6 | Philip Blair, M.D. | Former Army Doctor Now Advocates CBD

It seems like much of the medical establishment still has not even heard of cannabidiol (CBD) yet. Meanwhile, Philip Blair, M.D., a retired Army Colonel with 29 years of service, has become a strong advocate of this plant-based medicine.

In this episode we discuss the endocannabinoid system, and the many medical applications of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in hemp. Dr. Blair also talks about the value of CBD in topical, tincture, vape and capsule form for conditions including:

  • PTSD
  • cancer
  • epilepsy
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation, and others.

Medical director for Elixinol, Dr. Blair also provides consultations through his private practice.

 

Transcript

Kannaboomers

Hey everybody, it's Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboomers podcast. This week we are talking with Dr. Philip Blair, retired Army Colonel and physician who is on the front lines of helping CBD become more recognized as a viable medicine. We touched on many aspects cancer, PTSD, anxiety, inflammation tropicals, lots of very interesting things. So I hope you enjoy the show. Let me know what you think in the comments.  I'd like to share with our audience a little bit of your journey. You were an army colonel trained medical school and somehow you've become an advocate for what is amazingly still a schedule one substance in this country. Can you talk about your journey from army colonel to advocate for cannabis? Well,

Philip Blair, M.D.

Sure, I joined the Army when I was 17, I went to West Point and did different types of training. I was went to number of different posts. I went on to medical school after a couple years. And from medical school, I moved on to residency and did family practice. And I practiced family practice for 20 years in the military. I left that did some occupational medicine and then I took on a position of a disease manager developed a disease management program for chronic kidney disease. I left that and developed on the basis of that model and helping people and using a disease management model and looking in many different conditions are searching for ways to change people's lives that would just be dramatic and didn't require necessarily pharmaceuticals. The first focus was on diet I moved over to exercise and using a whole body vibration device. And then I discovered cannabidiol. I was introduced to it and I was suggested that I take a look at the science on it. And I had the opportunity to use it for myself, my family for my neighbors and then for my clients and I saw such dramatic improvements. I was just blown away. The literature too was extraordinary was that was already produced over 1,500 articles at the time. And this was about four years ago that I first learned about it and started using it but I'm talking about specifically is cannabidiol that comes from industrial hemp. It doesn't contain any significant amount of THC. So it doesn't have any psychoactive properties to it. But it has an enormous number of healing properties.

Kannaboomers

What a lot of people still don't realize is we have an endocannabinoid system that was discovered, I think, in the 90s. And I don't know that it's even being taught in medical schools yet, but there's a lot of people who don't realize that it's a very vital part of our bodies. Right?

Philip Blair, M.D.

Exactly. It's it was discovered, really identified and in 1992 as a result of looking at some of the THC receptors in the body. And it was realized that there was an entire system in the body from the brain and all tissues of the body that we're using cannabinoid substances that our body generates. And like any system, it has its synthetic, it has its receptors, it requires enzymes and transport molecules, and it has degradation enzymes as well. So it's a complete and total system within the body, affecting the brain and every organ of the body. And it its main purpose is to maintain homeostasis. It's not about doing one thing extremely, it's just about keeping a normal balance within the body and keeping the body balanced. Now, one of the things that is often overlooked is the understanding that the so called medical marijuana is really all about cannabidiol. That's the healing substance in it.

Kannaboomers  

Yeah, there's a little bit of THC, but the main emphasis in the healing properties actually come from the cannabidiol. The reason there was so much stigma around cannabis was that people thought getting high was not a good thing. The reality is, you don't have to get high to benefit from cannabidiol.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

Oh, exactly. You know, cannabidiol connects up to the receptors and to the the entire endocannabinoid system. So cannabidiol like, like THC, is a phyto-cannabinoid. But they're more than just these two, there's well over 100 different phyto-cannabinoids coming from plants. And we've never even realized that these are there. And they have such enormous value in signaling the body and shifting the body in one direction or another. But particularly I'm focused on shifting the body towards health and recovery. Knowing we have this system and we have receptors in our bodies. We generate our own CBD and we can supplement it with plant-based CBD is that the model is that sometimes we're deficient in certain compounds, certain CBD compounds and you can supplement it from the plant source very close to being entirely accurate. So we don't actually make cannabidiol in the body. But we make several similar molecules, cannabinoids, Endocannabinoid that do signal some of the same receptors. Cannabidiol is a phyto-cannabinoid. So it's coming from plant substances and we think of it as hemp, but actually cannabidiol is found in flax fibers as well, which adds to the value of flax as a bandage and addressing that can be used so the these phyto-cannabinoids may not look exactly like the ones that are in the body, but they do have extraordinary values for modulating the body and cannabidiol, in particular for restoring the health for a an endocannabinoid system that gets unbalanced and we're learning more and more that the endocannabinoid system is a sensitive system and it gets thrown out of balance as a result, or maybe as a cause for a number of diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and even cancer shows significant maladies in the endocannabinoid system that may be able to be rectified by using cannabidiol and some of the other therapies and cannabinoids that are available.

