Asking for a Friend - Health, Fitness & Personal Growth Tips for Women in Midlife

An Olympian Talks Cannabis

March 06, 2023 Michele Henning Folan Season 3 Episode 43
Asking for a Friend - Health, Fitness & Personal Growth Tips for Women in Midlife
An Olympian Talks Cannabis
Show Notes Transcript

Once again a podcast guest proves that many of us find our real passion and purpose in midlife.  Sometimes it is very intentional, and other times, life experiences propel us onto a path that was meant to be.

The impressive accomplishments of Joanna Zeiger are too numerous to mention, but it wasn't until a horrific biking accident that she discovered her true calling.  You won't want to miss this episode where I speak to an Olympian, champion triathlete, PhD in genetic epidemiology, author, and cannabis researcher.  And yes, this is all the same person!

In this episode Joanna Zeiger and I discuss:

Joanna has a BA in Psychology from Brown University
MS in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University
PhD in Genetic Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University

Zeiger competed at the first Olympic triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics where she placed fourth and then went on to place fifth in the Ironman World Championship.  She is the first athlete to do both in the same year.  She also won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2008.  Her athletic career ended after a horrific biking accident in 2009.

What we know about cannabis:

  • The gateway drug (cannabis) theory has been disproven, however adolescents should not be given cannabis because of the affects on the developing brain.  Children can be given CBD, which is often used for seizure disorders.
  • Micro-dosing for pain during the day can help people function and work with a clearer mind.
  • There are much higher levels of THC in cannabis today than there were back in our high school and college days.
  • Cannabis is still illegal federally, so there is not much research being done, as licenses to do so are hard to get.  CBD studies are much easier to do, because hemp is legal.
  • We have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies.  We make cannabinoids that bind to receptors CB1 and CB2.  When taking exogenous cannabinoids, THC binds much better to the receptors than CBD.
  • Full spectrum CBD will contain some THC (whole plant CBD), whereas broad spectrum CBD has no THC.
  • CBD is not regulated like THC products and lacks testing and labeling guidelines.  There is a lot of variability in the market.  Try to find products that are labeled as lab tested.
  • Cannabis hyperemesis - stomach pain and nausea, which can be alleviated with a hot shower.
  • Canna Research Foundation is looking to do a study on cannabis-induced psychosis, rheumatoid arthritis, athletics, and cannabis allergy.  

Canna Research Foundation is non-profit organization.  They are a consortium of researchers and medical professionals who have an interest in understanding how cannabis can be used for a variety of demographic groups and medical conditions in an effort to improve patient treatment for symptom reduction and improved well-being.  They conduct independent research, collaborate with universities, and work with product manufacturers.  Their mission is to execute high quality research in an effort to provide evidence based education to patients, medical providers, and the industry.

Joanna Zeiger's book The Champion Mindset: An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness

Race Day Coaching:

Joanna Zeiger's email:

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Asking for a Friend Podcast
An Olympian Talks Cannabis
Joanna Zeiger and Michele Henning Folan

cannabis, people, thc, cbd, called, study, triathlon, research, opioids, started, buy, tincture, athletes, legal, day, patients, Colorado, joanna, diseases, medications

Unknown Speaker  0:03  
Health, Wellness, career, relationships and everything in between. We're removing the taboo from what really matters in midlife. I'm your host, Michele Folan. And this is asking for a friend Welcome to the show everyone. Our guest today is an American former triathlete who is the 2008 world champion. She represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics, placing fourth and then went on to a fifth place finish at the Hawaii Ironman being the only athlete to do both in the same year. She is still involved through her coaching of other endurance athletes. Joanna Zeiger is an author, a consultant in the field of Biostatistics and the CEO of Canna Research Foundation. Welcome to asking for a friend Joanna Zeiger.

Unknown Speaker  1:04  
Thanks so much for having me. Michele,

Unknown Speaker  1:06  
I'm really happy to have you here. I'll tell you, it's always a little bit serendipitous when you sitting at the kitchen table and you tell your husband that you want to do a show on cannabis. And he's like, Oh, I know who you should talk to. You brought up your name. And I was just so happy that you've agreed to be on the show. So thank you.

