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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Apr 21, 2021

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This week, Andrew and Michelle welcome back one of their regular and much loved guests, Tom Viola, R.Ph., C.C.P., aka ‘Mr. Pharmacology’. As many of you will already know, Tom has over 30 years’ experience as a pharmacist, educator, speaker and author, who specializes in providing overviews and insights into the most prevalent oral and systemic diseases and the most frequently prescribed drugs used in their treatment. With April being National Cannabis Awareness Month, Tom joins our hosts for an in depth discussion regarding cannabis and the world of dentistry.


They begin their discussion by sharing their differing perspectives on post-pandemic life, announcing Michelle’s explosive life changing decision, and introducing a fascinating new project in which Tom is involved. From there, they take a deep dive into what cannabis is, where its active ingredients are found, the reasons for the lack of research and understanding about it, and, above all, the need for further exploration regarding its potential. Tom also explains the many aspects of dentistry which cannabis can and will impact, the importance of determining patient substance abuse concerns, and he finishes by offering his valuable advice regarding access to cannabis and exposure to vaping aerosol particles. Knowledgeable, articulate, and always entertaining, Tom has a lot to teach everyone on the role and impact of cannabis use in the dentistry world, and he shares so much of that with listeners here today.




Interview starts: 15:50


  •   Differing perspectives on post-pandemic life
  •   Michelle’s big life change
  •   Getting to know Tom
  •   ‘Medical History Mysteries’
  •   The need for more cannabis exploration
  •   The legal quagmire surrounding cannabis in the US and the resulting lack of research and ‘big pharma’ involvement with it
  •   What cannabis is and why it’s a controlled substance
  •   The active ingredients in cannabis and extracting them
  •   Vaping, oral oils and their effects
  •   What cannabis does to you and the many aspects of dentistry it impacts
  •   Comparing cannabis and tobacco smoking
  •   Helping cannabis using patients protect themselves
  •   Determining patient substance abuse concerns
  •   Tom’s advice regarding access to cannabis and exposure to vaping aerosol particles




“If I never have to go into a grocery store again – done.”


“Cannabis needs more exploration…it holds so much potential.”


“Our patients are more expert on cannabis than we are.”


“The flowers are where everything’s at.”


“It’s that pseudo-science that’s promoting cannabis and killing it at the same time.”


“It’s a bunch of sexually frustrated female plants who are trying desperately to find pollen.”


“The majority of this industry is trading in the extracts.”


“That’s a systemic dilemma, if you will.”


“I know a lot of people who do an edible before bedtime. That’s their routine.”


“I think Tom just needs a better dealer, is what it sounds like.”


“A lot of people do pre-treat for their dental anxiety with cannabis.”


“We don’t know a lot about cannabis and its effects.”


“A lot of people use cannabis to replace opioids.”


“Trust me, children have greater access to cannabis than they ever did.”


‘At the end of the day, vaping’s not vapor. It’s aerosol.”




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