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Brave New Weed
86 minutes | a day ago
Episode 99 - Psychedelic Neuroscientist Cody Gibbons exposes the “Huge Lie” about Happiness
“Oneness...Forgiveness...Happiness...Feeling fuzzy.” We have a narrow range of words to describe complex feelings. But this group of underground scientists are using psychedelics and cannabinoids to trace the pathways in the brain that create those intricate feelings. This podcast is the cutting edge of psychedelic neuroscience, and it is mind boggling! One of the great things about traveling in cannabis and psychedelic circles is that you meet all sorts of geniuses working away in their own corners trying to understand things like the biochemical basis of consciousness and other tiny, insubstantial matters. These men and women look like normal, everyday people but when they open their mouths you realize that their brains function quite literally, at a higher level than yours. This happens to small-brained people like me frequently.Cody Gibbons is one such big-brained psychedelic neuroscientist who I met in the Bay Area over the summer. He has worked on cannabinoid research at companies including GW Pharmaceuticals, and is currently researching "psychedelics as tools to clarify the mind/body interface.”I had to know more. For example, he told me, “You can make high doses of melatonin psychoactive with THC. This produces the feeling you get at nightfall or dusk, when the sun goes down and the body begins to relax. A shift occurs, sort of the way your iPhone goes dark at night. Typically, we don't feel that shift unless the sun going down, but you can actually induce it at dawn with this THC/melatonin combination. You get the clear feeling that the day is ending in the morning.” That’s pretty provocative. To some extent it explains why psychedelics open what Aldous Huxley called “the reducing valve of consciousness” and make us feel so expansive when we use them.Rather than attempting to concentrate the many subjects this podcast covers into a few paragraphs, let me instead give you a few nuggets to chew on. I hope they will lead you to press the “Play” button and thereby expanding your own consciousness. “A lot of people understand “I feel fuzzy.” “Fuzzy” was a term coined by someone on psychedelics who felt soft on the inside. That’s an easy one. Our work is to understand the neural pathways of the more complex emotional states that most of us have.”“There are two types of forgiveness and two corresponding receptor groups. There’s forgiveness of self vs. forgiveness of others. As anyone who has ever taken MDMA knows, you can induce forgiveness of others without feeling forgiveness of self.” “Analogs to LSD are not technically scheduled. You can buy them and even potentially distribute them legally. Put them in a baggie that says 'not for human consumption' and give them away.”“I’ve realized that consciousness is something completely different than what anyone thought. There’s been a lot of focus on the anatomical structure of the brain. Of course that’s important, as it contributes to the function of our bodies. But the function of mind doesn’t stem from the anatomical structure, but more so from the receptor population patterns in the brain. We have all of these neurons, that each express different sets of receptors. These receptor populations stretch across different neurons and not others. Our consciousness is really a function of this super advanced biochemical computer — that’s not a surprise. The surprise is that it’s more biochemically based than electrically based.”If you’d like to learn more, check out these links.Thomas RayProfessor/work breakdownShulgin publishing on Tom Ray's workYoutube video presentationsAlexander ShulginRick Strassman: DMT The Spirit Molecule
63 minutes | 15 days ago
Episode 98 - New Year, New Thought: Cannabis As A Gateway Drug to Health
For years cannabis was slammed as a "gateway" to harder drugs. Dr. Dave Gordon begs to differ. After 20 years of treating people with medical cannabis he tells us how it can be used as a gateway to better health and habits. In the prohibitionist rhetoric of yore, cannabis was maligned as a “gateway drug,” meaning that it led users down the path to stronger and more “dangerous drugs,” cocaine or heroin or god forbid, psychedelics. As with much prohibitionist bunk there was never any evidence to this contention, but that never stopped our friends in law enforcement or politics from rehashing it for the next four decades. It hasn’t stopped them yet, even with reams of evidence showing exactly the opposite.The truth, of course, lies elsewhere: millions of people know that cannabis can be a gateway to improved health and wellness. It can help slow down our speeding world and enable people to change consciousness with far fewer deleterious effects than our legally sanctioned inebriant, alcohol. It can help us pay attention to the subtler things in life and in our own bodies. And it can certainly help us contend with the stress of everyday life. But cannabis can also be a gateway to other healthful benefits. “Knowing the history of cannabis prohibition can be a gateway to educating people about the long, terrible history of systemic racism in our country, and its profound impact on social inequality. Understanding the endocannabinoid system can be a gateway toward viewing disease in a wholistic systems approach, rather than the siloed model we’re taught where each disease is a problem with a single “system.” Once people slow down and really check in with themselves and their bodies, they might be able to do that with other things -- what they eat, how much they’ve slept, the amount of time they spend on their screens...It can be a gateway to better habits without cannabis.”The last paragraph is from a conversation I had with this week’s guest, Dr. Dave Gordon, a functional medicine physician in Denver, Colorado and a passionate advocate and educator whose 20 years of medical practice has brought him to the radical idea that “cannabis is a gateway substance in the truly modern sense.”I highly suggest you listen as we say good riddance to 2020 and welcome this new year that brings with it new and much needed hope. Footnote: Dr. Dave serves on the advisory board of Leaf 411, the fantastic free nursing hotline that educates and supports the general public about the safe use of cannabis. Click the link to learn more about this great, big hearted, service.This episode of Brave New Weed podcast is made possible with the support of Bar Capital. Bar Capital is a different class of investment firm. Their purpose is to help cannabis become as common and culturally accepted as aspirin or alcohol.Bar Cap invests in, advises, and helps raise capital for companies and fund managers operating in the cannabis space. They back entities that are innovative, audacious, and have great leadership. Bar Cap believes now is the time for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, Family Offices, and Institutions to consider cannabis as an essential piece of an alternative investment portfolio.If you are looking to raise funding or are an accredited investor that would like to learn more about investing in the cannabis space, please visit www.barcapital.com and connect. You’ll also find the full regulatory disclosures and risk disclaimers on their website. Each member of Bar Capital is a Registered Representative and offers securities through Stonehaven, LLC a Member of FINRA/SIPC.
