Does it makes sense to track your cannabis usage? Yes, if you want to know what strain and method of ingestion work best for you. That's the big idea behind cannabis journals from Goldleaf: Being smarter about cannabis by tracking the data around your consumption, your grow, or the dishes you are cooking. Join us to hear Chris Hersha of Goldleaf talk about the many benefits of more mindful cannabis consumption.
We all want to be well — and in truth, wellness is not a steady state, it's an ongoing commitment. Elizabeth Frasier, The Health Cannabist has cracked the code on using cannabis as a tool to promote and achieve better wellness. A longtime personal trainer and nutritional consultant, she also integrates cannabis into the wellness routine of her clients to help them achieve:
- Better sleep
- Less anxiety
- Pain relief
- Less inflammation
Listen in and learn more about how to get started (low and slow) with cannabis as an essential tool in your wellness routine.
Kannaboomers: 00:00 Hey, welcome back to the Kannaboomers Podcast, this is Tom with episode 15 featuring Elizabeth, The Health Cannabist. She is now in Maine by way of New Jersey and she has lots of talk about in terms of how cannabis can help you live a healthier life. Number one, it helps a lot of people sleep better. Number two, it can decrease anxiety. Another big one is in attacks inflammation. CBD does a great job of that, so have a listen. Tell me how you like it and look us up at Kannaboomers.com.
Elizabeth : 00:27 Thanks for listening. This is. Let's Talk About Weed, the Kannaboomers Podcast, CBD, microdosing, and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.
Kannaboomers: 00:42 You know what I was looking at your website, I noticed that you have a poodle you're in a codependent relationship with.
Elizabeth : 00:49 Yes it is true. I have a five pound poodle, a five pounds of fury, but nobody told her she's small, so she's pretty big and personality and has won me over and it's definitely an interesting thing because if you know anything about what I do, which is a lot of outdoor hiking and whatnot, it's hard to picture a small five pounds and included and all of that, but she's there, so it's great.
Kannaboomers: 01:15 I love poodles. They're both athletic and intelligent.
Elizabeth : 01:19 They're smart sometimes, but yes…
Kannaboomers: 01:23 A lot of our audience I know loves dogs and I think people are realizing that CBD is good for dog health as well.
Elizabeth : 01:30 Oh, absolutely. Um, I can't, I can't speak volumes enough about that one actually from a topical standpoint orally. It's, it's very cool. And I, I personally only know a small amount from, from dogs and stuff. I do have a great vet that I work with and talk to you about, but it's really, that's as far as information goes, there's even less information, um, when it comes to cannabis and incorporating wellness when it comes to animals anyways.
Kannaboomers: 01:59 Humans have a hard enough time talking about it and dogs can't tell us.
Elizabeth : 02:02 Well, believe me, I've been trying to work with my vet for I guess two to three years now and bringing that conversation up and it's only been in the last six to eight months that she was even able to have that conversation, meaning that she was able to grab and get some information that actually made sense and that could actually be passed on because up until then she was the, I dunno, I dunno, we don't know. I can't tell you. It was all of that was the answer and really she referred me to a guy that she knew was using it, but still it was just his anecdotal evidence and I'm fine with that as long as we can have some really deep conversations and get a lot of information. But you joke. I joke about the codependency with my dog. I started using it for her so that when I did actually have to leave her at home, which is sad for both of us that we both could survive. Um, and that was my first introduction to it with her. She's also had a couple of like Kudzu scrapes. We live in Maine so she has a lot of exposure to possible snakes and whatnot. So just using a topically as well has been a really cool experience. Stuff that I just didn't expect.
Kannaboomers: 03:13 Well I guess that's a good segue to talk about the health cannabis and what you do for people and the fact that, you know, we have an endocannabinoid system every mammal does and what works for your dog or works for people too, right?
Elizabeth : 03:26 Correct. I mean we have a very similar system with the endocannabinoid system is the same but how it interacts in the body and the different ways that it can be useful. It's quite similar and especially when we're just looking at CBD because that's what we're looking at and we're talking about animals. We're not generally, I hope not. Usually companies that have high doses of THC and, you know, we can't explain to our pets, hey, you're gonna, you're gonna come down. Everything's gonna. Be Okay. Um, I'm not sure. Again, I haven't done a lot of research on it myself because I'm just more interested in the CBD side for my pet, but when it comes down to it, there are, there could be some other risk factors that we just don't know about, not with, at least with the THC, because you do see a lot of things in the news where dogs are getting sick or anything of it. The vet from toxicity, I don't know what those levels are and I don't know how much of it is just, you know, basic hyperbole in the news, but some of it might have some truth to it.
Kannaboomers: 04:25 So as the cannabis that you started as a personal trainer, right?
Elizabeth : 04:30 Correct. Basically on paper, that's. Yes, I started out just training as far as this exercise. I worked with athletes and clients, whether it'd be a gym or a facility, that sort of thing. Um, and really quickly in my career I realized that that just wasn't enough. You can't just, you know, kind of look at part of the body, you have to look at the entirety of it. So very quickly I started my education in nutrition, um, to get the right information there and really starting to kind of adding tools to the toolbox, I suppose, you know, it was nutrition and we can use the word wellness, but it includes kind of some mental aspects to things, whether it be meditation, Yoga, um, I think that the current term is self care. It changes every 10 years and we have a different way of looking at it or naming it, but cannabis, you know, as another tool in the toolbox, um, you know, so to speak, if you kind of looking at it from that perspective.
Kannaboomers: 05:29 We've seen a lot more acceptance of cannabis just in the last couple of years. But I imagine there's still a lot of kind of contrary position is seen as contrary and that for so many decades we were told this is the devil's weed. It's not good for you. It's going to lead you to ruin. And now it's flipped and it's all of a sudden this is a, this is a wellness tool. How do you handle that?
Elizabeth : 05:52 Well, unfortunately it's, I mean if you have this really cool venn and you kind of put exercise and you put candidates, put fitness and well there's the crossover is very, very small. The number of people, excuse me within say the fitness industry that can even regard cannabis as a part of their toolbox is very, very small and being in this industry for much, much longer than I'd like to help. How I've been ostracized, looked at etc. Anytime I've brought it up because I've consumed cannabis from a very young age and it never occurred to me that it couldn't be included in part of your life because I wasn't the person that ever felt, you know, melting into the couch cover with Cheeto dust. It never happened to me. So you know, and unfortunately that is the stigma that we, you know, attached to It and the conversation is really, it's multiple conversations with people to kind of get them to look at cannabis as more than just this THC high or, or even, you know, having the conversation to where you can say it could benefit you. Generally what it takes is either somebody that they know or they're related to had some sort of medical issue that was, you know, really, I can't say necessarily cured, but their life was changed by the incorporation of cannabis. It could be their neighbor's kid that had some sort of a, one of these epileptic diseases that were there having the 700, 800 seIzures a day. Suddenly their kid is introduced to CBD so they see their neighbors life change. So that kind of conversation happens and then they start thinking, well maybe there's something to it for me because if an eight year old kid can take it, we go to school, be fine. Maybe that's something I can do. And that's where I have clients that will ask me about it. So what is this about the CBD? And it's very interesting because it's happening a lot faster now. It's almost every day I talked to somebody who not even a year ago was in conversation and saying, oh, I can't believe where I live. I mean, I heard that there are all these pot farms around like it's so sort of horrible day and then, you know, a couple, a year later, two years later, they're, they're coming and saying, so my sister, you know, fill in the blank, had this entire story of, of being changed by having cannabis or, or just part of cannabis, the CBD molecule incorporated, and then they'll ask me about it so it kind of comes from that direction or even I kind of consider funny, but they'll incorporate it from a recreational standpoint. Maybe they're at a party or they had a family member who, you know, brought them say an edible or something. And this has happened to me somewhat recently where I have a 66 year old client who had it given to them as a gift sort of so to speak. And now, wow, my knees don't hurt and I'm up and down ladders. I feel like walking again, like all of these things, it's a snowball effect. The domino effect comes from that.
Kannaboomers: 08:59 You know, I hear you talking about a couple of different aspects and one is CBD. I've discovered that as a balm it's amazing on my knees. I've been running for decades. So you know, you do need, you do need to take care of your knees. Well the other side of it is THC and how that can help too. And my previous podcast was with Antonio DeRose, who's a competitive trail runner.
Elizabeth : 09:22 I finally listened to his podcast last week. That was great.
Kannaboomers: 09:26 Yeah. And he talked about how it could help him focus. Do you use it in that way when you're working with your clients? Does it help before the workout to get you dialed in and have a productive workout?
Elizabeth : 09:39 The shortest answer to that is yes. It's a great question. First off, when we're looking at kind of incorporating it, there's a couple of different things to consider. Number one, there's a difference between therapeutic dosing and I kind of hate the word dose, but we'll use it for the sake of conversation. Um, therapeutic dosing and then maybe kind of biohacking dosing if we were to use that term. Um, if you're using it for therapy, whether it be treating something like anxiety, those kinds of doses are going to be a lot different than somebody who's just trying to kind of tweak their workout. Tweak will look, we're looking at the fitness buffs, the athletes that are just trying to take it to a different level, if that makes any kind of sense because If somebody is suffering from pain or inflammation on a regular basis, they are what I refer to, this is going to sound interesting, but the high functioning cannabis consumer, they are most likely somebody who's consuming it and having to incorporate in their life daily on a regular basis. So they number one have experience with it. They they're having to use it regularly to kind of heal or to to manage their own symptoms. But when you're looking at somebody that is, you know, say a newbie, it doesn't incorporate, it doesn't have any experience with it. The avenue in which that I like to discuss it with them is a lot different. The first thing, and this might make sense to you because you've talked to a lot of people, the biggest problem that most people have a sleep or lack thereof, and coming in to talking to anybody at the bottom line for a lot of people, so if we can get them to sleep, that domino effect, that snowball that I talked about earlier, it goes down that mountain in the right way. So they're basically kind of starting out this wellness program with good foundations. If you're not getting sleep, you can't hack the way your way with anything else. You can't take a pill or et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, all day long to cover the fact that you're not getting enough sleep. And that's true for athletes as well. So it doesn't matter who you are, you get that sleep in check, then everything else kind of starts to fall into place that inflammation to come down. Um, energy goes up. All of those things
Kannaboomers: 11:57 In the process, you discover that, hey, this isn't harming me, it's actually helping me. Maybe it can help in other ways.
Elizabeth : 12:04 Yes. Usually the big thing about introducing somebody, especially if they're new, they have this fear and stigma, they don't want to feel high as they put it or they're just scared a lot of, especially if they're an adult who hasn't had an experience with it or if they did it was 30 slash 40 years ago. um, I'm not sure what your memory is from that far back, but it doesn't. It doesn't really compute very well. So we kind of, I look at it and I try to have a conversation with them and say, listen, the best way to kind of start introducing is at that time of day and the sleep and the evening when you're at home and you're safe and you're surrounded by your own stuff, you're not going somewhere else and consuming cannabis and putting yourself into a position where most people are already panicked and paranoid a little bit anyways, starting, if it's, if it's new to them, if they haven't had it ever. Especially with all the stigmas attached to it. Especially right now we're hearing a lot more of this. Oh, it's so much stronger than it used to be in. Especially now with this vaping versus smoking conversation that's going on. It just came out this last week, so we're constantly having to put down these fires. Almost explained that. Well, okay, let's look at it from the other perspective. So vaping is better and stronger. So you use less of your medicine, you're more efficient with it. How about that? Instead of looking at it from what you have to consume the same amount each time. So it's an interesting perspective,
Kannaboomers: 13:35 Right? What you learn is it's very personalized medicine and you know the word dose, whether we want to call it that or not. Maybe it's one hit. You titrate, you see how that works for you. And the other thing you mentioned about, you know, sleep is, I imagine you have to pay attention to the strain and you know, I've had people say that sativa is kind of a meaningless distinction anymore, but it is possible to kind of wake your brain up with the strain that's energetic as opposed to one that's going to sort of calm you down and relax you and get you ready for sleep. Right?
Elizabeth : 14:08 Agreed. Um, yeah, the sativa and the, it's, it's tough because it's a good starting point for somebody who hasn't had any introduction to cannabis. They, they don't know anything about it. It's a great place to start a conversation though. There are strains that are gonna make you feel a little more uplifted. There are strains and make you feel a little more heavy. And the terms that I like to, how to use our that uplifting or cerebral effect versus physical body effect. Um, but the problem with that is from, at least my position in working with people is there is no ironclad rule. You know, most people would like to think that they're not going to want to consume indica example to before they go for run, but for a lot of runners that worked really well and I happened to be one of them, so it's a good place to start the conversation, but what they eventually want to start to recognize, um, is what kind of, what's the molecular structure of that strain that you happen to work well with? What are the terpene profiles were there, what are the flavonoids that are, if you can find that information out from your dispensary or wherever you're getting your medicine from, um, what are the cannabinoids in there? What are the things that are in there that are working for you? And then starting to gravitate towards those. But you do have to have a star, a base point starting point where that's where that sativa and into conversation does work from the first conversation. Now, once they start having a little bit of experience and seeing. I mean, I have plenty of people that I know that, uh, using CBD can actually stimulate them and wake them up at night. So, you know, we're talking about a medicine that has a really unique quality to it where it's not so much of a one directional effect in the body where say Tylenol, let's just look at that. We know that acetaminophen, it's a pain reliever. It works one way. So CBD or cannabis works to put your body back to balance is from trying to work within that endocannabinoid system and bring your body back to homeostasis. So when you're taking or using like the topical balms that you mentioned on your knees, it's not going to overwork and you can't overdose on that stuff and have suddenly your knees are going to go numb and you can't walk anymore. Um, you know what I mean? So you're dealing with something that is your body wants to be into balance and your have a medicine here that works really well with putting it into balance as well.
Kannaboomers: 16:38 Another facet of this is that we all have unique genetic profiles and we may react differently so maybe it makes sense to keep a journal and you know,
Elizabeth : 16:50 My first recommendation is not just a journal for the particular strains and you know different ways you're consuming cannabis, but also how you're using it, whether it be the context, how you start off feeling and then how you're ending. There's a period of how long it's going to be in your body, so there are people that started off feeling great for and then they may have maybe ended up feeling nauseous or I had this client who mentioned the word. It's very subjective obviously, but you have an individual effects and every person that you can't necessarily say there's going to be the same. We can say it's going to be generally this could happen, but you're going to always have the one out of 100 or 200 people that that strain is going to be horrible for. Or that particular kind of a method of consuming medicine is not going to work. Edibles. Don't work for a lot of people. They don't work for a lot more people than they think that's the problem. So edibles at consuming cannabis that way worked really well for many people. those people are very vocal, but I've happened to work with a lot of people that edibles don't work because you're talking about people. There are a lot of people in this country that have some sort of digestive issue, so if you're dealing with a digestive issue, it does sometimes make sense to consume that way, but it's sometimes does it because of all the added ingredients that are involved too.
Kannaboomers: 18:15 You also make an interesting distinction between the high-functioning cannabis consumer, and the newbie.
Elizabeth : 18:23 The HFCC.
Kannaboomers: 18:27 That's a very useful distinction. And we all know people like that who are just able to get up and wake and bake as we used to say.
Elizabeth : 18:34 Yes
Kannaboomers: 18:36 And then other people could never function like that. But for those people there's no issue. It's just part of their life.
