Dr. Gabor Maté – Cannabis and Addiction

Thank You Philippe and and Alex for inviting me and for introducing me it's a rather interesting morning as you probably heard Bob Dylan just won a Nobel Prize for Literature which which means that I'm addressing a marijuana conference on the same day that a guy who wrote the song which went everybody must get stoned won a Nobel Prize whoever thought as a physician of course I'm much concerned with substance substances substance use and addiction and addiction of course is a major major problem in North America with the coming legalization of marijuana in this country and in other jurisdictions various states south of the border the question is more and more in a forefront as to what is the legitimate or anacondrai illegitimate use of any particular substance particularly cannabis now it's clear that the public has already made up its mind both in terms of opinion polls and also in terms of just what people do so there's nothing easier in this country than for a teenager to get marijuana legalization or not legalization is hardly going to affect the actual use that people make of it it means there's all the more reason why marijuana providers should take a very responsible in in foreign data to towards the substance that they will be conveying purveying to the public now if I ask you a question I'm interested in a show of hands actually if I ask you how many of you think marijuana is addictive put your hand up not a whole lot well yeah this is Franklin I already how many you think it's not addictive what do you think it's not what if I said it's both which it actually is if I asked you as alcohol addictive yes or no yes how do you think it's not addictive well think about it though if it was addictive how many most people in this room have had alcohol in their lives but the number of alcoholics in the room is probably in a minority so if I call is addictive how come were not addicted to alcohol all of us we've all had it the point is the same thing is true of any substance virtually any substance whether it's marijuana or alcohol or nicotine or heroin or cocaine or crystal meth the answer the question audio data yes or no is actually yes or no depending on individual and so the the addictive power does not reside in any particular substance or for that matter is food addictive well again yes or no the sex addictive yes or no shopping gambling any human behavior can be addictive yes or no depending on circumstances and on the individual that's the first point and I've certainly seen addictive use of marijuana in my medical practice over the years and I'll get I'll define addiction for you in a moment but I've also seen many more people using marijuana for recreational purposes with no addictive effect whatsoever and these days we can distinguish probably five areas where marijuana is used the first one the most common and popular is clearly the recreational use and by that I mean that people talk up or what lead the cookie whatever once or twice a week in order to relax have a good time with but in a day to day functioning it doesn't play a role either negative or positive that's no doubt the Communists use there are people that can become addicted to it and I've seen that as well by addiction I mean any behavior substance related or not that a person engages in finds temporary pleasure or relief in but suffers negative consequences and they still don't give it up so addiction means pleasure craving relief negative consequence inability to give it up and there are some people that will use marijuana that way and then the negative consequences in the case of marijuana aren't particularly heavily medical unlike with tobacco or alcohol which are two legal substances by the way on any scale of comparison you simply cannot mention marijuana use even having heavy marijuana use on the same page it's tobacco and alcohol the latter two which are legal and freely advertised and sold or far more deleterious in their medical effects and I would even say that even if you take a substance like heroin unless you overdose on it it's less dangerous than nicotine or or then then cigarette tobacco or alcohol so what we're looking at right away is the absolute irrationality and a logic of the legal approach right now where some substances that are clearly lethal or fruity market and advertise and others which are relatively relatively less harmful or with very little potential affirm are still illegal which makes no sense whatsoever so again if the recreational use we have the potential addictive use then of course there is increasing evidence that marijuana potential for medical use and I'm sure you're all alive to that possibility so that's been well-studied and in terms of pain relief in certain conditions fibromyalgia rheumatoid arthritis even multiple sclerosis it's been shown to be a value and at much less risk of dependence than say the opiate drugs would be that we would ordinarily prescribed for pain again it's not Universal and it doesn't work for everybody and the research is still somewhat equivocal but there's pretty good evidence that cannabis extracts can provide decent pain relief for some people on a chronic basis of course it is an anti-inflammatory component to it as well so again which and I myself take CBD for my arthritis mild arthritis in my knee and I have noticed the difference that's not a controlled study but Here I am telling you that I think it makes a difference for me that's his third use then is the medical use it's used in a fourth way by a lot of people which is self medication and I'll talk about that a little bit later but I had my first experience of self medication with a client of mine when I was in Family Practice for which I did for 27 years prior to prior to working in the Downtown Eastside with just Vancouver's drug area and those of you that are not from here you just called on to Hastings a couple of blocks to your north and then walk 10 blocks to the east then you're in the heart of the downtown east side where you see drug use like you've never seen it before and but prior to that I was in family practice I did that for 12 years but prior to that I was in family practice and in palliative care so I remember a fellow who came to my office a patient with me my patient for 15 years or so I'll call him Brad I actually don't remember his actual name but Brad is a good approximation and Brad comes in he's in his 40s or 15 he says can you give me a note for medical marijuana this is the days before legalization of course and there used to be maybe there still is a place called called compassion club that provided marijuana for people if they had a note from the doctor indicating that there's a medical reason for it so Brad come says would you give him a note for medical marijuana I said what for he says for the pain and I said what pain you be my patient for 15 years I looked through his chart there's not a single visit for pain that he's ever made to my office I've never heard that you have any pain know that you have any condition that would give you pain so if you don't have pain why do you want to give you marijuana he says well the reason you haven't seen me for pain is got me smoking marijuana all these years which kind of an interesting logic but I was not able to give him the note because human then physicians were discouraged from doing so and in the absence of any evidence I just simply couldn't do it so there's that self medication aspect and then I'll touch later upon I use that I'm not personally that familiar with but or familiar with at all in terms of personal experience bhavish people that I trust and whose word is worth listening to they talk about a spiritual use of the substance which is kind of a hidden perhaps and not very well understood use of the plant but apparently that's been with us for a long long time now it's the marijuana itself as we know it's been around for many thousands of years and I'm told that in certain archeological digs going back to the Stone Age as far as 4,000 6,000 years ago they find evidence of cannabis use so we're talking a long long time and as early as as 2700 BC a Chinese emperor publishes a paper or you know a medical compendium in which they talk about the medical use of cannabis so we're talking a long long