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RED HOT Contributors


Episode 48 – The Leading Maverick of Medical Cannabis


Most of the RED HOT HEALTHCARE podcast shows are about 30 minutes in length. However this one was a true ‘hour of power’ – and perhaps my most engaging yet. Because I was lucky enough to have secured an interview with Steve DeAngelo.

Steve is an undisputed national leader and provocative visionary in the cannabis industry. With four decades of activism and advocacy, he’s inspired millions of individuals to not only learn about and benefit from cannabis, but also in influencing efforts to pass laws in local, state, and even foreign countries.

He co-founded Harborside Health Center, the largest and most successful medical marijuana dispensary in the world. He’s also the co-founder and president of the ArcView Group a company and investor network, which successfully introduces investors to the cannabis community.

He also wrote a powerful and well-researched book, which completely transformed the way that many individuals, including myself, have come to view cannabis. It’s called The Cannabis Manifesto – and I highly suggest you make this your next purchase and read.

Steve has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, O’Reilly Factor, the Associated Press, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, Fortune Magazine, Forbes Magazine, and many other major media outlets.

In this show episode…Dr. Steve and Steve DeAngelo discuss some incredible dialogue on cannabis, including:

  • The ‘tainted’ history and perpetuated lies (some eye-opening ‘Whoppers’)
  • Why it is NOT an intoxicant
  • Steve’s unique history (From MLK, Freedom Riders, and Joining the ‘Yippees’…to graduating Magna Cum Laude and going to Law School)
  • Explaining its “ELEGANT & MAGICAL” impact on fighting cancer
  • Why its legalization actually strengthens communities
  • The story of success with Harborside Health and the ArcView Group
  • And so much more…

Below, I’ve provided a rock-solid audio snippet – from the complete show interview (Listen Above):

DR. STEVE: “One of the chapters [in your book]that I liked the most Steve is called ‘Cannabis Has Always Been a Medicine’; and what I’d like you to do is to clue our audience in on why you took that title.”

STEVE DeANGELO: “You can look back at the history of human medicine, you’ll see that cannabis had been used. It’s been cited in the earliest Chinese medical texts, the oldest Egyptian texts, with the Hebrews, as well as in Ayurvedic medicine.

If you look at many current studies over the last ten years, those studies validate the history and use of cannabis. The striking thing is the incredible range of conditions that cannabis has been, and is used for.

Cannabis can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, Cancer, epilepsy, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and it carries a range of powerful anti-bacteriological effects; and people ask me, “C’mon Steve…how can any medicine be effective for such a wide range of seemingly unrelated conditions.”

DR. STEVE: “Right.”

STEVE DeANGELO: “Well the answer is REALLY interesting…and I think revolutionary for the practice of medicine. It goes to the existence of the endocannabinoid system.

DR. STEVE: “Now just for our audience not in the know, explain what ‘cannabinoids are.”

STEVE DeANGELO: “Sure. When we talk about cannabinoids, we think about the active ingredients you find in the cannabis plant. THC is the best known of the cannabinoids. CBD is another fairly well-known cannabinoid. But there are somewhere between 80 and 400 active ingredients in the cannabis plant – and those are known as cannabinoids.

Very interestingly, the human body endogenously produces many of the same, or virtually identical chemical compounds – and those are known as endocannabinoiods.

Endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids are both managed by the endocannabinoid system. Many scientists believe that its the largest neurotransmitter system in the human body. It’s present in our brain, our skin, all of our organs, our connective tissue, and our immune system.

Wherever the endocannabinoid system is, its purpose is the same. That is, to preserve, maintain, and restore homeostasis – the body’s state of natural balance. It’s an incredibly important system.

DR. STEVE: “You know it also brings up what I see as an interesting point. Most everyone has always thought of cannabis as an intoxicant. Right? I mean, you smoke to get high…and it provides many people with a great time.

But for the first time, when we start talking about the endocannabinoid system – that is, a regulated system with biochemicals, I start to think that maybe the reason that people do so well on cannabis. I mean, for a whole multitude of issues, perhaps this is due to the fact that they may be replenishing the quality or quantity of their own internal chemistry.

I mean, this is not a system that is really measured by doctors or other healthcare providers.”

STEVE DeANGELO: “Yeah, it’s a fascinating field of science to explore. The idea that there may be endocannabinoid deficiencies that may need to be addressed.

You know, when we think of the endocannabinoid system, we’re really at the very early stages of beginning to understand all of its mechanisms. But what’s really striking is that our body doesn’t have an endo-alcohol system or an endo-diazepam system….it has an endocannabinoid system.”

DR. STEVE: [Laughing]

STEVE DeANGELO: The idea that cannabis is an intoxicant, that it is a toxic substance that should not be consumed by human beings – seems NOT to make sense. It seems that there is something that makes cannabis qualitatively different from what we think of in terms of alcohol and other intoxicants.”


 I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Steve Ambrose on a podcast that covered a range of topics in healthcare information technology. The podcast logistics – communications, interview questions, scheduling and production – were every well managed.
A great experience that I would do again in an instance.

Dr. John Glaser
SVP, Population Health at CERNER

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