53 minutes | a month ago
Episode 97 - The Dangers of CBD
“The FDA and CBD have a tripolar relationship. Hemp CBD is not scheduled. CBD from cannabis is Schedule 1--dangerous. Epidolex is Schedule 5--safe.” In 10 years CBD (cannabidiol) has gone from being a relatively unknown substance to a ubiquitous health and wellness balm sold in gas stations, corner grocers' and thousands of websites. Because it is still unregulated in the US, manufacturers make all sorts of breathless claims about what it can do. It stops epileptic seizures! Eases your dog’s arthritis! Erases your frown lines! And while some of these claims may be true it’s no surprise that a CBD backlash has started. Perhaps you’ve read reports about the “toxicity” of CBD or its potential to “damage our livers in the same ways as alcohol and other drugs” or that it is dangerous to take with Tylenol. Or maybe you've read FDA iwarnings that it can cause suicidal thoughts or increase tendency toward depression, aggression or panic attacks. To set the record straight, I called Adrian Devitt Lee, Project CBD’s chief science writer and a PhD candidate in applied math at the University College in London. Adrian is the co-author of several articles in peer-reviewed journals (check out Is CBD Toxic to the Liver and CBD and Drug Interactions) and has been involved in cannabinoid research since 2011 at California Pacific Medical Center, Medicinal Genomics, and CannaCraft. What you’ll hear in this interview might shock you but likely won’t surprise you. PS. As listeners to this podcast know, old myths about cannabis (and new myths about CBD) take on a life of their own. For context on how some myths die hard I’m including this article by the always brilliant Dr. Peter Attia on monosodium glutamate (MSG). Even though MSG has been proven safe for 60 years, it’s still falsely accused of causing “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” Attia traces the origin of the myth and how it continues to trump scientific evidence. Cannabis has been used for over 5,000 years with no serious harms ever reported yet the myths keep coming.
73 minutes | a month ago
Episode 96 - The Son of God
Salvador Santana, the son of Carlos, is out with a socially-conscious cannabis lifestyle brand called VAYA. In this episode he talks about the pressures of filling his famous father's shoes and his determination to create something more than just another "celebrity-backed cannabis product." It can be difficult being the son of a legend, let alone being the son of a god. Salvador Santana, son of rock legend Carlos Santana, is well aware of that and he was gracious enough to come on the podcast knowing that I was going to explore that often difficult dynamic. His other motivation of course, was to talk about Vaya, his “socially-conscious lifestyle cannabis flower brand, which takes an all-natural, spiritual feminist tone driven from African (Yoruba) and Mexican indigenous roots.”It may sound woo-woo in this age of multinational tech-driven consumer branding that is becoming the cannabis “industry,” but it’s also refreshing to find an advocate who wants to rekindle the ways the plant has been used to heal and to expand consciousness and compassion across the globe. In this podcast Santana talks about the ritual ways of consuming that he has gleaned from his own Black and Chicano roots, as well as a relationship one can build with the plant. I’m no stranger to this way of thinking. Over my own life cannabis has served as a guide, a friend, a teacher and, at times, an antagonist and even an enemy. Like most important relationships you commit to, my relationship with cannabis isn’t one that I can completely control, but I have continually learned from every up and down. What you’ll hear running through this podcast is Salvador’s humility. He says he has no intention of being just another “celebrity backed cannabis brand” that commodifies spirituality, plant medicine and non-white heritage.” Ambitious and noble goals -- who would expect less from the son of a god?
74 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 95 - Is Cannabis the New Chardonnay?
In The New Chardonnay author Heather Cabot followed the cannabis boom and bust. It isn't pretty.Heather Cabot is a fine journalist and a mom of a certain age. She is a part of a growing cohort of women that cannabis marketers call “Chardonnay moms.” These newly minted cannabists would use cannabis but abhor going to a dispensary to get it, prefer a discreet edible to smoking a joint, and are unlikely to tell their friends about their use. I enjoyed her recent book, The New Chardonnay, because it takes you on a rollicking ride through the boom boom days of the cannabis bubble, which has since burst. Cabot traveled the country with some colorful characters, including Snoop Dogg, who, she reveals on this podcast, refused to grant her an interview. She chronicles the illusions and delusions of people who were hoping to make a killing in cannabis and instead got killed thanks to some shady deals with some shady characters. Heather, who has never used the plant, learned a lot about it; still, at the end of this podcast she confesses that she would still be upset if her teenage sons tried it. That’s an interesting reaction, especially from someone who researched and understands the extraordinary safety profile of the plant. Old stigmas die hard -- even with this well educated chardonnay mom.On another note...Our friends at Sun + Earth are launching a crowdfunding campaign to create a certification program and educate consumers about regenerative organic cannabis growing. I support this organization and urge you to as well. While industrialized growing under energy sucking lights seems sadly inevitable, this Sun+Earth is promoting other regenerative sustainable models that can support small farmers and renew soil rather than deplete it. The crowdfunding campaign runs through December 20, 2020. To donate and learn about Sun+Earth, go here. Oh, and just a small $25 contribution will win you a bar of Dr. Bronner’s cannabis-scented soap, made with hemp derived terpenes and fair trade oils, which sounds like it will perk up any bathroom!
