Cannabis: Separating the Science from the Hype | Mara Gordon | TEDxPaloAlto

NOTE FROM TED: While some viewers might find advice provided in this talk to be helpful as a complementary approach, please do not look to this talk for medical advice. We've flagged this talk for falling outside TEDx's content guidelines because the speaker makes uncorroborated claims about the use of cannabis. This talk only represents the speaker’s personal understanding of and business with cannabis. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give organizers are described in more detail here:

Mara Gordon is the co-founder of Aunt Zelda's™, The Oil Plant, Calla Spring Wellness, and Zelda Therapeutics. She specializes in the development of cannabis treatment protocols for seriously ill patients in California and is dedicated to bringing about change in the healthcare system.

Prior to Aunt Zelda’s, Gordon worked as a process engineer, helping Fortune 500 companies create intelligent software. This experience has enabled her to take a detailed and scientific approach to medical cannabis.

Gordon has transformed the lives of thousands of patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including chronic pain, autoimmune conditions and multiple forms of cancer. Her pioneering work in the field of medical cannabis has been chronicled in films such as The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed, and the award-winning documentary Weed the People.

Gordon is an outspoken and highly-respected advocate for medical cannabis, reshaping perceptions and leading an industry-wide revolution. She has presented at numerous medical conferences around the globe and holds board positions with Zelda Therapeutics, Gaby, and North Bay Credit Union, in addition to numerous advisory boards.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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Grateful to see this kind of content, education is key!

Shoutout East Palo Alto

See Demystifying the endocannabinoid system TED talk, also. The THC of cannabis atica/marijuana unlike the approx. 3% found in cannabis sativa/hemp/cbd is psycho active and has detrimental effects in the brain research has shown. There is a reason why it has been illegal for years. She has clearly developed a dependancy here. Her information is biased at this point. I sympathize with her pain. However, she is not a researcher or a physician.

Cannabis CANNOT produce, NOR synthesize THC. Forget about the brain-washing and mind-control from the money grabbers. Do your own research then ADD IT UP. Why on earth would you need to BURN the DRIED plant material...IF it "contained" - THC?

Cannabis IS Food 1st.

**Can Consuming high potency cannabis strains of today regularly such as 500-1000 mg THC edibles cause mental illness, and have there been any long term studies done on this**

did she really say shed argue that THC is more medicinal than CBD? lol and she should look into cannabis sleep studies.. tldr: dont chief b4 bed folks

Thank yo and so lucky you are who have this luxury. Here in Norway, you cannot say the word cannabis, immediately they think either you are an edict or a smuggler. I have of course the opportunity to buy cannabis from the smugglers and that costs as much the medical, if the state prescribes will cost. However don't do that. I don't but illegal cannabis simply because what this lady said about dosage. I only trust when a specialist find out the right dosage for my sleeping problem. I look at cannabis as a medicine.

The National Academy of Medicine did a study of marijuana and in 2017 reported the following : "Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses."

You make me proud to be a woman!

Just smoke it..

True this... "if you want someone to take something seriously, treat it seriously."

This lady is on a Netflix documentary called Weed The People, I encourage you to watch...

Its good that you are an advocate for cannabis but i gotta say that your limit knowledge and research does not make you a scientist and as such should not be attempting to lecture others. Your information should be obtained from published and peer reviewed scientific papers from various sites, such as: ScienceDirect, Jstor, and GoogleScholar


All the potheads talking about big pharma as if the the cannabis industry is really that different.

Finally it’s legal. I was an alcoholic for 30 years. Now I’m a pothead. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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We love sharing content on all things Cannabis. Lives are changing. One recovery at a time.

I am sorry lady but you don't know what you are talking about, there is no way a doctor can know how much you need only you can judge how much medicine you need when it comes to cannabis. she makes me think that she is a government plant, to try to talk people out of using THC in favor of CBD. they would have you believe that cannabis has 2 main ingredients THC and CBD, but that's not true there are over 140 canibinoids
in THC and CBD is just one of them so don't let them con you into thinking you can cure cancer with just CBD because it just won't happen!. you need THC to cure cancer!!!, and I am proof of that!. CBD is great for muscle spasms and seizures and to help you sleep, but if you plan to treat cancer please don't just use CBD oil as it won't do the job on its own. you need all of the compounds in cannabis, if you want to beat cancer! I believe that I have cured my multiple myeloma just by smoking these last 6 years, if my next blood test doesn't show the enzyme indicator then I will be cured!.

well if the government had not wasted the last one hundred years, we could have known everything about it by now!. and I can say for sure that it fights multiple myeloma, because the enzyme indicator for multiple myeloma was missing from my last test after having the disease for 6 years!.

