Cannabis Entrepreneurs Ask For More 'Science'
Kim Sanchez Rael leads a company that creates sugars and syrups. Dr. Michele Ross, a neuroscientist is creating a trans-dermal pen to deliver medicine. Their passions intersect in the world of legal cannabis and the desire for more research there.
Sanchez Rael, co-founder and chief executive of Azuca, creates fast-acting infused “sugars, syrups, and other elixers.” Because she grew up in the “unscientific misinformation” of the Nancy Reagan “Just Say No” years she says, Sanchez Rael feels strongly that robust research and public education needs to focus on the safe and effective use of cannabis, rather than scare tactics.
Patients are curious about marijuana, but as a Schedule One substance, it has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” according to the US Department of Justice. That means research into potential positive effects of cannabis is severely restricted.
Currently, Israel leads the world in cannabis research. Tikun Olam clinics there studied thousands of cancer patients who were prescribed cannabis for “malignancy-related symptoms,” like nausea. pain, and decreased appetite. The results published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, show the substance can be safe and effective.
Sanchez Rael says that as laws, investments and public opinion evolve, cannabis industry leaders need to “educate policy makers at every level and partner with them,” from local city councils and mayors to Congress and the White House. A Pew poll published in January 2018 found that 61% of Americans believed marijuana should be legalized, a number that has nearly doubled since 2000.
Ross, author of Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency echoes the importance of scientific research and education, especially when it come to the opioid crisis. Thought leaders in legal marijuana need to make doctors and others aware of cannabis’ benefits as a safe alternative to opioids she said. “There is an extraordinary amount of work that needs to be done by the cannabis industry,” she said, especially compared to the community outreach and education the pharmaceutical industry does.
Ross is also a board member at NanoSphere Health Sciences, a biotechnology firm using a patented delivery technology to create transdermal pens used to administer cannabis. In her research into mental health, Dr. Ross has become fascinated by the endocannabinoid system, potential benefits of cannabis and the plant itself. “The cannabis plant has over 111 cannabinoids as well as chemicals including terpenes and flavonoids,” Ross said, “The potential applications …are endless.”