Vitality CBD Presents: CBD Talk Podcast - Episode #3
Welcome to the second Vitality CBD Presents, a series where we transcribe podcasts from across the industry to provide you with a more rounded view of CBD, and to provide greater accessibility for deaf CBD users. We believe that the more we share information on CBD, or cannabidiol, the better.
Our second pick is a podcast called CBD Talk Podcast, hosted by Harley Damico. Joined by guest Evan Clinthorne, they cover a lot of interesting new topics, including how nano-technology is changing the way we take CBD. While we don’t support the medical claims made, it does offer an interesting insight into how the American CBD market differs from the UK one.
Dawn: Welcome to the May 18th edition of CBD Talk podcast. Today's guest is Evan Clinthorne, scientist and lab director at Ambary Gardens. And here's our host, Harley Damico, to get things started.
Harley: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to CBD Talk podcast. This is your host, Harley Damico. Tonight's gonna be a pretty educational night. The guest tonight is Evan Clinthorne. We're currently waiting on him to call in right now.
Evan: Hi, Harley. Can you guys hear me okay?
Harley: Hi there, Evan.
Evan: Hey, thanks for hosting me tonight, Harley. It's a pleasure to be here.
Harley: No worries Evan. So, before we get started, I was wondering if maybe you could just go ahead and let everybody know a little bit about yourself, a little about your background and where you came from, and how you ended up in Colorado.
Evan: Great. So, well, I guess, long story short, I went to school in Virginia. I grew up in Virginia for the most part and I've got a degree in Biotechnology that I got from James Madison University. So, after I graduated, about 2011, I worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals for a little while. I was doing research in therapeutic protein for them. I did process design and process classification, process validation, so I'm pretty well versed with the therapeutic side. I would be going through about maybe four or five airlocks on a daily basis in booties and jumpsuits. This was a seriously good manufacturing process facility, the GMP facility.
Although I was helping people doing that, it wasn't my true calling. I've always been fascinated with cannabis and so in about 2012, 2013, I moved out to Colorado and worked for a company called Quantum 9 for about a year. I had the pleasure of working with Ed Rosenthal, he would review some of my papers. He was a great guy. After that, I worked for a dispensary. I worked for them for maybe 18 months and I guess my main job for them was communicating plant movements to the marijuana administrative service here in Colorado. It's called MITS.
Harley: So you've been in the industry out here in Colorado since about 2014?
Evan: Yeah, 2013, 2014, I got my start out here.
Harley: Right, so, a lot of people that don't know, a dispensary is a place where they sell medical marijuana. They also have recreational dispensaries out here in Colorado. The medical ones, you have to go through evaluation with the doctor and they have to prescribe the actual prescription for you to be able to go into those medical facilities. So, being in the THC side, did you really see a lot of CBD back in 2014, when you first started?
Evan: Oh my gosh. I started 2013, 2014. I hadn't really even heard of CBD, aside from Charlotte's Web, which obviously was... It was actually one of the reasons that brought me out to Colorado. The story really touches my heart. But I actually didn't have my first experience with CBD until maybe about late 2014, maybe mid-2014, somebody gave me my first CBD extract and my world changed. My eyes were opened to the other possibilities of cannabinoids that were non-psychoactive.
Harley: All right, and coming from working in the industry, I'm in the industry as well, so it's pretty crazy to see how far CBD has come in that year-and-a-half, two years that we're at right now. Because, back then, it wasn't even sought after, it wasn't even really known about. People didn't even know what it was. So, now that we're actually getting more experienced with it, we're starting to learn what it does in the body, exactly how it bonds to things.
So, what exactly brought you really into the CBD realm, since you were already in the dispensary and you were working with those types of products, what made you want to really get into CBD?
Evan: Well, like I said, one of the reasons that I dragged myself out here to Colorado was the idea that I could really help people with cannabis as part of a therapy. And CBD is... I just thought that it was a niche business. It's very special because, working on the dispensary side, most plants that yield CBD either yield in very low amounts or the plant itself doesn't actually yield very much.
So, from a monetary standpoint, if you have other plants in the building that yield more, it's a tough grower, you know. It's kind of rare to see high CBD strains on the recreational side out here in Colorado, 'cause it's tough to grow per square foot. You're trying to get as much dollar as you can. So, these other businesses seem to be cropping up that are specialising in the production of CBD, which is really probably one of the best ways to produce the molecule naturally.
