ACS Guidance to Hawaii on Anxiety Treatment


Dear Madam/Sir: I write to you to support the petitions before you to include anxiety, depression, and insomnia as qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment in Hawai’i.

For the pdf version of this article, click here.


I am a cannabis medicine specialist. I went to Harvard Medical School and trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. I have been in practice for over 25 years, the last nearly decade exclusively focused on cannabis medicine. I am president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists – an international professional organization, and I am an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.


In Massachusetts, where I live and practice, we do not have qualifying conditions per se. We are afforded the freedom to treat patients who have any condition that is medically appropriate to treat with cannabis. I think this is an ideal approach that returns the ability and responsibility to follow the science and medical best practices to the physicians who are best able to judge that medical necessity.

Medical Cannabis for Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia

The literature on medical cannabis specifically for the indications of anxiety, depression, and insomnia is clear. These studies have been presented by the petitioner and I would be happy to address any questions about these that you may have. Cannabis can be very effectively used to treat all three of these problems.

Dosing and Delivery Methods

Dosing is the critical element dividing success or failure, particularly for these specific conditions. As with any medication, cannabis can be used successfully or it can be misused. Cannabis can be used in conjunction with many conventional medications to achieve better benefit than with either alone. I have personally treated thousands of patients with these specific illnesses, and the results are impressive.


As a practical matter, to improve the outcomes for patients in HI, I would suggest greater requirement of clinicians to be specific about dosing and delivery methods, and absolute adherence by the dispensary agents to a clinician’s treatment plan.

Please refer to the Association of Cannabis Specialists’ website and the document entitled A Federal Framework of Regulation for Medical Cannabis Use which can equally well be applied to states’ programs.

ACS Supports the Addition of Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia

I, and the medical literature, strongly support the addition of anxiety, depression, and insomnia to the list of conditions clinicians are able to treat with medical cannabis in HI. I urge you to add these conditions to the approved list.

Jordan Tishler MD
President, CMO inhaleMD
President, Association of Cannabis Specialists
Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School