Is Cannabis The New Wonder Drug? – #361

Why you should listen –

Is Cannabis the new wonder drug? Dave aims to find out if it is as he sits down with CW Hemp founder Joel Stanley to talk about getting healthy instead of high with world’s oldest domesticated crops. Joel reveals how Cannabinoids, one of the compounds found in Hemp, has been found to have potent antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Scientist are currently studying Cannabinoids and their potential to create revolutionary and life saving treatments for neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, sleep disorders, anxiety and schizophrenia.

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Speaker 2: Bulletproof Radio, a station of high performance.


Dave: You’re listening to Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. Today’s cool fact of the day is that there’s a lot of talk about hemp versus marijuana these day. Actually, I am going to share a couple of cool facts with you that are relevant to today’s show. Both come from the same plant. Both are from the same genus cannabis, and they are both the same species sativa.


Do you know the difference between the two? It’s just one genetic switch that was only discovered in 2011 at the University of Saskatchewan. Go Canada. The biochemist found that genetic differentiation that allows marijuana to have the psychoactive properties that hemp doesn’t. Hemp doesn’t produce the enzyme called “TCHA.” That’s a precursor to THC. If you look at marijuana plants, they make TCHA, and they do not produce CBDA, which is cannabidiolic acid, a word that I never can say very well. That what we’re going to talk about today, which is basically a CBD oil.


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Today’s guest is Joel Stanley. He’s the CEO of Charlotte’s Web, one of the pioneering hemp oil extract companies that’s trail blazing in the medical cannabis industry. Joel and his brothers Jessie, John, Jordan, Jarred, John and Austin. Why Austin doesn’t start with a “J,” I don’t know, but man, I’m going to have to ask this, Joel. They’ve earned the reputation for being the top cannabis breeders and cultivators. We’re talking like weeds level, except, well, real.


They’ve been features on National Geographic, Time, CNN, New York Times and a bunch more. They created something called “The Realm of Caring,” which is a non-profit that provides cannabis education, funding for studies, and helps families with access to cannabis treatment. When I say it helps families, I mean, there were about 15,000 what they call “medical refugees” who moved in the US to go to Colorado in order to get access mostly for their sick children in order to get access to Joel’s oil from Charlotte’s Web, which is pretty amazing.


Today, Joel and his brothers run greenhouses, dispensaries and labs that produce their hemp products. They’ve made a big difference for a lot of people, and that’s why I’ve had them on. Joel, welcome to the show, man.


Joel: Thank you for having me, Dave. I appreciate it.


Dave: What did you think of that intro. Did I nail it or did I miss half of the cool stuff?


Joel: No. That was great. That was great. If fact, that was flattering. Your question about Austin being the only brother without a J name, his first name is actually “J.” Period. Not J-A-Y. It’s J. Austin Stanley. There’s 11 of us total, seven boys, four girls. They named all the boys. I guess, at some point, my parents just said, “What’s his next name?,” and they just said, “J. Period.”


Dave: I named my kids all starting with “As.” Kind of a similar way of thinking, I realize that I only needed three letters to spell my wife’s name and both of my kid’s names, because I’m a computer science guy, high compression ratio for my family’s name. The 14 people who look at compression rations are laughing right now. It’s good to play with your family’s name. More importantly, and more to the point, what made you get into medical cannabis as opposed to just getting high?


Joel: You know, I actually wasn’t a believer about six months before. This is hard to admit. About six months before I got into the industry with my younger brothers, my older brother had started the first dispensary medical cannabis dispensary in the city of Denver. When I heard about it, I just started laughing. I just didn’t see cannabis what I called at the time, of course, “marijuana” as big in medicine. I think that it was an excuse.


By the same token, it was not in prohibition, and so I wasn’t against it. I just didn’t really understand it. I flew back to Colorado. At that time, I live in Texas. I had to go see his dispensary. As luck would have it, the first three people that I met who walked through the door after me were cancer patients, stage three, stage four type cancer going through severe rounds of chemotherapy. I got their story, and that immediately change my mind. I’ve never thought of something what we call the “munchies” as being therapeutic when it’s extremely therapeutic when someone can’t eat, can’t hold food down. That was my first selling point on medical cannabis.


I went back to my job in Texas and started reading about it, started pumping through Pub Med. I looked at all of these research papers, and I couldn’t believe how many research papers had been written on the topic of cannabis. At the very beginning, we found this funny word “cannabidiol”, abbreviated “CBD.” That’s a lot of what we’re talking about here today.


You have studies showing a neuroprotective benefits, study showing anti-inflammatory, study showing that it could potentially treat the underlying disease of cancer. This is extremely promising, but when you look into cannabidiol, you see this is non-psychoactive, not like THC, which is the psychoactive cannabidiol we all associated with getting high. Cannabidiol, CBD does a lot of the same things that THC does without that euphoric effect.


Some of us don’t really like smoking high THC cannabis. I personally don’t. It doesn’t jive with me. Many people benefit from it, but some of us would like to enjoy this plant without getting sky high or paranoid or whatever happens to us when we smoke. Some people have fits, some people doesn’t. We started breeding for it.


Dave: I went on a podcast once. The host of the podcast was stoned out of his mind. It was like, “Here. Have some.” I’m like, “I’m sorry. I want to be coherent when I offer something to your audience here. I just couldn’t do it.” Like you, THC is not my drug. Like CBD oil is cool, but THC … I’ve always been supporting people when it works for them, but man, I don’t do well on high doses of that stuff. I just get tired.


