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Ep. 428: Haleli Sharir, Cannabis Pharmeceuticals

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep. 428: Haleli Sharir, Cannabis Pharmeceuticals

Ep. 428: Haleli Sharir, Cannabis Pharmeceuticals

Most of us know that cannabis can be used for things like pain relief, but what most of us certainly don’t know is that it can also be used to kill cancer cells. Dr. Haleli Sharir discusses the use of cannabis as an alternative to chemotherapy when done in the context of personalized medicine (as opposed to standardized medicine.) Though she is not entirely opposed to standardization, Sharir firmly believes that a disease cannot be effectively treated unless one fully understands the cannabis extract, the source of the disease, and a person’s genetic background. She reminds us that “diseases are connected. Tumors are connected. You cannot separate the tumor from the person.”

Transcript:

Seth Adler: Dr. Haleli Sharir joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Canneconomy.com has a ton of direct insight from policy, business, and scientists in the space. First a word from MedMen and then Dr. Haleli Sharir. Med men continues to expand its footprint on the cannabis landscape, opening new stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the iconic Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. They've also opened a 45000 foot high tech cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility in Nevada. The company has reached a one billion dollar valuation, making it the country's first cannabis unicorn. And it's just the beginning. Learn how MedMen is building the future of cannabis today at medmen.com.
And so we're here at Canna Tech. And doctor you did a great job of sharing with us a little bit of your research on cancer. That's the big one. we've spoken with many academic scientists who are doing tremendous things. This is a steep hill to climb I would imagine. Is that fair?

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. Since there is no indication for cancer.

Seth Adler: How do you mean that for a non scientist?

Dr Haleli S.: So cannabis is prescribed for epilepsy. That would be one example. For a pain, another example.

Seth Adler: Yes.

Dr Haleli S.: But it's not being prescribed for cancer. And by not being prescribed I mean that you cannot go to the doctor and it will give you cannabis as a treatment.

Seth Adler: For cancer.

Dr Haleli S.: For cancer.

Seth Adler: No country, nowhere on earth.

Dr Haleli S.: No country, nowhere on earth.

Seth Adler: Some will give you a cannabis for recovering from chemotherapy, right? There is that.

Dr Haleli S.: I don't know-

Seth Adler: But that's not even close to what we're talking about.

Dr Haleli S.: Correct.

Seth Adler: So where did you begin? How did you start with this cannabis? You look like a regular person, very educated person. Why would you ever do this to yourself, try to solve cancer through cannabis?

Dr Haleli S.: So my story starts long back.

Seth Adler: Okay. Go.

Dr Haleli S.: So I did my graduate studies Ben Gurion University.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Dr Haleli S.: In Negev. And I worked on a zinc sensing receptor, which belongs to the G protein-coupled receptor family. As you may know the cannabinoid receptors they belong to the same exact family.

Seth Adler: CB1, CB2.

Dr Haleli S.: That's correct.

Seth Adler: Here we are. We are family.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. So yes, we are family and we are the same class of family, class A of G protein-coupled ,receptors. So when I wanted to pursue doctoral studies I made it clear that I want to continue in the field. And then Dr. Marie Abboud who is really, really known in the cannabis field, she relocated from San Francisco to Philadelphia and opened the lab at the Center for Substance Abuse in Philadelphia. And at the time there was another candidate, GPR 55 was a potential cannabinoid receptor. So she was looking for someone who was familiar with G protein-coupled receptors. She interviewed me and she decided to hire me.

Seth Adler: Dr. Haleli Sharir joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Canneconomy.com has a ton of direct insight from policy, business, and scientists in the space. First a word from MedMen and then Dr. Haleli Sharir. Med men continues to expand its footprint on the cannabis landscape, opening new stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the iconic Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. They've also opened a 45000 foot high tech cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility in Nevada. The company has reached a one billion dollar valuation, making it the country's first cannabis unicorn. And it's just the beginning. Learn how MedMen is building the future of cannabis today at medmen.com.
And so we're here at Canna Tech. And doctor you did a great job of sharing with us a little bit of your research on cancer. That's the big one. we've spoken with many academic scientists who are doing tremendous things. This is a steep hill to climb I would imagine. Is that fair?

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. Since there is no indication for cancer.

Seth Adler: How do you mean that for a non scientist?

Dr Haleli S.: So cannabis is prescribed for epilepsy. That would be one example. For a pain, another example.

Seth Adler: Yes.

Dr Haleli S.: But it's not being prescribed for cancer. And by not being prescribed I mean that you cannot go to the doctor and it will give you cannabis as a treatment.

