I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Philip Blair about his clinical experience working with CBD.
Dr. Blair is a retired US Army colonel with many years of experience working as a family physician. As a medical consultant for the CBD company, Elixinol, Dr. Blair educates the public about CBD and works one-on-one with patients through his internet consulting services.
Get in touch with Dr. Blair:
This is Vadim, the CBD professor from CBD School, coming at you today with a very special guest.
I have Dr. Philip Blair with us today, and he is going to be talking to us a little bit about his experience with using CBD in his practice. So, welcome Dr. Blair and thank you for being here.
DB: It’s a pleasure to be with you to talk to your audience. I’m excited to tell them about what I know and to integrate with what you’re doing because I think it’s magnificent in terms of your education program and getting the word out about CBD and the range of benefits that could change the face of Western medicine.
V: Thank you. I want to give people just a little background about you before we go into it. Before I called you, I was sitting here trying to think of a biography. You wrote a really good one, so I decided to be lazy and just read it because it’s very good.
Colonel Philip Blair, MD., U.S. Army retired, is a family physician providing disease management for small business employees in several states. He graduated from West Point in 1972, attended the University of Miami School of Medicine, and trained as an Army family physician.
After medical assignments in three countries in the Gulf War, he retired from the Army and became Vice President for Disease Management at AWAC, Inc., where he developed a highly successful interventional approach to chronic kidney disease and improving health. Through Pro Health Advisor and a multi-disciplinary team, he provides innovative disease management by telemedicine to clients in all states.
We’ll touch on the telemedicine part because a lot of people are looking for help in managing their CBD use, but they’re not getting it from their medical professional simply because, as we said before we got started, a lot of doctors either don’t know about CBD or aren’t really open to it, yet.
We can talk about that and bringing people up to speed on how you got involved in CBD. In 2014, Dr. Blair researched, explored, and applied the use of industrial hemp CBD (cannabidiol) in clinical care for patients and has been sharing his knowledge and experience with health professionals across the U.S. and, internationally, as a medical advisor for Elixinol LLC, who I will link to below. Many of you have probably heard of Elixinol, a pretty big brand in CBD.
His services are internet-based and accessible for patient and provider consultations internationally. He is, of course, passionate, as you’re about to see, about cannabidiol’s potential to improve health and well-being.
Welcome again. Thank you for being here, and let’s just get right into it.
The first thing I wanted to ask you is where did you hear about CBD, what is your background with cannabis, and how did you get all into this?
DB: I was in family practice, and I continue to be in the family practice arena, but I’m not seeing clinical patients now. I retired from the military in 1996, and I did occupational medicine for a couple of years. Then I went on to do the disease management.
With the disease management, I was working on a broad range of different diseases, which is sort of the idea for family practice, knowing quite a bit about a number of different types of problems and doing applications that would help, particularly kidney disease. But I found that our therapeutic approach, which was a very low-carbohydrate diet, was highly effective for a broad range of conditions.
What we saw was kidney patients getting better, resolution of the pain they were having, and an improvement in mood. So clearly, a dietary approach was quite valuable. But I was looking for something else too — something to go the next step in terms of taking care of some of these very serious problems where people weren’t able to follow some of the other regimens that were out there, at least in terms of diet.
I was introduced to cannabidiol from one of the owners of Elixinol. I started using it as well as exploring the literature – really doing an in-depth search about what the literature was saying about it. And I was really quite blown away. I started using it in myself, in my family, and in my neighbors, and I was seeing changes in people right before my very eyes — improvements of their health without any impairment of their cognitive or physical function. I realized the huge potential that cannabidiol would have.
For the last three years I’ve been talking with patients, even internationally, in India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K. — all of these countries, as well as every state in the United States, to talk about how cannabidiol could play a major role in improving their health.
V: That’s great. That’s awesome. So a couple things I want to just ask about that.
You said you’ve used it in yourself and your family. What kind of applications did you use it for there?
