To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers

058 The Science of Cannabis and Making Sense of It In Relationship To Our Biochemistry with Anita Sommers of CBD Genie

July 12, 2021 Shayda Torabi Season 2 Episode 58
To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers
058 The Science of Cannabis and Making Sense of It In Relationship To Our Biochemistry with Anita Sommers of CBD Genie
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of To Be Blunt, Shayda Torabi and Anita Sommers, aka the CBD Genie, get a little nerdy and get into the science of how cannabis functions with our bodies, and reacts to our biochemistries. Our convo crucial for anybody who is selling a cannabis product and communicating the value of cannabis to a consumer.

[00:01 – 05:49] Anita Introduces Herself and Her Journey Into Cannabis

[05:50 – 18:03] How Does Cannabis Work?

[18:04 – 28:58] The Industry & Science; How It’s Evolving and Qualifying New Research

[28:59 – 35:00] Let’s Talk About Terpenes!

[35:01 – 50:29] Journaling and Giving Cannabis Products a Fair Shot for You

[50:30 – 56:27] The Diversity That the Cannabis Space Brings

Anita Sommers is the CEO of CBD Genie. As a Cannabis Science Communicator, this duty title has brought Anita Sommers M(ASCP) a new sense of awareness, mission, and the name "CBD Genie." Her career, education, and unfortunate medical history have set the stage to educate the Endocannabinoid System and therapeutic compounds found in nature in a fun, memorable, comprehensive way. The liaison between Mother Earth and the science behind her elements, compounds, and microbiome. Her love and passion for both Cannabis and science have finally come together in the state of Texas, and she is honored to be a part of history and educating the facts.

Anita has 14 years of  Medical Professional experience, diagnosing infectious diseases and is a Certified Essential Oil Coach. She has a B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and has spent 8 and a half years as an active duty Air Force veteran.  

“My passion at your service!” - CBD Genie

Connect with Anita on Instagram (@cbd.genie) and visit


Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi


Key Quotes:

“There are just so many variables when you're doing this for yourself. The best thing I can advise is to keep a journal and learn from what you're taking in and how much of it you took. But that requires that the provider has the information. So it's all about being an educated consumer, really paying attention to your body, and always understanding that that variability is always going to be there, but you can work with it and kind of roll with the punches.” - Anita Sommers

“You can never say, ‘Always’ in biology. That's why I have continuing education credits that I have to complete every three years to maintain the ability to diagnose infectious diseases in the microbiology department because everything is constantly evolving.” - Anita Sommers

SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs!

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes. You

RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.

Anita Sommers  0:00  
So there's so much valuable information within your DNA and in the nucleus. So you don't want just random compounds and elements just freely flowing in and out of the cell. So on the surface of your cells, you'll hear people talk about cannabinoid receptors, cb one, cb, two receptors. And these receptors are found on the surface of yourself throughout the body. And they're able to communicate with the external environment to communicate with the internal environment. And the way these receptors are able to communicate is through endo, cannabinoids. And if you break down that word, endo means internal and dodginess or within and cannabinoids are the compounds from the cannabis plant. So we have two endo cannabinoids.

Announcer  1:08  
You're listening to two B one B podcast for cannabis marketers. Were your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here's your host Shayda Torabi.

Shayda Torabi  1:31  
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of The To be blunt podcast. I'm your host Shayda Torabi, and today's conversation is a little bit different focus. So bear with me if you can understand, obviously, my podcasts whole presentation is really around framing the professional cannabis conversation generally through the lens of business and marketing. But I really believe in the power of education and fully understanding the depth and the spectrum of the cannabis plant, especially as it pertains to the true science behind the plant. And so today's conversation is a little bit more on the nerdy side. But I think that it is a really good conversation to be had because again, understanding the plant from how it functions in our body to what are the different receptors through our endocannabinoid system. And just kind of like what does cannabis function like in relationship to our unique bodies and biochemistries is a really important conversation for anybody who is selling a product and communicating the value of cannabis to a consumer. So my guest today is Anita Somers, also known as the CBD Genie. She is based here in Austin, Texas. So I've had the pleasure of getting to connect with her and a few of our different local events and have just learned so much from her that again, I really thought that this conversation was relevant to help connect the dots for some of you who might find yourselves consuming cannabis or working in the cannabis industry, but not fully understanding some of the scientific details of why cannabis functions in our bodies. And so just to give you a little bit of a background, Anita is a eight and a half year active duty Air Force veteran. She also has a Bachelor's in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She's a 14 year medical professional with a specification in diagnosing infectious diseases. And she is a cannabis consumer herself. And so now she's kind of translated all of that experience into being a cannabis science communicator, and really is just going to drop a lot of knowledge and a really easy to understand way. Like when I listened to her, I really feel like she is able to cut through some of the noise and some of the chaos when it comes to how cannabis is really communicated on these days and makes it really easy to digest. So that's kind of why I wanted to bring any data on I just think that she has a really relative perspective. She has a background, leveraging science and kind of has applied that again back to the cannabis industry, which is so relevant for us as we just continue navigating and educating ourselves on this plant. So without further ado, let's let Anita introduce herself and we will dive right in. I am Anita Somers. But in social media, I am known as the CBD Genie cannabis science communicator. My journey in the cannabis space is actually very personal after serving in the Air Force. I was in my first semester at Texas Tech, and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammation of the large intestines. And I like to best describe it as digesting glass. And I went in and out of the hospital for over a decade with this ailment. And I was even on the chemo treatment for over two years so I can genuinely empathize when people mentioned a life of pain. So one day I was like screw this I am so sick and tired of being a slave to my bowels. There's

