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Podcast With Dr Dan

 |  11 min read  |  May 13, 2020

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– [Alexandria] Hi, I’m Alexandria Collins and this is Repair The World with Tikun. Thank you so much for tuning in. Today’s guest is Dr. Dan Price. He is the medical director for Tikun Olam, and he has a long history as a medical doctor in cannabis. So Dr. Dan, welcome.

– [Dr. Dan] Thank you.

– [Alexandria] Can you talk to us a bit about, how you got into the cannabis space and what drove you to this work?

– [Dr. Dan] Well, my specialty is emergency medicine and trauma, and I worked for 14 years at the trauma center in Oakland. And saw a lot of patients with pain. We would give the patients opiates, which were appropriate for the acute pain setting. But, a lot of them would become addicted to opiates, and go on to have further problems that I think we’re all familiar with now with the opioid epidemic. I saw a lot of patients in the emergency department that could benefit from the use of medical cannabis, in ways that we weren’t able to reach them with pharmaceutical medications. And in a way that was much safer, and often more effective. Eventually I decided to go ahead and make a jump into medical cannabis, because I thought that people needed to hear this news that cannabis really could be a medication. I discovered that on my own, using the medicine for low back pain. And, I went through an experience that I’ve described to you before, where I was using the medicine for back pain and I tried smoking the medicine from a friend. It didn’t really help me, and I was very disappointed. And it wasn’t until I tried a tincture, a liquid preparation under my tongue. That was a combination of the two most common compounds in the plant, CBD and THC. And, about five minutes after putting the medicine under my tongue, my pain went away. In a way that I’d never experienced before. And, it was one of those aha moments where it was like, “Oh my God, this is medicine. “This is really medicine.” And–

– [Alexandria] That’s awesome.

– [Dr. Dan] Yes.

– [Alexandria] Yeah. So, now you’re completely devoted towards helping people in this space to become healed through cannabis, or to find some sort of reprieve or healing through cannabis. So, when we talk about, you know, you having this aha moment, and that it was specifically tinctures that helped you. I think it’s really interesting to think about how everyone is different, and how no person can respond to pre-rolls or whatever, or topicals the same way. So, how do you help people, if they come to you and they have five minutes, right? How can you help them decide what will be best for them in the cannabis space?

– [Dr. Dan] Well, one question is; whether they want to vaporize. I don’t recommend smoking for medicine, but vaporization can be an appropriate quick onset type of a way to take the medication. In a way that’s relatively safe. Most of the negative harmful chemicals are only formed during the process of combustion. And, because nothing’s ever burned in the process of vaporization, those harmful chemicals are just never formed. And, we know don’t use any additives or cutting agents with our vapes. They’re as safe as we can make them. And, we’ve been studying that. Also, if the patient is not interested in vaporizing, I think the safest way to take the medication and actually my preferred way is a tincture. Tinctures are very quick onset. If you hold the medicine under your tongue for just a minute, you start to feel relief within five to 15 minutes. And they last a good period of time. Usually about four to six hours, about as long as an edible. But without the unpredictable, often prolonged onset time of an edible.

– [Alexandria] So, if we talk about you specifically, since you have such a great history with cannabis, I want to get kind of personal. So what is your personal story of coming into cannabis, if you’re comfortable sharing that? And, how do you think it’s influenced how you view the plant today?

– [Dr. Dan] Well, I never used cannabis growing up. I was in my 40s before I tried cannabis for the first time, and frankly I was disappointed. I had heard all of the hype, and was ready to feel some of the psychoactive effects. Which took me about three tries to feel. But, what I did feel eventually with the addition of CBD was, this amazing pain relief. In a way that, made me feel good. And, that was a real benefit in a way that wasn’t impairing like opioids.

– [Alexandria] So, when you are talking to other doctors, and it is sometimes you do panels and if it’s seminars to speak to medical professionals about the plant. Do you feel that people are excited about the space, about cannabis and how it can help people or do you feel that they’re apprehensive of that?