Unknown Speaker  1:27  
Well, it's my pleasure and in the world is a small one, isn't it? It certainly

Unknown Speaker  1:30  
is. And you're all the way out in Colorado, and happy we were able to make this work. I told you before we got on the line today that you have a very long list of credentials. And so I thought maybe it would be very helpful for you to just tell us a little bit more about where you're from where you went to school and what you're currently doing. Sure.

Unknown Speaker  1:54  
I grew up in San Diego, California. I now live in Boulder, Colorado, I hate winter. All those years in California have just made my blood permanently thinned out. The irony of it all is since I graduated from high school, I have always lived in cold places. My education took me to Providence, Rhode Island, where I did my undergraduate at Brown University. I got my masters in Chicago at Northwestern and my master's is in genetic counseling. And I went from there to Baltimore, Maryland, where I got my PhD at the Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health and epidemiology. And now here I am Colorado, so I'm just permanently cold. I'm sorry, of course, these are my choices. But every winter I'm like, I don't think I can handle another winter. Or at least it's sunny. Well, you know, that's the one thing they say about Colorado is that we get 300 sunny days a year. This winter has been so bad. We're owed a lot of sunny days. I don't think we can have another gray day, because it's been so bad. Oh, I'm looking forward to having the sun the rest of the year so we can hit that target of 300 days.

Unknown Speaker  3:01  
Well, good luck. I hope that happens for you. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  3:04  
but Colorado was the first state to legalize adult use for recreational cannabis. We're very proud of that fact. And we tried to be leaders in cannabis research. Aside from my education, as you mentioned, I was a professional triathlete for many years. I think 12 to be exact. During that time, as you mentioned, I went to the 2000 Olympics, I was 70.3 world champion in 2008. I won two Ironman events, numerous 70.3 events. I love triathlon so much that I am still involved as a coach and speak at some events. It's a great sport. Unfortunately, I had a career ending accident in 2009. When I was defending my title, I always thought I'd be a triathlete too, but I'm not anymore. I am one from a distance. And to those out there who think they will do something forever. Just appreciate what you can do when you can do it because you never know what's going to happen.

Unknown Speaker  3:59  
Absolutely. And you were very accomplished. And I know you don't like to toot your own horn and I made you go through all of that because I think you should toot your horn because we need to celebrate women and accomplishments. But I do have a question for you because not everyone may realize what is involved with triathlon. So it's three sports but can you define how many miles of each that you have to do to complete a full triathlon?

Unknown Speaker  4:26  
Sure, so triathlon comes in several different distances. The standard distance the Olympic distance is a 1.5 Kilometer swim so about a mile. It's a 40 Kilometer bike which is just under 25 miles, and it's a 10k run 6.2 miles and that's the distance that I competed in at the Sydney Olympics. There's the Half Ironman are now called 70.3. That is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13 point mile run. And then the full Ironman Distance is a two point for miles swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then a full marathon 26.2 miles. And then there are those people who like to do even crazier things, where they're doing double, triple, quadruple Ironman. They're doing multi day things like ultra Man Triathlon, it's gone in a lot of different directions. There's gravel, triathlons, now exterra. Where are you mountain bike. So triathlon is really diversified since I started doing it, which is really nice to see there's a little bit of something for everyone. And of course, there's also sprint distance, which is shorter than the Olympic distance, it's a half the Olympic distance. There are also triathlons that have full swims, they really tried to do their best to accommodate every level of triathlete, whether you're a beginner getting out there for your first time, or you're a seasoned veteran who's been doing it for 20 years or a professional, there's a little something for everyone.

Unknown Speaker  5:52  
I think it's neat. I'm somewhat involved just through my husband because of his business. And it is such a unique group of people. There's incredible fellowship and camaraderie, because everybody tends to know each other because they travel around and do a lot of the same races. It's definitely got legs and I hope it continues.

Unknown Speaker  6:11  
I think that's what I miss most about triathlon is the camaraderie, the training aspect of it, you know, getting the group together to train and the mutual respect and a mutual suffering that everybody goes through. And then travel to races is always fun. I miss all of that.

