O:H header
The consequences of the ongoing misguided "war on drugs" have been devastating on multiple fronts not the least of which is the lack of research into actual benefits. On the last episode of Objective:Health we looked at the new research being done on psychedelic drugs to help with a whole range of mental issues. This week, we shift our focus to cannabinoids, better known as CBD, a powerful medicinal from the marijuana plant.

Joining us today are our regular O:H host Erica and her husband Dave who will be telling us all about their recent venture: Highlander CBD Farm. We discuss the healing potential of CBD and the multiple conditions it can help address, as well as getting into the differences between CBD and THC and the healing potential of both. We also talk about the nightmare Dave and Erica are going through trying to navigate the bureaucracy of constantly changing regulations on the federal and state levels. It sometimes feels like one step forward, two steps back!

Tune in for this interesting show where we talk about all things CBD!

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Running Time: 00:56:56

Download: MP3 — 51.6 MB

Here's the transcript of the show:

Doug: Hello and welcome to Objective: Health. I am your host Doug. With me in our virtual studio are Elliot and Tiff.

Tiffany: Hello.

Elliot: Hello.

Doug: And with us as always in the background is Damian on the ones and twos.

Damian: Hello.

Doug: Today we are going to be talking about CBD and we're going to be interviewing Erica, our regular co-host on the show and her husband Dave who have a CBD farm in North Carolina. Well why don't we just bring them right on rather than me doing some kind of long-winded intro. Welcome Dave and Erica.

Dave: Thanks for having us.

Erica: Yeah, we're here, live and direct from the farm.

Doug: So just pretending that we have a really ignorant audience who have no idea what CBD is, maybe you can explain it.

Erica: Well I've got my notes just in case but I'll riff on this for sure. CBD is actually short for cannabidiol. I guess that's the genus species name and it's a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It was the first phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. The focus was on THC, the psycho-active component of cannabis and not so much on all the other 111 or 113 cannabinoids in the plant.

So it's about 40% of the plant's extract and in 2018 they started doing clinical research on cannabidiol for anxiety, cognition, movement disorders and pain. Cannabinoids are chemical messengers for the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoid system is a system in our body that is just doesn't get coverage. It's not really taught in medical schools. The last I read it's only taught in about 13% of medical programs across the US. So there's a lot of research coming out about how CBD helps people without the side-effects of THC, so low amounts of THC, high amounts of CBD.

They interact with the body in two different ways, one called endogenous meaning that it originates inside your body or also known as endocannabinoids and exogenous which is originating outside of the body. So cannabinoids found in marijuana such as THC and CBD are considered exogenous. There's a lot more research on the endocannabinoid system. I have a list of a few things here that it helps. They say that cannabinoids are like a lock and key system and they have two basic activities. One is to modulate pleasure, energy and well-being in the body and the other is to slowly nudge the body back to health in the face of injury and disease.

The literature is starting to say that this endocannabinoid system plays an important role in disease and it interacts robustly with other non-cannabinoid systems in your body, your endorphin system, your immune system and the vanilloid system which is responsible for transforming pain from acute to chronic. The endocannabinoid system regulates inflammation, pain, bone health, formation of new cells, fat and sugar, processes mood, energy, brain health and hormones.

Tiffany: What is hemp? Is hemp the same as CBD and can you get CBD and THC in the same plant? What's the difference between CBD and THC in hemp?

Dave: They really need to have a new classification. There's three types of marijuana basically. There is ruderalis. That would be what people would think of as hemp as far as making fiber, stuff like that, out of it. Then you have sativa and indica. Those are the different types. So hemp would be more of a ruderalis. THC is the more psychoactive part of it. They're just learning about CBD. That's what people are taking for the medicinal benefits.

Tiffany: So the ruderalis or the hemp has nothing to do with CBD or THC. It wouldn't even be the same plant. You just use it if you want to make hemp clothing.

Dave: No, it does have CBD. There's a lot of different strains of that, but hemp is loaded with CBD but it's low in the THC. You need a little bit more THC for the medicinal qualities to come out apparently.

Doug: Are hemp plants the ones that you would use to harvest CBD as opposed to the other varieties you were talking about?

Dave: Well you can. It's mostly CBD but it's not necessarily high in CBDs. So what the creators have done now to make the CBD oils is to have bred the two together. They say the indica has got more medicinal properties so they bred that with the ruderalis to get more potent CBD content.

