[00:01:15] About This Podcast
[00:04:04] Podcast Sponsors
[00:06:40] The Science of Cannabis or CBD
[00:09:38] How CBD and THC are separated
[00:11:35] The Effects of Ingesting CBD With and Without the THC Cannabinol
[00:17:17] The Interesting History of Cannabis
[00:20:11] The Source of The Stigma Surrounding the Use Of CBD
[00:22:56] The Effects of CBD On Our Pathways
[00:30:23] Podcast Sponsors
[00:33:44] At the Kentucky Castle with Matt, Michael and Taylor
[00:35:42] How to Know What CBD Product to Buy in The Current Unregulated Marketplace
[00:40:45] The Most Common Questions I’m Asked Regarding CBD
[00:45:16] Why Taylor Prefers the Ethanol Mode of CBD Extraction Over the Others
[00:49:12] Why Precision in Dosing And THC: CBD Ratios Are So Important
[00:53:45] The Specific Ways Mike, Matt, Taylor, And I Use CBD
[00:56:52] How A Novice or New User Should Shop For CBD
[00:58:40] Testing CBD Brands
[01:01:50] Ben’s Final Thoughts on CBD
[01:04:43] Taylor’s Recommendations on CBD
[01:05:09] CBD Nighttime Recipe
[01:06:25] End of Podcast
Taylor: And there’s a snip for that that basically the CC variants, which actually protects you against addiction to not only street drugs but also alcohol, those people actually have worsening sleep effects with any cannabis. So, THC or CBD.
Ben: He proclaimed that cannabis is one of the most valuable medicines that we possess. Because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory potential, I wouldn’t take it right after training, but later on, in the evening, it can be a very, very good recovery type of compound.
I have a master’s degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I’ve spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world’s toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world’s top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Hey, I hope you’re ready to get stoned and talk about weed. No, I’m just kidding. Today’s podcast episode is more about the healthy healing part of hemp. Do you like my alliteration there? All things CBD and cannabis. This was an episode I had a chance to record with my friends and precision medical practitioners, Michael Mallin and Matt Dawson, when I was last in Kentucky. And we also brought in this really bright guy named Taylor Bright. That’s his actual name, Dr. Taylor Bright. He’s a CBD chemist and researcher.
So, you’re going to hear us talk about all sorts of things in this show. It’s kind of two parts. It’s a little bit of an introduction for me where I get into some of the endocrine, and sleep, and athletic performance, and inflammatory, and recovery properties of CBD, and how it works in some of those respects, and also some of the fascinating history of cannabis. And then we delve into this roundtable with myself, the two docs, and Dr. Bright.
All the shownotes for today’s show are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdpodcast. That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdpodcast. And you will hear Dr. Bright’s talk about this special CBD he formulates, where he uses pure C8, which is a form of caprylic acid. You might be familiar with that as one that a lot of people put in their coffee. It’s kind of like a cognitive booster, but they’re using it as a carrier for CBD, and they do a really good job controlling the entire process from the hemp seed to the bottle with their team of chemists, and farmers, and physicians down there in Kentucky. So, they’re actually producing a very nice CBD. I like their CBD.
I will put a link in the shownotes with this, but you can, if you hear that I was talking about their CBD and you want to get it, you just go to wildhealthcbd.com. And I was able to get Dr. Bright to give us a discount code at wildhealthcbd.com. That code is BEN10. Obviously, there are eight billion different CBD manufacturers out there. There’s very few that I respect. Like Thorne has one good one that’s like a soft capsule called hemp. The company BioCBD has some pretty good formulations too for a more powerful concentrated CBD. I like the Element Health CBD down in Florida. But this Wild Health CBD is also very good stuff, and we talked about it in the show. So, again, the code is BEN10 that you can use down at wildhealthcbd.com.
This podcast is brought to you by Kion, my playground for all things health and wellness. It’s the company I created to scratch my own itch, to blend ancestral wisdom with modern science to kind of use ancient herbs and compounds, and combine those with more modern molecules to provide you with some shotgun formulations for all sorts of things. Like for example, our Flex compound, which is a very good joint support formula. Not only has some more herbal type of compounds like turmeric and tart cherry and things like that, and it helps to heal the joints, but then it’s also got things that are a little lesser used by our ancestors per se in more modern scientific derivatives like cetyl myristoleate to support synovial fluid and proteolytic enzyme combinations to support breakdown of fibrinogen.
So, that’s the approach we have at Kion is we marry a lot of these ancient things our ancestors would have used along with more modern scientific and safe molecules. So, go check out a lot of the cool supplements that we have over there. That one I was just telling you about for the joints is called Kion Flex. I have a 10% site-wide discount code for you. It’s BGF10, and you can use that for anything over at getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com.
I also have something else for you. I have a 20% discount code on Organifi Green Juice. The same stuff you’d pay about $15 for at your local cold pressed juicery you can make in the comfort of your own home for less than three bucks a bottle. And their green juice tastes fantastic. I mean, you can literally put a couple of scoops in Nalgene. Shake it up, chill it, and you’ve got a giant Nalgene bottle full of the same green juice that would break your wallet at the juicery, and they pack this stuff full of extremely high-quality ingredients. The guy that runs this company, Drew Canole. He’s a friend of mine and he is very devoted to high, high-quality ingredients, from the spirulina to the lemon, to the algae, to everything they put into this green powder. It’s solid.
So, anyways, you get a 20% discount on all of the stuff from Organifi, including their red juice, their gold juice, all their different colors of the rainbow. The discount code I have for you is BENG20. So, you go to Organifi. That’s Organifi with an “I”, organifi.com/ben, and your code is BENG20. All right. Let’s go talk cannabis.
All right. So, as promised, I’m going to prelude the interview that you’re about to hear, which again, was recorded down at the fantastic Kentucky Castle with a real overview for you of the science of cannabis, particularly, CBD and some of the variations between the different forms of the cannabinoids that we find in the plant. I think this could be helpful for you. Even if you’re familiar with cannabis and have vaped it or taken an edible, or smoked it, or whatever the case may be, I think there are going to be some interesting takeaways for you from this. So, I’m going to talk to you for a little bit and then transition into the interview in which we also dive in into more of the science of CBD, and the current state of CBD supplements, and why they’re definitely not all created equal.
So, let’s say that you didn’t grow up in the ’60s, you never had stoner parents, you’ve never–really, or maybe have lived a relatively clean life. You simply perhaps smoke joints without ever thinking too hard about what’s happening chemically. So, when people talk about marijuana or use marijuana, they’re usually referring to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. That’s the part of the hemp plant aka the cannabis plant that induces a euphoric state, or an annoying state, or a mildly schizophrenic state, depending on your perspective. You can at least say beyond the shadow of a doubt that it makes Family Guy episodes way, way funnier. And of course THC is what most recreational weed users are looking for, which is probably why botanists have figured out since the 1960s how to increase the amount of THC from around 3% to 5 % in the ’60s to as much as 28%, and in a few cases even higher in our current decade.