Seth Adler: For cancer.

Dr Haleli S.: For cancer.

Seth Adler: No country, nowhere on earth.

Dr Haleli S.: No country, nowhere on earth.

Seth Adler: Some will give you a cannabis for recovering from chemotherapy, right? There is that.

Dr Haleli S.: I don't know-

Seth Adler: But that's not even close to what we're talking about.

Dr Haleli S.: Correct.

Seth Adler: So where did you begin? How did you start with this cannabis? You look like a regular person, very educated person. Why would you ever do this to yourself, try to solve cancer through cannabis?

Dr Haleli S.: So my story starts long back.

Seth Adler: Okay. Go.

Dr Haleli S.: So I did my graduate studies Ben Gurion University.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Dr Haleli S.: In Negev. And I worked on a zinc sensing receptor, which belongs to the G protein-coupled receptor family. As you may know the cannabinoid receptors they belong to the same exact family.

Seth Adler: CB1, CB2.

Dr Haleli S.: That's correct.

Seth Adler: Here we are. We are family.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. So yes, we are family and we are the same class of family, class A of G protein-coupled ,receptors. So when I wanted to pursue doctoral studies I made it clear that I want to continue in the field. And then Dr. Marie Abboud who is really, really known in the cannabis field, she relocated from San Francisco to Philadelphia and opened the lab at the Center for Substance Abuse in Philadelphia. And at the time there was another candidate, GPR 55 was a potential cannabinoid receptor. So she was looking for someone who was familiar with G protein-coupled receptors. She interviewed me and she decided to hire me.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Wait, that's almost serendipity.

Dr Haleli S.: I don't know-

Seth Adler: It's not like a hundreds of thousands of you people that have this focus. Correct or no?

Dr Haleli S.: So Lefkowitz and two other people, and it's something you cannot share because I don't remember the other two. But Lefkowitz and Marc Caron we're my, I don't know, godfathers when it comes to G protein-coupled receptors pharmacology and physiology. This is why I've read their papers as a graduate student. So this field is really, really important. This is why they got their Nobel prize-

Seth Adler: Level.

Dr Haleli S.: Level. So I was really, really proud when they got it because you have to realize that cannabinoid receptors and this G protein-coupled receptors that I keep mumbling about most of our body is basic made of these proteins. So almost every single physiological ... how'd you say it?

Seth Adler: System?

Dr Haleli S.: Not system. Everything that we do is mediated by this receptors-

Seth Adler: Which is-

Dr Haleli S.: We see them and surprisingly, CB1 is the most abundant receptor in the human brain.

Seth Adler: You say abandoned.

Dr Haleli S.: Abundant. Yeah.

Seth Adler: And so I have-

Dr Haleli S.: Most common. Like-

Seth Adler: Abundant.

Dr Haleli S.: Abundant. Not abandoned. Abundant. Yeah.

Seth Adler: That's fine. Just want to make sure.

Dr Haleli S.: Abandoned, no.

Seth Adler: My ears, not you.

Dr Haleli S.: Abundant.

Seth Adler: Right. So this is prevalent more than anything else.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Now, just a quick aside here, right? In traditional science we don't study the endocannabinoid system. How long can that go on with all of the noise that you and your colleagues are making?

Dr Haleli S.: That we're not studying [inaudible 00:05:50].

Seth Adler: I mean, traditional. So when I talk about the American Medical Association doctors in US it's not something that they study. They don't. In Israel, yes maybe. Now-

Dr Haleli S.: Well, I disagree. One of my papers that I published is about endocannabinoid system [inaudible 00:06:13] system. So I did that. I don't think-

Seth Adler: Where?

Dr Haleli S.: Where did I publish it?

Seth Adler: No. Where was the study done?

Dr Haleli S.: In the US.

Seth Adler: Oh, it was done in the US.

Dr Haleli S.: It was done in the US.

Seth Adler: So I'll wrap myself on the wrist and I am wrong.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah, it was done in the US. I don't think we underestimate the endocannabinoid system. It's there, right? And did you know that it changes based on calcium levels inside a body?

Seth Adler: I did not know that.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. So this is an odd thing to know.

Seth Adler: Now, I think I'm with you as far as ... I don't think you and I underestimate the endocannabinoid system. I'm saying that many physicians who go through medical school never learned about the endocannabinoid system. It's not that they're underestimating it. It's that they never find out about it.

Dr Haleli S.: So maybe it has to do with the fact that people are opposed to cannabis as the solution. And like as I said in my presentation I am a big fan of cannabis simply because it's natural. Okay? So why go with just synthetic analogs and get all the side effects? Of course, there are side effects, right? THC is psychoactive, right? But I think that the solution there are many, many things out there growing into nature for a reason. Okay? And people ignore them. Abandoned them. Not abundant.

