The Cannabis Enigma

The Cannabis Enigma

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.... Show More

Episodes

October 22, 2020 48 min

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 h...

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October 8, 2020 47 min

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 i...

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September 24, 2020 52 min

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 imm...

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September 10, 2020 44 min

“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 m...

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August 27, 2020 49 min

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 ...

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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...

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July 30, 2020 30 min

“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 way...

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July 16, 2020 33 min

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 s...

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July 2, 2020 28 min

“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...

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June 11, 2020 42 min

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 clinic...

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May 22, 2020 20 min

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 ...

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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 Enig...

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April 23, 2020 29 min

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 Enig...

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April 2, 2020 27 min

When Catherine Jacobson’s three-year-old son had exhausted all of the treatments available for his rare, life-threatening form of epilepsy, she wasn’t about to just give up.

“I began hearing stories from families with children with severe epilepsy and that they were treating their kids with cannabis and they were reporting good outcomes,” Dr. Jacobson said on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast. “So of course, I was interested.”

Those famili...

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March 19, 2020 15 min

Should you stop smoking and try different methods for taking cannabis because of the coronavirus pandemic? Does cannabis affect your immune system? Can marijuana help relieve the stress and anxiety of isolation caused by COVID-19 public health measures?

“We haven’t found evidence either way,” Dr. Roni Sharon says on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast about whether cannabis can boost the immune system.

“If [cannabis] is relieving your stres...

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When Dr. Vincent Maida first starting recommending medical cannabis to cancer patients over two decades ago, he was viewed as an outcast by many of his colleagues in the medical community.

“There was zero [cannabis] curricula when I went to medical school,” Dr. Maida told The Cannabis Enigma Podcast. “And of course, the way medical students are socialized — it’s to think in a certain way, and if you try to think outside of those par...

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February 20, 2020 28 min

When Alfie Dingley’s mother first broached the idea of giving her epileptic son cannabis, their neurologist threatened to call social services.

So she got a new doctor, moved her family to the Netherlands, and found a treatment that worked for Alfie’s seizures, caused by an extremely rare mutation of epilepsy shared by only nine other boys in the entire world.

“He was in hospital every week with hundreds of seizures,” Hannah Deacon e...

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When you go to the pharmacy to fill a prescription, the pharmacist checks to see if there could be any adverse drug interactions. Your doctor usually does the same. Do we need to be treating medical marijuana similarly? And who should be responsible?

Dr. Roni Sharon speaks about how cannabis interacts with other medications, how he monitors his patients who use medical marijuana for drug interactions, and why treating cannabis like ...

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January 23, 2020 20 min

When João Gama started practicing law in the cannabis space, working on regulation in the Portuguese and European markets, “to be honest, no one around knew a lot about it other than criminal lawyers that would defend drug dealers.”

“So I started and soon I became very immersed in the drug policy debates in Portugal and abroad,” Gama says on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast.

Gama breaks down the difference — or lack thereof, depending on ...

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When Janosch Kratz first sees a patient about medical cannabis, beyond their medical history, he wants to know how they react to other medications and even alcohol.

If someone gets drunk off half a beer, he explains on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast, he’s more likely to start them on a lower dose of cannabis. And because cannabis is most often prescribed for chronic conditions, taking it slow and getting it right is more important than...

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