“Cannabis Medicine: Taking Care Beyond the 21st Century” with Dr. Tishler

Dr. Jordan Tishler practices cannabis medicine as a specialty in the Boston area. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School trained in Internal Medicine, and has spent the last 15 years working for Veteran Affairs as a physician in the ER.

In this video, he talks about what we know about cannabis and where cannabis as medicine will be going in the next few decades.

One of the things that led him to cannabis was working in Veteran Affairs and seeing thousands of lives being destroyed by drugs and alcohol.

In 2012, when his state of Massachusetts was considering legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes, he thought it was interesting how he’d never seen anyone harmed or getting sick from cannabis (although he acknowledges the existence of Cannabis Use Disorder), and compared that to what he’d seen with alcohol and all the various prescription and non-prescription drugs.

This was a profound realization for him and inspired him to learn more and research the potential of cannabis as medicine. As a former skeptic himself, he realized that nobody in his field knew much about cannabis as a medicine and he needed a way to get the information out- so he opened his own private practice, inhalemd, out of necessity.

Dr. Tishler then takes us through a brief history of cannabis and its use in medicine, which was used fairly commonly in UK, France, and USA as medicine until it became illegal in 1937. In the United States the federal government classifies cannabis as a Schedule I Drug, meaning it has no medical value,which is then used to effectively prohibit anybody from practicing this kind of medicine as many major medical institutions heavily rely on funding from the federal government.  

Many politicians will claim there is not enough research even though the research and science has been and is still getting done. For comparison’s sake, Dr. Tishler says there are over 26,000 studies in the medical literature on cannabis and only 5,500 on alcohol, which he considers a poison, a product of ‘yeast poop’ whose only medical value is to treat alcohol withdrawals.

According to Dr. Tishler, cannabis can help treat:

  • Pain– currently there are only 3 classes of agents for treating pain: acetaminophen (aka Tylenol), NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and opiates. Cannabis may be the 4th
  • Anxiety and Depression- the most common treatment are SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), but they have a habit of elevating the lows and squashing the highs which leads to what some call ‘zombie mode’. Cannabis has been shown to re-elevate those highs and make life more enjoyable again
  • Insomnia- bar none, cannabis is the best treatment out there, better than benzodiazepines and Ambien
  • So much more, including sexual dysfunction, ALS, and MS

THC and CBD have even shown anti-tumor efficacy in petri dishes and mice, and although there’s a long road ahead, it is very promising.

But one of the most important things needed to legitimize cannabis as medicine is dosing. We need to get to point where we can talk about “mg delivered and not just bong rips”!

For all this and so much more, check out Dr. Tishler’s full talk in the video.