time it's taken us 4,500 years to catch up to the Chinese were all those years ago there's the very well publicized example of the young girl in the states whose parents moved to Colorado where marijuana is legal because she's got these uncontrollable seizures which the medications given by her physicians did not stop but the use of a non hallucinogenic component of marijuana did apparently stop these seizures and that's being studied now so people are applying to do studies to look at the seizure control but back in the 19th century there already was a British physician whose name was William o Shaughnessy who worked in India and he already published a paper then on marijuana as a pain reliever as an appetite stimulant and it's something that relaxed muscles and maybe even ameliorated epileptic seizures and this is over 100 years ago a Queen Victoria herself in the 19th century was prescribed marijuana extract or not sure in what form but for menstrual cramps because definitely it relaxes muscles including the muscles of the uterus that the cramp so it's got quite a history legally it's also worth quite a history that it's very interesting I was into you this morning pepero tori to this talk by one of the vancouver papers The Vancouver Sun for a face book program and they talked about the provocative highly charged debate about drug use and the legal control over drug use and there is a highly charged debate about it you know there's a cbc program couple weeks ago where i was into you that it's a cross-country program about legalization or decriminalization and the the sheer irrationality and emotionality and even hostility of a lot of people to any kind of a calm discussion of the issues around drug use is something to behold and part of the problem is not a lack of evidence in fact the least of the problems lack of evidence the biggest part of the problem is the utter irrationality that still pervades the public mind around questions of drug use and this has got nothing to do with any science or any experience or any research it has to do with what really was a very deliberate and conscious manipulation of the public mind by law enforcement agencies back in the 1920s and 30s so specifically on marijuana if you if you read the Johann Hari spoke which is called chasing the screen which is a somewhat sensationalistic but also quite sensational discussion of the drug war and there happens to be a chapter on my work in his book but when I read the book there are many things that I didn't know about in the 1920s does an American law enforcement officer who was the first drug found in the United States you might say and he very deliberately in face of all the evidence created the mania and the hysteria or on marijuana use he went to 30 different experts medical experts saying that he wants to know a harmful marijuana can be they all told him it isn't that wasn't good enough for him he went ahead and and and and and instigated this war anyway because of course it meant a lot of funding for his agency and a lot of power for him and of course it had an element of racism in it because the people that were using marijuana were poor blacks in the south and and Mexican immigrants and Mexican migrant workers so there was always a racial estranged to the anti marijuana craze but then you had the famous film reefer madness and all that very deliberate and completely distorted baseless propaganda and that's what informs the debate 50 60 years 70 years later it's much easier to release the ghosts and goblins of prejudice and irrationality into the four corners of the earth than it is to pull them back in again after you've generated them so that's the background incidentally I was a couple of months ago I was reading Homer's Odyssey which is young great classics of Greek literature written 2800 years ago were composed 29 years ago written down maybe 2500 years ago and there was a scene there where the Queen of Sparta Helen the Helen of Troy faithful on launched a thousand ships this is after the torsion were already and she's hosting a dinner where Odysseus returning from the war trying to get home after I mean away 20 years from his own it's tired and hurt and so on and she makes a concoction mixing wine with some heard from Egypt but which everybody is relaxed and everybody's happy and nobody does any sorrow that particular evening I don't know if that was marijuana or not but I'm pretty sure was hemp hemp being used in Egypt and this is how far back it goes so then hardened to be approached and hardened to be understand addictions and how do we differentiate between addictive use and and not addictive use it's not it's not a trivial question I wish I could tell you that marijuana is in all cases harmless and when I wrote my book on addiction which came out in 2008 the research I looked at up to that point on marijuana showed that it did not seem to have long-term negative effects on people and that there's no such thing as withdrawal from it well research has moved on since then and it's always controversial but in 2012 the United States the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper from Britain where they looked at a lot of people over 30 40 years who began our their marijuana use in adolescence and they showed diminished mental functioning in these people they shall diminish thank you over the years they showed diminished neuro psychological functioning and according to observers reports deterioration in their quality of life as well they did not show the same thing when it came to people who began marijuana uses adults so there's definitely a question about what is the impact of this substance on the developing brain of the young human being now the same legitimate question also exists about substances that we legally prescribed to kids for example in the u.s. there are half a million children right now at least who are receiving antipsychotic medications and they're getting them not to because they're psychotic they're not beginning them to calm them down because we don't know how Stu nicely we I mean as a society we don't understand human child behavior enough to be able to regulate it so we just medicate it but the long-term effects on the developing brain not good news and side effects such as diabetes and weight gain and skin changes and so on we already documenting them and having to deal with so marilyn is not the only substance where we have to be careful as I say some legally prescribed pharmaceuticals seem to be potentially much worse actually but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be careful with marijuana as well and of course the adolescent population is precisely the population that legalization is not going to affect one way or the other in the sense that they can already get all the drugs they want all the marijuana they want and they will continue to get it even if you set the legal age for the purchase of marijuana at scene 19 or 20 or whatever they choose to set the the limit the fact is that's not going to stop adolescent marijuana use but as providers there's people working medically or otherwise with the plant and its products we should really be aware of the potential risk that so far fairly persuasive demonstrated to the adolescent brain that aside let me now look at the question of addiction and to see what that is about but let me also begin by saying that well it's very interesting in Colorado which is the first state to legalize marijuana who was the very first person to buy marijuana anybody know he was a Iraqi war vet not accidental because a lot of those people suffer PTSD and I know my friend Philippe when reduce knee is now involved in a project to study the use of cannabis in the treatment of PTSD so that's a frequent self medication the mayor of Denver Colorado of course said this is a terrible thing because he's seen all these people began marijuana as the gateway drug and then they began addicted to all kinds of other substance as well he he's probably describing what he saw he saw people using marijuana and then using other drugs but he may as well have said coca-cola because people drink coca-cola at a much earlier age then they'd start using marijuana and then they want to become drug users or soda water or oh Henry bars you know in other words just was something