Kannaboomers

Do you isolate that CBD molecule and pull it out and maybe synthesize it in the lab as opposed to I think what's called a whole-plant formulation where there is some synergy between the compounds that you're talking about?

Philip Blair, M.D.  

That's a really good point. And what we actually see if you look at the science articles, and many of the studies have naturally been on purified formulations of CBD, it behaves one way and you can see specific benefits and you don't see and any conflicts with the, you know, other substances that might be in it. That's great for the science studies. But in clinical performance, I can really tell a difference between a full spectrum cannabidiol, one that includes what is often called the entourage, is some of the other substances that are in the plant. And so it's a plant a plant-derived, it includes flavonoids, it includes tannins, it contains additional cannabinoids as well as terpenes and all of these things, all of these compounds made for a much richer environment and a more therapeutic environment without causing additional or causing any significant side effects. In fact the studies that have been done with cannabidiol have not seen any significant adverse effects or toxicity when you are working with patients.

Kannaboomers

How do you begin to determine the correct dose?

Philip Blair, M.D.  

Know it is available in every state. And it's only the federal laws that are that are trying to restrict or the DEA is trying to restrict it. In fact, Congress has passed a couple laws, the farm acts that have said, hey, let's reclassify this and that industrial hemp is really a different category, we can't put it and it shouldn't be put into schedule one. But right now, the DEA and the FDA are ignoring those particular laws and guidelines and interpreting the laws, which they're not allowed to do. But that's being done under the current administration and some and the previous administrations as well. So it right now it's available in throughout the United States by some major companies, even global companies that offer the same products in 23 countries of the world. So it's not uncommon for me to have contact internationally, people using cannabidiol specifically when I make recommendations on I try to give people a guideline for starting CBD and using the recommendations that are actually on the bottle of what they're using. Now I have my preferences and the one the products that I find that are most effective but invariably, when people are talking to me and asking for advice, I'm going to give them recommendations, I have to give them recommendations on what they have as well as inclined towards a product that I believe is very effective in giving them those recommendations. I have people start off with the recommendations that are on the bottle whenever the serving size do that twice a day and then increase the dose is what I usually say is tight trait that those to their particular need to control their symptoms. Now, that may mean doubling the dose or even tripling the dose depending on what they're using. I also give people guidelines at target for how many milligrams of CBD tincture is generally effective for these problems using a product like Elixinol and all that is a global product that is as a vertical integration in terms of their growing as well as producing and distributing quality CBD products.

Kannaboomers  

Do you prefer a tincture to a capsule or a vapor or are there different applications for the different forms of CBD?

Philip Blair, M.D.   

You know, I need to adapt to the patient's lifestyle, what they are able to take what really fits with their situation. And, and that means that it varies based on what's their preferences or what their taste is because they got to be taking the substance in order to get that particular benefit. So in some cases, I use tincture. other cases, I use a lipid soluble variety which has a greater bio availability and absorption,  I get a lot of really, really good effects and it's more cost effective. On the other hand, some people just can't remember to take it and they can't stand the taste of things. And so capsule is is best other people are really want to maximize the the absolutely best products available. In which case I may represent or recommend a concentrate that is very high concentrations of CBD so that they can and along with the entourage so that they can get the full benefits. And finally, there are people who just cost constrained and they don't have any very limited budget and so for them. I think vaporization is a great way to get started with it. And to confirm the benefits that you can get from CBD. And also for those people who have neurodegenerative conditions as well as behavioral conditions, delivering CBD directly to the brain by way of the lungs is really a magnificent and the delivery happens in 10 seconds. And so you can feel the particular benefits and you can tie treat the dose based on your inhalation, the depth and the frequency.