Seth Adler: Sure. There we go. That's a high five moment right there. All right. So dive in and what have you found as far as cannabis? You started to kind of circle in as far as the big picture. Please continue with as far as your research is concerned sharing what you have found. So let's finish.

Dr Haleli S.: Not many I can disclose. So disclose-

Seth Adler: This is very businessy of you to-

Dr Haleli S.: Well, I'm part of the business, right?

Seth Adler: But share the paper that you published when you were in the States, share the results.

Dr Haleli S.: Wow! Okay.

Seth Adler: And then you to go back in time a little bit.

Dr Haleli S.: Well, way back in time. When was that? When was that published? Oh, my gosh. I think seven or eight years ago. GPR 55 is no longer considered a cannabinoid receptor. And simply because cannabinoids receptors when you classify them ... so there's this [inaudible 00:08:45]. Okay. It's like a pharmacological association. And when they dictate a certain affinity of certain [inaudible 00:08:54]. So TC binds to CB1. THC binds to CB2. So agonist they bound. Antagonist, they don't bind. GPR 55 is no longer considered a cannabinoid receptor. This is what I can say we used to call it atypical cannabinoid receptor because it's used to respond to cannabinoid compounds. It has very interesting physiological effects. So both good and bad. To be honest with you ... so when I started working on GPR 55 they were like only nine papers in the field. Now, they're hundreds.

Seth Adler: Good.

Dr Haleli S.: So it's really, really good because it means that this receptor, G protein-coupled receptors, I told her they mediate nearly almost the physiological function in the body, in the human body. So it's really, really good. But I'm not familiar with ... so I kind of stop and tracking once I completed my post doctoral studies.

Seth Adler: And once we found out, "Okay. It's not a receptor for cannabis. Okay. Fine. We'll leave it over there."

Dr Haleli S.: No. So-

Seth Adler: I'm saying for you and your research.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. So I keep pressuring my former postdoc adviser ... I keep telling her that she should look into a specific pathway that I'm convinced.

Seth Adler: You still haven't given up really.

Dr Haleli S.: So I haven't given up, but I'm not studying GPR 55, right?. I'm studying cannabis and cancer. So I'm trying-

Seth Adler: Now, you can't share everything. You can share not a lot. But what did you share here? At least give us an overview of what you can share.

Dr Haleli S.: So basically I compared the ability of cannabis versus chemotherapy medication given to almost every patient. One day they choose the normal. I call it normal. How do you say it?

Seth Adler: Chemotherapy being normal.

Dr Haleli S.: Chemotherapy being like-

Seth Adler: You're putting it in quotations.

Dr Haleli S.: I put it in quotation because this is the normal regime. Okay. This is what doctors will usually prescribe.

Seth Adler: This is what we have been doing. So why don't we continue?

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. Chemotherapy and radiation. Cannabis is not strange to cancer patients. There are surveys about cancer patients that are consuming cannabis, not just to relieve pains. Some can swear that this basically killed their tumors. So I'm not just saying we want to kill tumors. If we could prolong life without having the adverse effect of Chemotherapy, this is one thing. So what I wanted to emphasize in my presentation is that cannabis is as good as chemotherapy when it comes to killing tumor cells. This is one thing. And then certain extracts are better at killing one tumor versus the other, which brings me that no two people are the same so that we have to consider that there are genetic differences. And we can talk for hours what I mean what's the genetic background, but basically you have to pair the right medication with the right tumor.

Seth Adler: From the right person.

Dr Haleli S.: From the right person. Okay. So personalized medicine, and this is what we're doing, it's not providing medicines. It's just basically providing medicine for the specific tumor. Okay?

Seth Adler: So for the specific tumor in that specific person. So when I hear from friends in the space that say we need to standardize and we need to make sure that we understand what each cannabinoid does, and then put it into a formula that will be the same every single time I think back to my history with cannabis, and I know that my personal relationship with cannabis is different than every single other person that I know. And so while I can understand how systematically that makes sense I also kind of wonder about what you're talking about, which is this personalized medicine. So when you hear that we want to just kind of systemize and kind of almost make sure to go with something synthetic so that everybody gets the same thing all the time and then we can't go wrong when you hear that what do you think?

Dr Haleli S.: When I that I think that you're trying to prescribe Tylenol to old patients.