Anita Sommers  5:00  
Gotta be a better way. So I use my knowledge with my Bachelors of Science and cell and molecular biology and my minor in Chemistry and over a decade of clinical lab experience, use that knowledge and set out on a journey across the country. And I started doing walkthroughs of cannabis farms analytical diagnostic labs dispensaries, I attended many cannabis conferences all over the country. And now, I brought it all back. Born and raised in Texas, it is my passion and mission to stand up for cannabis and share what I've learned educating the biochemistry via the endocannabinoid system. And I'd like to refer to myself as the liaison between Mother Earth, and the science behind her elements, compounds and microbiome.

Shayda Torabi  5:50  
You have such a incredible professional background, which is part why I wanted to bring you in for a conversation. Because as you know, the industry is full of anecdotes. And while there is a very scientific application for cannabis in regards to our bodies, and specifically our endocannabinoid system, as marketers, as brands, as business owners and operators in the space, sometimes we are making sense of information that, you know, maybe it's not wrong information, per se, but it certainly might lack some of the credibility from proper science and research. And so when I first heard about you, and obviously being from Texas as well, I was just so charmed by your personality and the way that you communicate on things. And so yes, like, you are a cannabis science communicator, but really kind of for the listeners, like understanding, breaking down some of these complex ideas and helping that end consumer really tried to like digest it. And so where do you really start the conversation when you are educating someone kind of like help walk us through, when you're communicating how you help bridge that gap between what you've learned both in your school studies as well as what you've observed in? I guess I'll call it kind of field research, observing all these different components of the industry to kind of package and present back out into the market this education?

Anita Sommers  7:26  
Yeah, that's a wonderful question. Because that's literally what people are asking, how does cannabis work? Is this real? Is this effective for those who haven't been up with the times with the cannabis movement, because it's moving so rapidly. But I like to just start from the beginning the human body and just understanding from the inside out with ourselves because we're living organisms, Cannabis, living organisms, and to understand living organisms, you find the parallels between them. And that's when you start to unlock the chemistry of things. And that's my favorite part. So in order to do that, what I start with is the endocannabinoid system or the ECF, because our body systems are always hard at work. And it's important to stay at homeostasis, or balance. And the way the body does that, is with the ability to respond to the external environment and internal environment. Like for example, I always say this, because it's just fun. Are you thinking about breathing right now? Probably not. Right? I just asked you that right? No, but shout out to the respiratory system, that system is working for you. And if you're healthy right now, then your immune system is doing what it needs to do. So we have to always remember and understand that our body is responsible for life sustaining involuntary functions. So one of the systems that was never brought up to me in the 14 years plus of being in the medical field was the endocannabinoid system. And that's where I begin explaining how the endocannabinoid system works via the cannabinoid receptors. So I like to try to break it down this way, inside majority of your cells, you're going to find DNA found in the nucleus, you know, you remember that from biology 101. So there's so much valuable information within your DNA and in the nucleus. So you don't want just random compounds and elements just freely flowing in and out of the cell. So on the surface of your cells, you'll hear people talk about cannabinoid receptors, cb one, cb, two receptors, and these receptors are found on the surface of yourself throughout the body, and they're able to communicate with the external environment to communicate With the internal environment, and the way these receptors are able to communicate is through indo cannabinoids. And if you break down that word indo means internal and dodginess are within and cannabinoids are the compounds from the cannabis plant. So we have two endo, cannabinoids, an and amide and two arachidonic cholesterol or two Ag and I know that starts to get like these words and these names it sounds wild, but if you just think about these are your internal messenger when you get stressed out what happens your cortisol levels go up? Well these in go cannabinoids, these are like your bliss molecules, if you will. These are your when you're working out and that runner's high or those good feels these endocannabinoids help balance you out in bringing you back to feeling that feeling of wellness or calm. Or whatever your balance of happy is really that's what's so special about it is that the endocannabinoids but before even talking about cannabis, we haven't even mentioned it yet. But we have within our bodies endocannabinoids that bind to the cannabinoid receptors, cb one and CB two, which make up the endocannabinoid system that help regulate our body's balance. But when you bring in cannabis, it's beautiful because the Phyto cannabinoids in cannabis, like what we're familiar with THC and CBD. And all the others today mimic our indo cannabinoids. So they're able to bind to the CB one and CB two receptors, which work with our systems of the body to help regulate balance. So it's just a beautiful orchestra of living organisms working together to maintain homeostasis.

