While the internet seems to have all the answers we need, it’s more important than ever to know how to use it, where to look for information, and more importantly, to know if it’s really true. Mark Twain is credited with saying, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts its shoes on.”
The same goes for cannabis
With so many online sources praising the effectiveness of cannabis and its derivatives like CBD in treating various diseases, one could almost get the impression that the authors are trying to convince you not only of the benefits of CBD, but that it is you can also make you immortal.
Because of this, Benzinga decided to get realistic insight from an authority on the subject. For this purpose we have to Jordan Tishler, MD – an emergency doctor, president of the Association of cannabis specialists (an advocacy group committed to setting the best standards in cannabis medicine practice), Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and managing director of his private practice inahleMD.
Tishler was recently named Medical Professional of the Year 2021 by. appointed Americans for safe access (ASA) in recognition of its contribution to the medical cannabis field. ASA is the largest national organization made up of medical cannabis providers, medical professionals, scientists, patients, and individuals that focuses on providing safe and legal access to cannabis for medical purposes.
Tishler, who has treated veterans for years, recommends medicinal cannabis for the treatment of various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. Tishler also played an important role in the implementation and advancement of medical cannabis regulations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and Hawaii.
Tishler shared his experiences and insights into medical cannabis and how he got into the field after 15 years of emergency medicine.
“I became interested in cannabis medicine at that time because I had seen so many veterans get hurt by alcohol (and the occasional other substance) but never by cannabis,” Tishler told Benzinga.
After doing in-depth research, Tishler realized that cannabis can be a useful drug when used appropriately and for the right type of patient.
70% success rate
Based on his professional experience, medical cannabis treatments have a success rate of around 70% compared to traditional drugs, which 40% are considered good for. Cannabis can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including insomnia, nausea, and eating disorders caused by chemotherapy, as well as chronic pain and mood problems like anxiety and depression, explained Dr. Tishler.
Although cannabis has an amazing success rate, it must be used carefully and properly. Tishler found that the safety of cannabis is just as important as any other drug, although it is remarkably safe and effective when used carefully.
If used improperly, there are side effects – the disease dictates the product
“However, no drug is without risk or side effects, and cannabis is no different. When used at a low dose with the proper dosage schedule, it can be helpful, but if used too much or at the wrong time, it can induce anxiety, worsen depression, create tolerance, and ultimately lead to a use disorder. If used correctly, nothing of this can be seen ”, stated Dr. Tishler clearly.
Also of enormous importance is the fact that not all cannabis products have “an actual medical benefit”. In fact, most of them don’t, ”emphasized Dr. Tishler.
According to him, some forms of cannabis are better or safer than others. Hence, vaping cannabis flowers seems safer than smoking or using a vape pen (oil-based).
“Some diseases are better treated by inhalation, others by oral ingestion – these approaches are not successfully exchanged and it is not a question of patient preference – they work differently and the course of action is dictated by the disease,” emphasized Dr. Tishler.
Most cannabis patients are seniors
Unexpectedly, most of Tishler’s medical cannabis patients are elderly – aged 70 and older. His oldest patient was 104! Many of them suffer from age-typical diseases such as arthritis, anxiety or insomnia, said Tishler.
The next larger group consists of middle-aged patients with early joint disease or, more frequently, cancer. The smallest group is its younger patients, many with autism or other spectrum disorders, and some with longstanding anxiety and / or depression.
There are still very few doctors involved in medical cannabis treatments. We asked Tishler why that is.
Cannabis medicine should be a specialty
Although many doctors are open to the idea and interested in learning how cannabis can help their patients, they find that they don’t have enough knowledge.
“The complexity of cannabinoid medicine is enormous and our understanding is very new. Most doctors know that they don’t know much about it and don’t have the time to dig deep into such a great deal of knowledge. Therefore, like cardiology or endocrinology, it must be viewed as a specialty in its own right, ”says Tishler.
While he believes it is important to educate doctors and other health professionals about medical cannabis, he believes they should seek help from a cannabis specialist. “We don’t necessarily want more doctors to prescribe medical cannabis. We need experts and continuous research into the effectiveness of the drug,” said Tishler.
“It is also important to understand that the legalization of recreational activities, as is currently being considered by Congress, will completely undermine this. No company will invest millions in the research that we need if it can just go on the market and say what it wants without proof, ”complained Tishler.
A word on psychedelics
Tishler finds the topic interesting. He recognized the promising research showing that psychedelics could be a potential treatment for a variety of diseases, from psychosis to alcoholism.
“In many ways, researching psychedelics is easier than researching cannabis because LSD and MDMA are single molecules that are better suited for FDA studies than cannabis, which as a plant contains many chemicals that may interact,” concluded Dr. Tishler.