Cannabinoid Scientist encapsulates the research process, insights and observations of my PhD project in the history of medicine at the University of Leicester. My PhD thesis – Research and Development of Cannabis Based Medicine; Controversies, Contradictions and Resistance, investigates the confluence of factors which facilitated the Re-Medicalistion of Cannabis despite the political, medical and cultural barriers which limited the scientific research into the medicinal potential of the cannabis plant.
My project seeks to examine how different actors negotiated these restrictions and I have conducted oral history interviews with key actors within the scientific, medical and lay communities. This approach throws up gaps, incomplete narratives, contradictions and some surprises which conversations about cannabis as a medicine have engendered from 1990 till 2016
The marijuana saga is rife with paradox and polarity. It is all about doubles, twins, dualities: fibre and flowers, medicine and menace, sacrament and recreant, gift and commodity…Marijuana’s therapeutic mechanism is bimodal; it acts upon the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, an unusual combination for a drug… As a healing herb, it is ancient as well as cutting edge… It has been used as curative and preventative medicine. It is both prescribed and proscribe.
My experience of researching and writing about cannabis medicine reflects the duality which Martin Lee eloquently expressed regarding the social and cultural meanings which cannabis engenders. The main challenge of this project has been to find a way to delineate a space of inquiry which embraces the duality of cannabis whilst incorporating the depth, breadth and complexity of the subject. This process called for adopting a Janus style approach of looking both ways; into the past to inspect the ghosts which haunt the present and keeping an eye out for relevant contemporaneous changes in the cannabis world which might impact the near future.
Cannabinoid Scientist shares snippets of this experience with you. It is designed to provide a multi – modal experience where you can dip in and out according to your interest and prefereed learning style. Narratives from the perspectives of different stakeholders including patients, doctors, activists, politicians, and scientists are forwarded as case studies and vignettes to engender a space to reflect on pertinent issues.
My present focus harnesses a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience which includes working as a chemist with Anita Roddick at the Body Shop. My skills as a perfume expert and product developer are now pertinent to the emerging cannabis industry.
My interdisciplinary academic background gives me a bird’s eye view about the global challenges and potential solutions to emerging opportunities and challenges presented within different sectors of the industry.
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