Shayda Torabi  12:01  
I have to give you a comment. Your voice is so soothing. I'm listening. And I'm like, wow, this is like, super informative, and it's just like helping sink in. And so I hope the listeners are appreciating your dialogue as you're helping walk us through the science behind it because I was like, Oh my gosh, I was like, Yes, my endocannabinoid system, it's working. This is amazing. These Phyto cannabinoids, I just think it's an irrelevant conversation to have too, of course, because like cannabis does work. You know, I'm not gonna say that it works for everyone for everything. But I do believe that with proper understanding of the plant and of the different cannabinoids and have different consumption methods and different dosages, in relationship to your biochemistry, once you kind of have those different key pieces, understood, I don't want to say you're like, you know, an expert at them explicitly because I really also believe that cannabis is a journey, your dose might change, the type of products you consume might change. And so as we are embarking in this industry, it's obviously very exciting, because cannabis is going more mainstream. But the conversation kind of going back to the rudimentary kind of position is your body has this endocannabinoid system always like you're born with it? It's not like you know, you grow up and you hit a certain age and like, oh, here's your endocannabinoid system. And so I think helping brands realize the science behind what they're selling to consumers to help bridge that gap of this is why this product is effective or isn't effective is really where I think we're going to start seeing that resonate with everyday consumer to like, kind of be like, oh, okay, this makes sense. Like, maybe I don't want THC, but maybe I want, you know, CBD or CBG or CBN. And so, a follow up question for you is when you're educating, I mean, how do you, again, maybe kind of keep track of it all because you really represent and reflect a part of like, stability, in my opinion, like science is science and science can be proven right or wrong and new things can be brought to the table and more research can be done always. But like you're working with things that exist again, like endocannabinoid system exists, but the way that we are, I guess matching it to consumption and to consumers is maybe newer. And so how do you kind of balance that education with the science when there are new cannabinoids like we talked about CBD and THC but CBG CBN there's new Delta as delta eight Delta 10 are those things as discussed are familiar to you? Or Are those newer things that you have to kind of learn and work into the information that you already know in terms of what is scientifically true?

Anita Sommers  15:07  
Well, first and foremost, I want to say I love that you called it a journey, because that's exactly what my answer is going to be because of the very ability of the human body as a medical professional. My first question for anyone who says they're in pain, what are we talking about here? Do your bones hurt? Is it your muscles? Is it your nerves? Do you have a ranch? What are we talking about? Exactly right? There's variability in that in and of itself? Well, now, let's just think about cannabis. Same thing, you and I could have the exact same seed, let's go grow it, it doesn't matter. The fact that it's the exact same seed, the environment is going to cause the variability of the plant, whether the nutrients, the pH of the water, the sunlight, the room to grow, right, all the things. So no matter what, always in forever, the constant is that there will always be variability. Yes, you can get it into if you have absolute control of your environment, and like a science setting, and you can find a nice range that happens. But in science and living organisms, their evolution will always be. So it's just a matter of working with because who's to say, because let's think about this, maybe you don't have an allergy, and then later down the road, you become allergic to something. It's the same thing like that. You really can't say for certain that, Oh, I'm fine. And later, I won't have to worry because I'm fine today. Well, cannabis and in the human body, we're the human body. I don't want to say it, but we're getting older. So it's, we're changing. And so it's the same thing with the plant. And the variability as far as what stage the plant is in when you use it. Is it the raw form? Is that the heated or decarboxylated form? Is it the aged form? How did you use it, there's just so many variables that when you're doing this for yourself, the best thing I can advise, and I've heard so many people say it. So I love that it's going around, is to keep a journal and tried to figure this out and learn from what you're in taking how much of it you took. But that requires that the provider has the information. And that's kind of where it gets a little, the loose ends start to happen. So it's all about being an educated consumer and really paying attention to your body. And always understanding that that variability is always going to be there. But you can work with it and kind of roll with the punches.

