56 | David Krantz, Epigenetic Coach

“Cannabis can help you become more aware of what’s going on in your body… that’s one of the big components of wellness that allows you to really move to the next horizon of what’s possible for your health. Because if you’re not aware of, you know, how you feel and what’s going on for you, it’s very hard to change it in a meaningful way, but when you’re more tuned in and you can look at things from a different perspective, like, you know, THC does really well. I say it’s a perspective shifter, right?”

— David Krantz

, 56 | David Krantz, Epigenetic Coach

Why do you react one way to cannabis, and your friend reacts completely differently? It could be your genetics. While set and setting matter, and so does the strain or cultivar you’re consuming, your body has a blueprint for how it metabolizes THC and processes other cannabinoids. Epigenetic (“relating to or arising from nongenetic influences on gene expression”) coach David Krantz helps people figure out their genetic relationship to cannabis, and he’s our guest for this episode.

Listen and learn how:

      • Your liver enzymes help determine how high you get.
      • Knowing your genetics could help you figure out how to use cannabis to support your wellness.
      • Once you know your genetics, you can better titrate your dosage.
      • Why David does not consider himself a ‘genetic essentialist’

Visit David’s site here.

Transcript of Kannaboom Podcast with David Krantz

Copyright © Kannaboom, 2020

Kannaboom (00:00): Hey, it’s Tom. Welcome back to Kannaboom. Have you ever heard of nutrigenomics? I had not. Until I spoke with David Krantz, our guest for this episode, Nutrigenomics is the study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially in regard to the prevention or treatment of disease. And David comes at it from the cannabis perspective, which is very interesting. I mean, have you ever gotten high with a friend and then wondered how they could still function at a high level while you’re locked to the couch? It might be that you are metabolizing THC at different rates, that your liver is breaking it down a little more slowly because that’s the genetic blueprint that you have for your interactions with this plant. We’re all different in how our bodies react with cannabis and David and I get into this and much more about what this means for the future of how people will consume cannabis for everyday wellness. This podcast, my website Kannaboom with a k.com and my weekly newsletter 5 Boom Friday are all focused on how cannabis and CBD can help you achieve better wellness — and how to find CBD that’s trusted and reliable. You can subscribe at Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google podcasts, or your other favorite podcast player. And if you enjoy the show, please do leave a review and help us expand our reach. Here now is David Krantz.

Kannaboom (01:11): Cannabis is booming and Kannaboom is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom podcast, where we interview experts on the changing story of humans, health and hemp. From San Diego. Here’s your host, Tom Stacey.

Kannaboom (01:23): Hey, welcome back to the Kannaboom podcast. Today we have David Krantz. How are you, David?

David Krantz (01:27): I’m doing great, Tom. Thanks for having me on.

Kannaboom (01:29): And where are you today?

David Krantz (01:30): I am in Asheville, North Carolina, up in the mountains here.

David Krantz (01:33): I hear Asheville is pretty civilized. You have a craft brew scene there and stuff.

David Krantz (01:37): We have a very large craft brew scene. I actually think it’s out of proportion to the size of the city, but it does well for tourism. So that’s fun.

Kannaboom (01:47): We’re here to talk about your training and your expertise in genetics and the endocannabinoid system. Can you tell us about that?

David Krantz (01:54): Yeah, absolutely. So my background is in nutrigenomics, which is the study of how different genetic variants create different responses to food and nutrients and vitamins and all that. And a couple of years ago, I started looking into the research around cannabis and I realized there was actually a lot of research around how different genetic variants influence people’s response to cannabis and different cannabinoids. And there just, wasn’t a lot of information available out there for people, you know, for practitioners, for cannabis users, about how this information applies to them. So I started developing content and articles and actually a genetic test that I developed with the genomics company that can help people understand how this affects them and how they can optimize their cannabis use. And so I’ve developed a training course for practitioners, you know, it’s geared for practitioners, but anyone who’s an enthusiast or an activist that wants to be on the cutting edge would be a, it’d be a great fit for them and have developed this course that shows you how to use genetics to better understand your response or your client’s response to cannabis.

Kannaboom (03:13): That sounds super interesting cause I’ve had a few doctors and chemists and a pharmacist on the show and we’ve all talked about the complexity of our own genetics and then the complexity of the plant. And wouldn’t it be great if we could match those two up? So it sounds like you’re beginning to make progress on that.