Unknown Speaker  6:26  
Yeah. But now you're doing some incredible work. First of all, you've written a book. It's called the athletes guide to mental toughness. When did you decide to write a book,

Unknown Speaker  6:37  
the book is actually called the champion mindset, an athletes guide to mental toughness. You can find it on Amazon, if you're not a reader, but you'd like to listen to books. I'm the one that did the audio for the book. So you can listen to me cool into your ear, if you so desire. I'd always wanted to write a book. And I've done a lot of work with mental toughness in athletes. Throughout my career, I had a lot of adversity while I was racing and had to confront many issues. I had asthma, I was racing and getting my PhD at the same time, I passed out of a lot of races, I could never figure out the nutritional part. Of course, all of this has come to light the reasons why after I retired, I wish I had this information while I had been racing. But unfortunately, that was not to be after being a coach for so many years. I've been coaching since 2003. I've also seen the struggles of other athletes, whether it's the athletes, I coach, the athletes I train with the athletes I competed against the mental aspect of it is just such an important part of what we do. And everybody wants to swim bike run. And they don't want to work on these other things like going to the gym to get strong or working on their mind. And there's only so much your body can handle. There's only so much training a single person can do. But your mind is infinitely malleable it can take in so much information. And it doesn't have that same stopping point that your body does with training. For those reasons, I thought it would be important to write a book on mental toughness to give people skills that they may not have or they are looking for in a manner that is easy to read, actionable, and resonate with beginners all the way up to again, professionals.

Unknown Speaker  8:20  
Does any of the advice that you provide in the book apply to non athletes, could this apply to people in the business world too?

Unknown Speaker  8:29  
I do always say that if you substitute the word athlete for business, or music or any passion that you have, it would be equally applicable because things in there about perseverance and building the right team and having hope those things apply to any endeavor that you're trying to be successful at.

Unknown Speaker  8:47  
Let's talk a little bit about Canada Research Foundation. When did you get interested in doing cannabis research?

Unknown Speaker  8:57  
I have quite a long history actually doing research in the field of cannabis. When I moved to Colorado in 2003, I started working at the Institute for behavioral genetics at CU Boulder. While I was there, the things that we studied were drug use and abuse in adolescents and young adults. And the three primary drugs that I worked on were marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes. I was already doing a lot of marijuana research for eight years while I was at the Institute for behavioral genetics. One of the things that I studied was something called subjective effects to the drugs. So when you take marijuana, we give people a list of items and say, Well, how did it make you feel? Did it make you feel euphoric? Did it make you feel nauseous? Did it make you feel out of control? It was just a long list of things. And we will use that to determine if certain reactions that you had whether they were adverse or beneficial. Did that impact whether you went on to continue using cannabis in to young adulthood and what were the impacts of that. The grants that I was on ran out and I was no longer working at the Institute for behavioral genetics. I spent a few years doing some Statistical Consulting. In the interim in 2009, I had a horrible bike accident. While I was defending my real championship title, that accident had a lasting effect on my body, I destroyed my ribcage, I injured all of my intercostal nerves on my right side. Those are the nerves that run between the ribs. And I also injured some of them on my left side. And I injured these nerves so badly that they didn't heal. I tried many modalities to alleviate the pain that was associated with all of this nerve damage. By try things like nerve blocks, I tried nerve ablations different medications, I had surgeries to remove the nerves. Nothing really helped. It was just a nightmare. And these nerves are very important nerves, because they're very long nerves and they also branch out a lot. That means that they innervate a lot of things, meaning that your symptoms are quite diffuse. It causes abdominal pain, it causes difficulty breathing, the pain wraps around from the back to the front. It's a terrible condition. I was having trouble sleeping, I was nauseous. I was having trouble eating. It was very hard. And a lot of the medications I tried either failed or weren't providing the relief that I needed and the surgeries did not work. My husband said to me, Well, we're in a state where medical cannabis is legal. Why don't you get your card and try cannabis and I just couldn't. As a professional athlete, cannabis was not legal in any shape or form while I was competing, that has now changed. CBD is universally legal. THC is not legal in competition, but it is legal out of competition up to a certain threshold that they test you and you do have THC in your bloodstream. If it's below a certain level, that would not be a positive doping test. But while I was competing, that was not the case. It was just blanketly not legal. That was one stigma. The other stigma was the work that I was doing at IBT. Marijuana was just looked upon as a very nefarious substance. The Gateway theory was very pervasive at that time. That's where the theory of when you use cannabis, it's going to bring you into harder drug use. That theory has been disproven since then. That was another stigma. This third stigma was I was just too ashamed to ask my doctor. I didn't know how to get it. There was still a general population stigma against cannabis at that time. So there were just too many reasons for me not to do it in my mind. It just I couldn't wrap my head around it. When it became legal here recreationally. It took away one stigma. I didn't have to ask a doctor for a prescription. I could just walk into a dispensary and get what I wanted. So that's what I did. I marched into the dispensary and I'm like, Well, I'm having pain. I can't sleep, I don't have an appetite. I'm nauseous. What should I do? Now the person that is giving me the advice, called a bud tender, has no metal gold degree whatsoever has no training. And I'm asking this person for their advice.

