62 | David Jakubovic, Filmmaker, CBD Nation

“I’m embarrassed now to say that I found ‘stoners,’ I say that in quotes, annoying. I didn’t understand it. And I thought that CBD specifically, which I had heard of a lot was probably bullshit, was probably some kind of wellness fad.”

— David Jakubovic

Old enough to remember when CBD wasn’t yet being sold in every gas station? Cannabidiol came on fast, and many people still don’t , 62 | David Jakubovic, Filmmaker, CBD Nationunderstand where it comes from and how it works as a medicine. To remedy this, David Jakuobvic made CBD Nation, an informative documentary that will further viewer’s knowledge of this safe and effective medicine. Listen and learn how and why:

    • David went from a CBD skeptic to a believer.
    • He spent about a year traveling around the world to interview leading figures in the cannabis  / CBD movement.
    • He edited out mention of a particular strain of cannabis, and anything else that might be considered funny.
    • While he was discussing cannabis and CBD with an MMA fighter, that man’s partner practically climbed over him to tell David why she was dead-set against CBD.
    • It’s so important to push back against the anti-cannabis stigma that still persists.

CBD Nation website

CBD Nation on Twitter

David Jakubovic on Twitter

Transcript of Kannaboom Podcast with David Jakuobvic

Copyright 2020 © Kannaboom

Kannaboom (00:00): The story of CBD is almost too good to be true. Here's this plant-based medicine, a cousin to cannabis, derived from hemp, and it's an effective treatment for everything from epilepsy and PTSD to anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia. And no one even knew about it until about 10 years ago. So how could this not be snake oil? Filmmaker David Jakubovic asked himself this question and spent a year traveling around the world to uncover the answer. The result is CBD Nation, a newly released documentary that highlights stories of people whose lives were saved by CBD and explains the science behind the medical efficacy of CBD and cannabis. Because it is so versatile, there's still a lot of resistance out there to CBD, and because it's related to cannabis, you might still run into people who say, as someone told David, "I don't care about the science, it's a drug." When you hear that, just ask them to spend 80 minutes watching CBD Nation. It's a brilliant and persuasive piece of filmmaking that I think you'll enjoy. And I know you want to hear my interview with David about how and why he made this film. Also, please stop by and see at Kannaboom with a K dot com and sign up for my very succinct weekly newsletter Five Boom Friday, focused on how cannabinoids and CBD can help you achieve better wellness and importantly, where to look for CBD that's trusted and reliable. If you like the podcast, please subscribe at Apple or Stitcher or your other favorite podcast player. And please leave a review so other people can find the show. Thanks to our producer, Danny in Milwaukee. And here's my interview with David Jakubovic

Kannaboom (01:23): Cannabis is booming and Kannaboom is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom podcast, where we interview experts on the changing story of human, health and hemp. From San Diego, here's your host, Tom Stacey. Hey it's Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboom Podcast. I'm really excited for this week's guest David Jakubovic, who is director of the new documentary CBD Nation. How are you doing David?

David Jakubovic (01:46): I'm excellent. Thank you for having me.

Kannaboom (01:48): So the documentary has been out for how long now?

David Jakubovic (01:52): For a week can weeks since the 25th of August. So two weeks.

Kannaboom (01:57): And we can see it on Amazon prime and various other channels,

David Jakubovic (02:01): Prime video, Apple TV, Google play. You can YouTube it. You can get anywhere where there is a VOD you can get on the, of the, on cable and then where there's video on demand.

Kannaboom (02:12): I thought it was a very fresh take on not just CBD, but also cannabis. And the focus that you put on research. I mean, if there is still a stigma out there, I think we can lean on it a little when we cite research. And I thought you did a good job of that.

David Jakubovic (02:27): Thank you. Yeah, I, I, I think that cannabis is often discussed by, by those who like to stigmatize it as a gateway drug for, for other drugs. So, so supposedly if you take cannabis in your life, then you're going to immediately take care of one and that's shown to be nonsense. And I wanted to turn the gateway idea on its head and use CBD, which is sort of a comfortable-sounding word to many people who don't necessarily have any experience with cannabis. I want them to take CBD and use it as a gateway for education on the science of cannabis research.