Kannaboomers

Now, with some of these conditions, as you say, you'll see immediate relief and the patient will know it. But say something of a disease like cancer, you might not immediately see the benefit and it may take some time.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

I mean, are there good studies that show the anti-tumor effects of CBD. Do we have case studies that show that it's really effective in cases like cancer? So the problem is the government has a limited its use in different types of human studies. But there's a huge number of studies about cannabidiol and preclinical studies. There's over over 70, perhaps 100 human studies that have been done that show its safety and effectiveness and various conditions. But specifically, I don't have any clinical studies with regard to humans that have been done. Now you you narrow the focus down to benefits in cancer, but you really need to look at the broad benefits when you're talking about cancer because it does have anti tumor effects that have been documented in cell cultures and an animal studies that show that it has an anti tumor effect in several different ways blocking or killing cancer cells are blocking their spread their metastasis, and changing the metabolism of those particular cancer cells. But you also got to remember that there are other benefits coming along and terms of enhancing the effects of chemo and radiation therapy on killing the cells at the same time is protecting normal tissues and the brain from the ill effects of chemo and radiation. So you you've got the protection of normal tissues using cannabidiol and you've got the enhancement of the killing effects that's there and patients do feel better with using CBD. They have quite an immediate response after using the CBD because they feel a reduction in anxiety. They have improvement and sleep, there's a reduction in pain. And these are the things that happened within minutes of a use of a quality CBD product. I mean, you are still a rarity. There's not that many doctors out in the lead saying that this substance can help you in all these ways.

Kannaboomers  

Do you foresee a day when this is more widespread and what needs to happen to to make that happen?

Philip Blair, M.D.  

I do see it. broadening out in one of my missions that I've taken upon myself is to educate physicians and medical professionals. Unfortunately, MDs tend to be demanding randomized control trials, and those just aren't available because the government has restricted studies on those those particular so it's very difficult to provide proof for them. And as you mentioned earlier, they're teaching, they're not really teaching about the endocannabinoid system. And very few doctors know about it, or if they're, it's given short shrift in medical school about, I understand about 8% of schools are really teaching it. So there's a general ignorance and it's categorized with the marijuana culture rather than looking at this as a medicinal compound that has enormous value, but has yet to show any toxicity even at massive doses. So they're really missing the boat on that. But unfortunately, it seems to be caught in the culture and they are not willing to go there. There's also a number of other excuses for not using it probably the most important is afraid of any legal consequences of recommending a substance it is still classified by the DEA as a schedule one.

Kannaboomers

Sure. And there were many decades of sort of government sponsored propaganda about the evils of cannabis. So there's a lot of work to overcome that kind of stigma. We see it in the states you know, it seems almost every week or there's another state that has made medicinal cannabis available. And again, as you say, CBD is available in and legal in every state as far as we know, until someone decides to prosecute against it, but the changes legislatively and at the ballot box are going to take an effect in your doctor's office eventually, right?

Philip Blair, M.D.

Well, it's going to take some time in order to get through these hurdles of particularly the current Justice Department to get past it. But but this is enormously ironic is that you've got a substance that the DEA has shifted the wording around such that they've made they've tried to make cannabidiol a Schedule One because it was never it's never it's not actually listed as a Schedule One substance, but they have shifted towards changing the wording so that it does become that but but here's the irony is that you've got a substance that is listed or considered by the DEA to be a schedule one that there's no medical value, and it's probably addictive and harmful. Yet, what I see on a daily basis is the be the ability to reverse addiction to be as a primary treatment for addiction, whether it's alcohol, cocaine, heroin, opioids provide analgesia and provide relief from anxiety, depression, and even dementia. And all of these things are bundled in this simple, simple molecule. It's just 22 carbons large and can manifest all of these changes for the entire body at the end. And, of course, the terrible irony is that it's being restricted as being potentially harmful substance which is so absurd and harmful for the health of the entire world.

Kannaboomers   

Well, you know, we live in times when some crazy stuff can happen politically, I think our listeners need to be mindful of safeguarding the rights to this medicine and, and doing what they can to make sure that everybody's got access. And you've mentioned so many conditions. I'm wondering about if you've done any work with veterans and with PTSD. And if CBD helps with that.

Philip Blair, M.D.

