“There’s a giant misconception about this and I think a lot of people now think of medical marijuana as being CBD and recreational marijuana as being THC and that’s absolutely not the case. THC has so many therapeutic properties. It’s just that there is this adverse effect in that it can lead to intoxication and impairment and it’s not an effect for some people.”
— Dr. Jamie Corroon
Too many surgeries and toxic medicines in conventional medicine for your taste? Then you might want to consider naturopathic medicine, in which human patients are considered from a more holistic perspective. Dr. Jamie Corroon, founder of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education, discusses the principles of naturopathic medicine, and how cannabis can be a safe and effective front-line medicine, rather than a last line of defense.
Kannaboomers Podcast Episode 11, Dr. Jamie Corroon, Center for Medical Cannabis
Kannaboomers (00:00): Hey, it's Tom welcome back to the Kannaboomers Podcast. This is episode 11. We have Dr Jamie Corroon, founder and medical director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. Jamie is a naturopathic doctor who is focused on botanical medicine, specifically cannabis and how it can help with a variety of conditions. We talked about THC-A, which is really interesting because it doesn't get you high. We also talk about the fact that most of his patients are about 60 years old. It's a good episode for boomers and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening.
Kannaboomers (00:30): This is Let's Talk About Weed, the Kannaboomers podcast: CBD, microdosing, and all things related to medical cannabis, for baby boomers, from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.
Kannaboomers (00:43): Dr Jamie Corroon. Welcome to the Kannaboomers podcast.
Jamie Corroon (00:45): Thank you so much. I'm happy to be here.
Kannaboomers (00:47): Just so our listeners know, where are you, Jamie?
Jamie Corroon (00:50): Uh, I live in work in Sunny San Diego, California.
Kannaboomers (00:54): Me too, but I'm not there now, but I will be soon. Excited to have you on the show. We've been having a couple of doctors and you're a doctor of neuropathy. Am I saying that right?
Jamie Corroon (01:04): Naturopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine.
Kannaboomers (01:07): Can you tell us more about that?
Jamie Corroon (01:09): Yeah. A naturopathic doctor. There's are licensed I think in maybe 29 or 30 states by now. Um, it is a four year medical degree. The first two years or so, look a lot like conventional medical school. You're studying anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and getting introduced into some clinical sciences and some nutrition science, and then the last two years are much more focused on what we call the aisle of the -logies, gynecology, neurology, et cetera, and what's. What's different about naturopathic medical school as opposed to conventional medical school specifically in those last two years is that in conventional medical school you are typically doing rotations in hospitals and you are seeing patients who are staying in and receiving their care in the hospital for the most part and in naturopathic medical school, the university's own and operate outpatient clinics. And you get your clinical training in these outpatient clinics under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors and the scope of practice for a naturopathic doctor. It really varies depending upon the state that they are licensed in, so in some states we are classified as physician level providers, like an osteopathic doctor, like a medical doctor and our scope of practice reflects that and in other states we are classified as mid-level practitioners where our scope of practice is more similar to a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant.
Kannaboomers (02:53): We've heard stories of MDs who go through the grueling internship and you know, shows Grey's Anatomy where they're all running ragged and it makes a certain amount of sense to just be treating people in outpatient clinics because hospitals are full of sick people. Right. And it just sounds like it's a lot more holistic. Am I right about that?
Jamie Corroon (03:13): It is more holistic, because the education is really informed by the principles of naturopathic medicine, which focus on looking at the entire human being and the interconnectedness. Excuse me, of the physical realm in the psycho-emotional realm. And the curriculum includes a lot of of traditional counseling and psychology classes that you might find in a masters or Ph.d. program for, for counseling and psychotherapy. It also includes a lot of classes in biochemistry and nutrition and um, there's a lot of counseling obviously that's involved in that type of behavior change and so I think it is more holistic. Um, we don't, we, we do get training in pharmacology of course, because as I said in many of these states were able to prescribe anything that a conventionally trained medical doctor would be able to prescribe, but we don't get as much of it and I think in general it's probably safe to say that naturopathic doctors try not to prescribe a prescription medications and use them only if the patient really needs them and has not responded to therapies that are lower in the therapeutic order, meaning they have a less risk for adverse effects.
