide to CBD Oil.” [15:10] In an interview on The Cannabis Enigma podcast, Biles discusses with host Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man how aside from explaining the science, it was regular patients’ stories that most moved her.“When you read the case studies, these are just ordinary people whose lives are being completely transformed just with the CBD that you buy online or on the high street, it just sort of completed the story really and put it in a real context people can relate to in terms of what the potential is or might be for their health,” she said.[3:15] In the first part of the episode, we discuss the upcoming US elections with Americans for Safe Access Executive Director Debbie Churgai and Interim Policy Director Dustin McDonald.According to Churgai, the future of medical cannabis legalization and access is very much on the line in the 2020 elections. It’s not just that one of the presidential candidates is promising to decriminalize and reschedule the plant. Local and congressional elections have a huge influence in ensuring there are allies in the halls of power.And while we know how cannabis can drive voter turnout, is it also a partisan issue? You might be surprised by the answer.This episode was edited, mixed, and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Music by Desca.
When Dr. Joseph Morgan worked in addiction medicine, his clinic wouldn’t even admit patients if their primary substance was cannabis. Years later, he developed a treatment protocol to treat opioid addicts with cannabis.“CBD will reduce cravings, whether it's for cigarettes, whether it's for heroin or cocaine. THC has impacts on the endogenous opioid system to get the body to release its own opioids,” Dr. Morgan said in an interview on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. “There's a lot of benefits for using cannabis and THC to treat opioid addiction.”Dr. Morgan has brought cannabis research to a host of unexpected and fascinating areas — including as a possible treatment for chemical warfare exposure. He also found a way to conduct cannabis research that bypasses the impossible restrictions imposed by federal cannabis prohibition in the United States.“Delta-9-THC, the main psychoactive component is actually legal, if it is synthetic,” he explained. Using legal versions of the chemical components of cannabis, he reconstructs the plant’s active ingredients in order to study its effects in rodents — and himself.“I also had it prescribed to me as compound pharmacy, starting with dronabinol. The pharmacist wanted to see all the certificates of analysis, and I gave him the original stock bottles...and he said he would be able to do that. And so, I have basically a legal cannabis mimic prescribed to me as a liquid.”Dr. Morgan also explained how one of more notorious side effects of cannabis can actually be a positive aspect for some medical patients.“Short-term memory loss is a negative property when you're having a conversation — you forget what you're talking about — but when it helps you to forget about pain, forget about thinking about pain, and especially in the setting of endometriosis, it's a very positive property,” he said.Dr. Joseph Morgan will be speaking at the CannX Conference on October 26-28, 2020.In the second segment of the episode, Associate Policy Coordinator of Americans for Safe Access, Andrew Coon, discusses the hurdles pediatric cannabis patients and their families face in schools. With so many states declaring the areas around schools “drug free zones,” it makes it very difficult for pediatric cannabis patients to administer their medicine during school hours — a problem that most other medications do not pose.Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man and Matan Weil. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
The cannabis that most people have access to isn't what it could be. A big part of that is a result of the way the plant has been bred to have high THC levels for the recreational market over the years."For the most part, around the world, we're still dealing with cannabis that is mostly high THC and high myrcene, which is gonna be very sedating, producing what we call colloquially couch lock, where the person feels immobilized," Dr. Ethan Russo explains on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. "So that might be fine for the person that's trying to get to sleep, but it's not at all good for the person that might need to work, or study, and function well in the process, and particularly for chronic pain conditions."Science has made great advances in identifying what chemical properties of a given cannabis chemovar would be beneficial for various diseases and treatments, "but that's a far cry from saying that they would be able to access a chemical variety of cannabis that would be appropriate for their treatment," Russo explains."We really haven't seen the capabilities of cannabis properly harnessed at this point," he adds.Dr. Russo, one of the premier cannabis researchers who is responsible for the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency and has done a great deal of work on proving and harnessing the entourage effect, also discussed different approaches to dosing, and why developing a tolerance can actually be a good thing."The beauty of cannabis is, even though one gets accustomed to the psychoactive effects, the benefits on whatever you're treating remain. In other words, if we have a chronic pain patient and they get benefit from using cannabis, as long as that condition is stable — it's not getting worse — we don't see dose escalation over time, and in fact, there are many people, who have taken cannabis therapeutically for decades that are using the same dose."Dr. Russo will be speaking at the Whole Plant Expo.In the second part of the episode, Dustin McDonald of Americans for Safe Access interviews Sue Lewtin, a medical cannabis patient treating lyme disease, about her journey with the plant. Like so many others, Lewtin explains how her doctors got her started on the path of medical cannabis but that bulk of the work and learning had to be done on her own.Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man and Matan Weil. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Enigma podcast is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
“The scientific material, which is complicated, if it is presented in a way that one can understand and really appreciate, can be a game changer in terms of shattering stigmas regarding cannabis,” explains David Jacubovic, producer of the new documentary CBD Nation.The film, which was released last week, accomplishes what many have tried and failed to do: shatter the taboos around medical cannabis.“There's nothing that really makes you accept something more than understanding it,” Jacubovic says on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast.In a wide-ranging interview, Jacubovic talks about his decision to put a focus on cannabis and women’s health, why so many people are unwilling to look past stereotypes and stigmas about the plant, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at his approach to cracking the cannabis enigma for the masses.In the second part of this episode, Americans for Safe Access Policy Director Dustin McDonald discusses the organization’s new report, 2020 State of the States.Produced by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Engima is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
Cannabis At The Bar?

