Hinterlandco blog

A conversation with Dr Dustin Sulak

WRITTEN BY SY | LAST REVISED, JUNE 2021

Dr Dustin Sulak is a renowned integrative osteopathic medicine physician and a pioneer in cannabis medicine. His innovative approach to healthcare has helped close the gap between traditional western medicine and the new world, where cannabis medicine is a foundational pillar of healing mind and body.

 Dr Sulak wears many hats; he is a physician, educator, activist and cannabis clinician. He is the founder of Integr8 Health, a cannabis-centric medical practice located in Maine, USA. 

Additionally, he is also the founder and medical director of healer.com, an online resource offering science-based cannabis education programs that utilise his unrivalled clinical experience to provide powerful tools and information for clinicians and those interested in furthering their knowledge.

Even before enrolling in medical school, Dr Sulak has had a strong affinity for the healing arts and found that many of his insights came to him with the help of cannabis, helping to expand his consciousness to a more holistic and global view of health and healing.

Despite the profound impact cannabis had on his medical journey, he still didn’t anticipate that it would become the primary healing modality that he’d ultimately use in his work.

Twelve years ago, Dr Sulak moved to Maine to open a clinic offering osteopathy, hypnotherapy and integrative medicine. It was kismet that he found himself in Maine as the state cannabis laws were relaxed; this allowed him the opportunity to expand the limited medicinal cannabis program into one that better served the thousands of people seeking out plant medicine. 

Through exposure to an increased number of patients using cannabis, Dr Sulak gathered valuable knowledge from their consumption habits, varying health conditions, and forms of cannabis people were consuming.

The more he learnt through his patients, the more he realised that their positive experiences and outcomes were correlating and supporting what scientific literature was saying about medicinal cannabis.

Dr Sulak’s approach to mind-body medicine integrates wellness practices with cannabis to go deeper within and heal from the inside out; it can be an excellent adjunct therapy to somatic practices such as yoga and breathwork.

While many are comfortable trying out CBD, those that are new to THC as a therapeutic agent may find it daunting.

Dr Sulak explains that THC operates in a functional range, moving from therapeutic to psychoactive depending on the dose. When a person has entered the therapeutic window, they may experience enhanced sensations, but the overall effects are mild. However, if they were to increase the dosage beyond this point, it may result in a psychedelic-like experience.

Every person is unique and will have a different threshold to THC; the best way to introduce this cannabinoid into your life is to start low and go slow and keep dosing methodically until you reach that therapeutic window. 

A great way to start the process is if, for example, you consume THC before bed, you can try taking it four hours earlier than usual and monitor how you feel.

When people seek out cannabis medicine, they do so for a wide range of conditions. However, Anhedonia is one you may not have heard of before. It refers to the loss of pleasure or interest from activities that once used to be enjoyable, such as a meal, being in nature, or sex.

There is a strong correlation between modern-day vices such as social media, pornography and opioid use that suppress this function. People become reliant on these stimuli to get a short burst of pleasure, ultimately creating a downward spiral.

Cannabis can be a great vehicle to help to rebuild those neural pathways to pleasure responses. Dr Sulak recommends two tools when utilising cannabis to combat Anhedonia:

Savouring: Take the time to plan out your experience with cannabis.

Turn off all technology and find something that you want to appreciate, whether that’s a meal or being outside in nature. Cannabis is an excellent ally for this practice.

Gratitude journal: Spend 3-5 minutes before bed and write down three things that you’re thankful for that happened that day.

Dr Sulak’s work is constantly challenging the current medical paradigm positively, thus providing people with a new level of information to facilitate healing. Most recently, he’s written and published a book called ‘Handbook of Cannabis for Clinicians’ which is due to be released on June 29th in the United States.

You can also visit healer.com to view the free webinar content or sign up for one of the in-depth cannabis courses on offer.

Surye is a freelance writer based in Mullumbimby with special interests in cannabis and holistic health. She first experienced the profound effects of CBD oil while travelling abroad and has been obsessed ever since. Connect with Surye on Linkedin

Sy

Writer, Hinterland co.

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