So, yeah, it’s true, we’re not smoking the weed our parents smoked. And one draw on a typical joint these days would probably knock your mother on our ass. Now, THC is interesting. It fits into a site called the CB1 receptor in the cerebral cortex of your brain. And that’s what actually causes you to experience this cerebral high, and if you fill in too many of those CB1 receptors a very, very long time locked sitting on your couch. But then there’s cannabidiol or CBD, which is just one of at least I think 85 or more different active cannabinoids identified in cannabis, but it’s a major part of the cannabis plant. It accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s total cannabinoid extract. Now, due mostly to its safety and legality, it’s been researched for a much wider scope of medical applications, then has tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
Now, the interesting thing is that CBD is actually separated from THC in many situations. So, to understand this, just put in your straw hat for the next 60 seconds and become a hemp field farmer. So, hemp fields are just fields of cannabis plants that grow under conditions in which male plants have been allowed to fertilize the female plants. When you separate the male and the female plants, the females can’t be pollinated, so they produce lots of THC. But when the female is allowed to be pollinated, she barely produces any THC. So, a happily sex stuff female hemp plant produces less than 1% THC. To get a higher production of THC in the field of cannabis plants, you would take away the male plant so the females can’t be pollinated. And to lower the THC production, you would keep the male and the female plants together. So, plants used for CBD oil or CBD capsules or hemp oil or hemp protein or your hippie neighbors tie-dyed headwear or toga, those all meet the international standards of less than 1% THC.
Now, I’m not going to spend much time getting into many of the other analogs that we would find in the plant, but in addition to CBD, these same female plants will also contain other cannabinoids, such as CBG which is a fantastic sleep aid, or CBGA which is great for pain and inflammation, or CBC which can do things like inhibit cancer cell growth and also relieve pain and inflammation, or CBCA which is very good for fungus or yeast, or CBDA which is even more powerful than CBD for inhibiting inflammation and seems to have an effect on cancer as well. These are just a few again of those 85 plus different analogs that I was talking about earlier.
But let’s specifically focus on CBD. Why would you want to dump a bunch of that into your body with none of the fun and psychoactive properties of THC? Well, first, it’s important for you to understand what’s going on inside your body when you consume this CBD stuff from those happily mating male and female hemp plants. So, you already learned that THC attaches mostly to CB1 receptors. And most people tell you that CBD fits into a different receptor, a CB2 receptor. Thus, somehow magically minimizing the effects from the CB1 receptor and providing all the medical benefits of hemp without the psychoactive high from THC, but it’s not that easy.
See, CBDX has a very low affinity for both the CB1 and the CB2 receptors, but it acts as what is called an antagonist of those CB receptor agonists. So, bear with me here. All this means is that all the things that would normally activate the CB1 or the CB2 receptors are pretty much turned off or turned down by CBD. So, for example, CBD can increase CB1 receptor density. So, there’s just too many CB1 receptors for THC to bind to, thus, taking the edge off the potential psychoactivity of weed while still retaining all the opioid-like pain-killing effects. CBD can also extend the duration of the effects of THC, kind of like when you would mix theanine with caffeine, for example. And it does that by inhibiting these enzymes called cytochrome p450 enzymes that would normally cause you to more rapidly metabolized THC.
So, your plasma concentrations of THC would increase when you’re using CBD that would result in a greater amount of THC available to your CB1 and CB2 receptors, that would increase the effects of THC in a dose-dependent manner. And this would mean that the more CBD you use, the more THC becomes available. But along with that increase, CBT also acts as an antagonist at another cannabinoid receptor called GPR55. That’s found in a section of your brain called the caudate nucleus. And that reduces paranoia-like effects of THC or the heartbeat racing from THC.
So, here’s what I’m getting at. The magic of CBD is not really based on its action on CB1 or CB2 receptors unless you’re using CBD to specifically elongate the effects of THC or to take any unpleasant psychoactive edge off THC. That’s why a lot of these cooler new edibles and compounds, they’ll be like a 10 to 1 ratio of THC to CBD, or what I like, one that I use has a 10 to 3 ratio of THC to CBD. Now, if CBD did indeed attach to CB1 and CB2 receptors, it would have the same addictive potential of THC. But since its mechanism of action isn’t dependent on those receptors, it’s not addictive and it’s not habit-forming, which is pretty cool.
Now, CBD acts as an agonist on a receptor, but it’s a different receptor. It’s called the 5-HT1A receptor, and that’s how CBD actually works as an antidepressant with anti-anxiety and neuroprotective effects. It also serves as what is called an allosteric modulator of your opioid receptors, and that’s how it works to remove pain and reduce the effects of chronic inflammation. Now, it can also increase intracellular calcium, an agonism of another receptor called your PPAR receptor, which leads to other positive medical effects of CBD.
Now, here’s what’s interesting. I’ll put this in a real-world context for you. As you may know, or you may have forgotten possibly, short-term memory problems are really common with THC. That’s why the extremely funny, laugh snorting joke you told last night can be impossible to remember the next morning or maybe not as funny. So, it probably is related to this. A 2010 study found that CBD eliminates any memory loss problem from weed. And in that study, the researchers used plants bred for high CBD and low THC, and they attributed this attenuation of memory loss to CBD’s role as a CB1 antagonist.
Now, here’s what else is interesting. CBD has really strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects due primarily to its effects on your adenosine receptors, the same receptors that caffeine would act upon, and your cytochrome p450. Now, when this was discovered, the U.S. government actually insisted that cannabis had no medical benefits, but they kind of quietly at the same time took out a patent that gave them rights to the antioxidant properties of cannabis, which is now owned by a pharmaceutical company, I believe GW Pharmaceuticals. Now, that patent was not extended to actual oil or capsule extracts of cannabis. So, they missed out on some pretty good business opportunities there. But nonetheless, they filed a patent on this stuff because of its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The other interesting thing is it’s almost impossible to overdose on CBD, and that’s because kind of like water or say like, I don’t know, tea or dark chocolate, it has a very low level of toxicity. In the last 6,000 years, CBD has never been recorded to kill anyone via an overdose. I’ve personally taken up to 800 milligrams of CBD and been just fine, slept very, very hard but been just fine. And that’s very impressive when you compare it to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or Advil or Tylenol, which can wreak havoc on your gut lining and your liver and your kidneys, or aspirin. You know, it kills over 1,000 people every year, or alcohol which kills over 100,000 people every year. Nobody’s ever died from CBD at all.
Now, this is quite interesting and it’s related to the whole history of CBD. About 2700 years ago in Persia, there was this teacher named Zoroaster, and he penned this sacred text of about 10,000 plants, and he included hemp at the very tippy top of that compendium. Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, he also recommended cannabis extracts for medicine. Cannabis also has links to Christianity, specifically through the Ethiopian Coptic Church. It was held to have been established by St. Mark, the same guy from the New Testament in the Bible in AD 45.
And the cops claimed that the use of marijuana as a sacrament descended from a Jewish sect called the Essenes, the folks who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. And according to the Coptic Church, cannabis played this important role in early Christian and Judaic rituals, specifically as a sacrament burning Tabernacles to commemorate important occasions like communication with God on Mount Sinai by Moses and the transfiguration of Christ and some very interesting things you probably didn’t learn in Sunday school.
And later, Queen Victoria’s physician, one of the world’s leading doctors of that era, Sir Russell Reynolds, he prescribed medicinal cannabis for the queen’s menstrual cramps, which actually, CBD still works fantastically for today. When writing about medical marijuana in the first edition of the British Medical Journal of The Lancet, he proclaimed that cannabis is one of the most valuable medicines that we possess. In addition, the father of French psychopharmacology, Dr. Jean-Jacques Moreau (de Tours), he used the cannabis plant to treat depression, which also, that’s another condition that’s still widely treated with cannabis today.
And later during the Revolutionary War, soldiers were paid with cannabis, and presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson encouraged farmers to grow more hemp to produce more rope and paper, and also clothing and ship sails during World War II. Actually, American farmers were also asked to grow as much hemp as possible. And this is kind of cool. Anything that can be made of plastic can also be made from hemp, which can reduce exposure to phytoestrogens and other chemicals in plastic and other synthetic compounds.