Good job! 👍 👌

big up the waker backers!!!!!!

Who'll pay for the research on a medicine that you can't patent?

So what I learned from this lady's presentation is that weed is the devil's lettuce, and should be banned.

Triple Chem is a fantastic start.

It's so very itself.

And how about the big greedy corporate marijuana growers that are spraying the product with pesticides and chemicals to enhance the effects and they’re getting away with it and we are all being exposed to it

Watch all the drugo's come out to say there's nothing wrong with weed, I've had to work with the Psychotic people from it's effects.

We do need more research on it! Just keep big phyma from taking over the industry!!! They love to come in and take over and make a fake pill instead of using the actual plant!!! Lab made pills are what's killing innocent people!!!

I suffer from with chronic pain and been through it all to, I want to go green but I know insurance probably won't cover it and I can't afford it with what little I get on disability. I'm like so over living in pain all the time, I'm 56 and walk and live like a 90 year old lady.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Borrowed but sounds true.

Excellent talk with a lot of useful information. Thank you for uploading.

awesome info cheers

Watch "Weed the People" on Netflix. This drug makes dinner cancer "commit suicide".

Our system doesn't want you to be healthy. If you're healthy, someone isn't making money on you misery. Always remember that.

First it's called weed.....

meanwhile there's 2,000 mg rice crispy treats lmfao

It was an alright talk but someone like Kevin Jodrey whos been in it for 30+ years and has been pushing and doing the research is a much better source of information, that man knows almost everything thats known about the plant.

You don't need an engineering degree to listen to what your body tells you. Vap .2 grams of flower and then raise or lower the amount based on how you feel.

The hexagon structure at the atomic level of elements is so the universal fields can move through it without the fields clashing(Amino acids).

Wouldn't that be mol/ml?

Shout out to the rice krispy treats!

In pharmacy, 1 ml = 20 drops

I’d really like to know exactly how she integrated THC dosing into the tapering process for getting off of opiates.

While it indeed does help relieve pain drastically and also can mildly alleviate some withdrawal symptoms, it doesn’t just replace opiates when you’re a daily user with a tolerance. But I’d be very interested to know the best way to use cannabis while also tapering from painkillers

The government just put out infinite today discrediting cannabis and its uses taking it one step further to equate it with developing psychosis and schizophrenia. Will the misinformation continue? We all know that the government profits off of outlawing cannabis through fines, court programs, and imprisonment, but what can we as the people do to combat this misinformation. Currently, as in right this second, people with medical licenses are traveling the United States and in the states where it is illegal they are being injustly imprisoned and heavily fined for a medicine capable of healing and relieving pain from numerous diseases.


This is what happens when nerds start to use reefer

💟Beautiful and More!‼️☮️
Yes fix’s fast

Cannabis? Good.

Hype? For media morons.

Want to make a real difference, stop commenting and file a lawsuit

I know a good amount on this subject but we need to make a change society blinds people from the real truths and people don’t even realize how much of sheep they are something needs to change

Brilliant woman

This is a really good talk and I agree that there is SO much study and refinement needed to effectively address the myriad medical problems, but it haunts my sense of dread that it will be completely usurped and bastardized by Big Pharma. That corporate interests will hurl it into the ruination of the FDA who will demand that it be synthesized (for our protection) and rendered useless as anything but a symptom masker.
We adamant purists must be ever so vigilant as this issue progresses.

You should have just bought dabs and put them on brownies , bud bud and not even smoke it

Mara, your clinical methodology and conclusions are flawed. I'm not convinced marijuana is medicinal. Too many of my friends who smoke it recreationally have psychological and financial problems because they're too stoned or high to care or seek solutions.
Imo, smoking marijuana is neither medicinal nor marijuana, is 500x more carcinogenic than cigarettes, causes short term memory loss in adolescents and upper respiratory deterioration and complications in
cardiopulmonary sufferers.
Try talking logically with potheads, however, is like talking to a brick wall. They love to get high and not care about the horrific
side effects. There's a reason why it's called dope and users are called dopers.
If you're not a doctor, why are you giving medical advice based on your unorthodox trials? Did you ever try the feldenkrais method to alleviate your back pain? Most chronic back pain is due to poor habitual behavioral and alignment patterns which the fekdenkrais method alleviates through neuromuscular reeducation.
Keep popping those pills and smoking that dope, though, the western and Amerikkkan way.
From such a shondah I've never heard. Smh.