David Krantz (03:30): Yes. you know, it’s not a perfect science, like you can’t take a genetic test and have it tell you exactly what strain and exactly what dosage will be perfect for your body, but it can give you some good guidance around certain dynamics. You know, whether you’re likely to say be more or less sensitive to THC or more or less sensitive to CBD or say, respond in a cognitive way, that’s more beneficial to THC, or if you’re more likely to kind of fit that classic stoner stereotype of, you know, kind of having a poor memory after smoking that type of thing. There’s some, there’s some pretty strong correlations that you can unearth through this information. And yeah, I’m kind of on a mission to spread this into the cannabis world because I think it would benefit a lot of people and people that I’ve done genetic reads for their feedback is generally, ‘Wow. I just understand how I relate to cannabis better. I’m able to modify and modulate my usage in relationship to the plant in a way that feels healthier and feels more grounded. And the way that my biology is wired.’

Kannaboom (04:41): What we end up talking about often as well, it’s a test and learn scenario. You have to try an indica and see how you react, try a sativa and see how you react. But any head start you could get on that understanding, I think would be helpful. I looked at some of the content you have online and metabolism seems to be a big part of this. Are you a fast metabolizer or are you a slow metabolizer? Is that a good place to start?

David Krantz (05:05): Yeah, that’s a great place to start. And that’s one of the more established areas where a genetic testing can really tell you about how you’re likely to respond, especially to THC in that you have these liver enzymes that break down THC, and everyone has different genetic variants that can influence say how much of those enzymes you produce. And certain people make less of them. And that means that they break down THC a lot slower and a lot less efficiently. So that means they have THC build up in their system a bit more. And those are going to be the people that are really, really sensitive to edibles, especially because when you think about the route of ingestion, eating it or taking a tincture is going to be absorbed into your bloodstream. And it goes through your liver before it gets your brain. Whereas inhaling THC goes straight, you know, more directly to the brain. So these enzymes have more of a chance to work on things that are ingested and, you know, people that are really sensitive to edibles are generally slower metabolizers and you can use a genetic test to start to understand this. So it’s a great way, you know, if you’re just getting into cannabis, especially for you to screen yourself and say, you know, I should definitely be careful with edibles. I should start with a lower dose. I should know that my body is going to be more sensitive to this. And then kind of on the flip side, if you’re someone who’s a faster metabolizer and you’re doing lower doses, you might want to actually increase your dose. So, you know, knowing this information can just give you a better understanding of your experience and what to expect.

Kannaboom (06:52): As we know, THC is one of, at least 113, maybe 120 cannabinoids. Do you go and find data on how we metabolize against all of those cannabinoids? Or are we just looking at mainly THC and possibly CBD?

David Krantz (07:06): Right now, we’re just looking at THC and CBD. The research really hasn’t been done yet in a clear way on other things like CBG or CBC that hopefully is coming in the future. But right now the data that we have that’s usable is on THC and CBD.

Kannaboom (07:24): And then does this take into account terpenes?

David Krantz (07:27): It can take into account terpenes in terms of certain effects. There are not any genetic studies directly on terpenes right now, what there are, you know, for example, in terms of looking at studies that might help you understand say cognitive response, short term memory deficits, when you’re using THC, some people are more prone to that for people that are more prone, it might be useful to utilize certain terpenes to help offset those effects. Right? So we know that genetically, some people are more prone to short term memory, and we know that certain terpenes can help offset some of the effects on acetylcholine in the brain with THC. So we can kind of match things up that way. If that makes sense. It’s not that there’s direct genetic studies on terpenes, but we can make correlations and assumptions about people’s response based on some of the factors that we’re looking for.

Kannaboom (08:24): Sure, you’re going to take some of the genetic information you have and then borrow information from other disciplines that might help you in targeting this individual in a way that would be safe and efficacious for them, I guess.

David Krantz (08:36): Exactly. And you know, a lot of terpene recommendations and profiles are going to be based more on symptoms that are presenting or certain goals. You know, whether your goal is to relax or to be more focused, and that doesn’t change so much with the genetics, ideally in the future, we could have a test that predicts that stuff, but still it can give you some indications, say, you know, some people are more prone to paranoia or anxiety with THC. You can look at that from a genetic perspective and look at terpenes like beta caryophyllene, as a way to help mitigate that. So you can pair certain terpenes with features and traits that show up in the genetics in a way that’s pretty helpful for people

Kannaboom (09:18): I’m probably going to over-generalize this, but in genetics itself, I mean, there’s sort of the nature nurture argument and what elements that are manifest are due to your destiny or due to the environment. And certainly with cannabis, people are aware of set and setting definitely can affect your experience. Do you consider that at all?