Kannaboom (03:14): Right. Well, and actually I've heard cannabis called an exit drug. A lot of people stuck on opioids can use cannabis to help them exit that habit.

David Jakubovic (03:23): I met so many people shooting this documentary hundreds of patients who have been using cannabis to treat intractable problems. And I heard so many times, and it became almost absurd. How many times the same exact story came into my ears, which was a I'm paraphrasing, but it was, 'I was sick with ABCD, which, whatever problem, you know, pain or whatever I was sick, everything was terrible. My life was in shambles. I couldn't function. I was on drugs that I was given opioids, opioids, you know, things that made me feel worse. The side effects were terrible. I was miserable. I discovered cannabis as something that could be medically useful starting the next day.' And I would hear this so many times that Mike, my cameraman and I began joking that we, we, we would like jokingly roll our eyes at these stories because we were like, yeah, we already know. We already know because they were so ubiquitous. And how, how weird would it be of anyone to listen to all these stories and say, 'I'm going to just dismiss this.' So instead of dismissing it I wanted to not just rely on the anecdotes, but go into the real science and figure out what is, what is the research on this? And are these people making it up or is there actual real research? And the answer is there is a shit ton of real research and it's fascinating and we cannot ignore it. And the mainstream, not the mainstream media, that the mainstream films that are out there touch on the science, but they don't go deep into it. And so that's why I decided to focus on the research in this movie.

Kannaboom (05:22): I love the way you did that because anecdotes get dismissed by the medical community. And, you know, the medical community should demand a level of veracity through clinical trials and, you know, double-blind placebo studies and all that. But you can't discount the human side of this, where as you say, hundreds of people who had real stories, because it's an anecdote, doesn't totally invalidate it. I mean, you can't, you can't base policy on anecdotal evidence, but it really does change people's lives as you found.

David Jakubovic (05:53): Well, the question is, is there other than anecdotes? And so anecdotes are not in themselves a reason to to, to just to change laws, but necessarily, I mean, maybe they are, but let's say that they're not, but, but the, the body of work on site, the, of science work out there is so immense that you know one of the, one of the stories that we show in the movie is, is and I think one of the most powerful medical stories out there yet, it's a little obscure in Israel. Some people who had leukemia and who had a bone marrow transplant, a lot of people who have this suffer from this horrific disease called graft versus host disease or GVHD for short. And it's a really horrible disease where they have enormous amounts of diarrhea and their skin becomes like peels off. It's just this horrific disease and it's, and a lot of people die from it. And what, so what, what happened was a few people in this ward, then a big hospital in Israel went to the head of the ward and said, 'We've been using cannabis and it's been, we're, we're feeling better. And so this guy, instead of dismissing it, this guy, his name is Professor Moshe Sharuin. I think he, instead of dismissing these problems, he thought let's, let's see what this is. And so he went to Professor Raphael Mechoulam who's considered one of the grandfather of cannabis research in the University of Jerusalem. And he told him the story and, and, and they put together a program to test this. And it went into clinical trials eventually with Israel's largest HMO, they gave him CBD, pure CBD with no THC, because they were afraid of getting people high in the hospital. And the results were insane, right? Like very high percentage points of people who either didn't get GVHD when it was used as a preventative or their GVHD got a lot better when it was used to treat it. And so, you know, this is an example of how anecdotal evidence points you points you were, of what, where the research. And I think that's the power of anecdotes. And if we acknowledge that, then we can tell the right story about that. Then we can tell that we can educate correctly. You know.

Kannaboom (08:30): Well, I struggle myself. I mean, it's kind of complex. I was on a podcast last week where a guy was like, 'I just can't believe that this could do so many things. It sounds like the snake oil that people sold out of the back of wagons. I mean, how can it cure cancer and Alzheimer's and PTSD and insomnia and anxiety?' And my answer wasn't perfect. But I went back to the endocannabinoid system and the idea of homeostasis and that your endocrine system is involved. Your neurotransmitters, you know, there's many systems involved. There's many illnesses that can manifest when your body is out of whack. And to bring it back to homeostasis is something that's really valuable. And that's part of why this plant is so versatile.

