BTS #49 David Heldreth Jr. on Cannabis Regulations, The Future of Commercial Cannabinoids, Hunter S ThompsonRead Now
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we sit down with David Heldreth Jr. of Panacea Plant Sciences and Ziese Farms, based out of Washington, USA. Our conversation covered a lot of ground including the past, present and potential future of Cannabis and cannabinoid regulations, what people often misunderstand about rules regarding cannabinoids and other chemical constituents in foods, supplements, and cosmetics, how hemp companies should be preparing for the future of FDA, USDA, and DEA crackdowns, why regulations may be a thing to be celebrated rather than dismissed, what Hunter S. Thompson might have to say about the Cannabis industry, and much more!
This conversation was a long time coming, as David and I have been following each other's work and talking via social media for several years. To learn more about David's work, visit:
Stay curious, and take it easy!
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we speak with Janice Bissex, a registered dietitian nutritionist and holistic Cannabis practitioner who has dedicated her time lately to helping patients find high-quality and safe cannabinoid products after she discovered the therapeutic potential of Cannabis first-hand. Janice discusses how she wrestled with the stigma around Cannabis on multiple fronts, first as a college student fearful of Cannabis due to a lifetime of Cannabis prohibition propaganda, and then again as she struggled to "come out" to her community of nutritionists and healthcare professionals about her own advocacy.
Today Janice is the CEO of Jannabis Wellness and is also a professor at John Patrick University focused on teaching students about Cannabis therapy from a nutritional perspective. Janice also recently authored the book Simple Guide to CBD: Fact, Fiction, and a Path Forward to educate consumers on the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis therapy.
Learn more about her work at https://www.jannabiswellness.com/
BTS #47 Tanja Bagar, PhD on Medical Cannabis in Europe, ECS Fascinations, International CollaborationRead Now
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we are joined by Tanja Bagar, PhD, the founder and CEO of the International Institute for Cannabinoids, a multi-national research and education cooperative based out of Slovenia. Tanja holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and has spent the past several years focused on studying and teaching about cannabinoids throughout Europe. Tanja and I have been collaborating for years as co-authors on conference abstracts, book chapters, etc. Tanja was also one of my early students in the early iterations of my workshop series which I still teach today, so it was great to reconnect on the podcast.
Our conversation explored her experience discovering the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, how Cannabis regulations vary throughout Europe and the effects that has on research collaboration, why she has become fascinated with the endocannabinoid system, clinical outcomes that ICANNA and their collaborators have seen in patients using cannabinoids, her thoughts about the future of Cannabis research, and much more!
You can learn more about ICANNA by visiting https://www.institut-icanna.com/en/index.html
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we join Dedi Meiri PhD, a researcher at the Israel Institute of Technology focused on examining how Cannabis and its chemical constituents may influence cancer and other disease states. His labs have made important discoveries regarding the relevance of "minor" constituents of Cannabis in influencing cancer activity, among many other things. In this 2+ hour conversation we dive deep into Dedi's background, why he finds Cannabis so interesting, what he has learned from his cancer research, methods that his labs have developed for quickly assessing the activity of plant extracts, the future of Cannabis research, and much more!
Learn more about Dedi's lab at Technion at https://dmeiri.net.technion.ac.il/
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we sit down with Elisabeth Mack, the founder and CEO of Holistic Caring, a company dedicated to providing clinical Cannabis education to patients and clinicians.
After a bicycle accident in early 2015, Elisabeth Mack found relief with high-dose CBD and targeted THC therapies. She used that year to move away from various prescription drugs that she had taken since 1994 for a previous shoulder surgery. The cannabis pain management process was enlightening for her as she dove into research, attended conferences and networked her way through the cannabis industry.
Realizing that nobody was interpreting anything for true medical cannabis patients, she founded Holistic Caring in May 2016 to serve the educational, supportive and logistical needs of patients and began training other nurses to help.
Learn more about Holistic Caring at www.HolisticCaring.com
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we are joined by another returning guest, Cannabis nurse Janna Champagne. Nurse Janna recently founded Autism Safe Haven, a nonprofit focused on making Cannabis inclusive autism care services available wherever medical Cannabis is legal. In this conversation we focus on the intersection between Cannabis and autism, why current autism care models are often ineffective, how cannabinoids may affect autism symptoms, and more!