David Krantz (09:40): Oh, absolutely. I think that, you know, I don’t want to come across as a genetic essentialist. I’m probably as far away from that as you can get for someone who’s in the field of genetics and nutrigenomics, I really see it just as a spoke on the wheel, right? Just a piece of all the other factors. And of course, set and setting are huge set and setting. If you are, you know, not in the right mindset, you’re doing, you’re using cannabis in a space that is overwhelming. That’s going to trump, genetics, you know, in a lot of cases. But then there are other cases where genetics might kind of trump that set and setting for other people. And, you know, I think that we’ve really got to kind of look at the whole picture and the area that I want to bring in, you know, is this sort of innate biological response that for some people might be more extreme and for other people might be more responsive to the environment. And, you know, that’s what the most current understanding of genetics in general really is emphasizing is that it’s the combination of environment and genetics, genetics on their own. Don’t give you that great of a predictive power, but when you can understand the environment and those factors in combination with the genetics, it gets really powerful and certain genes. What they really do functionally in a lot of ways is make you more sensitive to certain environmental inputs. So for example, you know, certain genes are gonna make you more sensitive to THC or influence that sensitivity. And knowing those kinds of factors can allow you to match yourself up with the right environment and, you know, match yourself, say up with being more sensitive or more conscientious of set and setting or strain or method of ingestion and seeing how all those pieces kind of fit together.

Kannaboom (11:38): You may have a predilection for a certain cultivar strain and producing a certain result, but there’s other factors besides besides your genes, I’m hearing you say,

David Krantz (11:49): Yeah, absolutely. I don’t want to make it seem like this is the only factor, but if you’re someone that wants a little bit more objective understanding to tie into your subjective experience, it can connect the dots really well for people that you know, understand their responses, certain strains and their experiences say with edibles or inhaled cannabis, it’s, it gives more of a, a platform and structure to fit your experience and your understanding of your body into which can lead to some cool outcomes

Kannaboom (12:25): From a consumer perspective, how can I approach this in a smart way? Do I have to really educate myself on genetics? Am I going to be looking at a spreadsheet or, or what sort of a process would be involved in me looking at my genetics around cannabis?

David Krantz (12:40): Yeah. So this is part of what I’ve been developing with a peer on genomics over the past couple of years. It is an easy to read report that takes all of the need for, you know, really understanding genetics deeply out of the equation. What we do is we actually train practitioners like myself and other, other coaches and doctors to interpret these reports and make it so that it’s, you know, easily deliverable to someone who just wants to know about their genetics. And so what we do is we pair the genetics with a practitioner with the, you know, consumer end. And then you can have someone to really go over this and talk to about, you know, your genetics and experience, which is different than some other tests on the market where you just get sent a PDF and then you’re expected to really understand it. There’s a big barrier to entry with knowing how to use this stuff well and, and turn it into something that’s useful and actionable. So we’re very conscientious about making sure that, you know, you have someone to talk to about it and you have something that you can refer back to. And you know, I have a report that, you know, you also have as a PDF, but you have someone that’s kind of supporting you in your understanding of it as well.

Kannaboom (13:54): Well, it brings to mind some of the marketing we’ve all seen from vape pens or, or edibles where there’s attributes assigned to a certain product. They might be called party or sleep or arouse or relax, but those are all going to be variable.

David Krantz (14:11): Yeah. I mean, they’re good guesses. They’re, they’re good. You know, I’d say for probably a majority of people they’re going to be somewhat accurate, but then you got the outliers and that’s actually what I’m very interested in is outliers that don’t fit in the box. And that’s really where nutrigenomics works really well is for people that say, ‘Hey, I’ve tried this and I didn’t understand why it reacted in this way.’ Well, when you start looking at the genetics, it can, you know, connect those dots and make sense of those experiences. So for say, someone that, you know, uses an indica and is wired or someone that takes a sativa and they want to go to sleep. That kind of reaction is really interesting to look at. Okay. Where, where in the endocannabinoid system might there be, you know, maybe a series of more rare variants that might contribute to that. And like I said, there’s not clear data on genetics and terpenes, but it does give you something to start looking at and saying, Hey, you know, I can start to connect these dots here for myself.

Kannaboom (15:15): Some people are biphasic, right? It may affect them in a way that’s absolutely different from the majority.