David Jakubovic (09:14): Right. And that question, how can it help so many different things is indeed a big question. And we ask it in our movie and inherent in asking that question is a fundamental education lack. And I, and I don't say that disparagingly about the person asking the question. I say it disparagingly about our culture, where, where, where there's no there's not enough education on this subject. And if a person asks that and says, this is like snake oil bullshit, then this person is coming to it from a point of view of, 'Hey, prove it to me' as opposed to, 'Hey, maybe I should go learn and study and, you know, start putting CBD into Google Scholar and seeing what comes up.' And I, I think that the whole endocannabinoid system story is so it's so mind-blowing because when you realize that we have an entire system in our body that is not really taught in medical schools where cannabis molecules affect it and make it work and regulate different systems in our body properly, then you start realizing, wait a minute, there's something here. When you start realizing that people with PTSD in research by top institutions are showing a lack of endocannabinoids that can be enhanced by THC use. Well, then, then then we have something real here. You know, this is very real stuff. This is not an anecdote. It's real science.

Kannaboom (10:48): Yes. And you mentioned Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, he is of course, the grandfather, the godfather of this research. And I was so glad to see that you got him in and so many other kinds of stars of this movement on camera. You're Israeli, so you understand, how did Israel get such a big lead in this? Why did they take it so much more seriously than the U S

David Jakubovic (11:09): I've asked Israelis this? And no one is entirely sure, except that it seems like Professor Mechoulam is a big part of it. Here's this researcher who happened to be in Israel. And he was when he was young in the sixties, he was trying to figure out what to study and he thought, 'Oh, cannabis could be interesting to study.' It came to him somehow it occurred to him that he should study it. And the police had some cannabis that they had confiscated from, from you know, criminals. And he through connections was able to get some of it from the police to study. There's a great documentary that's on YouTube. It's available to watch called The Scientist, which is about, and it tells about his early years of getting cannabis. It's very, it's very entertaining and everyone should watch it.

Kannaboom (12:01): So he was sort of the linchpin of starting research in earnest that has made such a difference. He discovered THC didn't he in the early sixties?

David Jakubovic (12:11): He isolated THC, which means that he was able to describe it and isolate it from the, from the plant. And then a lot of different scientists from around the world started flocking to his lab to work with them. So Dr. Lumír Ondřej Hanuš came from Czechoslovakia to Jerusalem to start working with Dr. Mechoulam and he then discovered anandamide, which is the first endocannabinoid that was discovered. And through Mechoulam's lab, a lot of, a lot of research was just done. And, and I think that's probably why Israel became the center of research. And also the Israeli government is, is friendly to the research and Israel is very entrepreneurial. So I think, I think there's a spirit thereof of, of trying to discover and build and create new industry

Kannaboom (13:01): Having come from that background. Is that what opened you up to this film? Or was there some specific angle, something that happened in your life that made you want to do this film?

David Jakubovic (13:11): Well, I was, when, when I was approached about doing it occurred, it occurred to me that I have preconceived notions about cannabis. And I thought about my history with it, which is very minimal. I had, I had been high a handful of times in my life. It was never something that I was particularly interested in. I had a lot of stigma thoughts about it. I'm embarrassed now to say that I found stoners, I say that in quotes annoying. I didn't understand it. And I thought that CBD specifically, which I had heard of a lot was probably bullshit, was probably some kind of wellness fad. And they probably had the same preconceived notions that you're the person you said, asked you about snake oil had, and then everything. Everything changed when I, when I was in Israel and I went to the Cannatech conference and Cannatech was a conference that's about technology and, and business and science, and I saw all the scientists speak. And I, and I realized, this is not some pot conference. This is a very serious science conference and business conference, and this is not something to be discounted. And when they watched Dedi Meiri's Ted talk where he describes killing different cancer cells of different cancers with different combinations of cannabis compounds. I'm looking at this serious man from a serious Institute, the Technion in Haifa, in Israel, which I had known about since I was a kid. And I thought, all right, I need to, I need to put aside my preconceived notions because they're nonsense. There is something here that I need to learn about. And then I started examining, why do I have preconceived notions? And I realized there is not enough material out there in the mainstream. That is about the science of cannabis.