60 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 94 - Can you imagine walking into a CVS or Walgreens and asking your pharmacist for a Blue Dream tincture?
The fabulous Dr. Swathi Varanasi argues that switched on pharmacists should play a major role in medical cannabis and CBD.Dr. Swathi is blazing a path into the new field of Integrative Pharmacology, one that blends the science of healing plant medicines with pharmaceuticals. It makes sense, since most of us are using some combination of the two already. It would help us all if we knew which compounds work better together and which combinations to avoid. Dr. Swathi has dedicated her practice to educating people and pharmacists about medical cannabis and CBD. She is also a consultant to Elementa Apothec, a new line of skincare, beauty and wellness CBD products hitting the market early next year. Disclosure: Swathi is the co-author of the “Cannabis Science and Therapeutics for Pharmacists” course that Medical Cannabis Mentor just launched (and is currently on sale). Her dedication so inspired me that I invited her to collaborate in creating the course. Life is short and we prefer working with people who inspire each other. Backstory on this episode: Matthew and I recorded this episode on November 4th, the day after the early voting results were tallied and just 8 hours after The Orange Loser lied again, declaring himself the winner of a second term. The fact that 70 million of my fellow citizens think this guy deserves more time in office explains the “heroin in my tea” line. Or, as my artist friend Tucker Hollingsworth put it more poetically, “Half the country is trying to leave a four year abusive relationship; the other half still doesn’t realize they were in one.” News Update: In case you somehow missed it five US states voted YES for legal cannabis. New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota (!) went for full adult use. Mississippians voted for medical cannabis. Voters in Oregon and Washington DC approved legal psychedelic therapies (which I want to begin immediately given the aforementioned PTSD of the last four years).Georgia on Our Minds: If you're interested in finishing the election job and flipping the senate, here's a great list of organizations and ways to volunteer in Georgia or from your home. This is an epic battle. Don't sit on the sidelines, friends.Shameless Self Promotion: Grasslands, one of the finest cannabis-focused PR firms, is running a series of interviews with journalists in the cannabis space. If you feel the need to read more of my sparkling wit, click here. If not, just hit the podcast.See you soon!
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 93 - Everyone Says They Wants Social Equity So Why Can’t Anyone Get It Right?
Brian Vicente is one of the leading architects of Colorado’s groundbreaking adult use laws. On this podcast he weighs in on the challenges and opportunities of helping those who’ve been unfairly targeted by the War on Drugs.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 92 - The Plant Powered Penis and Prostate
Authors and fitness professionals Bruce and Mindy Mylrea go deep about plants, penises, prostate cancer, and how to be married for decades and still have great sex. Use code BRAVE20 for 20% Off & Free Shipping on any order at TryMicrodose.com.By now you all know that I’ve been having a tough time sleeping. The election, the burning planet, the Supreme Court, are all disrupting my sacred dream states. Thankfully, the fine people at Lumi Labs heard my plight and sent me a bottle of their new product, Microdose. It’s a proprietary “balanced spectrum blend of CBD, THC, CBG and I love it. Even my pillow loves it as we’ve been spending much more quality time together. As listeners of this podcast you’re entitled to a 20% discount plus free shipping for as many orders as you place. Go to TryMicrodose.com and enter the Brave20 code. Pass the code along to anyone—the Lumi’s want everyone to rest assured.I’ve eaten a plant-based diet for most of my adult life but I never thought it could have a profound impact my penis or my prostate. My guests this week, Bruce and Mindy Mylrea, tell me otherwise. They are the authors of two books, The Plant Powered Approach to Prostate Cancer and The Plant Powered Penis (best title of the year) and this interview goes deep about the research backing up the claim. Bruce, a cancer survivor, also talks about the ways our favorite plant helped him grapple with the difficult side effects of chemotherapy, and how it helped him make the big life changes that keep him cancer free.The other amazing aspect of this interview? This couple have been married and monogamous for multitudes of decades and they still have sex. Great sex, they say, which they also attribute to the power of the plants. That’s reason enough to listen to this podcast and share it widely.