Unknown Speaker  13:18  
Was it like you're not asking Spicoli for advice. This is someone that least kind of knows what they're talking about. They sort

Unknown Speaker  13:25  
of do but not really they based a lot of it on their own experience. And many of them have been using cannabis for a lot of years for their tolerance is very high. And also back at that time, there was not a lot of research into cannabis. Yeah, most of it was looking at the negative aspects of cannabis and not the medicinal properties. I didn't get great advice. But one of the things they gave me was a patch, which I put on my leg. They didn't tell me that I need to cut the patch into little pieces. I just put the whole thing on my leg. I got so high, I couldn't stand up. I did not enjoy being that high. It was too much. It was terrible. But I did sleep. I'm a scientist I'm not put off. And I had failed so many medications by that point that I wasn't put off by one bad experience. And the fact that I slept that was a benefit. I just figured okay, I took too much I need to take less. Ever since then I have been experimenting using different products as they come out different modalities of route of administration. I have asthma, so I prefer not to inhale it. I don't ever smoke it. I will vape on occasion if I'm in a pain crisis, but I do prefer to use edibles and tinctures.

Unknown Speaker  14:37  
This is great information because coming from a scientist who's done research and then you actually become quote, unquote, the patient. It gives us a whole different direction.

Unknown Speaker  14:49  
It really did. I mean when I first started using cannabis, and one of the things I like to joke about is when you're looking at cannabis like the very negative adverse side Cannabis, it's marijuana research. And when you're looking at it in a more unbiased neutral way, it's cannabis research. So I used to do marijuana research. And now I do cannabis research. After I started using it myself, and I finally did get to products and dosing and figuring out the best way to take it so that I could work during the day, there's something called micro dosing where you take small amounts during the day, so that you can alleviate whatever symptom you're trying to treat. Some people are using it for anxiety, other people are using it for nausea. There are many uses for cannabis, as I was finding that it was alleviating some of the symptoms, and I will be right up front, I can't say that it makes my pain zero, it doesn't mean that I'm off all my other medications, it doesn't mean that everything's wonderful. I always have an appetite that I never have nausea that I always sleep through the night that is blanketly. Not true. Cannabis is just a tool in my toolbox that I have to use with other things like diet and exercise and a medical regimen. But it does help a lot. And I'll get to that in a second. But after I started using it and found it pretty effective for some of the things that I was using it for, I went to literature to see well, what is the literature say about medical cannabis. And there wasn't a whole lot out there. A lot of the studies, as I said, were really more focused on the negative aspects of cannabis and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which is part of the NIH always had a reputation of funding research that was looking at the negative aspects of cannabis, particularly in adolescents, not a group we want using cannabis, because we know that can affect the developing brain. But there was this whole group of people like myself, who are getting overlooked. What do medical patients do who are using it responsibly who need it for certain conditions? And want to know like, well, what dose do I need? How much CBD how much THC? What combination of both so many unanswered questions. So I started talking to other cannabis users, I started talking to dispensary owners, I started talking to other researchers, growers, anybody that I could find in the industry that was willing to talk to me because I had already made the decision that I wanted to study cannabis in a much different manner than it had been studied in the past. As I spoke to more people, I was getting a lot of anecdotal evidence that it was helping people with many things people would tell me, I get very anxious before I go to the gym, and I can't work out but then I would start using cannabis, it would take away my anxiety, and then all of a sudden, I had no problem going to the gym. And we'd hear stories like that, or medical situations where people were using it. And that was enough for me, I was convinced. I mean anecdote is not research. But it's enough to let you know that there's something to study, I formed an organization called Canna research group. We were very small, we still very small. We did our first study and athletes back I think in 2018 Sort of a proof of principle of whether or not we could make this work. After that study came out and it was successful, we decided to become a nonprofit. And I now have Cancer Research Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization with a mission of examining cannabis in an unbiased manner, so that we can help patients, physicians, the industry, whomever is interested in the information that we obtain from our study so that they can use cannabis more safely, more effectively get the most benefit with the least amount of harm.