precedes the use of something else doesn't mean that a let to be and there's absolutely no evidence that marijuana is any kind of a gateway drug to anything you can probably show that in fact if there's a gateway drug its cigarettes because a lot more people who are drug users start with that than with anything else but nobody's arguing that cigarettes is a gateway there are no gateway drugs they're just drugs but there's probably a good reason why people that begin marijuana use then go on to use other harder drugs just as good reason why people who begin with cigarettes cigarettes will then go on to use other drugs not because the use of the one substance leads to the use of the other but because who are the people who need to have their consciousness changed who are the people that need to have their discomfort soothed by a substance or another so again if I give you my definition addiction that of any behavior substance related or not that a person craves finds temporary pleasure or relief in but suffers negative consequences as a result of and does not give it up despite those negative consequences I said any behavior doesn't have to be substances if I ask you the question in this room just please raise your hand how many of you would acknowledge that at some time or another in your life you've had some kind of an addictive behavior yeah we have about 90% honesty in this room that's good to know so when you ask yourself the next question and in fact I'll ask you to just raise your hand and tell me I'm not gonna ask you what you used or what you did or when or for how long I'm interested in what it do for you what did you like about it what did you get from it in a short term so who would tell me escape from from feeling okay so that thank you that implies that the feelings that you had were painful and uncomfortable and stressful I mean nobody has to escape from good feelings right so it's a relief of emotional pain or emotional discomfort for enough okay anybody else what did it do for you whatever you did yeah it'll help you focus great sorry connection connection with other people you mean with anything you just feel more useful more connected to the world okay great and maybe take one more I'm sorry creativity so creativity connection escape from the stress and focus now you tell me who on earth does not want those qualities who on earth does not want to be connected who on earth was not only focused who on earth does not want to be sorry would you say the government I'm talking about rational individuals here the connection relief of distress focus creativity these are normal human aspirations in other words the addiction wasn't a problem it wasn't your primary problem your primary problem was how come you're on God's green earth seven billion other people and you're not connected your problem is you have so much emotional distress or pain that you need to escape your problem is that your creativity is your very nature but somehow it's blocked and need to have it unblocked your problem is that for some reason your brain is unable to focus so the addiction is not your primary problem your addiction is your attempt to solve a problem therefore to look upon addiction it's kind of a disease that people are born with is absolute nonsense which is the official medical view that it's a primary brain disease mostly determined by genetics it isn't any of that the real question is what happened to you to block your creativity what happened to you that your brain develop didn't develop the focus what happened to you that that you had so much distress and pain that you had to escape from it these are life experience issues they're not medical issues and the addiction in every single case is an attempt to solve the problem now I have melted a little time this morning so I can't go into all the physiology of it but let me tell you just a few things first of all a as I've just pointed out addictions are always an attempt to solve a problem but they're not the primary problem number one number two the qualities that the addicted individual wants are simply normal human qualities they just want to feel like normal human beings that's number two number three people are almost almost always in the case of substance use self-medicating something or other now marijuana is very interesting because the gain my friend Philippe has shown in one of his studies people typically self-medicate anxiety and pain and sleep problems with marijuana that's a soft medication you know what people also self-medicate this is less known but they self-medicate ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder they Selvam indicated not only with marijuana they also self-medicate a bit stimulants and my guess is you pocket a stimulant addiction attempt stimulants are are our crystal meth cocaine nicotine and caffeine and these substances give you a rise in the level of a brain chemical called dopamine which is essential for focus and motivation and a feeling of being present so the stimulant addict is very often self-medicating ADHD because people with ADHD lack dopamine and they don't know how to focus and they lack motivation but people also self-medicate the ADHD with with marijuana because it soothes and I've been diagnosed with the condition myself so I know what it feels like internally and you've got this churning ever hyperactive brain that you just want to break from every once in a while people find that marijuana just soothes the hyperactivity of their brains so they self-medicate in fact a relative of mine a young man well he's in his 20s now but in his teens he was a heavy marijuana smoker in fact he still is and I'm rather concerned about it but I would say to him without mentioning his name hey why using so much as well you won't believe this uncle gob or but when I smoked marijuana I can listen better to the teacher and he was clearly self-medicating his ADHD now he could listen better what he would remember is a totally different issue but probably not very much but it is a self medication on that level and all addictions are and and and particularly people self medicate PTSD for example with any number of substances particularly marijuana and the opiates like heroin and given what you said about escape and really which is a form of emotional pain relief all addictions function is the emotional pain relievers so my man when it comes to addiction is not why the addiction but why the pain and if you understand people's pain you have to look at their lives so the people that are risk for addiction of any sort are the people that have suffered too much pain in their lives now in the Downtown Eastside again ten blocks to the east from here where I worked for 12 years in those years I didn't either did not have a single female patient who had not been sexually abused as a child they all had been and that's why the pain and the man had been abused some of them sexually some in other ways every single one and that's not just my particular experience it's also at a large scale studies show looking at tens of thousands of people that the more childhood adversity there is childhood ersity meaning sexual physical emotional abuse a parent dying a pending child for example for marijuana possession a divorce apparent being another pair being mentally ill for each of these adverse experiences the risk of addiction goes up exponentially why because addictions are always an escape from pain and there's something else that we have to consider which again is scientifically not even controversial but which most physicians unfortunately are unaware of because it's not taught in the medical schools yet which is rather strange but it's not even new information which is that the human brain develops an interaction with the environment so if you take a substance like opiates heroin or morphine the reason they work is because we have receptors in our brains and in our bodies we have molecules where the opiate molecule will fit and somehow beneficially affect the functioning of a cell so we have messenger molecules the opiates in this case and we have the receptors which is the cell surface molecule that receives the opiate now of course as you know we also have cannabinoid receptors as well and in 1982 and Israeli physician or physiologist found the receptor