Kannaboom (15:09): Honestly, I'm probably coming from a similar place. I mean, like a lot of people, I smoked some cannabis in college and then came out into the workforce and alcohol was the more socially acceptable social intoxicant. And so for decades, that was my kind of go to relaxant. And I remember though Sanjay Gupta doing the first of his specials on CNN, where he looked at Dravet's Syndrome and how it helped little children deal with, well, live. I mean, they weren't going to survive that and CBD helped them bring those epileptic seizures down and live a normal life. And from there, he did a couple more episodes that went on to PTSD, and it just opened the doors to the idea that this is a legit medicine. I mean, for a couple of decades, I thought medical marijuana was a ruse by stoners who don't want to engage. They want to be on the couch getting high. That's not it at all. It's a legit medicine. And so the kind of education that you're doing is fantastic and that it can convince some of the skeptics that this is a really legitimate medicine for a lot of different conditions.

David Jakubovic (16:13): I hope so. There was something that I needed to figure out when making this movie about the tone of it in terms of how do I speak to those who are stigma-minded and who are uncomfortable with cannabis and uncomfortable with the discussion. And there was a couple that I sat next to on a, on the flight early on in making this in shooting this movie. And the guy was sitting next to me and he saw me reading all sorts of materials on cannabis. And he was very excited and wanted to talk to me about it because he was very excited about CBD because he was an MMA fighter who every day after work went and did MMA. And they all used CBD because it helped their injuries. And his wife was climbing over this guy to yell at me about how much she hates that her husband is on drugs.And, and she, she was adamant and I told her, 'Hey, I'm not, I'm not here to pontificate to you, but, but do you want me to tell you about like what I've been learning? Cause I've been really learning some really interesting things about the science of this stuff.' And she said the sentence to me that got branded in my brain. She said, 'I don't care about science. It's a drug.' And that's a real quote that someone said to me, someone, someone young and, and, and he was saying to me, yeah, like, you know, like, that's the problem with people who are uneducated. It was kind of an odd couple dynamic that they had. I don't know if they're still together. And so I needed to figure out how to speak to her, right. Maybe she's beyond you know, like wanting to learn about it, but I needed to try and speak to her. And so in making this movie, I found myself removing anything funny from it like humor, all pop culture related things I removed because cannabis has been presented in our, in our mainstream culture for so many years as a punchline, or as, at the very least something somewhat amusing. You know, you remember Brad Pitt's character in True Romance, one of his early amazing roles where he plays this stoner housemate, right. And he's just completely stoned all the time. And very funny. And I don't think cannabis should be portrayed that way. I think that's very stigma enforcing. And as I learned about the reality of this plant, I realized that I should be very serious and respectful of it and leave the humor for other movies. So I had a lot of really funny gags in the movie as I was editing it, people would say stuff that was very funny. One, one person said, ‘How can I ask? We need to change the names of these strains, because how can I prescribe Alaskan Thunderfuck to someone?’ I thought that was, I think it was an older man. And I thought it was just the funniest thing ever. And it was in the edit for a long time, until I realized this too needs to go. I need no jokes in this movie.

Kannaboom (19:28): Well, I think it was effective. It's an effective technique because when you're, you're done watching it, you realize, yeah, this isn't a joke. It's, it's a real thing in America right now. You might hear a lot of people say, 'I don't care about the science.' It's just, it's too bad. If you have to make an unfunny film to get people to focus. So I guess that that's one strategy and I think you did it well.

David Jakubovic (19:49): Yeah. I think, I think I don't want to get particularly political because that's a, another thing that I was trying to do in this movie is to avoid anything that's going to confront and of your, her was already uncomfortable with this material with a political reality that they're going to be uncomfortable with because I didn't want to shut people down, but we obviously have a problem with science acceptance in America. It's rampant, and I'm hoping that one of the ways to deal with it is just by presenting it simply in a way that you can immediately understand is relevant to you. You know? And so if you're watching this movie, you, and you're an extremely conservative person who is, was very deeply ingrained in the idea that cannabis is something bad and criminal, but you have family members who suffer from pain, cancer, whatever. You're not going to see this and say, I'm going to withhold this information from my family. Or if you yourself are going through pain, you're going to say, maybe this is something that I need to try and research more.