Seth Adler: That's what is exactly happening.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. And what I'm saying is yes, consistency is important. It is important. Okay. We know that there are differences between strains. Okay. And consistency is it important. This is what I did mention that we specialize in a library. It changes because there are changes in the market, right? Because they cannot maintain consistency.

Seth Adler: Consistency. Right. So first off, we do need consistency without question, no doubt about it.

Dr Haleli S.: Right. But saying that this specific formulation is the right thing for all-

Seth Adler: For everybody.

Dr Haleli S.: For everybody that I disagree with.

Seth Adler: Okay. Now, let's dive into what you said, which is I would say nearly shocking if not shocking to hear someone say that cannabis has the same results as chemotherapy. This sounds outrageous. So how can you say something like that? Please tell me what you know that makes you say something like that. Please.

Dr Haleli S.: I was reluctant about saying that.

Seth Adler: That's fine. Fair enough. Okay. But what leads you to say something like that even off the record?

Dr Haleli S.: I think the data that I basically shared with you guys today basically reveals it [crosstalk 00:15:38]-

Seth Adler: For those that didn't see it just kind of take us through it on a top level.

Dr Haleli S.: So basically say suppose you treat cancerous cells-

Seth Adler: Yes.

Dr Haleli S.: ... with a general ... there's no such thing as a general chemotherapy, but say suppose we use etoposide. Etoposide is used as a chemotherapy medication used for several cancers.

Seth Adler: Fine.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. And we compare it with one of the botanical extract. Okay? You could clearly see that the same dose the botanical extract was much more efficient. So the survival rate was lower with the botanical extract as opposed-

Seth Adler: You mean higher. More people survived with botanical.

Dr Haleli S.: Lower. Well, I am talking about cell death.

Seth Adler: Cell death. Excuse me. Not people.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah, cell death. Not people. God forbid.

Seth Adler: Exactly. Okay. Fine. All right. So it attacks cells at a better rate is what we're saying. Now, if I think back I think about Steve Jobs famously went with plant based medicine or natural based medicine as opposed to chemotherapy and it didn't work for him. But that's where we get to personalized medicine or-

Dr Haleli S.: Exactly. Exactly. Okay. Because I have-

Seth Adler: So is it possible that chemotherapy could work better for me than a plant based extract?

Dr Haleli S.: Supposedly. But what about the side effects? But one can argue, okay, that when the THC content is really, really high and he will be right, right? There's the psychoactive effect. It will completely knocking down. So yeah, that's exactly personalized medicine.

Seth Adler: I mean, it feels like if we're going to personalize marketing-

Dr Haleli S.: Personalized marketing. No.

Seth Adler: No. But what I'm saying is we have all of this personalized marketing of if I Click this website then I go to that website and then there's the ad and it's just for me maybe we should try personalized medicine at least a little bit.

Dr Haleli S.: Well, I think there's clearly a paradigm shift that-

Seth Adler: You do feel the shift?

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. I do feel the shift. My previous role was as a project manager-

Seth Adler: For?

Dr Haleli S.: At a drug discovery unit to Weizmann Institute of Science. So there's the GINCPM. Oh, my gosh. What does it stand for?

Seth Adler: It's okay.

Dr Haleli S.: Grand Israeli National Center for Personalized Medicine. And this is the aim. Okay? Now the world go through precision medicine which basically combines the data. So you need a lot of data about the patients and stuff to be able to fill your medication better, right?

Seth Adler: Yeah. So we're getting there.

Dr Haleli S.: We're getting there.

Seth Adler: Then my question to you is when I come to events like this, when I speak to folks in the industry it does feel like the majority of the industry is trying to run to standardization, to pharmaceuticalization, to current pharmaceuticalization to finding that, as we discussed, one pill that hits kind of all the notes for this one thing. So, okay, CBG is going to tackle this particular condition. And so for everybody that has this condition here's CBG. It goes into the pill and that's that. And what you're saying is you're seeing in greater medicine a run the other way.

Dr Haleli S.: Right.

Seth Adler: Well, this is very interesting.

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. Well, it's going to take time.

Seth Adler: What would you say to the folks that are starting pharmaceutical companies within cannabis, cannabis pharmaceutical companies that are trying to standardize and trying to fit maybe a square peg into a round hole? What would you say based on the research that you've seen? You say without a doubt, "I can see. I can see the results on the cancer cells." What would you say to those folks?

Dr Haleli S.: That's there's so many parameters that thing must bring into account. Okay. So it's really, really hard to put things into equations. Okay. So like I said, there's no one solution that will fit all.