for cannaboids and there are several types of countable receptors why do we have receptors for opiates and for cannabis because we have an internal system we have an internal system of of opiates and the internal opiates are called endorphins and endorphins means internal or endogenous morphine like substance why do we have an internal opiate system because they're necessary for life they're necessary for pain relief they're necessary for the experience of pleasure and reward and they're necessary for the experience of connection and love and without that we wouldn't live the reason without that we wouldn't live is because the human child infant is the most helpless and defend dependent least mature of any creature in universe without that connection there's simply no life and the endorphins help make possible that connection between mother and parent and infant now that's why we have endorphins similarly cannaboids but we have receptors for cannaboids because we have an internal endocannabinoid system so this is not a mistake that that cannabis should somehow have such powerful impacts on in the human body and brain it's because we have our own system they're essential for life and they have many many functions we're still finding out what they are but they certainly have a role played a role to play in reproduction in pain relief and cannibal receptors are particularly prevalent in our pain pathways in the brain in the spinal column and in our peripheral nervous system role in controlling inflammation and controlling anxiety and other functions that's why we have a counterpoint system but these brain systems were not born with them we're born with the potential for them to develop but it takes the environment to promote that development and without the proper environmental input they're simply improper development and this will surprise you and certainly surprise most of my medical colleagues I'm not going to find the article for you now but I can cite it it's on a journal Pediatrics in February 2012 the articles from the Harvard Center on the developing child and they point out summarizing decades of research that the most important the critical influence on the physiological development of the human brain is guess what the mutual responsiveness of adult-child relationships in other words how the parents are able to connect the tune with the infant is the dominant influence on the physiological development of all these receptors brain systems and so on that are implicated in addiction and now when you go back to the large scale studies on who becomes addicted it's the people that lack those connections and the more and more we have their brains then didn't develop the proper mechanisms no wonder then when they do a substance from the outside or they engage in a behavior that gives them a boost of those chemicals of sudden they're hooked so that's why substances are addictive yes or no it depends who uses them and for what purpose and and those people whose physiology has been affected by adverse experiences in childhood who are therefore carrying a lot of emotional pain as well and whose physiology is not fully balanced they're going to be prone to become addicted and that's just what addiction is all about it's not a disease that you inherit it's a physiological and psychological compensation for life stress and the more stress in a society the more addiction you're going to see so if you look at the most highly addictive highly addicted segments of the North American population well who would they be of course in Canada and in the US as well it's the aboriginals in North America our native First Nations people or American Indians as you call them in the States and why would they be the most addicted they'd be the most addicted because they're the most traumatized and the most stressed and they suffer near genocide of course especially in the States deprivation of the lands and livelihood and spiritual wage and utter degradation and then these are the people that turn to substances and other addictive behaviors to escape from all that misery but if you're looking at what's happening right now with the opioid epidemic all these people dying of overdoses you know in States something like 130 people that they died of overdoses which means that every month you've got a 911 every month you've got a world to a disaster and then you have the war on terrorism and how many Americans actually die because of genuine terrorism I'm not saying it's not an issue I'm saying by comparison it's not even a problem but where is the money being placed and all the public energy and fear into the terrorism fight and when it comes to drugs we just keep on doing what been doing for hundred years this insane war on drugs that's making work things worse and worse all the time there's absolutely no rationality to any of it no centered aggression ality and no legal rationality as well either so again addiction is always rooted in childhood loss and trauma in every single case and of course every once in a while somebody says well I had a perfectly happy childhood but I'm still addicted and usually takes me three minutes to find that what they thought was a happy childhood is really a question of denial of their own pain so if you ask a really traumatized person like if something if you knew somebody who said but the world is a horrible place the world is a horrible place you think he's a traumatized person if somebody would learn that the world is not safe and it's dangerous and he has to fight like a vicious tiger in order to survive but this man is running for the Presidency United States you're talking about a highly traumatized person a highly traumatized person but he thinks he had a happy childhood his opponent who's traumatized not nearly to the same degree also think she had a very happy childhood where's the evidence is quite the contrary and I think in tomorrow's global mail a Canadian paper just written an article about these two I'm not going to go into it but they're examples of two traumatized people in denial of their childhood suffering so that's always at the basis of it now before I take your questions let me then come to the final use that I mentioned in terms of marijuana which is again the the spiritual use I mentioned this Chinese emperor who who 27 years ago wrote about what spoke about marijuana and there's a quote that I like he says about marijuana this is the Emperor Shennong in 2700 BC he says if taken over a long term it makes one communicate with spirits and lightens the body so some kind of spiritual communion and just yesterday I scan through a book on a spiritual use of cannabis and I no control and there's some in this room who use cannabis as a kind of sacrament now the issue with any substance and I work myself with psychedelics in healing I don't work with marijuana but I work with other plant substances in a healing capacity I see their value I'm an agnostic when it comes to marijuana and spiritual use I I'm say have no experience with it and I have certain concerns about it but but people I know and respect I've written a book on the spiritual cannabis and here is this Chinese emperor talking about that forty seven hundred years ago and as the book that I just read points out it's not just a question of a substance it's a question of what they call set and setting and set it set is who you are when you're using it what your intention is why using it are you using it like MDMA ecstasy as you know it can be used in raves for people just to freak out on and have a good time MDMA is also being studied very seriously and very successfully as a treatment for PTSD it's called mdma-assisted psychotherapy and people take them MDMA and they have a psycho therapeutic session and the results when it comes to PTSD are so far off the charts and I know psychiatrists both in the states in Canada who involved in a study who are telling me that so it's going to go into third phase trials now so and Phillipe and his study on PTSD and marijuana at UBC so the intention makes a huge difference why are using it and then the setting are using the substance but a bunch of immature peers just for escape purposes or is there an intention in mind that's about connection that's about spiritual expansion that's about delving into deeper parts