Unknown Speaker  18:39  
This is very admirable, too. I have to tell you, when you listen to your story and other stories like yours, where people are at the end of their rope. This is when people get addicted to really bad pain meds, and they go down that whole bad path. This is at least giving people some hope of an option. That could be a real lifesaver for someone.

Unknown Speaker  19:07  
It really could be the irony of this whole thing is that when I started using cannabis, it was really at the height of the opioid crisis. I would have a surgery or some procedure, and they would prescribe me so many opioids and I'm not anti opioids, I'm anti opioid misuse. But there are a lot of people who use opioids again responsibly it helps them get through the day I have to use them for chronic pain. My dose is very tiny because I think cannabis, cannabis and opioids sort of work together so that it enhances the action of opioids so you don't need as much of it. But it's just so interesting how no doctor wants to talk about cannabis at all. One of the doctors when I said I use medical cannabis actually put his hands over his ears and said, I don't want to hear about this. And at that time was legal both recreationally and medically in Colorado. You This doctor just wanted nothing to do with it. And he just wanted to throw opioids at me. And I'm like, but that's not what I want. And now after the opioid crisis, nobody wants to hear about opioids. But when you tell them that you use medical cannabis or like anything to get you off the opioids, it's just been an amazing shift. Wow. Even though most of the doctors that I see and I have a laundry list of them, they may not know much about cannabis, they are supportive of my use of it. And they know that I do cannabis research, the shift has just been a total 180. And one of the things that's really lacking and we did do a study looking at knowledge, attitudes, and then the physicians interact with patients about cannabis. We did a study looking at this in allergists because there are a group of people who are seeing patients who route of administration of their cannabis can be very impactful. So if an allergist is seeing an asthmatic patient who is using cannabis for anxiety, and they're smoking it that can make their asthma worse. And there's also people who are allergic to cannabis allergy. It's really nice to be knowledgeable about cannabis, because you're going to see patients who are going to have adverse reactions or adverse events. Part of what we do is trying to educate so that physicians can help their patients and patients can help themselves.

Unknown Speaker  21:18  
There is a lot of talk out there about the cannabis that is in the market now. Versus the cannabis that was around when you and I were in high school and college, and that it's more potent has more THC in it. Can you address that at all? Why is cannabis changing?

Unknown Speaker  21:39  
Well, cannabis definitely has a lot more THC than it did in the past. I think that there are some strains that can have 20 to 30% THC, which is much, much higher than anything that we've seen. And they're breeding it to be higher levels of THC. And that's because people who are using it recreationally want to have more THC because it has more psychoactive effects. And it gives them a different kind of high then if you're using cannabis from days of your that had maybe less than 10% thc. A lot of it is reflective of the kind of high that people are looking for.

Unknown Speaker  22:15  
That makes sense. What is on the horizon for cannabis research? What do you all hopeful for that you'll see it being used for XYZ diseases down the road.