Harley: Yes, I agree with you. I think that CBD really needs to be let into these states, even if cannabis is banned, I think a lot of attention needs to be brought to what CBD really is. It's completely non-psychoactive, it doesn't affect anything in the body in a negative manner. So, can you kind of explain to people exactly what CBD is?
Evan: Okay. So, there's lots of different cannabinoids that are made or that can be made that the cannabis plant has the ability to make. One of them, the most famous one, obviously, being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. That's the famous psychoactive molecule from cannabis that everybody's pretty familiar with.
But THC has what I would call a silent sister. There's one molecular change, a very minor change, between CBD and THC as an organic structure but it makes a world of difference the way that it binds in our bodies. And, because of that, it's completely non-psychoactive.
Harley: So, when we say completely non-psychoactive, can you kind of go a little bit more in depth with that on how THC affects the brain compared to how CBD would affect somebody's brain?
Evan: Great. So, like I was saying before, these structures are just barely different but, because of that, THC is like... You can think of it as an analogy between a lock and a key. And so, if THC is a lock and CBD is a lock, and we have these... I'm sorry, if THC and CBD are keys, we have locks within our bodies that they bind into and fit perfectly into.
And, although there's just a small structural difference, THC binds to receptors that are most commonly found in the brain and they are responsible for it's psychoactivity, whereas the CBD receptors are most spread out through the immune system and bone cells, and, obviously, without being in your brain, being distributed to the other tissues in your body, it doesn't give you that same kind of psychoactive effect.
It's a very small difference between the two. They almost look the same, if you were to draw out the structures. But, because they bind in different spots in the body, to different types of receptors, they're vastly different.
Harley: So, CBD really doesn't alter your state of mind?
Evan: Precisely, that's exactly what's happening. Instead of all of these molecules hitting receptors in the brain, these molecules are hitting receptors throughout our body.
Harley: So, when you worked with Merck and you were doing that to help people, how does that compare to being in the industry that you are now? Is it pretty closely related from what you see? Because I'm sure most people out there think that they're two completely different animals and they're treated two completely separate ways.
Evan: No, to make that clear, cannabidiol is basically a herbal supplement. It's not in place of any pharmaceutical prescription that's been recommended by a doctor. As far as oversight goes, although we can hold ourselves to certain standards when we produce CBD, there's very few external standards that are actually imposed upon us, so it's up to the producer themselves to hold themselves to a level that I would consider medically sound, even if we aren't considered a medicine.
Harley: Right, and, from my understanding, there's not a whole lot of those facilities because everybody's trying to be part of the green rush out here in Colorado and everybody's trying to open up the next store and have the next product and they're rushing everything out and not taking their time and not doing it the proper way, in my eyes.
So, when you're working with the CBD, I've been talking a lot the last couple weeks about isolate CBD and full-spectrum CBD products. I've explained it a couple of times but I think you might do a little bit better job for those that are listening, that are really looking to dig deep into this. Could you kind of go into that a little bit?
Evan: Yeah, for sure. So, like I was explaining before, cannabis is a huge family of plants that can express different varieties of things. Some express lots of THC and some don't express any THC at all. But in the natural state in the plant, the plant will never just make one single molecule, it's not energetically favourable to do so. The plant makes a variety of molecules and, in doing so, the plant makes a variety of cannabinoids.
And, so, the difference between a full-spectrum and an isolate would be that the isolate has actually had... You specifically removed and separated a specific kind of cannabinoid. So, say your plant made 1% THC and your plant made 5% CBD, well, if you're isolating it, you can strip away the 5% CBD without touching the THC. The full-spectrum would represent all of the cannabinoids in the plant originally and that would include a little bit of THC. That would also include some of the rarer cannabinoids: cannabigerol, cannabinol, CBN and CBG. CBG is being researched and CBN has been popularised lately.
Harley: Yeah, I've noticed that with the CBN. That's one thing that's really growing out here that I've been trying to get my hands on.
And it's kinda crazy how I got started getting educated on the different cannabinoids because, when I first came out to Colorado, I thought it was just weed. I just thought it was medical marijuana, it was just one thing, that you smoked it or you ate it and it did what it did for you. But now that I'm starting to find out about all the different cannabinoids and, like you were explaining, different structures, how they fit like keys into certain parts of your body, your body holds them naturally. It's a real eye opener.
Evan: Definitely. I think that looking at some of these therapies that this plant may have to offer us, leads me to believe that there's probably a lot of plants that humans have used in the past that should probably be re-examined.