of yourself I have not experienced it that way I've not participated any such sacramental use but again people I respect tell me that they do and I have to at least believe their experience now just to conclude this again most people using marijuana but will not be using it for medical reasons it doesn't matter what they say double using it for recreational use I got nothing to argue with that I mean whether I want to use it myself is one issue but why wouldn't I support the legalization of the substance that in every way is more less harmful and what's legally sold now I what sense would that make so people are going to use it that way very exciting very exciting of course very exciting is the medical use and again as a physician I I did employ that way so I worked in palliative care for seven years and we looked at the terminal Vancouver Hospital and although we didn't use it for pain control and I just didn't know enough about it this is 1990s we certainly used it for nausea that was due to cancer or the twins of cancer and we prescribed it in the hospital on the ward for that reason so there's the medical use clock continued to be the self medication use where people not going to ask a doctor but when they feel anxious they're going to use it now of course I do see a danger there because when people are anxious it's never about nothing it's all about something in their lives and again anxiety usually goes back to childhood loss or trauma or something that happened you've got to deal with the causes and pharmacology never deals with causes it only deals with the effects but that doesn't mean it can't be used it doesn't mean that there's no value to it but let's require let's recognize that for any human issue you have to deal with the causative dynamics the trauma the pain the fear wherever it happens to be yeah but I just want to say 20 minutes just so you know and so we get some questions and just so you know thank you thanks well I'm just about to finish um see I looks like a DDD so uninterrupted my mind just loses track oh yeah oh yeah so I was just reviewing the uses so saying that the medical use is very exciting and I'm sure that fairly soon we're going to have more and more evidence that it's got very specific indications and most exciting of course would be to use in seizure control what would I say to people that were providing marijuana to the public just that you need to be informed that you should not be evangelists for your product you should in my view should make it available there was a study or a series of studies in the Global Mail newspaper a national paper in Canada that looked at marijuana products in a number of outlets in Ontario mostly I think media across Canada and they found a huge variation in the quality of what was being sold the amount of impurities pesticides and so on ever present so you know if you're going to take the Sun you're a responsibility which I'm sure you're aware of that what you do provide should be well studied well controlled as pure as you can possibly make it and and that you give it to people for specific indications if you're going to be using it for medical use so that's my biggest concern is that the medical use should be well understood and well regulated but not more so than other substances as a matter of fact as I've already said there are many legal pharmaceuticals that are far more dangerous than marijuana will ever be be also wherever it's addictive potential not that you can stop people that way but it's possible perhaps is possible that you develop relationships with your clients in which case you can engage them in conversation about what they're using and why they're using it and if you do perceive an addictive pattern then you might want to talk to people about not in a controlling or negative or punitive way but are very human and compassionate way of well have you thought about what you're escaping from and are there some ways to help you heal and deal with that because there are once people recognize the problem so it's an exciting time thank you very much for your attention all right you have time for some questions doctor oh you have a question here watermelon and I are gonna wander around we'll bring you the microphones pardon me I gotta remind you please keep your question relatively brief no need to ramble on about the entire history of cannabis before you get to your point we know how stoners are here we go hello thank you for coming and talking live it's been a pleasure listening to you thank you I just wanted to ask a question about in the rehab world how do you what are your opinions on the rehab systems that are out there right now when somebody does realize that they have to deal with the pain and now they have to get fixed the current system is rehab and it's not that effective in our opinion so curious on your thoughts well the problem is that the rehab industry for the most part and the medical specialists who deal with addiction for the most part ignore one little word which is called trauma so there's very little trauma in front care most of rehab is about the behavior of addiction but not about the driving dynamics of addiction so if you're not going to deal with the causes why do you expect to succeed so typically there's a huge relapse rate in my view because we're not addressing causes we're only addressing effects and I travel throughout the states and internationally quite extensively just talking about trauma and addiction any addiction by the way not just the drugs so the puts missing and then the 12-step programs also missed that piece that's very very interesting from the 12-step point of view first of all they don't talk about trauma it's just not in the 12 steps anywhere the founder of a Bill W was a traumatized child his parents abandoned him a was it 12 years old and it was issues even before then yet they don't talk about trauma the father of a Bill W also used LSD that really helped them overcome his alcoholism but they don't talk about that so when you have limited perspectives you can have limited treatments when you have limited treatments you can have limited results and that's what I see is the problem okay I have a question here for you gobbler yeah hi thanks very much I'm curious you referred to a study that was demonstrating that there is damage to underdeveloped brains with the use of cannabis do you know whether or not that study took a look at micro dosing and what dosage well no this was not about naka dosing this is about people who have been smoking or using marijuana since adolescence over decades do you know if there's any looking into what micro dosing could do for young people in terms of treating anxiety etc do you know if they're looking at that I'm if there are such studies but first of all the point of problem with doing marijuana studies is that United States is still a Schedule one drug right and that means it is no possible medical use which is just nuts you know which which limits people's capacity to do studies so I'm you know there may be say I know they've done studies with Mike so Michael dosing of mushrooms for example I'm not I'm not aware of any good marijuana yet doesn't mean they don't exist but I'm not aware of them but this one study that I mentioned was really about uncontrolled marijuana use in adolescence my name is Neil Magnuson I've been a chronic cannabis user since I was 15 yeah I don't think I'm brain-damaged I think that yeah that's right I wouldn't know yeah I mean really how would you know how would you know that's right how would I know I could very well be but you know I think that in my opinion that's not always true I'm very skeptical by the way anything coming out of the UK or the United States and I don't even respect doctors with all due respect thank you very much they've been lying to us for a very long time I think that there's no non-medical use of cannabis that I think that even if you're chronically using it as a teenager I think you're still trying to escape the stress and the you know emotional separation to try to be a teenager and grow up I think that there's no non-spiritual use of cannabis that anytime you're my question is do you agree with the last question as well as is it not more dose related to with respect to how adolescents would use cannabis