Joel: I’m the same way. I actually tend to freak out a little bit. There are some people who are so functional, and you are just like, “How are you doing that?” It’s when people get through their day with that. I mean, whether they have a … They may have an endocannabinoid deficiency or something like this, and it just seems to balance them. Some of us, I think it’s about 15% of us so far that have been able to tell that it doesn’t jive with them or probably better off without the psychoactive side of cannabis.


Dave: I don’t mean to interrupt you there, but I was just comparing where I would be disabled if I took three or four hits of really strong stuff, and then try to give a coherent interview. I just would ramble, but other people wouldn’t. What’s going on there? Dig in on that about chemically to the extend you know.


Joel: We have two specific receptors inside our body, maybe more, but two that we know of called “CB1” and “CB2” receptors. These are cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid are only made by two things on the planet, that’s our bodies; mammals, and those are called “endocannabinoid.” Then the cannabis plant makes phytocannabinoids. THC is a cannabinoid. CBD is a cannabinoid.


Most of the cannabinoid are non-psychoactive. We can get them from hemp, which will go into. Mentioning he endocannabinoid system is very important, because this is an infant scientific discovery. 1994 was when we found out about the system that this system is integral to every other system in our bodies. It’s kind of the regulator of the regulators.


Those CB1, CB2 receptors are found at almost every cell in our body prolific throughout our central nervous system throughout our brain stem, and then in our gut. That’s another important place where we find CB2 receptors.


CBD and THC and then the various cannabinoids do very different things at these receptors. While there are still a lot of research to be done, unfortunately, the prohibition, also a prohibitive research, we at least understand that CBD is doing amazing things at these receptor sites for many people. I mean, as you mentioned, we have one time waiting list of 15,000 people with thousands and thousands of pediatric epilepsy, autism. Now, we see a lot of Parkinson’s.


Research hasn’t been done to actually make a claim on these things, but the anecdotal evidence, and the reports we get every day are just phenomenal. We started to look at this and say, for a guy like me who doesn’t enjoy THC, now I can enjoy the cannabis plant, those health benefits without getting high. We started to look at it and just explore what can these compounds, especially the non-psychoactive ones, the ones that are legal, what can they do for every day health for preventative maintenance, because they are helping so many people right now.


Dave: Because you sell CBD oil, you are using the careful dance of language where … Is it things like maintain proper health and all the other … I don’t know if I should really say this. I don’t swear that often, but I will say all the other bullshit that is required when you sell something, I have a similar problem with coffee, where I am not allowed to say most of what coffee does, because they I would be making claims that would be considered to be pharmaceutical, so I’m like, “Coffee, it’s like black and stuff.” I’m allowed …


Joel: You know the drill.


Dave: I know the drill. For people listening, when you care enough about something to become an expert and then just start manufacturing it, there are gag orders. I’ve actually had people say flat out, you have left the realm of free speech. You are now in the realm of controlled speech. This is from a government regulator. You and I are both in this interview if we talk about our own stuff limited about what we are allowed to say. I can say whatever the heck I want about CBD oil, because I don’t sell it.


Joel: You sure can. You sure can, but I am the CEO of CW Hemp that makes that product, Charlotte’s Web. I can’t. I do point to many of the stories that the reason why this whole phenomenon happened was because of a little girl named “Charlotte.” She was five years old at the time. She was taking this product and no other drugs worked. She had been through all of the pharmaceutical options, which by the way, for her disease state after her age there was not one FDA-approved drug, and it’s all experimental.


Back then, we took a lot of flag for how could you give some probe of cannabis to a kid? It’s like, well, she had the approval from neurologist and two other doctors, because she was end-of-life. She had nothing else to try. That phenomenon made this story.


For a while, we live in a system where if something appears to work, now it has to be a drug. That’s just insane, but that’s the system we have. The word “drug” inspires a lot of things in a lot of people’s mind. A lot of people thinking just psychoactive or recreational or damaging drugs, harsh drugs.


The truth is what makes a drug a drug from a regulatory perspective, from the FDA’s perspective is whether or not you make a specific health claim about it. This could be done … If I hold up an apple and I am trying to sell apples, and I say that this apple has vitamin C, and this vitamin C is good for the common cold. If that’s not an FDA approved claim they can come and confiscate all the apples that I’m selling and say, “You were selling a drug.” That’s how it works here in the US.


Dave: Even if you have 50 studies that say apples are good for a cure, until they approve the claim you still can’t do it. The same thing. I am not allowed to say healthy saturated fats around brain octane, so I doubt, even though I would argue very, very well that it’s healthy given that healthy is a big word. They apply healthy to corn flakes and like low fat weird crap. The bottom line is if it’s not like rubber stamped by a regulatory … I’m not allowed to say it. I just want people listening to know that when I ask you questions when we’re interviewing like that that you are subject to what I would call gag orders. All people who make foods and supplements are limited in what we can say about them. I think listeners often times don’t understand that.


Joel: That is helpful to them and to me, so thank you. Thank you.


