#120 – Doctors Steven Kraus and Joel Kahn on the Benefits of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil
Drug Tests and Full-Spectrum CBD Products
Yes, absolutely. And I think for some people, the isolate product is essential because of a drug test so that they cannot handle any THC because that would cause an issue. But the full-spectrum hemp oil at Functional Remedies, or as I understand, I didn’t know it was changed to Synchronicity, but I understand it’s called Synchronicity now. The product, I did try it and I did enjoy it a lot. But I don’t remember. Does it have THC in it, a small amount?
It does. On average across all 28 different products that we have, an average is about 0.13. And then as was mentioned, you can have 0.3 to be illegal. But again, it is our position that having some THC is extremely valuable to allow that modulation within the endocannabinoid system to be complete. Not having any in there, we believe doesn’t give you the full balance, the perfect balance that you need.
And you know, since you brought up drug testing, we have to remember that many of the old methods of testing for marijuana at employers for sports — because CBD wasn’t legal a number of years ago — the easiest way and the more economical way to see if you had marijuana in your system, they actually weren’t testing necessarily THC, they were testing for any cannabinoids because marijuana has cannabinoids. So if you had cannabinoids in your system, they just said you were positive for marijuana. Well, now all of the labs across the country are changing their methodologies on how they test and some of them did test solely for THC. I don’t want to make it sound like nobody did. But it was cheaper to test for the presence of a cannabinoid. And so now, it’ll be accurate to say, “Do you have THC in your system?” If the lab that is performing that employment drug test is truly testing for THC, they usually allow for a variance, and you should not test positive, even with our low amount in the product. But you have to find out, what is the lab actually testing for?
So that’s interesting. Are you saying that it’s possible to test for CBD and THC separately?
Yes. And so therefore, one might have a false positive test, saying you tested positive for marijuana, because remember, that’s what they’re saying you tested for marijuana. Now, does that mean they tested for THC? Or did they test for CBD? And if they’re testing for the true THC presence, then you should not get that false positive because of the low, low amount that we have in our products. But again, you need to check with your employer and the employer usually doesn’t even know. You’ve got to check with the lab that the employer is utilizing. And most of those labs now are creating thresholds where they will allow for up to 2.3% presence. But not all labs are up to that. The last investigation we did, which was about six months ago, we determined that about a third of the labs across the country that do drug testing still we’re not truly testing for THC by itself.
I see. Okay. What I always suggest for people, for the listeners, is to make sure if they’re ever in that unfortunate situation with their employer, that they are just aware of their rights and that they should be checking with what exactly the lab was doing when they were making this test. And just the different parameters used if they have a case, you know, to keep their job. You know, because a CBD product is fully legal. So why should they lose their job over a product that you can pick up in some cases at the pharmacy? So I think that’s one of the remaining challenges. And you are based in Colorado, right, Dr. Kraus?
About Synchronicity Hemp Oil
We are. So you had mentioned before, Functional Remedies is our company name. Our brand of products is Synchronicity. So as a company, Functional Remedies is based here in Colorado where we have our organic farm. We have our production manufacturing facility that’s GMP-certified and then we have our corporate office. So we’re actually in three different locations here in the state.
Okay, okay. And Dr. Kahn, I know you are based in — correct me if I’m wrong — Michigan?
I’m in a suburb of Detroit and a University of Michigan grad many moons ago, but you know, we reach across the world. I had consults this week in Greece and Australia and suburban Detroit, all over the place. One of the things that I need to be careful of is, some of my patients are on medication, a lot are on natural kinds of supplements and you know, the issue of safety, and for me, cardiovascular safety. And we need more. We always need more science as the number of people taking a variety of CBD products.
But I’ve been very encouraged by some of my own research. So the holy grail of cardiology language is that very familiar to CBD School Podcast, but the lining of every artery in your body, 50,000 miles in your body, is called the endothelium. It’s like the wallpaper that keeps you strong and prevents heart attack. Anything that helps your lining, your endothelium arteries is a good thing. Eat a green salad, drink a beet juice, don’t smoke cigarettes and go take, you know, a jog and everything that’s kind of bad for you that comes, you know, in fast food packages and other kinds of behaviors that everybody’s familiar with harms your endothelium.
So there are tidbits of data that a week’s worth of adopting CBD actually improves this miracle layer of cells called your endothelium. Yes, we need more and we haven’t done those studies specifically with the Synchronicity line but, you know, very reassuring. There’s some studies in type 2 diabetics, you know, a very common group of people, that there may actually be in certain specific research some improvement in blood sugar control — not a worsening, which is, you know, very helpful. Because people do mix, you know, these products with other things they’re taking in. And other blood studies have been done of people taking hemp oils on both. Not just sleep quality, but actually labs, cholesterol labs, like your HDL cholesterol, the one called the happy or the high cholesterol often goes up. This is by no way implying this as a therapy for cardiovascular disease. But finding safety and even some, you know, beneficial aspects was for me, real important.