Unknown Speaker  22:28  
There's so much lacking right now in research, particularly clinical trials. Because it's federally illegal, each state is able they put it on the ballot at different election times, whether or not they want to make it legal recreationally, medically or both. But federally, it's still not legal. And because it's not legal federally, institutions need to get special licenses if they want to be able to handle THC at their campus and do studies. And it's not easy to get those licenses. So clinical trials are few and far between right now. So you can do observational studies, epidemiological studies, the kinds of studies we do are questionnaire based. We're not giving anybody cannabis. CBD studies are a little bit easier to do clinical trials because that is federally legal. In 2018. The Farm Bill was passed which made hemp legal hemp is part of the cannabis family. It's a cannabis plant, but it has less than point 3% thc. So it's primarily CBD. So that is being studied more at this time because it can be. But there's just so much lacking because there are a lot of patient groups that are using cannabis, whether it's for inflammatory bowel disease, whether it's for mental health issues, whether it's for rheumatologic disease, which we actually have a grant to start studying the epidemiology of cannabis and rheumatologic diseases, even the groundwork, which is questionnaire based studies to find out the prevalence of certain patient populations who are using cannabis, how are they using it? How frequently are they using it? Is it helping? We don't know this information. So that's the kind of work that we're doing. There are some preclinical studies where they're doing animal studies to look and see how cannabis is working in certain diseases. IBD I know is inflammatory bowel disease. I know that they've done a ton of work with that with cannabis. There's just so much that needs to be done. I mean, even impaired driving, we don't know much about that. Still looking at how it affects cognition. There are just so many facets that are untapped.

Unknown Speaker  24:38  
It'll be interesting to see 30 years from now where we are versus where we are today in regard to the research, and you did touch on this before but it does seem like the effects on children and teens is pretty well known on the brain development. Can you speak to that at all?

Unknown Speaker  24:53  
Yeah, that is one of the things is that cannabis is not compatible. I don't know if compatible is the right word but You don't want to use cannabis in young people while their brains are still developing because it can have a negative effect. We do want to keep kids away from cannabis, especially this high potency cannabis. If kids are getting it off the black market, it could be laced with something that we don't know and can cause a lot of problems. A couple of years ago, there was something going around where people were buying cartridges that were made, I think in China, and they were vaping them and they were getting lung disease. There are lots of issues with kids who are obtaining cannabis, particularly off the black market, that can be very harmful.

Unknown Speaker  25:36  
I think we all knew that. But I just wanted to make sure we reiterated that because that's scary stuff.

Unknown Speaker  25:43  
But now CBD may be different. Okay. The THC is the component that really has issue with brain development CBD. I don't think it's been studied as well as THC in terms of brain development. But CBD is used in kids for seizure disorders. There is actually an FDA approved drug called Epidiolex that's used for very rare seizure disorders in kids. CBD is used in kids under certain circumstances.

Unknown Speaker  26:10  
Do you mind defining the CBD versus THC? I've got a little CBD store right up the street from me. They've got a full range of tinctures and other things gummies that you can buy. But there's full spectrum and broad spectrum. Can you help us with that? Well, let