Hemp plant fibers are long and tough. They can be woven into a soft cloth that where as well has few of the herbicides and pesticides associated with other modern cloths like cotton. Even the Declaration of Independence is used to be written on hemp paper so it didn’t yellow with age like other papers do. So, the hemp plant is a highly useful plant. You can even make biofuel from hemp seeds. It’s far less expensive and more effective than the ethanol that we get from corn.
So, it’s got a lot of things going for it, but I want to go back to CBD because if it’s so freaking good for you, there’s got to be a downside, like addictive potential or toxicity or lack of proven safety. But like I mentioned, there’s zero evidence anywhere that is addictive, and that’s because it doesn’t act on any receptors in the brain that would produce addiction.
There’s actually a lot of studies that have been done on this, but unfortunately, the Boggs Act of the 1950s, 1951 that established mandatory sentences for drug users and claimed that cannabis was addictive. Since then, multiple testimonies from many physicians and a lot of research studies have exposed this as false, showing how cannabidiols from marijuana are not physically addictive. But many of those have been ignored and kind of overshadowed by the argument that the plant is a stepping stone to heroin addiction, and the whole Reefer Madness deal.
The concept of marijuana is a gateway drug. But again, with CBD, there have been no cases ever of addiction. And in the early 1900s, it was also, as part of the prohibition movement, claimed to be addictive. But shortly following that, there was a long-term study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in the ’70s, again showing no concerns with addiction. And that was also something that showed that in the presence of THC, it could actually downregulate some of the addictive potential of THC.
So, it’s safe as well. There was a doctor named Lester Grinspoon, who’s a professor at Harvard Medical School, who spent the majority of his professional life studying cannabis from the ’60s to the 2000s, and they didn’t find one single case of death anywhere. And that was from cannabis in general, not just CBD. And there was another–an administrative DEA judge took medical testimony and said it was one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.
When it comes to pain management, one of the primary uses for CBD oil, deaths from drug overdoses and drug poisoning, like I mentioned a little bit earlier, those are going through the roof especially from opioids. And the very cool thing is that CBD and proper dosages can give nearly the same pain reduction that we would get from opioid prescription drugs like morphine or hydrocodone or oxycodone. And when combined with these drugs, it allows you to use far less of the actual prescription, thus reducing the toxic load on your liver and your kidneys.
There was another doctor named Dr. James Hudson, the professor at the University of British Columbia Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine. He said that pharmaceutical companies have an enormous incentive to chemically recreate the natural compounds in marijuana and somehow sell a drug from it. And again, it hasn’t yet been patented for that. It has been patented for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential, but I think that very similar to something like kratom, it’s something that is emerging as a very, very good way to get rid of some of the issues with the opioid epidemic.
So, let’s talk now about the effects of CBD on a few different pathways, starting with your hormonal pathway. So, your endocrine system consists of all these glands through your body that regulates energy levels and metabolism and sex drive. And one big effect of cannabidiol in the endocrine system is to protect against excess stress because it reduces susceptibility to stress-induced activation in your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, or HPA axis.
CBD, in particular, significantly decreases plasma cortisol levels, which is why a lot of people use it for sleep, and it’s something we talk about in the interview that you’re going to hear here in a little bit. But CBD also has some other effects in your endocrine system, particularly, your appetite. Now, you would normally think that marijuana would give you the munchies or make you fat, but here’s how it works. Your pancreas secretes the hormones glucagon and insulin to regulate the blood sugar and signal your liver to break down fat into sugar or to store sugar as fat. In the case of glucagon, you would be breaking down fat. In the case of insulin, you would be storing fat.
So, these hormones work in a process of homeostasis and have a pretty complex feedback mechanism, but THC would increase glucagon and blood sugar, and CBD lowers insulin levels. And it’s this effective CBD that can help to explain why a lot of marijuana users, especially those using higher amounts of CBD strains, tend to even be able to eat more calories but they don’t seem to gain as much weight, and they’ve been shown to have less obesity and lower rates of type 2 diabetes than non-users, and also better blood sugar regulation.
Now, by lowering your pancreatic insulin release, CBD may also alleviate or prevent the progression of some blood sugar disorders, including type 2 diabetes. Now, cannabinoid antagonists like CBD have also been shown to reduce obesity. So, this kind of goes to show you that CBD is good for blood sugar management. It’s good for lowering cortisol. And especially if you take it with CBD, it can mitigate the munchies and weight gain that could potentially occur if you were a marijuana user.
Now, in addition to being able to have a pretty significant cortisol lowering effect, CBD can also reduce anxiety, and it does that by acting again on that 5-HT1A receptor, and also another receptor called your TRPV1 receptor. And both of those are involved in mitigating the anxiolytic, the panic, and the fear responses to stress. And probably, one of the more studied effects of CBD has indeed been on reducing stress and reducing anxiety, typically in the doses of 100 up to a maximum about 900 milligrams. But some people, even as little as 10 to 20 milligrams, they feel that it works like a charm and it keeps them running to hunt down some unhealthy addictive alternative like Valium or Diazepam, for example.
Now, I mentioned inflammation and how CBD has been patented for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, although those patents are–they aren’t currently being enforced from joint pain to irritable bowel syndrome, to diabetic retinopathy, and a host of inflammatory-related conditions, CBD has been shown to modulate the acute inflammation and the chronic inflammation. In similar ways, curcumin or fish oil or resveratrol, for example. Cytokines, those are the signaling proteins that are synthesized and secreted by your immune cells upon stimulation, and in excess, would contribute to inflammation. But what CBD can do is it can stop cytokine production by your immune cells and lower cytokine production by the T helper cells, your Th1 and Th2 cells. I can also lower interleukin 6 or IL-6, another inflammatory compound.
And in one interesting study, researchers tested the effect of CBD on four different cell signaling or mediating molecules associated with intestinal inflammation and oxidative damage to the gut, and they found that CBD reduced the overexpression of something called inducible nitric oxide synthase, which can result in oxidative damage, especially to the intestine. They found that it was able to decrease something called interleukin 1 beta, which is a pro-inflammatory compound often found associated with intestinal injury. And then it also lowered interleukin 6, which is another inflammatory compound often associated with inter–or not interleukin, colitis. Interleukin is associated with colitis, and CBD was able to decrease that.
So, this shows the importance of CBD for its therapeutic potential in the reduction of colonic inflammation and irritable bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome. So, if you have a sensitive gut, a leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating gas, constipation, other signs of gut inflammation, you can actually use CBD very therapeutically to get rid of that, especially if it’s something that’s keeping you up at night. And the fact that CBD would decrease stress, cortisol, anxiety, and then also lower that inflammation makes it very, very handy for that role as well. It’s also why a lot of athletes are now turning to it to manage aches and pains after training. Because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory potential like any antioxidant, I wouldn’t take it right after training, but later on in the evening can be a very, very good recovery type of compound.
Now, I already mentioned CBD’s effects on obesity and fat, but of course, one of the things that is associated with also obesity and weight gain is lack of sleep and insomnia due to the dysregulation of a lot of appetite-regulating hormones. And the interesting thing is that cannabidiol actually activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine, which is technically a stimulant, but it seems to somehow increase adenosine sensitivity so that when your body releases adenosine, if you don’t have caffeine in your system at the same time as the CBD, it can be used to enhance sleep or to combat insomnia. And as I’ve written about and talked about before, one of the most potent ways that I’ve found to increase my deep sleep percentages that I measure with this Oura ring is via the use of anywhere from about 60 to 100 milligrams of a CBD tincture or extract or capsule prior to bed.
