Treating Marijuana Syndromes with Traditional Chinese Medicine


John Mini M.S.C.M., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Marijuana is a very important issue for acupuncturists. Nearly 11% of the population in the United States use marijuana on a regular basis, which calculates to roughly 35 million people. This number is growing every day, and will continue to grow regardless and perhaps in spite of marijuana’s legal status.

The clinical challenge this presents is twofold. First, there is a strong chance that patients will not reveal that they use marijuana even if they do. If the effects of marijuana are not correctly identified, some very critical factors in the diagnostic process are lost. It may also seriously impede patients’ healing process, which in turn may erode confidence and effectiveness as a clinician.

The second issue is that marijuana is a very dynamic herb with powerful synergisms and antagonisms. The presence of marijuana in a patient will radically alter the effects of both the herbal medicine and acupuncture they receive.

Acupuncturists and herbalist have a unique potential to treat the side effects of marijuana. With a little training, you will soon be able to spot Marijuana Syndromes in your clinical practice and have a whole new set of easy-to-use tools in your diagnostics. In addition, you will be able to radically improve your patients’ healing and boost your confidence, effectiveness, and reputation as a practitioner.

Many People Don’t Know That Marijuana Has Side Effects
In general, people don’t know that marijuana has side effects. This is incredible, given what a powerful drug it is. That’s why I believe it is very important to educate people about the side effects of marijuana and what they can do about them using Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is a very rewarding and unusual kind of public outreach. If you get involved, it can help you to contact and help many people that you never would otherwise.

I’ve been doing public education on the side effects of marijuana for several years now. This experience has taught me that the most important population to focus this education on now is healthcare practitioners. Why? Because I’ve learned over this time that healthcare practitioners actually know less about the side effects of marijuana than the rest of the population. The result is that literally millions of people are getting misdiagnosed and mistreated. I want to completely reverse this trend and send it in a positive direction.

I believe the best group of healthcare practitioners to begin with is acupuncturists and herbalists. This is for several reasons:

  1. I’m an acupuncturist and herbalist, so I’m totally biased.
  2. As acupuncturists and herbalists, we have the ability to directly observe and understand the effects of marijuana in our clinical practice. Marijuana is an herb. It has qualities just like any other herb does. Discerning and describing the effects of marijuana falls entirely within the scope of what we already do.
  3. Intimacy. We get to know our patients in a deeper way than possibly any other form of healing. The quiet and private atmosphere of the treatment room, the very nature of the work we do and the time we spend with our patients all render down to close and very personal relationships with our patients. One of the many fruits of this bond is the detailed knowledge that is born from a close or long association or study. This knowledge embodies levels of quality and dimensionality that go far beyond the type of research that can be done in labs or controlled experiments. This is exactly how I learned about the Marijuana Syndromes. I encourage you to do it as well.
  4. Patient expectations. People have a level of expectation for the performance of their acupuncturist that is on par being a world-class psychic, wise elder, miracle worker, shaman and old school physician all rolled into one. They expect us to take care of what all those other guys can’t, and by the time they make it to us they usually have seen all the other guys.
  5. True ability. At the bottom of it all, we have an ability to treat the side effects of marijuana in ways that no other medicine can. Our understanding of the nature of herbs and their effects both immediately and over time, plus our use of a great variety of direct, immediate and very sensitive diagnostic tools allows us to discern and treat subtle psycho-physiological patterns and changes that go far beyond where other forms of medicine go. Remember, the modalities that we use every day treat levels of being that modern medicine doesn’t even believe exist.

In essence, our professional language and orientation allow us to understand the effects of marijuana and treat them effectively with very little specialized training.

This is Not About Treating an Addiction
I want to make it very clear that what I am talking about is not about addictions or how to deal with them. Addiction is a whole separate issue. It is a very important issue, but it is one that I recommend you do not bring up in any way to your patients who use marijuana. The reason is that almost no one, regardless of the depth of relationship that they have with marijuana, believes that they are addicted to it. This is part of the nature of the drug itself. If you bring up the issue of addiction with your patient, you will probably lose your rapport with them and/or lose them altogether.

I have found a much better approach to working with people who take marijuana. I respect each person’s lifestyle choices, and bring them into a state of balance from wherever they are. When they are in that place of balance they tend to make better decisions.

I encourage people do whatever they want to do and come to their own conclusions. Over the years, this attitude attracted a lot of people who were deeply involved with marijuana to come to me for treatment. As I got to know them over time, I began to discover the Marijuana Syndromes.

Today, after more than twenty years of working with this unique population, I have discerned and distinguished over 200 different Marijuana Syndromes and how to treat them using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet and qi gong.

The Marijuana Syndromes and their treatments are the secret techniques that I have developed over 20 plus years of working with a very diverse marijuana population. I don’t want to keep this knowledge a secret. I want to pass it on to you and others who can carry it forward and develop it even more.

These techniques have become a virtual religion for many of the people that I have used them with. When you learn these techniques you will find in them useful not just to the marijuana users themselves, but to everybody they come into contact with as well, including yourself.

Acupuncture and the Politics of Marijuana
Major media venues are very hot on the subject of the effects, economics and politics of marijuana. There are a number of key people in the entertainment industry who are also beginning to campaign on this important issue in ways that might surprise you.

For example, Kymani Marley, a Reggae/Hip Hop superstar, began speaking out about balancing marijuana using Chinese herbs by promoting an OTC medication that I developed for this purpose called Balance the Herb. This is only the beginning of a very ambitious campaign that he and a number of others have embarked on to turn this population toward greater balance.

Because of all the media coverage around marijuana these days, it is only a matter of time before your patients will start asking you questions about the effects of marijuana on their health. I guarantee those questions are going to shake you to your core if you do not know what is coming. These people really want to know, and they want you to answer them with depth and sincerity. Be prepared.

On a political level, I believe the issue of marijuana is very important for acupuncturists to be familiar with. This is because both sides of the so-called medical marijuana debate have serious holes in them that we have the ability to solve. We can stand as a voice of measure and reason on the sidelines of this debate. We can come forth shining on the middle path and help to guide the public in a positive direction.

Treating Our Ancient Future
Treating the effects of marijuana is a new arena in our field, but it is an ancient one as well. It is so perfectly suited to our expertise, that the possibilities for our professional expansion in this area are limitless. I invite you to participate.

There is every good reason to learn how to treat Marijuana Syndromes using Traditional Chinese Medicine. This process is a lot like learning a new vocabulary word. Once you know it, you discover it everywhere. And, like a new word, it can open up incredible possibilities that you never knew were there before.

To learn more and get involved with this project, please visit:

About the Author
John Mini, M.S.C.M., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. is an acupuncturist and herbalist in Marin County, California. He has dedicated over twenty years of research into the side effects of marijuana and how to treat them using Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is the author of the soon to be released Marijuana Syndromes: Treating the Side Effects of Marijuana with Traditional Chinese Medicine. John is also the creator of Balance the Herb, an OTC herbal supplement that balances the side effects of marijuana.

To learn more about Marijuana Syndromes and Chinese Medicine, click here to view a complete list of courses by John Mini.