Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

Researchers are discovering exciting health benefits from some delightful plant compounds. Scientists in England have found that delicious foods like dark chocolate, berries and tea can help protect people against insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.

A number of states have approved the medical use of marijuana. What is it used for and what side effects should be considered?

Sleep problems have been shown to contribute to the risk of hypertension and diabetes. Could they also raise the risk of advanced prostate cancer?   

The video of a smart young patient, Morgan Gleason, advocated for a patient-centered schedule in the hospital can be seen at forbes.com

Call in your questions and comments at 888-472-3366 or email radio@peoplespharmacy.com between 7 and 8 am EDT.

Guests: Aedin Cassidy, PhD, is Professor Nutrition and head of the Department of Nutrition at Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. Her article appeared in the Journal of Nutrition for February, 2014.

Cynthia Kuhn, PhD, is Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine with appointments in Psychiatry and Psychology. She is a pharmacologist and science educator. Her books include Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy. The photograph of Dr. Kuhn with Joe & Terry was taken by Will & Deni McIntyre.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.




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  1. Ray

    I agree that it is great to question whether she has received compensation from pharmaceutical companies. OTOH I believe that the studies are public record. As I was looking into the topic, I saw this:
    Hopefully we will get more data that can be verified coming out the experiences in Colorado, etc.

  2. Frank L

    Thanks for making these pod casts available because, I’m not always available at 7am, which is when my local station broadcasts the show. Although, Dr. Kuhn expressed ambivalence about cannabis, she reflected some bias by the fact she was really more concerned about the psychoactive effects than the potential therapeutic benefits from cannabinoids. I was also astonished by her statement that cognition would be affected up to 30 days after consuming marijuana. Perhaps, there should have been disclosure if she, or her Department, received any financing from the pharmaceutical industry.

  3. TVC

    I was disappointed in Dr. Kuhn’s comments on the use of marijuana for medical applications. She put most of her emphasis on her concern for the use of marijuana by children. She suggested we need to sponsor more medical trials to prove its efficacy, but at the same time admits that those with the resources and ability to conduct such medical trials, the pharmaceutical companies, are not motivated to do so because there is no money in it for them.
    Therefore, her suggestion that we need more clinical trials is nothing more than a recommendation for doing nothing to advance the use of marijuana for medical applications. I would be curious to see what research she has supported at the university level at Duke to study the use of marijuana as a possible cure for some cancers.

  4. MRJ

    Dr. Kuhn had all sorts of “facts” concerning the reasons to NOT use medical marijuana, but no facts concerning the benefits. If there were trials to prove it bad, why weren’t there any objective, scientific trials? I’m rather disappointed in Terry and Joe not giving credence to the people who have used it and found benefits.
    Dr. Kuhn sounds as if she’s working on behalf of drug companies, and doesn’t really want to know anything different that what she believes now. That’s not a very good researcher.

  5. kel

    I think Dr. Kuhn was a bit more alarmist about medical marijuana than is warranted. For one thing, there are many new strains being created with very low levels of THC but that are still beneficial. And there is an increasing host of growers and purveyors who have become experts on strains, dosages, etc. As for her repeated comments that marijuana these days is far stronger than back in some Boomer heyday… I’m pretty sure most people 1) are already aware of that, and 2) would adjust their intake accordingly. Again, we are talking about medical marijuana at this point.

    As for the leisure use of marijuana — and concerns that somehow our children will be smoking it constantly — I think Kuhn revealed a certain naivete about drug use in America, period. For one thing, MILLIONS of people have continued to smoke the herb, regardless of its illegality. A great many of these people are adults with children — so it’s a little hard to see how the mere existence of legal marijuana would change the way parents control their kids’ access to the drug at home or outside the home — the same way responsible parents control access to alcohol. If anything, legal marijuana can be controlled in terms of quality, cleanliness, and access in ways that no illegal substance can match.

    I would agree it’s good to move slowly on this, see how things fare in Colorado and in Washington — both of whom are showing a commendable desire to be think ahead, be cautious, and “get it right.”

  6. JimP

    I wish Dr. Kuhn had given more information about the approved cannabinoid drugs available as prescription drugs, which were a surprise to me. Pro-legalization forces say marijuana is not available and anti-legalization forces say it should never be available. Yet, Dr. Kuhn said prescription cannabinoids have been available for 20 years!
    Are both pro- and anti- sides wrong? Do the prescription cannabinoids provide the same benefits as marijuana? Are legal cannabinoids more expensive than legal (or illegal, in most states) marijuana? I found the discussion with Dr. Kuhn fascinating, but I now have more questions than I did before!
    I bought her book years ago and highly recommend it to all parents and grandparents. It describes the effects of the various illegal drugs from a science-based standpoint and avoids moral lectures.

  7. Elizabeth

    I think you’re a little out of date on medical marijuana, given your focus on THC and getting high. Strains of marijuana are now being bred with very low levels of THC but high levels of cannabidiol, the substance that has been found so beneficial for many disorders.
    Please do some more research on this. I’d love to hear another show discussing the use of CBD.

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