Podcast Review: Zana Medical Tackles Cannabis and Insomnia with a Binge-Ready Podcast

HealthLab by ZanaMedical Introduces "Eyes Wide Open, a Podcast About Cannabis & Insomnia"

I have to confess: I’m not only a Netflix binge watcher, but truth be told, I’m also a binge podcast listener. My most recent obsession was “S-Town,” an investigative journalism podcast created by the producers of “Serial” and “This American Life.” Incredibly, “S-Town” was downloaded 10 million times over four days. That’s a lot of downloads. And, a record!

When it comes to cannabis, there are a lot of great podcasts: from “Cannabis Confidential with Dr. Dina” and “Good News with Nurse Heather” to “The Marijuana Agenda with Russ Belville. There’s even a podcast network — Cannabis Radio —  dedicated exclusively to bringing great voices in cannabis to the public.

(For the uninitiated, a podcast is a digital audio production — much like a radio show — designed to be consumed on your mobile device. Popular networks like iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker host thousands of different podcasts on virtually every topic.)

HealthLab by Zana Medical Blends High Production Values With Compelling Story Telling

But, what we haven’t had yet in the world of cannabis is a podcast that follows in the footsteps of shows like “Startup” and “This American Life,” that weave personal stories with inquisitive and insightful commentary. That shouldn’t be a surprise — producing those shows are no easy feat. It took producer and investigative reporter, Brian Reed (and a large production team) nearly three years to bring us “S-Town!”

Well, the ganja gods must have been listening. And, we now have a cannabis-focused podcast that would feel right at home on NPR. Zana Medical’s Zana HealthLab “Eyes Wide Open Podcast, a Podcast About Cannabis and Insomnia” blends foundational knowledge on the clinical side of cannabis, interviews with recognized experts with compelling personal stories from patients.  

What I like most about the Zana HealthLab podcast — aside from the high production values and original music — is the dynamic between hosts Seth Lorinczi and Jeremy Kossen. Seth has a breezy, informal style that gives us a peek into cannabis from the perspective of a layperson. Science writer and Zana Medical’s research director, Jeremy Kossen, provides the essential foundational knowledge breaking down the science.

Seth never lets Jeremy get too nerdy, and keeps the podcast from diving too deep into the intricacies of our endocannabinoid system. The duo has great chemistry; and keep the show (which averages 45 minutes per episode) moving along so quickly, by the end of each episode, I was more than ready to hop right on to the next episode!

Zana HealthLab’s “Eyes Wide Open: A Podcast About Cannabis and Insomnia” comprises season one. An episodic series that unfolds over five episodes, episodes two through four focus on specific cohorts — women, veterans, and seniors. Episode one sets up the season by providing foundational knowledge on clinical cannabis with interviews from top researchers like Harvard-trained Nick Jikomes, Ph.D., cannabis science lead at Leafly, and Dr. Kimberly Babson, who’s authored numerous scientific papers on insomnia and cannabis.

One of the most interesting episodes — S01E03 Cannabis, Veterans, & Insomnia — features Roger Martin. Martin seems an unlikely candidate for clinical cannabis. A veteran of the Army, and a retired police officer, Martin admits he was hesitant to try cannabis. But, after years of being medicated by his doctors with a brutal cocktail of prescription drugs, from Ambien to OxyContin, he had enough. But, his first foray into cannabis was anything but seamless. I won’t drop a spoiler on you, but his story is both funny and heartwarming.

An Episodic Series

Co-host Jeremy Kossen describes their goal in producing a podcast exploring the clinical side of cannabis:

“With medical marijuana now legal in 28 states, Washington D.C., and Canada, over 230 million people in North America live in states or provinces where cannabis is legal is various forms,” said Jeremy Kossen, co-host of Zana HealthLab. “Our goal for the Zana HealthLab is to provide a critical and objective view of cannabis a potential treatment option. By featuring a broad cross section of patients, physicians, and scientists, our goal is for patients to be able to make informed decisions about their health.”

You can subscribe to the podcast on your preferred network, iTunes, Stitcher, or Spreaker. Or, binge listen to them on HealthLab Radio by Zana Medical:

 Zana HealthLab “Eyes Wide Open, a Podcast About Cannabis and Insomnia,” was produced by Zana Medical, an online clinical cannabis guidance company that delivers personalized cannabis treatments by combining advanced guidance and assessment tools with support from expert clinicians and coaches.

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