DB: For family members who have any type of injury or they’re feeling any type of pain (my wife has migraine headaches), it was superlative for migraine headaches. There were other issues that she had, and I’ve had along the way. I want to use it, and I use it regularly, because it improves my cognitive focus. It improves my ability to narrow into the topic area and stay on target, as well as improving sleep and relaxing someone so that their personality really comes out — that they’re focused on getting things done, as well as providing some analgesia (pain relief).
For instance: Not too long ago, as an amateur woodworker, I caught my thumb in the table saw. It was a nasty injury, but within a few weeks it was completely healed and completely restored and I had no significant pain. Within about 10 seconds you get a relief of pain from those types of injuries. I’ve used it in bee stings. I’ve used it in burns. These are common entities that happen all the time in the home. It’s the first line in my medicine cabinet for any type of injury or problem that I encounter.
V: That’s great. I think the most attractive thing about CBD is that it almost acts like a “magic potion” but I’m trying to think of an even better term to describe a product that has thousands of uses…
DB: There’s a really good term that many people use in the alternative medicine area, and that is an adaptogen.
V: Adaptogen. That’s a good one.
DB: It fits into the situation that someone is having a problem with and it enhances their natural self. It’s not a matter of pushing in one direction or another direction; it’s a matter of lifting up the entire performance. I like to tell people that it’s going to make you more of who you are, more of the person that you are, and it is going to enhance those favorable aspects that you have and let you be your full and whole person.
V: With some of those applications where you said it was working well for you, some of those you mentioned were ones where I thought of topical or a combination of topical and ingesting. For your finger or for cuts, are you using it topically or is that all ingestion?
DB: Yes. I’m going to do a lecture in L.A. next week, and in that process we’re going over all the dermatologic applications for CBD, and there are a host of them. Topical application is very, very effective, particularly for wounds. Very valuable for wounds — in the wound and around the wound. It stops the pain and advances the healing. A lot of the problems with wounds and any type of injury is that inflammation gets hyperactive, and that interferes with the healing process.
With CBD calming down that particular process, as well as acting as an antibiotic for strep and staph, you’re going to reduce the irritation to the wound and you’re going to advance the healing. The CBD is superlative in terms of advanced healing on wounds as well as removing the pain that’s associated with it.
V: Getting to my notes here, I think one of the things that people struggle with with CBD is that there’s not a lot of protocol. We don’t have a real standard yet. On top of that, it’s pretty safe in high doses. I have a friend, for example, who’s extremely sensitive. He’ll take a drop or two, so we’re talking 2 or 4 mg, depending on the brand he’s using. I know other people, or myself – I’ve taken as much as 50 to 100 to probably 150 mg without any negative side effects, except maybe some subtle drowsiness.
I want to say something about that too before I ask you about this. I noticed, and maybe your patients have noticed this too, at first it used to make me very drowsy and now it doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s something having to do with tolerance. I’m not sure. What do you think about that? Have you noticed that?
DB: Some people are extremely sensitive and you really have described it. There is a range of response to CBD. So, rather than having a specific dose, it’s very, very difficult to prescribe that for everyone. If you look at the literature, you’ll be totally confused because they’re doing a purer CBD product. CBD isolate does not perform as well as the whole plant extract, so you have to separate out those two.
In some of those studies, we’re talking about them using 600 or 800 mg of CBD. I would be dead asleep with exposure to that amount of CBD. On the other hand, a normal dosage range is in the way of 15 to 30 mg of a tincture, so that can be quite effective. For people with some more serious problems, they may need to use as much as 150 mg, like you were describing, for some chronic pain, Lyme disease, or some of the other inflammatory conditions that are there.
On the other hand, as you pointed out (with friends), sometimes just one mg can be overwhelming to some people. There’s a real broad range of sensitivity, and you don’t know until you try. It doesn’t correlate with the mass of the individual, so you can’t just use body mass as a determinate. Classically we use mg per kg, but that doesn’t work all the time.