Elizabeth : 18:45 Correct. And that's where I, again, I'm very conservative in my approach to a lot of things in which you know, why wing it and find out later how it's going to work. So when it comes to approaching especially cannabis, something that can have some effect in the body that you don't know of, it's important to have experience in both things that you're trying to combine. So in other words, if you got to incorporate cannabis into fitness, suddenly you want to go for a run, you've never done it. You have run all your life, you have a lot of experience in running and you maybe have a lot of experience with consuming cannabis. But for some reason you'd never thought you could combine the two. And that's very, that's a really common thing. Well that guy, he knows what he's doing on both sides. So that's a guy I would love to say, you are going to have a great time. You, we can have a conversation in different ways and what had a time that, that sort of thing. But if you don't have experience with both things, it's tough to combine them. And I would caution people to experience cannabis and whatever methods you're consuming it before you combine, so if you are a person that say smokes or have some that your entire life and you have a lot of experience with that suddenly wanting to incorporate an edible, have the experience with the edible first. Then see how your body reacts. It's important to me to say that because I don't want to hear. I hate hearing the horrible stories that people have where they say went out and got lost or didn't know were there. They were panicked and there are those. You don't know what your body's gonna gonna do. That's just the nature of our bodies and the way that this thing is working.
Kannaboomers: 20:27 So you have people coming to you who want to improve their, their wellness and you have, as you mentioned, sort of a whole toolkit of things. So there's nutrition, there's workouts. I imagine there's some people who are newbies on all that stuff and then other people who are maybe plateaued and they just want to kind of jumpstart the routine or you're bringing a whole range of services to people, right?
Elizabeth : 20:51 It's hard to discuss one thing without often discussing. Remember the song, the leg bone connected to the knee bone, but it's true and we just dated ourselves a little bit, but that said, it is true just from the shoes that you wear on your feet is gonna have an effect on your posture throughout the day, which has an effect on how you sit at the desk and you can continue on and so we've oftentimes, it's really unfair to compartmentalize something and say, well, you know, this particular exercise program is going to get you the exact same thing you want in your body. Everything you want is going to come from this program. Well, it's, it's an ideal marketing pro idea, but we. Everything does get connected. There are a little like little pieces of the puzzle and your health history is part of that.
Elizabeth : 21:42 So where you've come from to get to this point makes a lot of it means a lot and how you go forward if you are coming in with a litany of medications, for example, again, incorporating cannabis, cannabis has an effect in the body. I'm not saying that they're negative effects, I'm saying we're looking for those effects. So if the effect of cannabis, that particular stream for example, does lower your blood sugar, well if you're a medication that also does that, if we're not having an interaction and medications, what we're having is to medications to substances going in your body having the same effect. So those things need to be kind of looked at as well, if that makes sense.
Kannaboomers: 22:24 You need to kind of continue to step back and look at the bigger picture and it looked at the 30,000 foot view from above. How does this fit together?
Elizabeth : 22:33 Where is it going to go and is this sustainable source so to speak. you know, there's a lot of. We have a lot of tools out there, but the question really comes down to why I know this is a very unpopular stance, but cannabis isn't necessary. Sorry to the rest of the cannabis industry. It is a great tool. It's a great medicine, is a great elixir. That said, it's also for a lot of people can be a great crutch for when all of the things that are causing you to have symptoms. You are not willing to make a change. For example, we have a lot of dietary and lifestyle things that we can do in our lives to kind of be healthier and use that term to get to a better place of health. But you can use cannabis to help you get there. It's a nice way to help lower your blood sugar and help get your cravings in order and that sort of thing to help you maybe get to where you're comfortable getting into discussing changing your nutrition or changing your lifestyle. Um, and again, you know, we have stress we're dealing with, let's just say life's symptoms. A lot of people, anxiety and sleep are the two big things that most people need to manage. um, and when they do, cannabis does a great job at both. When they do manage them, that snowball goes down the right hill, as you mentioned, the possibility of using it as a crutch. I mean, there is the danger of overuse with anything and cannabis could be overused as well. I understand that. Um, it's, it's tough because from a scientific point of view, you can look at how it works in the body and technically speaking, you know, you're not going to go through these withdrawal symptoms like you would with opioids. Um, just the way It interacts in the body. But of course there are different kinds of addictions whether we look at it from an emotional point of view or, or went out. But just again, we're talking about the endocannabinoid system. If you're removing it, you went on to use the word addiction. you're taking your body back out of balance. If it was something that was help putting it into balance. so I'm not sure if, um, you know, we can say addiction and over use it. It's a very gray area that I don't have an expertise to discuss, but of course can comment on. Um, I don't personally know anybody who is technically addicted or overuse, um, but you know, people that I know are using it for therapy, they're using it to supplement their life. Um, I don't know, again, anybody who's sitting at home playing video games, and you know, doing these six for bong hits in it, starting to almost like get to the point where I'm like, okay, well we're going to flush the stereotype completely from Hollywood eventually because I don't know anybody who sits like that.
Kannaboomers: 25:33 I certainly remember people like that, but we all became adults and got on with our lives. When you're talking about wellness, you know, you approach it with the intention of, and again, it's a tool for balance or what a biologist would call homeostasis. If you get better sleep, take the edge off your anxiety and do some other things too. So when you have that intention in mind, I think you're probably not going to be prone to overusing it. You're probably going to be more focused on what's good for you.
Elizabeth : 26:02 Well, again, it's my echo chamber experience. My clientele, the people I work with an experience and talk to. Um, really they're almost approaching it with more caution than I am. So if they're getting introduced to it, you know, they're going to take even less of that or consume less of it than perhaps it could be even more therapeutic to them. At least at first. Um, you know, I've yet to see anybody who crosses the line where suddenly they're just, they've disappeared or whatever. Um, you know, it's, I'm sure there are those exceptions and there are probably certain chemistries in certain brains that are going to be, you know, are going to react differently. And I think that they are most likely the smallest, a smaller percentage than the public would like to believe only because I've yet to meet any of these people. Um, but when, when even at the end of the day, I, the conversation I'd have had recently with somebody, let's just say I agree with you, the cannabis is, you know, dirty or has some effects in the body that maybe aren't the best for society. If we want to go there, we're at the end of the day, it's still a much better alternative than let's just say opioids we can. There's nobody that I know of that would, would argue that. I mean, if you're going to sit here and said all, it's a good tool to get off of opioids, for example. In fact, the people that are can go pretty much cold Turkey off from opioids, including cannabis without all of those horrible gastro, uh, symptoms of vomiting, sweating, you know, the withdrawal symptoms that keep people staying on opioids for a really long time or at least a lot longer than they want to be on them.
Kannaboomers: 27:50 Absolutely. I think it's an incredible tool for that. And it's stunning and incredibly stupid that there's still so many doctors prescribing opioids when non-toxic, plant-based, non-addictive pain killing medicine available. It's just kinda crazy. But how about if we shift gears and talk about what a success looks like when you're working with a client, you know, how do you help people get to the next level of, of wellness with or without cannabis?
Elizabeth : 28:18 That's a great question. I used to be able to think, well, of course we really were younger. It was all about the aesthetics. So somebody's losing 20, 30 pounds that they wanted to or whatever was the ultimate goal. And it's really come to. I get super excited when somebody says, hey, I just realized that I haven't had my trigger finger, you know, going on for three months or this particular pain is bothering me and I'm lifting my grandkid up onto the swing or that sort of thing. Um, it really comes in the revelation of a lifestyle adjustment or lifestyle movement, I suppose, or somebody feeling like they're aging backwards. Um, and from that 30,000 foot view, it looks like all of their puzzle pieces are coming together. Meaning they haven't just grabbed the exercise component and they're just running every single day. And that makes sense. Right now that's not gonna work either. They've also, they've managed the nutrition or managing their sleep, they're managing their stress, which is a big component and some of that does come from cannabis. Some of the comes from the domino effect of getting the sleep and managing the anxiety, but it's just, again, those puzzle pieces sort of coming together and when you see somebody can hear that their life has improved, you hear the exciting things that they're doing and especially when you're, you know, somebody who has any manager kind of stresses are not managing very well. You hear it in their voice. It comes across as depression comes across as you know, some self depreciate that delicately comments and really almost abusive things that they to say about themselves and you see that change and it's not just women by the way. It's men that are honestly a lot more abusive verbally. It's about themselves and women are. So that is the stuff that really excites me. Um, especially when they're, if they've gone off from a particular medication, some kind of harmful pharmaceutical that has been plaguing them with a whole bunch of other side effects that they now they don't have to deal with anymore. So those are the big, the biggest success stories that I get to hear about and see and really they do excite me more than the guys that are just not the, you know, losing 40, 50 pounds and a big deal. But it comes from putting it all together. Do you know what I mean?
Kannaboomers: 30:46 Yeah. You said something in there about sort of reverse aging, you know, like a, like a Benjamin Button scenario.
Elizabeth : 30:52 Well it's a common when somebody, that's how they kind of verbalize it. They, they list off all these things that are going on that are great. And then they finalize it going, I feel as good as I did when I was 25. And that just pretty much paints the picture. Right? If you're talking to somebody who's almost 70, 60, 50, it doesn't even matter really. And they say the statement ‘I was as good as I did when I was 25.” Alright, we got it. I mean you can't, you can't get any better than that. Really isn't that we're all looking for is to get back to our twenties?
Kannaboomers: 31:27 Yeah, that's pretty fantastic. I mean, and it comes from taking, as you've mentioned, sort of a holistic view and looking at all the pieces and maybe a piece is stress relief. Maybe a piece is movement. A piece of it is nutrition and having those, building those daily rituals that are going to help you achieve that over a long period of time.
Elizabeth : 31:48 I agree. Absolutely. It's really tough to consider how far we've come from let's just say the species that we are. We're humans, right? We're just basic biology from an evolutionary standpoint. Where, where did we come from and how we're living now is such a dichotomy. You know, we used to move all of the time. We went out to get our food, we came back and we cooked it a certain way and we know our lifestyles don't reflect very much pain from instead of, you know, looking at where something is coming from, say a symptom, we go to a doctor to try to add a pharmaceutical to fix that symptom. So I really want to consider like, let's look at where this, where is this coming from, and see if there's something that you can do to fix it instead of taking a pill. Because at the end of the day you have the most impact in your body by what you're putting in or really not putting into it. It comes down to anything you're putting into your body is going to have an effect, right? Whether it be food, a pharmaceutical, water, even with the air you're breathing has an effect on your life. So by removing harmful stuff that you're putting into your body, you have a much better effect than by adding something new, which just be honest, that's just the unfortunate thing of it. So until somebody is willing to remove that negative thing, oftentimes adding something positive like cannabis can help kind of get that better balance and then get them off the other stuff.
Kannaboomers: 33:18 Absolutely. You know, some of what we spoke of with CBD balm is going to hit your CBD 1 and CBD 2 receptors and relieve some of that pain. And then the sleep snowball and the anxiety. There's also a component I think of mindfulness and just, you know, opening up your awareness and cannabis can be very useful in that realm as well.
Elizabeth : 33:39 It might sound a little hippies, but you know, the whole to me and I and I had that conversation and I always preface it that way, especially, you know, the conservative place might be a little hippy dippy. Consider your intention when you're consuming cannabis, you know, what is, what do you want to accomplish out of it? Going into it with fear doesn't work very well, but it's the same thing with everything in life where, you know, it sounds weird. This whole self care thing or meditate or quiet journal, all those things, whatever that works for you, you have to find something in the mindfulness. You have to be able to in this day and age in the world that everybody's brain is in this constant like heightened state. If you don't find a way to get away from that and break it down a little bit, I don't know. I mean this is. We're looking at some serious stress and chronic diseases and things that are going on in the bodies that we just didn't have not that long ago. You know what I mean?
Kannaboomers: 34:38 Well, just having a slight shift of perspective. I mean that's why people come home from work and have a martini and then maybe it's two. It's a habit and that habit. You have to think about how that habit serves you or does not serve you and
Elizabeth : 34:53 a very good way of putting it. The serving part, I like that.
Kannaboomers: 34:57 Well for, for decades, but then there's a point of diminishing returns and you know, your doctor's telling you your liver speed up. Well, you still want to be able to change your perspective at the end of the day and maybe cannabis can help you do that.
Elizabeth : 35:10 The body's an amazing thing. It really is. It can take some serious abuse. You, you know, you hear everybody has that friend who has what consumed Twinkies, 24 / seven their whole life and they're fine. They look like they're, you know, skinny and healthy. Well, you know, that that aside, it can only take so much abuse and then eventually things or these just can't as well. So when we're talking about cannabis, you know, as far as recovery, that's one thing it can definitely do, but you know, our lifestyles just don't account for that break, you know what I mean? It just doesn't. Our life, we're just kind of in this go, go, go, go, go constantly. So yeah, paying attention to your body is a, is the only way you're going to be able to reverse aging, um, step by step.
Kannaboomers: 36:04 So let's step back ourselves and look at a bigger picture. Do you think you're on the forefront of something here? I mean, I don't know too many other people who identify as cannabis wellness coaches
Elizabeth : 36:21 Occasionally.
Kannaboomers: 36:23 Are you out ahead of a wave that is coming? I Mean, the things that you're talking about makes so much sense. And I hope that there's a movement towards this. What do you think?
Elizabeth : 36:34 I really. Well, um, I'm hopefully optimistic and, and encouraged daily because, you know, it's just life and I listened and read to everything because I'm just trying to figure it out all out here. Where are we going with it? Um, I, I think and really am again optimistic that because the, we do see the pharmaceutical companies actually taking notice, um, you know, in kind of bringing it up a little bit and as bad as that is for the actual cannabis industry is also as good because it's bringing you notice just when we got the, what is the, um, the drug that just came up for the epilepsy. It escaped my brain ever since then. I mean every single day, sometimes twice a day I get somebody asking about it. Um, that's pretty big right there because it's a conversation that the soccer moms are having now in neighborhoods in which they never had before. So, you know, I hate to generalize it like that, but I think it means, I hope it means that if nothing else, we're going to see CBD hopefully become a lot more of a common thing. It's just something that when I bring up CBD they don't because if they don't know what it is that it bothers me that the next statement has to be, well, it's a molecule that comes from the cannabis plant and then it's, you know, you see their faces oftentimes, like it's never good.
Kannaboomers: 38:08 It's the doctors who still go, “what's that?”
Elizabeth : 38:11 Oh yeah, because your doctor is Googling it in front of you. Yeah, you're right. It is the doctors, the doctors are, the good ones are admitting, hey, we never learned this in those four and you know, we want to know more and I'm having great conversations with those doctors because there, I just had one on Thursday, met with a doctor near me. He doesn't know anything about it. I mean, he knows of it, wants to help his patients with it, but outside of that, you know, he doesn't know the difference between all of the different cannabinoids are the difference. He doesn't even know how to recommend it. and that's kind of where we're at. We're in this where we are wild, wild west situation where the information is coming from a lot of different directions. People want to get it from their doctors because we put a lot of stock in that medical degree, but iconically, they didn't learn that in med school. So, you know, we're in a weird gap of education on that. But, um, I am very hopeful that we're going to see a lot of these products come to market that are aged too. You know, I hate the word again biohacking, but it, it really works because it's a conversation that most people are understanding now because you're talking about smaller doses of something that meant to kind of personally enhanced somebody, whether it be mentally or physically. So we're not just talking the, the, uh, the fitness buffs are. The athletes were also swiping about the guys that are sitting in Silicon Valley that want to sit at their desk for 18 hours without having to worry about a cognitive decline. So, you know, we see a lot of interesting products coming to market. I'm hoping that we get to see more, um, lab concentrating. And I goes against a lot of what I stand for, but the reason is we need to see these studies done and we can't get accurate studies done from an action just the flower the way it is because it's not the same from strange history from part of the flower to the other part of the flower. The terpene profile is very different. So and so we're testing things and doing studies done with more consistent medicine or dose, you know, from the actual clinical standpoint, we can't. It's harder to have that conversation with somebody go, well, this is where we know we can start from, um, and get the information out to more people. You know what I mean?