76 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 91 - How To Change Minds That Change Laws -- Graham Boyd
Five US states are voting to legalize this November. In this exclusive interview, Graham Boyd -- lawyer, strategist, and brilliant behind-the-scenes progressive operative -- tells us how he convinced voters in 12 previous ballot initiatives to vote YES. (Hint: Not by telling them that marijuana is great!)In 1996 California voters defied conventional wisdom by legalizing cannabis for medical conditions. Few people thought this ballot initiative would succeed -- it was opposed by almost every "expert" and politician on earth. It likely wouldn’t have succeeded without the bucks of the philanthropists Peter Lewis and George Soros and the brains of Graham Boyd. By polling and interviewing thousands of people, Graham determined that the standard messages activists had been feeding voters -- that MJ wasn’t as bad as what they’d been taught -- was not going get the undecided to vote YES on legalization. Cut to 2010. Colorado and Washington are voting to legalize. In the run up to those ballot initiatives Boyd unearthed another factor that could persuade people who were on the fence. “We learned that people form their opinions about marijuana from their own life experiences rather than what some expert tells them,” he told me from his office in Santa Cruz, CA. “If you had positive experiences with marijuana when you were younger, that’s what you know to be true. But if your Uncle Bob spent his adult life on the sofa watching TV and smoking weed, it doesn’t matter how many studies you line up, the truth for you is probably that Uncle Bob smoked too much weed and that’s why he failed in life.”As it turned out, this type of thinking was especially true for a huge group, mostly politically moderate women. They just didn’t like cannabis. They didn’t hate it but if they had a magic wand they would make it go away. At the same time, they also felt that locking people in prison for carrying a few joints was a terrible idea. The campaign messages ended up something like: “It’s not that I like marijuana, but what we’re doing now isn’t working.” Activists hated that messaging but it changed the fortunes of legalization efforts in Colorado, Washington and a dozen 12 subsequent ballot initiatives, all architected by Boyd. “We learned that you can give that big group in the middle information and reassurance that moves them to be more strongly supportive,” he said. Laws don’t change spontaneously. Change requires big bucks, big data and big brains to know what do with it. This interview dives deep into how to keep the wheels of change advancing, especially since voters in conservative states like Montana, Mississippi and South Dakota are voting on legalizing in 2020.In hindsight, changing marijuana laws was a snap compared to Boyd’s new project: convincing Oregon voters to approve a program to license psychedelic assisted therapy, primarily with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. “Believe me,” he says, “the vast majority of Oregon voters have never heard the word “psilocybin” or that it can be useful to treat depression or PTSD or end of life depression. If we can communicate that it is safe and can help people with terminal illnesses spend the last year of their lives happy rather than depressed, that’s a compelling message.”Listen in to this exclusive interview with one of the great change agents of this movement. And follow this link to learn more about the work the Psychedelic Science Funder’s Collaborative is doing to make change happen.
71 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 90 - The Problem With Edibles Solved?
It took someone with the culinary skills of Anthony Bourdain and the persistence of a mad scientist to attack the edible dilemma. Meet Ron Silver.This episode is sponsored by Azuca. Go to AZUCA.CO and type in in BNW30. 5% of all sales go to the Last Prisoner Project. This code is good for two months.Back when we started this podcast we interviewed Ron Silver, then Chef and Owner of the NYC restaurant Bubby’s for nearly three decades. The title of “chef” isn’t really an accurate way to describe Ron. He’s an original, a painter, a writer, a thinker and, as it turned out, a home chemist, a restless, curious, creative -- the kind of person that makes New York a great place to live.Back in 2018, Ron was trying to solve the problem of edibles. He was unsatisfied having to wait hours for effects to kick in and most people he knew had no idea how to dose them. Edibles can be complicated to gauge because THC and CBD both have to pass through the digestive tract and then the liver, before they can be metabolized into the bloodstream. [Hint: If you’re new to edibles, start with 5 mg THC. If that doesn’t take you where you want to go, escalate to 10 mg. Go slow from there or you may find yourself cowering in a corner from over consuming]. As a chef, Ron was also bothered by the grassy, barnyard taste that cannabis oils tend to have once extracted.Fast forward to today and Ron has cracked the code of edible dosing and taste with his line of products called Azuca. The line has three products to date, CBD infused sugar, simple syrup and chocolate coins, and a whole lot more including some incredible THC “electrolytes” is on the way as you’ll learn in this podcast. He also struck a partnership deal with Wana Brands in Colorado, which earlier this year released Quick fast-acting gummies in Strawberry Margarita, Peach Bellini and Indici Pina Colada flavors. All produce delicious effects in 10-15 minutes using Azuca technology.Ron was one of the earliest supporters of this podcast. He is a great interview and I’m thrilled to have him back again. ##Dr. Chin has written another excellent blog on using cannabis meds to help COVID-related PTSD. Another incredible story on how these meds can work for people who have cycled through every pharma product in the book. Have a look at it on our medical cannabis education site, Medical Cannabis Mentor.Also, Sept 19 - 26 is National Expungement Week, which offers virtual and in-person legal services to some of the millions of Americans who need legal advice, expungement services and education in states including California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. To learn more click here.
