Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2nd Annual New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference: Dr. Dustin Sulak

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

2018 Conference Expert Profile: Dr. Dustin Sulak 
Director of Integr8 Health, Cofounder of,
 & Medical Cannabis Expert

Dr. Sulak brings a lot of positive energy and credibility to cannabis medicine and education.

Dr. Dustin Sulak is the founder and director of Integr8 Health, a network of holistic health clinics specializing in cannabis therapeutics with offices in Maine and Massachusetts. His educational work is featured on, a free online patient educational information resource.

Dustin Sulak, D.O. is a licensed osteopathic physician. He is a practitioner and advocate of integrative medicine, the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative approaches to healthcare. He has long been fascinated by mind-body medicine, spirituality in healthcare, and natural approaches to promoting health and healing. He is a clinical hypnotherapist, Reiki Sensei, practitioner of chi kung and yoga, and has studied with numerous conventional and alternative healers and physicians.

Dr. Sulak holds the distinction of being a Diplomat of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. He lectures on medical cannabis and the endocannabinoid system nationally. He is an advocate for medical cannabis and has been impressed by the excellent clinical responses he's seen in medical cannabis patients. He is enthusiastic about educating patients on the optimal uses of medical cannabis, and educating healthcare providers who may be misinformed about this safe and incredibly effective medicine.

Dr. Sulak has assembled a team of like-minded healthcare practitioners to help provide high quality integrative medicine consultations and medical marijuana evaluations.

Dr. Sulak's Credentials:

Doctor of Osteopathy - Licensed General Practitioner
Reiki Sensei
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition
Dr. Sulak is a graduate of Indiana University and the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He has helped set the standard of care for the use of medical cannabis in a wide variety of conditions, including pain, spasticity, seizure disorders, PTSD, and more. Dr. Sulak lectures nationally to medical providers and patients on the appropriate use of medical cannabis, and continues to explore the therapeutic potential of this ancient yet emerging trend in medicine.

Medical cannabis works best with education. And through Dr. Sulak’s FREE programs, on you will learn:
1) How to find your optimal cannabis dosage
2) How to use cannabis therapeutically, without the high (if desired)
3) How to become more sensitive to cannabis
4) How to control unwanted side effects

Whether you’re new to cannabis therapy or an experienced user, if you’re serious about realizing the optimal health benefits of cannabis, will help you get there!
Healer’s mission is to empower people to live life to its fullest in great health. We achieve this through education, advocacy, and research. offers unmatched expertise in the correct use of medical cannabis, and through the educational programs on this site, provide the tools you need to get the most out of your cannabis therapy.

Developed by recognized cannabis expert Dr. Dustin Sulak, these valuable educational programs are based on science and clinical experience that’s successfully helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic pain, anxiety, spasticity and other health challenges.

A new kind of health care community.’s goal is to create a positive and supportive community of like-minded medical cannabis users. Healer is a transparent, trusted source of cannabis information, a respected authority on its safe and smart use.

Dr. Sulak launched this site and its programs with the essential basics of dosage, delivery methods, and the development of healthy new patterns in your life. In the coming months, we will continue to add more educational information as we endeavor to return cannabis to its place as the accepted therapeutic medicine it once was.

Cannabis News Journal Interview with Dr. Dustin Sulak:
Dr. Sulak also works in educating doctors and medical providers across the US with Cannabis Expertise, conducting Medical Cannabis Education Symposiums and providing comprehensive CME’s in the clinical education.

Interview Transcript:

Cannabis News Journal: In New Mexico we have a regulation limiting the potency of concentrates, does having such a regulation limiting cannabinoid potency prevent a patient from being allowed beneficial use of medical cannabis as a medical treatment?

Dr. Sulak: So my first comment, is how Cannabis is a very different medicine in terms of dosing, for example on one end of the spectrum I will see a Adult patient taking literally 1 mg of cannabinoids daily whether it be THC or CBD or a combination of both and that 1 mg with provide relief. And then I could see a subquesent patient taking 2000 mg dose without any adverse effects and providing good results. It’s important with a variety of different diagnosis for patients and different dosing needed that we have versatile treatment options where some are very low and some are very high potency.