Kannaboomers (04:34): That's an entree into the whole discussion of cannabis, which if you're talking about harm reduction, you contrast that with opioids and obviously a plant-based medicine gives you a tool that a, maybe a lot of conventional doctors aren't open to yet.
Jamie Corroon (04:49): Yeah. It's funny, I just realized that when you brought up cannabis, which is really the whole purpose of this conversation, what I failed to mention about our education as naturopathic doctors is that we spend a lot of time learning about botanical medicines and how to use them, how to apply them in clinical practice. Um, and you know, anything can be toxic plants can be toxic, they can be very dangerous if you are combining them with certain medications, recreational drugs, whatever, uh, and they can be toxic and dangerous if the dosing is appropriate. Um, but I, I do think that there's a whole world of botanical medicine that naturopathic doctors and herbalists and some other healthcare providers have some insight into that. The, the average conventionally trained medical doctor probably does not.
Kannaboomers (05:46): I have to ask if the insurance companies like you guys. If I want it to go and see you, do they, they usually recognize you as a provider who they're gonna cover?
Jamie Corroon (05:57): It depends on the state. Again, so in the state of Washington, I was always told that I never verified this, that if you are a health insurance carrier and you're providing a policy in the state of Washington that it is a requirement that you offer coverage for naturopathic medical services. I don't know if that is true in other states, um, but whether insurance plans will cover, um, those services directly or allow you to submit a bill and cover it indirectly is really based upon the state and the insurance commissioner in that state.
Kannaboomers (06:33): I think a lot of our audience would be interested. I mean, I'm certainly interested in other means of treating diseases rather than, you know, surgery and throwing toxic drugs.
Jamie Corroon (06:43): Yeah. You know, I, everything has its place. I am not a person who wants to sit here and criticize conventional medicine. I think conventional medicine is extraordinarily important and thank God we have it and we have all of the brilliant and well trained physicians out there to help us in situations where it is appropriate. I think a lot of times, um, there are behavioral strategies, behavioral modifications and, and interventions that require a lot more time and intention. Then our conventional health system affords medical doctors. I mean if you are relying on insurance reimbursement for your services, insurance tends to reimburse at fairly low rates. And so as a doctor you are in a position where you have to see a lot of patients. It's a, it's a game of volume in order to generate the income that you need to cover your overhead and make something and make some money. And so a lot of times these, these doctors are victim of the system. They just don't have the time to spend to sit down with you to talk about your diet. I'm naturopathic doctors can do that. And a lot of naturopathic doctors, if they aren't accepting insurance, they have cash based practices where people are paying out of their pocket. And in this context it can become difficult because there are some socioeconomic factors that bifurcate the population. Only so many people can afford to pay out of pocket for those kinds of services. So you know, naturopathic medicine is wonderful, it's great, it's not great at everything, but no system of medicine is. Sure we'll do.
Kannaboomers (08:26): I hear you saying that it's maybe it lends itself to preventative wellness, whereas conventional medicine maybe is always going to be useful for trauma and maybe acute things, but maybe as a wellness strategy, naturopathic medicine might make more sense.
Jamie Corroon (08:42): I think that's fair to say. I think conventional medicine is getting better at prevention, certainly in terms of trying to get patients to have preventative screenings for cancers and serious health conditions like diabetes and things like that, but I don't think they're spending a lot of time helping people figure out how to eat so that they don't develop type two diabetes. I think they're doing better at having people come in to get their blood sugar checked so that it's caught early, if that makes sense.
Kannaboomers (09:17): Sure. You're the founder of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. Are you educating other practitioners or are you educating patients?