Usually, I say take a standard dose (15 to 30 mg per day) for everybody between the ages of 7 and 70. When you get above or below those ranges, I suggest starting with half the dose. So, whatever the serving might be – if it’s going to be 15 or 30 mg, you’re going to cut that in half, so you’re taking 7.5 mg, just to get the idea, and then work from there. Then I want people to move up quickly to the therapeutic level by doubling the dose, even in the same day.
My favorite trick is to call people and talk with them. I think this is important for practitioners to do this — talk with their patient as they’re taking their first dose because you can listen to them and hear the changes in their voice as well as see the changes in their body: relaxation of the smooth muscles of the face, improvement in the voice (a deeper octave and a faster speaking). That’s a strong indication that they are under the influence of CBD in a very positive way. One more thing is their laughter. They will start chuckling or laughing when they’ve been exposed to CBD. I see that as a consistent pattern in this conversation.
If they don’t respond to the first dose (maybe that’s 15 mg of tincture that I have them hold in their mouth and keep it there for about two minutes as I’m talking to them), then I have them double it. If that doesn’t respond, then I’ll actually have them double that again, and I’ll look for changes in their speech, in their dialogue, and I’ll look for laughter to see if there are any other changes.
I do also ask them to do a visual check because one of the prominent features that I’ve seen with CBD is an enhancement of the visual acuity. As you’re looking out a window at a distance, you will see improved resolution, in detail, at distant objects. Like a tree, you’ll start to see the branches and the leaves that are on that tree, at great distances. It’s like moving from a standard display on your computer to a 5K. There’s just an enormous pop of both color and definition in your particular view.
Those are really valuable indicators. And adjust the dosage rapidly because you’ve got to find the therapeutic dose — the one dose that’s going to be effective for you. If it’s not effective for you, you should know early on. I haven’t seen anybody require more than 200 mg that’s been effective. If they have gone up to 200 mg, it’s not working for them. But I’ve got a couple tricks to help them resolve it.
I want to talk about one other thing. We started off with the dosage forms, and we kind of got side-tracked because I was talking about using topically. Topical is really well absorbed, so you can use it topically.
In fact, I’ve got a patient in Newfoundland, Canada who had dementia, and I started using the CBD topically for her. She had a resolution of her dementia as a result of using CBD only in a topical form. She was probably getting less than 5 mg of CBD per day in this topical application, and it wasn’t any extraordinary formulation.
In spite of what the literature is saying that there’s less than 5% absorption, that’s not true. There’s a much better absorption that goes on with CBD into the body, so it can be used on any surface area — that’s my approach. I don’t want to get too specific in terms of a place on the neck or on the stomach or on the back. It’s just well absorbed through the skin. The skin absorption is excellent, and it’s great for topical locations or where you’re having pain. If you’ve got it in an injured joint, apply it to that area, and you’ll have pain relief in 10 minutes with a good quality CBD.
You also have the oral form. It comes in several different forms, whether it’s a concentrate, a tincture, or a liposomal, where the particles are micro-sized and then wrapped with a phosphate skin which makes them more absorbable and gets through the skin as well as through the mucous membranes much better.
You have to consider vaping as a possibility and a consideration because, in terms of efficiency, vaping is probably the very most efficient. Perhaps even 1 mg of CBD, by vaping, goes directly to the brain and it’s felt within seconds after doing that. You can see the visual changes, you can see the personality changes, you can see the relaxation and the improvement in mood and behavior as a result of using that by vaporization.
V: Smoking and vaping have always been, with cannabis in general (in medicine), for a lot of patients the most effective and dramatic. So that doesn’t surprise me at all.