Learn more about Autism Safe Haven at www.autismsafehaven.org
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we are rejoined with extraction technologist and Cannabis educator Murphy Murri to talk all about CRC aka “Color Remediation Cartridges”. CRC has gained a lot of buzz, both positive and negative, in recent years as extractors experiment with refinement techniques that manipulate the appearance of the extract. The concept of “colorless” Cannabis extracts was largely popularized by The Clear years ago, and now has become commonplace. But what is CRC? And what is happening to these extracts when their color is “remediated”? And does CRC present any risks to consumers or extraction technicians?
Murphy Murri provides a common sense take on CRC for anyone wanting to wrap their minds around this popular topic.
In this behind-the-scenes interview we sat down with Elise McDonough to talk all things Cannabis edibles! Elise has authored multiple Cannabis cookbooks including Bong Appetit and The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook. We explore lessons that Elise has learned about cooking with Cannabis, exciting opportunities in the Cannabis edibles market, what the future of Cannabis edibles may look like, her history in the Cannabis industry including her work with WAMM, and much more!
Learn more about Elise’s work at www.elisemcdonough.com
Stay curious and take it easy!
In this behind-the-scenes interview we are joined by Arno Hazekamp, PhD. Arno is based out of the Netherlands and has been researching Cannabis since 2001. He is probably most famous for proposing the concept of Cannabis chemovars to replace the idea of "strains". His work has primarily focused on examining the chemical constituents of Cannabis and Cannabis products including Cannabis teas, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and more. He has also published numerous papers on other topics like Cannabis sterilization via gamma irradiation, review papers on human clinical research around Cannabis, and many more.
Arno shares my passion for science communication and science education, which came through very clearly in this conversation. We discussed many different topics over the course of the two hours including common Cannabis misconceptions, evidence for therapeutic applications of Cannabis, how to think about "strains" and indica/sativa vernacular, the best way to make Cannabis tea, the importance of writing scientific papers with a lay audience in mind, and a whole lot more!
Connecting with Arno was a delight and I look forward to talking to him again in the future. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Learn more about Arno's work at https://hazekamp.info/
In this episode we journey beyond Cannabis and the endocannabinoid system into the endocannabinoidome! The endocannabinoidome is a relatively new concept used to describe the vast hundreds of compounds involved in the functioning of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Learn about how this concept of the endocannabinoidome was formed, what clinicians think about its discovery, and what we can expect from the future of endocannabinoidome research! Plus hear an often overlooked story about the origin of "the entourage effect" and how the concept has been redefined for popular culture.
Featuring a contribution from Raphael Mechoulam, PhD via email and relevant excerpts from behind-the-scenes episodes:
BTS #5 Ethan Russo, MD
BTS #31 The Doctors Knox
BTS #35 Vincenzo Di Marzo, PhD
Stay curious, and take it easy!
In this behind-the-scenes episode we join Cannabis culture icon Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson. In the mid 1990s, he was one of the first to receive an industrial hemp license in Canada and began performing research and development with hemp varieties of Cannabis very early in his career. Marcus is also the producer of “bubble bags” and popularized bubble hash in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2014 he started a weekly long-form Cannabis show called Hash Church, which had a huge influence on Cannabis culture and the development of Cannabis extraction technology. Marcus is also a photographer and has an extensive library of macro photos of Cannabis trichomes and other curious odds and ends.
In our conversation we talked about the science of hash making, Marcus’ legacy in the Cannabis industry, lessons he has learned, the battle between full spectrum and cannabinoid isolates, and much more!
Learn more about Marcus’ work at www.bubblemanbrand.com
In this behind-the-scenes episode we join Anna Schwabe, PhD, a geneticist and plant scientist that spent her PhD work examining how and why Cannabis plants exhibit different chemical profiles, smells, and effects. In our conversation we dive into many of these nuances and talk about whether people can distinguish Cannabis varieties consistently by smell, how much variation exists between Cannabis plants labeled as the same strain, and whether there may be some hope after all for the colloquial use of the terms “indica” and “sativa”.