The truth prevails alone. The lies about Cannabis will not be forgotten. Edit: And let be clear about this, the prohibition of Cannabis is not acceptable.

Shes definitely showing the start of great information, watch time and testing show great results. Thankfully they're finally allowing medical testing with cannabinoids that's been needed for along time.

I think Charlotte Figi would disagree that CBD has no medicinal effect but on a whole i agree

I hart vajayjay two

Still illegal in my state :(


Use Rick Simpson oil

I "Liked," this and once I reached the part where you misinformed everyone with your "CBD," remark, I was forced to change that like to an "Unlike." I realize my comment and opinion of your statement will not deter you from having a good day. Although, coming from a Florist/Grower of 137 different medical marijuana strains? If not for "CBD?" Most people would not continue using this plant. If not for CBD, a five year old little girl in Colorado would still be facing up to 5,000 seizures a year. A grandfather suffering from extreme Parkinson's disease wouldn't be able to feed himself, or, sign birthday cards for his grandchildren. If not for CBD, the unwanted effects such as paranoia, headaches, nervousness, anxiety, depression, ect. which is caused by THC, would turn anyone away from this plant.

This was one of the best talks regarding cannabis I've heard done on a public stage. Of course, there are a few things I might contend, I do agree with nearly everything she said.

'6:58-7:10 = 'CBD isn't of much value' ....Seriously?

Your welcome - Balkh Province, Afghanistan (= origin of one the natural strains of cannabis, primary the medical versions)

Wonderful talk. Thank you.

My entire immediate family suffers from chronic pain; I've had chronic migraines since I was 12, my mom has degenerative disc disease, and my dad's suffered with neck problems for decades. My dad's also had problems with alcoholism and used it for years when marijuana was illegal. When it became legal here he stopped drinking, started smoking again, and was able to get off his pain meds. My mom wrote this off as "him just wanting to get high," but as more and more information has come out about the medical benefits of cannabis I decided to look into it myself. I refused to smoke anything, but one day my dad bought some edibles that I tried. I got the best sleep of my life that night and was able to go much longer without my morphine that I've been on for over a decade.

My mom's been super reluctant to try it because of a bad experience she had when she was young, so I've been trying to research as much as I can to find something to help her, and it's been super frustrating how little scientific, medical information there is, how you're pretty much forced to rely on word-of-mouth from "budtenders" or what people online say; and then you read stuff like "sativa and indica are largely meaningless/unscientific distinctions" or "plants labeled the same thing are often completely different chemically," or you just see how poorly stuff is labeled at dispensaries, often with little more information than the THC content... it's been super frustrating, especially because my mom's on more medication than my dad and I combined, and all we can do is blindly guess at what might help, and doing this with someone who's extremely reluctant to try it to start with. We desperately need scientific/medical testing of the kind suggested here.

This. This is how you science. ✌🏼

Just get blazed man

I am a neuropharmacologist and I studied the cannabinoid receptor. Enjoyed your lecture, Ms. Gordon.

Theres definitely more than just two terpenes in cannabis, we've identified
around 180 terpenes in the plant..

The labeling is still tiny and at times confusing. It’s more a trail and error and self education than a prescription. Yet, it’s quite amazing how well it deals with inflammation. If we went into the dispensary and said I need a #3 (like we are at McDonalds), and those offerings are provided, then it would be easier for many. We also need is insurance coverage. The cost to buy a generic pain medication may be $10 to $50 a bottle for a month. Cannabis mutes the need for all but the most severe of pain yet costs $12 to $15 a day. I will say the cannabis is a far better way to go on pain in lieu of opioids. After 5 spine surgeries my pain doctor pushed me to cannabis and I finally gave in. I was sold on it in one day how well it works using squeeze out RSO oils. Cut Opioid use immediately to be used for those more extreme moments.