The story about the woman with dementia — that’s amazing. I’m glad you shared that. I’ve never heard of that. I actually had a woman who wanted to use it topically and I don’t know why. She only wanted to do topical for anxiety. I told her I didn’t think it would work as well as oral administration but, from what you’re telling me, it seems like it can. I’ve never heard of that. That’s great.
DB: I think this is a great exemplary story about how it could be used topically. This woman was in Canada, so in terms of getting product to her was somewhat challenging because of their legal limitations in terms of receiving it. So that worked out to be a best solution. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but in this case it was quite effective.
I think it’s effective in a lot of people. People with dementia are actually quite sensitive to CBD, and it doesn’t take a whole lot. If you get it into the skin through relatively thin-layered skin, and it doesn’t really matter what skin surface area, you can get pretty good absorption of the CBD and you don’t have to have high doses. It can be very effective.
And in terms of anxiety — yes, people can respond quite nicely. Also, when talking about dementia, dementia responds beautifully to CBD. I have helped at least 10 people with dementia, and there was only one failure. I’m not sure if there were other complications to the dementia or if there was something else going on because I really wasn’t able to get a response using high doses of CBD.
I’m not clear about that. CBD does fail in about 15% of patients, in my experience, and there are a couple possibilities. In one case, I found that it was related to Omega-3 deficiency. When people were supplemented with the proper amounts of EPA and DHA, then there was a response. Actually, the literature is quite supportive in that, saying that Omega-3’s are essential.
As it turns out, the real advantage and the real marvel of Omega-3’s is that they turn into signaling molecules and actually turn into endocannabinoids as a result of body processing. Whereas we talk about the miracle of Omega-3’s in terms of their benefit, it’s actually a signaling molecule that represents a very important functional element, rather than metabolite for processing.
V: Did you find that if they got their Omega-3 issue under control with supplementation, does CBD then work better?
DB: In some cases, I have seen that there was an improvement. People started to have a response to CBD, whereas they did not. There is still a small percentage that don’t respond at all.
One of the problems is that people don’t realize that they’re returning to normal. That’s not a big deal, right? You’ve got some impairments and you get back to normal. You would think that would be huge, that you would see that right away. But a lot of people don’t see it. Even though you can see it, as a practitioner — the changes in individuals — they don’t recognize it. They just feel normal, which is what we want them to be. We want them to be normal.
DB: But they don’t see it as an improvement.
V: Because they’re expecting to feel euphoria or something?
DB: I’m not sure what they’re expecting. There are some personalities that are in the denial phase. They are denying everything until it slaps them in the face, that it’s obvious. They’ll deny the benefits that are going on, even though family members will tell them, “Take your pills, mom. You’ve improved 100% since you’ve been on them.” Mom says, “Okay. Okay. I don’t see any change,” and they say “Take your pills.”
V: I know what you mean now. That’s good. The most controversial by far (a topic on my channel), I think more than anything and it doesn’t surprise me at all, is the cancer question. I love exploring this question, not because it’s riddled with controversy but because I love exploring and digging and getting to the bottom of things.
I don’t know if it’s because a lot of people were misled with loose marketing or if there’s just a lot of hype around it. I think it’s more of that because there are a lot of anecdotal stories. I think, from my research, we don’t have enough evidence that we can confidently say that CBD or THC or all cannabinoids can actually cure. I’m being really careful on how to say this: to cure cancer. I don’t think we can say that, right? What’s your take on this? I’d just love to hear what you think.
DB: Well, the body cures cancer. It’s a matter of helping the body along, getting things in order for it. We don’t have any drugs that cure cancer. Yes, they’re effective in some situations, but not in all situations and not with all cancers. CBD represents that supportive element.
There’s much more to cancer therapy than just a drug or a chemical or chemotherapy or radiation. It’s a matter of getting the physical body back in shape — to exercise, sleep, relaxation, behavior. All of those things are important. What do you do in those combinations?