Kannaboomers: 40:37 Well, in the backdrop for all of that is it's legal now medicinally in 30 plus states, you know, to the north in Canada to the south and Mexico, South Korea. I mean, the whole world is beginning to understand that the propaganda was bullshit and the stigma no longer needed. So say somebody comes to you and says, my mind is open. I like to integrate cannabis into my wellness routine. What's your advice to somebody who wants to take the first few steps?
Elizabeth : 41:07 Great question. Um, my first question is always, well, what are you looking to accomplish? First off, without the answer to that. My first one is to start low and slow. I know it's cheesy, everybody says it, but it is to start low and slow. Um, and, and this is an interesting concept, but I love the buddy system. If you, it can be me, it could be your husband, your wife, whoever, but to have somebody there with you that can help you experience it and you know, just kind of be a comfort to you. That includes going to the gym too. So when you're starting, whether it be your wellness routine or program, whatever you want to call it, it needs to include it in my exercise routine. Same thing. It might be a. If you're used to going to the gym, working out by yourself, it's still not a bad idea the first time when you're incorporating the two together to bring a buddy, you know what I mean? Outside of the fact that I'm not going to encourage anybody to break the law and get in their car and drive if they're of any under any kind of influence, that sort of thing. You should have somebody that can drive you unless your gym is in your house. But the low and slow is is great. And I used to say start was just CBD, but when somebody is really wanting some sort of therapy or some sort of really small, even if it's the smallest amount of THC incorporated in, it works really well. Like the ones who won the one to one ratio was work really well. And this is the people that live in states that is legal. That's the problem. Obviously if they're. If, if THC is not legal in their state, then CBD is the only way to go. But um, I actually am a pretty unpopular opinion on this.
Elizabeth : 42:55 I like vaping is the first, I say the first way you can, I would suggest starting. It's not necessarily going through an edible and it's not necessarily going through a tincture because unless it's a tincture, if you're doing the anything in the MCT oil, I've just found so many people. I mean the vast majority of people I've talked to don't do well with taking it in the oil form. It just doesn't do well for their therapy, whether it be in their stomach and nausea or later on down the road, somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. It just doesn't do well for them. So doing vaping, you could do small and In addition to the fact that you feel that effective immediately, you're not going to fall into the, oh, I don't feel anything when we try to take another one and then take another one and you know, later on down the road you're hugging the floor and vomiting. so that's an unfortunate. You know, I haven't had an experience and I don't know anybody who has recently, but back in the day that used to be the commonality. So I work with that.
Kannaboomers: 43:58 So you like a 1:1 vape.
Elizabeth : 44:05 Yes, I think it's a great place to start for a lot of people. I'm just doing THC by itself can make people paranoid, um, if they've never done it before, that sort of thing. But having a little CBD in there works really well, but because most people are done with some inflammation and pain, that's where that one to one works really well, especially with the pain.
Kannaboomers: 44:26 So do you use a pen style vaporizer or do you have a mod?
Elizabeth : 44:30 Both. I have, there's a couple of companies that I like for actually it's just a plain CBD pen. Um, they're, you know, they're not chargeable or anything, they're just the one in use. Lyft, they eventually run out and you toss them. Um, I think they work really well because a lot of times they'll have other essential oils in there that can kind of help kind of modulate that effect, whether it be for focus, whether it be for sleep, um, so if I have lavender in it, you know, that sort of thing, um, those work really well, but I also am a big fan of the flower because you get the choir, you know, you get the whole profile, you're getting that entourage effect and you can kind of help customize things for people because some people, even though those strange very people get really loyal to the things that work for them and so you can really customize a term or at least gain or our aim for that terpene profile in a particular flower where the market just doesn't have the abundance of concentrates and um, whatnot in pens, at least at the same level of choices that we have for flower right now.
Kannaboomers: 45:40 So are you talking about vaping dry herb then? Yes. And so you look for a strain that is high in CBD?
Elizabeth : 45:46 I do suggest it, yes. Um, I particularly like myself, but that's, you know, depending on the time of day what I'm looking for, but I'm CBD is because it's, I guess more common conversation. People are more comfortable with using something as high in CBD. Um, and it works really well for people. It doesn't have to be though either, you know, I'm a big fan of THC as well and it works well for people for thIs necessary for people if they have pain, you know, the CBD, I'm sorry, it's just not gonna cut it. If you know long term pain, not gonna work, not gonna be enough.
Kannaboomers: 46:25 Yeah,
Elizabeth : 46:25 it's a good start. Um, you know, but really It's not enough. And the same thing goes for the fitness buffs and athletes. You say the same thing, you know, kinda suggest starting off with the balms and, and whatnot for CBD. It doesn't take long before they realized that some THC can do them well too. Especially when they're battering their body so hard.
Speaker 4: 46:51 Yeah. There gets to be a lot of complexity when you start talking about some of this. I mean the pen style vapes are great because they're so simple, you know, you charge it with your USB thing and then you screw on the barrel and you're ready to go and then you have a mod where are you going to put some kind of tincture in or you have a dry herb vaporizer, so there's a lot to learn and you want to try to keep it simple, but the more you get into it, the more sort of complex it can get to.
Speaker 3: 47:18 Well it can get complex and there's never, you know, a simple quick answer when somebody tells you, you know, something's going on, what do they want to do, and then we'll do the good news is we a menu of things that we can try. The bad news is that there's some trial and error involved because everybody's different and. But on the other hand it's kind of cool too. You get to try it. A lot of interesting things and from my perspective I'm still mind boggled on a daily basis by wow that did that to you. Interesting. I've never had that happen before or vice versa. like it's just, it's very interesting you're talking about a mountain of anecdotal evidence and stories that you know, does it amount to anything that, that makes sense? Well, eventually it might, but you know, right now I think the simplest answer is you just, you kind of have to try it. You just have to start somewhere. And a big word of caution. If you haven't incorporated exercise in any kind of way with cannabis and you start doing it, cut in half. I don't care if you are a high functioning cannabis consumer, please just cut in half. Because when you do exercise, you actually are increasing all of that coming out. So you're, you're the, the effect is much higher.
Kannaboomers: 48:40 Yeah, start low and slow. Cut it in half. You have a big menu of options for whatever you're trying to achieve.
Elizabeth : 48:48 You know, exercise, fitness, even life in general, you're, you know, you're talking about a couple of components. You're talking about recovery, right? Recovery, you're talking, you know, metabolic function. These are all things that cannabis helped a lot with, but recovery is the biggest thing for any athlete or anybody who's going to do something in their body, whether it be running, biking, it could just be hiking, it could be that you have a heavy weight training for teachers to recovery. It's set inflammation and pretty much everybody has a little inflammation. It's managing that inflammation. The higher the inflammation, the longer the recovery. Um, so a lot of, a lot of riders, a lot of ultra runners are really have been on the DL for decades now with consuming cannabis. Um, because when you beat your body up like that here, it's just hurts. It's the inflammation is going to kick in. You know, it's a long, it's a long time of running. These guys were so serious guys, so they're consuming know doses, but the first thing that they do is it just going to incorporate CBD. When we stop running, it has to incorporate a little bit of THC as well. Just shut. That brings down, get your body back into stop moving because it feels like it's still moving after moving for hours, hour or so. There's, you know, the tool, this tool is, has an endless list of possibilities as far as I can tell
Kannaboomers: 50:16 For this audience in particular, baby boomers who we don't bounce back as fast as we used to. So all those spots, I hate to admit it, but you know, all that recovery happens at a little slower pace. The older we get until we figured out how to ben button it and turn the clock back and uh, you know, it's, this is a tool for that. That's fantastic.
Elizabeth : 50:38 Most people when they come to this age, they're coming with, you know, a basket of pills and a basket and another basket of symptoms really. So those symptoms oftentimes do accompany some sort of inflammation, right? Whether it be some arthritis is the most common, but bursitis, all those inflammations, you know, they need to be taken down. that's going to hinder any kind of recovery. I don't care what the inflammation's from, whether it be a surgery from 20 years ago or from you falling on your elbow and now you have a big bursa sac hanging off from your elbow inflammation and it's going to hinder any kind of recovery. So kind of interrupting that or getting that for that recovery, that inflammation to come down sooner. You know, it was really important. So, I mean, the baby boomers have all people I talked to, you know, their biggest thing is less safe, get some awesome this medication and wake up in the morning that hurting all the time.
Kannaboomers: 51:36 Yeah. Well an inflammation is going to get all of us one way or another. So, you know, here it is, this powerful anti-inflammatory that was us heavily stigmatized until a couple years ago.
Elizabeth : 51:48 Well, I mean, I can tell you from my personal experience, I had serious sinus surgery last year. Um, I had to have my. Well, I had a deviated septum that was fixed for the second, but I also had these black sinuses. I had six disease sinuses as they put it. It was very beautiful, awesome situation where they went in with an rotor rooter at the whole thing out. I'm very cool story to tell you, just to give you this image. It was by far the most painful thing that I can recall I've ever been through because the inflammation after surgery four days later was. That was the worst pain I'd ever been in my life as far as I can tell. Anyway, you don't remember pain later on. But I remembered that feeling. I will say taking again, high functioning cannabis consumer wasn't cutting it, but what did cut it was taking high doses of CBD.
Elizabeth : 52:42 It was the only thing that it and I, I just refused to take anything that they gave me. Um, I took an opioid I think 15 years ago at some point when I had a bad back problem and it made me so sick, so I'm not that person. And I was stuck with nothing in cannabis. Wasn't doing it by itself, but the CBD, it was the most interesting thing. I could feel the inflammation leaving my face. I mean, you couldn't see it, but you could feel the pain just leaving and like that pressure was going away. To me it felt like a miracle and I'll keep saying it over and over again. You can take all the Tylenol or other stuff in the world is not going to cut a compared to what CBD has the capability of doing it, at least from my own experience and several others that have similar type stories.
Kannaboomers: 53:29 That's an amazing story. And you know, you're talking about right up there where you live right up in your head and your face. So that's, that's the worst kind of pain you can't, you can't avoid it. So that's an incredible story. Now, when you say high doses of CBD, how much were you taking for that?
Elizabeth : 53:44 Well, higher than just a couple of drops. I was doing the whole dropper fill, which ended up being, I think it was thousand milligrams at for each dose. Um, which again, depending on what therapy you're looking for, you know, these, the kids that are taking, I'm taking it for epilepsy, have to take very high doses. So depending on what's going out, you know, what those are again, and we hate the word dose, but the amount, whatever you want to say, the dose is dependent upon what's going on body too. And, and I don't know enough about this part and I don't know where I Could find this information. If it's out there, you know, how much of that is determined on your own ECS system as well? Your own endocannabinoid system of what's going on there.
Kannaboomers: 54:30 1000 milligrams would be a lot. I mean like there's capsules that are 15 milligrams so you'd have to choke down a lot of those.
Elizabeth : 54:37 I'm really lucky that I have a very cool, a really kind of craft dispenser here. It's the medicinal dispensary, but it's, I would say as practice you can get because their goal is to create these really awesome products that are meant to specifically be used as medicine, you know, used or they happen to have very high dose of CBD. But, you know, as an example, I just talked to the owner the other day and they're doing, they're doing some tests right now. Suppositories, which is, uh, you know, they're having amazing results with some serious pain patients, so I'm excited to hear how more and that's going, but I digress. It's the medicine is being created in those unique circumstances. So I wouldn't recommend to start off, uh, taking a high dose to anybody else, but you know, when you're in dire straits,
Kannaboomers: 55:32 it's not like taking an opioid. They could kill you, your medicine. That is a powerful anti inflammatory and that's heaven-sent, that's a miracle. Like you said,
Elizabeth : 55:43 it was for me anyways and you know, and it wasn't a pharmaceutical, you said it very well and it wasn't some chemical full with, you know, like taking russian roulette. Let's see how this is going to turn out.
Kannaboomers: 55:56 Yeah. What a concept. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Elizabeth : 56:00 Thank you for having me.
Kannaboomers: 56:02 Is there anything else we should cover and then let's talk about where people can find you online and I have to mention that you play a great twitter game, so they can find you there but um, where's your website and where can we find you?
Elizabeth : 56:15 Right now I am just on my website and twitter and on my phone, that's people usually reach me directly and that's why I'm not always on my website. I do, I am on twitter every day because the conversation tends to be there. Um, as you know, that's how we met. it's been great. Um, so by handle on twitter is Healthcannabist. I'm just all one word, HealthCannabist. And then my website is the healthcannabist.com. All one word and I can be found there as well. So I, I do answer all questions directly, which is why I'm really only those two places. Um, so that I can make sure that I do have time to get back to everybody.
Kannaboomers: 56:58 Well, and again, I think you're at the forefront of a wave that is going to be a huge tsunami eventually as more and more people learn about this nontoxic medicine and how to integrate it into their wellness routines.
Elizabeth : 57:10 I really hope so. Um, because it would just be a shame to lose something that you know, really has so many benefits to like the largest mass of people I can think of, you know, it's who are we to get in between medicine. They can heal and help some 96 year old grandmother and a seven year old kId at the same time. You know, it's who are we to do that, that's not our job, but our job hopefully is to make sure that the rest of them, you know, people out there know that it is here and it isn't great alternative or friend that can kind of help you get to where you really need to be, so to speak.
Elizabeth : 57:48 Well, thank you for taking the time.
Kannaboomers: 57:49 Thanks again. You've been listening to Let's talk about weed. The Kannaboomers Podcast with Thomas J for more on medicinal cannabis for baby boomers, visit us at Kannaboomers dot com.
A little cannabis every day as a preventative supplement, almost like a vitamin or other dietary supplement — does that idea make sense? Yes, says Michele Ross, Ph.D., and she bases her answer on brain science and her deep knowledge of the endocannabinoid system. The author of Vitamin Weed takes cannabis herself to cope with fibromyaglia pain. Listen in to hear her advice on:
- Why cannabis is a personalized medicine, and how it takes some experimenting and trial and error to get the right strain, dose and delivery method for you
- Why taking CBD is like wearing a helmet against the stressors of life
- How to evaluate brands and choose the right CBD for you
And much more!