Jamie Corroon (09:25): Yeah, both and anyone who will listen. Really. I started this research center and consulting center and Clinical Care Center about two years ago. There were a confluence of different things happening at that time, but one of them was that the awareness around the therapeutic value of cannabis was growing and there was a dearth of educated, qualified healthcare provider is available to patients and there were some doctors in states that allowed medical marijuana or medical cannabis who are writing recommendations so that residents and patients could access cannabis in those states, but they weren't really managing the patients. They weren't having them come back in two weeks and checking whatever health related outcome was. The focus for that particular patient. They weren't really looking at prescription drug interactions. They weren't recommending a specific dose of a of a, of a specific product or a cannabinoid or something like that. They were mostly qualifying the patients per that state's medical marijuana, a law and giving them whatever documentation they needed to go into a dispensary and then these patients that made it that far. They went into dispensary's and then they had conversations with what we call colloquially as bud tenders, but sometimes they're called consultants or sales reps, whatever at the dispensary. And these people in some instances are very intelligent and very well informed and in other instances, not so much, but they're generally younger and they're usually enthusiasts would, it comes to cannabis and medical cannabis and they don't have any real training in clinical care. Um, they, they don't know about what prescription, uh, interactions, prescription drug interactions may be important or they're not sure what questions to ask before they make recommendations. And a lot of them I think are often practicing medicine without a license. And so this is kind of a long-winded answer, but there was a large group of people who are generally, we're not users of cannabis who were hearing things from Sanjay Gupta on CNN and hearing things on NPR and credible mainstream news sources. And they started to get curious. They said, "I wonder if this is something that can help me." And their doctor didn't know anything about it and they were sort of reluctant to go into a dispensary. And so I felt there was a need to be able to bridge that gap and I felt as a naturopathic doctor, I was very qualified to do that because of my training in botanical medicine. And so, um, I, I basically opened up the Center here in San Diego and, and I see patients and do research and provide consulting.
Kannaboomers (12:33): Well, I think you're absolutely right. I mean, I've met budtenders who are, yeah, not, not going to be good prescribers of anything other than what gets you really super-high, you know. Um, and obviously there's much more that goes into it. I mean, I've had other guests who, you know, talk about, um, dosage, your genetics, a strain, a method of delivery. There's a lot of factors that go into this medicine and there's a lot to talk about, lot to educate. So are you, do you take it one at a time with patients? Are you doing broadcasting to try to reach a lot of people? Do you have events? How do you train people?
Jamie Corroon (13:17): I do see patients one on one and I work with them over time to help educate them to help us both achieved their therapeutic goals. I have published research in a variety of journals over the last two years. I've got a blog with lots of articles up there. I have a podcast myself called the Cannabis Consult Podcast. I do a lot of speaking engagements around San Diego and end in other states as well.
Kannaboomers (13:44): So you're getting the word out. Well, how's the response been? Are you getting some uptake?
Kannaboomers (13:49): It's been great. You know, I think there are a lot of people who are worried about using cannabis. They're curious on one hand as I mentioned, but they're also very cautious because the vast majority of them don't want to get high and they are really coming in believing that if you use THC you're going to get high. And so most of my patients these days are saying, look, I don't want THC, you know, I just, I'm here for the CBD. And I think, um, I think that's part of the education. There's a giant misconception about this and I think a lot of people now think of medical marijuana as being CBD and recreational marijuana as being THC and that's absolutely not the case. THC has so many therapeutic properties. It's just that there is this adverse effect in that it can lead to intoxication and impairment and it's not an effect for some people. In fact it's a desired effect for many, but for most of my patients it's an adverse effect and they assume that if you use THC, you're going to get high. And typically what I say in that particular situation is I say, well, think about alcohol. You have a glass of wine. It has ethanol in it. That's the active ingredient. You could take a sip of a glass of wine and not get drunk so you could take a dose of THC without getting high. And so the question is, can we give you a dose of THC if, if in fact it is appropriate for your symptoms, the clinical presentation, but we give you a dose of THC that does not lead to impairment, but that does lead to symptom control, because ideally for most of my patients, that's where they want to be.
