Part 2: Cannabis Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy

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Part 2: Cannabis Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy

Today we're joined once again by the very knowledgeable Justin Sinclair for Part 2 in our series on the responsible clinical use of cannabis.

Justin takes us on a journey through the complex phytochemistry and pharmacognosy of the various medicinal cannabis species. He talks about the merits and flaws in using isolated plant extracts with single active constituents versus using full, whole-herb extracts for their herbal synergy - or "The Entourage Effect". His knowledge of both the phytochemical aspects and the regulatory hurdles facing the medicinal cannabis industry is without equal.


Justin Sinclair is a practicing naturopath, author, consultant and lecturer specialising in herbal medicine and phytochemistry.

He spent much of his younger years travelling and learning from different cultures about their ethnopharmacological uses of various plants, which led him to formal study in the CAM field in his twenties. After completing a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy with the University of New England and diploma level studies in herbal medicine, naturopathy and nutrition with ACNT in 2002, he went on to study the Master of Herbal Medicines with Sydney University’s Faculty of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004.

Key areas of study in this program were analytical phytochemistry, pharmacognosy, toxicology, pharmaceutical technology and medicinal botany. He has published on the topics of pain management and herb/drug interactions in peer reviewed texts and has held executive director and examiner positions on the board of directors for the National Herbalists Association of Australia. Justin has had a research interest in medicinal cannabis for the last 6 years, in particular the endocannabinoid system, constituent synergy (i.e.Entourage effect), novel drug delivery systems for cannabinoids and terpenes and the use of medicinal cannabis for pain, anxiety and immunomodulation.

Other Podcasts with Justin include:



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Justin Sinclair

Justin has been involved in exploring herbal medicines from both a scientific and traditional perspective for over 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy from the University of New England in 2002 and his Master of Herbal Medicines from Sydney University's faculty of Pharmacy in 2004. 

He has worked as a technical consultant to the CAM industry since 2006 and worked in degree level education since 2007 teaching a wide array of subjects, from anatomy, physiology, clinical pathology and integrated pharmacology to modality specific subjects such as pharmacognosy & phytochemistry, botany and advanced herbal therapeutics.

He has been active in various professional associations, including working as an Executive Director, Board Member Advisory Committee member and Examiner for the National Herbalists Associations of Australia, and currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for United in Compassion.

He has published several chapters in leading naturopathic textbooks and articles in peer-reviewed journals on the topics of pain management, herbal medicine and herb/drug interactions. His current clinical and research interests include medicinal cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, plant pharmacology for pain, inflammation, physiological adaptation and immunomodulation.

Visit Justin's website here.