David Krantz (15:24): I would say so. And biphasic also in the sense that, you know, lower doses are gonna sometimes affect people very differently than higher doses, and you might see radically different responses, especially around you know, kind of subjective cognitive response. Like, is this, am I having a good time or is this starting to get overwhelming? You know, with that and understanding, you know, your metabolism, there’s certain variants also in the dopamine system that are known to influence that sense of overwhelm or anxiety. And so, you know, knowing those, you can get a better understanding of how you want to titrate your dosage for some of those cognitive impacts.

Kannaboom (16:07): And then we also all know people who are exceedingly functional at high levels, even though if we tried, we’d be stoned, do they have some special enzyme or a genetic makeup that just allows them to, are they metabolizing fast or what’s happening there?

David Krantz (16:24): You know, it’s a combination of things. And that’s one thing to take into account with genetics is that you really can’t just isolate it and say, ‘Hey, there’s one gene for this and one gene for that.’ And that’s really why we do the practitioner training is to educate people on how to see genetics as a system, as a complex interaction between these different factors. And so for people that are highly functional which definitely see that as an archetype, right? You see people that work really well with cannabis and are the exact opposite of the kind of stereotypical stoner archetype thing. And with those people, they’re, you know, there’s about eight or nine different really strong cognitive function variants that can help predict whether you’re going to be someone that has good short term memory while you’re on THC, have good reaction time kind of control over impulse, open impulses. And there’s a bunch of different cognitive domains that have been studied and genetics identified related to them. And so what you see with people like that tends to be all of those variants together are on the protective side, right? Like, cause most people are going to have a combination of somewhere yeah, these are protective. These might be less protective. You might be more prone to some short term memory loss or say slower reaction, but you’ve also got these that are protective over here. You know, you do have those people on the ends where someone is extremely low functioning on one side, they’ve got kind of the eight or nine out of eight or eight or eight variants out of nine variants or nine variants at a nine variants that are going to predispose them to less functionality with THC. And then you’ve got the ones on the other side where maybe they have all nine, which I’ve seen before I’ve done reads for people and sure enough, they report like, yeah, I’m super functional on cannabis. I’ve done some reads for cannabis entrepreneurs where, you know, this is their life. And most of the time, those people tend to have pretty functional variants. So you can see how there’s this divergence in response that I think it’s, it’s helpful to look at this from a lens of what I call bio empathy or the ability to get out of your own innate biological response to something and put yourself in someone else’s shoes and allow for that response to be real and valid and different than your own, which is, you know, something that’s kind of hard to do. It’s not an innate natural thing to be able to just really accept and understand like, ‘Oh, this person is going to react totally differently than me to this same thing.’ We kind of just have this bias where we expect people to respond similarly. So that’s one of the areas where I feel like genetics really opens up the opportunity to look at this range of possible responses and gives people a greater path to bio empathy. And yeah, it makes sense of the people out there that really do function well with cannabis.

Kannaboom (19:36): Some people are more quote, unquote intoxicated than others, which when you get to law enforcement, I think they’re still trying to figure out a way to measure people driving under the influence of cannabis. And I don’t know that it stores itself in the fat, right? So you may have smoked a joint a week ago and it’s still going to turn up on a blood test. But the other factor that you just laid out is going to affect different people in different ways. And someone might be absolutely functional with a good amount of THC in them.

David Krantz (20:07): I think so. And the other interesting thing there that you mentioned about the THC metabolite that’s stored in the fat is that that is also influenced radically by someone’s. It’s called the CYP two C nine gene CYP, two C nine enzyme that breaks down THC, where it seems kind of backwards, but people that don’t break down THC as well and are more sensitive to it actually create less of that metabolite that gets looked at on, on drug tests. So people that are slow metabolizers actually might have the, of not having as much of a risk of failing a drug test, which I mean drug tests are, you know, are, I don’t even want to go into my thoughts on drug tests, but but you know, it’s an interesting feature where we’re talking like four to five times less, the amount of that metabolite for, for true slow metabolizers than people that are faster. So you see a lot of different idiosyncrasies with this and the way that people store and process THC.

Kannaboom (21:19): You know, I had a guy on a couple of weeks ago, Michael Stratton, who wrote a book called The Little Green Book: A Guide to Breaking Up with Marijuana. And he was saying that as a therapist, he’s aware that about 9% of the population is going to be quote unquote addicted. And, you know, we talked about that. I don’t know if it’s a physiological state or more of a psychological state, but is there anything in an individual’s genetic makeup that might tell you that this person could have an issue with wanting to smoke all the time?

