We Spent 1 Year Interviewing People About Cannabis – Here’s What We Learned
One Year of Cannabis Education – in Review
We spent the last year peeling back layers of the cannabis industry to reveal insights and separate fact from fiction. We wanted to help de-stigmatize the plant, but without sacrificing complete honesty. This path led us to uncover some things we weren’t 100% ready for, or even happy about, but we also uncovered a ton of great information about the cannabis plant. From growing tips to cannabis and parenting – here is what we learned in 2019.
We Want to Hear From You! Who Do you Want Us to Interview in 2020? What Do You Want to Learn? Let us know and we promise to do our best to make it happen!
- Cannabis For Sleep – everybody is different, especially women going through menopause. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the different terpenes and cannabinoids in the product you are using. High levels of CBN are shown to work well for sleep as well as the terpene linalool.
- Cannabis for Sex – THC is a great stimulant sexual stimulant if you don’t overdo it, if you are too high, it can cause nervousness or exhaustion. CBD can be great to relieve anxiety you may have during sex. CBD and THC can both reduce pain during sex, but if the pain is very intense you may be facing a larger issue, so use wisely.
- Is CBD Effective? – If you find yourself in a position where you cannot access THC products, or are drug tested for THC, can CBD be effective on its own? This is another case that very much depends on the person. While it can still be beneficial, ideally you would have small amounts of other cannabinoids to create the ‘entourage effect’ enhancing the effectiveness.
- Finding a Supportive Cannabis Community – Whether you live in a legal state or not, it is helpful to have a supportive cannabis community. Ellementa is one of a few different communities for women to gather across the country and learn more about the plant.
Lee Molloy if a Co-Founding Member of the International Church of Cannabis, based in Denver, Colorado. We discussed cannabis use for spirituality and the reasons why it is a spiritual aid.
- What do you Call a Cannabis Religion? – People that attend The International Church of Cannabis call themselves “Ellevationists”. They come from all walks of life and many also identify with other religions as well.
- What Does a Typical Service Look Like? – Much like a typical church service, but with more weed and less dogma! They have speakers, live musicians, and fellowship time. They also organize community things like food drives, giving clothes to homeless, street cleaning, and more.
- What Makes Cannabis Spiritual? – When cannabis is used in a mindful and ritualistic way is it helps you to break down barriers or past perceptions that have been implanted into you since childhood that you no longer even think about. “You’re an American. You’re a Christian. You’re straight. What Elevationists do with marijuana is by using it and stopping to think about this. Why am I an American? What makes me an American? What is it that defines an American? You start to break down these ideas. When you break that down, you find out not what makes you different, but what makes us the same. That elevates us up to a higher level to a better understanding of ourselves and of our greater community.”
Chris Whitener is the Executive director of Magical Butter, a company that makes creating your own edibles, topicals, or tinctures easy with infusion machines. We talked about how and why you should make your own cannabis products at home!
- Why Make Your Own? – Even if you live in a legal state, cannabis products can be expensive, and you don’t always know what is in them. Making your own gives back the “Power to the People” and lets you have full control over what you put into your body.
- What is a Magical Butter Maker? – While its certainly not the only way to make your own edibles, it does make it a lot easier. The machine is a stainless steel appliance that has combined a slow cooker with a high-powered immersion blender. You put weed and a base (oil, butter, etc), press a few buttons and wait!
- What Can you Make? – Almost anything you can think of! Butters and oils, tinctures, lotions, salves, gummies, hard candies, and beyond.
Skip Meador is the CEO of MarQaha but also a man of many talents, including motorcycle racing, entrepreneurship, world travel and more. We talked about the meaning and magic behind his products, and we took a deep look into the industry as a whole.
- Is There a Difference Between MarQaha Recreational and Medical Products? – They are the same products with the same intent – the only difference is the amount of THC allowed in Rec vs. Med. In Colorado, there is no limit to milligrams of THC allowed in Medicinal products, but recreational is limited to 100mg.
- What is it Like to Take 1,000’s of Milligrams of THC at Once? Because there is no LD (lethal dose) of THC, Skip has done some experimenting with heavy doses of THC. He says there is a lapse of time and reality slips in and out. It requires mindfulness and can be incredibly challenging, but its perfectly safe.
- Knowing What to do for Your Illness? Skip is the CEO of the company, but he is also the guy that picks up the phone when you call the company. He has had people call to ask about making RSO for a dying family member and others calling to ask what dose they should take. MarQaha is an incredible resource to help you find out what products will work for your condition.
- What Does The Future Look Like in Cannabis? With legalization happening in more states and countries, it looks like big cannabis is taking over. But Skip believes that ‘craft’ cannabis will always have its place, just like people prefer craft beer over Budweiser.