Kannaboomers (15:43): Sure. And there are various cannabinoids like THCa, is that psychoactive?
Jamie Corroon (15:50): Uh, no. According to the research that I've seen, THCa is deemed to be non-psychoactive and just so that people know the, A, the, A stands for acid, it's a carboxylic acid and this is the way the molecule is produced by the plant in nature. And that acid is decarboxylated. It's removed from the molecule when you heat it up or when you expose it to light. And so if you were to, um, if we were to just take raw cannabis flower and juice it or put it in some hot water and drink it as a tea, the vast, vast majority of THC is going to be THCa in that acid form is not going to get you high. But if you light it on fire, the way most cannabis to date has been consumed by people taking a lighter and smoking a joint or smoking a bowl or something like that, that heat decarboxylated THC and it converts it from THCa to THC, which is psychoactive.
Kannaboomers (17:02): So that in itself is an amazing piece of news to tell people. I mean, if you were growing it and juicing it or just not heating it, you might get all the benefits without any of the high if you choose not to be getting high.
Jamie Corroon (17:15): Yeah. You know, right now most, um, most credible sources on this, we'll say the THCa seems to have some analgesic properties, meaning that it reduces pain and may have some anti inflammatory properties. The research on THCa is certainly not what it is for THC. And I'm talking mostly of clinical studies where human beings are receiving some sort of THC dominant or THC-focused intervention in a clinical trial. But we do have pre-clinical studies where are animal models or models that are, that are evaluated in a test tube or a petri dish where we're looking at outcomes that aren't necessarily human perception of pain and that's where we draw some of these conclusions about THC and other cannabinoids and so what you're seeing now in a lot of cannabis products that are being sold at licensed dispensaries is that they have some combination of THC and THCa and I think the more medically oriented products are starting to use THCa more in the hopes that it can provide, let's just say the analgesic properties that THC might without the intoxication now, whether THCa can stimulate your appetite or reduce nausea and vomiting or reduce muscle spasms or some of the other things that THC can do. I think as far as I know that those questions are still outstanding. We don't. We don't know, but as far as pain relief is concerned, the thinking is the TAC may be able to have THC, a excuse me, may be able to have some of those effects. Okay.
Kannaboomers (19:02): So let me ask you about your, your patients. Is there a type of patient, is there a characteristic that turns up more often? What is the demographic you're seeing walk into your office?
Kannaboomers (19:13): Yeah, they are generally older, um, you know, probably, I don't know, maybe an average age of over 60 and then I also have this sub group that is younger and these are kids with seizure disorders, um, or adolescents that are on prescription medications for things like add or anxiety. Um, but, but generally speaking, most of my practices, older individuals who maybe got high when they were in college or maybe they've never used cannabis before, they have a wide range of symptoms. Most commonly is probably pain, but also anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, seizure disorders, as I mentioned, are more common in the children. Um, cancer and some others that I'm probably forgetting right now. PTSD. And so these, these people, as I mentioned before, they're, they're curious, they're also cautious. A lot of them are on prescription medications for their conditions. They either want to get off those medications, are those medications are not adequately controlling their symptoms and they're looking for something more natural and they're looking for some hope because they've heard so much about cannabis and its therapeutic value.
Kannaboomers (20:42): Are you seeing a lot of converts? And I guess the followup question to that is, have you seen success and what would be like an amazing success story if you have one?