I’ve got a number of patients who have had remissions of their cancer. I don’t talk about cure either. I think that’s a bad idea. You have a constant influx situation, and cancer is a highly emotionally charged topic. Like you, I want to be real careful when I’m describing it. But the evidence, with respect to cannabidiol, is superb in terms of its ability to assist the body and the destruction of these tumors.
And it’s clearly shown in the animal studies and pre-clinical studies that it has an anti-tumor effect. It stops the extra growth of blood vessels. It stops the extension of cancer cells. It stops the metastasis of cancer cells. It’s got a number of other interactions that are going on within the cancer tissue, as well as inducing cell death within the cancer cells.
Now this is a paradox. How is it that cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory for almost the whole body except for cancer cells, where it induces inflammation and it causes them to kill themselves? Suicide. Another aspect of cancer treatment is that, with the use of chemo or radiation therapy, cannabidiol has been shown (in pre-clinical studies) to help in the destruction of cancer cells while protecting normal tissues.
There are at least five significant studies where high doses of chemo or radiation therapy have been used where cannabidiol has protected those normal cells from destruction. In addition, you’ve got cannabidiol as an anti-nausea agent, an analgesic for pain. You’ve got a host of benefits that are going on with the use of cannabidiol to make it more effective in cancer therapy of all types.
V: That’s a really good point you made there because it’s something I wanted to bring up. When you said that CBD has shown, not just to be beneficial for cancer on its own, but to work really well as an adjunct therapy to chemotherapy standard protocols.
V: If a patient came to you, and this actually does happen, and they were completely optimistic and positive and said, “Dr. Blair, I have cancer but I don’t want to do any conventional medicine. I want to ‘Steve Jobs’ it.” (I don’t know exactly what he did. I don’t think he did CBD.) And the patient says, “I want to do just CBD. Maybe I’ll do THC too, and I’ll do an alkaline diet or a special diet, emotional life healing, get that taken care of, spiritual work. But I’m not going to do any chemo or any of that stuff.” What would you say to them?
DB: I’m in complete support of them. I would encourage them and give them the facts, as I would with any patient with any condition, in using cannabidiol. “Here are the facts. If you choose to do it that way, that’s fine. But I have to tell you everything about it and I have to tell you my successes. And some of the amazing successes I’ve seen have been in combination with chemo and radiation therapy.”
Now, why does a person not want to use chemo or radiation therapy? They’re afraid of the consequences, right? If you have CBD to protect you in that process, then you could protect yourself from the adverse consequences while promoting the benefits and getting a cure.
A lot of times we have to think about our family members and our friends and what we’re doing in the world, rather than ourselves. Do you want to take a purist approach and, “I’m not going to use anything unnatural for my therapy?” Or do you look to the benefit that you can provide that you can deliver to the world, to your family, to your friends, to your loved ones? Those are important things, and I don’t think that we should be so selfish as to consider only ourselves, but look at the evidence and work with that. The evidence is very positive for cannabidiol in supporting chemo and radiation therapy, as well as working independently. And I certainly have seen people do very well independently without any other therapies other than cannabidiol.
V: And they actually became cancer free?
DB: The most dramatic episodes are where I’ve seen stage IV disease that’s been widely dispersed. A lady with ovarian cancer came in and she was diagnosed. She was 80 years old and had ovarian cancer that was widely dispersed in her abdomen, and she was ready to start chemotherapy. They were going to do the chemo and then go on to surgery to remove the bulk of the cancer. She started with the CBD therapy along with the chemotherapy. By the time they were going to do the surgery, they couldn’t find any tumor. So there was a dramatic case with ovarian cancer where that happened.
In another case, I have seen where a lung cancer hadn’t progressed. It stopped in its tracks. And this gentleman is 87 years old and still working on his farm and on his ranch, carrying on as he had before.