– [Dr. Dan] I think that most medical professionals have a sense that there’s something real about cannabis as medicine. But I think there’s a real fear and misunderstanding and stigma, because of the way it’s treated at the federal level. If the FDA reschedules cannabis, and we’re able to do some of the research that we should have been doing for the last 80 years. I think there’ll be a lot greater acceptance on the part of medical professionals at that point. I think Tikun is really a leader in that regard. Because, we’ve been able to do the research in Israel. It’s frustrating that we can’t do the research here in the United States.

– [Alexandria] Yeah. I think that’s going to change soon, hopefully. I feel like there’s a change in the tide for sure. So, what is your hope for Tikun, for the cannabis industry? Where do you see it in 10 years and how would you like to be part of that?

– [Dr. Dan] In 10 years, I would like to see cannabis if not legal at the federal level, at least cannabis rescheduled. So that we can do the research, so that we can actually dig deep in and find out what the benefits truly are. Where is it helpful, where is it not helpful, where can patients get benefit, and where we should be aware of potential problems. We need to know those things. And the way that you find that out is science and medical research, and that’s where we need to be. Tikun is a, I see Tikun as being at the forefront. Currently, we’re the leaders in research, and we’ll continue to be as we have ongoing research projects. I would see that only increasing over the next 10 years as things open up, and become easier to conduct good studies.

– [Alexandria] Cool. So, something I want to ask all of our guests is; how are you repairing the world? Because we know Tikun Olam means repair the world in Hebrew, and it’s kind of at the center of what we do here. We want to make sure that we’re supporting our clients and our patients, in every way possible. So, We know that you’re helping people in the cannabis space. But in your personal life, how would you say you help to repair the world?

– [Dr. Dan] I think I have one of the best jobs at Tikun, in that I get to interact with patients on a personal one-to-one level. I get a chance to hear their stories. And, in some ways experience their pain with them, and try to bring them hope. Try to help them best utilize the medication, so that they get the most possible benefit from Tikun products. And, it’s very gratifying to me to hear things like, “My child with autism, “Told me that they loved me for the first time.” Or, “They sang happy birthday to me.” And before they started using Tikun Avidekel drops, they were nonverbal. Or, to hear, “I got the best year of sleep “Of my entire life after starting to use cannabis.” Areas where people’s lives have been really impacted for the better, with the use of medical cannabis. And that’s not easy to do on your own. Cannabis is a very complex medication, with hundreds of different chemicals and it’s difficult to navigate that. My job as a doctor again is to help people get the most possible benefit, with the least amount of side effects from the medications that Tikun is producing.

– [Alexandria] That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s amazing to hear the stories that you told and shared with the team, and some of the things that you’ve personally experienced. Is there one story that you’ve seen personally that was just like a wow story to you? I know you just mentioned a couple, but were those personal patients or do you have any other stories?

– [Dr. Dan] One of the patients that I’ve consulted with, who has been taking Tikun Avidekel Tinctures for about nine months, excuse me, about three months. About 90 days, is a young man with autism named Jeremy. And Jeremy was a very, had a lot of challenges with autism and being premature, and having lung disease. He was nonverbal. His mother was at her wit’s end trying to help him, and communicate with him. And after, within days of starting the drops under the tongue, Jeremy was able to start speaking. He was able to communicate with his mother that he was hungry, that he wanted a bottle. He was able to say his ABC’s, and to start on that path of learning. And he’s just been advancing at an incredible rate, and really he and his family have become a family. And that his mom talks about him, her meeting him for the first time. Because in the past he’s been so overwhelmed by other medications that he’s taken, and he’s not having to do that as much anymore. Those kind of things where you see an entire family changed, are very compelling and dramatic.

– [Alexandria] Yeah. It’s incredible the work that we get to do here at Tikun, and the way that we get to see people’s lives changed with these products. I mean, I feel like it’s going to open a lot of minds, as we continue to hear more stories like that. Where people are being supported in medical conditions, not just wanting to get high even though that is its own thing. And, you’re allowed to do that. When you have products that very much do that. But thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing bits of your story with us, and the work that you’re doing with Tikun, and just in the cannabis space in general. So, thank you guys so much for listening to Repair The World with Tikun. Please make sure to follow us on all of our social media accounts @tikun.ca is a good place to start. And also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter on tikunolam.com. We’ll be sending out more information on our future projects, and thank you.

– [Dr. Dan] Thank you.

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