Kannaboomers: 00:00 It's Tom, welcome back to episode 10 of the Kannaboomers podcast. We've been covering a lot of things so far. We have talked with a couple of medical doctors about the use of CBD. We've talked to the founder of the Veterans Cannabis coalition about how CBD and cannabis can help veterans with their various health issues. We've talked to a couple of producers of CBD products, so to find out how they do what they do. So there's many topics to cover obviously, so let us know. You can email me at Tom at Kannaboomers dot com if there is a specific aspect you want us to cover and we can go and find an expert and get them on and share their knowledge. So today we have a neuroscientist, Dr Michele Ross, and we have a great conversation about the endocannabinoid system and how it was discovered in the implications for that system, the biggest neurotransmitter superhighway in our bodies and why it's so critical to have cannabinoids that supplement what we make endogenously, phyto-cannabinoids that can help us maintain homeostasis. So it's a good episode. We talk about dosing and strains and many other aspects, so I hope you enjoy it and spread the word about the Kannaboomers podcast. Tell your friends about it, share this episode and we'll see you again next week. Thank you. This is. Let's talk about weed, the Kannaboomers podcast, CBD, microdosing and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas Jay. Welcome to the 10th episode of the podcast. We're just getting started scratching the surface of what there is to know about cannabis, this plant that humans have been interacting with for tens of thousands of years, and yet it's been prohibited for most of our lifetimes and it still is in many states that is changing day by day. So our job is to find the people who are leading us out of the wilderness and who can tell us the secrets of this plant, how it interacts with our bodies and brains to create the effects that it does, especially for baby boomers, who let's face it, and he'd help protecting our bodies from things like inflammation, cancer, nerve disorders, in other diseases. And that leads us to today's guest, Michelle Ross, the cofounder and CEO of Infused Health. She has a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr, Ross is also a professor at the Cannabis Holistic Academy and Green Flower Media and author of Vitamin Weed, a Four Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency. Dr. Ross, welcome to the Kannaboomers podcast.
Michele Ross: 02:22 Well, thank you so much for having me. I can't wait to share a lot of my knowledge that I've built up for goodness almost the past decade.
Kannaboomers: 02:29 And where are you today?
Michele Ross: 02:31 I am in beautiful Los Angeles, California. I actually just moved two months ago back home to Los Angeles from Denver since California legalized recreational marijuana. So it's safe for me to come back home.
Kannaboomers: 02:44 Well, and you were up in Colorado when they were kind of blazing the trail.
Michele Ross: 02:48 Yeah, it's, it's amazing to see how different states, how the industry shifts and how patient access changes and everything, but it just beautiful to see more freedom in this country.
Kannaboomers: 03:01 Yeah. And as we noted, I mean it, there's another fall, a round of elections coming and a bunch more states who may join the, I think about 30 states now where it's either legal medicinally and slash or recreationally. So it's definitely a wave of change happening.
Michele Ross: 03:15 Yeah. And I want to say, you know, just because you have an amazing listener demographic, that recreational marijuana doesn't just mean getting high. What it actually means is you don't need a medical marijuana card to access a dispensary. And so it's really important. So like for example, if you're using cannabis for Alzheimer's, but your state didn't recognize Alzheimer's as a qualifying condition for marijuana, you wouldn't be able to get a medical card. But if your state has legalized recreational marijuana, no matter what you're using cannabis for, even if it's for a medical purpose, you can just go to the dispensary and buy it without a card. So it's really important. And so, you know, all, all use has a medical component. So if you're in a state where they have a recreational marijuana and bill on the ballot vote for it.
Kannaboomers: 04:02 Well that's a really good point. I mean, a lot of us are interested in the medicinal benefits of the plant, but don't really want to get high the way we might have, you know, in college or high school or whatever. But um, you know, there are benefits that can be had by just taking small doses, right?
Michele Ross: 04:17 Oh my goodness, this plant is amazing. Um, you know, not only the numerous chemicals and cannabinoids in it, but the, the, all the different ways you can take it. And so, you know, it's just funny because there's half the people that use cannabis are sort of that, that um, that group, I don't really want to get high. A lot of them either only use CBD products are scared of THC, but, um, you know, for that, if there's also that idea of microdosing THC, which is the active component in cannabis or marijuana and THC, just like any drug know, for example, like just like to make it easy for people. If you take alcohol, right? Like one drink makes you feel a certain way to drinks, thinks she knows her way through journeys for most people you're going to be pretty tipsy or drunk. Right? And so there's always an amount or a threshold with any drug or you know, whether it's recreational or prescription where you feel effects or you don't feel effects.
Michele Ross: 05:16 And with cannabis it's the same way. So if you're taking like say one point five or two point five or even five milligrams of THC during the day, at one sitting. You might not feel high what you might feel as relaxed, you know, like similar to taking a small dose of Xanax, right? Or you might have a reduction in pain, but you're not necessarily going to be sitting on your couch, you know, um, having the munchies out of it and like watching cartoons and it's like, that's not gonna happen. So it's all about dosage. So I want people to know that if you're scared of getting high, there's always a way to use cannabis in a way that fits with your lifestyle and your needs and your philosophy on life. Like some people don't want to get high because they're sober, you know? And that's okay,
Kannaboomers: 06:03 Right? You don't really have to have a mind altering experience. You can take a little and relieve pain or, or whatever you're trying to do. Your story I think is one of initial skepticism, right? You weren't, you weren't really sold on the benefits of cannabis, but, uh, eventually you came around. Can you tell us about that journey?
Michele Ross: 06:20 Yeah. You know, I'm, I'm pretty much the last person on earth I think would have been known as a, basically the, the vice sciences, um, you know, I telling him everyone about the benefits of cannabis and mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs. Um, I actually grew up across from a crack house in New Jersey and I saw a lot of my friends and neighbors actually really suffer from the effects of drugs and also the war on drugs. I mean I saw people go to jail, saw people get shot. I saw people get raped. Um, I saw a house gets set on fire, like it was really bad. I grew up in New Jersey and um, I literally from you know, from five years old, I was like, I'm going to be a doctor and I'm going to cure all the drug addiction everywhere. Like weird five-year-old goals. Like normally people want to play with like barbies. I wanted to go cure the world of addiction. It was a little bit old for my age I guess. So, you know, speed up until later in life. And, you know, I had done a lot drinking in college, I wouldn't smoke any weed or anything like that. It was like no drugs. Um, and I ended up going into graduate school working on my Ph.D. in Molecular Psychiatry Department and uh, my very first paper assignment was actually on could, uh, what do cannabinoids due to new brain cell growth. And for those of you who don't know, there's a process called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the birth of new brain cells. So like when you're a baby or fetus, your brain's like rapidly developing and it's forming all those awesome brain areas like, you know, like your hippocampus, which you're learning memory set or you know, you know, the center that processes emotions or get you to eat or move or whatever. But when you're an adult, you actually still make new brain cells. And these brain cells are important for mood. There are important for learning and memory. Um, there's actually my work actually suggested that there are important for drug addiction wrote on bald a two. Um, and so my very first paper was like, okay, so basically it does marijuana kill brain cells. And, you know, I'm going to drug addiction department, so I'm assuming the answer is yes. Um, and it turns out that certain cannabinoids actually do grow brain cells and um, you know, and that sort of started to change things for me, it's like you start hearing these like little rumors, like Santa Claus might not be real guys like what you've been taught in school might not actually be the truth. I'm like, what else about this cannabis stuff and sort of unraveling, um, so the knowledge about this and it was just sort of shocking because I wasn't really taught about the system in school. Like most doctors aren't even scientists. Here I am, I'm a drug scientists. Like my job is to study how drugs affect the brain and the neurotransmitter system, that's the largest neurotransmitter system in your brain is actually the endocannabinoid system. So this whole thing is very weird. I'm like, why aren't we touching on probably the most important thing on the brain? Okay. So I just like, I got a full on detective mode, you know.
Kannaboomers: 09:18 That's a fairly recent discovery right? I think it was in the nineties and I've been looking for the correct metaphor for the endocannabinoid system and as you say, it's the biggest neurotransmitter system we have. Every animal has it, right. Can it be akin to like the Internet of your body or how do we talk about it?
Michele Ross: 09:38 Goodness. Um, you know, and I do want to correct you on that because it's funny when people would think that the endocannabinoid system was discovered in the nineties because we're not really even talking about the medical benefits of cannabis until now, but it was actually, and I'm so bad with dates, but I believe it was, it was either the fifties or the sixties, when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who is considered the godfather of cannabis. Um, he was a scientist in Israel that actually I'm isolated, identified CBD in his lab, also identified the cannabinoid receptor. So it happened years ago, but just, you know, because it was made illegal in the sixties. I'm all drugs were made illegal in the sixties. Basically I'm under, um, the drug schedule, um, and the UN treaties that we just didn't do any more research on it and the United States and we didn't really know about it. But, uh, yeah, the endocannabinoid system, it's sort of funny. It really it because it regulates everything else is sort of like your iOS. So you know, like when we're talking about, you know, your operating system, it's your Windows or it's your, you know, your Apple Sierra or whatever because when it's off, I mean everything else is a little funky and you really need to have proper levels of your endocannabinoids to function. And when we think about it is, it's actually a nutritional deficiency. So there's a lot of vitamins we take regularly, like we have no problem like popping vitamin D, vitamin D pills or calcium or you know, oh goodness knows what else is in, you know, your kitchen or your medicine a cabinet. Right. But we never talk about taking a vitamin that supports your endocannabinoid system and that's because most people don't even know that they have one or what it's important for it. But when you have a vitamin D deficiency, your body does not feel good because vitamin D is important for like a hundred and 50 different processes in your body and you won't know that you have low vitamin D levels until you go to the doctor and you're like, man, I'm depressed, or man, I can't lose that. That 10 pounds, like I don't know what's going on. Like I just run down and they're like, okay, but what we ran some tests, turns out you don't have any vitamin D and You need to take this prescription for vitamins. Or you can buy it over the counter, but you just have to take a lot of pills the same way you can be feeling rundown, Achy, moody, you know, like there's a thousand symptoms of endocannabinoid deficiency because again, that system regulates everything. Instead of being told, hey, you're depressed, take some Prozac or you have pain, take Oxycontin.
Michele Ross: 12:06 You know what, if we started with, hey, let's figure out if your endocannabinoid system is out of balance and let's get you on some CBD or low dose THC and see how you feel. Okay? You're responding to that great, we don't need to put you on Prozac or Oxycodone or whatever it is that they're thinking about prescribing you. Um, but because doctors really don't have a way, um, because it's not our medical system, you know, oh, they don't have a way to prescribe you, you know, a, a joint at the dispensary. They don't do it. So we're still in this like really weird time where it's legal but not completely legal in our country and doctors aren't really trained on it. And uh, it's, it's an interesting time for, for experts like me. So I do health coaching, which is, I don't actually provide medical marijuana recommendation. So for me it's like, you know, I think about this as teaching people how to heal themselves with cannabis.
Kannaboomers: 12:59 Well, and there's a lot to unpack there too. I mean, when you first you have to understand that there is this endocannabinoid system. We, we endogenously created our own cannabinoids and we can be deficient, but there's this plant that you can supplement your system. But then, as you said earlier, there's, there's so many different ways to do it. You could vape, you could take a tincture, you can smoke it, you could take an edible that you can put a topical on. There are different strains, there are different terpenes are different compounds. So when you coach your clients, how do you tell them to proceed in a way that really is most beneficial to them?
Michele Ross: 13:35 Yeah, and I mean it's a hard one too because, you know, it's, the rules are different, um, concerning a cannabis and CBD products in each and every country, state and city. And so, you know, and there's also different dispensary's um, you know, and they carry different products. So you might have a product that might be really helpful for a client, especially considering their specific condition or their medical history, what other medications they're on and it's just not accessible in our state. Um, you know, like for example, I live in California and so there's products that are in San Francisco that aren't available in Los Angeles because it's not quite legal to be like shipping products through the mail or like normally like how normal other companies are able to just, you know, ship products all over the world. You can't even cross state lines and sometimes it's really difficult to get things, you know, between one side of the state and the other. So for me it's really all about knowing where they are, knowing what types of needs I have. Right? Do you want to get high, do you not want to get high? Um, do you work, do you not work? Um, you know, uh, what kind of medical condition you are, like, what's the severity of your pain? Um, you know, there's a lot of things that come into recommending a patient or a client. Um, the, the right treatment protocol. And I want to say is that there's no, there's no app out there, there's no coach. That's probably what he can get it right on their first time. It takes time to adjust to a dose of medicine and it takes time to figure out what others right for you and the best kind of coaches are gonna work with you and not just say, have a first phone call or first meeting and say this is what you need. Okay, it's perfect by, you know, cannabis is a journey and it's personalized medicine and it's going to take a little bit of a trial and error and just working to correct the dosage just like it is for any other disease. If you go and see a psychiatrist and you're like, I'm depressed, they might have you on like 15 different drugs before they figure out what's the right one to put you on. So hopefully we do a little better with cannabis. But um, you know, there's still no magic bullet. I cannot tell somebody, hey, I could have five people with exactly the same disease and they may end up on five completely different treatments.
Kannaboomers: 15:44 It might depend on their genetics or their environment or all sorts of factors. Your book is called Vitamin Weed and it's got a lot of great information on different medicines, different molecules, and how they affect us. If you break that down in, I think you do in the book of, into your four step process, are you recommending that possibly we went to do your homework. You find a way to take a little bit of cannabis every day, whether it's CBD or THC, as you say, as sort of a preventative measure against some of the things we talked about, cancer, dementia, inflammation, which kind of is the basis of a lot of diseases. Is it a practical thing to think of cannabis as a daily preventative vitamin?
Michele Ross: 16:23 Yeah, that's absolutely the message I was trying to get across. Um, especially when we're talking about the stigma associated with cannabis and when you're living in a legal state like Colorado or California, it's sometimes easy to take for granted that like cannabis is everywhere. If you go to a state like Kansas for example, selling people that cannabis is a vitamin you should take every day, like we'll provide for some common goal and shocking basis. You know, um, but, uh, you know, I think we're also at a time where, um, where we also need to be wary of thinking about cannabis or CBD as a pharmaceutical because we know that pharmaceuticals, even though they're approved by the FDA or not necessarily safe because there's been lots of recalls on drugs after people have died or something's gone wrong or what you've had. People not being able to afford drugs because the price is too high and they don't have health insurance. And one of my real real passions, um, and in my work and my advocacy work for patients is making sure that cannabis is safe, that it's effective and um, and that it's accessible and affordable to all patients. And one of my fears is that when we start thinking about CBD, for example, as a pharmaceutical, um, which again is going to happen more and more, um, because Epidiolex, which is a drug for epilepsy, it's just CBD. I mean, it's a CBD drug, a creative by. And while it got FDA approval I think that they're more and more people are going to see it like a pharmaceutical, like a doctor should be prescribing. And then for epilepsy I think it should be, it should be, you know, actually prescribed by a doctor because the amount of CBD you need to treat epilepsy and other really serious conditions like schizophrenia is very high.
Michele Ross: 18:09 Like we're talking like 200, 300 milligram range. Whereas most people are taking CBD at like five to 20 milligrams a day if that. Um, the, the dose for wellness is a vitamin dose and the clearest way to differentiate between a vitamin dose of something. And I'm not a pharmaceutical or a dozer or something. I mean you look at vitamin D dot vitamin D is sold over the counter. I, you know, you can just go by by um, you know, a big bottle and it has thousands of pills that are like 1000 IEU write a prescription dose of vitamin D is like $15,000 per pill. Like technically you could get the same dose over OTC, you would just have to take a lot more of it. So I think that it's really important that we make sure that in this country when he and we still have over the counter hemp and CBD products available, but we also have the prescription, um, quality, um, you know, medications are available for very, very sick patients that can't afford to have adult trends or need to have quality ingredients that are covered by insurance. Um, but there definitely has to be the same. So for me, I think that cannabis and CBD is a vitamin. I think it really helps us protect us against, um, both the physical stressors in life that we don't know about, like inflammation and cancer. We're all growing cancer within us. It just takes like 10 years for it to be detected, you know. Um, we're also, we're, we're always having inflammation. The air we breathe is polluted, so we're getting inflammation from there. Um, you know, we turn on lights while we're sleeping, you know, that's causes inflammation while we're sleeping. Like we do all sorts of things, like the natural way that we're living right now is completely unnatural. Um, so for us really I think that it's a, it's cannabis or CBD is like a helmet that would put on right, you put on a helmet before you play football because you now you're going to get whacked in the hat.