Harley: All right, so, when CBD gets ingested into your body, can you kind of explain that process? Say that we were to take it through a CBD tincture, which is a liquid solution that comes in a glass bottle with a cough syrup dropper and you use that to drop it in your mouth and you take it just like an edible. Can you kind of explain how it starts to disperse through the body?
Evan: Right on. So, cannabis extracts only like to hang out in things that are non-polar. So, polar things like water, cannabis extracts won't mix into. So, what's commonly used to make tinctures are things like alcohol or, what's a lot more common these days, is a type of oil: coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil. I've seen lots of different oil blends, butter. I've seen tons.
The extract needs a fat to bind to in order to be carried into your body. And, so, the tinctures are a great example of that. You eat a tincture and you swallow it. It goes into your stomach and your stomach acids and your enzymes start breaking down these fats and start getting to the CBD that's mixed in within and that CBD has to be carried through just like anything else that you'd eat. It's carried through your stomach and then the intestinal tract where it's absorbed into your bloodstream.
When that happens, the route sends it basically through the liver, which is your body’s centre to break down whatever it can. The liver's job is to take anything that it thinks might be unhealthy for you and break it down. And when cannabidiol, CBD, hits the liver, you have enzymes in your liver that notice that it's not something that's naturally occurring in your body but something exterior and so it tries to break it down.
So, say that you eat maybe 100mg dose of tincture. After its digested in the body, it goes through your intestinal tract and is broken down in the stomach acid and then hits the enzymes in your liver and start to get broken down in your liver, you may only get maybe somewhere between 40 to 60 milligrams that are actually sent out from the liver and distributed to your tissues and your bloodstream.
Harley: Gotcha. So, that process, it takes anywhere from four to eight hours depending on your metabolism, the temperature, a lot of things. So, I've been hearing a lot about the nano-encapsulated products. Kind of explain the difference of what a nano-encapsulated tincture is compared to just a regular tincture.
Evan: Yeah, for sure. So, humans have been using hemp and cannabis as remedies for ailments for a long time. And the way that we normally administer them is called a parental administration. And, what that means, is your mom or your dad can give it to a kid, their child, in an easy way. And, so, that's normally like eyedroppers or nasal spray or, obviously, CBD tincture, something that you can put in your mouth or hold under your tongue or, for some unfortunate children, suppositories.
And, basically, the way that humans have dosed themselves with hemp and cannabis for the last 2000 years have been very basic, very, what I would call, rudimentary parental administration techniques. The most common method of taking CBD has been with an RSO or a Rick Simpson oil, and, so, that was an ethanol extract of cannabis hemp in an oil form or in an alcohol base. And that's not much different than what the Romans would have been preparing for themselves in order to use cannabis.
So, we tried to develop a nano-encapsulate to really try and fix some of the dosing issues that are classically found with cannabis. For example, normally we eat cannabis and maybe it's 45 minutes or an hour before you start to feel any effects and then, like I said before, you have enzymes in your liver that break down a good part of it before it can be distributed to your tissues, to even give you the effect that you need.
And, so, instead of just being the oil, like the CBD tincture, the nano is an oil in water emulsion. And, what that really means, is there's oil droplets, very, very small oil droplets that are suspended in water, like balloons floating in air, and the little balloons inside hold all of our CBD. We make these little balloons so small, we're talking about nanometers in size, that's why we call it our nano formula, but a nanometer means one one billionth of a meter and our particles are coming in somewhere between maybe 53 and maybe a hundred nanometers. That is very, very small.
In fact, it's so small that the particles themselves can slip between the spaces of your cells. And, so, when you put this nano on your tongue, which is delivered as a pump gel normally, you put the nano on your tongue and immediately the oil droplets are slipping right through the spaces in your cells and being delivered directly into the bloodstream, almost as if they had been injected.
With this method, you can bypass the metabolism of the liver that destroys that good portion of your active molecule. And, so, we can deliver a smaller dose of molecule but we can ensure that the doses that we administer are almost fully absorbed in the body and, so, you don't have to worry about eating a hundred to get somewhere between 40 and 60. You eat five milligrams, you get about five milligrams, right into the bloodstream.
Harley: And with that, you can start actually the dosing to see what's going on, so then you actually have an understanding of what's being processed by your body, rather than having to guess on your body's chemistry.
