International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis
Speaker Series

The International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC) is excited to present the IASIC Speaker Series. Presented free of charge, this ongoing educational seminar series will focus on the science, data and peer-reviewed research surrounding marijuana and will be led by international medical experts. This non-partisan and non-political series is continually developed, organized, and guided by doctors.

Marijuana in the 21st Century

Date: July 19, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Ben Cort

Ben’s passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. Sober since June 15, 1996, Ben has been a part of the recovery movement in almost every way imaginable; from a recipient to a provider to a spokesperson. Cort has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimized. From non-profits to hospitals to private programs Ben has been a leader inside of many forms of addiction treatment and prevention. From 2017-2020 Ben was a consultant to various treatment programs, state governments, professional and collegiate athletics and labor. He is now CEO of the Foundry Steamboat Springs, an inpatient treatment program for men in the mountains of Colorado. Ben is a Jr Fellow at the University of Florida inside of their drug policy institute, a board member for NALGAP (National Association of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender treatment providers and their allies), a Board member at SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and faculty at numerous institutes. He is a published author (Weed Inc, Simon and Shuster 2017) and his TED talk “Surprising Truths about Legalizing Cannabis” has been viewed over 4 million times.

Moderated by: Libby Stuyt

Highly Purified Cannabidiol for Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Experiences from a Large Open-Label Study and its Translation to Clinical Practice

Date: July 26, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Tyler Gaston

Dr. Tyler Gaston is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham VA Medical Center. She obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and psychology at Vanderbilt University, medical school at the University of South Alabama, and completed neurology residency at UAB, and served as chief resident. She also completed her clinical neurophysiology fellowship at UAB prior to joining faculty. Dr. Gaston is a current and past member of multiple committees of the American Epilepsy Society, and serves on the Professional Advisory Board for the Alabama chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation. Dr. Gaston is an adult epileptologist, and her clinical and research interests include exploring novel pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for epilepsy, treating psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, investigating cannabinoids in treating epilepsy, and treatments of co-morbidities of epilepsy, namely cognitive dysfunction. She is also very passionate about epilepsy education and serves as one of the core clinical faculty for UAB’s Epilepsy Fellowship Program.

Highly purified cannabidiol oral solution was approved by the FDA for the treatment of seizures associated with several specific epilepsy syndromes (Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex). In addition to the pivotal phase III clinical trials which led to this approval, there were multiple concomitant open label expanded access programs in several states investigating the use of this same product on treatment resistant epilepsy. As one of the investigators of one of the largest expanded access programs, Dr. Gaston will discuss her experiences conducting this study, the results from the open label studies and how they add to the body of knowledge, Further, she will discuss how her experience has influenced her clinical practice of prescribing this product to patients with epilepsy since the FDA approval.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Long-term Cannabis Users Show Lower Cognitive Reserves and Smaller Hippocampal Volume in Midlife

Date: August 2, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Madeline Meier

Madeline Meier is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University.  She received her PhD from the University of Missouri; completed her clinical internship at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and completed her postdoctoral training at Duke University. Her research uses prospective longitudinal and case-control designs to understand the causes, course, and consequences of problematic substance use. She has published over 25 articles on cannabis use and the implications of long-term cannabis use for cognitive functioning, psychosocial functioning, mental health, and physical health. Her work has received extensive attention from both the scientific community and the media, and is being used by scientists, policy makers, and practitioners.

Moderated by: Kenneth Finn

Cannabis and Mental Health in Young People

Date: October 18, 2022
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM - 11:00AM Pacific

Presented by: Mary Cannon

Professor Mary Cannon is Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ireland and a consultant psychiatrist in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Her areas of research interest are young people’s mental health and early life risk and protective factors for later mental disorders particularly schizophrenia. Her research is funded by the European Research Council and the Health Research Board (Ireland). Professor Cannon is interested in advocacy in the field of mental health and has served on a governmental Task Force on Youth Mental Health and a ministerial rapid response group on Substance Use in Third Level Students. She is vice -chair of the Youth and Student Psychiatry Faculty in the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. She is a member of the Editorial Boards for the British Journal of Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin and the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine.

This session will present the evidence from epidemiological studies on the association between cannabis use in youth and a range of mental health problems and cognitive problems.

Moderated by: Eric Voth

Presented by:

Mary Cannon
MB BCH BAO FRC PSYCH MSC PHD, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health
Department of Psychiatry, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
Cannabis and Mental Health in Young People