In a third case, a woman with breast cancer became very frustrated after her initial therapy. She had a large tumor (14 cm of breast cancer), and it was beyond what could have been done at the time. She had a metastatic lymph node and she had that large tumor mass. She’s been using cannabidiol therapy for the last two years. They went back in to look at it, and she allowed them to take a very close look at it in planning for any type of procedure. In fact, the tumor had shrunk, it was not active, and it had not metastasized any further. In fact, there were some signs on the scans that they did that it was necrosing, it was dying.
These were very positive events that were going on with the use of cannabidiol. In the last case, she did not use any additional chemotherapy either in her course of therapy and was relying on CBD alone. I don’t recommend that. That’s not my belief system. That’s not what I would engage. I want people to have the best chance possible. And I think the chemotherapy agents are quite valuable when used selectively and used with cannabidiol support.
V: That’s what I tell people, but not as a medical professional. I don’t give advice to do this, but that’s what I tell people I would do if I was in that situation. I would use both. I would work with the doctor who is open to both, like yourself, and I would make it as part of a whole picture. I don’t think we’re there yet where we can just say, “Throw the baby out with the bath water. Forget chemo and just use CBD.” If that’s what people want to do, that’s obviously their choice. But I agree with you.
DB: There’s one other thing. I found that, in combination with another cannabidiol, CBD is very powerful for cancer. And that’s the cannabinoid called caryophyllene. You may know it as ‘black pepper,’ but beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is quite valuable. It doesn’t have to be used orally. It can be used topically and not necessarily around where a cancer is. It’s been shown to have a number of anti-tumor effects, and it can be used topically on the skin. It’s available from Amazon or other providers.
V: As an essential oil?
V: To fill people in, beta-caryophyllene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, in hemp, as well as in marijuana plants. It might be more in hemp. It acts like a cannabinoid. It acts on the CBD receptors, and some researchers even call it a cannabinoid/terpene. Either way, it’s unique from the other terpenes in that it’s a CB2 agonist I think, right?
DB: Yes. It’s actually found in basil and oregano and a number of other herbal substances and ‘black pepper,’ as I mentioned earlier.
V: And truffles.
DB: That is the value of the caryophyllene, right within our herbal formulary.
V: It’s cool because, obviously, Indian people have a long history with using cannabis and also with Chai Tea — it’s so peppery. They must have been onto something. That’s a little off topic.
I don’t want to go too long here, but I did want to ask you — if you had to pick three of the best applications, from your practice, where you’ve seen a really high success rate for CBD for people to take away from a doctor, what would those three be?
DB: PTSD, dementia, and pain.
V: Okay. Let’s talk about those three briefly. With PTSD, I’m assuming it’s helping them with their anxiety.
DB: It’s much more than that. It is actually reversing the PTSD. I see resolution of PTSD and all parameters of PTSD. The science is, again, very good on that and shows, at least in pre-clinical studies, that CBD enhances the pathways for forgetting — forgetting the fear of memory that occurs in the amygdala, and it also blocks the reconsolidation phase of fear memory.
When people have PTSD, they have reruns of these nasty situations, these traumatic situations that they’ve been in, and it keeps playing over and over. Every time that happens, it reconsolidates. It re-formulates that memory (that fear memory) in their brain, and it makes it stronger and stronger and stronger. That’s a disorder within the body, and some people are more prone to that. If you can block that process of reconsolidation, then you’re going to have release as well as being able to forget. Through the extinction pathway, you’re going to be able to forget these fear memories and resolve the issue.
That’s what I’ve seen in patients with PTSD — they can get restored to normal and natural life using cannabidiol. Not for years. It’s a matter of months and they can have a resolution. In addition, of course, there is a factor in terms of reducing their anxiety and reducing the fear, but that may not be the most important thing. The parts of that in terms of the neurotransmitters are really, really important.
V: I forget that famous statement made by an Italian researcher, but it was about how the endocannabinoid system plays such an important role in our ability to sleep, eat, forget, and one other thing that’s important. I can’t remember what that was. Learn? That’s a good one, even if it wasn’t that. You know what I’m talking about.