So, there are a lot of different things going for CBD. And of course, it’s legal, it’s non-addictive, it’s safe. And I just wanted to kind of introduce today’s interview by giving you a brief overview of why I like CBD and why I’m a fan of its use, and I’m also really closely keeping my eyes on a lot of these other analogues like CBC and CBG and CBD or CBDA and CBGA. So, ultimately, that is where things stand with CBD.
Now, if you want to delve into some of the research that I just got into, as well as anything else mentioned on this show, you can go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdpodcast. That’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdpodcast. So, we’re going to take a quick break here and then jump into the interview with the cats from Kentucky.
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Matt: Okay. CBD. You all have questions and we’re working on answer. So, since our CBD podcast will be a lot of questions, questions like does CBD work for PTSD, does it work for anxiety, depression, sleep, all these specific things and we want–
Michael: We can definitively say maybe.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. So, it turns out science is hard. So, we want to give you good science-backed answers. So, we’re kind of scouring all the data right now. And when we answer those questions, we want to give you really good answers. In the meantime, we’ve got kind of a special situation today. We have Ben Greenfield here. I’m sure you know who Ben is?
Ben: I’m special.
Matt: He’s very special.
Ben: I’m a special person.
Matt: We’ve been hanging out with Ben the last few days at the castle here, having a great time, riding some horses, meeting some horses. American Pharaoh justify the two greatest living horses ever.
Matt: They’re pretty amazing.
Matt: But Ben has a deep knowledge of CBD. And we also have Dr. Taylor Bright here, who’s on the last podcast, who has a deep knowledge and every day spends his days turning flour into CBD oil and putting it in bottles. So, as we told you last time, Taylor has a degree in molecular biology from Princeton, a PhD in genomics from UC San Diego, and has spent quite a bit of time in this world. So, we’re just going to pick these guys’ brains a little bit and maybe answer some of your questions, but just have a bit of a roundtable.
Ben: Hey, Matt, you forgot, I have a degree in physical education.
Matt: Oh, you get a master’s degree in–
Ben: I have a PE. Yeah, I do.
Ben: Mostly, I’m just–I have glorified physical education degree.
Matt: So, the physical education part of CBD.
Ben: I can teach people how to bench press on CBD.
Matt: Wow, that would be nice. So, it’s kind of funny. When I very first started taking CBD, honestly, it’s because to blunt the cortisol response. So, I’m trying to put on a little bit of mass and weight lifting. So, you’re joking, but I know a lot of people actually–
Ben: That was one of the reasons I first started taking it was the effects on the endocrine system.
Matt: Yeah. Me, too. So, I want to dig into that. One question I think we could answer that a lot of people have been asking us is, it is a supplement. It’s unregulated. It’s kind of the wild, wild west and you never know what you need in a bottle. So, if you’re choosing a product–I mean, I had the same issue, and I’ve actually went to farms. I’ve met farmers. I’ve looked at the product. And that’s how I know Dr. Bright. I went to his lab. They’re doing it the right way. And I want a product that I could take and I could give to my patients. And so he’s making that for us now.
So, Dr. Bright, if somebody’s trying to decide what CBD to take, how could they go about making sure that what they’re buying is going to be something that’s a quality product that’s not tainted with something else? Like, tell us your process in general and what someone could look for in the store when they’re buying this.
Taylor: So, the number one thing you can look for in the store is that a company that is making all of its third-party test reports available. Ideally, we’re directly on the bottle. Usually, a lot of people use QR codes. You can go to the website and find them immediately. Or just maybe they go on the website or have other ways of getting it, but the ability to have access to those third-party test reports, which show things like pesticides, residuals, solvents, mold, toxins, heavy metals. Companies that are doing it the right way are not afraid to show you those tests. And that’s really what you need to look at when you’re evaluating bottles on the shelf and moving things forward. And the reason you need to look for all those things, one is because it’s completely unregulated. And then also the way in which a lot of these bottles are created, that CBD is extracted from the plants, can be quite variable and you get a lot of fly-by-night operations that are just pushing these out there.
Michael: What do you mean by that, Taylor? Like, what do you mean by variable? Are there multiple different ways to do that?
Taylor: Yeah. So, there are three main ways to extract CBD used in the industry at the moment. They are hydrocarbon extraction, which is predominantly through the use of butane. There’s CO2, which is predominantly used in supercritical form. And you can also do subcritical CO2 as well. And then there’s also ethanol, which can be done cryogenically in frozen temperatures or at room temperature. And so those three–
Ben: Well, here in Kentucky, Bourbon, right?
Taylor: Yeah, Bourbon as well.
Ben: Yeah, Bourbon ethanol.
Michael: Well, you’re using paint in your garage, right.
Ben: That’s right. Well in my home meth lab.
Taylor: Yup. You find a lot of people doing the old butane in the basement and then kind of finishing off with paint thinner. When you look at the test reports that are out there, you work with some of the third-party groups, they’ll give out almost like PSAs when they find some really crazy stuff. And yeah, I mean, there are tons of paint thinner being used in these things that you’ll find out.
Matt: So, are we talking about actually seeing butane in some of these products?
Taylor: I mean, you’ll see all sorts of residual solvents, butane included, where you are–because even in all the processes including CO2, ethanol and butane, they end up in some form of alcohol, whether it’d be hexane, heptane or some sort of organic solvent, the hexane, heptane, ethanol. And if you don’t pull that off properly and you don’t test for it at the end, you’re just ingesting all those chemicals, which is obviously not what it’s looking for in a nutritional supplement.
We, personally, we use cryogenic ethanol. We feel it is a gentle extraction that allows most of the phytonutrients, terpenes and cannabinoids to be extracted from the plant in a more natural form. And then we pull that ethanol off and test for any residual ethanol, and then kind of bottled up directly from there.
Ben: Now, because CBD is largely a non-water-soluble compound, are you somehow increasing the solubility by making it water-soluble? I mean, sometimes I found it blended with things like turmeric to enhance bioavailability, but do you do anything of that nature?
Taylor: So, we don’t personally do any of that type of stuff. We will provide our CBD in a full spectrum format, just usually in coconut oil. I will also formulate it up into some oil emulsions for topical use. It’s the way that we prefer to do it. That brings a lot of the terpenes and additional phytonutrients along for the ride.
We’re looking at bringing on capabilities to move through distillate and isolate formations in which then we would look to then do some sort of aqueous solubility with getting it into different formulations for different uses.
Ben: Yeah. A lot of people notice better effects of CBD. Or earlier today, at lunch, we were talking about turmeric, right? There was some turmeric root on the table, and I was talking about how–when you find turmeric with bio pairing or black pepper and a lot of supplements that’s to increase the systemic availability, but it completely decreases its effects on the gut. And that you can take turmeric and blend it with ghee or coconut oil, throw a little monk fruit sweetener in there and make yourself like a golden milk latte, and it’s wonderful. It’s very nourishing for the gut.
CBD, very similarly, you can take your CBD, whatever brand it might be, like the bright brand you were talking about or whatever, and get some turmeric root or turmeric powder and you blend that up with like little coconut oil or ghee and turmeric and you get a CBD that you really, really feel. I mean, with any form of that, you can increase solubility dramatically.
Michael: You’ve been in this world for a few years, Ben. You know quite a bit about it. I’ve actually seen some blog posts you’ve done about it. What are you finding people come to you and they’re talking to you about using it for? And what are you finding the best results for?
