The latest episode of the Brave New Weed podcast features a fascinating discussion between hosts Joe Dolce and Matthew Hendershot and guest Dr. Junella Chin on everyone’s favourite cannabinoid, CBD. (OK, maybe second favourite. We’re not here to judge.)

In the 1990s, Chin, now a New York-based osteopath with an integrative medical cannabis practice, was attending medical school in San Francisco. She had suffered from chronic pain most of her childhood and was diagnosed in her teens with ankylosing spondylolisthesis — an incurable inflammatory disease that can cause the spine’s vertebrae to fuse and is often accompanied by increasing stiffness and intense pain.

“It basically makes your spine and pelvis feel like a cement cinder block,” Chin says.

Years of conventional treatments and medications provided some — though often short-lived — relief. Chin struggled with her studies and grew increasingly frustrated as her condition and suffering worsened.

Eventually, she crossed paths with an integrative physician who was treating HIV and AIDS patients with marijuana for appetite and pain and who introduced her to a high-CBD tincture. Chin was “mortified.”

“I grew up in the Bronx where the social stigma of marijuana was huge, and I was a goody-goody,” she recalls. “Marijuana was either you’re a drug dealer, a high school dropout or you’re a gangster. So I reluctantly tried because it was that or drop out of school.”

That chance encounter and cautious introduction to medical cannabis changed the trajectory of her life and career.

“I would not have become a physician if it wasn’t for marijuana.”

The entire episode is worth a listen, though you can skip ahead to the 9:30 mark for the interview with Chin. Joe Dolce’s website and his engaging book, Brave New Weed, also come highly recommended.

— Written by Trevor Howell, Natural Health Services. Follow Trevor on Twitter @TSHowell.

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