Kannaboom (20:58): Right. An Inconvenient Truth was a documentary that focused on science. And it's been more than 20 years. And here we are.

David Jakubovic (21:05): Yeah. Well, then there's that. So, I may be completely a delusional. I don't know.

Kannaboom (21:11): You know, I was struck by the very beginning where it's a very visceral scene where you're talking with a scientist, who's up in Seattle, in Puget Sound, and she's painstakingly doing some data collection where she's got mussels out on the shoreline. And over a period of months, the discovery is that they're soaking up a lot of drugs that are out in the water. Right? And the point of that is to me, was a real epiphany. The United States has 5% of the world's population and consume 75% of the..

David Jakubovic (21:44): And 80% of the opioids.

Kannaboom (21:46): The whole thing was mind blowing. And I thought it was a really effective way to kick it off. At first, it was like, well, what does this have to do with cannabis? But you did an artful job of weaving that into the larger story.

David Jakubovic (21:57): Well, I heard about this story and thought, this is a good way into it because I'm, I'm a, I'm a, I'm a fan of a, This American Life on NPR. And they do this thing that I always really love, which is they start with a short story that then takes you into something completely different, which is the main story. And I, and so I kind of copied their structure a little bit by doing this. And there's a thing with pharmaceutical drugs, which is, there's a reality, which is they're often helpful to people. And so I didn't want to make a statement, you know, I didn't want to turn this movie into some kind of anti pharmaceutical drug movie. I wanted to show where they're often unhelpful and, you know, and to present an idea where we're probably taking these too much, it's probably not always helpful. Let's please examine the damage that we're doing to ourselves and see if there's something else that we can do. That's more helpful.

Kannaboom (22:55): Yeah. That requires some finesse to, to say that. I mean, I have had discussions where I have to say, look, I'm not anti-pharmaceutical. There are things that only pharmaceuticals can do for us. And we need to have those in our medicine cabinet. But if you look at everything out there, maybe we can take some of those pills out of the medicine cabinet and use cannabis for sleep, for anxiety, for inflammation, and begin to reduce our reliance on all these drugs.

David Jakubovic (23:20): And honestly, and this word, I think we're sometimes afraid to go this far, but to kill cancer cells when it's figured out which exact combinations do or, or when it becomes commercialized DIedi Meiri's work for example, of figuring out which,ucompounds of cannabis,ukill which cancer cells, you know, like this is a really huge story. And, and, and we need the snake oil people that are calling out snake oil, snake oil, because there is noise. And there's the reality of the science. When I grew up, I had very bad asthma and I was in the hospital often with asthma attacks that I needed some extra intense inhalation for it. And I had an inhaler in my pocket all the time, and I was always put on an inhaler and on steroids a few times, you know, I was always given these, these drugs for it. And, you know, they didn't really help. I still always had it in my early twenties. I came across Kundalini yoga, which is a form of yoga that really focuses on breath. Friend of mine was teaching it. And so I went to her class and, and that night after getting this high from breathing in a certain way, that night I was outside, it was cold. It was New York winter. And I had this realization that I don't have asthma anymore. I didn't have asthma anymore. I hadn't touched an inhaler since I haven't had one in my pocket. Like I just did not have asthma from that moment on. And the reason I think that happened was because no doctor had ever told me to pay attention to my breath. And so asthma became this, this, this thing that, that was wrapped in anxiety, like I would feel a little uneasy in my breaths, you know, and I would get anxious about it and it would make it worse. It would be this snowball. Now I'm not saying that everyone with asthma is going to have the exact same experience as me, but I had bad asthma. And, and,uand I became mad that no doctor ever told me to look at my breathing and focus on it and work with it. And my mom, my mom's a nurse and she, it never occurred to her even to tell me that it's just, it wasn't in the, it wasn't in the language of, of the medical community. And so I think often pharmaceutical approaches are probably very, very helpful or definitely very helpful. I don't need to say probably, but not always

Kannaboom (26:03): Right. There is sort of the army of naysayers and the resistance that they put up to the whole idea of cannabis as a legit medicine. But then there's also beyond that there are the entrenched interests. There's a lot of money in pharmaceuticals and those people aren't going to just back off and say, 'Oh yeah, cannabis can do this and do that.' It could cure cancer, which a lot of people are going to stumble on and go, well, are you saying it cures cancer? I'm careful to say no, cure means forever, but it might be a treatment that can reduce the size of tumors and all that. What we need is more research.