Matt: We have a lot of patients on this, and I’ve got patient story after patient story, but I’d love to hear kind of what you find people actually find it use for.
Ben: Yeah. Well, because it’s an antagonist of the CB1 and Cb2 receptor agonists, meaning like it’s going to antagonize what THC, for example, would do to that receptor. It doesn’t actually interact with the CB1 or CB2 receptors. I think it’s a 5-HTA1 receptor, that CBD acts on. So, a completely different receptor. But because it antagonizes the things that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC, it can do things like take some of the edge off of THC, decrease its psychoactivity.
It actually decreases some of the cytochrome p450 pathways that would actually normally cause THC to be metabolized more quickly. You can actually slow its release. You can kind of bleed out the release. So, anytime you’re using any form of THC, if you have a higher CBD ratio, or you take CBD along with it, you can actually kind of knock some of the edge, some of the psychoactivity off, and also get all the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of CBD.
That’s not necessarily like a medical or a health use case. It’s just more of a way to enjoy something like THC more. Probably, the most profound way to use it though would be its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential based on it, especially with something like–it’s been safe for colitis and all sort of bowel issues, and it can decrease things like endothelial nitric oxide synthase or inducible nitric oxide synthase in the gut. It can decrease a variety of different interleukins and an inflammatory molecule. So, it’s very, very good for people who have gut issues, who have whatever, constipation, gas bloating, things like that. It does a very good job with that.
Michael: Yeah. And we talked on our last podcast about how some of the ulcerative colitis studies. We were a little disappointed in the results, but I have patients who talk about it helping. So, whether it’s placebo or whether we haven’t studied it well enough, it seems like there’s something there. I think we just need–
Ben: Oh, man. The U.S. government filed a patent on the antioxidant potential CBD. I mean, they obviously saw something there. So, yeah, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, it actually has an effect on insulin sensitivity as well, can increase insulin sensitivity. So, there’s some use case for managing blood sugar, managing diabetes, that type of thing. I wouldn’t necessarily prescribe it to a diabetic as a cure-all, but it certainly seems to have an effect in that respect.
You mentioned earlier about the cortisol effect, and it certainly does seem to lower cortisol based on its activity on the HPA axis. So, it has some good effects there. And sleep is a biggie. Sleep, anxiety, stress, a lot of the pathways, same thing related to the HPA axis. It can really regulate those pretty well. So, a lot of people find faster sleep onset, decreases racing thoughts. The dosages in a lot of these studies though, I mean, it’s like 300 to 900 milligrams of CBD. In many cases, it’s a hefty dose, and that’s why I talked about doing things like blending it with turmeric or oils to make it more bioavailable. So, you don’t have to take your entire bottle of CBD before bed each night, which could turn into a spendy habit.
Matt: Yeah. Sleep is one that I’ve taken it for and actually measure. I’ve done different doses. I’ve looked at my Oura ring and it definitely has an effect on deep sleep and REM, but it’s a much higher dose than what people normally take. I usually have to get over 100 milligrams.
Ben: Yeah, 100 minimum in most cases, yeah, especially if you’re used to using it.
Matt: And it’s tough. And as a physician, I would never recommend someone starting there, but just in personal experience for sleep, and everybody’s different. I know you talk about that a lot, Taylor, but just everyone’s different, and starting slow and going up is probably the best way to figure out what works for you.
Ben: It actually acts very similarly to adenosine on the adenosine receptor. So, if you’re a heavy caffeine user and you drink a lot of coffee, something like that, it can also help in that type of scenario just by bringing a little bit more of an adenosine like effect under the mix.
Matt: Now, Taylor, I asked you at one point with your extraction methods, because I know most of the big companies use CO2 extraction. And I asked you kind of, why wouldn’t you do that? And I was kind of surprised at some of your answers. Could you explain why you have made the choice to use ethanol?
Taylor: Sure. I mean, the basic reason is that we feel ethanol at the end create some more natural product with the ratio of compounds we’re looking for, kind of more reminiscent of what you find in a plant. CO2, especially supercritical CO2 extraction, is quite harsh and super-efficient but it pulls out a lot of things, specifically plant waxes and lipids that you really don’t want along with it. And then it has to go through this extensive winterization process where they pull out those fats and lipids. And not only from business side but from an end product side, we just felt that cryogenic ethanol was really the way we wanted to go.
Subcritical CO2 actually can do some really interesting stuff. If you have the expertise to run those types of machines, less industrial relevant because those types of machines can’t process too much. That’s why we don’t see a lot of people doing it. But essentially, we like our cryogenic ethanol because it’s a gentle extraction process as opposed to supercritical CO2 where you got high temperatures, high pressures. And it’s just–lots other groups have made different decisions and those products, as long as they’re tested at the end, could be just as good, but we feel ours brings a–specifically with taste and then kind of final full spectrum product.
Matt: And it’s not left in the alcohol, like it’s in now an MCT oil or something like that afterwards?
Taylor: So, we pull all of the ethanol off down.
Matt: And how you do that?
Taylor: So, we use a machine called a rotary evaporator, where we pull it down the vacuum, where it lowers the ethanol’s boiling point down to basically room temp, and you just boil off the ethanol while leaving all of the things that you wanted.
Matt: So, you’re not affecting the CBD molecule?
Taylor: Correct, yeah. We don’t want to just boil it at what a normal room temperature–sorry, what a room pressure boiling point of ethanol would be, because then you would have too much heat and you start to degrade some of those molecules. So, pulling it on the vacuum helps a lot also with speed.
Michael: And right now, it’s in the MCT oil but I’m really excited. Taylor is making some with just pure C8 caprylic acid for us that we get to try.
Ben: Oh, that’s sweet. Now, with some of these other similar molecules like CBN or CBC or CBG, and they all have those three, especially for sleep or anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety seem to have possibly on greater effects in CBD. Are you starting to look at some of those to add those into the compounds or isolate some of those?
Taylor: Yes, on both accounts. So, we have a full cannabinoid profile in all our products. We have our blended product, which is strains that we get from farmers around the Bluegrass region, as well as you can start to get some single strain products where they have its specific cannabinoid profile higher in CBN or CBG. So, we’re working on that. We’re additionally working with another company here in Lexington to isolate specifically CBGA. That’s a particular project that they’re interested in working on, but those are getting access to those specific isolated molecules. I think it’s going to be a real game-changer that there are some products that we can formulate and put out.
Ben: Yeah. I got my hands up in Washington a couple of months ago on a Delta THC 9 mixed with a CBN. So, you got a couple of unique molecules and the anti-anxiety effects on that with my old psychoactivity from the Delta THC 9. It was pretty profound, like different than CBD, totally different feeling.
Taylor: Yup. Yeah. So, many of the strains that exist right now are highly engineered–not genetically engineered but just agriculturally engineered to be high THC or high CBD. As we start to learn the benefits of some of these other molecules, and we’ll start to see strains that are higher in CBN, CBG, it’s going to make a lot easier to extract it, because some of these molecules are at 0.1% in the plant, as you’ll find CBD at 10%. So, it’s just very difficult to organically extract them. But I think as people become aware of them, we’ll see more of them in plants.
Matt: And it brings up an interesting–so you’re talking about THC now. And we are focusing on CBD, but THC and CBD, both, and we’re talking about dosing. It brings up an interesting thing that Mike and I were just talking about how everything we do we try to do with a precision approach. Instead of just kind of tie training up or starting someone on a certain dose, we try to figure out what’s going to work for that person before we even start. And it turns out there are some specific snips related to your metabolism for that as well.