and and have adverse respects or not or results or not look first of all I would not argue with your personal experience okay and with any study looking the statistics and percentages you're not looking at but every person who does this will have this mythic of effect over looking over a number of people large number of people over decades do we see a pattern that's what the studies show now if you're not going to trust physicians don't even ask me a question what can I tell you because I'm a physician okay but but having said that and you know like the plenty of reasons not to trust physicians I what I mean is plenty of reasons to be skeptical but not to be cynical okay now in terms of again the problem with adolescence is how can you control and measure the amount of amount of marijuana our kid is using when the substance is illegal and they get it from their buddies in the schoolyard so there's just no possible way to have information on that I think you heard me say that I think you heard me say that when it comes to tobacco or alcohol or anything else it's much less harmful okay so looks like you're looking to disagree with me even when there's no disagreement so have a question here for you yeah first of all thanks thanks dr. Mattei have followed your work on adverse childhood experiences in the in the past and really excited that you're here talking could you you talked briefly about the medical community being sounded like maybe intentionally uninformed on addiction and it can you talk about maybe why that is is it taking direction from the dsm or is it like and how does that change if ever well the many reasons one is that addiction is not taught in the medical schools most to get a couple lectures on it if you're lucky these days not enough trauma I lecture to medical students in four years they don't hear the word trauma once in most medical schools not once not that they don't get a lecture on it or a course on it and even though trauma is probably the most basic cars about certainly of all addictions and many mental health issues many physical health issues as well which is another conversation altogether but if you look at childhood adversity and rheumatoid arthritis is much higher the relationship so despite that they don't talk about it so most doctors are is not informed why not it's because of a whole lot of considerations that really I'm not going to go into about one of them is that for the physician to deal with the whole mind-body unity they'd have to open themselves up to conversations there's simply not trained to have and also take much more time consuming i'm cheesier for you to come to me with a pain problem and me giving you a prescription for some than me talking to you about how your nervous system is hypersensitive because of childhood trauma and what you can do about that as an adult so in terms of emotional comfort it's much easier to just write a prescription in terms of time it's much quicker to do so and furthermore when you look at who funds the research it's the drug companies so the information that doctors get is for the most part self-serving when it comes to many many treatments okay I have another question if oh sorry hi gab or thank you so much for oh there we go yeah Boyd thank you so much for the chat this morning I really appreciate your insights um part of the conversation that really spoke to my heart was the UC spirit plant medicines in the resolution of trauma and I wanted to ask you in your experience what was it about the consciousness shift that people experienced while going into those altered states in the resolution of trauma and also how important is the integration process after that experience well if you come to San Francisco with me where I'm flying this afternoon I begin to talk on that subject that the California Institute of Integrative studies in San Francisco here I can give you that what's gonna be a tour a lecture I can give you 60 seconds on it the traumatized person experience themselves in a certain way as one herbal as helpless as at fault because children who are hurt or traumatized they think it's about themselves they can't help it that's how a child thinks and so with the psychedelic experience and again I have to emphasize the context has to be very important you not that you go home and you do this on your own you do it under guidance with the right kind of leadership and support you get to experience yourself in a different way you get to learn that you're not that helpless little worthless individual that underneath whatever you think you believe you actually believe about yourself if you look at something like Donald Trump there's a man who absolutely hates himself he thinks he's worthless hence he doesn't think it consciously he believes it unconsciously hence his grandiosity and his absolute denial of reality these are compensations I would love to invite him to one of my ceremonies you know for his sake he would actually wake up potentially because you get to experience yourself in a deeper level because the psychedelics bypass the mental defenses that we build up against reality and in terms of integration afterwards I don't care what the substance is it's not just the experience itself it's then how you incorporate that into your life and that's an ongoing process and that's again what is meant by set and setting the intention and then who you are and then the context and then the follow-up are always very very important which is to also for marijuana if you're going to use it in any healthful kind of way you have to have integration you have to follow up and you have to have ongoing contact that's awesome thank you very much I would also like to be there when Trump takes a giant dose good morning my name is Holden okay I'm an enrolled tribal member out of California and you mentioned the the genocide and the effects that happened to our people what are there any studies available about intergenerational trauma how cannabis can be used or hemp can be used to deal with that well that's a really interesting question first of all multi-generational trauma is the basis of addiction and the reason I mentioned the Aboriginal people is is because it's the clearest example I can find because here you're people here yet people that actually had no addiction whatsoever prior to contact even though they had access to substances you know there was hemp here for sure and and and I don't with it yeah and alcohol and some areas peyote for sure and but there's no addiction if there was any substance used at all it was purely ceremonial tobacco but there's no addiction to tobacco it was used purely ceremonially so as long as the context is right and the culture is healthy you've got the responsible use of substances then you get this multi generational trauma which you know very very well I just wrote a book this summer called the empire of the summer moon and it's about the Comanches who at some point with the most feared and militarily powerful native nation in the United States one of the last Chiefs once he's already the battle has been lost their people have been confined to the reservations he gets into peyote and Oh sacrament as a way of dealing with the pain as a way of healing and when people criticize them this is in 1890s his name is Quanah Parker he was on the last leaders of the Comanches and when people criticized him for using this substance to contact contact God to get in touch with a higher reality you know what he said he said something very telling he said I got this on my computer he said that the white man goes to his church and talks about Jesus but the Indian going to his teepee and talks to Jesus so I'm not aware I'm not aware of cannabis being used that way but I can't see why it couldn't be I can't see why couldn't be again it's set in setting its intention guidance and context so that I've been interesting certainly peyote is used that way certainly I worked with this brilliant plan called ayahuasca that's used that way and I've wrote ayahuasca I used ayahuasca with Native people here in BC with a very limited basis but very encouraging results I can see kind of is being used that way depending again on who's guiding it and with what intention Thank You gabber so much give it up for government to you thank you so much GABA you


