Podcast

AltMed Podcast EP.28 – Featuring John Teh, GP & Founder of Plant Med

In this week’s podcast, we chat with Dr. John Teh, GP & Founder of Plant Med about the Endocannabinoid System, Entourage Effect, Terpenes, Paediatric use, Tourettes, Autism, Doctor Education, GPs who won’t prescribe and tackle some questions from our listeners.

Key Points

1:05 – Dr. John Teh explained that he started working in medicinal cannabis when it was legalised at the end of 2016. However, he revealed that he was drawn to it way back in 2015 when close friend approached him and his wife. Till then, he disclosed that he was not prescribing cannabis. However, when he had to access medicinal cannabis through illicit market for her aggressive brain tumor, he experienced a learning curve. He shared that he was completely mortified at the thought that medicines for pain relief were not accessible publicly. Gradually, he started consultancy in medicinal cannabis. However, he felt that it was a quite tedious process with no cost effectiveness. While sharing the current situation of Plant Med, he revealed that his organisation has good location in Brisbane where 5 doctors along with the administrative staff were helping and revolutionising people’s lives.

6:22 – Dr. John approved of preventive usage of medicinal cannabis. He believed that any un-necessary surgeries could be avoided easily by fixing the symptoms. He illustrated that medicinal cannabis could easily fix the immune and inflammatory systems. He clarified that when the medicinal cannabis was declared as illegal, the nutritional value of plant was also snatched away, leading to an influx of inflammatory diseases in the first world. He shared that despite of absence of data based evidence, both CBD and THC enhance the neuroprotection and give the feeling of completion. Therefore, he was of the view that medicinal cannabis needs to be used as a preventive medicine.

11:32 – Dr. John explained the diffused and ever-changing endocannabinoid system in detail. He explained that it was actually the cannabis receptors which express the location of pain. He also elucidated that oils are usually necessary to produce these cells. He asserted that, despite of popular belief, THC stimulates the receptors and balances the system while CBD increases the binding strength of receptors. Thus, in this manner, medicinal cannabis deals directly with receptors, the actual reason behind its magical cure of multiple conditions. He also delved into detail about the modulating role of cannabis for endocannabinoid system weakened by pollution and other environmental factors.

19:44 – In response to a question, Dr. John asserted that everyone needs to opt for medicinal cannabis despite of its uncertainty. He unraveled that all conventional medicines have long term implications, affecting the quality of life severely. Therefore, he explained that focus should be prevention instead of immediate relief.

23:16 – Dr. John described that he specialises in pain prevention in general and mental health in particular. He explained that most of the times, he treats children with developmental disorders and cancer patients

25:48 – Dr. John believed that a common thing among patients is defective natural endocannabinoid system. He explained that despite of all speculations, THC and CBD were extremely safe for children as compared to traditional medicine having numerous long term side effects. He narrated the common practice of prescribing the oil based medicine initially so as to restore the faith of parents before opting for full spectrum CBD. He discussed the benefits of medicinal cannabis and iterated that THC dominant product could also be prescribed upon receiving letter of recommendation by a renowned doctor of any department.

33:00 – Dr. John agreed that higher THC products could affect the functioning of children to some extent. However, he asserted that its exemplary role in increasing the social interactions requires it to be countered with suitable medications. He blamed the legal limitations for lack of comprehensive research on said subject.

36:27 – Dr. John believed that despite of physiological Entourage effect, full spectrum medicines have a better response. He explained that although THC and CBD could be isolated to control such side effects, however, full plant based medicines are more beneficial in general.

40:25 – He delved into detail upon the association of traditional medicines with Entourage effect.

42:33 – He asserted that while choosing medicines, the supplementation and nutritional value of each ingredient must be kept in mind as the combination effect is much more substantial as compared to isolated ones.

46:41 – In response to a question about education of new doctors, Dr. John iterated that the Australian cannabis summit is a really good resource with online free educational content, international conferences and cannabis experts. Additionally, he explained that Health Cert is the professional education body for GP which has currently initiated an accredited course on medicinal cannabis. He also explained the functioning of ANZCC, a society created by doctors of New Zealand and Australia, where questions and case studies were discussed. A two hour course has also been initiated on this platform for basics of medicinal cannabis.

52:50 – As far as new products in medicinal cannabis industry are concerned, Dr. John explained that the soft gel capsules are on the brink of entry in market owing to their extremely convenient consumption method. Although it is a bit expensive however, it surely is more convenient than other methods of consumption. He also enlightened the audience on the possible entry of topical patches and slow release medications soon. He described the readily available sprays as most effective mechanism for enhancing absorption in the system. He was of the view that hi tech devices like metered devices, meant for keeping a record of dosage, could change the horizon of medicinal cannabis forever.

Link

Plant Med: https://plantmed.net.au/

External Links: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and-poisons/medicinal-cannabis 

AltMed: https://altmed.com.au/

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