David Jakubovic (26:37): The further you can go further than that, you can say, yeah, it's killing cancer cells. It's caused by various cancers. When you combine various combinations of compounds, go look at work from the Technion at Dr. Dedi Mieri's work and, and other work. And so the answer is, yes, it does kill cancer. It's just not yet commercialized, but it's very clearly happening. Right.

Kannaboom (27:03): And getting the word out so that people don't look at you sideways and go, well, you know, I've heard apricots cure cancer. There's a lot of — baking soda — there's a lot of quackery around this disease that has caused so much suffering and people are probably rightly skeptical, but I think films like yours can begin to introduce the idea that no, this is a real medicine with real efficacy and it could change your life.

David Jakubovic (27:27): Right. And, and that the apricots thing, it's funny because what, what, what is at the heart of this at the heart of this is show me the, show me the evidence, right? So if someone says, I heard apricots kill cancer, the answer is, well, I didn't, maybe they do show me papers, show me, show me some studies, right? And that, and that sort of takes the joke into the realm of reality. Whereas when I say someone has been killing cancer cells with cannabis, and someone says, show me the evidence. I can send them papers. That's important because I think we just tend to w w for some reason, we're living in an environment where people think that their opinions on science when they're not scientists are relevant, like you're, you're, we're living in this bizarre environment where people have opinions on virus science that should not have opinions on virus science. Right. And, and and I think we have to be a little more respectful of facts and of, and, and, and it's easy to define facts in the scientific realm. All you need to do is go and research and go on Google Scholar and go and look at research papers. It takes some work, but you can do it.

Kannaboom (28:38): Another aspect of the film. You looked at a couple of children who really, when people see these stories, they're very moving. And, Riley had cancer.

David Jakubovic (28:48): Riley had a tumor that was not cancer, the bone tumors in her face. And that was not malignant, but they were spreading and they were life threatening. And her recovery by using a lot of cannabis was unparalleled for someone with that condition.

Kannaboom (29:09): Well, and the way you documented it was so striking to see this young girl, the way it unfolds. And she went to Delaware, to the state lawmakers and really made something happen, changed the law based on what this plant did for her. And it was very striking.

David Jakubovic (29:26): Yeah. And what's beautiful about that to me. Well, there's many beautiful things about that, but I'm very enamored with the concept of breaking stigma and, and, and destroying one's preconceived notions. And it's often easy in the political environment in the United States for us to think politically about everything. And for someone who's, who's, let's say a, a left, left minded politically to say, Republicans are not science minded, but the, the two main champions of the law that ended up being Riley's Law, which allowed for minors to use medically needed cannabis in Delaware were Republican or Republican state Senator and congressmen. And they were champions of this law. And they say in the movie, one of them says in the movie, you know, we don't have enough scientists here. So, we don't have anything to latch on to, in trying to study this stuff. And I, you know, it's kind of beautiful to see, to see our Republican senators support this, you know, for, for the right reasons,

Kannaboom (30:39): Again, having a young child and really telling that story, who could be against it?

David Jakubovic (30:45): Who has the right to be against it? Who dares to be against it, which is what the Senator says, like, how do I, what right is it of mine to say no to saving this child's life?

Kannaboom (30:57): Right. And that gets to the fact that we all have cannabis rights. How dare anyone infringe on them? It's a plant I can grow in my yard. We've used it for thousands of years. Why are there still people incarcerated and still being arrested every year on this?

David Jakubovic (31:13): That's a great question. It's a disturbing question. And one that I purposely avoided dealing with in this movie, because there's so many other movies that deal with it. And I wanted to note I wanted to not have anything that is not science in this film, that it's not just like pure facts. The story of Riley is a legal story, but it's related to the science of it, you know, and related to the, to her medical anecdote. Yeah.

Kannaboom (31:39): I think over time, we'll see that your documentary is a, is a nice piece of work within the whole realm of cannabis, advocacy, and unbiased presentation of of fact, I do like you, you have a whole Who's Who, of, of cannabis superstars besides Raphael Mecholum you talked to Andrew and Steve de Angelo and Martin Lee and Sue Sisley, and so many other people. Did you have any favorites among, among all these people?