Seth Adler: If I said that, not you, but if I said that someone would tell me, "You're crazy. Of course, we have to have some sort of standardization. Of course, if it's going to affect and help the majority of people we should do it the standard way as opposed to take everybody one at a time. Everybody's a snowflake. It'll never work to do it that way." How could it work to go through personalized medicine?

Dr Haleli S.: How could it work. I think it's a progress. Okay. It takes time like ... how do you say that? Suck it in? Next time till people realize ... I don't know. That's a tough one.

Seth Adler: We also have the added hurdle of having you have to translate your own thoughts in Hebrew back into English. So I recognize that.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. And plus my English I don't think it's bad, right?

Seth Adler: No, it's wonderful.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. But it's like-

Seth Adler: Do you want to hear my Hebrew? [foreign 00:21:16]. Done. That's all of it. Shalom.

Dr Haleli S.: Well, I used to leave in the US for quite some time.

Seth Adler: So you have an advantage.

Dr Haleli S.: I do have an advantage. And I did work on my English.

Seth Adler: What does the Weitzmann Institute of Personalized Medicine say? What is the mission or the vision?

Dr Haleli S.: Finding the specific formulation for each disease.

Seth Adler: Okay, great. But that's the disease. So that's not to the person though.

Dr Haleli S.: But diseases are connected. Each tumor is connected. You cannot separate the tumor from-

Seth Adler: From the person.

Dr Haleli S.: ... the person. And this is exactly what we're saying. Okay. And I think I gave an example, even though it was really, really stressed, and I could not figure out ... You should have said like, "Press here." That's all your fault.

Seth Adler: Of course, it's my fault.

Dr Haleli S.: [inaudible 00:22:06] how do I operate this-

Seth Adler: Talk to my girlfriend. She'll tell you it's my fault. Of course. But what was that example?

Dr Haleli S.: So lately I use ... well, someone who works with us, but he doesn't work with cannabis. Well, someone introduced him to me. And he's-

Seth Adler: Okay. A colleague.

Dr Haleli S.: A colleague. Well, I don't know. I can call him a colleague. Okay. No, he's not a colleague.

Seth Adler: Understood.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. But he has glioblastoma.

Seth Adler: Okay. A patient.

Dr Haleli S.: A patient.

Seth Adler: Yes.

Dr Haleli S.: And he is a great fan of RSO, Rick Simpson.

Seth Adler: Rick Simpson Oil, right? Exactly. Yes.

Dr Haleli S.: And he said ... I extracted the oil and I can show you the text message I received from him yesterday. And he said, "I do get like this progressive improvement. There is progress. I'm improving. My neurologist, she thinks it has to do with the chemotherapy and the next day it is radiation. However, I can show you pictures of-"

Seth Adler: Of my tumor.

Dr Haleli S.: "Of my friend's tumor. He has glioblastoma."

Seth Adler: This person that we're ... just what I'm saying.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. Yeah. "He cured completely. So what's your recommendation?" So of course I said like, "I wish you fast recovery."

Seth Adler: Of course.

Dr Haleli S.: "I cannot recommend." And this is exactly what I said, "We're not trying to recommend. We're not saying we're going to recommend." We said we provide data. And data is power. And data is the power to be used by the patients and the doctors. What do I say? This is a great example how you need personalized medicine. Something is different. So the tumor is not the same exact tumor. I don't think you should completely ignore standardization, but you have to better understand the source of the disease or maybe the genetic background before you go and standardize.

Seth Adler: Standardize.

Dr Haleli S.: Standardize. Thank you.

Seth Adler: No. So what you're saying is-

Dr Haleli S.: It's the beer speaking now.

Seth Adler: Of course. But let's use all the tools that we have I think is what your point is.

Dr Haleli S.: Yes.

Seth Adler: Why would we only do this if we can also do this? Why would we only do these two things if we can do a spectrum of things? How can we get a clinical trial to show what you know? How does that happen? How do we make that happen?

Dr Haleli S.: So once you gather enough data this is where we can go to clinical trials.

Seth Adler: How long until you have enough data?

Dr Haleli S.: Well, this is not something I can comment and I'm not sure I can disclose.

Seth Adler: Fair enough.

Dr Haleli S.: Fair enough.

Seth Adler: But we're working on it I guess is your point.

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. We are working on it.

Seth Adler: Okay. We will get there.

Dr Haleli S.: Yes.

Seth Adler: We will show you through the clinical trial. Then everybody can read it the same way they read the other papers, and then maybe we'll get somewhere as far as personalized medicine.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. And cannabics pharmaceuticals did have ... we had one successful clinical trials when it comes to our slow release capsules.

Seth Adler: Let's go ahead and talk about it. It wasn't your work though.