Michele Ross: 20:01 So, you know, for us to go along our daily lives and knowing we're not sleeping right, we're not eating right or we have road rage. Like everything is just like everything is out of whack for us as humans. And to not put on that helmet like before we go out the door. Like that's just crazy. So I really would hope that people, um, you know, if you have to choose, okay, like what's the one thing that's going to go in my medicine cabinet? Like what should I choose? Pick the most powerful antioxidant and neuro protectant, which is CBD.
Kannaboomers: 20:32 That's a great metaphor. I like to helmet idea. Now, you, how much do you take a day and you have health challenges, right?
Michele Ross: 20:40 Yeah. Um, so what I use actually varies. Um, and it's because I actually take a lot of different to test them out again because I have clients and coach other coaches. I'm not only here in this state, um, but across the world, uh, I have to try a lot of products because not all products can you get into cross state lines so you have to see does this work, does this work? Because if I take it and it doesn't work and it doesn't work in like 20 of, you know, my, my close circle, then we know these products don't work and I have to be very clear, not all products in the market work, which is, it's really you have to really know what you're buying, trust what you're buying. Um, and just don't believe everything you see on the Internet. There are products out there that have zero CBD and then like literally will say this, how CBD has not the unit and there's even a lead.
Michele Ross: 21:28 So like the FDA or a has a list of like products that have been known to have zero CBD in them so that those are the ones that got in trouble. Like not because they have CBD in them, but because they didn't have CBD. Um, there was like bum products. Yeah. So it's probably important to look for lab results I would think. Well, it's hard because, um, it's easy to I guess, um, one thing I've heard from some manufacturers that they don't pass to or lab results because it's easy to just have another company take that lab result and doctor it up or like Photoshop it would like their name on it and like put out the same lab resolve that's apparently happened. So, um, what, what's important I guess is if you have a brand and you ask them for lab results, internal, like you email them, but they would be able to provide that but not necessarily having them posted on the website.
Michele Ross: 22:16 Like that's not important. And because they had, there's like Dr stuff out there. It's, it's a really weird thing. And again, it's like you want regulations on, on, on this industry, right? Because if you look at, you know, pharmaceuticals, you know, are meeting a certain quality, right? Um, but if you look at OTC, south elements like a fish oil supplement, right, like most supplements in the market don't provide any actual testing information about what's in there. And I know this because I've worked as a chief scientist at a nutrition, like a marketing company that sold nutraceuticals around the world. So I used to formulate nutraceuticals before I came into cannabis and we would actually, um, find brands that had, we put them through third party testing and they're like, yeah, there's none of the active ingredients here. This is actually colored flower. You're selling $80 a pop of colored flower, like it's supposed to have 30 ingredients and it's actually got nothing. And like if anyone thinks they're losing weight or they're doing this or that, it's all placebo effect. Um, so, you know, there's nothing on the market that, like the only time a company gets in trouble is when they're found out to either have an ingredient that's not on the label, that shouldn't be there. Like they're putting in a pharmaceutical when it's a nutrition total and it's not supposed to be in there. Right? Or they're there. They actually have no ingredients that are listed on the label. So it's really hard. Like we want regulations, we want to see CBD and cannabis companies have all this information and yet the regular OTC dietary supplement market is even held up to those standards. You can literally get fish oil right now that has mercury and other toxins and a, and they won't be, it didn't go through testing or they could say it went through testing, but they didn't. They, oh, it failed the testing, but we still put it on the market. So, um, you know, that's sort of the gamble you take when you work with dietary supplements. It's really important to maybe pay the extra money to work with a brand that you trust, but also the most expensive supplements in the market are not necessarily the safest either. So because I know some of the companies that we're charging a lot, but they were the ones that actually were selling the bug products. So it just all about does it work, is it effective? Um, and you know, and, and again, have they been in business for a long time with the CBD world is hard because a lot of these companies haven't been around long because of the field is really new. Um, but there, there are just, there are some companies that I work with, um, because I know, um, that they do work and actually one of my things that I'm going to be doing. So the biggest question I always get people ask me like, what do you take, um, you know, what do you use? And I've been sort of hesitant to tell people about that because I don't want to really like really like seeing, like promoting anything, especially when I was working with a nonprofit. But um, you know, now that I'm coaching clients, it's a little bit different. I can share about what I use. And so my website, Dr Michele Ross dot com is, um, I just put out some things there that I use right now. I'm going to be listing a lot more of this stuff that I use. It just takes the time to load the website with, with all this stuff. Um, you know, I am actually a really sick patient and so you, what works for me might not work for you. I got to say that, um, you know, that caveat.
Michele Ross: 25:18 We're all very different. We have different genetics, different, you know, medical histories, different medications we brought are we have been on, but I do want to share some of the creative and CBD brands, um, that I do use and juvenile work, um, that are available in all 50 states. Um, so there's no issue with shipping them across the country. Um, and you know, some of the other supplements I take because I want to share this like people think that cannabis or CBD is like, okay, like you could just take that and everything's good. Like you still have some other issues. Um, for example, I just want to point this out because I think like, no one actually knows this and sort of funny, if you smoke cannabis, uh, you actually get a nutritional deficiency in your lungs because you're burning. Um, you know, plant matter. And that produces ammonia and other toxins, which is again why I always tell people to vape or, you know, use a water filter or something, don't just smoke joints. It's not the healthiest, but your lungs actually become deficient, include a thiamine, which is an antioxidant that's really important. Um, and so, you know, you don't want to cause lung issues, um, or other body issues by having a nutritional deficiency. So if you do smoke a joint or you know, use pipes or things like that, if you smoke cannabis, um, you want to take a supplement that increases glutathione. Um, so whether that's NAC, that's actually what I take. Um, even though I don't, it just really good for, it's another antioxidant, but most cannabis smokers are deficient.
Kannaboomers: 26:50 So we're delving into the chemistry, which is your specialty. And that's where it's all happening. There's one in particular compound like our listeners to understand that that's it. Anandamide. Am I saying that correctly?
Michele Ross: 27:03 Yes, you are, the bliss molecule,
Kannaboomers: 27:06 The bliss molecule. That's why it's so important. So what, what's going on with anandamide?
Michele Ross: 27:11 Okay, so anandamide is the natural marijuana-like compound that your body and brain produces. And so, um, the easiest way to describe it in your body, so it's an endocannabinoid which endo means inside. So it's cannabinoid made inside your body, by the way, THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids. They're made in the plant, aka phyto. So anandamide is an endocannabinoid. So what does an endoccanabinoid do? Well, it's a neurotransmitter. And so it would, it actually is. It's like a key that fits into a lock and your cannabinoid receptors, droves, locks. Um, and there's multiple cannabinoid receptors, right? There's a CB, one receptors, CB two receptor, or there's a whole bunch of other random new receptors that are being discovered every day. Some of them fit and antibide some of the other substances that are produced in her brain. But an antibody is really important. So it's always been produced by your brain.
Michele Ross: 28:04 Um, so it's a little bit different than some of the other neurotransmitters. Like for example, like serotonin only be like spit out under a certain time, like when you or like the other ones will be like pumped out and they'll signal between the two brain cells like, okay, you need to move or you need to go eat or you need to go do this and that and then have minds like always on. So it's always just like, like sort of like sprinkled around and it's just always there. And so that's why when there's a deficiency, like you actually have an imbalance and some of those other neurotransmitters being released. Um, so it's really important to have a randomized onboard at a certain present level. Um, and to not actually have too much or too little. I want to state that too because some people think they're like, okay, more, more is always better, you know, and there are some issues we actually see with people taking say like too much cannabis or something because people is, for example, that dab like 10 to 15 times a day. They actually don't make enough anandamide, they start making yet. Um, and I just want to point that out as sort of people don't know that like, and it's really important because it's similar to somebody taking morphine or Oxycontin or like other pain pills, they stopped making endorphins which are natural opioids. So in the same way, if you take too much cannabis, you can actually stop making your own natural endocannabinoids like an antibiotic. So it's really important to have that perfect level of an antibiotic and what that an antibody does. So what after it hits those cannabinoid receptors, it does a lot of different things. I mean it can really reduce pain. It can reduce inflammation, it can make you hungry depending on where those receptors are all over your brain, like some of them are in areas that control appetite, summer and learning areas. Some are movement. The one area that you won't find any cannabinoid receptors in. Um, and this is really, really important is in your brain stem which controls your breathing. And this is why you can't die from cannabis. You can't die, you know, from obviously your own natural production of anandamide. That would be really bad. But you know, you don't have, you don't have those cannabinoid receptors there, so you can't actually, um, stopped breathing. So, which is how you die with opioid overdose. It's an is amazing. Um, you know, we're, we're so blessed to have this molecule that makes us feel good and you know, you don't anything that makes you feel good and it's not addictive, you want more of in your life. And the beautiful thing is CBD. That's the major way CBD works is not actually by binding jerk and cannabinoid receptors. It's actually by increasing levels of an antibiotic which then go bind to receptors.
Kannaboomers: 30:40 Okay, well then that's good to know. So it's, it's almost like, you mentioned endorphins in there, so like the runner's high, you, you run and you've feel this euphoria, so might, might it be akin to that?
Michele Ross: 30:53 Yeah. You know, the runner's high's actually endorphins and an antibiotic and anything over a little teeny bit of dopamine. But uh, you know, they never used to think that in the end nobody was even part of it. And so, you know, oh, it's actually really interesting because I have a lot of friends that are in the fitness field and I, I actually did my very first book was actually on weight loss and fitness and the neuroscience behind it. And so for runner's high, it's actually interesting if you consume cannabis or you consume CBD before running, you have elevated levels of either an antibiotic or stimulations of the cannabinoid receptors and you'll feel less pain, you know, um, you'll be able to lift more weights if you do weightlifting, you'll be able to run longer, you'll have more endurance. Um, it's something actually that professional athletes love to use and also people that are just trying to lose weight. I've actually had amazing stories from patients that are like, yeah, I lost, you know, 5 — 100 pounds. Like by using cannabis before I go work out. Or I use a topical lotion that contains cannabis and I rub it on my legs and my arms, you know, when I have either or lifted too much weights or I'm sore because I'm running for the first time in a long time. Um, for me, you know, I have fibromyalgia, it's pretty painful and you know, it's, it's a disease that's harder to work out with and you know, if I consume, you know, say a recreational amount of cannabis, I'm actually able to go work out and not worry about like, oh, I feel horrible. I can't, I can't do this walk. It's too long. Like I can actually go do it, enjoy it and then take a topical, you know, afterwards and recover and still be motivated, go out the next day and go exercise some more because I'm not in so much pain that I have to stop for a week or, you know.
Michele Ross: 32:38 And I think that's really important. Definitely. Um, to, you know, the baby boomer population because, you know, as you age, it's really important for you to stay active. And a lot of people don't, you know, you know, aches and pains like arthritis. I'm like, I can barely walk, you know, like I'm not gonna go do it. And I'm seeing more and more people will become active now. Um, because they're incorporating cannabis and whatever ways is right for them, but they're incorporating it and they're actually getting outside and moving, um, or maybe doing a little buddy in yoga inside their whoa, me know, uh, it's, it's pretty cool how you can incorporate cannabis and again, it's all because cannabis is helping increasing those blood levels and you know, making you feel blissed out instead of stressed out or aching.
Kannaboomers: 33:21 That's a really good point. And I'm so glad you brought that up because our audience, I think I maybe mentioned earlier, you know, arthritis wanting to keep things like Alzheimer's had bay. Those all enter into it when you're 45, 50 and older. And here's a substance that so many times in this conversation you've mentioned things that 10 or 15 years ago you really couldn't have said that it was, it's a good thing for athletes to take even professional athletes or like you mentioned people in Kansas. So as our science unfolds and we, we understand more and more about this plant that's we've been using for tens of thousands of years, it just gets more and more incredible. And more kind of fundamental that you try to work it into your regimen.
Michele Ross: 34:05 Yeah, I mean it's amazing. Um, you know, having been part of this industry, like obviously I wasn't there like the sixties. It was way before I was even born. But you know, I, I am one of the leaders in this industry and into, you know, when I started writing articles about cannabis online, there were literally like no articles. Like for example, I wrote the first articles on the Internet about cannabis and endometriosis, cannabis and lymes disease like Alzheimer's. And it's just funny, like now you see if you google search, there's so many articles on things. But you know, even five to six years ago there was nothing like you literally would post like, is it okay to smoke weed if I have Alzheimer's and your real life, you would. Somebody would post that on a forum and you'd have like no answers. That's how limited the knowledge was about cannabis and it's appropriate applications and the science behind it.
Michele Ross: 34:54 But in the last five to seven years, the field has exploded. There's research going on in Australia and Canada, not so much in the United States because it's still very illegal and almost impossible to do. Really the only real clinical study with smoked cannabis in this country is with veterans with PTSD, with Suzanne Sisley who, God bless her for trying to get that study off for seven whole years. That's a lot of tenacity. Um, but think about it. Seven years like it take, it takes a long time to get this information going. So I've been so proud to be at the forefront of this and to be able to say like, comfortable and like, Hey, you should do these things. Like a lot of things I used to say used to be super controversial. You'd be like, you want grandma to use cannabis in her nursing home?
Michele Ross: 35:40 I used to be just a crazy thing to suggest things that people are working on right now I'm doing like say infused meals. Um, uh, things like nursing homes. Because again, it just like if you're, you can eat one and you're hungry. A lot of medications, patients not hungry and also makes them relax and chill and so I'm being agitated, especially like if you're a patient that doesn't have memory issues, it can be really hard. And I know this because I used to volunteer at a nursing home and it was really hard working with patients that would suddenly forget where they are, who, who they were talking to and get like, you know, violent. And that's one of the things that cannabis is great for. Not only does it help people become like relaxed, even improved some of their memory, like you see some families where they're like, oh my son actually, or sorry, my dad actually remembers me now when I come, like, that's amazing. Or some of them started dancing. Like you see these amazing changes happen to people. Um, and I think that cannabis can actually be the gateway to a better life. Especially in your older years.
Kannaboomers: 36:40 Yeah. As a leader in this movement and having seen what you've seen, what do you think that needs to happen? I mean, there, there's things happening at the state levels, the current administration with Jeff Sessions, who thinks only bad people use cannabis, making it legal nationally might not work unless the president does that just to mess with Jeff Sessions. But where do you see us in say five to 10 years in terms of, um, acceptance, you know, I think I heard that only about 50 percent of medical schools even refer to the endocannabinoid system and they don't spend a lot of time on it. When those changes begin to happen, when do you think they will? And in what sort of landscape will we see for cannabis in, in our daily lives?
Michele Ross: 37:22 You know? Um, that's an interesting question because it can go so many ways. Um, you know, there, and you can see this even by the bills that people are trying to push. So some people think that only CBD should be illegal. Marijuana should stay on the schedule and no matter what, then there's other people that think that it should be off the schedule completely and available freely. Just like alcohol and cigarettes are right. And if you want to use it medically, like that's your deal, right? I'm just like, you know, you can use dietary supplements as medicine if you'd like. It's usually discouraged by MDs. Um, they'd rather, you know, you come for your surgeries and your chemo and your prescriptions, right? Um, but then there's other groups of people that think it should be rescheduled. And this is a tricky one, right? Because we talk about the problems with it being schedule one.