Learn more about Anna’s work at www.annaschwabe.com
In this behind-the-scenes episode we join renowned endocannabinoid researcher Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo, who has been studying endocannabinoids since their discovery in the late 1980s and 1990s. Dr. Di Marzo, along with his colleagues, originally proposed the concept of the endocannabinoid system, the entourage effect, and the endocannabinoidome. Currently Dr. Di Marzo is working on studying the relationships between endocannabinoids and the gut microbiome to better understand how cannabinoids may affect health through the gut. In our conversation we discuss Dr. Di Marzo’s fascination with endocannabinoids, how he conceptualizes the endocannabinoidome, common misunderstandings about endocannabinoids, how the concept of the “entourage effect” has evolved away from its original intended meaning, where the future of Cannabis research may be heading, and much more.
This was a career highlight of mine to be able to talk to Vincenzo and I am honored to share this conversation with you. Enjoy!
In this behind-the-scenes interview we sit down with Sher Ali Butt, the co-founder of CB Therapeutics, a company focused on biosynthesizing cannabinoids and psychedelics using fermentation. We talk about the science behind biosynthetic technology, why they have chosen to focus on psychedelics and cannabinoids, how biosynthesis compares to chemical synthesis techniques for producing compounds, why isolated compounds and complex herbal mixtures both have a place in healthcare, and much more!
Learn more about CB Therapeutics at www.cbthera.com
In this behind-the-scenes episode we are joined with Alice Moon, a PR professional working in the Cannabis industry and diagnosed cannabinoid hyperemesis patient. In our conversation we discuss her entrepreneurial journey within the Cannabis industry that led to her work in public relations, issues facing Cannabis brands, her experience with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, what she has learned about the disorder since being diagnosed, work that she is doing to try and understand the disorder, how she responds to criticisms from the Cannabis industry, words of advice for those who are worried that they may be suffering from CHS, and more!
To learn more about Alice Moon visit www.alicemoon.la
To learn more about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, visit www.cannabinoid-hyperemesis.com
BTS #32 Mark Scialdone PhD on Cannabis Chemistry History, Hydrogenated Cannabinoids, Science and ArtRead Now
In this behind-the-scenes episode we sit down with Mark Scialdone PhD, a chemist responsible for inventing a method for producing hydrogenated cannabinoid acids, semi-synthetic cannabinoids that could be effective at battling certain types of cancer. We discuss the history of cannabinoid science, controversy around cannabinoid boiling points, how Mark learned from his research with catnip essential oil hydrogenation and how he adapted the technology for Cannabis essential oil, the importance of balancing science with art, the future of Cannabis research, his role in helping the American Chemical Society's Cannabis Chemistry subdivision get started, and much more.
In this behind-the-scenes conversation we speak with The Doctors Knox, aka The Knox Docs, including Drs. Janice, David, Rachel, and Jessica Knox to talk all about the endocannabinoid system and how our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome is revolutionizing healthcare.
This was our first interview with four people at the same time, so it was quite a different experience and allowed for some unique dynamics that I hope you enjoy.
You can learn more about The Doctors Knox at https://doctorsknox.com/
In this behind-the-scenes episode we sit down with Kyle Boyar, vice chair and scholarship chair for CANN, the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society, and Director of Product Science at TagLeaf. We talked about the ways Cannabis testing labs test Cannabis samples for microbiological contaminants, how microbiological testing can go wrong, other issues facing Cannabis testing, controversy around a medical condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), and more!
This conversation was cut to fit our new 1.5 hour limit.
To listen to the entire 2 hour conversation, join our community on Patreon at www.Patreon.com/CuriousAboutCannabis
Enjoy and stay curious!
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In this behind-the-scenes episode we sit down with organic chemist Jackie von Salm PhD (@terp_queen_phd on Instagram), who was a recent winner of the ElSohly award given to outstanding researchers in the Cannabis space. Her team recently discovered the presence of a terpene common only among certain varieties of Cannabis, which is not tested for currently among most Cannabis testing labs and has largely been excluded from the discussion when talking about categorizing Cannabis varieties by chemical profile. We also discuss the process of discovering natural products suitable for drug development, how chemistry is interconnected with ecology and psychology, what she wants to see from future Cannabis research and much more!