  1. I've been diagnosed with PTSD, mdd, and IBS. Cannabis has helped me ease both physical/mental pain,nausea,irritability, appetite/sleep loss, etc. better and with less side affect than common pharmacueticals. I've taken 30 mg morphine that didn't deal with the stabbing stomach pains as well as cannabis does. Sometimes self medicating isnt as bad as its made out to be. It was affordable, more affective, and less severe side affects. Do I sometimes feel addicted to it, sometimes but at least in my case, I see it like this; is a diabetic "addicted" to insulin? No. He just needs it for medical reasons. I'm also for people recreationally using it. I think it can be addictive. But the withdrawals don't last near as long, they are less severe, and they tend to have less antisocial behaviors involved as opposed to other legal addictive substances like cigarettes or alcohol. From what ive seen withdrawals include mild headaches,a dysrythmic sleeping pattern, and mild irritability. All of which are the same as coffee withdrawals and, often from what I've seen personally and in others, coffee/caffiene withdrawals actually seems to be worse than withdrawals from cannabis. And I think addiction comes mainly from mental problems.

    Decriminalize now!
    Also ALL drug addiction should be treated as a mental health problem not a criminal one!

    Change the world people.

    I wish I could meet and just talk to him. Not an interview. Doesn't even have to be about psychology,sociology, economic or politics. I just love his mind and honesty. As someone who wanted to be a psychologist, but faces major disability, hes someone i look up to. A voice of reason. And he isn't afraid to challenge status quo ideas like capitalisms part in mental health deterioration as well as addiction being a psychological disorder, not a criminal one. He's who I wish and could have become to be if i wasn't so crippled by psyichal and mental defects.

    As well as mdma helping PTSD I've also heard, though unconfirmed, microdosing of lsd can also help. As well as magic mushrooms can supposedly help create new nueropathways to help create a more healthy brain and overcome negative thought patterns based on trauma.

    Shaman's weren't as "unadvanced" as we think. Is modern medicine helpful, of course. But we shouldn't just automatically toss history of alternative and spiritual medicine into the trash.

    Also this may not be "spiritual use" but i have found that it has helped me personally, and others I've noticed, be more connected since it can be used as a social bonding experience. For instance i always loved my brother but we didn't become best friends until we started smoking together. Idk just saying.

  2. There are people who deny cannabis is addictive. Yet I've met people and talked to them and they say that though they've wanted to stop, they simply cannot.

  3. religious addiction is the invisible substance abuse, no other . . . SPIT OUT! . . . before you're associated with all it's historical and current ongoing murderous atrocities and greedy deceit of MAFIO style with blessed disGRACE. just inhale the never ending mission for all truth and all knowledge… (or live an entire life of stupidity and dumb???)

  4. mandatory marijuana…will make you to ponder your existence…pondering(thinking) is a good thing…step outside your programming…pots ONLY heightens your senses and awareness…grow up children(adults)

  5. SHOVE that SHIT ALCOHOL and TOBACCO DOWN the STINK HOLE THROATS of our CORPORATE RUN GOVERNMENT of MOSQUITO MAGGOTS POISONING ALL AMERICANS and our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future our children our future…STOP IT!

  6. "Moliere, long ago, depicted an oral doctoral examination in which the learned doctors ask the candidate to state the “cause and reason” why opium puts people to sleep. The candidate triumphantly answers in dog Latin, “Because there is in it a dormitive principle (virtus dormitiva).”

    Characteristically, the scientist confronts a complex interactive system—in this case, an interaction between man and opium. He observes a change in the system — the man falls asleep. The scientist then explains the change by giving a name to a fictitious “cause,” located in one or other component of the interacting system. Either the opium contains a reified dormitive principle, or the man contains a reified need for sleep, an adormitosis, which is “expressed” in his response to opium.

    And, characteristically, all such hypotheses are “dormitive” in the sense that they put to sleep the “critical faculty” (another reified fictitious cause) within the scientist himself."
    – Bateson

  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZBs9N8g5rQ….are you willing to debate/discuss your views with Superhumandance…name the well being…that isn't just avoiding a pain..

  8. This is a the best example of why we should NOT promote and legalize Marijuana. He could put caffeine to sleep.

  9. damn it i think my sons hooked on the pot needle he also asked me for a 100$ to get his butthole bleached whats that all about ? do i need to send him somewhere to get the gay out of him i cant have a gay pot shooting son

  10. This guy saounds bored. He must hate his job. I was waiting for him to fall asleep while talking. Very uninteresting speaker. Needs to work on his voice.

  11. This world system runs on addiction, top down. Be it violence, sex, power, TV and other gizmos abundant in tech produced by those power addicted psychopaths.

  12. It's also useful for curing Cancers, My Ex-Wife was Diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer 2 years ago. It had spread to her liver and spine. When she was first Diagnosed we were blessed with the knowledge from years earlier and immediately got her on the Rick Simpson Oil (Cannabis Oil, High T.H.C. Indica Strain). Her lump in her breast was 15 cm and in the two weeks for the next follow up, she used it topically and eaten. When she went for the appointment with her oncologist, the lump was remeasured and it was ONLY 11 cm, Incredible Miracle. They told us to keep doing what we were doing. I'm using it on my Father for his COPD which because of an Old Retired Judge from California did a video; Google; Judge says I was wrong about marijuana. He cures his own COPD thanks to his wife forcing and threating to leave him..that was 2 years ago and now they're activists, speaking aloud of the powerful medicine this truly is when eaten in Concentrated Oil Form.