80 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 89 - Cannabis Super Close Up + The DEA’s Latest Strike Against The Hemp Industry
Be sure to listen to the main interview with photographer Ted Kinsman as you view the link from this post. And be sure to listen to the new way the DEA is trying to kill the hemp industry in its infancy. This episode pairs best with a laptop! It includes a portfolio of remarkable scanning electron microscopic (SEM) photos of the cannabis plant, which is rarely seen at this level of detail. These images will blow your mind—and you don’t need to be stoned to appreciate them. They were shot by Ted Kinsman, associate professor in the Photographic Sciences Department at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York and an admitted plant lover. While not a cannabis aficionado, Ted loves to peer deep into places that the human eye cannot see and this set of images will show you the magic trichomes, bracts and other elements make up the inflorescence. I recommend you click this link and listen to Ted’s descriptions of each image as you listen. Note: cannabis is not this colorful, unless, of course, you are under its influence. Ted explains the logic and magic of his hand coloring. If you’d like to own a copy of Ted’s (redundantly titled) but amazing book, Cannabis: Marijuana Under the Microscope, click here.The opening segment of this episode is an interview with Andrew Rosner, a lawyer and owner of HR Botanicals, LLC, which produces CBD products under its Source Botanica brand. Andrew is also Vice President of the New York State Cannabis Growers and Processors Association.Last week the DEA released "Interim Final Rules" that Rosner and other CBD processors say are an existential threat to their emerging industry. Rosner is one of the few people who have read the rules microscopically and is concerned that the DEA could use them in all sorts of nefarious ways that he outlines in this podcast. One of them allows the DEA to go into a field to test hemp plants for THC content. If any of the plants are are found to exceed .3% THC -- which many do before they are processed -- the DEA can shut down the farm and confiscate the plants. In this interview Andrew explains just how damaging this is to farmers and processors and why the larger cannabis industry isn’t taking to the streets in protest.If you are connected with anyone in the CBD processing or hemp business be sure to share this podcast with them as these “interim” rules are already in effect. However, the DEA is accepting public comments until October, 20, 2020. Be sure to read the Interim Final Rules and comment here.And Pass This Podcast Along! The DEA is not a friend of this growing industry!
40 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 88 (Special) - Could Cannabis Legalization be the Unspoken Issue that Turns the Tide of this Election?
Former governor and vice presidential candidate, William Weld, says that when he and Gary Johnson ran for president on a platform to "delist cannabis on Day One," they won 4.5 million votes. Would Biden-Harris like those 4.5 million votes in this election?There’s no question about who I’m voting for in November given the gravity of climate change, the pandemic, income inequality and the damage Republicans have heaped on the country. But I remain confused about the Biden/Harris fuzzy stance on cannabis legalization. As of this writing Biden is for decriminalization not legalization, which sounds like he’s interested in dating but not really getting serious about the marriage. Harris has been (unfairly IMO) slammed by progressives for her “tough” prosecutions of cannabis crimes while Attorney General in California, but she is also the co-sponsor of the MORE Act, The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act, a vital piece of bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, federally decriminalize cannabis, and enable states to set their own policies. NORML deemed it “arguably the most revolutionary and socially conscious federal marijuana reform bill introduced to date.”That ain’t nothin’.Could cannabis legalization be the issue that turns the tide of this election? It may sound far-fetched, but it is the one issue that both Blues and Reds seem to agree on and no one is addressing it very loudly.To get some clarity on the Dem’s position, I invited William Weld, the popular former governor of Massachusetts and former Libertarian vice presidential candidate in the 2016 election alongside Gary Johnson, to appear on this podcast. I’ve known Bill for several years -- I interviewed him at a cannabis conference in 2018 and even though we are on opposite sides of the aisle, I respect his intelligence, cool headed analysis and bone dry sense of humor. This was part of his response: “….As you know, when Gary Johnson ran for President in 2016—not so long ago—on a platform whose Number One plank was to “delist cannabis on Day One,” he received 4.5 million votes. It seems fair to ask the Biden-Harris ticket if they would like to have those 4.5 million votes.”I invite you to listen to our conversation.
55 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 87 - CBD & Cannabis, The "People's Medicine."
“I look at this herb as part of my diet. We have an ECS and we can become deficient and we can supplement it with these phytocannabinoids.” Tom Stacey, host of the Kannaboom podcast, on how and why he became a cannabis advocate and podcaster.People aren’t waiting for researchers to validate the benefits of cannabis and CBD. Tom Stacey is one of those people. After his brother had a car accident that left him with epilepsy, Tom watched his brother’s health decline, a decline he attributed to the mountain of pharmaceuticals his doctors prescribed. After his brother died, Tom decided to reexamine and reignite his relationship with the plant. Now he does a podcast, Kannaboom, that is devoted to reinventing the narrative of “marijuana as the devil’s lettuce” and guides people to well made and safe CBD products and information.(Until recently, Tom’s podcast was called Kannaboomer, as it was aimed at listeners 50+ whose bodies (and sleep patterns) were falling apart. But he found that people of a certain age weren’t online searching for information so he renamed his show to Kannaboom.)One of the mysteries about cannabis and the Baby Boom generation is this: Boomers were born during Woodstock and the hippie revolution. As teenagers or college students so many smoked pot or were exposed to it and knew it wasn’t going to kill you. But once they hit their 30s they turned to alcohol as the socially approved substance. Somehow the propaganda and storytelling about it frying your brain, killing your sperm or destroying your memory ingrained itself in their psyches and they too became fearful of the plant.In this episode we explore that myth that and present some of the realities about this “people’s medicine” that grows in the ground and can never kill you, no matter how much you take. Tom also guides you to some of the better CBD products on the market.
45 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 86 - Can CBD or Cannabis Help My Pets?
