Dr. Gregory L. Smith Cannabis-MD Director
Dr. Smith has been working with medical cannabis-related issues full-time for the past 4 years. He is editor-in-chief of Cannabis-MD, and Director of Medical Affairs for First Harvest Financial, Inc.
Danielle Kreusch Human Resources Administrator
Danielle acts as the liaison for all Cannabis-MD communications. Questions and Comments about products, research and more are relayed to the proper channel by Danielle.
Michael Schermer Wild Life Web Design
In charge of content creation, web development, social media marketing and speaking to you now! Are you a fan of my work? Check out my website for reviews, recent works and some more information on WildLifeWebDesign.com
Jessica Warren Cannabis-MD Outreach
Pet-mom to a little white dog named Bud who demands her attention when not working hard to help others and the medical cannabis industry progress forward and provide relief to those in need. Jess handles all events and Cannabis-MD contacts.
We at Cannabis MD are dedicated to helping doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and caregivers stay up-to-date with cannabis medical properties. We offer an integrated suite of educational products and services unparalleled in quality and research. Cannabis-Community connects visiting practitioners with real, experienced medical professionals. These professionals explain, through a variety of topics and conversations, how cannabis can help patients. Check out our “news” sections for various up-to-date Marijuana related information! All information on Cannabis-MD is produced or contributed by experienced professionals.
Dr. Gregory Smith, MD, MPH earned his medical degree from Rush Medical School, and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University. He completed residency training in Preventive Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Since getting out of the US Army as a Major, he has been in primary care for 30 years. He first trained on use of medical cannabis in California in 2000.
Dr. Smith is an avid writer, having published over a dozen peer reviewed articles and books. His most recent textbook is entitled Medical Cannabis: Basic Science and Clinical Applications (Aylesbury Press, 2016). It is a scientifically-based textbook directed at educating medical students and medical professionals on the science and applications of cannabinoid medications. He also just recently published a book specifically for patients and caregivers entitled CBD: What You Need to Know
People with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS or HIV, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, and multiple sclerosis have found relief by using marijuana. Marijuana is also used to treat cachexia, anorexia, and wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain or nausea; seizure disorders (such as epilepsy); arthritis; migraines; and agitation of Alzheimer’s disease. There are many other diseases/disorders that marijuana can also treat.
Twenty-five states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia — have effective laws protecting qualified patients from arrest and imprisonment for using marijuana under the advice of a physician.
According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: “Compared to most other drugs … dependence among marijuana users is relatively rare … [A]lthough few marijuana users develop dependence, some do. But they appear to be less likely to do so than users of other drugs (including alcohol and nicotine), and marijuana dependence appears to be less severe than dependence on other drugs.”
According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs … There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone on the basis of its particular physiological effect … Instead, the legal status of marijuana makes it a gateway drug.” The World Health Organization noted that any gateway effect associated with marijuana use may actually be due to marijuana prohibition because “exposure to other drugs when purchasing cannabis on the black-market, increases the opportunity to use other illicit drugs.”
In a word: no. Marijuana is not more dangerous than tobacco. Research has shown that marijuana causes far less harm than tobacco. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, tobacco was responsible for 435,000 deaths in 2000, or nearly 1,200 deaths per day. On the other hand, marijuana has never caused a fatal overdose in more than 5,000 years of recorded use. It is important to note that the act of smoking anything is harmful to the lungs, and in this regard, marijuana is not completely benign. According to Understanding Marijuana (2002), by Mitch Earleywine, marijuana smokers sometimes exhibit symptoms similar to those experienced by tobacco smokers — coughing, wheezing, and bronchitis. However, these harms can be minimized by ingesting marijuana orally, with devices known as vaporizers, or by using higher-potency marijuana, which reduces the harms associated with smoking while still delivering marijuana’s medical benefits. Other research shows that daily marijuana use does not lead to increased rates of respiratory illness, and that smoking both tobacco and marijuana is worse than smoking just one. Unlike tobacco, research has never shown that marijuana increases rates of lung cancer or other cancers usually associated with cigarette smoking. In a 10-year, 65,000-patient study conducted at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO and published in 1997, cigarette smokers had much higher rates of cancer of the lung, mouth, and throat than non-smokers, but marijuana smokers who didn’t smoke tobacco had no such increase. And in May 2006, Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA presented results of a new study showing that even very heavy marijuana smokers had no increased risk of lung cancer.
In all of recorded medical literature, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. In 2001, a detailed examination of the health and psychological effects of marijuana use from the National Drug and Alcohol Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia noted that marijuana “makes no known contribution to deaths and a minor contribution to morbidity [illness].”
According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: “[T]he effect of cannabinoids on the capacity of sperm to fertilize eggs is reversible and is observed at [concentrations] which are higher than those likely to be experienced by marijuana smokers … The well-documented inhibition of reproductive functions by THC is thus not a serious concern for evaluating the short-term medical use of marijuana or specific cannabinoids.”
Marijuana smokers do not have an increased risk of premature death or cancer. According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: “There is no conclusive evidence that marijuana causes cancer in humans, including cancers usually related to tobacco use. … More definitive evidence that habitual marijuana smoking leads or does not lead to respiratory cancer awaits the results of well-designed case control epidemiological studies.”
According to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, “Epidemiological data indicate that in the general population marijuana use is not associated with increased mortality.”