David Jakubovic (32:07): Oh God. Yes. so I mean, they were all my favorite, the moment that I finished the interview. So now my camera cameraman and I, every time we finish an interview, we are often when we've finished an interview, we said that was the best one so far. I, the passion that they all have is just so intense. The mission driven nature of their work is so intense. It's, it's really hard to define an actual favorite. Steve de Angelo blew my mind when I interviewed them in a way that was unique because this guy is so sharp and so on, just like so on-message and so smart while he is also on a lot of cannabis, which I interviewed him very early on in the process. So it was one of them, it was a surprise to me still at that time that people can, can consume so much cannabis and be so incredibly intelligent and smart and sharp.

Kannaboom (33:07): Yeah. He is one of those high-functioning cannabis consumers, very articulate and knows everybody. We had Andrew on the podcast recently, and he's really knowledgeable too. I love what they're doing up in Oakland. I want to ask how long it took to put this project together. You were in Seattle, you were in Oakland, you were in Delaware, you were in Israel. You were all over the place.

David Jakubovic (33:29): Yeah. I shot for about three months on an off and then edited for, it took, it took about a year. It took a little under a year. It was, you know, kind of the length that it takes when you're just working full time on something and trying to get it done with laser focus.

Kannaboom (33:49): So that's fairly typical for a project like this.

David Jakubovic (33:52): I mean, some, some feature documentaries can take years. Some can take a few months. It just depends on, it just depends on the amount of footage on like, how, how well you're structured in your thinking about putting it together. It's documentaries are kind of one of those weird animals that just have no rule, but if you were going to do a TV documentary, that's, you know, an hour and a half, then yeah. It'll be something like that. Maybe a little less.

Kannaboom (34:18): The skill you brought to it too, you know, I guess you have to storyboard the narrative and then get out there and do the interviews and then spend a lot of time narrating it in, in, in the production. That's a big job.

David Jakubovic (34:30): There were no storyboards. So documentaries are strange. Every documentary is very, very different and how it's approached. It's almost like every documentary is a whole different type of artwork. In this particular case, I came into it with very little knowledge and they started researching. And then I would, I would do a lot of the research through the people that I would find to interview early on. They were the less famous people and, and I would go and interview them and I would learn a lot from the interview. And, and, and when I eventually found myself with 50 interviews, I started editing and I had already some ideas on how the structure, what I would start with. I knew I would start with that mussel story. Then I knew that I wanted the patent to be very early on and I started figuring out structures. And then you sort of build that. Then you storyboard, then you write a very loose script and an order of how this might go, which you spend a few days on. Cause you're looking at all your footage and trying to figure out what should go into what, and then you start editing.

Kannaboom (35:38): So it's almost like you at it from the point of view of your audience, assuming they have some curiosity. So you're not coming at it primarily as an advocate, but as someone who, okay, I'm just, I'm just discovering this. I want to share it.

David Jakubovic (35:47): Exactly. Now that all, as an advocate, as I was coming, I'm trying to create a movie that I would want to watch. I, as someone who knew nothing about this, how can I speak to me as an audience and teach me something? And I just put myself in that audience place. And I try to pretend that I don't know anything. And I work based on that. That's how I usually approach making films specific specifically when they're about scientific concepts.

Kannaboom (36:16): I take it your production was kind of pre-COVID.

David Jakubovic (36:18): Oh yeah. Yeah. We shot in 2018.

Kannaboom (36:22): That's fortunate. Yeah.

David Jakubovic (36:24): What does not happen during COVID? I don't think

Kannaboom (36:28): It would be little less compelling if it was all on zoom

David Jakubovic (36:32): Is not a good production time until you actually shot a video two weeks ago. For some clients in, in, in the city, in Manhattan and I'm in New York and it was weird to shoot, you know, we were all wearing masks and it's very hard to stay distant from each other. When you're doing a film shoot is a weird experience in New York was empty shooting in New York without having any sound problems is really, really disorienting, bizarre ways you are. You're always stopping for sound, you know, and we didn't

Kannaboom (37:04): You mentioned your other films. What are some of the other things you've done? And I did check out your website. I noticed a lot of live music that you've covered.