Jillian Tuchman is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Reiki healer, master iridologist, and herbalist. Jillian also happens to be an expert on medicinal cannabis and regularly trains and educates physicians on its clinical use. We asked Jillian a few questions about cannabis and sexual wellness.
- Cannabis and Sex, yes or no? – Jillian thinks it is pretty clear that anyone who has tried cannabis can agree that cannabis is a great addition to sex. It has been used traditionally in folk medicine for ages as an aphrodisiac. The reasons range from an increase in libido, a decrease in anxiety, and relief of pain.
- Are There Specific Products or Strains That Work Better? Cannabis Topicals and lubricants can work well. It also depends on what type of sex you are looking for. if you arere looking for slow, really hot, passionate candlelit sex, Jillian recommends an indica strain called Yumboldt. Northern Lights is great to increase your arousal, be very present, and increase your sensory experience. If you’re looking for that sex where you just need to rip their clothes off right now pick a strain that is high in terpenes pinene and limonene.
- What Other Plant Medicines are Good For Sex? Dark Chocolate, Maca, Devils Claw, and Damiana to name a few.
Leah Maurer is the founder of The Weed Blog, a canna-journalist, and a legalization activist. She is a mother of three and a strong advocate for destigmatizing the use of cannabis by parents. We talked about cannabis and parenting and how to talk to your children about weed.
- The Stigma Around Cannabis and Parenting – the heavy stigma that has surrounded cannabis use and parenting has got to go! Cannabis is safer than alcohol, thus the fact that parents are not stigmatized for alcohol use but are for weed is crazy. Opening up the conversation is critical for parents to share ways of discussing the plant with their children in a safe way.
- Talking to Your Kids About Weed – Having science-backed educational sources to draw from is essential. Knowing the facts instead of spouting anecdotal evidence is important. Knowing that the brain does not develop until we are 25 years old and sharing that with your children. There are similarities and differences in how we discuss alcohol and weed to our children. Educate yourself first and foremost.
- Can Cannabis make you a Better Parent? – Debatable, but many see it as another parenting tool in the toolkit. It can relieve stress without the hangover. It can help with a variety of other illnesses without having to use prescription medications, thus making you a more present parent. There are many reasons to argue that yes, it can make you a better parent.
- Why Grow Clean Cannabis? Consumers are becoming more conscious, engaged, educated, and they care about what’s in their weed. Aster Farms believes that as soon as the novelty of legal cannabis wears off, people are going to care about what’s in their weed as much as they care about what’s in their water, what’s in their food, what’s in the products they’re putting on their skin. Cannabis sucks up toxins from the soil – so the way you grow affects the product you smoke.
- What is Clean Cannabis? It is still illegal for cannabis growers to call their product organic, but they are Clean Green Certified which is about as close as you can get to Organic.
- Why Grow Sustainably? When you grow cannabis properly and sustainably it’s both good for the soil, good for the environment, and good for people. You don’t get the same healing effects from indoor light than you do from full-spectrum sunlight. You don’t get the terpenes when you don’t have that rich soil and biodiversity. Growing outside in and of itself is actually making better cannabis.
In March we headed down to Austin Texas for the SXSW Cannabusiness track. We learned a ton and summarized it in a podcast episode.
Takeaways: There is SO much information in this episode we are just going to place links to the subject headers.
- Cannabis Research Shackled by Politics Since 1968
- The Global Cannabis Industry Explosion: Can U.S. Entrepreneurs Ride the Wave?
- Cannabis Brands and Investments
- Females in Cannabis Meetup
- Blockchain in Cannabis: Boosting Market Efficiency
- Cannabis and Wellness: The Body and Beyond
- Can We Heal Ourselves From The War On Drugs?
- Non-obvious Trends in The Cannabis Industry
- Cannabis and The Aging Brain
Eugenio Garcia is the CEO of High Times Rival magazine, Cannabis Now. He as a unique knowledge of the industry and we picked his brain on where it is going.
- Biggest Issues in the Industry? Access. People cannot access the plant. Education is lacking as well and it is one of the most important things we need right now.
- What Does The Future Look Like For the Industry? Eugenio believes there will be federal legalization within 5 years. In ten years hemp will start to catch up for industrial use.
We sat down with Hannah Davis, the (former) CMO of Heavy Hitters about the challenges of Marketing in a regulated industry like cannabis. We asked what works and what doesn’t.
- Biggest Challenges: There are so many new consumers coming into the market, they need education before marketing can even take place. Of course, cannabis being a schedule one drug makes marketing it a challenge. Digital marketing via social or google is nearly impossible.
- Trends in Canna-Marketing: Point of sale marketing. Having things inside the actual dispensaries and getting the budtenders on your side. Influencer marketing is a huge trend as well.
- Things That Work: Getting super creative on campaigns. Influencer marketing in non-cannabis industries. Packaging design. Creating viral content.
