Martin A Lee is a journalist and activist who has authored several books, including Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific. He is also the director of Project CBD, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and publicising research into the medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) and other components of the cannabis plant.
Martin started his career in investigative journalism by writing about social justice, and he then went on to write about medical cannabis and the science behind it. He spent time covering science conferences where he was first introduced to the therapeutic potential of CBD through the presentation of preclinical research.
Martin notes that up to this point, medicinal cannabis had a strong focus towards THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) as opposed to CBD, and it wasn’t until around 2010 that CBD hit the radar of scientists as a compound that had promise as a therapeutic agent.
Martin believes that cannabis is important on so many levels and has the ability to positively impact the economy, environment and community. He discusses how cannabis can be a vehicle for strong economic growth through the agricultural industry. Implementing policies that incentivise cannabis and hemp farmers could be a step in the right direction.
Cannabis has a fantastic ability to sequester carbon and regenerate the soil, and irrespective of the economic benefits of farming cannabis, it’s can also provide an easy and practical way of addressing the climate crisis through regenerative farming practices utilising a plant that gives more than it takes.
Cannabis can be a medicine to help heal the earth and humans. It’s an amazing herbal medicine, but it’s also a community-building medicine.
As we begin to see further awareness and usage of medicinal cannabis in Australia, Martin believes we could learn a thing or two on best practice from the way legalisation occurred in California.
He believes that the use of medicinal cannabis should be between the doctor and the patient, and the government or any other institution shouldn’t have a say in how it’s used and what conditions can and can’t be treated with cannabis.
Allowing people to freely explore this botanical agent is the best way to encourage broader community and medical acceptance.
Project CBD is an amazing resource with the most up-to-date scientific literature on cannabis. Whether you’re a herb nerd and want to dive into the latest studies or are just starting your cannabis journey, it’s well worth your time to check out Martin’s work at Project CBD.