David Jakubovic (37:12): Yeah, I've, I've edited a lot of live concerts for artists. There's this TV show called Live from the Artist's Den on PBS that I've been editing episodes for them for many years. And I last year directed one for the first time, which was fun. And so I love doing music stuff, but I really liked doing science-related content. And they've done a couple of short films on quantum physics that were actually for, for a client then. And it was, they somehow became these like little mini hits online. And yeah, it's just, just a lot of, it's a lot of fun to figure out how to explain very complex subjects that I don't understand to lay people.

Kannaboom (37:54): Do you see yourself continuing in the CBD / cannabis realm, or are you onto the next next topic.

David Jakubovic (38:00): Well I'm in COVID COVID land these days, you know, like everyone. So, it's, it's, it's a little hard to know what's next after finishing my movie and between it finishing it and it coming out, I did some, some history show for National Geographic about World War II, the Air Force in World War II. And I don't know what's next. So there's all sorts of ideas in my head. A lot of them are science-related. A lot of them are not cannabis is a world that I loved being in. Because everyone that I met through that, in that world was just delightful. I remark often to people that it's weird, that everyone I meet is so nice. It's you, you don't usually find yourself working with a sector where everyone's just lovely, you know, and so I'd love to do more stuff in it. But I don't know yet what that will be.

Kannaboom (38:51): I think it's an interesting space in that almost century of prohibition, everything was underground. And there were hippies who were convinced of the value of this medicine and some were in it for the money, but it was so dangerous that, you know, there are safer ways to make money, but now there will be moneyed interests coming in, which may change the tenor of the relationships from just being so focused on the medical efficacy to the profit potential. I don't know, but that'll be interesting to see.

David Jakubovic (39:23): That's very possible. And, and you know, it's both unfortunate and necessary.

Kannaboom (39:28): Yes, David, is there anything we haven't covered that we should?

David Jakubovic (39:33): Go vote in November! That's it.

Kannaboom (39:36): For sure. Vote to protect your cannabis rights. We can't take them for granted. There's still a stigma out there. There's still denial about it. And there are people who would want to roll back, you know, the 34 states that have medicinal cannabis laws on the books, and we have to try to protect those at the state level and hopefully eventually at the federal level where we're legal too.

David Jakubovic (39:56): Yeah. And that will, I'll add something to that beyond my little heavy-handed, like a go vote moment, which is the thing about cannabis that is so misdefined to people is the fact that we don't know anything about it. And I think a little bit of education and really 10 minutes of educating yourself online or 80 minutes by watching this movie can go so far in changing one's perception and one's life. Because you know, people with intractable pain are often helped by it, but they often don't want to touch it because, you know, because of a whole world of Reefer Madness in their head. And I think it really doesn't take very much to, to make one realize there's, there's something I should look into here. Go watch Dedi Meiri's Ted Talk, go watch CBD Nation, go look at Google Scholar. It'll change. It'll change your life in a way that's so beautiful. You know,

Kannaboom (41:02): That's a big point. And I think, you know, we've kind of danced around the topic of trying not to be political, but we're in such a weird age where somebody can climb over her husband and say, 'I don't care about the science.' And, and so, you know, trying to, I don't know if there's a judo trick where you can engage someone like that and flip them and get them to, you know, you don't have to be a scientist. You just have to kind of put your preconceived notions aside and look at this story about this little girl and what it did for her life and what it could do for many other lives. David, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about the film. And I want to make sure we can find you online. Where do we find you online?

David Jakubovic (41:45): The movie you can find on Prime Video, you can find it on Apple TV. You can find it on various cable VOD platforms, or you can buy it on YouTube. It's not very much money to rent. It's like $4 or something. My website is David J A K U dot com. And yeah, write to me if you see the movie and have anything to tell me about how much you love it or hate it.

Kannaboom (42:10): The film really deserves wide viewership, and I hope we can help you achieve that.

David Jakubovic (42:15): Thank you very much. I appreciate it. It's lovely speaking to you.

Kannaboom (42:19): 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 at Kannaboom with a K dot com, and please leave us a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen, see you next week.