In a word: Yes, according to Dr. Tim Shu, the Pet Vet.A while ago when I was visiting my sister I got an urgent call one evening. Her very gorgeous and naughty labradoodle, Spencer, was wobbling around the house and then fell into a deep sleep. A little investigation showed that he had climbed on to my bed, sniffed around my luggage and somehow managed to open (!) and down a tin of Kiva chocolate covered cannabis coffee beans. We estimated he ate about 50mg of THC . What should we do?Her vet had no idea. If only I had known Tim Shu then. I’d have asked him the question that so many listeners of this podcast ask regularly: Are CBD and cannabis products safe for pets?To learn more how to use cannabis products for dogs, cats horses (let’s not forget ferrets, rabbits, pigs, rodents, and horses) I snagged an interview with this California-based “Pet Vet” one of the few who has taken the lead in using cannabinoids to treat animals.Among the topics we discussed:How safe is CBD for pets?Short answer: CBD has a wide margin of safetyWhat are the most common side effects?Short answer: Diarrhea or sedationDo CBD/cannabinoids work for arthritis? Short answer: Yes, especially with catsHow did you get into this?Long answer: When I first started the company many people thought it was a crazy idea. Some still do. But humans didn't get to where we are now by being content with the status quo.The way medicine is practiced today is not the same as it was 50 or even 10 years ago. The reason is because it's improving and better options and therapies are available. The way medicine is practiced tomorrow will not be the way it's practiced today, it will improve. It is up to us to push for those improvements. If cannabis has therapeutic potential, we have a moral and ethical obligation to our patients and clients to thoroughly evaluate that potential.To learn more, check out https://vetcbd.com/Also…Please check out Dr. June Chin’s great blog post on the underreported correlations between COVID, gut issues and cannabinoids. You can find here it on MedicalCannabisMentor.com.Also… I just finished reading Entangled Life by the young scientist and fantastic writer, Merlin Sheldrake and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The book is a fantastic underground tour of fungi and their pivotal role that enables so much of the natural world to thrive. Sheldrake is a superb storyteller and the narrative is as compelling as any adventure thriller I’ve read recently. It’s also a great companion to Michael Pollan’s How To Change Your Mind as well as the mind-bending film, Fantastic Fungi. Sheldrake’s work made me wish I could dig a hole and hang out in this hidden and magical world that thrives just a few inches beneath my feet.Try to buy it from an indie bookseller if you can. Amazon made enough billions last month.
53 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 85 - For 60 years the DEA has blocked cannabis research in the US...
The US government owns Patent #6,630,507 on cannabinoids that protect the brain from injury but the DEA still blocks anyone except a small farm in Mississippi from growing cannabis for medical research. What are the drug enforcers so afraid of?
71 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 84 - Matthew Zachary, The Howard Stern of Cancer and Cannabis Advocacy
This episode features Matt Zachary, the founder of OffScrip Media. Matt is 1) an amazing human on a mission and 2) a loudmouth who is unafraid of calling bullshit. Those two qualities combined are his superpower. At age 21 Matt was diagnosed with brain cancer. His medical treatment was successful but the way the system treated him left him indignant. “When you’re 8 or 80 you’re treated age appropriately. When you’re not 8 or 80, no one cares about your quality of life. Survival rates for our generation hadn’t improved in 30 years and that was bullshit. I figured it was time for us to save ourselves because no one else gave a rat’s ass about it.”After Matt got his health and life (but not his hair) back, he formed Stupid Cancer, a nonprofit patient advocacy network that grew into the world’s largest young adult cancer community. He also hosted The Stupid Cancer Radio Show. It was angry, wry, funny and full of audacious information on how to survive the humiliations of the disease and of a health care system that showed little mercy. The show amassed millions of listeners around the world and Matt, never one for politeness, was dubbed the Howard Stern of Cancer Advocacy.In 2019 Matt stepped away from Stupid Cancer to start OffScrip Media, which he describes as the first podcasting network at the intersection of patient advocacy, education, and digital health. His flagship show, “Out of Patients,” tells stories of healthcare heroes and helps patients navigate the bureaucracy, wrestle with difficult to understand information in hopes of giving them control over their illness and treatments.Cannabis obviously has a huge role to play in this mission and we are thrilled to join Matt’s new venture as a podcast on his network. Our aim is to bring the knowledge about the plant, and the most-up-to-date ways to use it to anyone anywhere in the world who wants it. That’s why our collaboration makes so much sense. Our two voices combined are so much louder together. A few highlights of our conversation:“In healthcare, progress is like the stock market…Compared to 1996 when I was diagnosed, we have come really far. Yes, we still have a fakakta healthcare sector that puts profits over patients -- it took them a long time to realize that the end user is the patient and not the doctor. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel, with telehealth, personalized medicine, and realizing that the cost of care affects the bottom line to a company, not just the wallet of the patient.” “No one considered the humanity of cancer patients 20 years ago…. But advocacy to me meant one thing…dignity. Yes, there is quality of care, but quality of life is tantamount to quality of care. To me that’s advocacy: Making sure that what you go through sucks as little as possible.” “I’ve been touting the value of cannabis in cancer, not necessarily to get stoned but to get well, to help create credibility for the people who have the research and have the knowledge. We support the notion that you have a right to achieve the level of wellness that you deserve without breaking the law…you didn’t ask to get sick you just want to feel a little better. Cannabis advocacy and cancer is at the top of my list to bring forward in this new chapter.”Finally, the great scholar and legalization advocate, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, died last week at age 92. I pay tribute to him on the cast and here is his obit in the New York Times. Lester is perhaps the only doctor to have the honor of having a strain named after him. According to the Dutch grower, "Dr. Grinspoon is an old school sativa of the highest order, which gives a strong, long-lasting, energetic and cerebral high.” RIP, Dr. G.