Jamie Corroon (20:52): Yeah, I'm seeing, I'm seeing a ton of success. Um, I'm, you know, in, in terms of cannabis being able to help with the symptoms of the medical conditions that I just mentioned. I'm, I'm seeing a lot of success and I'm very confident that I am able to help somebody if with these symptoms. In some people the symptoms are resolved in other people they're only reduced by 10 percent or 30 percent, whatever the case may be. And so it really varies. But I would say across the board, um, the vast majority of my patients are having a positive experience in terms of a positive health outcome. And also in terms of avoiding an adverse outcome. Part of my job, certainly in the very beginning, is to make sure that when you do use cannabis, because you've been contemplating it for awhile, maybe there's an internal conflict. Um, you have an experience that's not negative because that's the worst thing in the world. Everybody knows someone who ate too much of a pot brownie or a cookie or something like that and felt overwhelmed and thought they were having a heart attack and needed to go to the emergency department. So my goal initially is tolerability and safety and then very soon after that clinical efficacy. Um, so I think mostly in terms of sensational outcomes or something like that, you know, there's probably, you know, I, I, there's probably at least 50 percent of my patients that are able to get off a prescription drug. And just to be clear here, I'm not trying to get these people to get rid of their prescription drugs from the beginning. My goal is just to change one variable and that is to bring on cannabis. And if they do want to reduce the dose or the frequency of a prescription medication, if they want to discontinue it and they have a relationship with the prescribing provider, I'm always asking them to go back and work with their prescribing provider to do that. Sometimes I will collaborate with the provider. Sometimes they will say to me, I'm not going back to that provider and I'll give them some guidance on doing that. But I think, you know, in terms of the sensational story, I don't really have one or two sensational stories. I just have a lot of patients that were extremely pleasantly surprised by their outcomes in medicine today.
Kannaboomers (23:22): That's a win. I mean, as you say, I kind of paraphrase first, do no harm. And we all know opioids have done a lot of harm and cannabis can be a great alternative to a lot of opioids and a lot of cases I would think.
Jamie Corroon (23:35): Yeah. I just want to reflect here. You've already mentioned three of the principles of naturopathic medicine. One is treat the whole person to is prevent disease. Three is a treat the cause. And then we were talking before about prevention, about education. Education is also one of those doctors, the word doctor comes from dose ara, which I think is Greek, meaning to teach. And so doctors, our teachers, our job is to teach our patients, um, and, and I think a lot of the good doctors that is their focus really on communicating with patients so that they, they understand, you know, if you ask someone to comes out of a doctor's office, what did the doctor say 99 percent of the time, the answer to that question is the treatment. The doctor said, take this. The doctor said, take that when really the doctor should be explaining to the patient what's going on with them because most of the time it's a mystery and the patient doesn't know. And so this is a bit of a tangent here, but I'm just reflecting back to you that you're bringing up a lot of the principles that fuel the approach.
Kannaboomers (24:42): I think it'll appeal to a lot of our listeners and we do, you know, this is the Kannaboomer podcast and we kind of tend to trend older. So I think, you know, you reach 55, 60 years old and you realize, and not to knock western medicine, but you're kind of in, if you have the right kind of healthcare provider, you're in a partnership with that person, you're going to take responsibility for your diet and your exercise or lack of it and your doctor is a resource, not this authority figure who's going to tell you exactly everything you should be doing, but that it's a partnership, right?
Jamie Corroon (25:17): Absolutely. And you know, you need to be able to feel like you have an open line of communication to your doctor and I know that not everybody is in a financial position with or without their insurance to be able to keep shopping for doctors if they don't have that. But so many of the patients that I talked to say that they're not comfortable initiating this conversation with their doctor. They say, should I tell my doctor that I'm taking CBD? Should I tell my doctor that I'm using medical cannabis? And my first question to them when they asked me that is, are you concerned about how your doctor might react to that because if you know, you need to feel like you can, you're on the same team as your doctor and that you can tell them everything because they need to know what's going on. And so if you feel like you don't have that relationship, I would encourage you to try to find a doctor where you can have it because it's, it's critically important.
Kannaboomers (26:15): I've never felt comfortable sharing that with, with a doctor because they're too straight laced or they have their own bias against it. I've had other guests on the podcast telling me that, maybe 15 percent of people in medical school hear anything about cannabis and then it's an hour or two. It's not really part of the curriculum. A followup to that would be you're in San Diego, but our listeners are probably all over. How do they find a guy like you if they're looking for that option?
Kannaboomers (26:42): Well before I answer that question, just on the last thing I would say to the people listening, like don't, don't underestimate your doctor, give him or her a chance to entertain that idea. They might surprise you and either way it's a good litmus test if they give you an answer that is completely closed-minded and maybe that helps you, inspires you to find a different doctor.
