Monday, February 26, 2018

2nd Annual New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference: Bonni Goldstein, M.D.

Presented by The Verdes Foundation at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
Sunday, March 4, 2018 10 am – 5 pm

Credit: Verdes 
2018 Conference Expert Profile: Bonni Goldstein, M.D. 
- Healer, Author, and Medical Cannabis Expert

Nine years ago Dr. Bonni Goldstein took a leave of absence from practicing as a pediatric emergency medicine doctor. During her break she researched medical cannabis for a friend who had cancer and “was surprised to learn that there were a number of studies on the subject and researchers had discovered the endocannabinoid system, a major system in our bodies that wasn’t part of my medical school or residency curriculum. Intrigued, I started working in a cannabis clinician’s office in Long Beach, California. It was really eye opening and I haven’t looked back since,” said Goldstein, who became an author last fall when her book “Cannabis Revealed” was published.

It is conferences just like this one in Albuquerque, where Dr. Goldstein started to educate herself about cannabis. In a interview with Elevate Nevada, Dr. Goldstein goes on to say; “I went to a few conferences and the internet is chock full of information. Anybody and everybody can go on Google Scholar and type in cannabinoid receptor or cannabis therapy and it lists all the scientific articles. You can educate yourself, you don’t need to have access to a medical library to find the studies. They are right there on the internet. There’s a huge amount of research coming out of other countries, they have restrictions but they are allowing their scientists to do research. Our Schedule 1 status in the U.S. prohibits us from doing research on the benefits of cannabis. Just recently the DEA did say they were going to open up cannabis to be researched. However, there are still a fair amount of legal barriers to research. You have to do a ton of paperwork and jump through 10 hoops in order to get access to cannabis.”

A native of New Jersey, Dr. Bonni Goldstein received her undergraduate education at Rutgers College. She pursued her medical degree at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her post-doctoral education included internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Goldstein also served as Chief Resident at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She was a Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics at USC School of Medicine in Los Angeles, Emergency Transport Attending Physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Emergency Medicine Attending Physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

In 2008, Dr. Goldstein developed an interest in the science of medical cannabis after witnessing its beneficial effects in an ill friend. Since then she has been evaluating both adult and pediatric patients for use of medical cannabis. Dr. Goldstein has given numerous lectures to many patient support programs, including the Cancer Support Community, Southern California Prosthetics, and Pediatric Epilepsy. She has also lectured at CannaMed 2016 at Harvard University, United in Compassion Medical Cannabis Symposium in Sydney, Australia, Patients Out of Time 2015, and United Patients Group Conference 2016.

She is currently the Medical Director of Canna-Centers, a California-based medical practice devoted to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious and chronic medical conditions. She is a Medical Consultant to She is a Member of the International Association of Cannabis as Medicine, the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

She has a special interest in treating children with intractable epilepsy, autism, and advanced cancers, as well as adults with chronic pain, autoimmune illnesses and other endocannabinoid deficiency disorders. Dr. Goldstein recently authored the book “Cannabis Revealed: How the world’s most misunderstood plant is treating everything from chronic pain to epilepsy.”

Cannabis News Journal Interview with Bonni Goldstein, M.D.
As we continue our conversation on the 2nd Annual New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference, we are joined by Dr. Goldstein who’s groundbreaking work really has been leading the way with cutting edge clinical input for medical cannabis.

Interview Transcript

Cannabis News Journal: Why are hospitals in legal medical cannabis states being so slow to develop policies on inpatient use, like the Minnesota Hospital Association has already done?

Dr. Goldstein: The federal illegality, namely the categorization of cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, is likely the main reason why hospitals are reluctant to develop policies allowing patients to use cannabis while in hospital. Additionally, the vast majority of physicians, nurses and pharmacists are taught that cannabis is a drug of abuse. Undoing this propaganda is very difficult, especially when we still have healthcare professionals that are unaware and uneducated about the endocannabinoid system and its importance in human health. I was asked last year to speak to a large group of HMO physicians and the attorney for the HMO warned against my talk, claiming that “physicians careers will be ruined as they might be federally prosecuted for recommending or discussing cannabis with patients.” This is incorrect as there is a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that protects physicians and allows us to discuss cannabis medicine with their patients without fear of prosecution. It is this ongoing misinformation that continues the stigma against medical cannabis.

Cannabis News Journal: So how do you start that conversation about medical cannabis with your physician or medical provider in a way that sets the stage for an open, meaningful exchange?