Unknown Speaker  26:30  
me take it even a step back further. Why does cannabis even work in the human body? How is cannabis working? Everybody has in their body something called the endocannabinoid system. So we already have something innately in our bodies, where we have receptors, we have this endocannabinoid system. And there are two receptors, CB one and CB two. And we also have molecules called endocannabinoids, meaning that we make them ourselves that bind to these receptors. And if there's dysregulation of this system, and then there are other metabolites and other things that are part of this. But if there's dysregulation in the system, then you can have some kind of disease state. Now it turns out that when you get exogenous cannabinoids, that means you're getting the cannabinoids from the plant, you're taking it from outside your body. It's not produced by you. But that binds to those receptors. So when THC binds to that CB one receptor, that's where you get those psychoactive effects that people experience and everybody experiences it differently. Some people become euphoric. Some people get less anxiety, some people get more anxiety. Some people have coughing, they have trouble breathing, they get paranoid. Some people sleep better. I mean, the range of adverse and beneficial effects are huge, and everybody experiences it differently. CBD also loosely binds to those receptors, CBD and THC work in concert, there's something called the entourage effect, where the benefit of the whole plant is more effective than taking little pieces of it. The most famous the cannabinoids that we talked about the most are THC and CBD. But there actually are hundreds of cannabinoids there CBG and CBN. We're just beginning to study those lesser known cannabinoids that are produced in smaller amounts in the plant. When you take something that is full spectrum, it means that it has everything in the plant that you're getting the benefit of the whole plant, whereas broad spectrum means that there's no THC in it whatsoever. I am a proponent of having at least some THC, because that kicks that CBD into gear. If you're taking CBD by itself, you need a lot of CBD, it's not well absorbed. I can't remember what the absorption rate is but it's very low. So you need pretty high doses of it to get therapeutic benefit. And most people are not taking enough CBD to see therapeutic effects. Got it. Now, one of the main differences regulatorily between THC and CBD is that if you're buying THC in a state in which it's legal, you must go to a dispensary to buy it. And if you're buying in a dispensary, it has to be tested by state regulated lab to make sure that the potency is what they say it is that it doesn't have mold or pesticides or heavy metals or other things that are mandated by the state. Every state has different regulations. But when you buy it, they put a label on it and you can see what's in it. You can feel pretty comfortable that you're getting what you think you're getting. CBD on the other hand is not regulated in the same way. So you can walk into any grocery store you can walk into a pharmacy, you can walk down to your local CBD shop and you can find hundreds of CBD products and they may or may not be labeled, and they may or may not have been tested, but a lot of CBD The products actually don't have CBD in them at all. Or maybe it says it has no THC, but it actually does have THC. Sometimes it has things like melatonin in it, but it doesn't have that on the label, a lot of times the label does not match what's actually in the bottle. And we know this because a lot of third parties like consumer labs, universities, and other entities have just gone and bought hundreds of CBD products off the shelf and tested it themselves to see what's going on. And what they see is very disappointing. And so there are some reputable companies that are very transparent, they'll put a certificate of analysis, meaning that they've done some analysis of their products, either themselves or through a third party, and they'll put that on their website. And you know that you can trust that company. And then you have very shady companies that you have no idea what they're doing. And one of the problems is that there's no universal labeling, there's no universal dosing for THC or CBD. A company can say, well, a dose is five milligrams of THC, or they can say it's 10 milligrams of CBD. But it's not like walking into your pharmacy and buying a bottle of ibuprofen. Knowing that one tablet is 200 milligrams. Cannabis doesn't work that way. It's all over the map.

Unknown Speaker  31:15  
Okay. And in transparency, I've used a CBD tincture, that did not have THC in it, because I wouldn't be able to do that anyway, because the company where I work also does drug testing. But I do that under my tongue and then would help me sleep. Now. I don't know if that was on my mind. But it did work. The other thing that I have used is a balm that I would rub into my thumb's because I have some arthritis. That did work. And it was I forget the brand. But anyway, there seemed to be enough in there that it did give me some temporary relief. That's all my experience. With buying this stuff over the counter, this is very educational.

Unknown Speaker  32:00  
Well in a lot of people do find the topicals to be quite helpful for things like arthritis or muscle soreness or joint pain. There are many different types of routes of administration, you can smoke it, you can vaporize it, you can put it under your tongue, like you mentioned, as a tincture, which usually is oil based. You can take edibles which come in all different kinds of forms, whether they're candies or cookies or other kinds of things that are topicals. There are no sprays, suppositories, it comes in many different forms. One of the things that consumers have to decide is, well, what route of administration do I want what's going to work best for me. And then to make things more complicated, sometimes you can buy just plain old CBD by itself, or you can buy something that's just THC. But there are also products that are combinations of CBD and THC in different ratios. So you can get products that are equal ratio of CBD and THC. Or you can get products that are very high in CBD with low amounts of THC. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to look at it, unlike medications that you're prescribed where the dose is set, and the doctor tells you this is what you're taking. And this is how you have to take it and you don't have any ownership at all over that medication. Well with cannabis, you have complete ownership over what you're doing. But it can be a little bit complicated because there are so many products out there. And it can be a little bit of a difficulty when you walk into a dispensary and you're trying to decide well, how do I choose what product to use?

Unknown Speaker  33:36  
Well, I guess this is word to the wise. We should be doing our homework, do your research, ask lots of questions. But I think you said something really interesting is that there are some companies out there that are very transparent about their analysis of what's in their products. That sounds like the route to go when you can get a hold of those types of products if you so choose.

Unknown Speaker  33:59  
Exactly. And there are also cannabis doctors and cannabis nurses that you can reach out to which I highly recommend, especially if you're on medications to make sure there aren't medication interactions with what you're taking in cannabis. Always do you recommend that people speak to a cannabis physician or cannabis nurse. The cannabis nurses are very much involved and educated and have seen so many patients that they can be extremely helpful if you're new to cannabis and need some guidance.