  13. Respect to you Doctor Gabor Maté. This is a Webster Dictionary Definition of addiction; compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful
    None of the descriptions falls under the category of Addiction as you can see.
    Since there is no withdrawal the substance falls under the category Habitual, only.
    Definition of habitual
    : regularly or repeatedly doing or practicing something or acting in some manner: having the nature of a habit: customary

  14. you can be user of any stimuli but it's still a drug and since drugs trashing your body thru the mind and after allowed to divert your existant and you become a junky.By his name His a Hungarian decent,and he could not get read of his habit.Jesus say, you rich in mind or otherwise taken from a table of riches. Anything is not lead you to salvation in this life will bought you to damnation a way from the kingdom's of God.

  15. Sorry, Doc, but speaking to a trade group loses any credibility you may have had. These same motherfuckers upheld prohibition the whole time, but now that they're profiting from it, use people like you as a fig leaf for their shenanigans.

    P.S. If you think St, Justin of Blessed Name made weed legal, try growing 5 plants at your home in Ontario…or one in Quebec. Go.

  16. Nice guy and smart. But we won't find the solutions to addiction here or there. Finding a solution to addiction is, to me, the same as seeking self realization. There isn't really a person there. He/she is an illusion. Addiction is symptom of the failure of self identification. The "solution" to both problems (which is really one problem) is the same. The solution is to SEE that there will always be suffering when the "mind" believes that there is a separate someone who suffers. Much the same way a child, when seeing that Santa isn't real won't give Santa another thought.

  17. Apparently Dr. Kate knows nothing about step 4 " The Inventory "…which addresses "traumas " directly !

  18. 17:53

    "Then Helen, daughter of Zeus, took other counsel.
    Straightway she cast into the wine of which they were drinking a drug
    to quiet all pain and strife, and bring forgetfulness of every ill."


  19. some research has been conducted which has shown that mammals, particularly the ruminants, synthesize morphine by the same pathway as poppies. Researches also follow the thread of prehistoric agricultural connections to both cannabis and poppy plants among other things, ferments and decay (even more crucially). Connection to the environment is a two way thing, obviously. Given the serotonergic properties of morphine, there are strong indications that morphine and its metabolites are like ayahuasca vine to some people particularly of Mediterranean haplogroups, and that this is separate from the opioid peptide question, and incidentally morphine metabolites have the greatest selectivity for alkaloid subtype receptors over peptide receptors, while the methadones and antidotes have more broad spectrum action. ning, carry on looking up god's skirt if you must, it saves on pencils…

  20. As a lifelong junkie, I can tell you his convoluting psychological and physical addiction, is stupid, and misleading. Heroin is addictive, pot ain't. You do not hang out off pot, simple. Fear of hanging out is a massive driver for using heroin. He seems a good guy, and I agree with very much of what he says, but adding bullshit to your argument is never a good thing.

  21. Like the rude guy in the audience, I have very little trust in doctors, mostly because there are far too few doctors like the one who gave this presentation.

  22. ADHD is nothing just a label with a wrong interpretation on purpose.ADHD means Attention.Delayed .into Higher .Dimension why?how?…well..if you look for answers search this."ADHD The indigo childs" Attention.Delayed .into Higher .Dimension yes..this is what we experience.Higher realms that most of people don't even know how it feels…..they just know stuff from tv ….

    Beloved be Here in the Now.Peace<3

  23. My advice to governments, and do-gooders is: fuck off, and leave people alone. : Simple, eh? Before we take an interest in YOUR lives.

  24. Punishing people with addiction and not trying to solve the cause for that addiction will only make it worse.
    Sad thing is politicians (and legal pharmaceutical providers) actually profit off peoples pain and addiction – so they will never fix the problem.

    They could easy tax canabis – they don't as the tobacco/alcohol and pharma industries lobby politicians to keep it illegal.
    Why – because they will lose profit.


  25. Schedule One Substance MY ASSSSSSSSS!!!!! We have the RIGHT TO OUR NATURAL MEDICINE. Even the FACT that personal FREEDOM IS INFRINGED IS, IN ITSELF, plain ☹ EVIL!!!! Most especially in the US OF A!!!!!! 👨‍👨‍👦 People are bullishitted into believing that they are FREEEE.. YEAH, RIGHT!!!

  26. When I found out that the FDA "allowed " Katamine (a nasty harsh, addictive DRUG), I LOST ALLLLLL RESPECT AND FAITH in this corporate mafia!


  28. Medical marijuana gives me focus because it relaxes me!!! I WILLLLLL BE "ALLOWED" to FEEL CALM AND RELIEF FROM PAIN. That's MY RIGHT I GIVE MYSELF!!!!! P E R I O D!

  29. It's OBVIOUSLY and BLARINGLY not about what's GOOD for people in this country! What it's REALLY about is CONTROL and 💰 MONEY!!! While feds have had two patents on MARIJUANA for decades, and FDA "APPROVES" things like Katamine for the public, the CANNABIS PLANT 🌷 is NOT APPROVED, NOT ALLOWED federally.! DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A SCAMMMMM 😦 folks??????!!!!!!!👍BIGG YUPP TO THAT!

  30. I grow the best. Or at least third, my friend's is sweeter and someone must be out there that has a better bud than me. I still grow the best, AND I DONT USE CUTTINGS. CUTTINGS are done by Posers and money people.

  31. This guy is simply speaking truth to many matters. About time somebody beside me did so ! I have used it all and know precisely what I am talking about. Excellent comments. This guy has some ethics !

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