Cannabis At The Bar?


Marijuana has come a long way since the days of Reefer Madness and when you first learned about it from a DARE officer. But will it ever be treated like wine, with curated tastings available at high class events?That’s exactly what Dan Braunstein is trying to accomplish — at least until the coronavirus shut down the idea of social gatherings.His Los Angeles based company, Grassfed, hosts cannabis-themed events that aren’t actually about cannabis, where you can sample a flight of different terpene-infused vapes or beverages at the bar.“Cannabis should be, eventually, treated like wine. That's where we are trying to push it,” Braunstein said on The Cannabis Enigma. “Consume with intention, consume because you really like the process of consuming cannabis. Obviously you get all the medicinal effects, but have an intention — don't consume just to get blasted.”Grassfed also goes to nursing homes to introduce elderly residents to modern ways of consuming medical cannabis, helping make the medicine more accessible. Much of the stigma standing in the way of a full-on cultural shift, however, can only happen once smoking is removed from the equation, he says.“Smoking is one of the biggest enemies when it comes to making cannabis more mainstream,” he explained. “When you compare cannabis to alcohol, and there are many ways to compare it, cannabis is a safer substance — safer, healthier, especially if you consume it mindfully and responsibly.”In the second part of the episode [43:25], Americans for Safe Access Director of Policy Dustin McDonald discusses the regulatory situation in California, the problems with the way legalization has played out, and what changes need to be made in order to ensure everyone has real access to medical cannabis.Produced by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. The Cannabis Engima is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.
Twelve states will vote on cannabis legalization measures this November. Those ballot measures — and the momentum that has given a majority of Americans legal access to cannabis — don’t come out of nowhere. Groups like Americans for Safe Access have played a huge role in the cannabis legalization that has taken place over the past two decades.But legalization isn’t the end of the story. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean everyone has access. “There's lots of patients that don't even qualify to access cannabis in their state even though there's a medical program,” Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access Debbie Churgai explained on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. From employees subject to drug testing to some minors to geographic restrictions to cost, there are a number of reasons why medical cannabis could be out of reach. “This medicine is not going to be accessible to everyone until insurance can cover it,” Churgai said, and that’s something ASA is working on.Ultimately, two things will make federal legalization or descheduling more likely, explained Dustin McDonald, ASA’s policy director, education and pressure on elected officials, but more importantly, expanding the map of states that have legal cannabis programs.“As we look at more controversial policy issues, whether it's cannabis, whether it's same sex marriage, the state and local governments tend to be the laboratories of democracy producing a lot of those reforms ahead of broad, full-scale federal action that addresses a more comprehensive top down approach,” McDonald explained.The Cannabis Enigma Podcast is a collaboration between The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. This episode was edited, mixed, and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca.
“In a perfect world, we'd see cannabis available in pharmacies, just like any other drug or supplement. And if you don't need the pharmacist's help, great — somebody else will,” says cannabis pharmacist Dr. Melani Kane.In some US states, pharmacists are required to be on site at cannabis dispensaries to help with dosing and to watch out for potential drug interactions. And cannabis, CBD in particular, can affect the ways other medications work in your body.For patients, just having a medically knowledgeable resource available can ease some of their anxiety, Dr. Kane says. Explaining what to expect is a huge part of that.“The side effects of THC can be very uncomfortable. They're not life threatening in any way, shape or form — it's definitely the safest drug I've ever dispensed,” Dr. Kane continues. “But if you have that feeling of anxiety or dysphoria, if you're expecting it to make you sleep and it doesn't and you're up all night, I think that can be very discouraging to patients.”Dr. Kane also spoke about the pitfalls of adult use legalization displacing or replacing medical cannabis programs. “The populations that [most] benefit from these medical programs are the very young and the elderly, because you're not going to have a 85 year old going into a dispensary trying to figure out what works for them,” she explains. “And kids can't use adult use programs without that medical permission.”Dr. Kane is the co-founder and executive director of the International Society of Cannabis Pharmacists, which is holding its Clinical Cannabinoid Pharmacy Conference in mid-August 2020, helping to educate medical professionals, particularly pharmacists about cannabis medicine.For 15% off tickets to the conference, use coupon code “Cannigma15.”This episode was edited, produced, and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man with production assistance from Matan Weil. Music by Desca.
