Marijuana is a hot topic, leading to discussions about it being common everywhere. The same goes for public talks, such as TED Talks. The following TED Talks show some of the amazing life experiences and understandings about marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp, and they take one step closer to a deeper cultural understanding of this amazing plant.
Here are our favorite TED Talks on marijuana.
A doctor’s case for medical marijuana (David Casarett)
David Casarett, a doctor, kept hearing all sorts of rumors about marijuana. He had not been trained on medical marijuana in medical school, and he had no idea it could help even the most researched ailments. Then one day a patient shocked him, explaining her story of how medical marijuana helped. He suddenly realized he had something to learn about this so-called drug.
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After researching heavily, he had to admit that it was clear that medical marijuana had some tremendous benefits. He talked to medical marijuana patients about their stories, combines that with his own research, and shares a few valuable lessons with his audience in this amazing Ted Talk.
Why we need to end the War on Drugs (Ethan Nadelmann)
Ethan Nadelmann dives into the War on Drugs and what it has done to our society. He admits it has come a long way, especially since the United States’ push towards legalization. He delves into various prohibition laws, why they were put in place, to begin with, as well as how they were put in place (hint: it had to do with a fear of minorities).
He also points out the fact that the primary users of legalized marijuana will likely be middle-aged or elderly people who don’t have another, illegal way of accessing it. He takes a look at illegal drugs in general and comes up with some surprising and inspiring conclusions.
The surprising story of medical marijuana and pediatric epilepsy (Josh Stanley)
Josh Stanley gives this TEDx talk in Boulder, Colorado and uses it to help his listeners take a closer look at the truth behind medical marijuana myths and stereotypes. Stanley is a marijuana breeder, who created a specialized strain with his brothers that does not have the normal psychoactive effects but is highly effective for controlling pediatric epilepsy.
Stanley has personal experience in the field to prove his point, but he also is able to help a deeper understanding of why we have these misgivings and misunderstandings about medical marijuana. Then he looks at future hurdles and pathways for medical marijuana and the patients who need it.
Cannabis cultivation has a dirty secret, but the future is sun-grown (Dan Sutton)
Given in Vancouver (the Cannabis capital of Canada, some would say), this TEDx talk is all about growing marijuana. Dan Sutton explains the current and conventional trends for Cannabis cultivation, and why that is not sustainable. While this talk is a little outdated (since Canada is now going to be legalized in July 2017), the topic is extremely relevant for growers everywhere.
Sutton makes the case that sustainable marijuana growing must involve using the sun instead of grow lamps. This must be addressed soon, as whether or not the law is keeping up, the Cannabis cultivation scene is only getting bigger.
Building with hemp (Joni Lane)
As a master in Sustainable Design, Joni Lane knows a thing or two about building and innovation. In this TEDx talk from Charlottesville, Lane goes into the power of bio-based materials in general and how they can help the world and the human environment heal. In particular, she describes the incredible uses of Hempcrete.
The effects of contaminants we are exposed to inside is shocking and relatively unknown, so Lane dives into these facts and how they are affecting us. This is why we need solutions such as Hempcrete. According to Lane, bio-based materials are the way of the future. It should come as no surprise that another marijuana-based product will help better the world.
Why I changed my mind about medical Cannabis (Hugh Hempel)
Hugh Hempel’s personal story about medical Cannabis and healing is both inspirational and heartbreaking. His daughters have childhood Alzheimer’s, or Niemann-Pick Type C. It is an extremely rare disease that leads to the fast accumulation of cholesterol, which eventually begins harming the brain. Both daughters suffer from seizures.
Once Hempel and his wife learned of this genetic disorder, they have searched everywhere for the cure or some kind of treatment that actually works. They stumbled upon Cannabis oil, and since then have never turned back. The seizures are under much better control with Cannabis oil than with any pharmaceutical. It logically follows that Hempel began supporting the legalization of marijuana.
Medical Marijuana: The ultimate disease defeating drug (Viki Vaurora)
Viki Vaurora’s 7-minute talk took place in Bangalore at the TEDxBangalore event. He explains his father’s experience with marijuana and how it was the only thing that worked to help with his pain. He points out other advantages to growing hemp as well: it creates a dense biomass that other plants can’t do as well. Even biofuel is an advantage of marijuana.
But truly, this talk is about medical marijuana and its effects on healing and treatment. He also delves into the fact that, while modern society looks down on marijuana and hemp, ancient culture has used it and even considered it sacred for hundreds and thousands of years. His story and findings are well worth the time.
Making peace with Cannabis (Zachary Walsh)
Zachary Walsh’s 15-minute talk is from 2013 at TEDx in Boulder, Colorado. Walsh is a clinical psychologist and a researcher who looks at substance abuse and also teaches at the University of British Columbia. He and his team of researchers have been looking into drugs and the effects of drugs, and specifically looks at the impact of medical marijuana.
He also looks at the ever-changing relationship between people and marijuana plants currently as well as throughout history, and how the next big change will affect us. He goes into the effects on our health and the way we perceive and teach about Cannabis – and how that should change.