Dave: Some of the things that I am aware that CBD oil has been used for would be things like epilepsy. My mother has had epilepsy for my entire life. She had surgery that helps pretty dramatically, because the doses of drugs she was taking were getting to be toxic to the point they were just building up in her body after 20 something years or using it. I’m definitely familiar with the effects of epilepsy on things. It works really well for that. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, all these other immune conditions that I certainly have auto immunity. I had arthritis on my knees since I was 14, cancer, antibiotic resistant infections, alcoholism even. I had PTSD, neurological disorders. That’s a pretty long list of things. There aren’t studies, like big studies in all those things. There’s lots of other evidence though.


Joel: When you look at the fact that the US government national institute of health in 2003, division of the US government actually filed a patent on behalf of we the people, I guess, on cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants. We consider just a word like “neuroprotectant.” Now, a lot of the disease stage you imaged, whatever that’s something occurring that is neuroprotective and the US government admits to it, now you are onto something for those neurological disorders as well. It just makes sense. We know they are protective. We know that we have the CB1, CB2 receptors for our central nervous system. Of course, it is going to impact some of those disease states potentially. As I mentioned, prohibition didn’t just prohibit us from possessing all those years, it also prohibited research.


Dave: Yeah. We’re dealing with that right now. There’s people calling for let’s say banning of research on certain topics that are taboo and I find that to be insane. You never ban research on anything, because understanding let’s you know how dangerous or useful something is. When you stop looking at it, it’s like willfully putting on blinders. Some of the skeptics out there do that. Like you cannot research X, because I don’t believe that there’s a way it can work. Really? In that case, maybe you shouldn’t research, and someone else might know more than you should research it. Just a thought.


Joel: That’s why all of the great research going on around the world on that not just cannabis, but psychedelics in general is just been prohibited, just blindly blanket prohibited. That’s what I am saying way to approach anything. Until we lift the vale and star approaching the topic of drugs and psychotropic drugs with information and education instead of just as blindfolded fear, we’re not going to get anywhere. We’re going to continue to see a rush of teams wanting to use whatever we prohibit. You look throughout history and cannabis itself has been used by almost every civilization, sometimes in major ways, and you can’t find a record of teams in mass numbers trying to get their hands on it until we said, “Oh, you can’t have it.” It’s just a silly way to approach it.


Dave: You just gave me a great idea. What if we banned high-intensity interval training? Like would teenagers ever go out and start exercising? I wonder.


Joel: We should maybe ban that. Yeah. We should maybe ban that. We should ban building fruits. and condone playing Nintendo. Maybe that will get their blood satisfied.


Dave: That’s awesome. Now, there’s some other stuff. I’ve spent a lot of time. I have a new book that’s coming out in April about mitochondria. I spend basically the last year really digging in mitochondria, even though I have been modifying mine for about 15 years. When you look at Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and pretty much every neurodegenerative disease, ALS, it all comes down to these energy forming organelles that are inside the neurons. They get weak and you get these things. CBD has really strong antioxidant and neuroprotector properties. Do you know, is it affect your mitochondria or is it doing something to the neuron? Do you know how it’s working there?


Joel: I would love to be able to explain that to you, but I know a few people who could, but they are not here right now.


Dave: There are not here.


Joel: I only get too deep in other ways. I’ve learned a lot of medical and technology. I’ve met with some of the world’s top neurologist simply because of Charlotte’s lab, and I love for them to speak, but I am just not versed enough to address that.


Dave: All right. I don’t want to go too deep for the audience either. I am just always so interested when you see these common elements where you see something that’s as broadly effective as CBD. It always makes me wonder like is it happening at a very low level in the cell. What’s a normal … First you listen to this. I have a psoriasis, let’s say, or I have some other immune stuff, Hashimoto’s, thyroiditis or something. If they said, “You know, I think I want to try CBD oil.” Should they do to their doctor? Should they start experimenting? Should they spark up a bowl? What’s the right pathway for them?


Joel: The right pathway for them is to start with CBD. Anyone who is interested in trying cannabis, because they has anti-inflammatory, any of them, neurodegenerative disorders or just people that want to take it for preventative maintenance, because they are afraid of neurological disorders. CBD is the very place to start, because we actually can derive it from hemp. Hemp is a legal product. The US in fact imports more hemp than any other country in the world. They only have 5% of the world’s population. It’s been legal for decades, but just legal to the cultivated in the US as of 2014.


That was even prohibited for a while. They can seek out CBD from hemp sources no matter what state they live in now. Our products Charlotte’s Web. They can go to, C-W-H-E-M-P dot com. I also have the nonprofit organization, “The real Of Caring.” As you know, if someone calls my customer service team and says, “Hey. I’ve got Parkinson’s, or ALS. How do I dose this?,” we absolutely cannot handle that question. We’re not allowed to. We formed “The Realm Of Caring,” which is an organization that collects most of the volunteers and most of the call center staff there are actually families that have already been through this, already learned how to dose cannabis appropriately for XYZ condition.


We connect the new client with old clients. They can discuss that behind their own closed doors. We have nurses there, so they can discuss with their doctors. This is a very viable tool, and I would recommend that anyone with an inflammatory disorder or whether neurological disorder to try cannabis as a safe option. The cannabis has never killed anyone. We’re talking about a safety profile on CBD. That’s much like vitamin C. It’s safer than common household sugar. It’s worth the try.