Katherine Golden voted against cannabis legalization when it was on the ballot in her home state of Colorado. A lot has changed since then.Today she runs a free telephone hotline staffed by fellow nurses trained in cannabis medicine, available to answer anyone’s questions about medical cannabis, what CBD does, and anything in between. And there are a lot of questions.“It's all those beginning questions that someone rightfully so doesn't want to pay $100, $200, $300 for a clinician to ask him some of these questions and just be told, ‘Oh yeah, you're right, it's not right for you — or yes, you can use it,” Golden says.Cost and accessibility are behind most of Leaf411’s activities, from the free hotline to financial support for pediatric patients to trying to connect low-income patients with reduced-cost programs in their area.“If it was just a prescription that they had to pay a copay or $15 for their tincture bottle or whatever it is,” says Golden, a registered nurse with over 20 years experience, “their tablets and a tincture bottle, gosh, it would be so much easier. That is our struggle — affordability.”While cost is a huge barrier to more people using cannabinoid medicine, and despite a sea change of public attitudes over the past decade, anti-marijuana stigmas are still significant and widespread.One way that people overcome those stigmas is when they get word-of-mouth recommendations or endorsements from people they know and trust. The other is smoking.“If we can get everyone to understand that smoking or inhalation doesn't have to be a part of the equation, we'd have a lot more people calling us right out of the gate,” she says.“That’s the stigma we still have to squash with people — thinking about the old ways of using cannabis and just smoking it — and now [we need to communicate] how it's changed to tablets and patches and gels and all kinds of different Western looking medicine that they can be comfortable with.”Edited and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca. 
“We have to listen to our patients,” Dr. Kirsten Muller-Vahl repeats several times. It was hearing her patients with Tourette’s, ADHD and other neurological conditions tell her how they got relief by self-medicating with cannabis, after all, that drove her to become one of the world’s premier cannabinoid researchers.But that type of anecdotal evidence isn’t enough. “In the end you always need controlled trials because otherwise you cannot differentiate between pharmacological effects and placebo effects,” she explains.Today, Dr. Muller-Vahl is conducting a broad clinical study on using cannabis to treat Tourette’s in Germany.If those controlled clinical trials aren’t conducted, “in 10 years, [the skeptics will] ask us where are the studies? You are talking about cannabinoids and their potential in all these different diseases, but there’s nothing.”Of course, conducting clinical trials on cannabis is not an easy task. In addition to the question of funding, more practical concerns can stand in the way — for instance, how do you create a placebo to stand in for inhaled cannabis flower? How do you create a placebo version of a joint?This episode was edited by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, and was produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, Elana Goldberg, and Matan Weil. Music by Desca.
For many patients — and if we’re being honest, for many doctors as well — getting a medical marijuana recommendation is a one-time affair. It’s a box to check and then you’re on your own. But it shouldn’t be that way — and doesn’t have to be.“People need more than just some guidance of ‘try some medical marijuana,’” says Dr. Steven Salzman, medical director for adult medicine at Leafwell, a network of online medical cannabis clinics.Getting that first appointment is easy, of course. For patients in 18 US states, the time it takes from logging onto the Leafwell website to actually speaking with a doctor specializing in cannabis is usually no more than five minutes.But that’s not why people come back.“We applied a medical model to medical cannabis, and, essentially, it’s really more of integrative cannabis medicine because cannabis was the start of getting patients that solid base so that you could begin to implement lifestyle changes and other things that ultimately led to them being significantly improved,” Dr. Salzman explains, “but you had to improve certain things first so you could get people back on their feet.”➤ Use discount code “CANNBE10” for $10 off your first online appointment.“One of the things we discovered earlier on is that part of the cannabis conversation should be what are your goals of care,” Dr. George Gavrilos,  the company’s chief pharmacy officer, adds. “And so for every patient, that’s different.”“So, it’s not just get a card, try something out,” Gavrilos continues. “It’s come back, let’s talk about it. What worked? What went well? What didn’t go well? What are barriers to care, and what, what can we do to, to sort of overcome those barriers?”Edited and produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca.