David Krantz (21:48): Yes. There actually are some decent variants that have been identified. And again, there’s maybe four or five different ones that seem to have an impact on someone’s propensity for what’s considered cannabis use disorder or cannabis dependence. And, you know, I think it’s kind of useful just to be able to look at that and say, ‘Hey, this is something I need to be aware of.’ If I have other risk factors for addiction, whether that’s trauma or poor coping skills you know, all kinds of different factors are there. Then, you know, you want to be aware of what your relationship to cannabis is like. And I’ll tell you, I’m someone and I’ll self-disclose here. I I’m someone who I think probably would have qualified as having a cannabis use disorder when I was younger and through a lot of therapy through a lot of my own work unearthing, you know, deep hurt that I was suppressing and covering up with cannabis, you know, I’ve really changed my relationship to it over the years I don’t use it every single day, multiple times a day, like I did for a while before I was able to psychologically process and handle the emotions that I was using THC to kind of compensate for. And, you know, I think it’s both that psychological and physiological components that combined together and the separation between those things is often razor thin, where the ability to use a substance to get some type of, you know, some type of high or, or, you know, THC has a strong dopamine releasing effect in areas of the brain that are gonna contribute to that reinforcement pattern of, ‘Oh, this feels good. Oh, I don’t have to like deal with that feeling of being feeling crappy’ that will rewire the brain in certain ways to reinforce that. And then that behavior reinforces the thought patterns and the emotions and the psychology. And you know, you can look at it from both perspectives where, ‘Hey, this is a physiological thing.’ This is a psychological thing. And kinda, you know, get at it from both sides. But I do think that, you know, looking at the genetics, going to be a good way to help you understand kind of what the propensity is are, and if you’re someone that is trying to change your relationship with cannabis, it’s, it’s profoundly useful. Cause you know, in general, I’m, I’m pro cannabis, I’m pro legalization and I’m pro access, but I like that you brought that up because I, I do think it’s an important conversation to have around, you know, how do we really honor this plant in a way that we use it in a way that allows us to be our full selves and not rely on it as a crutch for something that would be more advantageous in the long run to really deal with head-on.

Kannaboom (24:45): That’s a great way to put it, in sharing your experience about that and coming through the process of being a heavy user yourself and then sort of stepping back and looking at this from a more scientific objective perspective is really valuable. I think you bring a lot of insight to this, again, back to the marketing, I’m certainly a believer in the medicinal power of cannabis for all sorts of conditions and, and maladies, but also as you’ve noted sort of a, a way to uplift yourself or to help yourself relax and go to sleep or whatever, when people are looking for products, it’s good to know your genetics. If you don’t have that, just look at strain. Do you think that helps when you’re shopping for something?

David Krantz (25:26): Oh sure. I mean, I think, I think straight knowing strains, knowing what the composition is, is super helpful, I’m trying to get away from talking about things that strains when I can and really talking about, okay, what’s the, the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids in this thing. Just because strains can be so variable and there’s so little control from plant to plant just the nature of it being a plant and how these things express differently. So, you know, you could, you could get one strain on the East coast and get the same strain on the West coast and it’d be a totally different, chemovars totally different phenotype at that plant. And, you know, I think it’s useful, but I think it’s most useful when you can have a real certificate of analysis rather than relying on what the, the strain name is. I think.

Kannaboom (26:15): Set and setting are gonna come into it, your own genetics, your own health, the status of your health at the time, the method of ingestion. Are you, are you taking an edible? Are you vaping? Are you smoking as well as the titration? How big of a dose are you taking? And then of course the quality of the product, which is going to vary even on the same plant, the same plant is going to have differences that all come into play when you’re going to use this.

David Krantz (26:40): Yeah, absolutely. I think you really nailed it there. Looking at all of those factors, you know, set and setting genetics, epigenetics, or your, your current health status what’s going on for you, or are you, you know, are you generally healthy? Is there a disease process going on? And then that being combined with strain, you know, method of ingestion and dose and quality of product, like that’s, that’s the circle of life and cannabis, right. I think that’s the, the, the network of effects and network of, of things that influence kind of the outcome for people. And you know, that that can change from session to session from year to year and knowing the genetics is one of the things that is a little bit more stable, right? It’s this kind of underlying thing that even if your health status changes or your set and setting changes, you are probably still going to be a slow metabolizer of your slow metabolizer. So it’s something that actually can provide some sense of stability within that larger picture. I think.