Taylor: Yeah. I recently just found this. I was actually trying to figure out why it is that when I take CBD, I don’t sleep, where it seems like a lot of other people tend to get a good response in terms of sleep taking CBD and–
Ben: Probably, because you wash it down with a shot of espresso?
Taylor: It could be it, yeah.
Matt: And also, I mean, just a general answer to that, most people, a smaller dose can be activating; a larger dose usually makes them sleepy, but it’s pretty individualized, too.
Taylor: It is, yeah. So, there’s actually a snip for that. That’s like I learned to say, and there’s a snip for that. This one is the FAAH, which is the–it’s the fatty acid amide hydroxylase or something like that. It’s basically the enzyme that metabolizes AEA, which is that endogenous endocannabinoid that also acts on CB1. And there’s a snip for that, that basically the CC variant, which actually protects you against addiction to not only street drugs but also alcohol, those people actually have worsening sleep effects with any cannabis. So, THC or CBD.
So, it just goes to show that for so many things that we do, there are variants between person-to-person. And I think this is probably why. If you look at the actual primary literature on CBD, it turns out that some people don’t respond well with sleep when taking CBD, and some people do. And the studies are mixed. And I think the reason the studies are mixed is because we’re not separating out the people who are going to respond well and the people who aren’t based on their genetics.
Ben: No. That FAAH snip, is that one that’s tested for by 23andMe, you’re getting a more complete genome analysis?
Taylor: No, no. D4, and I think D5.
Ben: Okay. So, you can go through a raw data?
Ben: Are you looking at whether you’re homozygous or–
Taylor: So, the CC specifically is the one that’s going to have the–as far as we know, based on the literature, that’s small study.
Ben: So, for listeners, you’d find the FAAH snips and you’d go and check and see. And if you’re CC homozygous for that, that would indicate that you’re one of those people who might be a poor responder to CBD?
Taylor: That’s right.
Matt: Yeah. And we hear all the time people talk about, “Well, CBD helps sleep but then maybe THC misses up some deeper REM and things like that.” And yeah, it’s probably not so simple that the molecules doing that is the molecule with that person’s physiology.
Taylor: Right. And to be clear, I mean in the research, there’s plenty of studies that suggest that CBD improves your slow-wave sleep and your REM sleep, both of them, but there is variance with that, and that’s probably why.
Matt: They usually hear people on that CBD improving those, but THC having a potentially detrimental effect on them, but it’s probably related to this snip because this snip is related to metabolism of both.
Taylor: Right. Yup.
Ben: The other interesting thing is the exercise performance factor, especially in the endurance world. A lot of ultra-endurance athletes who aren’t necessarily competing in events that require fine motor skills or balance, they’ll use ratios of CBD to THC like a 10 to 1 CBD to THC ratio. Where you’ve got, for example, like 10 milligrams of CBD and 1 milligram of THC, or 20 and 2. And finally, that helps a lot with things like pain tolerance, with being able to focus during these longer events, being able to push through with the 20 or the 30 or the 40-mile mark. The legality is questionable if you’re competing like a wad of sanctions board or something like that. But even offseason is becoming increasingly common for people to use mild-like microdoses of THC with a larger ratio of CBD, and then they find it helps out quite a bit.
Taylor: Do you think that’s the opioid receptor?
Ben: Yeah. I mean, it certainly has opioid-like effects, opioid-like pain-killing effects even at lower doses.
Matt: So, do you think it’s just dulling the pain? And in those type of scenarios, do you think it’s working in different mechanisms?
Michael: Because I’ve also heard of some MMA fighters and people like that doing this some more ratio and having some positive effects. Of course, it’s not legal like you mentioned, but–
Taylor: Like we know it decreases your stress response, right? I mean, because it acts on that. You just mentioned earlier, that’s the 5-HT3, right? So, it’s decreasing the anxiety. It’s decreasing the stress response. So, it could be all stress response to me.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, even if it’s acting on p450 pathways, it could even have a mitochondrial effect. When you consider that antioxidant, there might be a little bit of a performance-enhancing effect in terms of ATP production as well, but that’s just theory. I haven’t seen any studies on that.
Matt: What are you guys using the CBD for now?
Taylor: So, for me, I primarily use it for sleep. I’ve seen good effects. I don’t use it all the time but if I definitely need to get good sleep, I know it’s a reliable thing I can go to, and it’s not like melatonin. I have a little more concerned about melatonin obviously, AMBN, and the prescription drugs like that just not good long-term. I just feel much more comfortable with this. And I think it’s always–it’s worrisome anytime you have to have a crutch, any certain substance you’re taking for something natural like sleep. So, I try not to do it all the time, but we all know how important sleep is. And if it helps my sleep and optimizes my sleep, it’s just something that’s pretty natural from a plant that I’m not all that scared to use it for.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I’m right on-board. I’ll use a lower amount for a nap, like I’ll use like 40, 50 milligrams for a nap and then in doses above 100 for sleep. And then we’d probably be remiss not to mention the fact there’s a topical too, right? Like a topical for muscle spasms, for muscle pain, for soreness. A lot of people now are even using like the CBD infused coconut oil as like a sex lube or something in the bedroom. There are companies now doing both THC and CBD lubes, and I’d be remiss not to of course allude to the fact that I even know people who are using it as like–for things like enemas and things like that to relax spasticity in the colon when they’re doing something like a coffee enema. So, there’s a lot of different ways. It’s being used topically as well.
Matt: Speaking of enemas, did you get your kits? Did they come–
Ben: All right. But we got to give people the background on this. So, I showed up at the Kentucky Castle here a beautiful property that Matt owns and runs. He gave me a concierge, like our own personal concierge here, Logan, incredibly helpful fella and very friendly, bent over backwards to help us in every respect when we checked in. And he said, “If you need anything, anything at all, let me know.”
So, my boys and I decided to punk him and we sent him a message and said, “If you can, we need two child-sized stainless-steel coffee enema kits with mid-sized tubes. We need extra virgin coconut oil for lube, preferably country of origin; Cambodia or Indonesia, and we need this tonight. The boys are severely constipated.” And he spent the next–I hope I didn’t use the time that you’re paying him too intensively here, Matt.
Matt: No. It’s worth it.
Ben: He was calling Walgreens. He’s like, “I can get this overnight on Amazon, but they won’t be to your room in time.” And he was shopping all over the place. And finally, I called him up and I said, “Dude, we need this like now.” And he said, “I’m just scrambled.” Finally, I was like, “Dude, Logan, we’re punking you. We don’t need stainless steel enema kits.” And the funniest thing was after we had a good laugh on the phone and hung up, I got a text message like 60 seconds later and said, “So, the coconut oil, are you still going to need the coconut oil?” I’m like, “No, no. It’s all a joke.”
Matt: I talked to him like 30 minutes after you texted him. He’s like, “I’m having trouble finding it.” I’m like, “Just make it happen, man. Just make it happen. That’s your job.” He’s a good sport about it.
So, Taylor, somebody just is looking at a shelf right now trying to pick a good CBD. What’s the easiest and quickest way? I know you talked about the third-party testing. Is that something I can figure out from the bottle or are they going to have to go to people’s websites?
Michael: Real quick on that though. I mean, can we actually trust the third-party testing? I mean, what’s to say that these companies aren’t just like making one super awesome batch and taken to the third-party, and then making a bunch of crappy batches, and then selling that to everybody else?