I like that there’s a full-spectrum of flavonoids and terpenes and the family of cannabinoids in there. It actually reduces the chance of any drug interaction with something patients are taking theoretically. The way the products were formulated as a contrast to an isolate of just CBD is actually a better and safer deal in my reading.
How CBD Interacts with the Endothelium Cell Layer
What is it about the endothelium? If I’m saying that correctly, what is the theory on what CBD is doing?
You know, it was an observation, it’s something I do in my office, it’s a little unique to take special equipment that you can measure. When you have healthy endothelium, you have more normal blood pressure, you have resistance to developing plaque, you have a better sexual response. These are all functions of healthy arteries, and the fancy term is endothelium. But how on a cellular level without getting too sciency, I don’t know. I mean, in general, the family of cannabinoids are considered antiinflammatory and antioxidant. And fruits and vegetables are antiinflammatory and antioxidant. Of course, hemp is a plant. And so just in that classification, it might be anticipated it actually would, if tested formally, be good for our reason. And you know, limited data. It’s actually brand new data. It was June 2020, this endothelial study came out, but it is certainly gratifying to see that plants tend to heal endothelium.
Future Position of the FDA
Okay. So both of you, gentlemen have many, many years of experience in the medical field. And I’d like to hear from both of you on this. What is your take on the FDA position going forward? Because they’ve kind of flip flopped to the positive lately. But whereas before they were pretty much just across the board against it, but where do you think in the next 5-10 years the FDA will go with these products?
Right now the FDA seems to be focused on label claims. They seem to be focused on heavy metal testing for safety and they seem to be wanting to know how much THC or how much CBD is present, if it’s matching what’s on the label. They’re not really putting emphasis right now on clinical studies or even some of the things that Dr. Kahn just mentioned, from a cardiovascular perspective, or the other things we’ve mentioned, that we have smaller studies out there where you might have subjects of, you know, 50 patients or 30 patients in a study. And you know, those aren’t meeting the high level drug type testing that FDA would put a product through because they’re just too small at this point. But right now, if you go on the NIH, another government branch, National Institute of Health website, NIH has over 100 studies listed as it relates to hemp oil and cannabinoids and various benefits for a variety of different health conditions.
But where I think the FDA is going to go, they just put out I think it was about an eight-page document here and they’re initiating it this year in 2020, they’re going to do more testing. So what they’re doing is they’re selecting 500 different products that they’ve located on the website or on a store shelf. And then they’re randomly selecting 200 of those to do further lab testing from a third-party lab on these various cannabinoids that are present, they’re going to test for 11 cannabinoids and then they’re going to test for, I think, seven or eight different heavy metals. And so that’s going to progress the rest of this year into 2021. And I think that’s the extent of what they’re going to do. Other than if someone’s making a health claim, they’re going to slap a warning letter on that company, and I think that’s all we’re gonna see over the next 12 to potentially 18 months. That’s a step. But it’s unfortunate, it’s the only step, and I’m not sure if COVID has directed other efforts to other areas, trying to find a vaccine, et cetera, et cetera.
In the trenches, we get frustrated sometimes because pharmaceutical companies, to take a novel idea to getting a drug approved, it’s many years, and it can be in excess of half a billion dollars of investments. Because you know, they own a patent, they can charge a large amount if the drug should get through all the hoops. And many, many things that should be studied don’t get studied, don’t get funded, because they’re generic or they’re natural. I mean, you can’t study green tea in 10,000 people compared to hibiscus tea and expect anybody to fund it because they’re — you know, unless you create some kind of, you know, unique and patentable concept. So same things gonna apply, for example, Synchronicity, there probably will be small studies, a grant or funding, but you know, they’re not going to go through the hoops and the cost and the risk that studies are sometimes negative, and there is no benefit identified. So these will remain natural products that support health with all the careful wording and language that is both reasonably required by the FTC and the FDA. But, you know, it’ll be a few unique niche products like the drug for seizures, you know, that can be patented and commercialized. So it’ll remain, you know, mainly something in the natural health world, I think, for the next 5 to 10 years.
Hey, everyone, I hope you are learning as much as I am from these two doctors and experts in their field. Make sure to visit synchronicityhempoil.com. It’s spelled SYNCHRONICITYhempoil.com. And use the coupon code CSP20 for 20% off your order of Synchronicity products. Again, that’s synchronicityhempoil.com and the coupon code is CSP20 for 20% off. Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of the show.
Thoughts on Epidiolex
What do you gentlemen think of that drug? It’s called Epidiolex. Now, it is, I believe, from what I remember, it is an isolated CBD product from a plant but it’s still isolated. And I don’t think it has the full-spectrum effect, but I’m not sure. I need to check on that. It’s been a while since I researched that one.
It’s not full-spectrum. It is, as you said, a high, high dose of CBD single molecule and they were able to classify it as a drug. And it was primarily used for certain types of, you know, seizures.
Right. And I never have used it because it’s approved for two very rare, specific kind of orphan drug situation. So not even most neurologists have probably embraced it. But right, it’s specifically an isolate that they were able to patent so they were able to get it through the process.