I am really digging into that particular area. I'm trying to help as many veterans as I can, because I see profound changes that are immediate, and nine out of 10 people with PTSD. Now, the focus has been pretty much on veterans, it seems to be well accepted as PTSD, but they only represent about 30% of the entire country's population. And for that matter, the world's population of PTSD. In fact, there's quite a wide variety of people who have PTSD that don't have military or traumatic experiences. And example is camera people from news media that go into difficult situations and traumatic situations, just like Hurricane Katrina, they can come out of that worn down and with PTSD like symptoms. And so these people are candidate. In fact, it turns out that the predisposing factor for PTSD is a, an abusive childhood or an neglected childhood that can pro it can make you more susceptible to PTSD, because not all well, not everybody who experiences a major trauma develops PTSD. But, um, those types of childhood traumas make you predisposed to developing that in in any population, whether it's 911 call centers, or whether it's emergency workers, or even in cameramen and broadcasters that are going into other countries. I'm particularly interested in PTSD and veterans and I'm mounting quite a campaign in Vancouver, Washington, where I live to involve more and more of the population and the veteran groups to make them aware of it. I've got a some informal studies that are being done locally that I've invited them members to, and the products have been donated so that I'm able to give these and we're tracking the results to see how the veterans respond. Right now we're getting about nine out of 10 very, very highly responsive, and indications of a long term recovery using CBD.

Kannaboomers  

That is really fantastic. Especially when you consider the numbers we've seen who get into trouble with opioids.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

There are a lot of fatalities, not to mention, just addiction and heartbreak and huge costs associated with just rampant prescriptions of opiates. And here's a substance that is plant based is never killed anyone as far as we know, and maybe it ends up with much better results. You know, I was just talking to a woman who volunteered a testimony for me, I actually recorded that I posted that on my youtube I hope to have it completed in next day. But she talks about the effects of CBD using CBD for what started off with pain. But with her past history of addiction, she saw these changes in her personality, the loss of any type of craving before and one of the opioids or even heroin which he had had previous experience with and she had a sort of fortification of her inner strength to give back to the community and she's wants to become an advocate for CBD to try to change the world change Australia first, but also change the world. And then this morning I talked to a cameraman broadcaster who I had helped some time ago with PTSD, and he wants to develop a program to to get other broadcasters and other camera men and women involved with some self help, and using CBD. And even to the mode of preventing CBD in those traumatic situations. Because there's really good information and good science that suggests that it can be used after immediately after a trauma or during a traumatic situation, to extinguish the phases of PTSD and protect people against that disorder.

Kannaboomers   

What a great medicine to have in your toolkit. Does it make sense to think about CBD as a supplement almost like a vitamin? And if so, do you have recommendations for how to take it?

Philip Blair, M.D.   

Absolutely. I think CBD should be in everybody's medicine cabinet as the reach-for substance that is available, because it has all of the properties and it supersedes all of the properties of those other things that are in the medicine cabinet. If you get any type of injury, if if you have a headache, it's good for that you get a bruise, or an injury or scrape or a burn or a bite, you put the CBD directly onto those areas and you can get resolution taking care of arthritis it's it's easy, you can control arthritis magnificently and all types of arthritis weathers osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and then you get added benefits. Like those things that improve sleep quality improves your mood, and your interactions with your family members and your spouse. There is a reduction in inflammation all over. And I did mention the insomnia but it also takes care of those addictive portions that people may be running into whether that's alcohol related, or some of the other substance. So I think that it is the ideal medication for your medicine cabinet. And the first reach for it certainly is for me, if I have any sort of issue that comes up. I'm going to CBD first because I I know the magnificent properties that are associated with it in terms of immediately relieving pain, relieving anxiety, as well as reduction of the inflammatory component that is involved with almost all of the diseases, whether that's depression or Alzheimer's disease.

Kannaboomers

Just thinking back to the first part of our conversation where you talked about homeostasis, and just because we have this endocannabinoid system that's hooked into all of our other systems. And it's related to appetite and sleep and mood. And all these things, I guess, is the mechanism of how this works, it's, it's going to bring you back to balance.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

Well, that's, that's a good summary. It does it and that's the the ideas it brings you back to balance. And it you know, from my experience, what I see it doing also is taking you back about 10 years. It's sort of a fountain of youth and improving your skin, your hair, your attitude, your eyesight, your voice, your your musculature, your sleep, your sex, I mean, all of these things are really do see substantial improvement by using cannabidiol.

Kannaboomers   

I've used the Elixinol balm, because I still run a lot. And I've had a knee pain that feels like it's a spike in there. And yeah, you rub a pea-sized blob of the balm on and it goes away. It's amazing. Perfect.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

And you're using a fairly low concentration, but it has it's got better bio availability and better absorption. So you get good penetration for that they've the election, all companies done something else with the life of some more variety. It's in a citrus twist. And one milligram of that is the equivalent of five or even seven milligrams of a tincture. So very, very well absorbed. I like to have people hold it in their mouth, if they're going to take it orally told it in their mouth for at least a minute because of the amazing absorption that can occur in the mucous membranes and you can feel the effects very very rapidly with them.