Patrick Rea is the CEO of Canopy Boulder, a cannabis business accelerator. He is constantly watching the industry for investment opportunities and business ideas so we asked him to share his knowledge on the subjects.
- Biggest Gaps in the Industry: Social Use and consumption lounges are lacking. There is also a huge need for data and analytics in the industry.
- What is the Best Way to Get into Cannabis Investing? Show up to every event. Read every article. Learn everything first and get involved. Once you are familiar with the industry and have a strong base you can identify good investment opportunities.
- Industry Predictions? Cannabis use will become something that’s talked about almost every day in the public forums in DC. In ten years, we’ll see the traditional dispensary model start to go away. It won’t have the same regulations and requirements for compliance. In ten years we will see CBD as a primary functional ingredient in many foods. We’ll also see more and more countries globally legalizing.
Root and Rebound is an organization dedicated to helping those impacted by our criminal justice system. The CEO Katherine Katcher led us through a myriad of important subjects related to the War on Drugs including the history, where we stand now, data points, solutions big and small, and beyond.
- History of The War on Drugs: Through the War on Drugs, the war on crime, our government targeted communities of color, poor communities of color that had the least means and went after them with mandatory minimum sentencing. Locking away people added to the existing issues that stemmed out of slavery and Jim Crow in this country. This is decades – 40 years – of the war on drugs and mass incarceration. It is built upon the history in this country of white supremacy.
- The War on Drugs is Not Over: People affected by the War on Drugs are still facing extreme consequences. People are still incarcerated. People are still having trouble re-assimilating. People are still being discriminated against for job and housing opportunities. There is still so much work to be done.
- How Can We Help: Supporting organizations like Root and Rebound, Drug Policy Alliance, Last Prisoner Project, The Sentencing Project, and more. Educating yourself. The more informed and honest we are about the inequalities in this country, race, and class-based inequality, the closer we can get to coming up with solutions. It’s having these candid conversations with our loved ones, with our children, with ourselves, at work, that we can start to work towards healing.
Stephen Cital is a talented Veterinary Technician who is trying to destigmatize and educate people about cannabis – but in the animal world. Stephen became of the first veterinary cannabis counselors and travels the country to educate other professionals on safe and effective cannabis use in clinical settings.
- Why Don’t We See More Cannabis Use in the Veterinary World? There is still a huge stigma around using cannabis for pets. There is no education in veterinary school, and many vets are afraid of the plant. We need more education and destigmatization to use this plant medicine on our pets.
- What Products Are Safe to Use? Hemp-based products are the safest. Animals are actually more sensitive to Delta-9 THC (the stuff that gets you high!) and it can cause static ataxia. Sticking to plant products with under .03% AKA CBD products is the safest.
- What Conditions Can be Treated? Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain, anxiety, seizures – most things that it can be used for in humans it can be used for in pets. Studies are going on right now for cancer cell reduction and they look promising
We interviewed Ryan Brown, the CEO of Native Roots Dispensary about what it is like to run one of the world’s largest dispensaries.
- Expansion Plans: Like almost every large cannabis company Native Roots has plans to expand into the CBD space and open up CBD stores across the country. They are essentially a Real Estate business as much as a cannabis business and are focused on buying properties in places that are predicted to thrive in the CBD or THC spaces.
- Maintaining Brand Story and a Thriving Dispensary: The most important part is to stay really close to your customer and have the customer lead in terms of the experience that’s going to be most meaningful and the product selection that’s going to be most meaningful. Make sure you’re investing deeply in the talent support.
- Dispensary Marketing Tactics: Getting really creative and creating experiential events. Native Roots puts on concerts with large musicians and also has cheeky ideas like “Gas and Grass” a gas station dispensary combo that draws people in.
We interviewed Fabricio Pamplona AKA “Doctor Cannabis”. Fabricio’s work has a heavy focus on aging, specifically Alzheimers and Dementia. We met him after his talk at SXSW called, “Cannabis and the Aging Brain” and we wanted to learn more.
- Cannabis Potential for Dementia/Alzheimers? In his research, he identified a new molecule that interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It happens to be a molecule that enhances the interaction of the Anandamide with the Cb1 one cannabinoid receptor. This molecule is called Lipoxin. According to his studies, there is great potential that cannabis use can reduce levels of Lipoxin, thus slowing the aging process.
- Are There Risks of Using Cannabis for Aging? Not unless you are using excessive amounts (about 10-20 joints a day would be considered too much). If you are sticking within healthy consumption levels your worst side effects could be lethargy, munchies, and short term memory loss.
Journaling has been said to do everything from boosting your IQ and memory, to helping you achieve goals, spark creativity, boost self-confidence and beyond. But what happens when you mix journaling with cannabis? We talked with the Founder of Goldleaf Charles McElroy on the subject.