Unknown Speaker  34:28  
Great advice there. I did want to ask you about this is Instagram either yesterday or the day before. And there was another podcast and this doctor I believe he was a psychiatrist was addressing the increase in cannabis induced psychosis that he was seeing. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about cannabis induced psychosis.

Unknown Speaker  34:55  
As I mentioned to you before the show, that's something that we are possibly going to study I'm actually speaking with a psychiatrist later today about such a study looking at cannabis induced psychosis. It's not something that we know a lot about people who have a predisposition to psychosis or they may not have manifested it yet, or they are already manifesting it. When they use cannabis, it just makes this problem worse, and they end up in the emergency room with full blown psychosis, the mechanism of action. I don't know, I don't know how often this occurs, I just do know that the numbers that they're seeing in emergency departments across the country is much higher. The other thing that people are going to the emergency department for is something called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, which is where you consume cannabis. And you end up with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. And I guess it's quite painful. It's alleviated for some reason by hot showers. But it can be quite profound in some people and lands them in the emergency room. And the treatment for that is just not using cannabis. If they don't use cannabis, they never have another episode. Why that occurs is also something that's under investigation. I know that people are studying that as well.

Unknown Speaker  36:14  
Any other weird things that happen?

Unknown Speaker  36:19  
Well, cannabis is a weed and so people can be allergic to cannabis. Whether it's occupational exposure from people who are working out in the grows or manufacturing it or even consumers, I met somebody who was showing me photos of herself after she had used cannabis and her face just didn't turn bright red and was swollen and puffy and she probably had cannabis allergy. I don't know that if she ever was tested for it or followed up further on it. But there are some people that get reactions to cannabis. There are a lot of beneficial things to cannabis. It helps cancer patients. It helps people with seizure disorders, it helps with pain, it could potentially help with the opioid crisis. But it does not mean that cannabis is an innocuous substance. It is not it has to be used responsibly. It has to be used with some supervision. And it has to be known that there can be adverse effects.

Unknown Speaker  37:13  
I have a question for you, Joanna Seiger, what is next for you? What else are you working on?

Unknown Speaker  37:19  
I'm doing a lot of work with the cannabis allergy. I'm part of a large international consortium. We have allergists mostly ologists that we have a few PhDs from Europe, Canada and the United States that are trying to unravel cannabis allergy and try and figure out who may be at risk for it, how to diagnose it and what to do about that. I will soon be starting a study an epidemiologic study looking at cannabis use in people who have rheumatoid diseases. We're also looking to do more studies and athletes in cannabis.

Unknown Speaker  37:53  
Great, I look forward to hearing what the results are, I should say, when you guys get there. It's very exciting research. Like I said before, it'll be really interesting to see where we are 3040 years from now, when it comes to cannabis and how much more refined the science will be by then.

Unknown Speaker  38:10  
I think so too. I mean, even in the years that I've started my foundation, the research has changed tremendously. And the focus has changed tremendously. And as I mentioned earlier, in this podcast, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was continually funding the same kinds of studies looking at the adverse effects of cannabis. And now they have realized that they need to broaden their scope. And they put out with common notice of special interest. And they are now asking people to put in applications looking at a much broader range of topics of cannabis, both beneficial and adverse, so that they can look at it from all sides of things so that consumers can really become more informed about cannabis and whether it might be something that will be helpful to them or harmful to them.

Unknown Speaker  38:59  
Where can people find more about the Canada Research Foundation?

Unknown Speaker  39:04  
Canada research Okay,

Unknown Speaker  39:07  
and then you said they could find your book on Amazon or wherever books are sold? Yep. And then how about you and your coaching business,

Unknown Speaker  39:14  
they can find me at race ready, coaching,

Unknown Speaker  39:17  
race ready coaching. I'll put all that in the show notes so everybody can have access to all your links and

Unknown Speaker  39:24  
contact information. People can just directly email me as well.

Unknown Speaker  39:28  
Perfect. Thank you, Joanna. This was very educational. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker  39:36  
Well, thank you for having me as a guest

Unknown Speaker  39:46  
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