And having a concentrate at 70% THC potency by weight, in my opinion is strong enough for any condition that requires a high does. Lets take for example someone with cancer who wanted to take 1400 mg of THC oil, that would be 2 grams of 70% Cannabis Oil and that’s something that could be done. In terms of public health whether it’s 70%, 80% or even up to 90% - it’s not going to make that much of a difference since the person requiring the high dose can achieve it. Nor does the restriction in place, limiting the potency, provide any protection to public health. 
And then for a extraction lab to produce a more potent product over 70% potency, they are having to use a technique(s) that will actually detract from the cannabis medicine. Take a distillate for example, in the distillation where the THC is being concentrated to get above 70% or 80% THC, that process is causing other beneficial cannabinoids to be removed from the final product. And we know from doing cancer studies on animal models for pain and inflammation, that the whole plant and all its components are always superior to the individual molecule medicines. Once we go above a 70% percent range that’s when we’re going in the direction of single molecule medicine and lose those other beneficial components from the whole plant. When we look at a ethanol concentrate like RSO, we really don’t see them above that 70%, its mainly butante and distillation processed concentrates that are going higher, and I think some can be done well but I’m not convinced that it’s a better quality of medicine.

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? (In today’s era of how legalization and financial profits of cannabis has spread, the distinction matters.)

Dr. Sulak: Yes, being here in Maine and knowing what has happened in Washington state and Oregon, I think the best thing for public health and the best thing for patients is decriminalization of cannabis. Not legalization and isolation. And now I realize policy makers don’t like to hear this because with decriminalization they lose the ability to tax for all that tax revenue. And I certainly understand that and think it can be a subsequent benefit in the future. So the reason I am such a strong proponent of decriminalization first is because it prevents the quagmire many state have found themselves in trying to create a regulatory framework that inevitable criminalizes some people who aren’t criminals. Legalization before decriminalization also has shown favoritism to larger or more well funded organizations at the expense of local developments and it most certainly jeopardizes the continuity of patient care.

Take for example Washington state, before legalization was passed, there was close to 1500 Collectives which served as access points for medical cannabis. Once the Washington state legalization law was passed and the medical cannabis program merged with it, those access points for medical cannabis where cut down to less than 300. And then think what a cut back in safe access points to medical cannabis can have on a large rural state like Washington is. Then pair that cutback with the new market demand for recreational cannabis and how recreational cannabis isn’t the same - the products are different thus it’s pushing patients out of the medical cannabis program.

I think for policy makers their priority should be, so it’s clear, should be removing the public health risks of prohibition of cannabis. Those public health risks- like putting people in jail for victimless crimes, jeopardizing people's access to financial aid for higher education, jeopardizing people’s employment, and exposing people to a underground market that would increase their potential to access more harmful drugs. All of those areas of harm reduction are all ones that communities can see a public health improvement in, through the decriminalization of cannabis. And all of those issues can be achieved with a logical approach to decriminalization. Then the lawmakers could follow that up with a regulatory scheme for adult use legalization along with keeping crucial aspects for the medical patients and medical cannabis program, like ensuring patients will be able to grow and produce their own medicine.

Cannabis News Journal: As a leading expert on medical cannabis, what are your thoughts on treating Substance Abuse Disorders with Medical Cannabis?

Dr. Sulak: There are several studies already done that looked at medical cannabis patients and their rate of substitution of using cannabis inplace of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, these studies all consistently show at a high rate of 40% to 60% range of that cannabis use in place of others like; alcohol, nicotine, opioids, and hard illicit drugs. So first of all- we know that there is potential for that substitution and that is unarguable. So then the next question is, we already know a lot of people are doing it through observation data models and there is not much research done for controlled studies with data on how much they are taking the cannabis - the process they are using. And that has the Substance Abuse medical community, rightfully, not embracing this yet since we don’t have that data or studies done for usage and their process. And then the real problem is- for the patients who are already doing this substitution method and how there is a real opportunity for the medical community for EDUCATION and in helping their patient do it in the safest and most effective way. The aspect of education behooves the addiction and behavioral health medicine community, for example, when THC is inhaled it has a a rewarding effect which means it triggers pleasure centers in the brain and people with addiction know they need to be very careful in experiencing a strong rewarding effect because it can cause a relapse and trigger them to seek out more pleasurable experiences. But that risk factor isn’t only limited to THC; potato chips could be a risk, pornography could be a risk, a soft drink with a lot of sugar and caffeine could be a risk - there’s a lot of things that can trigger those pleasure centers associated with addiction.