Taylor: A hundred percent. Honestly, there’s nothing we can say against that. I mean, I looked at some test reports. And if you’d read deeply enough into these, it’ll say, “Okay. Here’s our test report. How many units are in the test report?” And I’ll be like 30,000. So, they’ve given you one test report for 30,000 bottles coming off their line, right?
Matt: Just give me an idea. How many days of processing is 30,000 bottles?
Taylor: Well, it depends on how many thousands of pounds you can move through your facility. But 1,000 kilos or about 2200 pounds will give you about 100,000 bottles. And so, if you are that–
Matt: So, we’re talking about a lot of products for one test?
Taylor: It’s a lot of product that you can come out. I mean, large scale groups can push probably 20, 30, 50,000 bottles through in a month. So, the 30,000 unit, it might be a month’s supply but more to the point is unless you’re doing this at cGMP levels, you don’t have the internal controls to know that all of those 30,000 bottles are anywhere near the same.
Ben: Yeah. It’d be nice. There’s like the website, Labdoor. They do this with supplements. They just order straight from the website. They got their own mass spec, like they do all the analysis themselves, but I’m not aware of any CBD industry.
Matt: You’ve got a mass spec. You’ve got a million-dollar lab. You tell me if we could do this. So, what if we had listeners actually send us, “What are the brands you’re using? We buy them. We have you test them.” Is that even possible?
Taylor: Certainly, yeah. If you send us bottles, we can test them up and see how they–
Matt: Like our own Reader’s Digest.
Taylor: Yeah. What I mean–this was done in the literature a couple of years ago and they found–I think it was something like 67% or 70% of all CBD bottles were mislabeled. They were looking mainly for CBD content. But yeah, certainly, we get some bottles and we push them through, see what happens.
Matt: A thousand people were taking this and it’s like–I mean, it’s such a huge industry right now that we should do that, and we bring that up, [00:59:18] ______–
Ben: It’s definitely, because I get bottles sent to my house all the time, every day, and I’m lugging packages up and down the driveway and it seems like half of them are CBD. It’s like CBD, keto, and a few other choice things are the hot topics. I’m always getting keto bars and keto powders and CBD oils, and you try them. And some have just like an instant very powerful effect, and some you don’t notice a thing, and you’re using the same dosage theoretically from each. So, yeah. I mean, in my own experience, they’re definitely not all created equal.
Taylor: Well, especially if you start getting into edible of any type. A number of people making these things lose track of the concept that when you bake something and the moisture goes out, you have reduction in volume. And so, now your reduction in volume leads to increase in strength, and so who knows where you are. You see a lot of this on the [01:00:08] ______ in Colorado and whatnot. So, yeah. I mean, very unregulated. You’re at the whim of the companies you’re working with, and so I think third-party testing or some sort of group like this putting it together would go a long way.
Ben: Or just knowing the company really well and trusting them.
Taylor: Yeah. I mean, you know, if you have the time and the ability outside of just looking on the shelf, yeah, go to the website, check out the company, look at the reviews.
Ben: Best piece of advice I can give to people on edibles if you’re a complete newbie, eat it, then wait about five minutes. If you don’t feel anything, eat another one. Wait five minutes, eat another one. Yeah. There’s a host of stories out there from people who–
Matt: Just to be clear–
Ben: [01:00:45] ______ that oh shit moment, [01:00:47] ______.
Matt: We brought a new staff guy, and he might be 125 pounds, and he’s like a featherweight or something. Anyway, we’d sent him home with a bottle and said, “Try it out.” He took it. He took a mil of our extra strength and he was like, “I didn’t feel anything.” So, he took another mil. His eyes had some vivid dreams. It works for him, but I don’t recommend shooting two mils back-to-back or doing two edibles in five minutes. Start low and go slow here. So, just to be super clear, Ben was joking. Just so we don’t get any emails from people.
Ben: I wouldn’t do that.
Matt: And we’re going to do the testing. I think that’s a great idea. If you all send us some messages on Instagram at Wild Health MD, what brand you take, we’re going to pick a few and we’re going to test it at our expense.
Ben: I’m going to do it. I’m going to get some paint thinner in my basement.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: Make up my own little home brew. Send it down to you, guys.
Matt: Ben CBD. Yeah.
Ben: Put some chicken poo and some goat hairs in there [01:01:43] ______.
Taylor: How many different organic solvents we can find in this? That’s a weird pick. Haven’t seen that before.
Matt: We may not be giving you a ton of great information on this podcast, but we did just want to–we have Ben here. We want to pick his brain. And also, a lot of you may not know this. You’d think of Ben as this super smart, really cool guy, but we’ve been hanging out with his family, and I’m going to tell you, out of his family, his two kids, his wife and him, he’s clearly the fourth most cool person in that group.
Matt: And they’re here and he’s with us. So, I kind of feel bad taking his time. So, Ben, if you have any other thoughts on CBD, let us know, but otherwise, I want you to be able to get back to your family and enjoy them.
Ben: I don’t know where the hell they are. They’re out there in that sauna or picking their way through the fish pond. I’m neither super smart nor extremely cool, but the thing with CBD, let me think if there’s anything else. We touched on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, the endocrine system, the insulin play, some of the effects on its interaction with THC, the endurance and a slight decrease in pain, the sleep improvements. You know, I can’t think of a lot else. Aside from the fact that as you already alluded to, Matt, it’s one of those things that I think can be used during the daytime. Again, like dosages as low as 5 to 10 milligrams. I’ve given my wife when she’s had migraines or headaches. I mean, a dose that low helps within about 20 minutes.
And then for sleep, yeah, THC in my opinion seems to, in most cases, disrupt most sleep, including deep sleep. And I’ve never seen that affect with CBD. It only improves with the Oura ring, for example. My sleep score just goes through the roof on that stuff. So, it’s one of the few things that I take to help me get to sleep and it’s working. And the only other thing I’ll use sometimes is something to improve the amount of my inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. So, we were looking at that to label that sleep remedy stuff last night with a little bit of pH GABA in it or keeping like some passion flower extract or something like that next to your bedside at night if you wake up at like 1:00 or 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. I find that that helps more than CBD. But for sleep onset and a good night of sleep, CBD seems to help nine times out of ten, unless you get that that FAAH snip that Mike was filling us in on.
Matt: FAAH. And just to be clear, we’re going to have another podcast. We’re going to go over epilepsy and depression, autism, some of the brain and psychiatric effects of CBD, because there’s some pretty strong literature there and I’ve been working on a pretty aggressive literature search on that stuff. So, we’ll come back together for that one here in a couple of weeks.
Michael: Yeah. And it’s tough for us. We get stories all the time about helping people, but I mean as scientists, we want to go over the literature and talk to you about that, and what’s proven. So, we’re going to do that for each specific indication, but I just thought it’d be fun to chat. Taylor, any other recommendation for people when trying to make sure they’re getting what they think they’re getting with CBD?
Taylor: No. I mean, it starts and ends with the test reports, if the test reports are made available, because many times, they don’t make anything available. It’s just so-and-so’s CBD blend on the corner here. And then find reputable companies that are in the industry for the right reasons. And when you find one that works, stick with it.
Ben: Oh, we should give people a recipe, just that nighttime recipe, like for golden milk latte at night, your coconut milk, you use like that dosages of CBD we were talking about like 80, 100 milligrams plus of CBD. You get some turmeric like turmeric powder or turmeric root, and then like a really good monk fruit sweetener. And you can throw some ghee in there, some extra coconut oil if you want, and you just blend all that up. You can heat up the coconut milk beforehand, and you get this nice frothy yellowish brew that just tastes great.