Hemp the trillion dollar crop (Gregg Moseley-Clarke)
This TEDx talk took place in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2013 and is given by Gregg Moseley-Clarke, who holds a computer science degree as well as an MBA. His experience, being primarily in insurance and banking, Moseley-Clarke has begun to look at innovation. He is now the founder of Hemp Foods Barbados and Sateva Botanicals, both of which make hemp-based products.
In his talk, he gets into the many uses of hemp in a wide variety of industries. His goal is to stimulate discussion and innovation so that the mainstream world can also discover what he has already found out about hemp.
Stoners coming out – beyond the marijuana monster myths (David Schmader)
David Schmader’s TEDx talk is not only informative and interesting, but it is also entertaining! This might have something to do with the fact that he is a performance artist. For those looking to be entertained while gaining insight and knowledge, this is the perfect TEDx talk.
Schmader combines wit with deeper cultural understanding. He looks at society’s understanding and stereotypes about people who smoke marijuana (stoners, that is). He is a self-admitting marijuana user who had lived in fear of being seen as the stereotypical stoner. In his epic talk, he smashes these stereotypes and the concern other stoners have about “coming out.”
Drug smuggler speaks out about incarceration and marijuana (Richard Stratton)
New Zealander Richard Stratton is, just as his talk implies, a former international smuggler of marijuana. He was caught in the early ’80s and ended up in prison for 8 years (even though he was sentenced to more than two decades), where he wrote a novel. Stratton is now the CEO of a large, successful company.
In this jaw-dropping, 12-minute TEDx talk, Stratton describes how he lessened his sentence and how strict marijuana laws negatively affect so many individuals. He points out with regret that many people are still in prison for activities that are now legal. A former underworld leader, Stratton’s insights are unique, to say the least.
Mainstream to marijuana (Pete Kadens)
Pete Kadens founded SoCore Energy, a successful company that serves some of the biggest stores in the US. He has been recently looking into medical marijuana and has stumbled upon some astonishing discoveries about how the laws against it affect specific minority groups in our population. Namely, these laws affect socioeconomic and racial minorities as well as homeless people (but not so much white, wealthy people).
Changing the stigma of medicinal marijuana (Addison Irwin)
Addison Irwin gave his TEDx talk at Allendale Columbia School in 2016. A young man wearing a t-shirt, he walks onstage and begins by warning the audience that they’re going to feel uncomfortable. He then goes right into the story of a young girl – the exact opposite of who would be considered a typical stoner – and how medicinal marijuana changed her life for the better, helping with her seizures.
High dive: Are we creating “Big Marijuana” (Hilary Bricken)
Hilary Bricken is an attorney working in regulation and Cannabis business in the US. She is also the chair of a group that includes Canna Law Group, helping companies navigate the tricky legal routes of marijuana in the United States.
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Bricken goes into the recent history of legalizing marijuana, beginning with the 502 Initiative in Washington state. She looks at the present and the future, as well, exploring what big businesses getting into Cannabis is going to do for those businesses and for a range of issues pertaining to our society. With her numerous awards and distinctions, there is no better person to explain this relevant topic to us.
Coincidence, charisma, and Cannabis (David Tuttleman)
This talk, given in Wilmington by David Tuttleman in 2016, tells an absolutely incredible story of the healing power of marijuana. His first understanding of what medical marijuana can do was from his sister, who was in the grips of stage 4 cancer. She asked for a pot brownie from him, and just hours later things begin to change.
He also has a niece with seizures that began taking CBD. Her seizures simply stopped. Tuttleman then branches out to others outside of his family. For example, he meets a father who has been giving his son, a baby, CBT illegally because he is going through chemotherapy. He uses these examples to help us get through the propaganda and begin to understand to true power of Cannabis.
Demystifying Cannabis (Chirag Tekchandaney)
Chirag Tekchandaney takes us back in history, back to the time when hemp could be found in all facets of life. Once marijuana, hemp’s close relative, turned into a social stigma and illegal substance, however, hemp also began disappearing. Tekchandaney’s goal is to reverse this trend and bring this extremely useful resource back into mainstream society.
Indeed, he himself owns a company that makes hemp-based products for South Asia markets. His understanding is that, for positive change to come about, one must delve into less socially acceptable (or at least less common) means to do so. Hemp certainly falls into that category.
Thinking differently about Cannabis (Michael Zaytsev)
This brief talk (just over 5 minutes long) is led by Michael Zaytsev, an entrepreneur from Brooklyn. He is the leader of High NY, which happens to be the biggest marijuana-related community in New York. Zaytsev also has an impressive background, having worked as a Google salesman and a J.P. Morgan financial analyst.
Zaytsev points out the facts: most Americans want medical marijuana to be legalized, and yet there are totally conflicting laws across the country. Medical patient or felon, human rights activist or drug addict, Zaytsev’s identity is determined by the culture around him, and he points out the flaws in this.