Jackie is a co-founder and CSO of the company Psilera Bioscience which is dedicated to exploring the potential of psychoactive natural products to treat mental health disorders.
Learn more about Psilera Bioscience at www.psilera.com
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In this behind-the-scenes episode, we talk with Austin Flohrschutz, the Science Director for TruPotency.com, a CBD retailer that performs extensive third party testing on CBD products to screen for fraudulent or mislabeled products. At the time that we spoke, Austin informed me that they had tested 400 products, and 30% of those products passed testing. The vast majority of failures were for mislabeled potency. Around 0.5% failed for contaminants like heavy metals or residual solvents.
Through this conversation we discuss the extent of CBD product fraud in the market, what TruPotency has seen regarding CBD product quality, issues related to cannabinoid testing, research into the psychedelic Salvinorin A from Salvia divinorum and implications for alternative opioid therapies, and much more.
Enjoy and stay curious!
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BTS #26 Dr. Genester Wilson-King on Cannabis and Hormones, Women's Health, Inequalities in HealthcareRead Now
In this behind-the-scenes episode we talk with Dr. Genester Wilson-King, a board certified OB/GYN, Cannabis clinician, and hormone expert. Our conversation spanned many topics including how cannabinoids and hormones interact with one another, how Cannabis affects women differently than men, how Cannabis affects women after menopause differently than women experiencing cyclical hormones, how Cannabis affects cis gender people different than trans gender people, how Cannabis affects fertility, Cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding and much more!
Learn more about Dr. Wilson-King here: https://www.victoryrejuvenationcenter.com/
Enjoy and stay curious!
In this behind-the-scenes (BTS) episode we talk with Clarenda (daughter of Clarence and Brenda) "Farmer Cee" Stanley of Green Heffa Farms! Green Heffa Farms is a medicinal plant farm and learning laboratory that is dedicated to teaching community members, with a focus on women of color, about food production, resource management, gardening, and medicinal plants. We talk about how Cee found her way into farming, her perspective of ecological consciousness in farming and land use, what led to the development of her first hemp product, experiences with systemic racism in the agricultural and Cannabis industries, and much more.
Learn more about Green Heffa Farms at www.GreenHeffaFarms.com
In this behind-the-scenes (BTS) interview we join Angus of The Real Seed Company once again to discuss a recently published paper entitled "A Classification of Endangered High-THC Cannabis Domesticates and Their Wild Relatives" by John McPartland and Ernest Small. We discussed some of our basic thoughts about the paper, how the new taxonomy will influence The Real Seed Company's operations and what plants they collect from, the implications this new taxonomy has for preserving the dwindling genetic diversity of the Cannabis plant, how landrace Cannabis farmers in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other areas are getting hit hard by COVID-19, and much more.
This is an edited version of our conversation. The full conversation is nearly three hours long and can be found at Patreon.com/CuriousAboutCannabis
I hope you enjoy! Stay curious
In this behind-the-scenes (BTS) interview we sit down with Cannabis activist, entrepreneur and actor Andrew DeAngelo, best known for being the co-founder of Harborside Dispensary in California. In our conversation we dive into the psychology and sociology of the Cannabis culture, exploring the role stigma plays in a Cannabis user's life, strategies for healing from the trauma of stigma, effective ways of affecting change, and much more.
Learn more about Andrew DeAngelo at www.AndrewDeAngelo.com
Learn more about the Last Prisoner Project at www.LastPrisonerProject.org
Note: Please forgive the audio quality of my microphone in this interview. For whatever reason, my audio was a bit distorted. The issue has since been resolved.
BTS #22 Charles McElroy of Goldleaf on Cannabis Science education, The Patient Journal, Changing StigmaRead Now
In this behind-the-scenes (BTS) interview we talk with Charles McElroy, the founder of Goldleaf, a science-forward Cannabis focused print company that has become famous for its journals, like The Patient Journal, as well as their science posters and educational materials. In this conversation we talk about how Charles came to start Goldleaf, the work that went into developing The Patient Journal, feedback that he has received from clinicians and patients that use the journal, the role that companies like Goldleaf play in affecting public perception of Cannabis, the future of the Cannabis industry and more.
Learn more about Goldleaf at www.shopgoldleaf.com