Kannaboomers (27:08): I was going to say in 30 states now it's, it is a legal medicine, at least in those states you shouldn't be scoffed at or laughed at. It is a viable legal medicine. So hopefully acceptance of it.
Jamie Corroon (27:22): Absolutely. I mean, honestly at this point, if you're, if we're talking about a family medicine doctor in internal medicine doctor or physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, probably a neurologist, probably a definitely a pain management doctor and definitely an oncologist and just to name a few these doctors, if they, if they, if they don't know anything about it, they're not paying attention. If they're against it. My guess is that they probably are operating from an ideology or a belief system that is not based in science and medicine and I realized that's kind of a big claim for me to make, but I just want to point out that the FDA has approved to synthetic versions of THC for the treatment of two different medical conditions. This, this, this prescription, THC, um, is the same chemical formula and the same chemical structure as the, as the molecule that the plant produces and the FDA has approved these medications as being safe and effective for certain medical conditions. So the FDA will tell you that it's safe and effective for treating anorexia and bulimia and anorexia is loss of appetite and cook is the wasting that comes from loss of appetite in HIV and AIDS patients and um, nausea and vomiting in patients with chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. And so the FDA has already approved synthetic THC for those two things. The FDA has also recently approved natural CBD that is CBD, that's extracted from marijuana in the treatment of pediatric seizure disorders. There are other medications in the drug approval pipeline that are, that are cannabinoids. There are a countless other countries. There's at least 30 countries that have approved a combination drug of THC and CBD to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. So my point is that if a person is staunchly opposed to the therapeutic value of cannabis, I just don't think they're paying attention to the data or they have a belief system that is just really anti. They may not think that the data is that compelling or they may not think it's appropriate for this reason or the other reason, but, but at this point, uh, I think physicians in those particular domains, um, they, they shouldn't be, they should at least be somewhat educated and if they're not, you know, some of them might say, Hey, I just don't know about it. You know, talk to somebody else and I'm open to it. If you could find someone who can help you. Um, and then anyway, this is kind of a long-winded answer, but that. But as far as answering your question, I don't know. I don't know how to find a doctor who does what I do in a different state. I offer telephone consults even though I'm not licensed to practice in other states. I'm very careful about how I work with those patients in the states where I'm not licensed. I don't provide medical advice, but I think I'm very helpful. Um, it, it probably requires a lot of Googling and, you know, talking to different doctors and um, and really trying to look under different stones to see whether you can find someone.
Kannaboomers (30:48): Google. It's our great unconscious. I had an opportunity to talk to an oncologist like a week ago and it kind of came up that we'd like to try some CBD. And his answer was, well, yeah, medical cannabis can help you relax it, um, can definitely help you sleep and it improves your appetite. So yeah, have at it. And that's kind of, that really wasn't the point. But that was his awareness and that's where he was coming from. And he was not wrong, I guess, um, if you had some THC, all those things might happen, but you're hoping for other things to happen as well when you're taking CBD. Right?
Jamie Corroon (31:31): I mean, at least that doctor I think sounds, um, you know, at least educated on a very superficial level level and is not anti. So I guess given the current circumstances, that's not, that's not a loss, that's kind of a win even though you didn't get the information that you needed.
Kannaboomers (31:51): Yeah, there's, there's a lot of awareness building to happen yet. So I think, um, I think you're in the right place to help people learn more about this and uh, it's an important mission. So as we gain acceptance of cannabis as a legit medicine, how do you see this unfolding to a point, say 10 years from now when maybe maybe it's legal in all 50 states or what? Do you have to go to Canada or something? Do you have a vision of reaching a state where cannabis is more integrated into our healthcare?