Dr. Goldstein: I encourage patients to ask their physician about their professional opinion of medical cannabis. If the physician is adamantly against cannabis, the patient can choose whether or not they want to continue the conversation based on their comfort level. If the physician is neutral or positive, the conversation can continue openly. Either way, I highly recommend that patients print out a educational document, such as the "Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System" by Ethan Russo, MD, and share it in a non-confrontational way with their physicians. (

Education is the key! One other very important thing - if you are going to tell your doctor that you use medical cannabis, you should say “I medicate with medical cannabis because it helps my (condition)." I advise against using slang terms such as "pot" or “weed.” Elevating the conversation is likely to result in a non-judgmental conversation for both parties.

Cannabis News Journal:
Can you explain the importance for the medical cannabis patient to discuss their medical cannabis use with their primary care physician?

Dr. Goldstein: Trust and honesty are the core of a good relationship between a patient and his/her physician. In order to provide good care that follows the oath of “do no harm,” physicians need to know about all of a patient’s medications and supplements, including cannabis. Although cannabis is known to have an excellent safety profile, drug interactions can occur and unwanted consequences can be avoided when the physician is aware of use.

Cannabis News Journal: As more and more states legalize cannabis for recreational use and many of these states have pre-existing medical cannabis programs, like New Mexico; what would you say to policy makers who are letting the debate surrounding legalization of cannabis for recreational use obscure the science and policy regarding the medical use of cannabis?

Dr. Goldstein: As a physician, recreational use is not my focus. But again, I must reiterate that education is the key for both adult recreational use and medical use. If policy makers are educated about the medical indications and the safety of cannabis, they will be able to develop common sense policies that work for both medical and recreational use. Continuing to believe “Reefer Madness” propaganda is not helpful and in the long run harms our society.

Cannabis News Journal: Is there a difference between recreational and medical cannabis? (In today’s era of how legalization and financial profits of cannabis has spread, the distinction matters.)

Dr. Goldstein: Remember that the cannabinoids in the plant mimic the cannabinoids that our healthy cells make to maintain homeostasis of many of our physiologic processes. I argue that those who use recreational cannabis are often medicating, they just may not be aware of it.
The vast majority of recreational users do not become dependent on cannabis (according to recent research - link below - about 9% of recreational cannabis users are dependent versus 67.5% for nicotine users, 22.7% for alcohol users, and 20.9% for cocaine users). Contrary to common belief, most people who use cannabis, whether recreationally or medically, do not have problems associated with its use.
Lopez-Quintero, Catalina, et al. "Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)." Drug & Alcohol Dependence 115.1 (2011): 120-130.

Cannabis News Journal greatly appreciates Dr. Goldstein for taking time from her very busy schedule to do the this interview for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Community.

Learn more from Dr. Goldstein and Canna-Centers below.  

Dr. Goldstein’s Patient Resources from Canna-Centers:


Credit: Canna-Centers

Cannabis Treatment of the Pediatric Patient I have been a pediatrician for 25 years and a medical cannabis specialist for the last nine years, assisting thousands of adults and children with serious medical conditions in using cannabis treatment. I have evaluated hundreds of children with severe epilepsy, autism, and cancer and have seen many obtain an incredible improvement in their quality of life with cannabis medicine.

Download Resource Here



Learn the effects of THC vs CBD, understand CBD:THC ratios, decide how you want to dose, explore dosing pros and cons, and be aware of precautions when dosing. This is a must-have guide for any new medical cannabis patient.

Download Resource Here



Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a major focus of research due to its tremendous medicinal value and non-psychoactive properties. Learn about this amazing chemical, its effects and treatments, and discover what types of CBD products are on the market.

Download Resource Here

Visit Dr.Goldstein’s Website Here


Don’t forget to bring the essentials for taking notes: Pens, Pencils, Paper, Notebook, Clipboard or Laptop.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 10 am – 5 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center - Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts

Purchase Tickets Here Or Call Verdes Foundation at (505) 280-2814

R. Greenleaf also has a limited number of tickets at (505) 217-9101

On Sunday March 4th :Registration 10:00 am; Conference 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Lunch Break 1:00 pm. You can add a boxed lunch option when your purchase your ticket or enjoy lunch on your own.

Presented by Bonni Goldstein, M.D.

Presented by Debra Kimless, M.D.

Presented by Mara Gordon

Presented by Dr. Dustin Sulak

Project CBD
NM Cannabis Conference