Then beyond that, beyond someone that says okay I’ve got this inflammatory disorder, just for general health, I mean I told you earlier that I’ve been doping Bulletproof coffee for over a year now. I add my own product to it. My product to your product because that’s my daily dose of CBD, right away take it while I have … Not regular inflammation, but it seems to keep the airway from certain problems associated. I don’t want to get the weeds there. I need to be really careful here. I take it because it’s preventive maintenance, and I think that the average person especially once we start to understand a little bit more about what this is doing at that cellular level, once we get the research, I think we are definitely going to see that this should be a part of everyone’s diet just like vitamin C, just like your B vitamins, just like your omegas. We have endocannabinoids system. Why wouldn’t we have cannabinoids to supplement daily? It’s just been locked out by prohibition.


Dave: That’s right. I am planning to live to 180 or longer. That’s a real number, and some people are like, there’s no evidence that … Yes, there’s no evidence any of us is going to live for more than one more minute. That’s okay, but I am doing everything I can to minimize all of the thousands of things that just whittle away at your ability to maintain and repair your own system, and 180 seems pretty reasonable given the rate of change attack. It’s like it’s that preventative maintenance really matters, and doing something for your nervous system actually do a lot of things for you, but doing another thing for the nervous system and working with the endocannabinoid system seems like a pretty good candidate for that. Do you have any studies on ageing?


Joel: We don’t. We don’t, but we are engaging certain universities to do these studies and find what is the right cannabinoid combination, what is the right plant for preventative maintenance for ageing especially neurologically. Again, it goes back to prohibition. I am sure there will be a plethora of those studies out there if we hadn’t prohibited researchers from actually handling that substance for so long.


Dave: It’s funny when we compare your biggest competitor, which should be big tobacco. They are freaked out about all these new thing pot gars. The amount of research available on nicotine and tobacco is unbelievable. Of course, they suppress those stuff and said it caused cancer, because it was bad for business. I’m really hoping that if they do find some downsides for marijuana that we don’t make that mistake again. I think the internet makes it harder to hide research for 50 years like they did in big tobacco.


I have found that low dose nicotine when their studies going back 10, 15 years, it increases mitochondria function. Entirely separate from smoking, I think a lot of the problems with pot where people burning stuff and breathing it, which is clearly ageing, not anti-aging. Then you are like, okay, am I getting moldy pot, like quality control wasn’t there. All these things went into people say, oh, like the pros and the cons were so intermix it was hard to sort them out, but with what you are doing you have a scientifically controlled product. You’re taking out the THC variable, which actually could be anti-inflammatory in it of itself in some people. You are also allowing us to use something that now we can do and for proper research on, because it doesn’t fall into this crazy prohibition area thing, but if we haven’t prohibited it, we have much more data than we did.


You’re talking about adding it to your Bulletproof coffee. Awhile back, I tried some kind of … I did a podcast a while back we talk about hippy speed ball adding a CBD oil to a bulletproof coffee and it was pretty funny. The problem though I had is that I had some CBD oil butter blend that someone made for me that was non-THC. I took it and I swear I thought my skin was going to fall off. Like I got extremely dry skin, like rashes. I was like this is not good. I think it was actually that brand of stuff. Is it possible that …


Joel: Is it possible that people would have a bad reaction to CBD itself. I would say, of course. I mean, that’s possible to be allergic to any plant. Of course, it’s possible someone could be allergic to the plants we use for the Charlotte’s web product. That’s really possible. We haven’t really seen that yet. Now, I mean, we’ve been through thousands of folks where we gotten that report, but …


Dave: This wasn’t Charlotte’s web. This was another brand. I thought it might have been like a purity issue with it. I’ve used CBD oil in other forms without problems. I can smoke pot. I’m a hitter too. I’m fine, but you give me more than that …


Joel: You are not allergic to cannabis.


Dave: No, I’m not.


Joel: Sorry.


Dave: Like a solvent issue or something.


Joel: I don’t like to thrill the industry here with a buzz, but in a lot of ways, it’s already under there.


Dave: It’s a great one.


Joel: Nothing in the industry that was born out of closets and basements and products made in dingy garages that same places people working on their cars. A lot of that isn’t because those folks making it wanted it to be that way, but it was because it was prohibited. Now that it is not prohibited even the manning of the states if you want to do it the right way, you don’t want to have access to conventional lending. Banks aren’t going to lend to you to start a business to do this.


We can be real hard on the industry for its quality control, but at the same time it doesn’t have the same tools of access for conventional businesses, and so if you all you control has been very low. That’s one thing we [inaudible 00:31:59] ourselves on. I can’t tell you how freaky it was to have this five-year-old years ago, Charlotte who was medically fragile, end-of-life. It’s on the resuscitate for her, and we’re going to create a product now for her to try out of cannabis with all the stigmas associated with cannabis. I was shaking. I was literally shaking. We tool all the control seriously. We had with predominantly cancer patients before those. We took it very seriously.


That took my thinking to the next level. I mean, we just took it to extreme levels of testing and just overall cleanliness, documentation how you make these products. Back then, I was making these products for maybe 40 or 50 people whoever had just heard about Charlotte’s story through Facebook or whatever. You can have quality control. It’s kind of like if you can make a batch of brownies for house guest or past or whatever, it’s going to be consumed right then and there.


When you’re going to make a product for thousands and thousands of consumers and you have to understand how do I package this, what can happen in the process to make this potentially have something that can grow inside of that some type of biocontaminant, and then how long is it going to store. Those studies take time. When you’re developing a new product especially you need to take every institution to make sure that there are no toxins in that products, and this from the pesticides at the farm.