Jamie Corroon (32:20): I mean, I think so. And I think a lot of this will come from pharmaceutical companies synthesizing new cannabinoids and a cannabinoid is basically a molecule that interacts with cannabinoid receptors and these receptors are similar to insulin receptors or estrogen receptors in that they're on the surface of our cells and they are effectively waiting for some molecule to come in and bind to them. And when that happens, sometimes there is a signal that is produced within the cell that leads to some sort of affect a gene for something being turned off or turned on or an enzyme being produced to a protein being produced. Something of that nature. And so there are pharmaceutical companies already and over the past few years who have been looking for cannabinoids that have different characteristics and different effects in the body. The thing about THC, as I mentioned, is that THC has all these wonderful therapeutic effects, but it does have this adverse effect of impairment. And so if you could have the therapeutic effects of THC without the impairment and still take a higher dose than that would be valuable. And so I, I, you know, there's this whole dynamic between single molecules, which is what our pharmaceutical drug model is, is basically, um, what it has become, which is identify the active ingredient and then synthesize it in a lab, modify it in such a way so that you can control efficacy or tolerability and so that you can patent it and then refine it and offer it as a single molecule in a drug. Whereas when we're talking about botanical medicines, we're typically talking about extracts from a plant, but even those extracts are combination drugs, so to speak, and that there are a variety of different compounds in the extract. If you get a cannabis extract at a dispensary or if you get a CBD extract at a health food store, a hemp derived CBD extract, there are a variety of different compounds in both of those extracts. Now, you may be seeking a CBD effect from your hemp-derived CBD extract that you bought at the health food store, or you may be seeking a THC effect from the THC dominant cannabis product that you bought at the dispensary. But there are all these other compounds that we believe are modulating the effects of what we'll consider the active ingredient in these particular extracts and there is a body of science that supports that idea, but it conflicts really with the drug model, which is fine, the one thing and then isolated and administer that so that the person isn't getting anything that they don't need. The problem is we oftentimes don't the science to determine or to help us understand exactly. Is there a meaningful difference between the isolate and the whole plant extract? Does that make sense?
Kannaboomers (35:49): Well, yeah. There's the idea of the entourage effect and that there's a synergistic dynamic that happens between all of these compounds. Right? You know, if you have broccoli, there's a lot of different things in that Broccoli. You could try and extract some compound and isolate that molecule and take that as a nutrient, but you're probably going to be better off if you eat that whole piece of broccoli. Right?
Jamie Corroon (36:13): Yes. And, you know, I would just say like, for a lot of this, when you look at, um, there's, there is this whole story which you mentioned, is the whole-plant extract more effective than the isolate and is there a difference in the dosing? Because when we look at the clinical trials that are exploring CBD, for example, they're using isolated CBD. The CBD that was approved by the FDA that was extracted from marijuana that I mentioned before, which is called Epidiolex is isolated CBD. It's 99 percent CBD. But if you go to a health food store or if you go to a dispensary and you buy a CBD product, it's much less. It might be five percent, it might be 25 percent CBD, certainly not 99 percent. And so, um, the, I guess, I guess I forgot the point that I was going to make on this anyway, I, I think there's still some debate to be had about whether you can use a lower dose of a whole plant extract and whether you get the same effect as you would with an isolate. And for the most part, those are the assumptions that we're operating under and there is some data to support that, but we really don't know and I think the pharmaceutical companies and for talking about 10 years down the road, the pharmaceutical companies are still going to be attached to their, their model, their way of looking at this which is single molecule and looking at the, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of that. And then on the health food store shelves there'll be whole plant extracts with a variety of different compounds and they may or may not be translatable. One to the other.
Kannaboomers (38:05): I think I've heard you say you prefer a clinical study to something in a petri dish or with mice. I mean you can get all kinds of results by flooding mice brains with tons of THC, but you would never be able to give that proportionate amount to a human being and have them walk around and you know, function. You mentioned two different models, the single-molecule model and sort of the whole-plant model. I've, I'm just thinking it's much harder to get a good clean study on the whole-plant model.