Kannaboomers   

Are you referring to the liposomes or the tincture or both?

Philip Blair, M.D.  

Well, all of them I even a capsule if people are not sure if they're getting the benefit from capsule and and feeling the effects I tell them to bite it and swish it in their mouth to so that they get the wow effect. And the wow effect that I'm talking about is that this calming this relaxation is improvement in visual acuity as well as a reduction in pain. Typically, people will respond to me say, Oh, that must be placebo effect. I can't believe that happened that quickly. But it does. And one of my favorite ways is to monitor people as they take their first dose and I'll point out to them the changes that they are likely to experience which is quite remarkable and but people may not attributed to the CBD unless I point it out to them.

Kannaboomers  

If you do swallow that capsule it's probably going to be two or three hours before it works its way through your digestive system and your liver and all that whereas if you let it soak in sublingually, you're going to get an instantaneous effect.

Philip Blair, M.D.   

You're exactly right on the capsules. It's a one to two hours before you feel the effects and they can be subtle, it has to go through as you pointed out and generally goes through the liver and gets degraded in that process. Whereas when you do it sublingually, then you get that a direct absorption our if you do vape now I want to make it clear that you should be using a vaping formulation and not using some of the tinctures. One of the companies, Elixinol has a product called, Respira you can use it topically, you can use it orally or you can use it as a vapor.

Kannaboomers  

I have used it as a vape, I didn't realize you could use it topically to that's a versatile bottle of medicine.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

I have one lady who report to me she's using it for a dry socket after having a tooth removal and she's getting great results for from using it and just really pleased with the progress.

Kannaboomers  

You mentioned your YouTube channel Are there other places online where people can connect with you and follow you and see what's happening?

Philip Blair, M.D.

Well I do have if somebody wants to do a consult then I have a page that people can go to I also have my own website which is Dr. Blair MD dot Weebly (weebly) dot com and people can connect with me there they can see a little bit of my history but I'm not into advertising and promoting I just want to help people want to transform lives as I see so commonly so my particular goal you can also see some of my information at Elixinol.com and if you want general information about cannabidiol you should look at ProjectCBD.org it's important to have the dot org and not dot com to get that information.

Kannaboomers

Do you have any organizations you recommend that people support in making sure that we preserve our our right to CBD. And in cannabis.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

I don't have any particular organizations and I I haven't aligned myself with any particular groups. I make myself available to organizations trying to promote the science and the facts and my clinical experience and how it can be used and wise use of CBD.

Kannaboomers

That about covers it unless there's anything else that that we should mention.

Philip Blair, M.D.   

Well there's just one other area that I found enormous value to and that is dementia. I think everybody in in the boomer generation is concerned about dementia and CBD can reverse dementia again about nine out of 10 cases and I strongly encourage people to look into this if they feel any cognitive slippage in themselves or their family members.

Kannaboomers  

Now do you make a distinction between dementia and Alzheimers?

Philip Blair, M.D.  

No, I don't. Um, there's multiple causes of dementia, whether it's Parkinson's related or it's from multiple small strokes or if it's a Alzheimer's type of dementia also it's you can also categorize it come from any of the neurodegenerative conditions including traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy that are typically coming on from people as young as college students football players as a protected and also as something that can reverse the condition itself. Exactly. And you know, my philosophy it should be CBD should be available to people who are going into harm's way whether those are first responders or whether that's a military they should have some degree of CBD on board if they're at risk for any type of trauma. And then if they do experienced trauma, CBD should be given immediately afterwards. It's actually been shown to be protective in stroke. I mean heart disease, heart attacks, as well as other organ injuries as schema type of injuries. So the benefits are enormous and it would generally it would help the recovery and prevent a lot of morbidity that comes around those types of traumatic injuries and there's zero side effects. So there's really no reason not to do it. There's knows toxic effects, you know, there can be some minor side effects like a headache or fatigue, but these are trivial compared to the potential and the healing and the protective value that CBD offers.

Kannaboomers  

Well, thank you again for taking the time to speak with us. We really appreciate it, it's an important message that we're happy to help spread.

Philip Blair, M.D.  

Wow, thanks so much for allowing me to talk about my passion and what I think that could change the world and entire the entire medical landscape of this country.

 

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kannaboomers