Kannaboomers: 38:11 So a schedule one drug, cannabis is on the same schedule with heroin, right?
Michele Ross: 38:15 There's no medical use, a Dr Pam prescribe it without being accused of malpractice. Like it's a big problem. Um, and if it was moved to schedule to where cocaine and other drugs are, some of the other drugs are no one, your doctor is not going to prescribe you campaign, right? Like they're also not really going to want to prescribe you cannabis. And it's also gonna it, it makes it more of a metal, like a very pharmaceutical fashion, which is not how the dispensary system is set up or anything. But we're seeing some, like I'm, I'm confused about how, which way the United States is going to give out federally because I'd been to some states where it is straight up like a pharmaceutical, so I was just in Minnesota and instead of bud tenders they have like pretty much they have pharmacists. So, and when you get your medical card you have to go visit a pharmacist who then tells you exactly how your, you have to take the medicine, like you're like prescribed, like here you can only take, you know, half a gram this main time so you know, a week and you know, and you have to come back and you're cut off after this amount, like you can't buy anymore. Um, so to that, to me sounds much more like a, like a medical model, like a schedule three model for cannabis. Um, so I don't know whether our country is going to just take it off completely or where they're going to make it like country completely controlled by doctors. There were some movements and I would say because I mean we look at pharmaceutical companies lobbying. I mean, I don't think it's crazy to think that some of the major pharmaceutical companies might just acquire some of the biggest cannabis companies in the United States and just make it a pharmaceutical. I mean, that might happen. And because that's our country loves pharmaceuticals. I mean, we consume 90 percent of the world's opioids, like we're all about pharmaceuticals. Um, we're not so much about natural medicines were not about freedom either. Like we're definitely not about freedom even though that's what our country is supposed to be about. Um, and so, you know, would the ideal I would want to, I would love to see it like Canada, which by the way is going to be the one of the best markets because not only can they study the cannabis, you can research it. Um, it's federally legal for both medical and for recreational use, Aka everyone can get access to it. Um, and they're also exporting it to other countries. So the other countries that need cannabis that are cultivating it in their country, they can export to all these other countries and make lots of money. Like literally, Canada has surpassed us in every way, um, and all of our good like scientists and supper moving to Canada by the way, I'm not because I'm crazy, but apparently I should be in Canada.
Kannaboomers: 40:45 Well, yeah, California's a lot warmer than Toronto, but yeah, that is crazy. I mean it's going to be a multibillion dollar industry, right? In other, other countries are going to Canada. They're going to develop the expertise and you know, all the tariffs and all that stuff don't, don't help us much when there's this budding industry that makes so much sense and we're just letting them take it.
Michele Ross: 41:06 Yeah. Run with it. I do have research partners in Canada and Australia and Israel and it's just funny, like one of them was like, Hey, what are you going to start these studies? And it's just funny. Like Thomas Jefferson University, I'm on the east coast, started a CBD research program with some funding from like a, again, like the Lambert's, which are these huge philanthropists. Um, uh, because their child had a epilepsy and was treated with CBD over in Australia. And this study started research centers in different places on one being that university and the research you're doing is CBD and because our country makes it so hard to do actual teach, see research, you know, we can't do teach, see cancer research in the United States. You're like, literally it's legal. And I know this because I sat on the board is trying to move past cannabis research lives.
Michele Ross: 41:54 Like literally you can, I could go buy cannabis. Like I can literally do whatever I want with it. I could like injected into a breast cancer tumor of myself, like that would be illegal. But like for me to study it in any manner with patients would be completely illegal. Um, so it's so frustrating because you're like, this patient took RSO and their tumor's gone, this patient at this. But you can't actually do it as a clinical study because it's illegal because it's schedule on drug. So it's so frustrating in this state, this country. So, um, you know, I'm, hopefully, I'm, some of the questions that I still have. Um, I'm hopefully working with partners in other countries. Like, I'm flying out to Israel, uh, in October I'm going to start working with some partners out there to make a women's health products that were completely illegal to even study here by the way, in Colorado. And this one, the main reasons why I moved from Colorado. I was so upset like they banned vaginal suppositories and rectal suppositories. Um, all, all of a sudden out of the blue, like one day they woke up and they're like, they're not safe in their life. There's been no clinical trials showing that people should be putting weed up there, you know, other courses besides her math and then they're like, but no one. Has anyone reported any like deaths or overdoses are like adverse effects with this? Like, no, it's been legal for like three years in this state. Like no one's had any problems with. And people have been using suppositories with other herbs for years and they just were like, not safe. We're going to ban in. So there's a clinical study out in three years later we'll find out the results and you're like, while we we're waiting, all the patients that we're using that for cancer and for women's health disorders are now not going to be able to have that product. You're like. And again, it's not like any other medical medicine on the market, like literally you have to wait until like people would die of heart attacks for like in a pharmaceutical drug to be taken off the shelves here. We had no zero, we had zero issues and they're like, we're going to take it off because we just don't want it, you know? So I mean that's the field I work in. You're like literally like I was setting up a research study and they're like, no, sorry, we're just going to ban it off the market. No one's going to use this anymore. You're like, but it didn't do anything to anyone. Like it was actually amazing. I use those products. I think that's how I do with my disease. I'm like, why would you do something like take something off that it's been helping people. Like I don't, I don't understand how these things are working at all.
Kannaboomers: 44:11 There's still the undertow of decades of prohibition and you know, really government-sponsored propaganda about a devil's weed and all that to, you know, we think we're past it, but it's still going to affect us for a long time. I think. So the stigma.
Michele Ross: 44:25 Yeah. The stigma for I think the medical experts. I mean I have. Actually I want to state this because you know, people just think there's stigma against users as a cannabis using an expert. Right. And again, I'm not smoking weed during the day or anything like that. Like literally I use it and like micro doses in order to control disabling pain and spasms, not to get high during the day. Like that's not my purpose, but I have other scientists and doctors were like, she's not a real scientists, don't listen to her. She does drugs. Like those are the kinds of things. And I'm not the only one. You get other scientists that don't believe in cannabis on the same panels as you. And they're like, don't listen to like the fucking stoner scientists. And sorry for that for there, but like, it's been cheated and bad and you're like, I'm not a stoner. Like if you see me, I'm, there's nothing about me that's stoner. Michelle. I am a very hard word in your very educated sciences. I also have an MBA too. Like I'm overeducated.
Kannaboomers: 45:20 You're a neuroscientist who has credentials and some politician somewhere is going to decide he doesn't like suppositories because he's got hair up his ass and you know, that's just unfortunate. I mean, as a scientist you also have to get into the politics of it and as you are being an activist and helping promote the, just the common sense that we now know that's a huge challenge. Um, as, as you well know. Um, I guess I want to ask from your perspective, what is the most important thing for a baby boomer or really anybody who's interested in this to, to do, if they want to check out if cannabis is right for them, for their medical needs.
Michele Ross: 46:00 Okay. Um, so that's a great question. Um, so, you know, the one thing you need to do really is to just try it. Um, and you know, you know what your laws are in your state, right? So if, if marijuana is not legal in your state, I strongly suggest you don't use it because jail time is never healthy, especially when you're older or if you're a sick patient. Um, so definitely make sure you're an illegal state. Um, and secondly, um, you know, um, don't necessarily try it for the first time by like say using again like a joint that your friend has passed around or something like that. Um, you really want to look for a product that works for you. So you want to look for something. Um, again, if you're not trying to get high, you want to probably start with a CBD product or a low dose THC product.
Michele Ross: 46:50 I actually prefer, um, people start off with a low dose like CBD and THC product. And what that is, is like you actually hear like a one to one ratio product. And what that means is that there's an equal amount of CBD and THC in it. So he wanted to go for something that say maybe has like two point five milligrams CBD in it, two point five milligrams THC in it. Um, what that does, the CBD actually sort of counteracts the THC. It makes any high in there, like, like minimal. Um, but again, you're using so much, so little teaching in there anyways. It really wouldn't be a psychoactive dose. But that way it's most effective at reducing pain. Inflammation. I'm helping to sleep later on in the day. Um, so something like that. Something that's like that microdose stage and you know, whether it's a candy, whether it's um, there's things called like some legal tabs where you just like put it underneath your tongue, sort of like a, B 12, a supplement and let it dissolve. Something like that is really easy to work with. Um, when you're a first timer, because again, you're not going to get high so you don't have to worry, but you want to make sure that if it's your first time using anyhow, cannabis products probably don't take it. And then like go to work or go to, you know, go out. Like make sure it's like at home, so you just know in case you're one of those people that super sensitive to it because you know, I hate to say this because there's always that one person or like, like this is the lowest dose. There's no possible way you could get high and there's always that one person in 100 that will somehow either actually be higher or think feds are high. So you know, anytime you're taking something new you want to just make sure that you know, you're, you want to understand how you feel. And so journaling too, like when you're starting to use products is really important. Especially if we're going to start smoking. Things are taking different doses or trying out things. Like I'm going to try all this candy bar and it's great to have a journal and there are some journals that they sell online, like strange trackers and things like that where you didn't say like, hi, what did I take? How did I use it? Okay. I was like, did I take two candies and I take half a handy and it's okay. By the way, to break candies or other things and to have, it's like it's completely safe and especially if you need a lower dose of something, like if something comes as a 10 milligram dose, it's okay to break it into quarters, you know, um, sometimes people don't know that I'm like, it's completely okay, but like, you know, write down what you're doing and how it's making you feel, um, and where you bought it from to because the strain or the product that you're buying, the brand name is really important.
Michele Ross: 49:17 Is an incredible. Is it Kiva is a, you know, like whatever it is that you're buying. What is it? Because the same, um, you know, same type of product, a chocolate bar with THC each. It is different, you know, from brand to brand. And then, you know, a strain, you know, um, see a blue dream strain. The strains have all these crazy names, right? There are different from each dispensary or each grower. They're not all the same, you know, they're not completely genetic. You know, I'm 100 percent the same. Um, even though they might have the same name because it's sort of a week cause classification system, like people grow these plants differently and all over the world. So you really want to say like, you know, what you're getting and how it's making you feel so that if you find something you're like, I love this. Like, you know how to replicate that feeling.
Kannaboomers: 50:03 There's no Merck Manual of cannabis. So you're saying take it slow. You small doses in pay attention and you know, that's all good advice I think for anybody who wants to pay attention to their health, you know, if you're a patient you're going to be a little more involved in a little more responsible for your own state just by paying attention to yourself.
Michele Ross: 50:23 Yeah. And I think it's really good to, to know like timing of things and also like what your status was before you were taking it. So there's some apps even like I worked with a company, um, called Stratton print up in Canada. They were great for the Canadian strains is a harder work with, with the US market. But um, you were able to actually say, okay, like find your symptoms and you were like, okay, I have really bad back pain. Okay. So like, what's my number of back pain? Am I like at a, like a zero to 10? Like how bad is my bad pay? Okay, cool. Then in the end you would put in like, or write down in your journal, okay, what am I going to take now? Okay. So my back things at a 10, I'm going to take this product and then an hour later how do I feel? And so you can know like how does this product work in different scenarios because sometimes a product that might not get you high at all, especially if you're like level 10 pain, what it's going to do is reduce your pain and you're not going to feel high, you're going to have just feel less pain. But on a day where you have no pain, you might actually feel high from that product. So like the context of it is always very important. Or did you. How did you feel taking this product inside by yourself watching a movie versus going out like in public at a concert or going like meeting like at a business meeting you've never met people like there's all different contexts and cannabis is very context dependent so it's not like alcohol where like you sort of have the same experience with alcohol no matter what you forget to drink this beer, it's going to do the same exact thing to you no matter where you are or what you're doing at the time. Like you're not like I was really depressed and then I drink this beer and I got weird. Like it's like it's not really like that. Cannabis is very interesting because it can amplify both your emotional state, your spiritual state, sometimes your physical state to like there's some people that will actually have pain and they pick the wrong strain and it's got like the wrong chemical mixed or something for them and they were like, oh my God, my back pain got worse. I like, I was more aware of my back pain. How did that happen? And you're like, there you go. It may, sometimes there's certain strains that are actually help you be more aware and in tune and it's like in tune with your partner in tune with the concert you're like watching are in tune with the artwork you're doing and that's really important. But like if you're a pain patient, you don't want to use the product that is making you super aware of your body and how much it hurts, like so, you know, there's always the right product for you. Um, and I would say like, you know, if you're a newbie and you're just trying out some things and um, you know, and you're still having trouble finding products and this is hard because cannabis isn't covered by health. Insurance can be expensive and you can't really make returns. You can't really. Like, I didn't really like this marijuana, I would like another one, please exchange like that's not legal. So it's unfortunate. It's like cracking open a bottle of alcohol. If you don't like that line, you're sort of stuck with it. Um, and while some company, like some states are allowing sort of tasting type things or samples like many states aren't, so you know, what you want to do is, um, you know, if you don't want to spend a lot of money on products and you need help understanding what kind of products are right for you or what to take because it's confusing as heck. I mean, like, you, you really shouldn't be playing doctor by yourself, especially if you have a severe medical condition. If you need help. Um, there are, um, you know, obviously coaches and other professionals like myself, I can help you along and hopefully help you spend a lot less money on products doing, like trial by error because it's not easy. I mean, as somebody with like I have like, like seriously, like 10 different chronic illnesses. I've escaped death like literally, like four times. I'm really, really lucky to be alive. And you know, for me it took me a while to find that magic, you know, little, um, I would say like protocol for me. And I think that there's a protocol for each and every one of you, um, especially if you have multiple illnesses, um, you know, and it's not going to be the same as your best friend or anyone, you know, it's gonna be unique to you and it's, it may take some time to find that perfect protocol.
Kannaboomers: 54:15 It's a complicated landscape and it's going to take some due diligence. So for my last question, I want to read a little bit from your mission statement and, uh, and ask how we can support you. So this is from the Infused Health mission statement. “Infused Health is organized as a public benefit corporation and part of our mission is to provide services and products to those who need them but cannot afford them. We work with cannabis and CBD product makers to provide free or highly discounted medicine. We aimed to provide free cannabis health coaching to those in need such as veterans, late stage cancer patients and patients with severe opioid addiction in partnership with nonprofits.” How can this audience help support you in that work?
Michele Ross: 54:52 Sure. Actually I'm not set up like a nonprofit like my last company. Um, so, oh, the way that we work, we're actually a public benefit corporation. So what that means it's a corporation, um, that has a mission to give back. Um, and our mission obviously is to provide services to those who who need it most. And so our model, I'm right now, so we're launching self guided courses and coach assisted courses and so what we're doing with that model is for a high percentage of the profits of those courses actually go and find free courses for veterans and other people that are in need. So again, we're, we've been working on these courses, um, and some of our programs for a long time. So that's the best way of, you know, if you need help, um, in our first course is actually launching ads on fibromyalgia. We have another one on cannabis, motherhood, um, another one on pelvic pain and then we'll be rolling out other ones including cannabis for Alzheimer's, cannabis for Parkinson's. Um, that will be later next year. So, um, you know, the best way to do that is to either join a chorus yourself and be educated and work through our self guided program to actually optimize your treatment and you know, just sort of like the Tom's model where you know, you buy one and you can give this one back to somebody who needs it.
Kannaboomers: 56:14 That's cool. That's really great. I think we've covered most of my questions. Is there, is there anything you want to leave us with?