Even having metals. Hemp is a great land reclamation crop, but the problem is I mean we all consume some small amount of led every day, every time you had an apple you’ve got some trace acceptable amount of led. It might even be important. We don’t really know. You might even need that small level. When you have a land reclamation crop, like hemp, and it pulls up led into itself, like most plants do, and then you can concentrate that plant. Now, you are also concentrating those potential contaminants. It might not have been harmful. The actual plant itself at plant levels, but now you’ve concentrated it. I don’t know exactly what happened with you, but I can assume that it’s likely an issue of quality control and some type of contaminant that the manufacturer didn’t take care of.


Dave: That was my guess as well just because I know other stuff works. That was a bit spooky and worth paying attention to. I know many other people who’ve had really strong benefits, so I will try some of yours now that we’ve talked a little bit about the quality control aspects of it. People listening to our interview probably haven’t thought about what you just said, but the scale of error, you’re scraping your kitchen, whatever, but you scrap and you’re making something for hundreds of thousands of people, you could make them sick. Like you must not do that. Also, it’s going to be stored for a while, so cares if your brownies had a little something in them, because you ate it.


I deal with that. We make the bulletproof collagen bars. Getting those right took two years to get out of the door where they have the brain octane, and they hold together. They don’t have the microbial stuff. We just launch our key, which you can use with CBDF. A lot of people actually use [key 00:35:31] and CBD together. We make it from 100% grass-fed butter, but our first batch, our first commercial batch of 8,000 bottles or 8,000 jars of it was ruined, because one person didn’t change a filter they were supposed to change.


Like you, I’m almost certain you do this, we test every thing religiously. We test before. We test during. We test after, and we test it after like what’s going on here. A little bit of protein made it through that shit and it made it through. It didn’t meet the standards, and it would have grown stuff eventually. Yeah. That was just a waste of butter, but it was better than sending it to people, because that would have been even worse. That thing is entirely invisible to the world, but it’s not present when you are doing like a real early stage supplement you’re doing, someone making stuff in their garage, which you can’t do. They are just like pretty regulatory, so the quality control things are in place. It’s actually a little bit frustrating to deal with that. I imagine you have that problem, too, right?


Joel: We had similar story, this one had nothing to do with our manufacturing processes internally, but what had happened was I walked up to our lab one day and I went back, and they’re dumping full bottles of Charlotte’s web. Actually, this coming from a guy with a 15,000 person waiting list that was heavy that was scary. Every milligram was so precious. Now, we’ve got plenty. We’ve entered the waiting list, but still they’re doubling these full bottles of Charlotte’s Web and into those absorbent material. They are basically rejecting a batch. This happened a few times for various reasons, which is really a batch of bar. When a company finds something in says, “We’re not going to take this batch, because it doesn’t meet our quality specs.” I asked what happened, and they said, well, we went through the entire process, and we test everything for aflatoxins, molds, solvents through the whole process. It gets tested several times while it’s an oil after it’s infused, before it’s gt bottled, and then it goes as final bottles, random bottles go to the lab to test for these things.


When we have the final packaging, we have aflatoxins present. What were the levels? My QC guy, awesome guy, says, “Well, they were acceptable for certain foods, a lot of foods, but they weren’t acceptable within our spec.” I said, “All right. That’s awesome. We have higher spec. Great.” How did that happen? A couple of weeks later, he gets back to me and says, “You now what? It was in the little droppers from the bottles, from he manufacturer, those foods supposed to be food-grade dropper bottles have residual levels of an aflatoxin. It wasn’t even anything we did wrong. It was inside those jars, those cells, those little glass droppers, so we rejected that whole batch. We look that as a company and to say, that hurts.


You get to the finish line with something, and you just see someone dump it. Sometimes hurts a thousands of dollars retain into a [inaudible 00:38:37] material. That can freak you out, but it’s the right thing to do, and in any company that is making products, dietary supplements, food, drug on this scale, you’re just going to run into it, because there are variables that are not always within our control, and you set those measures to make sure you catch them.


Dave: It’s interesting you brought up aflatoxin. That is the single most cancer-causing substance known to man. Here it is you have a product that other people without your knowledge or permission might be using for their cancer. You would never do that. I’ve run into that, too. I wanted to launch a mock up product because there are seven kinds of Maca. Maca is useful for testosterone in men, it’s useful for hormone stuff in women as well, depending on what species you use. I was getting these samples back that had like 13 parts per billion of aflatoxin, like very high-end manufacturers, because it’s a starch product that’s dried in a jungle. You might imagine mole will grow. Finally, I just gave up. I’m like, I’m not going to do this, because I don’t think I can reliably make a micro toxin free version of this. Maybe someone does. There are several good brands of it out there, but these little things I’m required to test for them in a lot of products, but if you care, you do it anyway.


Joel: That’s right. We have a … Within the dietary supplement vitamin world, which is really where Charlotte’s Web fits, we have what’s called “good manufacturing practice” that was dictated by the FDA. We went through a third-party CGMP audit, pass with flying colors. I was very happy about that. Really, what’s more special about what companies like us do is that we also adhere to the standards of the American Noble Products Association, which dive deeper into topics like aflatoxins. Our regulatory system that is okay to make sure the manufactures have some quality control. You have some other industry groups that have really set the bar, and they have set the bar at the right place. When people are looking for products like this or any dietary supplement, look for organizations like AHPA, American Herbal Products Association.