Shayda Torabi  18:04  
From your perspective, do you see more? Like, as a professional who works from a science capacity? Do you see more research being brought to the table that is you know, qualifying some of these things that we might be exploring anecdotally or even Personally, I mean, I have to believe that as more research is being done, we're uncovering more applications or more awareness around certain products or cannabinoids or even dosages. I mean, I know you're not specifically like doctor in that capacity to say, you know, you should take this many milligrams if you're taking something for X, Y, or Z ailment. But I guess I'm just trying to get a better understanding from your experience, what you're observing in terms of how the industry is evolving from a scientific perspective that is giving us more information, whether it's good or bad to kind of supplement it. I had a guest on a couple weeks ago, Kristin Yoder and she is no longer consuming cannabis. She's still in the industry, but she kind of personally is no longer consuming cannabis because she feels like she's over consumed. And now you're starting to hear stories of people who have over consumed cannabis and they're having some challenges. And so it's one of those things like I think the industry is obviously very glamorized, the plant is very glamorized of its medicine and it helps with all these different conditions and it can help you know, from minute things to really serious things just comes down to how you're consuming and what dose and what quality etc. But like is the science also like teaching us Hey, this is actually what this cannabinoid does. This is what this cannabinoid in combination with this other cannabinoid does or This is what you know, this condition is and actually cannabis is not good for it like kind of what's your observation in terms of maybe like what the science is saying now that we're getting access to more research because it's more legalized? Is it all still? You know, cannabis is good, you can't overdose on it, it works in your body, you got to figure out what's right for you, or are we kind of uncovering and unpacking? Wow, you know, some of this is needs more research and maybe isn't as good as we are envisioning it to be, if that makes sense.

Anita Sommers  20:31  
Yeah, no, it makes perfect sense. That's a great question. Because these are all the questions that people are asking. So I love that we're having this conversation. And, well, let's just talk about real quick penicillin, or any derivative of penicillin. Most people can take and they'll be fine after a micro organism imbalance. Some people cannot take anything remotely close to penicillin, or any derivative, because there's no benefit, their body will decline, they'll become worse, right? So education is where we fall short. Anyway, and that's in a lot of industries. So it's very important for us to continue to educate each other industry trailblazers to continue to educate each other as well. So that way, we're all providing quality information, quality product, but here's the thing in the industry as volume increases, unfortunately, and that is not always and I'm not trying to be a negative Nancy or anything, but when volume increases, quality tends to drop a little bit. Whereas if you have a boutique, or if you are maybe if you just have enough employees to handle that load, because if that's the case, then you can be fine. But sometimes it because of depending on the method of growth, or how the cultivation practices were, can lead to a negative response with the human body too. Because again, if there's any chemicals introduced, or any fungal elements, that's a big deal, too. There's a lot of what ifs and possibilities that could cause you know, flower to not be quality, even exoskeletons in the bud, I mean, from insects, and there's just a lot and depending on all of these variables will also depend on your response. But the example that I had given earlier, sometimes you as a child, you're not allergic to something, but over time, your body just for whatever reason rejects it, that's a possibility. You can never say, always in biology. That's why I have continuing education credits that I have to complete every three years to maintain the ability to diagnose infectious diseases in microbiology department, because everything is constantly evolving. And we have to just like a cell has to respond to the environment to keep homeostasis, and balance. That's what we have to do. And it's kind of a perfect example, what's happening right now just in the world in general, how are you responding to your environment, because if the stresses of the world, and life and medical and finance all the things, those can also bring your body down as well. cannabis is I like to parallel with getting your vehicle if you're getting your vehicle, oil change, that's fantastic. But there's other parts, you can't only get an oil change and expect everything to be correct. So with the human body, we understand that we respond to cannabis, some great, some not so great. That's just what it is. But also understanding as a whole person concept. How is your diet? I mean, are you getting enough sleep? Have you gone outside lately? You know, for some good vitamin D? Or are you exercising? All of these things play a role as well. So I'm an advocate of that as well, as far as Mother Earth using understanding why food is balanced. cannabis is balanced. We're all part of the universe, the soil, we share similar elements and compounds. So we just need to learn to work together. And when it doesn't work, which that happens in nature to when it doesn't work, just recognize it. And just eliminate that from whatever you got going on. Right. It's just, that's why it's so important to just keep track of these things. And that's what you would do if you had a response to food instantly. If something starts going on, you would be okay, what did I eat? What did I do? And so if you have that type of understanding with your body, and then really start to have an understanding with cannabis over time, you can have a fun little figuring out party of yourself.