And the other thing that you can add into it for an even better effect–I know you’re growing some of these, Matt. I’ve seen some today is the reishi mushroom extract. If we can throw some more reishi in there too, man, you have a nice little relaxing nighttime beverage. Don’t have that before work in the morning though.
Matt: Yeah. Most people don’t have reishi in their backyard, like I’m trying to grow, but Four Sigmatic has a great product. There’s some really cool–
Ben: Yeah. I love that stuff.
Matt: There’s some really great stuff out there.
Matt: That’s an awesome recipe. We’ll post that on Instagram, too. We’ll throw that up so people get it written so they’re not trying to remember that.
Matt: All right. Well, it’s Ben, Dr. Bright. Thank you all so much for joining us. It’s been fun. And we’re going to bring you some more CBD knowledge soon on snips and everything else that you’ve been asking us about.
Ben: Sick. Thanks, guys.
Well, thanks for listening to today’s show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I’ve ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
It’s cannabis time! The “Kentucky Castle” is a unique destination hotspot with a full biohacking facility, sauna, farm-to-table restaurant, precision medicine arm, hemp farm, horse facilities, and much more. It is owned by one of the physicians who hosts the “Wild Health” podcast, on which I was recently a guest.
Recently, at the castle, I had the pleasure of giving a talk on how to hack your biology to get the most out of the genetics you were born with.
Afterward, I took part in a Q&A with several of the physicians in attendance at the conference, which you can also listen to here.
But during my time at the castle, I also had a chance to duck away with Dr. Matt Dawson, Dr. Michael Mallin, and CBD formulator and researcher Taylor Bright to discuss all things cannabis and CBD. We hit record on the mics and recorded all the hemp goodness for you on today’s episode.
In this episode, you’ll discover…
-The chemical effects of using marijuana…
- Most often referring to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the part of the cannabis plant that induces the euphoric state
- THC levels have steadily risen from 3-5% in the 1960s to as high as 28% today
- THC fits inside the CB1 receptor in the cerebral cortex of your brain (which causes the “high”)
- Less often known is cannabidiol (CBD)
- It’s one of over 80 cannabinoids in the hemp plant
- It accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s total cannabinoid extract
- CBD is more often researched for medical purposes than THC
- How CBD and THC are separated
- Hemp plants are grown with male plants fertilizing female plants
- Remove the male plants, and the female plants produce THC (they produce very little THC when pollinated by the male plants)
- Male and female plants together meet the international standard of <1% THC
- Female plants contain other cannabinols with efficacious health benefits (CBG, CBGA, CBC, CBCA, CBDA)
-The effects of ingesting CBD with and without the THC cannabinol…
- CBD serves as an antagonist to CB receptor agonists (a substance which initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor)
- In other words, CBD “mutes” the effects of the CB1 or CB2 receptors
- CBD can elongate the “high” of THC by inhibiting the cytochrome p450 enzymes
- Also an antagonist to the GPR55 cannabinol; found in the caudate nucleus section of the brain
- Because CBD does not attach to the CB1 or CB2 receptors, it’s not addictive or habit forming
- CBD acts as an agonist for the 5-HT 1A receptor (for anti-depressant, anti-anxiety effects)
- It’s an allosteric modulator of your opioid receptors (for pain and chronic inflammation reduction)
- CBD serves as an antagonist to CB receptor agonists (a substance which initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor)
- 2010 Article: Key Ingredient Staves Off Marijuana Memory Loss
- CBD has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
- U.S. Government took out a patent on the antioxidant properties of cannabis (while officially denying it had any medical benefit)
- It’s almost impossible to overdose on CBD (due to low level of toxicity)
-The interesting history of cannabis…
- 2700 years ago, a Persian teacher named Zoroaster penned a compendium of over 10,000 plants; hemp was at the top
- Hippocrates also recommended cannabis extracts for their medicinal qualities
- Ethiopian Coptic church used cannabis in a sacrament in AD 45
- Sir Russell Reynolds prescribed cannabis for Queen Victoria who was suffering from menstrual cramps
- The father of French psychopharmacology, Jean-Jacques Moreau (de Tours), advocated for the use of cannabis
- Hemp was in high demand during the American revolutionary period
- Anything that can be made from plastic can be made from hemp
-The source of the stigma surrounding the use of CBD…
- The Boggs Act of 1951 set mandatory sentences for drug users; claimed that cannabis was addictive
- Voluminous expert testimony to the contrary has been overridden in the court of public opinion on claims that marijuana is a “gateway drug” to more addictive drugs
- Book: Marihuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon (read for free here)
- CBD gives nearly the same effect of opioid drugs (such as morphine) without the addictive quality
-The effects of CBD on our pathways…
- Reduces susceptibility to stress in HPA axis
- The pancreas secretes glucagon and insulin
- THC increases glucagon levels; CBD lowers insulin levels
- Lower rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among CBD users
- Has been shown to modulate acute and chronic inflammation
- CBD is an excellent recovery compound (but not immediately after working out)
- How it affects insomnia:
- Cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine
- It can enhance or help sleep if caffeine is not present
-How to know what CBD product to buy in the current unregulated marketplace…
- Third party test reports are made available; a company doing things the right way isn’t afraid of transparency
- 3 main ways to extract CBD at the moment:
- Hydrocarbon (through the use of butane)
- CO2 (in the supercritical form)
- Ethanol (done cryogenically)
- Ethanol is Taylor’s preferred method for CBD extraction
- Blended with coconut oil; some oil emulsions for topical use
-The most common questions I’m asked regarding CBD…
- CBD can take some of the edge off of THC, reduce its psychoactivity
- Decreases cytochrome p450 pathways
- Most profound use for it is its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential
- Lowers cortisol based on its activity on the HPA axis
- Sleep, anxiety, stress regulation
-Why Taylor prefers the ethanol mode of CBD extraction over the others…
- It creates a more natural product
- CO2 is more efficient but pulls out plant waxes and lipids you want to remain in it
- All ethanol is pulled off the final product via a rotary evaporator
- Full cannabinoid profile on all products; shows its efficacy in the various strains of CBD
-Why precision in dosing and THC:CBD ratios are so important…
- Dosages are highly individualized
- It affects different people in different ways (sleep, anxiety, etc.)
- Studies of the effects of CBD need to take these variants into account
- Endurance athletes are finding that microdoses of THC with CBD are very helpful
- Legality issues depending on the event
- Opioid-like effects (dulling the pain)
- Stress reduction
-The specific ways Mike, Matt, Taylor, and I use CBD…
- Sleep (when necessary, not all the time)
- Topical: Muscle spasms and pain, CBD sex lubes, enemas
-How a novice or new user should shop for CBD…
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– The Wild Health CBD discussed in this show (use code: BEN10 to get 10% off). They use only pure C8 as the carrier oil and control the process from seed to bottle 100% with our in house team of chemists, farmers, and doctors.
– 2010 Article: Key Ingredient Staves Off Marijuana Memory Loss
– Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.
– Organifi Green Juice: Now you can get all your healthy superfoods in one glass…with No Shopping, No Blending, No Juicing, and No Cleanup. Get a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20
– Four Sigmatic: I’ve been using Four Sigmatic products for a while now and I’m impressed by the efficacies of their mushroom products. I use them. I like them. I support the mission! Receive 15% off your Four Sigmatic purchase when you use discount code: BENGREENFIELD
– MVMT Watches: Clean design, minimal and high-quality products. MVMT watches start at just $95 and have sold nearly 2 million watches in over 160 countries. Get 15% off your order PLUS free shipping and free returns when you order through my link.