- What are the Therapeutic Benefits of Journalling? Just the nature of writing is excellent for your mind and body. It forces you to slow down. It allows your brain to re-compose thoughts. So you’re also going to have the benefit of creating better memories as you’re writing – we all know that cannabis affects your short term memory. You’re helping your brain offset memory loss during cannabis use, and you’re helping your mind to recognize things that you may otherwise not have been able to point out
- Understanding Your Endocannabinoid System: Everyone’s system is different and it takes something like journaling to understand it. The Endocannabinoid System’s mission is one thing: homeostasis and balance. So if you find a Cultivar or a product that is perfect for you, but you get out of balance in other ways -like maybe you’ve not been sleeping well or decided to take a few more trips to a fast food restaurant – that same cultivar may affect you differently under those different circumstances.
An interview with Neuroscientist Dr. Michele Ross about Cannabis Research, Stress and Trauma, Endocannabinoid Deficiency, Cannabis and Pregnancy, Infertility, PMS, PMDD, and more.
- Stress is Often the Root Cause: A lot of chronic illness is due to chronic stress and also trauma. A lot of us are traumatized and we don’t even realize it. PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder is something that happens to not just veterans. Cannabis, when used appropriately in a certain set and setting, can really help with trauma.
- Cannabis for PTSD: Cannabis stimulates your cannabinoid receptors, which are found all over the body and brain. There’s a specific region called the hippocampus, which is the brain region I did most of my research work on. That brain region is the region that’s important for learning and memory. When you stimulate your cannabinoid receptors, you’re actually jump-starting this circuitry that helps you forget – not helps you learn – It helps you forget.
- Safest Way to Consume: Sublingual administration. Taking a tincture, your dosing goes under the tongue and then you wait 30 seconds for it to be absorbed through your cheek and tounge and then swallow the rest. What’s really neat about that method is that you are actually absorbing it straight into your blood stream. You’re bypassing the liver, which is key when you’re trying to avoid drug interactions with any prescription drugs. It’s not getting processed, its just going straight to your brain, your body, wherever you need it.
We asked Neuroscientist Andrew Scheyer to give us a look into research and data that has been collected and analyzed since 2002 – on the long term consequences of cannabinoid exposure during pregnancy
- Cannabis Use During Pregnancy is Increasing: Anecdotal evidence of cannabis being ‘fine’ during pregnancy is on the rise. Women/Men on forums like Reddit are constantly sharing information that is not science-backed about their own pregnancies in which they used cannabis.
- The Real Facts About Cannabis During Pregnancy: For the in-utero data, and this is animals or humans who have consumed THC during the pregnancy period, we see a number of things. Both in early life and all the way through adulthood. Perhaps the most consistent finding across all of this is that there are deficits to both social learning and the way in which we learn. The other very consistent finding is social disruption.
- But are Pharmaceutical Drugs Safer? The answer is generally yes. Though we are huge advocates for plant medicine, the research states that for most conditions that women are medicated for during pregnancy, pharmaceutical drugs are safer than cannabis. This is due to unsafe molds/micro toxins often found in plant matter, inconsistent dosing, and other factors.
Jeff Lownfels uses deeply researched science to uncover the best practices in organic gardening. Jeff grows all sorts of things, one of them he is quite exceptional at growing is cannabis, “Cannabis is Just a Plant; They all grow the same way” states Jeff.
- Mycorrhizal Fungi: There’s a special kind of fungi known as a Mycorrhizal Fungi, and the mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiotic relationship with the plant. In return for those exudates, it gives the plant nutrients that it goes and gets. Nitrogen, phosphorous, zinc, copper, water, and other things it brings back to the plant in return for the carbon that the plant gives it. 90 to 96% of all plants on the earth have this association. This is the single best fungi for cannabis growing.
- What is Auto-flowering Cannabis? This is a plant that was evolved from escapees from hemp plantations. They escaped the Northern climates, and they were growing out in the wild. The plants that didn’t flower before 12 hours of darkness came didn’t make it. And evolution developed a plant. So these didn’t have a photoperiod requirement. They had a genetic requirement to flower instead. People fooled with them a little bit around 1973 (don’t check my dates) and started to get a little bit better with it. People wanted it to develop a smaller plant that they can grow indoors. And then in 2000 or so a guy did it! He developed an Auto-flowering cannabis plant that flowered with adequate THC content.
- Why Grow Auto-Flowers: Basically it is way easier! So easy your mom could do it. They have no photoperiod requirement, they grow quickly, and they do not need a ton of space.
That is only a fraction of the information we learned in 1 year of cannabis interviews! Check out the rest on our blog or in our podcast. We want to know what you want to learn in 2020, share your ideas here.