55 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 83 - From Reagan White House Lawyer to Cannabis Business Owner: Ed Weidenfeld's Amazing Journey
An insider's view of Reagan's War on Drugs and how the Trump administration continues to keep that war going in very different ways.This may be the most painful podcast I’ve done, not because Ed Weidenfeld isn’t a compelling guest, but because he suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, which makes speaking enormously challenging. But I urge you to stick with it -- you may have to wait a few seconds for Ed’s responses, but the words and insight that come from his mouth is worth the wait. Also, his is a great story: there aren’t many 70 year olds who once worked as a lawyer in the Reagan (War on Drugs) White House, and who today are unapologetic cannabis advocates and business owners. On this podcast Ed shares his view from the inside: The spark that unleashed Reagan’s WoD: “It had nothing to do with drugs or politics. Mrs. Ford had the Equal Rights Amendment, Mrs. Johnson had beautification. When Mrs. Reagan declared “Just Say No” suddenly everyone knew you could please the president by fighting the War on Drugs.”The hypocrisy of watching a policy he knew was wrong being carried out: “It’s the same message I’ve given to people working on the inside of the Trump administration -- is that with a major policy like the WoD you can effect a change at the margins, maybe... You become immune to the hypocrisy you’re participating in.” His entry into the cannabis business: “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a dozen years ago but I had gone to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and been exposed enough to marijuana that I knew it wasn’t going to do me any harm and, if I bought from the the right people, maybe it would do me some good. Which it has...I became so friendly with the fellow that I bought it from that we formed a partnership and now we’re licensed cultivators in DC and Maryland.”Why the Trump administration continues to hamper the growth of America’s next boom industry: “I’m just cynical enough to think it’s getting a push from the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the tobacco industry, the Evangelical movement, and private prisons.” And... Where’s Melania? “I don’t have any idea of where she is but I don’t think her priority is finding a project that will improve America.” PS: Dr. Chin just posted this new blog on Women's Sexual Health and cannabis. It's an emerging topic and the blog is full of great information. Please share it widely.
60 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 82 - An interview with WeedWeek's founder and editor-in-chief, Alex Halperin
Plus, some gentle ranting on the George Floyd murder/protest and how the cannabis industry can meaningfully respond.Preamble: The firestorm of the last two weeks has been smoldering for decades. I haven’t watched and cannot stomach the 9-minute George Floyd snuff film, but the shock of the it has finally awakened the country. I, like many millions, hope that the protests can amend the broken policing and justice systems and finally rid the country of the corruption and malfeasance occupying the White House and Senate.Show notes: I recorded this podcast with Alex Halperin, founder and editor-in-chief of WeedWeek a month before the country erupted. The main part of this interview centers around WeedWeek’s Guide to the California Cannabis Industry, which is available at no fee. No one thought legalizating a state of 40 million people and where the current market is estimated at $3-5 Billion was going to be easy, but no one imagined it would become a bloodbath. California taxes weed at 40% and regulates the industry “more strictly than radioactive waste,” as industry veteran Steve DeAngelo put it. Both factors have kept the illegal market thriving. But there is still much hope that The Golden State can solve some it’s problems. And remember as California goes, so goes the country, so it’s worth watching, especially as some 10 additional states prepare to vote for adult use or medical in the November election (not all ballot initiatives have yet gathered the requisite number of signatures). Gentle rant: Honing in on one topic that Halperin and I touched on briefly: the disregard that many of the more “successful” state legalization programs have for social equity or restitution programs. So many citizens and communities have been disproportionately affected by the Drug Wars and the prison industrial complex but not enough industry leaders have taken up the call for restitution. We have devoted a few (not enough) podcasts to these issues but it is clear that they should be addressed forcefully right now.This is a golden opportunity to create a more fair and just cannabis industry. I don’t think profit should be the sole definition of “success.” Every cannabis company should think about instituting training, development and education programs that help to make amends for the injustices of the past (and present) and build a more inclusive future. Yes, it’s difficult to create such programs. They take time and money and there are no guarantees, but that doesn’t mean the effort should be glossed over. As William Faulkner noted: “The past is not dead. It’s not even past.” This is especially true with the racism that continues to underlie cannabis prohibition and keep people out of the industry. Random Final Notes: It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway: Make sure you’re registered to vote. Even if you feel that voting is an inadequate response to the primacy of the moment, read Stacey Abrams’ essay on the importance of this seemingly inconsequential act. Hear her out and then just do it. Al Sharpton’s eulogy at the George Floyd memorial was extraordinary. It was as if he waited his entire life to deliver this searing indictment of the power structure that took Mr. Floyd’s life. His oratory ensures that the phrase “Get your knee off our necks” will become the battle cry for this moment in time. If you have some pennies laying around think about tossing a few to NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. This org has been fighting the racial justice for 50 years and has never wavered from this position.This insightful essay by Eric Altieri, NORML’s Executive Director, spells out the struggle without glossing over the difficulties ahead. For a wise inquiry on the ways we white Americans can respond to the open wound of racism, listen to Tara Brach’s talk, A Courageous Presence With Racism. It’s honest and at times tough and this white man couldn’t stop thinking about it. And remember, every protest counts, even if you’re the only one. (Thank you, Dave Pell)
48 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 81 - Here's How Cannabis Can Save Higher Education (pun intended)