You’ll see that companies that comply with that, you can rely on those products every time. They are going to be consistent. They are also going to be the same. I mean, that’s another major problem we have in our industry. It’s when our story hits CNN, we knew that there were very few milligrams of CBD existing in the whole world, and that we didn’t have enough for our waiting list, and we had more than anyone in the world most likely at that point in time, because people in the industry couldn’t even pronounce the word “cannabinoid” back them.


Suddenly, now that it’s on CNN you start to see on all these products that are popping up. People get really excited. They get their hopes up, because they are on this waiting list for Charlotte’s Web. They order these products. Nothing happens, and they are like, “CBD is BS.” They sent us the product. We test them. There’s nothing in it. 10 times out of 10 back then, there was nothing in it. That’s a black market in our industry, but dietary supplements have that same problem. Consumers need to just be aware of that there are people out there that will take advantage of you within dietary supplements, within food products in general, vitamins. Look for the seals of approval from trusted organizations.


Dave: Yeah. It’s interesting. Some of the more powerful things you can get like anirasetam, one of the smart drugs. I’m a fan of this stuff. I would love to make anirasetam for people. I think I know the good suppliers and all that, but it’s not prohibited, but it’s not allowed by the regulatory people. I’ve been using this stuff every day for more than 10 years, because it increases your blood, it gets things in and out of your memory. I’ll probably live longer as a result of using it. You have to go and just buy it formerly on Amazon, and then last year, one day Amazon just decided we won’t sell any of these anymore. All of the various like small garage brands of anirasetam just disappeared and it’s gotten harder to find.


Amazon has the ability to take these down, but they usually don’t. If they do, it could just be a broad spectrume, and all of a sudden it’s gone. People oftentimes when there’s an emerging technology like CBD was a few years ago when you pioneered it, it was hard for people to get. They had to come to Colorado, and then you get where you can ship it, but then there’s inter state commerce regulatory things. All of that is invisible to people.


Like, why don’t they just send me CBD oil? That’s wide and where are there chloroforms? Well, because you couldn’t get distribution, and because people were opportunistic. They something and said, We’ll copy that. We don’t know if we are doing it right. You get these copy cat brands, and these fly by night operations that don’t grow without the quality control, but that seems like most innovation happens there, just like yours did, but you kept at it, and now you are beyond the early stage where people are coming to you because they are going to die if they don’t. Now, you still have those same people who can use their product if they choose to, but you have the ability to scale it. How did you do that? That is really unusual. I know, because I did it with what I do, but almost no one listening. Tell me the story of how you went from doing it literally like in a small facility for end-of-life people. How did you go from these where you are now? Give me the story.


Joel: You know, when we met Charlotte, her mother, Page, sought us out and said, “I hear that you guys have been breathing this CBD. I think it might be something that could help my daughter. She had been pouring through a research, and oddly enough there’s a decent amount of research out there for something that is prohibited.” She found it, and she would have known about CBD. She had searched, scour the industry, found us. At that time, we had only eight plants of the genetics that go into the Charlotte’s Web product. We had, at that moment in time, we’ve just called it “hippy’s disappointment.” We’re very proud of it. We thought it was going to be great for people like me who didn’t want to get high, but still wanted the health benefits, but lots of the cancer folks who didn’t want to get sky high. We took in his disappointment. It was eight plants. We renamed our entire breeding project after Charlotte’s Web, but we were stuck within medical marijuana regulations here in Corolado.


In fact, you couldn’t grow hemp domestically. This is 2012. Under those regulations, very expensive. You have to have a camera from every angle, all the security. You have RFID tags on every plant, very … Yes, because it is such a dangerous plant. Very expensive to scale, and it was heavy, and does this waiting list just grew and grew and up to 15,000 people. We did everything we could for people. We had a bone fires with this whole community, mostly of pediatric epilepsy, but a lot of autism, too, developed in my own town of Colorado Springs. There’s just whole community of people. Many of them still live there even though they can go home. They still live there just because of the community that happened out of the Charlotte’s Web story, but it was really heavy. We couldn’t scale under medical marijuana program. Fortunately, in 2013 when Colorado ironically legalize recreational campus, in that same piece of legislation, they also legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp.


Shortly after, in 2014, the Federal Government allowed the provision that allow for the first time in many decades the cultivation of industrial hemp through the state departments of agriculture. Everything fell into place. Those plants genetics, the original hemp is disappointment. Now going into the product Charlotte’s Web. Those original A plants really fit within what we know as hemp. Thank God for industrial hemp regulations, or else we’d still have a waiting list. We would never been able to scale the way we did. We went out from greenhouses, RFID tags on every plant to agricultural center pivot, irrigation, still organic practices, all of these, but we were able to go from a few hundreds plants to a couple of hundred thousand plants on acres. Our first harvest in fall 2014 while we were doing that we were building this laboratory.


Fortunately, our story had reached some folks that were willing to invest in this. At that time, that other CDB products were out there. As I mentioned, most of them without any CBD in them. The price per milligram of CBD at that time was 50 cents per milligram, average out there in the industry. Ours was five. It is still five cents per milligram for anyone who signs up with the Realm of Caring. That means that they are serious about it.