Michele Ross: 56:21 I'm an hour. If you want to sort learn the Merck Manual of cannabis. Unfortunately I couldn't put everything into that Vitamin Weed book, but it does cover a lot and hopefully a breakdown, sort of all the mess about cannabis and I love that book just because it's something you could give to your doctor, especially if your doctor doesn't understand what an endocannabinoid system is or why you're even thinking about cannabis. Please be honest with your healthcare professionals, you're thinking about using cannabis because it is important, especially if you're on other medications, you might have a drug interaction. So always be honest with your doctor. Um, and read as much as you can and if you have questions I'll reach out to professionals like myself to get some help. So just thank you so much for, uh, for letting me talk a little bit on your podcast.
Kannaboomers: 57:06 Well, thank you. We appreciate your expertise and people can find Vitamin Weed at Amazon.
Michele Ross: 57:12 Yes. Um, or there's links to it on my website which is DrMicheleRoss.com.
Kannaboomers: 57:20 Thank you so much. Dr. Ross. Thank you. You've been listening to. Let's talk about weed, Kannaboomers podcast with Thomas J. For for more on medicinal cannabis for baby boomers. Visit us at kannaboomers dot com.
Kannaboomers: 57:32 And that's a wrap.
Does cannabis help in matters of… love?
That's the topic in episode one of our podcast, with sexologist Nick Karras, author of The Passionate High: A Guide to Using Cannabis for Sex and Creativity. We also talk about cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, microdosing, and exactly how to find the right strain and right amount to help you relax, and get, you know, intimate. All that and much more — enjoy episode one!
Kannaboomers: 00:05 This is Let's Talk About Weed, the Kannaboomers Podcast: CBD, microdosing, and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.
Kannaboomers: 00:21 Welcome to Let's Talk About Weed, where we explore all aspects of cannabis from CBD and microdosing to what we're going to discuss today and that's The Passionate High: A Guide to Using Cannabis for Better Sex and Creativity, a new book from our guest, Dr Nick Karras. It's available@Amazon.com and at his website passionatehigh.com.
Nick Karras: 00:41 Hi, thanks for, thanks for having me here today.
Kannaboomers: 00:44 Thank you for being our guest. And, I think it's an interesting topic that our, that our audience is going to be interested in following. Tell me how you came about the idea for your book.
Nick Karras: 00:56 Oh Geez. Well, I've been a sexologist for about 12 years now and most of the couples and individuals come to me and they're missing the passion in their life. They're missing that zest, that, that awareness of there's something more than what's going on. And it's really hard. I mean, there's a lot of talk about mindful meditation, there's a lot of talk about couples spending a date night and spending some time together, you know, candles, dinner, but it's really hard to keep our focus and don't let go of the day. And I was looking for something that would help that along. Now I've been a cannabis user for 40 years and it has always worked for me, but for a lot of people that did not. And that's why I decided I was going to research cannabis and see if this could be brought into a person's life. To change their life, to empower their life and to create connection between two people.
Kannaboomers: 01:49 Sure. You know, it sounds to me like maybe a, it's an alternative to alcohol for some people.
Nick Karras: 01:55 Very much so. Very much so. Alcohol is usually used as a it and so you come home, you have a couple of drinks and you forget the day. A lot of people use cannabis the same way they come home, they smoke, they want to check out and chill out and it's a perfectly fine thing to do. But cannabis also has the ability to do the exact opposite, to activate you, to make you see outside the box, to give you new creative thoughts and actually empower yourself. And that was a fascinating thing to me.
Kannaboomers: 02:26 Well, as an alternative to alcohol, it's probably more healthy and less destructive in the long run.
Nick Karras: 02:33 Oh, oh. So much. So it's almost the opposite of a putting a poison in your system and getting a reaction. This thing with the way it connects with the endocannabinoid system in our body, it, it, it calms us, it takes us as a core and it changes us. I mean, it's very, very healthy.
Kannaboomers: 02:51 So you've got some experience with the plant and uh, you've written the book. Um, there are things to look at when you're, when you're getting into this, including strain, dosage. I'm just the environment, all those things that come into play, right?
Nick Karras: 03:10 Yeah. The three I tell people is the big three. It's the strain, it's the dosage. And a really important one is the intention. And the intention is like with Timothy Leary, used to say about when you do hard drugs, it's about your set and setting because what you're doing is you're activating the mind in a different way to pay attention. So like a lot of the people way back when it was illegal, we would get paranoia. So they thought that the cannabis created paranoia. That is not the case. The paranoia was because we had paranoia, smoking the cannabis and the cannabis accentuates the feeling that you have going into it. And one of the biggest things that I tell people, I tell everybody this before you ever ingest cannabis and we're mainly talking about the cannabis with THC in it because we're talking about the high tonight, mainly before you do that, always ask yourself, why am I getting high? Why am I smoking, and what do I want to do with this? And then create that environment because your mind is going to goal where you have telling it to do. I don't think most people realize you have control of that high
Kannaboomers: 04:19 [inaudible]. So setting your mind on what do I want to happen with this experience?
Nick Karras: 04:27 Yeah, like if let's say you're an artist and and you're a writer and you have writer's block and you're stuck and you're going, I'm stuck. I'm stuck to sit down and to say, okay, I'm going to smoke a little bit of cannabis and I'm gonna. See my writing differently. Will you create the environment? You lay out your paper and your pencil. You maybe have the affirmations that you have, some books you've already written and you put them there. You would tell yourself you're a writer and when you smoke, like a small amount of this, it creates whatever you're thinking, it embellishes whatever you're thinking. So it gives you that positive thing and a lot of the times it'll push you through that block. Okay,
Kannaboomers: 05:04 So let's talk a little bit about sort of the degrees of being high, because I know you've, you've outlined these and you know, for some people who maybe back in our younger years just got stoned out of their minds. They, maybe they can't hold the thought while they're trying to create. But if you set the intention and you don't get absolutely stoned than it, then it could really be an aid to your creation.
Nick Karras: 05:27 Oh, definitely. Definitely. Um, cannabis is as a bi modal, dragging by with bi-modal means. It means that it has a very different effect at a low dose than it does at a high dose and almost sometimes the opposite effect. So you're gonna hear a lot of term microdosing going on right now in microdosing is a real small amount of that drug to use that and that will determine your high
Kannaboomers: 05:52 Does that mean one puff of one meant um, how, how do you determine or is it just experimentation? How do you get to that point?
Nick Karras: 06:03 Everybody has a different amount and it definitely depends. It depends on our own body type has a lot of difference in it, how long you're using it, how much you're taking. Um, myself, I'm a very, very lightweight. So it takes very little and yes, with most of the strains today, it's only one puff, one puff. And I tell people, when you go to the dispensary, don't buy the top shelf, you do not want 27 percent THC in there. I usually try to keep it or between 14 and 18 percent if you're gonna, use it for sexuality because you want to have that connection with your partner. If you go too much, you're going to disconnect and go inside. And a lot of people will say, yeah, I liked that feeling. I close in. If you take too much, some people telling me it feels like you're talking to God. These are wonderful experiences and they can be used. It's being used in therapy. But if we're going back to creativity or connection with their partner, we want to keep it light because we want to be present for them.
Nick Karras: 07:01 Right? So a controlled dosage. I'm not, not going over the top.
Nick Karras: 07:07 Yeah. Um, California law now just made it law that a dosage can't be more than 10 milligrams of THC. 10 is way too much for me. I'm talking to God. If I take care, I'm, I'm inside. I tell people two and a half to five is a good starting point.
Kannaboomers: 07:27 Yeah. Depending on. I know some of these manufactured products will tell you there's two and a half milligrams per mint or something, but if you're smoking a joint or a pipe or something, how do you gauge that?
Nick Karras: 07:39 Well, what I tell first time people are people who haven't done this for awhile. I recommend smoking. There are a lot of wonderful other ways out there between the teachers and all of the edibles and it's very appealing when you go into a dispensary nowadays, like a kid in a candy store. The reason I tell him to stay away from that is because that high lasts a lot longer. You're doing that. A bowl, you can be talking up to six, eight hours that you're having that feeling and dosing that if you overshoot it now you have six or eight hours and, and it takes sometimes up to an hour to come on where if you buy the flour, the bud and you smoke that and you take one little hit from that, you can set that out in the ashtray and you wait and within three to five minutes you are at 100 percent of that high and now you feel like, how do I feel? Do I feel connected and my feeling enough and if you want a little bit more, take another half of a hit for myself. It's one, one and a half hits and I'm there and that high last between an hour and a half and two hours, which is a nice period of time to sit and be with your partner and talk. And then you can always do a rider or as I call them and pick it up and hit it again, but you can control it, titrate that dose.
Kannaboomers: 08:54 Do you have a preference between indica and sativa?
Nick Karras: 08:59 Myself, I'm a sativa. I thought that sativa was best for intimacy. I have learned that that is not the case at all. It depends on the individual. Um, I would, I was always looking for a strain that I could give to everybody. I found my favorite strain a few years back and it was lavender train wreck. To me that was the wonder currently it's blue dream, but I love that. That's, that's a sativa dominant hybrid and um, it works for me, but when I gained small, when I did my test group and I would give it out to people, it didn't work for everybody and a lot of the people preferred than indica. And so it gets to the point where people would come in and I would just watch them for five minutes. I'd ask them questions like, watch their body language to see once. And I think, you know, if you look around at your circle of friends, some people are much more into their head and other people are under the body. They expressed anxiety and thoughts through their head or their body. They're going to have to determine that.
Kannaboomers: 09:57 Sure. Yeah. That's very interesting. How the different strains, a kind of manifests effects differently in different people.
Nick Karras: 10:05 Yeah. What I usually do, if somebody comes in, they want to go on this journey and I call it a journey. I mean most people are very impatient. They want to go to a doctor. They want a pill. They want to take that pill and get instant results. Cannabis is not like that. I tell them cannabis is a personal experience. It's this plant and you are going to have to learn how to get along and what you want to do. So I'll tell people, go to a dispensary and get a gram. You can get a gram for seven to $10, get a gram of a good indica, a good sativa and maybe a hybrid in the middle. Talk to them, get some cones or some papers, go home, mark them, and then on different evenings set aside your two hours and try the strain and see how it feels for you. Um, maybe doing the dishes or go for a walk or if you, you know, want to talk to your partner, talk to them and pay attention and you're going to try. You find that they're very different in the back of the passionate. I have a little, a place where you can log into strains and take notes and pay attention. And then once you narrow in who I love the sativa better than an indica, the indica made me feel lethargic, the sativa activated me. Then you can start looking at the strains within that and kind of narrow that down to what works for you. Yeah. A lot of my clients will have different strains in their home for different things. They have a very stressful day when they come home. They'll have an indica that day like you know, or they can't sleep at night and they'll mark those strains and know those, smoke them for that particular purpose.
Kannaboomers: 11:37 Yeah. Well, and you know, it's taking responsibility for your own health and and listening to your body and getting a little more involved than, as you say, sort of the model that people have where they think they go to their doctor and they get a pill and they take that pill and everything's resolved. This is more of an organic process where you have to do some discovery and apply what you learned.
Nick Karras: 12:00 Yeah. It's like learning what we should eat. Everyone can eat different things. Some people can have no caffeine, some love caffeine. I equated to essential oils. If I took you to the store and you smell the essential oils it and somebody says, well, this has a calming effect and this is stimulating. It's not always the same for everyone. Your particular noise, you're going to go, no, I like this one and cannabis is the same thing and by the way, the terpenes and the cannabis are pretty much equivalent of essential oil and the terpenes play a very important role. So I tell people when you're going into the dispensary and you're buying it, that last little piece, when you've got like three strains, you like smell the strain, close your eyes and smell it and feel it and it, it'll tell you which one to pick.
Kannaboomers: 12:43 Yeah. There's a lot of emotion or, or memories that are wrapped up in that. That olfactory sense, right? Definitely. Well, and I think you talk about in the book too, I mean the, the multisensory a effect of cannabis and it's going to heighten your senses. And you know, you talked about set and setting and when we, when we talk about intimacy, there's so many factors that come into it where you want to pay attention to your music, your lighting, everything that's going on.
Nick Karras: 13:15 Yeah. One of the things that was interesting to me is that there was a lot of concern from the medical community that when we smoke cannabis, our heart rate increases and they thought that was a bad thing or what I've come to find out that it's exactly the opposite. The reason it does that is it relaxes our core and when it relaxes, our court relaxes our lungs and most of us, because of the environment we live in and the anxiety we we breathe shallow breathing shallow is a defense protection system and we don't oxygenate our bodies when we're having a shallow breath. What cannabis does is it relaxes the lung. Sex will not. When you take a breath in, you're taking in a lot more air, a lot more oxygen, and the body gets excited so it increases the heart rate so that it can pump that oxygen all over the body and that's why your skin kind of tingles. Your taste is a little bit more in tune. You're hearing is intensified. Part of it is that oxygenation of the body that's doing that,
Kannaboomers: 14:16 So it wakes you up a little bit.
Nick Karras: 14:18 Definitely. Definitely, and I think anybody who, any of the boomers who go back and have smoked back, they love that, that food. I mean you get a slice of pizza and it's like, oh my God, this tastes so good. Or a song comes on and the music you seem like you hear notes you didn't hear and instruments in the songs and that's what's causing that
Nick Karras: 14:38 Right, it can really awaken your senses. So let's talk about intimacy and the ways in which this plant can help us be more connected.
Kannaboomers: 14:50 Well, one of the things is that it's what does the THC, the high due to the brain and what it does is it creates different cognitive effects to us and a couple of them. One is hyper-focusing. It's known as hyper-focusing and that I think, and once again, anybody who smoked back in the sixties or seventies notice that you're sitting around a room and all of a sudden you're really into something you, you, you know, you look around and you're just like, oh my God, I never noticed how beautiful that picture was. Or I never noticed this. You focused and then you seem to jump around at stuff. It's hard to hold a train of thought that focusing can be used in intimacy by your set and setting. And so me, that's what I tell a couple of that. Okay. If you want to have an intimate evening and you're, you know, you're going to get hyper-focusing from the strain, be careful what's around you. I mean, if you've got a phone that goes off or you have music that's playing in, it's got a commercial, um, you know, you're sitting there being loving and kind and coddling and all of a sudden a commercial comes on and you're humming the tune from the commercial. It's because your mind wandered into there. So you have to be careful that you set that stage and you take care of that. You know, if you've got a pile of dirty laundry in a corner and so it's a good chance you're going to look over at that and you're gonna go, I need to do my laundry or your stack of papers on that. The hyper-focusing will take you to wherever you look. So avoid those.
Kannaboomers: 16:15 The buzzkill we used to call it.
Nick Karras: 16:17 It can feel very much a buzzkill. It's an essential situation. You don't want buzz kill, you want to stack it in your favor.
Kannaboomers: 16:26 Pile of dirty laundry can really ruin them.
Nick Karras: 16:29 Uh, the next one I like to talk about is episodic memory retrieval. Once again, if you think about it, when you've been stoned and you're with somebody and you're talking, I know and you'll miss it. Yeah, I remember the grateful dead concert. We went to way back your there. You are practically there. You can almost smell it and stuff. That's your episodic memory retrieval. How do I tell couples to use that? I say you've been together 20 years and you know you're totally in love. Everything is going good, but you've lost that, that passion, that drive for each other, set the stage for that. I tell them, play music. You played when you first fell in love. Lay out the photo albums when you guys first met that memory retrieval of that pot. What that's gonna do is that when you look at those pictures, it's going to take you back there and I, once again, we're taking the high and we're stacking it in our favor. It's one of the funnest things that I've had couples come back to tell me that, that they sat there and they pull out the photo album where normally they look at it and go, yeah, those are old photos of us, but when they're high, those photos come to life for them.