Evan: Precisely. This is a very new drug delivery technique that some pharmaceutical companies are adopting for certain formulas and they've found some real benefits to this nano-emulsion, as have we in exploring it with our CBD extracts.
It gives you a lot more precise control over when you dose. Which, between the tincture and the nano, the nano further standardises how our body metabolises it by eliminating a few variables between CBD tincture and nano. So the effects of single doses can be a lot more predictable.
Harley: So, on that note, how do you see the CBD being accepted in the future? Let's start in six months from now, where do you see CBD sitting?
Evan: Great. I think about six months from now, we've still got a lot of education ahead of us. I think a lot of people are still in the mindset of what is CBD? The step after that is what can CBD do for me, after you learn about it, and so, hopefully we'll be starting to tip the scales between people that are "what is CBD" and people that say "what can CBD do for me". And I think that wave is definitely gonna be coming in the next six months. But it's definitely on the people in the industry, the CBD industry specifically, to help shoulder that transition. It's not gonna occur naturally. It has to be accompanied with education. A lot of free, available education.
Harley: Right, because the government's not really doing studies or allowing the resources for people to put the information out there. So, that's why I encourage anybody, get on Facebook, get on Google, just research CBD. As you start reading about it, you'll see that's there more and more and more CBD products, it's not just for one application or there's not only one way of using it.
Evan: I think it all seeds back to that education and it can't just be the general public too. I read a paper, just published a few years ago, that basically was a survey. These people called around to a bunch of different medical institutions. and they asked these people, "Do you know what the endocannabinoid system is?" And an overwhelming majority didn't, and the ones that were aware of the endocannabinoid system taught very, very, very shockingly little of it to the doctors.
Harley: So, before we go into the break and start taking questions, I always wanna ask everybody that comes on here, exactly where they can point people to educate themselves and find their own information, because everybody has their own resources and every resource has its own pros. So, could you maybe tell us a couple websites or anything that you know of where people could look things up about CBD?
Evan: For sure. So, I would like to consider myself a hardcore scientist, in that when I wanna do research, I wanna make sure that it's peer validated by other peers in the field that can corroborate and scrutinise the studies. And, so, I prefer to look on things like PubMed, but we don't have to point to any specific websites.
Harley: Right. There's a lot of them popping up now and you gotta be careful on what you're reading and you have to make sure that you actually check the resource and you speak with these people. And any of these websites, any of the articles, they should have a "Contact Us" tab, you should be able to contact them, you should be able to get in touch with the people that you're looking for in the article and things of that sort. If you can't talk to a human, then I think that you should probably look for the next CBD company that's willing to really reach out and relate with you and put you in touch with circles of people.
Harley: There's one group that I went to a meeting last Saturday, Dr. Cohen from Boulder was at this conference and it was hosted by the Impact Network. They have a website called theimpactnetwork.org. I've really been digging into their site. For anybody that's really looking to educate yourself, it's a real good resource.
Dawn: All right. And I will make sure that we put that link on our website too.
Dawn: Also, a reputable company will be able to provide CBD testing results for the products too.
Evan: A reputable company will always be there to answer the phone for questions and answer emails, provide support. So, in searching for your CBD company, you're looking for someone that can reach back out to you and answer questions, not somebody that leaves you hanging with emails and phone calls.
Dawn: Very cool. All right, Evan, do you have a wrap-up for us? Anything else you'd like to share?
Evan: No, I can't think of anything off the top of my head. I really appreciate you guys hosting me tonight.
Dawn: And we're so glad to have you. So glad to have you and thank you so much for the insight. Harley, do you have anything for us?
Harley: I just wanna thank Evan for coming on here again. Thanks for all the knowledge. I can't thank you enough for all that you're doing. And keep leading the way, man.
Evan: I appreciate you guys are doing all the education that we were talking about, that's so important to everyone. So, thank you guys very much for spreading all the word.
Dawn: Okie-doke. And we look forward to next week's show. Remember, we are on every Wednesday evening, 6 o'clock Pacific, 9 o'clock Eastern. We can be found at www.CBDtalkpodcast.com and, if you have any questions, just head over to the "Contact Us" and shoot us an email and, if you can't make the show, to call it in, we'll be happy to read the question on the show for you. And we will continue to update the site with more and more educational materials for you. So, thank you all. It's been a great hour, an hour plus, and we look forward to seeing you this time next week.
Thanks again for listening and be sure to tune in again next Wednesday at CBDtalkpodcast.com. Until then, stay happy and stay healthy.