They might really need it. But we were able to go into this hemp agricultural economy has scale, which five cents actually made sense. They used to be a cost of good. Now, it actually makes sense for us as a company. We had investors. We set the lab in Boulder Colorado in which we had access to all of these great minds, analytical chemist coming out of the University of Colorado, and just many strokes of luck, a lot of hard work. We came to, what I believe is the best cannabis laboratory in the world right now that it all came together over a couple of years, and now we’re able to do what we do. High level quality control, and we don’t have a waiting list.


Dave: Congratulations. That’s a fantastic story. I did a bunch of research on CBD receptors a while back on a piece on the bulletproof blog. It looks like there’s some evidence for vaping CBD. I don’t know if you can talk about that if vaping maybe some like drug delivery technology or something if you can talk about it just tell me.


Joel: I don’t get it.


Dave: Is there a merit to vaping CBD oils versus swallowing them?


Joel: I believe that there is and there isn’t. It depends on what you saw. Typically, then you get a CDB oil for vape, it’s been more fractionated. This has been through a process called “winterization” where the fats and waxes and many of the turbines, all other plant phytochemicals that actually do work with CBD, many of those are gone. If you need CBD and you need CBD quickly, and a lot of people that report vaping. In fact, I ask people with certain things that people that happened to get a aura before they have one of those nasty things …


Dave: Well said. Look at that.


Joel: What a funny thing we have to do here. The reports are amazing. I would highly recommend it for people that need quick delivery, because inhalation therapy, we will call it, gets things right into the blood stream quickly. Where as if you take things as a supplement under your tongue or as a pill, swallow it, you are going through it [] entirely different system that’s going to change the bioavailability of every compound in that plant extract. Both ways are good. I wouldn’t say one over the other. It depends on you as a person, your biochemistry, and what you’re using it for.


Dave: Is there some sort of a system you could get where you could take your oil, put it in a device and vape it? Or is it not set-up that way?


Joel: We actually … We had vape pens out there, a test run for a little while, because we do believe in it, as I just said. We’d pull them recently, because we are basically recalibrating. We think we can do it better. We figured out some things through RND, thought great scientist up in Boulder. We’re going to relaunch that one both vape oils that you can put in your own vape pen, but also pre-packed vape pens with Charlotte’s Web.


Dave: You said something else, too, about your cost of goods. One of the benefits of vaping is it requires less of the raw material to get the active amount in, but you can just take it orally if it’s affordable, and you’ve got because you changed how you grow it, because there’s some regulatory changes you’ve got the cost down. It might be just more convenient to pop a capsule and be done with it, unless you have an urgent need, because you are starting to CRS, and because you have a massive headache or some other rapid onset neurological thing. There’s a bunch of those where people are like, I was feeling good five minutes though I can feel some thing is about to happen. If there’s a rapid intervention there, it really matters.


Joel: It does. This goes right to the issue as well. The Charlotte’s Web when I take the most popular product at he every day events, and I put it on my tongue or just swallow it, I am getting a real whole punch from it. As I mentioned, these cannabinoids are not the only thing that work at the CB1, CB2 receptor sites. They act differently when there’s a presence of simple plant [] like beta [], or kinane. These are found in regular fruits and vegetables, but they are also found within Cannabis. It acts differently at those receptor sites when other cannabinoids and other plant compound are present, and we you vape you just don’t get the same thing. It just really depends on what you’re using for and who you are on your won biochemistry.


That’s also why the [] genetics matter. The first level of quality control that every one in cannabis [] look at, whether you’re in CBD or CHC and in medical marijuana friendly state. When you are making a product that works for someone, don’t change it. Don’t change it. Don’t change those plant genetics. I mean, people just buy random material. Drug into an oil. Put it into a carrier, and then [] with the same label.


This should apply for Acacia and every botanical there is out there. Use those same genetics, because just as you and I are different, Dave, these plants vary in their individual fingerprint, their individual profile.


Dave: It’s kind of shocking, but coffee is the same way. Like if you buy it from a bulk broker like 99.9% of the coffee world, yeah, I went there. Taste it about just wait … The genetics of the plant, everything about the process matters. You’re right. It’s a different view. You are looking at the system of it starting at the genetics and cultivation all the way through to the delivery system.


Joel: Yeah. There’s a [] reason why a botanical medicine has been laughed at for so many years by the medical community, which is actually changing. I think cannabis is actually changing the medical community’s mind, pushing that pendulum back over towards plant-based medicine. When you look at it, because we now understand that every plant, every genetic, every phenotype in any one of these botanical medicines is potentially special and going to work for a certain subset or people, now, we understand how to standardize this a little bit better, but the lack of standardizations has just created a bad rep for plant medicine in general.


Dave: Another guess on the show, a guy who’s become a friend, is Alberto Viodo. He’s a cultural anthropologist and a trained shaman. He went down about 30 years ago to the jungles to find medical plants for drug companies and came back trained as a shaman into that med doing that. For similar reasons where if you take the one compound out, you miss the co-factors that signal other parts of the body.


We have this, I will call it a hubris and you’re saying. We’re going to do this. We’re gonna find the drug that’s in the plant. What if the plant was the drug, and it turns out that this one part of the plant by itself has a strong effect, but the other supporting co-factors actually make it work better or have less side-effects, but just the way we set-up our drug system, we sort of rejected that. I think the consciousness is changing that people would rather have a tea or an herbal extract than a drug made from the same herb. You are follow those footstep saying have the whole oil versus even just vaping it, because vaping it you get less of it even if it’s you faster.