Shayda Torabi  25:20  
Hello, just want to take a quick moment to thank my sponsor and full disclosure, my company restart CBD, restart CBD is a brand that I built with my sister. So we are family owned and a women owned, we do operate a brick and mortar in Austin. So if you ever find yourself in Central Texas, we'd love for you to come say hi. But we also ship nationwide and we carry a wide range of CBD products. We really care about this plant, we really care about educating our customers, this show would not be possible without their support. So please go check us out at restart CBD calm and use code to be blunt for $5 off your next purchase. Thanks. And let's go back to the show. I'm glad you highlighted the journaling aspect because I think again, so many people come to brands and businesses and quote unquote experts in the industry and they're looking for that explicit. This is going to be the thing that works for your body. This is going to be the copy paste experience of cannabis. And in fact, I just a little plug for a Netflix show there is a show called rotten. And it's covers a few different aspects like different industries, different products, but they did one on edibles about cannabis edibles. And it was just so remarkable to be reminded how inconsistent the industry is, despite how mainstream it's continued to be. And it's not that I think we'll ever fully get to consistency. I believe brands want consistency, especially edibles, you want to make sure if you're eating, let's say the same brand, but you're eating you know edible on day one at five milligrams The next day, it's going to be the same experience in your body because it's the same product. But what I think most people are realizing is it's very difficult to create consistency. And you brought up another point, you know, to using one of the analogies of we can both have the same seed. And depending on where we're growing the environment, the geography, the grower, the cultivator, that plant can have different characteristics. And that plays into ultimately the effect that that will have on the person consuming it. But the industry, yeah, we're striving for consistency, but it's like we're dealing with plants. And so we have to kind of give some room to that. And I think just reminding people when you're dealing with consumers, being able to guide them through those conversations being on their own journey, reminding the consumer that they're on this journey to kind of figure it out and providing resources and touch points, both for the retailer and brands as well as the consumer to like have that conversation in the best environment that they can. I know it's kind of difficult sometimes because I find that we can try to be as educated as we want to be. And if listeners you've listened to my podcast before, you know that I speak very transparently about not being the end all be all of truth. Because I think that the information is changing. We're constantly learning new information both about the plant, about the industry as laws get put into place about what products we can and can't sell. And of course, ultimately how it's going to interact with our body, our unique biochemistry at the end of the day. But I know another topic that's really close to your heart is kind of helping dissect and navigate around terpenes. And I really want to touch on that because for me as a marketer, I sit in an interesting position, right? And so I'll kind of play out the narrative. I think as a market, we use the words indicus, ativa, and hybrid. I know there's a lot of cringe at those words for people in the industry because it's like well, those words aren't really the truth. And if you really get into the science as I'm sure you'll get into for us the plants themselves, cannabis sativa cannabis indica, those are kind of plant differentiators, but not so much effect differentiators. But somehow those words have become commingled. And so as a marketer, I've identified an opportunity to educate consumers by helping educate them on terpenes because terpenes can Help emphasize or accentuate a particular effect. And outcome, I should say the desired outcome, more so than looking for something solely based on IndyCar or sativa. However, we as marketers keep perpetuating this, and again, not so much, you know, because I don't think like lazy is necessarily the right word or because it's easy, but like, as a marketer, I want to speak the same language as my consumers. And so when I have consumers who are coming to me, and they're saying, Hey, Shayda, I want something for daytime, I want something so tiva, I kind of have to start at Okay, well, let's look at citybus. But in the back of my mind, I know we're really looking at terpenes. And so I'm able to course correct the conversation when I have the consumer in front of me. But again, as an industry, we're kind of like, yeah, we should really stop talking about indicus sativa. Hybrid, let's talk more about terpenes. But we do and we don't at the same time. So I'm really curious to hear your perspective, knowing that you speak a lot about that kind of how you break it down and how you navigate that particular aspect of the conversation.

Anita Sommers  31:12  
Yeah, for sure. terpenes, I love terpenes, because those are the aromatic compounds. As soon as we open a bag, and we inhale that beautiful aroma, those are the terpenes. And we're smelling them because they're so volatile, the reason we're smelling them is because we can smell those molecular structures evaporating out from the bag, and terpenes for example, like alpha pinene, limonene myrcene. So these terpenes in particular, are like hydrocarbons, and that's simply hydro carbons. That just means there's hydrogen, and carbons. That's it. So they're all three of them have the molecular structure, c 10, h 16, which just means they all have 10, carbon, and 16 hydrogen, because once you start getting into the biochemistry of things, then you can really, really understand what does what with your body. So if you have consumer coming in, and they have questions, if you're able to provide a certificate of analysis to a, to show a terpene profile, instead of using, though, I mean, yes, you can say cannabis sativa and indica. And I always like to refer to the leaves when doing so. But when it comes down to the actual effects of the body would have, it comes down to the chemistry of the plant and understanding which compounds which terpenes are present, how much is present. And that's where the CEOs come into play. So the problem is, is that they don't know to ask that they don't know to ask for a certificate of analysis probably don't even know that exists. So that's one thing I like to harp on when just trying to educate the consumers. Because once the consumers are educated, we all everyone steps up their game because it's needed. So back to the terpenes. Because these compounds have the same molecular formula. That doesn't mean anything, their molecular structures, the way that they are in nature, that's the special key, like we all have different keys to our home, your key wouldn't get into my door, right? It doesn't match, the function does not match. So depending on what terpene you have an abundance in your body will determine those type of additional fields because one, everyone's going to respond differently anyway, we all respond differently. But understanding that some terpenes, you know, can help penetrate the blood brain barrier faster, or phytocannabinoids via the entourage effect to really work because they're all working synergistically together, instead of just having a dominant Phyto cannabinoid without any terpene help. But really, it's a beautiful thing to know that these aromatic compounds not only smell amazing, but they have I like to just say, balancing properties because when you start breaking down ailments, the list goes on and on and on. I like to personally just talk about the systems of the body. Are we going to target the nervous system? Well, if so, taking it back to understanding where the CB one receptor is located. Yes, they're located throughout the body, but they're predominantly found on your neuron cells. So it's going to work with your central nervous system. So understanding which compounds you are actually ingesting helps so much. So a certificate of analysis would let To know, if there is a terpene profile tested, just what is present, and how much is in it. And then that's when you can start really figuring out, okay, is this going to help me out or not. But again, that variability, it'll always be there, it's just a matter of understanding that and continuing to you, oh, also using different products, if you use one person's product, and then you start using someone else's product, if you're doing your science experiment on yourself, while you've already failed the science experiment, you have to stay consistent. So that's another thing with logging it in. And even having that ability to understand the terpene profile is just so huge, is so huge. And again, not everyone has that availability for them.