DB: I know exactly what you mean.
V: It’s amazing. You said you’ve had really good success with PTSD. And you’re in Washington state.
DB: Resolution of PTSD. People get better. They resolve their major issues with it. But PTSD doesn’t stand on its own. There are lots of other things associated with it. Do you want to talk about dementia?
DB: We talked about it. I’ve had at least 10 cases. One did not, so I’m working at about 90% level resolution of dementia, where actually a restoring of the brain memory, about what they learned in the past. Those are very positive effects, and that occurs in a matter of weeks after using cannabidiol. Really good results. Small doses and it doesn’t require a great deal.
V: Does it require them to keep taking it though?
DB: I look at cannabidiol as a homeostatic adaptogen, so it enhances your life and your performance. Yes. In one case where a woman dropped off from using it, she had a relapse, but that relapse occurred over three weeks after she stopped using it.
One of the key things that I like to emphasize with cannabidiol is that it’s restoring the endocannabinoid system. We talk about this huge system that’s been only recognized for the last two and a half decades, so we don’t really know much about it. But we’re finding more and more disorders and deficiencies of the endocannabinoid system related to these different diseases. Whether it’s migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD — these all show endocannabioid irregularities and deficiencies.
Cannabidiol is restoring balance to the endocannabinoid system. It’s the one therapy that we clearly have for that. We do have things like the diet, the exercise, and the sleep. They also work on the endocannabinoid system. They are all lifting up the bootstraps so that we can get to a better place of health and natural and normal functioning.
V: You said PTSD, dementia — and what was the third one?
DB: Pain. We’ve got an epidemic of opioids. Cannabidiol can provide analegia, reducing pain as well as stopping the inflammation that’s associated with pain, and it’s also having the ability of blocking or improving the ability of opioids to actually work within the body without making it more respiratory depressive. So it’s not going to create any complications, but it’s going to restore the body’s sensitivity to other analgesic drugs, whether it’s opioids or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. They’re going to work better using cannabidiol.
Not only that, it’s going to block the withdrawal effects from opioids. It’s going to block the addictive symptoms that are associated with the opioids. So, they’re going to be able to reduce their dosage by 75% and still have the same level of analgesia but are not going to have the complications of bowel obstruction or cognitive function loss, and they’re going to get excellent relief. That relief can go as a topical, whether it’s an inflammatory lesion, a sprain on the knee, a joint disorder, or it can be systemic as in fibromyalgia.
You can get this pain relief, and you can ratchet down the entire pain situation. Cannabidiol is superb for that, and it doesn’t have any significant complications. In terms of drug interactions, they are rare and they only have to do with high doses of cannabidiol. But that’s not usually required with pain. You only need on the order of maybe 90 or 120 mg and you get substantial improvement.
V: It seems that with the drug interactions — and I’m glad you mentioned that — those would be a concern when you should be working pretty closely anyway with a doctor for whatever you’re using the CBD for. You’re not just picking it up at the store. You should be working with someone like yourself or, let’s say, if it was epilepsy, maybe you’re working with a neurologist. I’m not sure who deals with that specifically, but I think it would be a neurologist, where they’re monitoring you closely anyway and they’re monitoring your blood levels.
What I’m saying is with those drug interactions, it seems like you would be being watched already for whatever you’re using it for if there’s a risk of them, I would think.
DB: You should be. If you’ve got a serious problem, you certainly should be being watched closely. If we’re talking about Parkinson’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia — these are all problems that should be under monitoring already, and you should be working with your physician. Unfortunately, a lot of physicians aren’t willing to talk about cannabis. It’s the same way with pain medication, with a pain clinic.
Unfortunately, they won’t have much to do with anything related to cannabis because of their ignorance and their lack of understanding about cannabidiol even.