With dozens of countries having legalized medical marijuana and full legalization gaining speed across the globe, it’s easy to forget how the war on drugs drove so much foreign policy for so long — and how ravaging it was for mostly impoverished communities in countless countries.That has been overwhelmingly positive — in some ways revolutionary, says Pien Metaal, a Senior Project Officer at the Transnational Institute’s Drugs and Democracy program.“[Those changes] have made it possible for patients who are ill to access cannabis as a medicine,” Metaal said on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. “What we still have not seen is these benefits also going to the communities that have been so affected by its prohibition.”Of course, that is not true across the board. Some Caribbean countries “have made a real effort to involve the traditional farmers — to give them licenses, to provide for amnesty that they can become legal producers for a medical market,” turning it into a development opportunity, Metaal explained.In Uruguay, cannabis legalization was framed by the government as a human rights issue — or at least as a clash between international drug treaties and human rights obligations.In Morocco, there are efforts to find ways for traditional growers and manufacturers of hash oil to gain access to medical marijuana or wellness markets in other countries.“The treaties on drugs have forced them to criminalize their citizens because they use a certain substance,” Metaal said. “They have forced [the government] to put them in jail and take some rights away from them because of the fact that they use these drugs. So the balance between drug treaties and human rights is a very delicate one, and has not been taken into account up until now. This is something that is now starting to change.”The problem with that is “there’s never been a real scientific evidence-based research on why cannabis should be a prohibited substance. It has been based on a series of assumptions that cannabis would lead to other drugs, but also that it would have effects on the morality of the people who use it” — often with explicit racist motivations and undertones.  What is the prospect of change in the international system’s approach to the prohibition of cannabis? As of now, it is still listed as a Schedule I drug, which is usually categorized as having a high level of abuse and no accepted medical use.Even now that global attitudes toward marijuana are changing, “this whole system is [still] based on these assumptions,” Metaal said.Edited, produced, and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man with technical assistance from Elana Goldberg. Music by Desca.
When Emily Earlenbaugh was diagnosed with anxiety and chronic pain from fibromyalgia, her doctors put her on prescription medications — and they worked. A few years later, however, those same medications were causing severe side effects. So she tried cannabis.“I would try some type of cannabis that wouldn’t work for me. I would try it out and I get much more anxious or I would feel sicker,” Earlenbaugh recalled on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast. “But then other types of cannabis were life changing. I would just take a little puff and instantly my anxiety would melt away. My pain would be gone.” It took her over a year before she found the regimen — of strains, timing, dosing, and delivery methods — that has effectively managed her anxiety and pain for the past decade.Today, she puts that experience to work in order to help patients who are new to cannabis find their own personalized regimen and navigate their way through the rapidly expanding world of medical cannabis.“There’s a lot of information out there but there’s also a lot of incorrect information out there,” said Earlenbaugh, who is also a writer in the field of medical cannabis.Earlenbaugh also talked about how her meditation and mindfulness practice became intertwined with cannabis, and an integral part of her treatment. [Read her recent article about meditation and cannabis.]“I was able to pay more attention to my emotions and with cannabis it wasn’t so scary,” she explained. “It was something that I was then actually able to dive into.”You can learn more about Emily Earlenbaugh’s cannabis consulting at her website,, and her meditation program at Follow her on Instagram — @emilyearlenbaugh.Produced, edited, and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Music by Desca.
Just four years ago, pediatrician Dr. Orit Stolar was dead set against using cannabis to treat the autistic children under her care. “I would say, ‘you’re off the wall — this is a dangerous drug, it’s illegal.'”Today, she is running one of the only clinical trials in the world looking at how cannabis can help autistic children, and seeing results in her clinic.So what changed?“One kid,” Dr. Stolar explained on The Cannabis Enigma podcast. One of her patients came for a periodic visit vastly improved. “I was very sure it’s not something I did, so I asked the mother, ‘what did you do?’ And she quietly said, ‘you know, I’m giving him cannabis.’Dr. Stolar stayed up all night that night looking for medical research on cannabis and autism. She couldn’t find any, so she set out to create it herself.One of the biggest problems she faces in using cannabis as a treatment, she explained, is that it’s extremely difficult to know if the plant, or oil extract in her case, is staying consistent over time.“That’s what’s happening in my clinic. A family starts and says, wow, this really, really helping my child. And then the next month they say, oh my God, it’s gotten really, really bad. And I don’t know if it’s gotten bad or if it’s the bottle that is changing,” she said.Dr. Stolar thanks all of her colleagues on her study: Dr. Dedi Meiri of the Technion, who analyzes the blood, Prof. Ilan Dinstein of Ben-Gurion University and his team, who do the sleep analysis and EEG, her team at Assaf Harofeh — for everything.Edited and mixed by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. Produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, Elana Goldberg, and Matan Weil. Music by Desca.
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This is great!! He really knows his shit

Oct 1st
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