Just so people know, cannabis doesn't work for everyone. I know a lot about cannabis and have tried numerous different types but it doesn't do anything positive for me. The feeling is rather unpleasant and it sadly doesn't kill pain for me. The only thing that does is opioids which believe it or not are very difficult for many people to get. I'm one of those people. Haven't been able to get a prescription for any pain killers for about 5 years despite plenty of documentation that my pain is legit. Currently in the US we somehow managed to have a over-prescribed and under-prescribed problem at the same time. I strongly support cannabis because it is amazing for a ton of people but it's not a miracle drug for everyone.

Doctors are the new politicians

Uh nothing new here. Old info.

There is ZERO science in this video. Gimmie numbers. Dates. This is just the story about a lady who finally tried weed.

If you don't need it don't do it.

This video once again shows how there is simply a huge lack of drug education. Plants are full of chemicals that have pharmaceutical properties? Doses need to be measured accurately? Well duh.

The biggest struggle I have is that living in NY using marijuana makes me feel like a criminal. It relieves all my lower back pain so I can work 50 hours a week. It relieves all my inflammation in my knees and ankles from years of sports and injuries so I can work around my home. Stereotypes are so terrible these days. I have a nice home and a nice job and I'm super responsible I just like to toke up with so many reasons including the health benefits. Physical and mental health benefits.

Way over thinking this...and doctors don't know what is best for you.

Every person responds differently to strains, but there is an average.

So, look up strain reviews for what you are seeking help with; depression, pain, sleep, etc..

Then you try the strains that seem ideal for you and you rate how well they work FOR YOU.

Then you figure out how much you need through trial and error at home on a day off or after work, just in case you have too much, because some strains creep up on you and edibles (consumed / activated THC) especially do this... so read how to handle edibles to avoid anxiety fueled trips / bad trips.

Then you try different methods of consumption until you have solutions that work for YOU and your lifestyle.

Fun fact, no one has died due to THC overdose from cannabis in all recorded human history.
It's literally easier to overdose on air, water or food...
You will die from the smoke or dehydration before you die of THC...and before either of those you will pass out preventing you from actually dying from it.

If you have certain medical conditions or concerns, then you should involve a doctor, but for most people it's a waste of time and money to pay someone to PRETEND they know what is best for you as a unique person.

Be safe and do your research.

god bless you lady

The United states government has a patent on medical marijuana. Hypocrisy at its highest level.

How to watch this video:
1-Eat a 10mg edible
2-Wait 40mn
3-Make popcorn
4-Watch video

This is good work. However, all that you really need to do is have a buff with your friend in that little pink pipe. You'll find out really quick how much is too much and you will self regulate your own dosage.

The lack of knowledge of effective cannabis medication is the biggest problem the industry faces. Thank you so very much for putting this out here, much respect.

You have to do the science first...

Americans have a regulated market for Marijuana? Man, I'm so jealous. ..... Let's invade the Usa!

it allows me to put things through a different filter. I'm not a chronically ill person I'm a high person. Small mental wins.
I have diverticulum and find it hard to eat at all sometimes and I get migraines when I don't eat.
I've had maybe 10 migraines in 10 years since taking cannabis and i've gained 5KG since 2016-2019 after losing 11KG from 2012-15.

Ok thats enough 3:20 in and i cant take anymore...btw are you from the usa?

Just because something is lab tested doesn’t mean it’s actually giving you factual information vice has done a piece about the manipulation of numbers that are suppose to be advertised as THC%as low as half the amount on the label

this acceptance of cannabis has been way too long ( like a thosand years!) but if your just doing it for recreation, it's kinda just a waste of time( life) atleasr it has been for me.lsd is much more of a holy sacrement and is facing the same tragic lies that herb once did! ACID offers so much more, whether it's personal insight or simply helping to understand another person's plight. it could/would change the world but the powers that be like the way their running it now! bless albert for his gift to mankind,as it can make for a kind man.

is the anti drug laws a crime agaisnt humanity?

Pot heads rejoice.

Why not add it to health bars and be available at most pharmacys and supermarkets??

Let's just remember that 95% of people just want to get high.

Heroic dose please.

But you certainly are not going to have the experience of eating a piece of COC* CAKE! I MEAN CAKE!!

This talk totally failed to meet its objective.

Without getting to far ahead... what do you smoke to treat paranoia?