Dr Haleli S.: It wasn't my work. It was before my time. It was disclosed at CannEx like connect.

Seth Adler: Can you give us a general overview or-

Dr Haleli S.: So basically what I said there is no indication for cancer, but cancer patients they suffer from what's called cachexia and anorexia. So they they're slow release capsules for 1 to 10 TCBD ratio. And they're given in a clinical trials. Well, don't quote me because I might-

Seth Adler: Well, we'll also look it up and maybe even link it in the-

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. You can look it up. And if you want me I'll send you the link.

Seth Adler: Please do.

Dr Haleli S.: If you go to clinical trials.gov this study has been completed.

Seth Adler: We'll find it and we'll link it.

Dr Haleli S.: So basically what I said is like you get cannabis to treat symptoms of cancer. People suffer from weight loss, right? So they get these slow release capsules and then they gain weight. Okay. So that was a successful clinical trial. It was done with Renbaum. Dr [inaudible 00:26:39].

Seth Adler: Okay. Yeah, I know him. I've met him.

Dr Haleli S.: Of course you know him. Okay.

Seth Adler: So it reminds me. So my mother had amyloidosis and she passed away about a dozen years ago. And the doctor that we had was a world renowned doctor and kind of tried a number of different things. And this was, like I said, a dozen years ago but it was on the east coast. And so we really didn't do medical cannabis at all in any way. We didn't even think about it to be honest. So he was just treating the disease. He wasn't treating the patient. She was very uncomfortable all the time and we kind of did our research, and finally, kind of towards the end, she was sick for three years, we realized that if she had no salt in her diet that she just felt better. She had inflammation of her tissue.
It's been a long time since I've had this conversation. So I'm off. But there was inflammation, and without salt that subsided at least a little bit. And so if we can at least treat one part of the whole thing is I think what we're both getting at there. And it was very surprising and still infuriating to me that he never considered it, never even said to maybe research it. When we told him he was like, "Hey, you can do whatever you want, but that's not going to matter." And of course it matters. So this is my point about let's take every solution that we possibly can.

Dr Haleli S.: I agree. And I think that when it comes to cannabis people are ignorant. They choose to be ignorant.

Seth Adler: That's what I was getting at earlier.

Dr Haleli S.: So they choose to be ignorant. They consider it as ... like in the US it's still considered a schedule one, right?

Seth Adler: Yes. Tell me about it.

Dr Haleli S.: No, but I must admit a lot of work has been done when it comes to legislation like in the US-

Seth Adler: Oh, sure. No. Absolutely getting closer.

Dr Haleli S.: If I'm going back when I started in, when was it, 200-

Seth Adler: There was nothing.

Dr Haleli S.: You cannot compare it.

Seth Adler: Right. Agreed.

Dr Haleli S.: So it takes time to educate people. It's not bad and it's better. It's exactly, right? Yes, there's the psychoactive effects. Okay. So you do CHC and-

Seth Adler: Work on it.

Dr Haleli S.: Work on it.

Seth Adler: Yeah, exactly.

Dr Haleli S.: But some people they say like that one day consume high THC it knocks them down completely because THC is like ... yeah.

Seth Adler: Well, what does chemotherapy do? I can tell you that it also ... that knocked but down my mother completely as well by the way.

Dr Haleli S.: That's exactly what I'm saying.

Seth Adler: All right. So we have to keep in touch because I need to follow you and your research and everything as we go here, right? Because we're making headway is your point. It's small steps but we are going in the right direction is what hearing.

Dr Haleli S.: And we generate data as you can tell.

Seth Adler: There we go. Dr. Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: It's like jumping off the cliff. It's Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli Sharir.

Dr Haleli S.: You know Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Seth Adler: Of course.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. He lived in a land called Hohnalee. Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Now you got it. Now I got.

Dr Haleli S.: Almost.

Seth Adler: This is Peter, Paul, and Mary. I got it as far as an American can get it. I mean, come on. So this is how I make all of the Americans as bad as me. I just depersonalize knowing I'm supposed to personalize it. I'm going to ask you the three final questions. I'll tell you what they are. I'll ask you them in order. What's most surprised you in cannabis? And we're talking about some pretty big stuff here. What's most surprised you in life? And on the soundtrack of your life one track, one song that's gotta be on there.
But first things first, what has most surprised you in cannabis? Is it that it reduces tumors with the same effect as chemotherapy? That's very surprising from this conversation for me. I've never had anyone that has had the cojones to say that before.

Dr Haleli S.: Well, I didn't know that to just ... it's like a medical pill. Okay? So this is I think the most exciting, not surprising. Killing tumors, it does amazing stuff cannabis. Okay.