Kannaboom (27:42): You know, I had a guest who was a chemist who kind of mused about the day when we have an endocannabinologist. And it was the first time I had heard that term, someone at a dispensary or pharmacy who has a real understanding of the endocannabinoid system. And some of that is what you’re talking about. The genetic predispositions you have, we’re still learning a lot about how our bodies have endogenous cannabinoids and how we supplement them with phytocannabinoids. Do you see that kind of medical specialty coming along anytime soon?

David Krantz (28:15): Yeah, absolutely. And I, you know, that’s one of the things we’re really hoping to contribute to with this course is creating a better scientific basis for that type of personalized care and educating people on exactly. As you said, what the endocannabinoid system does and how people’s individual genetic makeup can change some of those dynamics. So for example, there’s a gene called FAAH, that stands for Fatty Acid, AMA Hydrolase. And this is a enzyme in the body that breaks down one of the main endocannabinoids that your body creates called anandamide and anandamide has been known to influence all kinds of things from being skinny, versus being obese, to being depressed first, being anxious, you know, you generally want to have pretty balanced levels of it and this enzyme, what it’s, what it does is it breaks down anandamide and certain people produce more or less of this enzyme. And if you have more of this enzyme, you tend to carry lower levels of anandamide and vice versa. If you have a genetic variant that tends to create a lower levels of FAAH this enzyme, you tend to carry higher levels of anandamide and neither one is purely good or bad or positive or negative. There’s just different treats and health impacts associated with kind of either direction. And so knowing that and knowing the genetics on that can help you understand, am I someone that carries naturally higher or lower endocannabinoid levels in general? Right. And so that’s, I think a lot, some of the information that an endocannabinoidologist would really want to know when your standing across on someone in a dispensary, or you’re standing in someone in the room with someone at your clinic, you know, it just gives a sense of information about, you know, do I choose a higher THC formulation, maybe a higher CBD formulation, maybe other cannabinoids that I, you know, hope to see more scientific, and I’m sure we will see more scientifically validated information on, on how to really coordinate that. But it’s a, it’s one of those things that just gives you a better understanding of those dynamics and allows us to start being more precise with the way we’re thinking about, okay, what does a high anandamide phenotype, someone that carries higher levels of that? What does it look like when they respond this way to high-THC product versus someone who responds well to a low-THC product? So you just, you start adding it in as another data point, which makes the ability to talk about this and be more precise with recommendations that much richer.

Kannaboom (31:11): Well, there’s also just opening the jar and sniffing, right? Right. That’s the old school way to, to know if if it’s gonna work for you the more, you know, the better. And, you know, if we have that kind of knowledge, it would certainly seem to be a boon to anybody who wants to really optimize their exposure to this plant. But I just wonder how long it’s going to take. I mean, as far as I know, medical schools are not even teaching about the endocannabinoid system yet, or a very small percentage of them are, do you have any insight into the timeframe for this becoming more widespread?

David Krantz (31:44): You know, I really don’t from a mainstream medical model perspective from a, a wellness perspective and people that are interested in doing further education and, you know, getting this stuff out there, regardless of if it’s being taught in medical school curriculums, I think that we’re going to see this information filter out a lot faster, not in the mainstream, in the, in the same way that cannabis has proliferated, you know, on its own, from people who understand the power of it and understand what its potential is. I think we’re going to see this type of information be spread and used in similar streams and similar routes of dissemination. I mean, that’s partly why I made this course, you know, there’s not any practitioner-grade information and trainings out there right now on this. So really, you know, wanted to fill the gap and create something that could allow this information to start to be used faster and more readily for, for people that are really, you know, passionate about providing the best type of care having the best information for their patients or clients

Kannaboom (32:59): Is that who you’re aiming at mainly you have, you have a course for practitioners?

David Krantz (33:04): Predominantly for practitioners, and then anyone who’s listening, that’s not a practitioner and just wants to know their genetics. You know, that’s what the test is more aimed at is, you know, people that are users, people that are interested in cannabis getting into it, whatever their relationship is to it. But the training course is more for practitioners that would want to interpret this type of testing and use it in their practice.

Kannaboom (33:29): Would someone need like their 23 and Me results? Or what sort of data do you examine?

