What Is ABBI The Medical Cannabis Chatbot?


When you are a suffering patient and you need answers to questions about cannabis, finding what you are looking for is much harder than most people think. For most patients, going to their doctor is not an option because of the stigma involved, both towards the patient and towards the topic from a doctor’s standpoint. Unless a doctor specializes in seeing cannabis patients, chances are you would know more than they would, which is unfortunate.

Online searches for answers is a rough and usually fruitless process. Anyone who has Google’d about their condition(s) will tell you that. That’s not to say that there isn’t good info out there, because there absolutely is. But surrounding that valuable information is a seemingly never ending supply of people either overselling the benefits of cannabis, or information that is completely useless, or someone just trying to push CBD products made from low grade hemp paste from overseas. It’s a tremendous task to try to navigate such a labyrinth of internet garbage.

Fortunately there is a better way. ABBI is a new online tool that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help people find the answers to their questions. Rick Bakas created the platform after spending years trying to help his mom find the right strain and delivery method for treating her multiple sclerosis. When Rick started on his quest to help his mom, it was the early 2000’s and the amount of info was limited. These days there is so much information that valuable info gets lost in the white noise.

Rick wanted to help patients like his mom be able to find the right information without the frustrating process. He wanted to ensure that patients were getting credible, applicable information in a timely manner. So he teamed up with a family of licensed physicians (Knox) that run The Canna MDs in order to compile a bank of answers to frequently asked questions about using cannabis for wellness purposes. That bank of information was then turned into a new edutainment bot built on OctaneAI’s Convos editor.

The end product is ABBI, which basically works by patients asking questions and receiving answers back via Facebook messenger. Artificial intelligence technology will continue to enhance the quality of the answers provided. The more questions that are asked, the more the AI has to work with. I am by no means a technological genius, but I have seen this type of concept applied to other things with great success. I think this idea is absolutely fantastic, and is in my opinion the best idea in the cannabis space to come out in 2017.

Forbes recently covered the platform’s launch, and I encourage everyone to read it and share it with others that they know. It includes more info about ABBI, including how privacy concerns are handled and what happens if/when the platform doesn’t have the exact answer the patient is looking for. Right now some of the answers are a bit general, but they will get ‘more granular’ as time goes on according to ABBI creator Rick Bakas, as stated in the article.

I plan on sending everyone I know to the platform. I have been elbows deep in cannabis information for many years because it’s something that I eat and breath (literally!) on a daily basis, but I recognize the obvious fact that most other people don’t. They believe that cannabis can help, and want to learn more, but they don’t know where to start. I really think that ABBI is going to change all of that. As it is used more and more I think it will become a sort of ‘Library of Alexandria for the medical cannabis world.’ A huge hat tip to Rick Bakas and the Dr. Knox family for making it a reality. Patients are going to benefit from what they built for years to come.

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