Seth Adler: And how long did you study medicine before you got to be a doctor? How many years?

Dr Haleli S.: It's not medicine. So you go through grad school. So just like we spent tons of time in the lab doing research, but I love basic research.

Seth Adler: How many years do we have?

Dr Haleli S.: Wow. 15 years to complete my postdoc.

Seth Adler: So 15 years and you're still calling it magic is my point.

Dr Haleli S.: It's magic. And it's natural.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Okay. We're on the same page. What's most surprised you in life? It might be just that.

Dr Haleli S.: Well, do we really want to get there?

Seth Adler: Sure.

Dr Haleli S.: What do you mean what most surprised me in life?

Seth Adler: As you've gone on here on earth what's most surprising to you. A lot of people have said the resilience of human beings. You get knocked down. You feel like you're counted out and then you just get up and dust yourself off. That's a very surprising thing.

Dr Haleli S.: Are you familiar with Dr. Seuss-

Seth Adler: Yes, of course. Dr. Seuss.

Dr Haleli S.: All the places you'll go?

Seth Adler: This is what my mother used to give. My best friends from when I was three years old just quoted it back to me because he still has the book that she gave him from his graduation from high school. So yes, I know that this book.

Dr Haleli S.: Have you read my recent interview about artificial intelligence? So it went with-

Seth Adler: I do a podcast on artificial intelligence as well. Are you serious?

Dr Haleli S.: Yes.

Seth Adler: What are you doing talking about artificial intelligence?

Dr Haleli S.: Go look for it-

Seth Adler: Of course we will.

Dr Haleli S.: ... Dr. Haleli Sharir and artificial intelligence on cannabics. So you'll see that. So I hadn't two recent ... Well, it was published where? Medium.

Seth Adler: Yeah, yeah. Website.

Dr Haleli S.: Thrive Global. I don't know.

Seth Adler: We'll find it. Everybody's gone Google, right? So we can find it through Google. Go on.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. So I quote Dr Seuss. Okay. So this like I say. It surprises me there's sometimes I feel like I'm really, really down. But then I kind of like remotivated myself, and it's better. I don't know if ... I hate when people say, "Oh, you're a strong person."

Seth Adler: But that is true though. What you just shared is the fact that you are strong enough to overcome adversity by yourself. Not everybody can do that. So that's why they see strengthen in you.

Dr Haleli S.: Just sometimes like I feel like it's not like I'm in a survival mode, but it's like sometimes I feel like ... I keep going, but it's not like I keep going. Listen, I relocated myself to a different country.

Seth Adler: To the United States.

Dr Haleli S.: To the United States.

Seth Adler: Not an easy place. Philadelphia.

Dr Haleli S.: I love Philadelphia.

Seth Adler: Well, I'm from New York. So we don't like the Philadelphia sports teams for instance.

Dr Haleli S.: I know that.

Seth Adler: What did they throw? Snowballs at Santa Claus. You know that.

Dr Haleli S.: Groundhogs Day is Punxsu-

Seth Adler: Punxsutawney, yeah. In Pennsylvania.

Dr Haleli S.: It's my birthday, groundhogs day.

Seth Adler: February 2nd. Get out of here. Happy belated birthday or actually happy birthday next year. I'm the first one in.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. So-

Seth Adler: You moved to another country. People say you're so strong for moving to another country.

Dr Haleli S.: By myself. So it was just like some of my friends, they said, even I don't know, "They'll send you to the moon. You'll be fine." But it's just like ... I don't know. I think the obstacles are what makes you, right?

Seth Adler: Of course.

Dr Haleli S.: So you cannot measure yourself by-

Seth Adler: Your wins.

Dr Haleli S.: Yes. And there's no such thing as a failure. But I do recommend ... if you want me I'll share the interview for Medium, whatever. You'll see. I quoted Dr Seuss.

Seth Adler: All right. I like it. I like it a lot. Are you really surprised or are you really baffled by the fact that people call you strong? Is it because you expect that that why ... of course, everybody can do this. Is that why you're saying what you're saying?

Dr Haleli S.: I dislike that when they said they are strong. You know what I mean? I'm-

Seth Adler: You dislike it when people call you strong?

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Why?

Dr Haleli S.: Because it's just like, "Oh, you're a strong person." So some people for them it doesn't ... you cannot go with that [inaudible 00:35:25] what I'm going to say next.

Seth Adler: [inaudible 00:35:25] You have a microphone.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. So I won't say.