Joel: Yeah. That single compounds approach that we had taken to the pharmaceuticals and medicine in general, I’m not going to say that that’s bad science or that [] a good tools there. At the same time, exactly as you said, all of our medicines originally came from plants. Then we started isolating molecules, so we can understand better what each molecule is doing. Then we started finding side-effects. Now you know that a pharmaceutical research company that goes to an indigenous tribe and says, “Oh. They use this product for migraines. This plant for migraines.”


They find out what molecules likely cause any effect on migraines or what [] sometimes. Then they isolate them, or synthesize them. Then they found these side-effects. They’re like, “Well, wait a minute. These indigenous tripe [] all these side-effects [] be genetics, or what’s the deal?” They go back to that plant sometimes and say, “What molecule offset those side-effects?” Now, they’ve got another drug they can sell you. You can have six pills [] one plant just to offset the side effects going around the original condition you were going after. It just makes sense. If you’re a scientist I don’t care whether you believe that God made these plants for us or we have [] side them. It just makes sense that our bodies recognize them as they are have all of these compounds that can work synergistically.


When you approach the FDA or a research scientist that’s familiar with the anti-approval process, nobody told, “Why can’t I get my plant, the [] medicine through this process?” They’ll tell you basically it’s a square pack through a round hold have altered that. They will say that, “Because you have hundreds and sometimes thousands of these different compounds all working within your plant extract, because we can’t quantify what each one is doing, it’s bad science.” What they are really saying is that because we, humanity, are not smart enough or lack the tools to understand what all those compounds are doing together, it’s bad science. That’s just a terrible approach for that same approach we find for a year. Again, I believe cannabis is going to lead the way back to plant-based medicine, not for cannabis itself, but because these cannabanoids, there are so much evidence now. There’s going to be more and more as we study this that they work in conjunction with other plant compounds.


Dave: Your industry has now reached a critical mass where you have the billions of dollars? That means you can fund research on par with pharmaceutical and big tobacco kind of companies. At that point it gets harder and harder, because the earliest stage stuff, it sounds like there’s a machine out there to play whacamole with innovation around health. They just bunk companies on the head all the time. The industry is too big to do that right now. Maybe big tobacco could take down the cannabis industry, but I think it’s about two years too late for them to do that. They missed that.


Joel: I think so, too. You’re absolutely right. Now, there are tools. This is out of the closets. This is out of the black markets, out of our basements. Now, there’s viable businesses that can invest in that research and development. Ultimately, at the end of the day what the medical community wants to have that final push back over into advocating for botanical classes of medicines what it wants and what it needs, and this is fine. This means that these are smart people. It needs that, and it needs that information. We’re going to be able to get it now. This next decade of research is going to be very exciting of what we’re going to find out.


Dave: Joel, thanks for your []. It’s fantastic stuff. Speaking of data, like you just said, I want to gather three more pieces of data from you, something I’ve asked every guest on the show, more than 350 episodes, except that one episode, number 77, where I forgot. If someone came to you tomorrow and said, “I want to kick ass at every thing I do. Like I want to perform better as a human being.” What are the three most important pieces of advise you have for me? What would you offer them, not just from your business, but just from your life?


Joel: I would say meditation has been one of the most important things for me. It’s that tool allows you to be who you truly are, not who you think you are, not who you were trying to be. It’s that thing that resets you. I think that that’s very important. It’s also very difficult to meditate when you’re not healthy already. Diet. Diet is very important. When you put diet and exercise in it, they only get another thing in, so diet and exercise. We count. Let’s have two things as one thing.


Then I will say from my life, not for everyone’s life, one of the things that set me on the habit for meditation and for caring about my body and my consciousness, we’re actually exploring plant-based medicines, many of them that are psychotropic. Been through []. That’s been a huge piece of my waking up and becoming who I am supposed to be.


Dave: Very well said. I’ve had a couple episodes where we talk about [], and I’ve certainly did it a long time ago, and Peru with the shaman, so I appreciate that you brought that up. Not a lot of people talk about that, but they can be so profound when it’s done right and not at Disney Land.


Joel: Those are more things that we need to understand and not just say, “Oh that’s bad.” Why is it bad? We don’t know why, but it’s bad.”


Dave: That would be anti-science right there. Joel, where can people find out more about Charlotte’s Web?


Joel: If you want to know about Charlotte’s Web, if you’re interested in trying the product, go to, C-W-H-E-M-P dot com. Also, there’s a great compilation of the research on cannabis in general, but CBD as well at the Real of Caring Foundation website, which is, www dot T-H-E-R-O-C dot US.


Dave: R-O-C not R-O-C-K.


Joel: R-O-C.


Dave: Got it. From the Realm of Caring.


Joel: You got it.


Dave: Awesome. Thanks again for being on Bulletproof Radio. Keep putting your Charlotte’s Web CBD extract in our bulletproof coffee. Have an awesome day, Joel.


Joel: Thank you so much for having me, Dave.


Dave: If you enjoyed today’s episode, you know what to do. Head on over to iTunes, and leave bullet Proof Radio a five star review and tell people why you like listening to it. While you’re at it, you might consider trying the new Brain Octane 3-ounce bottle. You want to have a couple of these, you can refill them from your 32-ounce bottle, but getting a little brain octane in your body every day or like I do with every meal every day totally changes your brain. Have an awesome day.




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