V: It’s amazing to me how powerful the United States Prohibition, which started less than 100 years ago, has changed how the world looks at a plant that the world’s been using for 10,000 years before the U.S. decided to make Reefer Madness. I think it’s one of the most amazing examples of mass propaganda I’ve ever seen. It came from one country, but it actually changed how a whole world, it seems to me, looks at this plant because before that there wasn’t this stigma to it. It was used in medicine.
DB: Yes, very effective marketing.
V: Yes. I think that’s all going to change. We’ll close on that. What do you think is the future? Where are we going? What’s going to happen?
DB: I think we’re accelerating at an enormous rate. I’m seeing exponentially the number of papers that are being written about cannabidiol and about the cannabinoids, so we’re getting more and more information. Currently, it seems like a battle between medical marijuana or marijuana and cannabidiol. It’s a shame to see it going in that direction. I’d like to see an embracing of both but, realistically, I think cannabidiol has the stronger hand in terms of the lack of psychoactive effects, at least in terms of the ‘high’ that people experience.
It’s much more acceptable and, of course, it certainly is legal when it’s coming from imported cannabidiol/imported cannabis. That’s okay — coming from industrial hemp, that is.
V: I agree with you. We need more data in general, clinical data on people, with all the cannabinoids. I think people have to remember it’s all one plant. Parts of it happen to be more psychoactive than others, but even that problem can be resolved with the right dosing, with just taking a small enough dose and, of course, combining it with a higher amount of CBD.
DB: Those are very rational approaches. Unfortunately, we don’t have a rational system that’s evaluating this. It’s to all the legal points that are argued against it. Among the clinicians, they’re saying that there are no convincing studies, double-blind controlled trials that would take five years in order to accomplish, to prove that these are effective. And yet, there are over 80 human studies with using cannabinoids that have not shown any major harm to them.
You’re dealing with a mindset that is going to be very difficult to change. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to do that.
V: I think overall, though, it’s bright. It’s positive. This kind of stuff, what we’re doing, all helps. They are little kernels to move it along. People want it. You can’t deny people what they want. They’ll just get it any way they can. The drug war was a failure. People just want what they want. They’ll just go get it — they don’t care. I think it’s bright and it will keep getting better and better.
I thank you for joining us here today. I’m sure we’ll have you on here again.
I will link to below the stuff that you mentioned, for people to find you and if they want to do a consult with you. This is really important for the listeners here if you want to find a doctor for consultations.
A lot of you will ask me, “My doctor doesn’t do this stuff. Where can I find a doctor?” And then I say, “Okay, where are you?” And they say, “I’m in Arkansas.” There are probably no cannabis doctors there, so they can contact you and work one-on-one with you. Is that right?
DB: Yeah, I do that. At least I have the availability right now to do that. I do like to engage with the patients and like to talk with them and find out what’s going on. So, it’s an internet practice, a telephone practice. Nobody’s going to come to my office in my town in Washington. But we can carry on and I can get most things accomplished with an interview and some dialogue and some exchanges of email or text messaging.
V: That’s perfect, so I’ll link to that. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to add or tell people about what you’re working on or anything like that?
DB: The field of cannabidiol and its benefits in health is just barely starting. There’s so much to study and so much to learn. I appreciate what you’re doing, Vadim, in terms of exploring some of those topics in a very objective fashion and a scientific approach. I think that’s valuable to keep the sanity, keep the rationality, and stay away from the hype that is so often within the media as well as the internet.
V: It reminds of a lady, a hemp activist. I read an interview, and they asked why she was so successful even though it took so many years to get the laws changed. And she said, “Well, I love what I do, but I also dress very professionally.” I think what that means is — yes, we have to be professional because we’re not going to get the attention of decision makers if we’re going to be rambunctious and just a lot of hype and stuff. We have to change the image of cannabis, for sure.
Thank you again for joining us. I will link to below where people can find you, and we’ll see you again.
DB: Very good. Thanks for having me on.
V: Thanks, Dr. Blair.