Shayda Torabi  35:48  
Is there any science to back up? Or maybe it's not specific to cannabis, but just kind of on the vein of I do agree, I think we should all use, you know, ourselves as test subjects for how cannabis can work for our own purposes. But in terms of giving a product a chance to be effective, or trying to figure out dosing? Is there any science that backs up? You should try a product 30 days before you shift products or consumption methods, you should increase dosage, you know, every three days in increments of 10 milligrams, or is it really not as scientific as that and more anecdotal of it will range for everybody's body? I guess, just trying to get at some sort of middle ground to help try to navigate this conversation as best as possible. Because from my understanding, there is so much variability in products. I mean, I think when you're selling flour, yes, there's still variability, but I think it's more maybe genuine is the word I'll use, like, there's more integrity to it. Because let's say four people are growing flower, it's all organic, there's no pesticides, that's intact, you're getting the full plant experience. It's not an extraction, it's not a formulation, it's not terpenes being added back in, that's the plant versus when you start looking at edibles, topicals sublingual vape products, to my knowledge, most of the time terpenes are either added back in or not even necessarily present. And so then you're getting a completely different component, or combination of the plant and as we know not anything is right or wrong. I think there's a time and a place for certain products I find I love you know, a CBD oil before bed but I might like CBD edible in the middle of the afternoon. Like there's different consumption methods different cannabinoids to plug and play. But when you're looking at, again, from a scientific perspective of how do we start to navigate, you know, how much of something should we be consuming to give it a test? And then also just kind of the landscape of the variability of different combinations and profiles and formulations of products that exist in the market today?

Anita Sommers  38:20  
Yes. So first, I'm glad you said that about the flower, the flower it is there all right there in the trichomes all of nature in its beauty bright as it's supposed to be as intended, then once we start changing things up a little bit, it definitely changes the game. The first question, like I had said earlier was you gotta know what you're taking care of first, what hurts because bioavailability is huge. That understanding is huge, because bioavailability is the time it takes for whatever you've consumed, to start circulating into the bloodstream. So personally, just to set the understanding, I know from experience, whenever I would be in the hospital as a patient minimum stay two weeks, Monday would put anything in my IV. Instead, I feel it's in my bloodstream, I'm instantly affected in my body chemistry has changed. So understanding bio availability is crucial. If you're inhaling something. It's going to go into your lungs and into the bloodstream, which is going to be a quicker onset. Right? It's going to be pretty fast. So what is it that you're taking care of? I mean, again, there's so many things, whatever ailment or issue you've got going on, for example, I'll even continue to throw myself under the medical situations. I currently am dealing with healing of torn ligaments. So for me, torn leg immense in my ankle was awful. But rubbing a topical is a local relief. Not only am I massaging the area, but I'm also adding Phyto cannabinoids, the terpene profile to my body topically locally. But we have to remember with bioavailability. That's not the same as if inhalation because inhalation it would be into the lung into the bloodstream really quick. So this is more of a local administration, soothing, and massaging and rubbing and allowing these beautiful compounds do their magic and be absorbed by the skin. But now say you have ingested something you've eaten something well, now we're talking about your digestive system, are you having digestive issues, because I will definitely say this, if you're having digestive issues, ingesting something might be actually beat the trick for you. But you have to stay away from sugars, because sugars are either feeding your ailments or you're feeding your health. So if you have digestive issues, and you choose to ingest something, sitting away from sugars and having a sigh, or just trying to do something natural, like a vegan based, edible, or I'm not sure to all the, there's so many things to try out there, but it's better for you because that's the system of the body you're trying to work with, right? Or maybe you're sublingual, and that's another method of administration bioavailability being again, we all respond differently, but it's faster than the digestive system. And you just have to understand the systems of the body. And knowing that you have to start low and go slow with everything. Because back to the digestive system, whenever you eat anything, the digestive systems job is to break down your food and absorb the nutrients and get rid of the waste. So that all takes time. And that's why whenever you ingest something it takes longer than if you work with the respiratory system, which the job is to do gas exchange, right? Oxygen or an exhale carbon dioxide. So it's just a beautiful balance of understanding your system and what needs balance. And when you understand that, then you're able to just play with all the different variabilities there are for administration, and with so many more innovations to come, this is just the beginning as well, of the methods that you can do. So understanding what you got, CEOs are so important, and your method of administration always go and just focus on what system you're trying to bring to balance and start low and go slow.

