Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist who has been doing research related to cannabinoids for many years. He was the Medical Director of a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system and then Senior Medical Advisor to another company researching the use of cannabinoids for cancer pain and intractable epilepsy.
Dr. Russo is a former president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines.
He has written or edited seven books, many book chapters, and more than fifty scientific articles. His publications have focused mainly on cannabis and medicinal herbs.
He has lectured about these topics all over the world.
Dr. Russo is currently the Director of Research and Development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in Prague, Czech Republic.
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MacCallum CA, Russo EB. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing. Eur J Intern Med. 2018 Jan 4. pii: S0953-6205(18)30004-9. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 29307505.
Walsh Z, Gonzalez R, Crosby K, S Thiessen M, Carroll C, Bonn-Miller MO. Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review. Clin Psychol Rev. 2017 Feb;51:15-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 27816801.
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Joshua Green says
I am not sure I trust what Dr. Russo is saying or his message that the mainstream is simply ignorant of the data. The main paper he touts has a disclosure that the primary author is involved in clinical trials for a company that produces medical cannabis. The figure Dr. Russo cites about psychosis (5000 people must abstain to prevent one psychosis) does not seem to square with literature suggesting a two-fold relative risk in psychosis for young people (age 14-24) who use marjuana persistently (BMJ 2011;342:d738). Addictionally, there are concerns about last effects on executive function with long-term use. I will also have to look at the paper Dr. Goldman recomends for comparison.
Ryan Baxter says
Thank you so much for this and all you do Dr Mago. This has been very informative and I am very happy to see you had a true expert in the field to consult with and interview. I work with a diverse population of individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, seizure disorders and psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. In this population, I am sad to say, there isn’t much help in the realm of treatment. These individuals often suffer from parkinsonian sx along with significant polypharmacy. My hope is that the future will allow for the use of these substances to help offset the burden brought upon by polypharmacy and the combination of longstanding antipsychotic treatment.
Marina Goldman says
Thank you for this very informative interview. Dr. Ethan Russo is a very experienced physician and scientist in the field of Cannabis however some of his statements contradict the finding of the psychiatric field including the DSM5 committee which agreed that Cannabis Use Disorder and Cannabis Withdrawal are both real and diagnosable conditions. As it is always good to hear both side of the story, I have one suggestion. Can you post a link to the The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, National Academy of Sciences 2017? This was a review compiled by over a dozen experts in the field and represents consensus opinion from multiple disciplines of the current data on cannabis use for medical conditions.
Rajnish Mago, MD says
Thanks, Dr. Goldman. That report can be read online at https://www.nap.edu/read/24625/chapter/1. It can also be downloaded as a free PDF at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24625/the-health-effects-of-cannabis-and-cannabinoids-the-current-state