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Jim Shaw
Profile: Jim Shaw… Serving Growers and Community

Cannabis Medicine: An Exciting Field

Cannabis Medicine: An Exciting Field

Cannabis Medicine: An Exciting Field

Cannabis Medicine: An Exciting Field In A Complex Situation

As a cannabis clinician with 16 years of experience in conventional medicine I feel drawn to contribute some of my knowledge and experience to this community. Cannabis medicine is a very exciting field, caught in a complex situation. There is tremendous conflict and misunderstanding about this plant.

My role remains within the realm of healing. I am fully convinced of the powerful potential that PHYTOcannabinoids (the molecules in the cannabis plant) can have on our body’s innate ENDOcannabinoid system (our body’s natural cell function which maintains homeostasis, or cellular balance). Cannabis can treat a wide range of medical conditions, it can protect us from developing disease, as well as offer wellness benefits on the more social and personal levels.

In the past two decades, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the peripheral organs. More specifically, modulating the activity of the ECS holds therapeutic promise in a wide range of diseases and medical conditions; ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and osteoporosis, to name just a few.

In fact, the federal government currently holds SIX patents on cannabis as a treatment for the following conditions: cancer, nausea, glaucoma, acute and chronic pain, and autoimmune disease. In addition, the patents describe the following therapeutic effects: as an anti-inflammatory, a sedative, an anti-oxidant and as a neuroprotectant particularly in the setting of traumatic brain injury, stroke and dementia.

I have personally met people who have utilized cannabis effectively for their cancer, crohn’s disease, insomnia, autism, depression/anxiety, chronic pain, and more. Without question, certain THC strains are an exceptional sleep aid. It takes time and money to find the strain, the dose, and the method that works for each individual but it is my opinion that it is absolutely worth it. Cannabis is safe.

Clearly cannabis is an awesome plant with profound medical properties.

The challenge for medical providers involves providing specific doses, formulas and delivery methods. Science and the industry as well as the political situation, have not reached this level of sophistication yet. The fact is that each individual responds differently to the variety of cannabis strains, so a good relationship between the clinician and the patient along with a shared understanding of the cannabis products, is extremely helpful.

Cannabis materials are highly variable and multiple components need to be standardized in order to ensure a reproducible effect. My personal concern is that when Big Pharma is manufacturing our medicine that it will have deviated significantly from the plant in its natural state as a complex and holistic organism. Right now in California we have access to dispensaries that offer a variety of products with tested and labeled information. It’s not yet perfect, we have a long way to go. But for now, it’s pretty great.

If you wish to try cannabis, it is my experience that there is essentially no risk. You can absolutely utilize the medicine without risk of getting high if this is a concern for you; and if you don’t want to smoke it there are several options available. Here in Mendocino county we have access to organically grown plants, which I insist on for my patients; if it’s not organically produced, I recommend you do not use it. Also there is no reason for people to purchase or use CBD that is produced from a Hemp plant, which is not an optimal source. Our local growers are cultivating organic CBD from cannabis plants which are a far superior source.

There are several excellent websites that offer useful and relevant information. Here are four user friendly and helpful sites: United Patients Group, Green Flower Media,,

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Email:
Or call: 1-866-632-6627 to make an appointment at the MediCann office in Ukiah.