Shayda Torabi  43:08  
I'm really glad you brought up bioavailability because it is a scientific term. It's a medical term. And I don't think people really fully understand quite in a scientific way how these different consumption methods can help or be more effective. And another kind of where it leaves my brain and trailing to is I keep reading these stats that edibles are increasingly becoming more and more popular for consumption. I think you have consumers who traditionally whether they don't like smoking or they have apprehension to the high quote unquote of THC, their idea of what cannabis is is like I don't want to smoke the reefer so like oh, edibles is a you know, it's an easy way to introduce someone into consuming cannabis. But you kind of bring up you know, an interesting thought around other ingredients to be mindful of and knowing that everybody's body will respond differently to different ingredients. So for example, I practice a 8020 kind of paleo diet, meaning the majority of my food I consume is going to be refined sugar free and no gluten and no grains and no dairy. And so it's just, you know, I'm looking out for certain ingredients when I'm consuming products. But then also to contrast that I think when you're looking at the legality of things, it gets even more interesting. So for example, reflecting on Texas's very limited medical marijuana program in its present state. It only really allows you to have edibles and sublingual oil and doesn't allow for smoke bubbles, even though you just articulated it and I know that smoking is the most bioavailable way to experience cannabis. And so it's like, yes, something might not be the most medicinal for you in terms of health. But in terms of effectiveness for consuming, it starts to get twisted, where you have laws now being written out that say explicitly, you cannot consume this in smoke bubbles. And of course layer on top of that Texas is dealing with a smokeable ban. So it's just really fascinating. It's like on one end of the spectrum, laws aside, what are the ways I can consume cannabis presently? And how does that best interact with my body, and based on what I want to take it for, I might choose to, like if someone comes into my shop, and they tell me that they have really bad anxiety, and it gets triggered by certain things, I try to encourage them to consider smokeable is because if you know that you're like situationally anxious, you don't have the time to wait for an edible to kick in. You want something fast acting? versus the alternative to that is well, sorry, you know, we don't actually have smokeable is available for you. You're obviously at the mercy of whatever products exist on the market. But it is just interesting, where the science meets the legal side of the industry. I don't know if you have any thoughts to kind of add to that based on what you're observing?

Anita Sommers  46:17  
Yeah, the whole smokeable thing has been such a fine balance for me, because I can tell you this, and I can honestly say that the product that brought me to balance with my digestive ailment was a suppository, Mind blown, right? Who's talking about that, who's doing that, right? So, inhalation, I love the fact that inhalation is so rapid, and the fact that it is definitely going to be able to Well, again, if you respond well to it, that it will definitely help calm the nerves. Those who are veteran cannabis users all are aware of this, and almost, it's like the coffee in the morning to others, just like this is what I know is going to help me be comfortable. And this is what I know it's going to help me relax, I need to chill out a little bit. But the problem is this, I even after being in the airforce, I have friends to this day that are either active duty or freshly out of the military. And they say to me, that if I would have been smoking and doing this, that they would not have listened like they're blockers. If we take it to the cell level, they would not have received that message. They just wouldn't that whole stigma behind the smoking thing. So my question even is, how do we help people understand that it's just another method? I mean, because think about it, if you have asthma, if you have asthma, what do they give patients with asthma, an inhaler. It's a device, you're using an inhaler to administer a drug to help you breathe, I get so excited about this, I need to chill. And cannabis is the same way and that some of the compounds present can be Bronco dilators. So when you understand that, except I hear it all the time to is like how are you smoking is not healthy. But it's just another method of administration. It's really quick when you need it faster than if you were to take an over the counter whatever, right and Advil or Tylenol, I don't even want to say those names. But just because that's what people are familiar with. It's faster than that. And it's nature. Instead of using a synthetic compound. It's nature bringing you back to balance. It's just beautiful to use, instead of the synthetic alternatives that ultimately cause other problems down the way.

