TOP TED TALKS ABOUT CANNABIS
Cannabis is a hot topic, and TEDx is catching on. Below is our specially curated list of the top TED Talks on cannabis. From entrepreneurs to doctors and alchemists, the Talks below offer very unique insights into cannabis, its history, uses, and much more.
SURPRISING TRUTHS ABOUT LEGALIZING CANNABIS — BEN CORT
Ben Cort is an author and addiction treatment specialist. In November 2017, he was invited to give the above talk at TEDxMileHigh in Denver, Colorado. Cort focussed on analysing the legal cannabis market in the States, which he put under some pretty harsh scrutiny.
Cort argues that dispensaries in the US don’t really sell cannabis, but THC. He also scrutinises some of the big players in the North American cannabis industry for trying to build a market that not only satisfies, but also increases our desire to “get high”. He also talks about how legalization in Colorado has led to changes in weed-related crime rates, but not in a positive way as you might imagine.
If you’re interested in a conversation about cannabis that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, definitely check out this TED Talk.
THE CANNABIS MIRROR — BLAIR BROWN
If you’re a fan of the rich history of cannabis, this one’s for you. In her talk, “The Cannabis Mirror”, alchemist and energy guide Blair Brown takes her audience through the history of cannabis, beginning with ancient Chinese medical texts dating back to 2600 BCE.
In her historical account of cannabis, Brown covers the many different uses of cannabis and hemp, but things get really interesting when she covers the last 80 years of prohibition. Brown talks about the move to prohibit hemp as an agricultural crop in the US, propaganda campaigns like Reefer Madness, Harry Anslinger and the DEA, and much more. She also talks about the impact of Mexican immigration on cannabis regulation.
If you’re not familiar with the rich history behind cannabis, definitely check out this informative and entertaining talk.
A DOCTOR’S CASE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA — DAVID CASARETT
David Casarett is a palliative care physician. He literally works with hundreds of people facing all kinds of chronic illnesses. In this chat, Dr. Casarett opens up about his experience with medical cannabis.
Dr. Casarett recounts how an elderly patient of his introduced him to most of the literature on medical cannabis mid-appointment. He also offers up his personal experience at cannabis dispensaries around the US, where he visited to get an inside perspective of life as a cannabis patient. Finally, he contextualises the benefits of medical cannabis and shows the audience what these benefits mean for his patients, many of whom have lost control of their health.
If you’re interested in a unique take on medical cannabis from a doctor, Casarett’s talk is highly recommended.
MAKING PEACE WITH CANNABIS — ZACHARY WALSH
Zachary Walsh is a psychologist and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychology. He specialises in studying drugs and human behaviour, and has recently spent a lot of time and resources studying cannabis.
In this talk, Professor Walsh really focuses on setting straight our relationship with cannabis. He makes it clear that our history with this ancient plant dates back thousands of years, and that the origins of most of our negative opinions about cannabis only date back less than a century. Professor Walsh shares some surprising findings from his research into why and how people in Canada use cannabis, and how it affects their mental health.
Check out this TED Talk if you’re interested in a psychologist’s opinion on cannabis use, both for recreational and medical purposes.
BEHIND THE SMOKESCREEN OF MEDICAL CANNABIS — DEDI MEIRI
If you’re looking for an emotive talk about medical cannabis, this is it. Dedi Meiri is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Biology at the Technion and a member of Technion’s Integrated Cancer Center in Israel. In this talk, he takes an in-depth look at the complexity of cannabis as a medicine.
In his lab alone, professor Meiri has over 500 strains of cannabis. Every medical cannabis product sold in Israel passes through Meiri’s lab, where it is tested in order to know exactly what compounds it contains. In this talk, professor Meiri really makes it clear that we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding the cannabis plant. He also raises some really interesting questions about turning cannabis into a reliable and consistent medicine.
For a unique talk about cannabis that goes far beyond what you’ve read/heard elsewhere, we highly recommend this Talk.
AS OPIOIDS CONTINUE TO KILL, LOOKING TO MARIJUANA AS A NEW PAINKILLER — RICARDO BACA
Ricardo Baca made international headlines when he was appointed the Denver Post’s first-ever cannabis editor. In this talk, Baca focuses on the painkilling properties of cannabis and contextualises that in relation to the US’ opioid crisis.
Baca’s talk takes a close look at America’s opioid crisis, which, in 2017 alone, took over 47,000 lives. He makes it very clear that, given the huge body of research into cannabis and its effect on pain, it’s high time we start treating cannabis for what it is, an effective and safe painkiller, and not a dangerous, potentially lethal “gateway drug” like so many of us were taught.
THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA — DR. ALAN SHACKELFORD
Dr. Alan Shackelford is a graduate of the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine in Germany and Harvard Medical School in the US. He has attended to thousands of patients throughout his career, but none like Charlotte Figi, a young girl with Dravet syndrome, who made headlines after finally finding relief using cannabis.
In this talk, Dr. Shackelford gives us unique insight into medical cannabis. He makes it clear that he is a “classically-trained, very conservative physician”. He isn’t a cannabis activist, and he isn’t ready to prescribe cannabis as a cure-all. What Dr. Shackelford does know, however, is that cannabis can work wonders for many patients, especially those who don’t respond to regular treatments.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA: THE ULTIMATE DISEASE DEFEATING DRUG — VIKI VAURORA
Cannabis has a very rich and important history throughout India. That history, however, seemed to be forgotten when India decided to outlaw cannabis in 1985 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Viki Vaurora is the founder of The Great Legalization Movement, an advocacy group fighting against the stigmas and taboos surrounding cannabis and prohibition of the plant. In this talk, Vaurora opens up about a personal experience with Leela, a terminal cancer patient. Leela was suffering from multiple vomiting fits a day and had stopped eating completely. Using Rick Simpson Oil, Vaurora was able to stop Leela’s vomiting and helped her regain her appetite. After 3 months of treatment, Leela was declared completely cancer-free.
Check out the talk for more information on this incredible story and a brief insight into the rich history of cannabis in India.
CANNABIS CULTIVATION HAS A DIRTY SECRET, BUT THE FUTURE IS SUN-GROWN — DAN SUTTON
Have you ever wondered about the carbon footprint of cannabis cultivation? Well, you’re not alone. Dan Sutton is the founder of Tantalus Labs, which specialises in sun-grown cannabis in British Columbia.
In this talk, Dan shares some pretty shocking statistics about the environmental cost of growing cannabis, especially in illegal markets. For example, according to Dan’s research, cultivating 1kg of cannabis from seed to harvest indoors requires as much energy as driving a car from Los Angeles to New York—11 times. However, Dan has a solution: moving from small indoor grows to the modern industrial greenhouse.
If you’re a grower or a stickler for the business side of cannabis, make sure to check out this talk.
THERE IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EPILEPSY AND CANNABIS — JOKUBAS ZIBURKUS
Ever since the story of Charlotte Figi, there’s been a ton of conversation on epilepsy and cannabis. Unfortunately, this conversation can be hard to wrap your head around, and sometimes doesn’t do a very good job of explaining the immense complexity of this topic. In this talk, however, Dr. Ziburkus does exactly that.
Dr. Ziburkus is a Lithuanian-American neuroscientist and founder of CannaTech, a cannabis innovation and education company from the Innovation Center at the University of Houston. He has dedicated himself to the study of epilepsy and finding new, alternative ways to both understand and treat the disease. In this talk, he gives a detailed account of what happens in the brain during epilepsy, how that applies to cannabis, and what that means for the future of epilepsy research.