Jamie Corroon (38:37): It is, that's definitely one of the limitations and each extract, even from the same company, from the same cannabis plant with the same genetics, is going to be a little bit different. The benefit of the single molecule approach is that there's very little deviation or variance in the constituents in the drug, right? If you go in and walk into a pharmacy and buy Ibuprofen off the store shelves and each tablet is 200 milligrams, each tablet is actually not 200 milligrams. One might be 199 milligrams. The next one might be 201 milligrams. But the deviation there is very, very small. But in a whole plant extract when we're relying on nature and there are all these different forces that can influence the genetic expression, there's a lot more variance there. And so even if it's the same product manufactured by the same company, it is not necessarily the same exact product. Now, the difference in the effects, if there are any, may not be discernible, but the point is I think that you're making is that nature is, um, is diverse.
Kannaboomers (39:51): Absolutely. It'll be interesting to see how our relationship with this plant, you know, as we overcome 100 years of stigma and realize kind of the mind-blowing truth that again, we have receptors and this is a medicine and it can help us in many ways. There's still a lot of people in denial about that, but the kind of work you're doing is, is moving us forward.
Jamie Corroon (40:11): Yeah. I would just say to, on, on that point about, um, no variability and products and safety of products. Each state that has a medical marijuana program or even a adult use or recreational marijuana program typically has lab a laboratory analysis regulations and in the state of California, the regulations are I think really good. Everything that is produced here in California has to be tested not only for cannabinoid content and terpene content, which is another family of compounds that have some biological activity in the body, but also heavy metals and pesticides and microbial organisms. And so there is regulated state, regulated state mandated testing for all these different constituents. And if they failed the test, the product is not allowed to be sold. And then for the, the labels, you know, the manufacturers are required to have labels that I'm accurately describe the contents of their, of their package in whatever the contents of the package may be. And there are, there are regulations in the state, California for that too, you know, you could walk into a health food store and buy some fish oil or by some tumeric or, or milk thistle and though there are not the regulations to have the, um, the, the, the label reflect the nutrient content as there are in say, the state of California with regard to cannabis. Now FDA has regulations, but they're more stringent in California for cannabis than they are for some of the dietary supplement ingredients that I just mentioned.
Kannaboomers (42:02): There's going to be trial and error for each individual consumer as they move forward. And I think you've presented an argument for going forward with the help of a naturopathic doctor who can help you find your way.
Jamie Corroon (42:14): Yeah, and I'll just present an argument for, for, for anyone you know, that the argument for if you can't find a naturopathic doctor or if you can't find anyone, you know, the argument is to start with a very small dose of whatever it is, THC or CBD and slowly increase it up from there. And um, you know, this whole notion of go slow, uh, I think is, is good advice for anyone. So if you can't find someone out there and you do have access to these products, start low and go slow.
Kannaboomers (42:51): That is good advice. And I was just going to ask you for your best advice knowing that you know, it can't kill you. It's never going to be fatal. Unlike some of the things that are prescribed.
Kannaboomers (43:01): Yeah. Yeah. That is, um, you know, one of the, one of the most, I think reported statements about cannabis that has never produced a overdose death. It can produce overdoses, in which case people go to the emergency department but never a death. And usually when people do go to the emergency department is because they're, they're scared, they're uncomfortable. I'm not because anything serious is actually happening to them, but as you mentioned before, most of the cannabis that has been used to date has been inhaled and it has been smoked and now we are vaping cannabis, we are ingesting it or absorbing it intra orally inside of our mouths. And you know, I, I do think that it probably is not more harmful with these other methods of administration, but I do think there are some risks with regard to prescription drug interactions and dosing and ingesting cannabis. And so, you know, people are on a lot of medications or high doses of a few medications. Um, it's even more important to their, seek out a competent healthcare provider or to, um, to be very conservative on your own.
Jamie Corroon (44:24): I think we've got a good show. I want to thank you for your time. Dr Jamie Corroon. And where can people find you online? People can find us at Center for Medical Cannabis dot com, and from there people can find links to the blog and podcast. There's also a link for a free five-minute consult, where people can call and I will talk with them and see if it make sense for us to work together.
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