Seth Adler: All right. Then we'll look at the article. I feel like you've said enough is what ... I've pushed you to the limit. Darn it. And you've quoted Dr Seuss and we'll go to that is I think what your point is. Yes?

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. So I'm not afraid. Okay. So what I do like about myself is that I have my way and I am a firm believer in my way. I try to never hurt people. So I do believe that good brings good.

Seth Adler: Likewise. I'm with you there.

Dr Haleli S.: So I think that you always have to be kind and generous. But some people there is a misinterpretation that I'm strong. So some people I feel that I get left because they say, "Oh, she's strong. She'll be fine."

Seth Adler: I see.

Dr Haleli S.: See what I'm saying?

Seth Adler: Now I see what you're saying. Yes. No, that's fine. I can see your point there. Folks see your strength and then take advantage of the fact that they have seen that strength and then say, "Okay. Well, she can take this because she's so strong." And your point is, "Okay. Maybe I was strong there but give me a second over here. I'm not just invincible." All right. On the soundtrack of your-

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. Okay.

Seth Adler: On the soundtrack of your life one track, one song that's got to be on there.

Dr Haleli S.: In English?

Seth Adler: It doesn't matter.

Dr Haleli S.: One track, one song. Wow! There're plenty.

Seth Adler: Well, we could go with Puff, the Magic Dragon, but that's just an example.

Dr Haleli S.: No. That was just-

Seth Adler: Yes. This is the help people.

Dr Haleli S.: Okay. Think about it.

Seth Adler: Well, you could go with the Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen. You could go with a Hall and Oates, the entire canon. There of course blue-eyed Soul from Philadelphia.

Dr Haleli S.: Go with Streets of Philadelphia.

Seth Adler: Streets of Philadelphia. The city spoke to you, right? You had a really good-

Dr Haleli S.: No, Philadelphia is always home. When I get there-

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah, it is.

Seth Adler: But you're from here.

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah. But Philadelphia is home. I'm a resident. You know that I am a US resident.

Seth Adler: I didn't know that. But now I only do.

Dr Haleli S.: So now you do. Philadelphia is a little big city. It has culture, it has food, and it's very, very easy to go around. And it's an hour ride from New York. You hop on the Amtrak-

Seth Adler: And you're right there.

Dr Haleli S.: And you right there.

Seth Adler: And [inaudible 00:37:51] yourself-

Dr Haleli S.: The Amtrak. Not the bus. It took me six hours one time.

Seth Adler: Or the SEPTA.

Dr Haleli S.: What's SEPTA. The Lincoln-

Seth Adler: The Lincoln Tunnel. The bus, yeah, that's a rough ride.

Dr Haleli S.: [crosstalk 00:38:02] I got stuck. It's the $1 bus. And I told my friends. They say, "You're spoiled." I said, "Yes. I spoil. I work hard. So I'm spoiled." Even though when-

Seth Adler: It's also you get what you pay for, right? If it's a dollar-

Dr Haleli S.: [inaudible 00:38:12] are you kidding me-

Seth Adler: Come on now. Pat's or Gino's.

Dr Haleli S.: Pat's or Ginos. One is like okay-

Seth Adler: Which one are you? Because I'm Pat's. No question 100%.

Dr Haleli S.: I don't know. Pat's I think has better steaks and the other one has better fries. So that's the thing.

Seth Adler: Well, which one are you going for? A cheese steak. You see what I'm saying? For me at least the last time I was there Pat's was this little shack and Gino's had like the Las Vegas lights and I was like, "I'm definitely Pat's." Philosophically-

Dr Haleli S.: I do not differentiate between Pat's and Gino, whenever. If there's no line here then I'll go with Pat.

Seth Adler: That's where you go, shorter line.

Dr Haleli S.: The shorter line.

Seth Adler: This has been fantastic. I'm going to try it one more time. Dr. Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Halili?

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: I'm never going to get it. Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Just jump off the cliff.

Seth Adler: Haleli.

Dr Haleli S.: Haleli.

Seth Adler: Haleli. I'm saying it back to you. You're like, "No, it's still not right."

Dr Haleli S.: No, it's not right.

Seth Adler: Sharir. I got Sharir though.

Dr Haleli S.: Sharir you got. Some people in the US they just call me Lily.

Seth Adler: Lily.

Dr Haleli S.: That was easier.

Seth Adler: Is it okay?

Dr Haleli S.: Yeah, it's fine.

Seth Adler: All right. Lily Sharir. We will check in with you down the line.

Dr Haleli S.: Perfect.

Seth Adler: And there you have Haleli Sharir. Very much appreciate her time. Very much appreciate your time. Stay tuned.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.