Colleges of all levels are being ravaged by COVID. Students are leaving and not coming back, some are thinking of taking a gap year, and still others are taking courses closer to home. Rob Mejia, professor of cannabis studies, says this may be the time that higher learning institutions finally embrace cannabis studies.When I first met Rob Mejia, around January BC (Before COVID), his role as a professor of pot studies at Stockton University made him a rare bird. Today, however, state and community colleges and continuing education programs across the country have a much more urgent interest in attracting and retaining students. Cannabis studies are one way to increase and steady enrollment, and Rob is seen as prescient. In the post-COVID economy, where jobs are more scarce, students will be gravitating toward industries that are expanding rather than contracting. This puts cannabis in an excellent position. To date, the cannabis industry has added 240,000 jobs, more if you include ancillary/support professions like branding, financial services, photography, insurance, lawyers and more lawyers. That number will expand as more states legalize adult use – citizens of New Jersey, Arizona and Pennsylvania, Florida and a half dozen more will vote on it in November. Unlike retail or fashion, cannabis is on a growth curve -- in 2019 it expanded 15-20% depending on the state. 2020 may not see the same steady spike but it will still be one of the country’s few boom industries, despite the regulatory, banking and legal hurdles it must contend with. A confession and (shameless self-promotion): Rob’s education company, Our Community Harvest, and mine, Medical Cannabis Mentor, have joined forces to bring effective and cost effective online cannabis education to college students. We’re creating courses on budtending, cultivation, cooking, science and medical cannabis -- and we're looking to speak to leaders in higher education. Special Bonus 1: At the end of Rob’s spring semester he asked me to critique the senior presentations of one class. I agreed and we selected 7 to share with you here: https://youtu.be/t2cZwUSwGmI. There are some surprising topics and investigations within, all of which bode well for the next generation of industry leaders.Special Bonus 2: If you’re like most people I know, you’re having trouble sleeping and it's getting worse the longer COVID goes on. For detailed info on how to wisely use cannabis to catch some zzzzs, check out this great blog, “Help! I Need a Good Night’s Sleep!”Special Bonus 3: Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, a frequent and distinguished guest on this podcast, is the subject of this article, How Cannabis Coevolved with Humanity, and Could Save It. While I’m dubious of any one thing being able to save humanity from its own destruction, cannabis remains the only crop that supplies us with three essential necessities, food, fiber, and drugs, which makes it unique and even more special than you thought.Special Bonus 4: Is Trump Worse Than Hitler? Even if you find that title hyperbolic, or think the question is without merit, I urge you to listen to this lucid interview with Noam Chomsky hosted by my friend, Linda Solomon Wood, founder and editor-in-chief of Canada's National Observer. Special Bonus 5: Have a look at this interesting and underreported view of how Africa has contained COVID and in particular, the COVID killing possibilities of African wormwood. A plant!Special Bonus 7: The Hidden History of CBD. A fine piece illustrating how stoners and stories were key to unlocking the mysteries of that other molecule. We'll be exploring this more in upcoming episodes. That's enough!
65 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 80 - Power Up Your Cannabis Meds (And Your Immune System) With These Herbal Supplements
Not many of us think of adding 1mg of melatonin with THC to ensure a deeper, longer night’s sleep… or blending ashwagandha with CBD to better cope with stress…or mixing St. John’s Wort with cannabinoids to better cope with pain. But Dr. Kevin Spelman is a molecular biologist, industry consultant and a clinician who has observed that a mix of plant medicines can be more healing than just one individual plant on its own.Spelman is that rare breed of scientist whose worldview integrates the wisdom of the east and the hard science of the west. He has worked as an Ayurvedic clinician and alongside Chinese medicine practitioners as well as being a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. It was in the NIH labs where he learned just how skeptically plant science was viewed by his colleagues. “When I spoke about certain molecules, my colleagues were all in,” he told me before I recorded this podcast, “but the minute I started talking about medicinal plants they’d turn suspect. I could almost see the thought bubble appear above their heads: ‘Quack! This guy can’t possibly be for real.’”This podcast is full of very real science about the mysterious world of plant medicines. In it, Spelman broaches three areas I want you to know about.Herbal allies. Especially relevant in the time of COVID-19 are the benefits of using echinacea, astragalus, and ashwagandha to strengthen our immune response. But he also explains that these substances should be combined thoughtfully rather than randomly thrown together. “One of the classic mistakes naturopaths make is just putting all in there. When you combine things properly you can induce emergent properties that you wouldn’t see with just one compound.”Low dose cannabinoids. We are big proponents of low dose cannabis medicines on this podcast. Spelman points out that there is a scientific phenomenon called “hormesis” in which a low dose of a substance, like cannabis or psilocybin, can have beneficial results while a higher dose can cause symptoms to worsen. “I had a lot of sciatica pain, maybe a 6 or 7 out of 10," he says, "and I didn’t want to use THC because my job demands I be critically observant. I found a sub-threshold dose of less than 1.5 mg of THC allowed me to work clear headed without a lot of pain.”Diet. Spelman points out that modern society is drugging illnesses that can be traced to what he calls a “phytonutrient deficiency.” His solution is the same that Michael Pollan arrived at while writing The Omnivore’s Dilemma: “Eat more plants.”Listen in to learn more on this emerging field, and be sure to read Kevin’s most recent blog on Powering Up Your Immune Response with Cannabinoids and Botanicals.And please read "Practical COVID Tips as We Open" (and musical accompaniment) by the always impressive Dr. Jeff Chen at UCLA. We can't rely on the administration to give reliable info so we must rely on the smartest scientists we know. Jeff is another one worth listening to.
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