David Krantz (33:36): Yeah. So 23 and Me can be used depending on what version it is. Not very well known, but 23 and Me changes their data set over time. So depending on what version of 23 and Me have people have, we can, we can use that. But we also have our own custom tests that we’ve run through a private lab and we do it that way because we can control exactly which genetic variants we get to look at. And we can also control privacy and data ownership, which I don’t know if you followed much about the 23 and Me business model, but a lot of what they do is harvest user data and sell it to pharmaceutical companies. So we just take that out of the equation and you, and your data, you own the privacy rates and the lab that we work with never even has access to your personal information. We just use an identifier number to transfer the information. So we’re very careful about that, and that allows us to do the testing and I think the most ethical and transparent way possible

Kannaboom (34:37): You’re collecting a vile of spit and analyzing that.

David Krantz (34:41): Yeah, well, it’s a cheek swab, so it collects buccal cells from the side of the cheek. So it’s actually easier than having to well up a bunch of spit and fill up a thing

Kannaboom (34:51): And other companies doing this are how far out ahead are you?

David Krantz (34:55): Yeah, there’s a few other companies that I’ve tested on the market. I have created one that I feel is a bit more transparent about the way we’re interpreting the data. I’m, I don’t want to name names or go down this rabbit hole too far, but there are some companies out there that are claiming to really be able to predict strains for people. And I think that at best, it’s a very large jump to conclusions. And at worst it’s kind of charlatanism and just a way to enter the market with a cash grab, because who wouldn’t want a test that perfectly can predict what strain you want, but the data is just not there. So I think in terms of navigating the ethics and the transparency of the cannabis genetic testing market, you really want to make sure that what the claims are in the test are really validated by the research. And there are some companies out there that do a pretty good job of that. And there’s some that, unfortunately don’t, and it’s hard because there’s very few people that are educated and able to take a look at the studies that are being referenced in those tests and know whether they’re really telling the truth about how they can use that data to accurately predict, say strains. So I would tell anyone to be somewhat cautious of strain-predictor type tests, but other ones that, you know, give you a clear understanding of, ‘Hey, this is what we’re getting this information from.’ and you know, we’re, we’re being transparent about what can be known, go with those.

Kannaboom (36:38): As we discussed a couple of minutes ago, anybody who is going to predict that a strain or a cultivar can do one thing or another is probably over promising things.

David Krantz (36:47): Yeah. And I don’t think that it’s a, it’s a bad idea to take that into consideration, but in terms of relying on it as an absolute truth, you know, and you really, it all comes down eventually to personal experimentation and validation. So I would say any test you’re taking, use it as a resource and try to work with someone who can help you and understand what the test is really saying, which I, again, I think is an important component of this because when we look at the larger genetic testing landscape for things like nutrition, the tests that really work well for people are ones where they’re being coached and being shown how the data applies to them rather than just being expected to, hey, you know, interpret this test, like how you really going to do that without having a good basis in genetics. So, you know, try and find someone that can help you understand the test is what I would say.

Kannaboom (37:43): You know, you mentioned ethics and that always seems to rear its head in discussions of genetics. And I don’t know your perspective, but I think you need to be aware of absolutes, right? There’s a lot of other factors usually to be considered in any discussion of this.

David Krantz (37:58): Yeah, absolutely. And, and that’s part of, I think the value of, you know, talking with someone and working with someone from the perspective of how do you really use this data well, right. Cause it doesn’t give you absolute. So it gives you probabilities, gives you possibilities and then how your genes are expressing themselves is an important thing to take into consideration. That’s the, you know, the health status and set and setting and all that we were talking about before. So yeah, you don’t want to get hung up on absolutes and the genetic essentialist idea, which really when you look at research is not a really valid way to interpret this stuff. So what we, what we do is say, ‘Hey, you have the probabilities for this to show up. And here’s some ways that you can modify or influence those probabilities.’ And that’s really the way to use genetic testing in a ethical, actionable way where you’re saying, you know, ‘Hey, here’s, here’s likelihoods and here’s what can influence those likelihoods.’

Kannaboom (39:00): And as I’ve mentioned with doctors I’ve had on the show, it’s a nice dynamic rather than just going to the doctor and saying, you know, ‘What’s wrong with me doc, and I’ll take whatever you give me.’ When you’re concerned with your wellness, and you’re looking at cannabis, you seem to be more involved, and it’s nothing is your destiny. There are always outliers. There’s always your frame of reference that you bring to it, but cannabis itself can help you be more aware of your wellness. And it does take some testing and learning along the way, I think.

