Our esteemed Care Specialists Linnette Chitla and John Matu attended the second annual CannMed conference in Boston this past week. They had the privilege of meeting some vanguard researchers and listening to cutting edge lectures.
They met with Dr. Bonni Goldstein, a clinician in Southern California who works with Cannabis and people with a plethora of ailments, to discuss possible research initiatives in the future. They also spoke with Dr. Staci Gruber, a Harvard Researcher who is currently studying Cannabis and cognitive impact of its use.
To summarize a few of the most interesting findings:
1. Genetic testing and analyses are rapidly becoming decentralized. What does this mean? Sometime in the near future, hand held DNA analysis machines will be affordable. It is not yet here, but the day is coming where one can test their own DNA to see what treatment pathways would be most efficacious. Currently, the genome of the Cannabis plant is being unraveled as well. This will shift the paradigm from, what strain is best for x condition, to what strain/strains (genetic profile) are best for me These tests should allow for personalized medicine on a grand scale, not just with pharmaceuticals, but Cannabis and many other as yet unforeseen treatments and solutions.
2. Researcher David Meiri in Israel is currently researching Cannabis and Cancer. He has found that some strains/genetic profiles of Cannabis are effective on some types of Cancer, but not others. This is an example of the "entourage effect" in full bloom, so to speak. Practically, this means if one wants to use cannabis to fight cancer, as an adjunct to traditional treatments, a blend of multiple strains would probably "cover the most bases" and give the best potential for positive outcomes.
3. D.O. Dustin Sulak spoke about the opioid epidemic and possible solutions. Research shows that Cannabis has helped people decrease opioid doses, and as well, states that have enacted medical cannabis have seen a drop in opioid overdose deaths. Cannabis can be combined with opioids to increase efficacy, and in some situations can be a partial or total replacement. "People would take a lot fewer opioids if every pain pill had 1mg of THC in it. It appears that these substances synergize even below the psychoactive threshold.