The cannabis industry is full of inspirational, motivational, and educational stories. It’s only been in recent decades though, that doctors and scientists have started to really understand the science behind medical cannabis. For Black History Month we’ve decided to highlight five doctors and physicians who have been integral parts of shaping our current understanding of marijuana and its uses in medicine, who also happen to be people of color.
Chanda Macias, PhD
CEO and owner of the National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC) in Washington D.C. and chairwoman of the Board of Managers and acting CEO for Women Grow, Dr. Chanda Macias, MBA is one of the most influential women in cannabis and hemp – a space in which she’s been working for over 15 years! With a passion for educating, bettering lives and empowering women and minorities, her work is everywhere.
Along with NHHC and Women Grow, Dr. Macias is also a member of Americans for Safe Access, serves as Treasurer and Secretary of the D.C. Medical Cannabis Trade Association, and serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University and the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
Like so many of the people on this list, Dr. Chanda has many talents, including working directly with cannabis and developing whole plant medications with her team at Ilera Holistic Healthcare, which is a Louisiana company providing patients with high-quality tinctures and tinctures!
Dr. Janice Vaughn-Knox
Dr. Janice Vaughn-Knox is a board-certified anesthesiologist, best-selling author and cannabis and cannabinoid expert. Certified by the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine as a Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist, Dr. Janice believes that use of cannabinoid therapy starts with understanding the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the founder of The American Cannabinoid Clinics and ADVENT Academy.
A University of California Berkeley graduate, Dr. Janice went to medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle. These days she is a sought-after speaker on cannabis therapeutics both in the U.S. and abroad. Vaughn-Knox also serves as the Oregon representative to Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) and holds advisory board positions with PRA Global Inc, and Initiative, Inc.
Dr. Ayana Jordan
The Associate Director of Psychiatry Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Ayana Jordan specializes in mental health, most often substance abuse. Along with teaching at Yale, Dr. Jordan is also an attending physician at the Connecticut Mental Health Center and was featured in the HBO “I May Destroy You” recovery and wellness campaign in 2020.
Women’s Health Research at Yale (WHRY) has recently announced funding to investigate how CBD affects the brain, and whether the cannabinoid affects men and women differently. Dr. Jordan will work with Dr. Lichenstein and Dr. Sarah Yip in conducting this randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study to determine neurological and subjective responses to CBD.
Dr. Rasean Hodge
Coming from one of the more conservative states when it comes to medical marijuana, Dr. Rasean T. Hodge owns a practice called Premiere Chronic Pain Care located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hodge says he had worked in hospice care, family medicine and even specialized in chronic pain but it wasn’t until he broke his neck and became a patient himself that he really started to consider the potential of medical cannabis.
After going through several surgeries and finding that medications prescribed by his colleagues hardly helped the pain while bringing on a load of side effects, it was time for an alternative. Dr. Hodge conducted his own research based on studies out of California, Israel and New Zealand, and ultimately decided medical cannabis was the best course of treatment. He then went through the process of being certified by the Medical Board of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Public Health to be able to help others who can benefit from medical cannabis.
Dr. Emmanuel Onaivi
A Professor in the Department of Biology at William Paterson University (WPU) in New Jersey, Dr. Emmanuel S. Onaivi is a Guest Scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and has authored and co-authored several papers and edited three books on cannabis including the Biology of Marijuana; Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond; and Marijuana and Cannabinoid Research Methods and Protocols.
Pioneering research on cannabis and the behavioral effects associated with CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System and the human body, it was the neurobiologists previous research that led to the discovery of the CB2 receptors in the brain. Professor Onaivi received a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to continue the study.
These are just 5 of the cannabis medical experts we think you should know. Drop us your favorite cannabis physician or doctor of color in the comments and let’s celebrate their achievements together.