David Krantz (39:29): Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I see cannabis as part of a healthy regimen for certain people, right. You know, it’s the way I work with clients is, you know, most of my coaching clients, cannabis is not the only thing we’re focusing on. We’re, we’re talking about supplements and herbs and diet and exercise, and all of the other things that go into a healthy lifestyle and cannabis can certainly be a piece of that. But I think in terms of looking at this from a broader perspective, you know, thinking about how cannabis and cannabinoids might fit into that rather than relying on it as the only piece I think is really important too, in terms of the larger conversation and how we can integrate cannabinoids into a healthy lifestyle and wellness oriented focus,

Kannaboom (40:17): Do you consider disease states at all? And cannabis’ potential as a preventative? There’s research out of Israel about Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, and now that we know about the endocannabinoid system and that there can be deficiencies, and you mentioned seeing it as part of a daily regimen, do you know if people are taking it as sort of a preventative vitamin or is that something you would recommend or consider?

David Krantz (40:43): I think it depends on the person, especially, you know, I would probably steer most people away unless there’s a real good reason in terms of managing a health condition from using THC every day, but for CBD, I think there’s a lot lower potential, a lot higher likelihood of where that’s gonna be a more naturally balancing kind of agent in the body. You know what, in terms of my personal work, I’m not so focused on say targeting and preventing a specific disease state like that. But I think that when you focus on kind of a whole systems perspective on health, when you focus on how can I feel good, have my lab values, you know, in the optimal range, how can I put myself in a condition right now where I’m really at a state of peak optimal health that in and of itself contributes to preventive and preventative, preventative care in the long run, right? So it’s not that I’m, I’m not focused on long term outcomes. It’s more that I’m focused on longevity and healthspan from a general sense of what can we learn about your body right now that we can balance, what can we do right now that will contribute to that. And yeah, for certain people, I think especially CBD can be a really potent agent in providing that.

Kannaboom (42:11): Yeah. You have that mindset in listening to your body and responding in kind. So that makes sense.

David Krantz (42:18): Oh, I was going to say, I really liked the way you phrased it though, before about just, yeah. Cannabis can help you become more aware of what’s going on in your body. And I’ll say that, I think that’s one of the big components of wellness that allows you to really move to the next horizon of what’s possible for your health. Because if you’re not aware of, you know, how you feel and what’s going on for you, it’s very hard to change it in a meaningful way, but when you’re more tuned in and you can look at things from a different perspective, like, you know, THC does really well. I say a perspective shifter, right? Sometimes you can pick up on internal dynamics in your body and the way things feel that allows you to be more sensitive and sensitized to, you know, your moods and your energy levels and all of that. And so just that alone, I think can be a tremendous benefit and value from having a healthy relationship with cannabis.

Kannaboom (43:19): Well, when you look at clearing out your medicine cabinet, people who need a serious painkiller cannabis is safe and effective, or people who are suffering from PTSD or anxiety, the right cultivar can help with anxiety, but in the same way for PTSD, I’m sure. But from a harm-reduction standpoint, we could be talking about a lot fewer opioids going into people. And that’s a good thing too.

David Krantz (43:42): Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that the potential for it as a pain management tool for people that need it is very strong and yeah, I think the more people that can be off of long term opiate use the better.

Kannaboom (43:56): Is there anything we haven’t covered that we should?

David Krantz (43:58): I don’t think so. I think we, we touched on pretty much everything there and that was that was a fun conversation.

Kannaboom (44:05): Yeah. We kind of rambled around, but I know a lot of it was super interesting to me and I think our listeners will like it too. So where can we find you online?

David Krantz (44:14): So you can find me online at David-Krantz.com, David dash K R A N T Z dot com. And if anyone’s interested in learning more about running a test or working with me in a health coaching capacity, you can shoot a message there. You can book a free 30 minute consultation where we go over, you know, some different options, see if I can help you. And if we’re a good fit to work together, and for anyone that’s interested, that’s listening as a practitioner that wants more information on the practitioner training. You can go to Canna, dna.education, C A N N A DNA.education. And you can sign up for the email list and get information about the upcoming training and resources that we have available. And I also do have some additional articles and resources on my website too. So lots of free information out there and then opportunities to train further. If you’re interested in that.

Kannaboom (45:16): Great. I know we’re going to hear a lot more about this, as it becomes more widespread, but thank you for sharing this with our audience and thank you so much.

David Krantz (45:24): Yeah, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me on. It’s a pleasure to share and always, really just appreciate the opportunity to spread this information to whoever can benefit from it.

Kannaboom (45:33): You’ve been listening to the Kannaboom podcast with host Tom Stacey, if you like the show and want to know more, please check us out at Kannaboom with a K dot com and please leave us a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen, see you next week.

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