Now with the right information, the person with a substance abuse disorder would be able to realize that using medical cannabis products that is not inhaled, but rather dosed sublingually (orally under the tongue) because it then has a slower onset along with then including CBD with the THC will further reduce the rewarding effects to little if nothing at all. And that then makes the risk for use and abuse extremely low. And that brings us back to the educational component so that the patient knows the safest way for them to use medical cannabis.

Cannabis News Journal: Can you speak to the importance for the medical cannabis patient to discuss their medical cannabis use with their primary care physician and medical providers, since many patients are still certified for medical cannabis use through separate clinics and many of them do not follow their patients us? Especially for inclusion of more Seniors and the elderly population so they can benefit from medical cannabis.

Dr. Sulak: It’s always best to have the doctor or medical provider who has issued the medical cannabis certification to be actively involved in the ongoing care of the patient. This means recommending a dosing regimen, following up with the patient on the effectiveness of their cannabis use and making necessary changes.

This is all basic medicine, as then they would want to communicate then with the primary care physician if they are not already, and anyone else involved in their medical care.
Essentially for medical cannabis to work right, it is unfair for the new patients to have to try to figure this out on their on, rely on friends, family or even a budtender - as they might be the easiest source but this is where the importance of the cannabis clinician and medical professionals come in.

Most seniors take prescription drugs on a daily basis. The “side effects” of cannabis are insignificant in comparison to the side effects of many prescription drugs, and not a single person has ever died from a cannabis overdose. An ongoing 30-year study found that a person weighing 140 pounds would have to consume over 4 pounds of cannabis in one sitting to reach toxic levels, and that still would not be a fatal dosage. The powerful antioxidant effects of cannabis can provide relief for many disorders including liver inflammation from Hepatitis C, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other serious medical conditions that all involve inflammation and oxidative damage.

A major complaint of seniors regarding their daily medications is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.” Cannabis and its healing properties target various conditions such as inflamed joints, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive disorders, constipation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive awareness, and more cannabis has the potential for accentuating the effect of many commonly prescribed drugs. For example, opiate based painkillers are typically enhanced when cannabis is used concurrently, often resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical medicines and safer use of opioids for seniors.

One of the most dangerous health risks among senior citizens is the loss of appetite, leading to weight loss. Cannabis has been extremely successful in alleviating nausea and as an appetite stimulant. That being said, A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds an intriguing connection between cannabis use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke cannabis at least three times a week, compared with those who don’t use cannabis at all.

Cannabis News Journal: In the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, there is no CME requirement in place for medical providers recommending medical cannabis nor is there any state requirement for educational and training standards for dispensary staff.

Dr. Sulak: I think that is very important for state medical cannabis programs to have training standards and educational standards like CME requirements in place for medical providers, states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Maryland, Illinois and Minnesota all have that CME requirement. And I am personally a provider of CME course for medical providers in Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania through a company called Cannabis Expertise. We conduct both Medical Cannabis Education Symposiums and host online webinars.

Cannabis Expertise offers courses and symposiums across the US, with Nationally accredited AMA, AOA, ACPE, ANCC and APRN credits available. We provide 2, 4, 8 or 18 hour live trainings. We are approved education provider for the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota; enabling healthcare providers in those states to meet state requirements and have a good knowledge base to use in their practices.

These courses provide physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses and advanced practice nurses medical and scientific information on cannabis as a medicine. This knowledge allows the healthcare professionals to have the knowledge to talk with patients and caregivers about the pros and cons of cannabis as a treatment.

Cannabis News Journal: Dr. Dustin Sulak will be presenting, “Cannabis: A Solution To The Opioid Epidemic?”, in Albuquerque on Sunday, March 4th 2018 at the 2nd Annual New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference presented by Verdes Foundation.

Visit Dr. Dustin Sulak's
Medical Cannabis Patient Education
Medical Cannabis Clinical Education

Integr8 Health

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

NM Medical Cannabis Conference
Integr8 Health
Dr. Dustin Sulak