Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What is your star sign? What is your favourite food?
I produce organic certified edible CBD oil and CBD vaporizer cartridges. The vaporizer cartridges have a custom blend cannabis specific aroma and flavor (terpenes) profile without THC. I am a Leo most days and I was born in Thailand so I have a bias for Thai food. In the 1970s I immigrated to Los Angeles, California at 8 years of age and spent most of my teenage years in California with cannabis weaving its way in and out of my life from an early age. I then joined the military, and was stationed in Southern Germany in service during the Iraq war before turning 20 years old. My time in Europe had a big impact on my view of the world, and 2001 I sold all my belongings and moved to Barcelona with a backpack. Luckily I am still here today.
When did you first become aware of the benefits of CBD?
It was the beginning of cannabis legalization in 2016 in California that made CBD information more widely available, pioneering new legitimate scientific studies, and highlighting past important scientific research. I started to realize the importance of CBD and the powerful impact it can have to human health.
What is the endocannabinoid system, and why is CBD important to human health?
The endocannabinoid system is our own biological system with neurotransmitters which is directly linked to our central nervous system, and immune system. When our immune system is in balance, science calls this “homeostasis”.
Environment, stress, diet, and genetic predisposition all trigger our biological system - the endocannabinoid system - to respond . Our bodies create two endogenous (self-produced) cannabinoids to cope with these stresses and responds with our endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoids were discovered and were named Anandamide and 2-ag. It’s important to note here that our bodies naturally produce these cannabinoids! They work specifically with the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system to help modulate our immune system when under stress. In our modern world, deficiencies in these cannabinoids (anandomide, 2-ag) often occur and cause a state of “imbalance”, which can lead to various medical conditions.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the only external (exogenous) cannabinoids - produced by cannabis and hemp - that can trigger (modulate) our neurological network (endocannabinoid system). Just a few mg per day will have notable positive effects on most healthy people of all ages, with increased concentrations in milligrams as the severity of the imbalances progresses. As an example, clinical trails have shown that 700+mg per day is needed for patients with Schizophrenia while only 5-10mg per day are needed for inflammation and sleeplessness. I would like to take this opportunity to site the work of neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo in the United States and his related studies and lectures as a great resource and reference for my statements, as well as Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Medicinal Chemist known for discovering the endocannabinoid system some decades ago. There is a very enlightening and entertaining movie about him called “The Scientist” that I would recommend.
Extraction of oils using grain alcohol
Could you take us a bit through the extraction process?
As I mentioned, CBD can be derived either from the hemp or cannabis. The process follows a normal agricultural production timeline. The plant is selected, then grown, ripened, harvested, dried, and extracted for its essential oils using various solvents like grain alcohol or gases like CO2 to release the essential oil of the plant. The resulting oils can be further separated by type (THC, CBD, etc.), then isolated all the way down to pure isolate(crystallized powder)
Which do you prefer - smoking, vaping, or drops - and why?
Vaping is nice for its portability and faster assimilation of CBD directly into our lungs. I also enjoy smoking CBD flowers as you get to take advantage all the cannabinoids(oils) from the plant. Finally edible drops, are great when I am dealing with chronic pain and daily doses of CBD are necessary. I like them all.
What are some common misconceptions with CBD, and cannabis in general?
Today, cannabis is recognized by the United Nations as medicine. This is a huge global shift of how we should view this plant, the oils it produces(cannabinoids), and it’s critical role to humanity. There is profound potential for cannabis to contribute to medicine, sustainability, renewable energy, economy, ecology and much more.
THC has many more misconceptions than CBD simply because CBD is still a new compound for the general public. I believe awareness of CBD and the endocannabinoid system is lesser known for the public at large, but it is vitally important information to human health.
Vegetative growth phase
What steps can we take to break down this stigma?
Let science be the arbiter of truth. Spread the word about the CBD and our endocannabinoid system, spread the word about the recognition of cannabis as medicine, then lead people to science based research and information, like Dr. Ethan Russo, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam
If you had the opportunity to come across yourself as a child, what advice would you give yourself?
“If you focus your life’s work on helping others, you will never be out of work”
We thank Ben for taking the time to sit down with us and chat about CBD!