Shayda Torabi  48:57  
You said it best. It's very, you know, apparent. And I think that as we continue to do more scientific research, as we continue to do more anecdotal and self research and application, I think that really is the reality there's going to be certain products that will be more effective than others. But I think giving the industry the confidence and information to be that connector piece to the consumer to help navigate. This is ultimately where I tried to exist and help encourage because I do believe that we have such a great opportunity as stewards of this plant to help empower that consumer on the end of the transaction, so to speak. And I want to continue to encourage people to talk about cannabis, but it does kind of sometimes, you know, get really murky when there is just so much variation. And such a lack of substantial research that people can point to for certain conditions. And everything that we've kind of highlighted, just kind of gives, I think, a better parameter for how to kind of navigate that forward. So I appreciate you, sharing with us your scientific knowledge and application of what you've kind of learned about this plant and how you actually apply it not only to your own life, but how you've also helped others connect to it, and understand it better. And so I want to kind of end it with asking you, is there anything that we didn't touch on that you want to share with the listeners? Otherwise? I think that, you know, this has been a lot of good food for thought of just helping break down, again, from a scientific approach, you know, what is this plant that we're all consuming, and selling?

Anita Sommers  50:46  
Yeah, well, what's beautiful about this cannabis space is the diversity it brings. Everyone has their own passionate story, and everyone brings their own skill set. And it's just always exciting to continue the cannabis science conversation, because we have to keep this going to keep up with it. And the more we're able to have access to the molecular diagnostics, the more we're gonna know, we're all learning together. And that's so important as well, no one knows all even the scientists that have been doing research on this for decades on the other side of the world, continuing to learn this amazing plant. And personally, it has definitely just brought me around full circle. And just cannabis has helped me understand my diet, self sustainability, regenerative practices, just appreciating Mother Earth, for everything that she can offer. And one thing I did want to mention, that is a dream. And when you put things out into the universe, you just magical how serendipitous journeys work. But I do have 50% ownership of some land out in Copeland, and currently looking for anybody who is wanting to grow and be involved in the cannabis space, and willing to be an educator, also, in a sense, because that's what I'm trying to provide a safe place to educate outdoors and reconnect with Mother Earth and understanding that if you've been to one farm, you've been to one farm, there's so many ways to do this. So many different methods to do this, depending on where you live will determine which method you use. So I'm just trying to connect with the community, and currently looking for someone who has a minimum of three years growing experience, just to come out and have some fun on the farm. So putting that out in the universe. And thank you so much for your time. And thank you so much for doing what you're doing. Because it's everyone coming together like this, and spreading the knowledge that's going to really make these changes. And I'm just honored and proud to be a part of it here in Texas. What

Shayda Torabi  53:17  
a super educational episode, I know, it was definitely a little bit non traditional, but again, kind of reminding you guys, I think when we're able to unpack that educational value, not only for ourselves, but ultimately to be able to translate to that consumer. That's really where I think brands are going to have a better chance at creating that brand loyalty. Because consumers obviously they want to use products that are effective. And now I know that cannabis isn't consistent because everybody's biochemistry is different, then you add on the layer of variability of strains and consumption methods, etc. But again, I think when we can start connecting those dots for the consumer to ultimately be educated and really be in control of what they're consuming, that's where you're going to start to see in the industry, I think, have more of that support of understanding and awareness of how cannabis can actually be applied to our lives. And especially with the filter of our own biochemistry. Now Anita highlighted something that I think is really important to re emphasize for y'all. And it certainly come up. And it's not a radically new idea. But the idea of journaling, you know, writing something down, I'm not saying you have to journal indefinitely. And this might be relevant for you, as a listener, this might be relevant for you to pass on to your consumers, if you find yourselves in the cannabis business position, but keeping track you know, is it five milligrams or 20 milligrams? Is it smoking or eating a edible? Like, what is the consumption method? What is the dose? What is the strength of the product? And how does that ultimately affect your body. And so when Anita highlighted that, I just thought that that was so valuable information and wanted to kind of remind you as a takeaway, these are different things that you can leverage not only as your own individual, but as someone who's passing on that education to the consumer. I really Do you believe that as cannabis continues to go more mainstream you're seeing that cannabis consumer evolve and their needs and wants are evolving as well. And as we try to navigate where cannabis fits from a scientific perspective, how its interacting with our bodies, ultimately to the products that are sitting on shelves, you want to create some sort of path and guide way for people to navigate and so again, I think journaling is kind of one of those really easy to understand kind of approaches and it has a tremendous value add for that and consumer who's able to adopt that kind of practice but yeah, like always, I appreciate you tuning in if this is your first episode. Thank you so much. If you are an emoji listener, Thanks for always supporting and I hope these episodes are continuing to provide you value quick reminder if this episode was super relevant and helpful for you, if you have a friend or colleague who you think would benefit from learning from what Anita shared please pass this episode on and otherwise I will be back next Monday with a another new to be blood episode and I will see you guys later. Bye y'all.

Announcer  56:00  
Love this episode of To be blunt. Be sure to visit the Shayda slash to be blind for more ways to connect new episodes come out on Mondays. And for more behind the scenes follow along on Instagram at the Shayda Torabi

Transcribed by