HomeCannabis Industry InterviewsDr. Safiya Lyn: Integrative Medical Cannabis Expert & Emergency Medicine Physician

Dr. Safiya Lyn: Integrative Medical Cannabis Expert & Emergency Medicine Physician

With over eight years of experience in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Safiya Lyn-Lassiter, @askdrlyn.com educates the South Florida community on the multiple benefits of cannabis as a medical treatment for chronic pain, mental illness, seizure, and inflammation. Beyond engaging patients by providing research-supported data, Dr. Lyn-Lassiter assists them in the medical cannabis card application process in Florida.

In 2015, Dr. Lyn-Lassiter joined the growing debate over medicinal marijuana (MMJ) use among Florida residents. She quickly identified an information gap–the community needed to broaden its understanding of cannabis’ medicinal properties. As a result, she created the company Ask Doctor Lyn and its user-friendly website to identify, evaluate, and recommend MMJ to qualifying patients.

Her medical knowledge, progressive approach to pain management, and digital media presence distinguish her as one of the national leading voices for medicinal cannabis policy reform.

A recipient of the 2017 “America’s Best in Medicine” award presented by the American Health Council, Dr. Lyn-Lassiter’s community outreach work is an integral part of her commitment to providing access to those who need it most.

Her patience, reliability, and high level of care and concern for the underrepresented drive her work as faculty at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine where she teaches first-year medical students. Dr. Lyn-Lassiter was born in New York City to Jamaican parents.

She graduated with honors from Trinity University (DC) with a Bachelor of Science and Meharry Medical College with a degree in Medicine; Dr. Lyn-Lassiter completed her postgraduate emergency medicine training at Morristown Medical Center, a Level I trauma center in New Jersey. Read on below as we learn more about Dr. Lyn and her passion for educating people on medical cannabis. She also discusses the top 5 cannabis myths, ailments that MMJ helps manage, educational cannabis websites, and her hopes for cannabis in the future.

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Ganjly: What are the common 5 MMJ myths?

Dr. Safiya Lyn: 1.“Legalizing medical cannabis will lead to an increase in teen use” – Cannabis use amongst the youth does not increase after states enact legalization for medical or recreational programs according to current research.  Studies report that legalizing and regulating cannabis does not result in an increased rate of use among teens. Teen consumption after legalization has actually declined.

2. “All CBD products are the same quality” – CBD products come in 3 forms: Full-spectrum which has all the components of the plant including up to 0.3% THC, Broad-spectrum CBD has all the components of the plant except THC, and CBD isolate is pure CBD with no other compounds from the cannabis plant.

3. “Cannabis causes cancer” – Cannabis is a highly effective agent for cancer patients and the side effects of cancer treatment include suppressing nausea/vomiting, decreasing pain, stimulating appetite, and weight gain.

4. “The best way to ingest cannabis is to smoke it” – The best way to ingest cannabis is to do it in a fashion that has the greatest efficacy for the particular ailment you are trying to manage. Once you identify how you intend to use medical cannabis, your physician should develop a customized treatment plan to accomplish your goals. For example, delivery methods like inhalation (flower and vape) and tinctures have a faster onset of action because they go directly into the bloodstream versus edibles or oral ingestion which provide more prolonged relief since it is processed through the gut system.

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5. “Medical cannabis is a “gateway” to other drug use” – The theory that medical cannabis is a gateway to “harder” drugs is still controversial. The prevalence of drug use is impossible to measure. There is no way of knowing if marijuana and using other drugs like heroin, opiates, or cocaine are even related. Most importantly, you should be aware of preventing addiction.


 

Ganjly: What are the Top 5 ailments that MMJ helps manage?

Dr. Lyn: The top 5 ailments that medical cannabis can help manage include: chronic pain control, mental health diseases (ex: anxiety, PTSD, depression, and insomnia disorders), cancer treatment and chemotherapy side effects, seizures/epilepsy, and glaucoma.


 

Ganjly: What are your thoughts on psychedelics for medical use?

Dr. Lyn: As integrative medical cannabis and emergency medicine physician, I believe in the benefits of psychedelics. Some psychedelic drugs have been shown to be a promising therapy for treatment-resistant conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  They appear to work by encouraging the growth of new connections between neurons in the brain.  From anxiety to addiction, psychedelics offer new HOPE for people with mental disorders. Psychedelics, also known as hallucinogens, can affect a person’s mind by altering perceptions, moods, and thoughts. There’s a lot of potential for psychedelics in the realm of mental health and hopefully and medical community will be more open to its benefits.


 

Ganjly: What websites can you recommend for our readers who want to see data on the latest cannabis research and findings?

Dr. Lyn: https://newfrontierdata.com Allows you to engage with the intelligence that is defining the cannabis industry.

https://norml.orgNORML mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults and serve as an advocate for consumers to ensure they have access to quality marijuana that is safe, convenient, and affordable.

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https://www.leafly.com – Leafly is a destination to discover cannabis products and order them from licensed,  legal retailers. 

https://weedmaps.com – Weedmaps is a community connecting cannabis consumers, patients, retailers, doctors, and brands since 2008.

Check your state-specific government cannabis website to be familiar with the laws in your state since they are variable.


 

Ganjly: What would you wish to see happen in the cannabis industry 5 years from now?

Dr. Lyn: The cannabis industry took a hit in 2022, but it is estimated to reach over $32 billion by the end of 2023.  My predictions for the industry over the next 5 years include:

-Cannabis legislation is determined on a state-by-state basis. I hope to see a legal cannabis program in every state.

-The stigma of being a “weed smoker” will disappear and the community will advocate for cannabis as medicine.

-Mainstream media representation for cannabis.

-Rescheduling cannabis from the Schedule 1 drug list, which will improve scientific research on the efficacy of cannabis as a medical treatment.

-The framework of cannabis will be reclassified to think less about strains, Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid; but more about accurate correlation to the evidenced-based effects and indications for cannabis.

-Micro-dosing cannabis will become the preferred performance, productivity, and wellness choice for professionals including pro sports leagues instead of conventional pharmaceuticals.


Thank you so much, Dr. Lyn, for taking the time to do the interview. We really appreciate the knowledge you shared with us.

To know more about her, check out her Instagram or go to her website www.askdoctorlyn.com



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