I have been listening to some describe Cannabis as a hallucinogen. This is my response.
After 7 years working in this industry as a physician, I believe, as has been said before, cannabis is primarily a medicine with certain “side effects” that are pleasant and helpful for many patients. I would not openly classify cannabis as a hallucinogen any more than I would personally schedule it as Schedule I. To begin with, true hallucinations with cannabis are NOT common. As a clinical internist and cannabis “expert”, I rarely suggest doses of CBD rich, blended or THC rich medicine that are hallucinogenic. Mushrooms and many other psychedelics are great plants and amazing medicine in the right setting, but focussing on the psychedelic nature of cannabis, will do all of us more harm than good. It will do patients more harm than good. There is plenty of fear and ignorance out there. We do not need to change cannabis from a scary Schedule I “narcotic” to a psychedelic compound. I KNOW that psychedelic properties of both THC alone or in combination with their whole plant counterparts (Terpenes, Flavonoids, other Alkaloids) can be very hallucinogenic. In addition, when one gets about 60 mg of WHOLE PLANT CBD, hallucinations and out of body experiences do occur; I have done it a few times, but these, at least currently, are not the primary uses of this plant derived medicine.
We believe cannabis is an amazing plant. A very safe plant. Although we know that psychedelic experiences can be nearly curative for many psych disorders, this is clearly not what we need to focus on right now. In CURRENT therapeutic doses for the vast majority of patients, the use and most benefits of the medicine are not achieved at high enough doses for out of body experiences to occur. The high dose benefits of out of body experiences are useful; I have two patients who are using whole plant CBD in high enough doses to achieve this. On the other hand, this is NOT what most medical patients are looking for.
This is a plant that can and is helping us with everything from anxiety, pain, insomnia, cancer, auto-immune disease, MS, other neurological disorders and many, many more.
I view cannabis primarily as a healing medicine with certain side effects of stoniness and psychedelia that can be greatly taken advantage of with the right person in the right setting.
With regard to the huge battles of fear and ignorance, I have found over the past seven years that showing patients dosed CBD/THC/Terpene extractions to be very reassuring and fear reducing. We must avail ourselves of everything modern science has to offer to allow us to treat patients with dosed oral-buccal cannabis medicine. In my experience when patients see dosed spray bottles that allow them to feel well and NOT “altered”, their the walls of fear and ignorance. begin to crack and weaken.
Although I do love smoking cannabis. However, when I pull out a dosed CBD rich bottle and offer some to a guest (only patients of course), their eyes open wide and the fear and apprehension on their faces melts away.
To help make this forum as professional as possible, let’s begin talking dosing? Did you know that 2 mg of whole plant CBD will kill anxiety for 8-12 hours leaving the patient focussed and clear minded the entire day.
Cannabis is a plant. Of greater importance is that is is not like tree bark we can make a medicine from. It is an amazing plant with thousands of variants. The plant averages around 500 molecules and when the balance of even ONE of these occurs, the medicine changes a little – or a lot. It is only with science (remember that old term?) that we can measure and study the complex nature of this plant and offer many solutions to a species, desperately in need of many new and safe medications.