Nick Karras: 17:36 So they totally reengage, go back to that moment.
Nick Karras: 17:39 I go back to that moment, you know, and I tell them once again, use, use this high, think about this high and, and what it's doing to you and give it a positive. A twist. Yeah. You know, another one is, it's called pattern recognition. And um, I think one of my, one of the funniest stories is I had a fellow that very heady and he would go home and smoke and he goes, I don't feel anything. I don't feel anything. I don't get high. Why don't I get high? He'd get angry. And I'd say, okay, try and keep trying strains and go for a walk. And he went for a walk one night and the next time he came in to see me, he goes, you know, it's interesting, and I go, what? He goes, I noticed when I walk I walk kind of funny and I always walk the same way. And he said, so I'm changing the way I walk. He said, because it wasn't working for me. And I go, well, that's pattern recognition. You start seeing patterns in your life. And so for a couple who always does the same thing, when your lovemaking is always the same, you know the way you do the dishes is always the same. The way you start an art project is always the same. A little bit of pot in there. You're going to notice differences. Couples will say, yeah, I'm boring. You'll notice they're boring. So that's called the pattern recognition aspect of it. And just being cognitively cognizant of it gives you the opportunity to change that, mix it up, get out of the box. I think the biggest takeaway is pay attention to how you're feeling when you're high and and it, it's telling you a lot about yourself. You know, like Bob Marley said, you know, marijuana is the gateway drug to thyself and I always loved that and people kind of blow off that is, it doesn't mean anything. It's like can mean so much. We get to see ourselves almost from an outside looking back at ourselves when we have that high and take advantage of it. Pay attention to who you are, you know, personally myself, you know, people will say, you know, what do you think about your life? Are you happy with your life and the and the accomplishments you have? And I'll go and they'll go, what do you attribute it to? And I say, you don't. One of the biggest things I attributed to his cannabis has been in my life and it's something that I have used. It has not used me. And early on I realized that by taking small amounts and using it and paying attention, I could be more creative to myself. You know, enhanced imagination is one of the big ones. Everybody refers to him as my dreams, you know? Well, yes. I would have to say the majority of what comes up is silliness and it's abstract, but I tell people, especially when you're microdosing, write that stuff down and the next morning when you're having your coffee, look at it and yes, mostly you were gonna go stone idea stoner idea stoner idea, but some of my best stuff came out of that, you know, because then I would look at it and go, well yeah, that seems a little different for me. It seems a little extreme, but why? And I started questioning it and most of the books I published a most of the work that I've done. I got that and when I started interviewing people, I was amazed how many people told me that the pipe dreams were what made their life's beautiful, that they paid attention to that.
Kannaboomers: 20:56 So a shifted perspective and then you can change the pattern.
Nick Karras: 21:01 Yeah, for couples, a lot of times after you've been together for a while, you lose the dream. I think the best part of coupling, if I had to say there was anything when when two people come together and decide to walk that path of life together is you dream together and you look at it shouldn't go, what do you want and what do you want, and then you make you manifest this stuff and you work as a team. Well, 10, 15, 20 years into it, you get routine and you forget the ability to do that and I think cannabis for couples to sit it can recreate that. Lot of the times the people come to me and they want better sex. They go, Dr Nick, we wanted smoke some pot and we want to have good sex like we had at the beginning. The majority of the time that's not what happens. It creates intimacy and sex looks different and couples will come back and they'll say, yeah, we do what you said and how is the evening? Well, one, maybe one time they both slept. They fell asleep and cuddled up in each other's arms and they slept all night and I'll go well you needed to sleep. You know, other couples go, we talked until two in the morning, you know, how often when was the last time they had a good talk, you know
Kannaboomers: 22:12 So intimacy can take on many forms, you know, it doesn't necessarily lead to the physical act of sex, but maybe an emotional connection with mental, like exploration. I'm just some of the things talking about it.
Nick Karras: 22:29 Yeah. People think that sex is something you just do. It's a chill, you know, we're, we're going to Friday night or and we're gonna gonna get three hours and we're going to have sex. And I tell people as a sexologist it's not. Sex comes organically from the body. Sex is something that you create by being a central person. And I say going into the kitchen and cooking, bringing out the spices, playing music. The two of you, dancing, living essential life automatically takes you into a sexual being. You know, when I have singles come to me and they're going, I haven't been with anybody, I don't have sex anymore. I miss that. What can I do to have sex? I look at him and go become a central person, join a cooking class, do some salsa dancing, be passionate about life, essential about your life and what are you going to attract? You're going to attract another central person. I put two central people together. Sex is going to happen. It just is.
Kannaboomers: 23:27 And this plant can aid sensuality.
Nick Karras: 23:30 So much so just because like as we talked earlier about what it does to our senses, you know, you get the munchies, you get hungry, you want to play music, you know your vision is enhanced. I mean go outside and go for a walk, smoke a little bit of cannabis and walk through a park. It is a totally different experience and when you normally walk, people walk mindlessly, they walk, they look at their phones, they're in their head thinking and your body is walking. It's, it's like it's, it's a habit. They combined the habit. Cannabis messes with that habit can do what it's doing to your head that high. It kind of wakes you up. You're going to have a totally different experience. Walking. Same thing with a little bit of high. You're going to see things you didn't notice, you know,. Well, my God, a bakery opened up over there. Something you're going to smell, things you never smelled. Gonna feel the wind and the sun on you. And so to me it, it wakes the body up.
Kannaboomers: 24:26 Yeah, nothing wrong with that.
Nick Karras: 24:27 No. And we need that. You know, it's, I just read something that said today, the average person in America consumes five times as much information as we did 30 years ago. We are becoming our heads and that disconnect. You look at the environment, we're destroying the environment. We're not paying attention to our children. Our community is falling apart. Loneliness, depression is up. We were last in the two dimensional world and I think it's so wonderful that cannabis is being legalized now because cannabis is going to put us back into a three dimensional world.
Kannaboomers: 25:01 That's interesting. The social media that we all pay attention to and the fear of missing out on whatever's on Facebook at the moment. Um, you need a way to get away from that to escape and the stresses of work and, you know, driving down the freeway and the normal normal stresses of life that can defeat us off. We let them so you need an outlet.
Nick Karras: 25:28 It does. And, and even for boomers, especially for boomers, I'm 67 years old and I gotta tell Ya, I can be a crotchety old man sometimes. I think most of us can relate to that and life is difficult to me to have fresh eyes. To me, one of the funnest thing to do with a bunch of boomers is sit around and smoke a little at a dinner party and we start laughing. We started having fun a couple months ago did a whole issue on laughter and how us boomers have lost that and the health benefits of laughter. And to me just coming back and doing that, you know, there's an old saying that the average person dies at 50 and is buried at 80. And that is so true to me to bring this back just for that alone. Um, everybody's talking about the medicinal aspects of cannabis and they're incredible. What it does, we need to start talking about the THC in the high and the possibility that the can change their lives.
Kannaboomers: 26:27 Yeah. Well, I don't know if it was Cheech or Chong, one of them said all cannabis use as medicinal. It's kinda like alcohol is medicinal. I mean when people have an intent when they pour a glass of bourbon and fair, as you said, you approach the cannabis with an intent. It's medicinal. It's gonna help your mood or it's going to help your perspective or you know, we know that it helps with epilepsy and possibly cancer and many other things. So most of what we've talked about is a mental and emotional, but it's physically an amazing substance as well.
Nick Karras: 27:11 Oh definitely. And, and in the realm of sexuality, um, a lot of women have painful, painful sex is this stuff really works. Like I said, it relaxes your core and it relaxes your pelvic floor. And so it works for a lot of men with their issues and reptile dysfunction. The right strain and the right amount can make a big difference because once again, in order for a man to have an erection, he has to be relaxed. Most people thinks it's it's excitement that creates an erection. It's exactly the opposite. It's the relaxing of the blood vessels, opens them up, that opens them up. And so if there's any anxiety in a math, anything going on, he's going to have a hard time. And cannabis is a relaxing. It can work very well getting the right strain.
Kannaboomers: 28:00 Interesting. So just to sort of circle back around, um, you know, when you talk about using it as an aid to intimacy, we kind of covered the idea of not getting too high and having a, somewhere between the light touch and sort of the classic high, maybe a bit of a microdose doing some experimentation so you know which strain is going to work for you. Um, and I guess what we haven't talked about is, you know, your partner, maybe they have different needs than you do when it comes to cannabis. Maybe they like a different strain.
Nick Karras: 28:36 Oh, most definitely. Yeah.
Kannaboomers: 28:38 So you'd have to figure that out too.
Nick Karras: 28:40 Definitely. And I tell people that you can experiment together as long as you don't have a goal. And to me being with your partner, it's nice when it's not goal oriented, I don't know about you, but I've never, I, there's no bad high, there's only a different high as high as individuals. They're just are unique. And so I do like experiment. But yeah, most of the couples, each one will have a different strain that they use in the bedroom.
Kannaboomers: 29:06 [inaudible]. Well now maybe some of our listeners are, are coming back to cannabis after a long time. Maybe there's a reluctance in their partner or them to try it. Um, you know, some of us went into a corporate world for decades and you know, there were drug tests and there were a lot of stigmatization. Stigmatization. Right? And maybe we can talk about de stigmatizing. Um, uh, but what, what if there is sort of a nervousness about this, a reluctance, what, what can you do to get over that?
Nick Karras: 29:39 That's a, that's an interesting one. Um, it is legal now. So that should help. The one thing that I tell people is intimacy and sexuality is a very private thing anyways, and so and greeting a naughty element into it sometimes is what makes it a little more fun, so maybe consider it part of the taboo. I'm looking at it as, yeah, this is our secret little thing. I love it when people can share it with friends and family. I one of the biggest things, I encourage people to start talking openly at dinner parties, you know, and so we can learn from one another. I. My dream is that everybody ends up figuring or stream a strain out. You can get a clone and you can grow it in your backyard. One plant will give you more than you could ever use any year and it would be fun if we traded with our neighbors and our friends and it became something like bringing a bottle of wine and you tried different strains and bringing that out, but if they're not comfortable with that, then use the taboo aspect of it.
Kannaboomers: 30:42 Another thing is that some people just don't like it. Some don't get high and one of the surveys I read they said 41 percent up to 41 percent of people who tried it the first time, never felt anything.
Nick Karras: 30:52 Wow. And some people never do feel it. Some people, if you're very heady and you have a lot of control issues, you're going to fight it. And for some of them red wine or alcohol works better for them. You can't, you can't fight a high from alcohol. It's a suppressant. It is going to lower you down. Cannabis can go either way. So if you have anxiety going into it and you're not willing to, you know, it just doesn't work for some people and you have to accept that. So No, I have couples that no one does not want to use it. What I do ask is that they couldn't open their mind up enough to allow their partner to, if they see their partner is happy, um, and it, it brings up side of them out that they like, you know, don't judge it. You have your wine, you have your smoke, right.
Kannaboomers: 31:48 You know, you've mentioned that it is legal, it's legal in California or in Colorado and I think five or six other states and a medically legal in I think 27, 28 states. Do you see, uh, do you see that trend growing or slowing down? I mean, oh no,
Nick Karras: 32:07 I personally think it's even going to flip with the federal government this year. I would bet my dollars on that. It's unstoppable. And, um, and like I said, once again, the more we talk about it, the more that everybody knows that this works and we talk about the health benefits.
Kannaboomers: 32:24 Yeah. Yeah. Well, when you consider the, just the damage that's been done by opioids in, Oh my God, here is an alternative to that that uh, is, is not gonna potentially kill you.
Nick Karras: 32:38 Yeah. And on a side note, I'm a sexologist. I do a passion and intimacy coaching. When I brought cannabis into the picture and started talking about it and started talking to my clients more than the number one thing is getting them off opiates. I didn't realize how many people were addicted to opiates. Well, this worked.
Kannaboomers: 32:58 Are we talking about middle aged people or what's the demographic of
Nick Karras: 33:03 Middle Age and older? Most of my clientele are older,
Kannaboomers: 33:07 Like the classic got a bad back.
Nick Karras: 33:09 It's always a bad shoulder, a bad back, and they start using it. A lot of people are using a lot of Ambien, which eventually has some very negative side effects of them for sleeping. And we switch them over and they have a really good night's sleep and it's like, oh my God, I can't believe this. So it has so many benefits. It's something that you should explore.
Kannaboomers: 33:31 Yeah, definitely. Um, okay. So just circling back again, you know, we talked about um, how to get started. You're going to explore with different strains to find what works for you. And you mentioned maybe going to the dispensary and getting um, you know, getting a good sativa and indica and hybrid, not necessarily top shelf, but come home, try them out in the evening when you have an hour or two. Um, the, in, in for intimacy, we talked about set and setting, paying attention to things like the music, the mood of not having any buzz killers in the room and just being focused on your partner and connected. Yeah. Yeah. It's a great age for that.
Nick Karras: 34:16 Yeah, it is. It's, I'm impressed how well it's working and you know, that's why I'm definitely an advocate for this. I've tried everything else, but this one is just enough, enough to push people in it.
Kannaboomers: 34:27 Good. Uh, anything that we haven't covered that you'd like to leave our listeners with?
Nick Karras: 34:36 Mainly talked to people about it. Um, I don't worry about the smoking. We didn't talk about the fact of smoking. A lot of people are worried, but I don't want to smoke because our generation especially, we found out about the cigarette smoking and we had a massive campaign to stigmatize smoking or ingesting the cannabis does not give you cancer had actually does the exact opposite. And, and even if you still don't believe that the amount I'm asking you to do, it's totally irrelevant. A lot of people have a hard time getting over the smoking. You can go to the vape cartridges, I like them and they're getting better and better and they've taken out all the additives. Now it's pure oil, so you're not gonna get any side effects that the only disadvantages they run 30, 40, 50, $60 for a cartridge. You get it home, you try it and it might not be the one you want. I ended up with four or five cartridges sitting around and I had to give them awake, you know, and I like the ritual of smoking. I liked the of the evening. I think the biggest part is to sit with someone and to bring it out and to grind it and to put it in a cone into role at 10 and the sit around and pass it and the lighting of the fire and exhaling and bringing something into the lungs and setting your intention. I think that element alone is one of the parts and I try to emphasize so much to people. Take your life back, start having some fun with it. Set a time to the side to turn off everything and be one to one and go back to nature a little bit with it.
Kannaboomers: 36:11 Yeah. And a lot of baby boomers will remember being in college and doing that same thing, you know, cleaning it on an album cover or inside a frisbee and getting the seeds out and rolling nice joint
Nick Karras: 36:24 And the camaraderie that took place, the community. It was always like a sense of community and an understanding and these were our friends, that naughty element where were smoking together, you know, keep the naughty elements. I like that.
Kannaboomers: 36:38 Well, thank you for your time, Dr Nick, and I'm going to remind listeners that your book, the Passionate High is at AmazonDotCom and your website is APassionateHigh.com.
Nick Karras: 36:52 Yes. And definitely feel free to call me at anytime. I do Skype coaching, online coaching and I can answer your questions. Awesome. No, thank you.