Doug: Are those then low THC versions?

Dave: There's a whole gamut of it. That's one of the big problems we're facing now. The federal law and a lot of the state law is that .3 THC is the legal limit. So the way the hemp plant works or cannabis is that it varies as it grows so at one point it might be .3. When you harvest it might be .7 and then it becomes an illegal substance. But it's still very small amounts of THC.

Elliot: So THC is the psychoactive component that makes you feel high. How does CBD make you feel? Does that have any psychoactive properties?

Dave: Well it's interesting because if you've ever smoked THC before, you know the effects of that. When you smoke CBD you almost feel like you're going to get high but you don't. Generally what people report and what I've found is that you become relaxed, you're motivated, you want to play the guitar or go on a hike. {laughter} It is quite relaxing without the psychoactive effects.

Tiffany: What about the paranoid effects?

Dave: I personally haven't experienced that and I don't know anybody who has yet.

Erica: As this whole field emerges, just in the last year since the farm bill made the growing of hemp legal in the United Sates with that .3% THC quantity allowed, they're starting to do more research. I think there's over 6,000 articles on PubMed, peer reviewed articles looking into CBD and the endocannabinoid system and how it works and what kind of relief it provides for people. But it just seems to be that there is a connection between those two things, as Dave was saying earlier. With plants you need a little bit of THC to have the entourage effect with the plants.

A good example is that big pharma wants to isolate cannabidiol and just make products out of that but from the reading that I've been doing, you have to have a little tiny bit of THC. It's negligible. You don't feel the effects from it but the plant works synergistically. If you were using other plant extracts, you can't isolate it to get the same effect, if that makes sense.

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: Does CBD, like regular marijuana, still have the anti-carcinogenic effects that regular marijuana would have? If somebody with cancer wanted to use CBD medicinally, would they pick CBD over regular marijuana?

Dave: Apparently for certain types of cancer where they're using it as treatment it's more high doses of THC.

Erica: CBD does have the ability to be tumour-suppressing but as Dave said, a lot of the cancer research, just to give an example, Rick Simpson Oil, what they call RSO, is a really concentrated form of cannabis that has loads of THC and it takes very high doses to attack tumours which obviously has a very intense side-effect. But one of the things they're looking into for cancer treatment for people who don't want to have that intense high is actually suppositories, so taking the combination of CBD and THC rectally or vaginally.

Doug: So that wouldn't have the psychoactive effects? Or not as much?

Erica: Correct. That's what they say. I haven't tried it so I don't know. {laughter}

Tiffany: Well that seems a little strange because they're both internal. Say you were going to do an edible or something and people say that that gets them high, why would a suppository either rectally or vaginally, not get you high? I don't understand that.

Erica: Maybe because it bypasses the digestive system? {laughter}

Tiffany: I guess. But if you smoke it, it bypasses the digestive system.

Erica: This is true.

Tiffany: I guess further research is needed.

Erica: Yeah. There's so much information coming out, it seems almost daily. If you just google CBD, there's an endless rabbit hole of information. But maybe we want to share why we decuded to do this farm project.

Tiffany: Yeah, why? {laugher}

Erica: Why. You want to share why you decided to do this farm project?

Dave: Well I needed a job. {laugher}

Elliot: We appreciate the honesty.

Dave: I guess you could call me a farmer by trade. There's been a really big push here for farming to farm hemp or CBD so I just started looking into it and it seemed like a pretty good economic opportunity and also you're making something that's helping people. So that was the start up.

Erica: So medicine. As he was saying, we've been farming for 20 years and we've grown everything from bananas to avocados to lettuce to medicinal herbs like Tulsi. When moving to North Carolina we realized again that there was a need for a job for Dave for sure, but also this farm bill passing, the opportunity to set up greenhouses and grow cannabis for flower production What we mean when we say that is here in North Carolina you can grow flowers to sell to dispensaries that sell high CBD/low THC flowers that people can smoke. So if people want to smoke CBD they don't get high from it but they still get all the taste and smell of the cannabis, if that makes sense.

Tiffany: So CBD smells just like the regular marijuana?

Erica: Yes. And it looks the same as well.

Tiffany: That could bring up some legal issues.

Doug: Yeah.

Dave: Yes, that's a can of worms.

Doug: I guess because it's in this hazy legal area right now, for you guys anyway - I know some states have legalized marijuana completely so they don't have this problem - but for you guys, it's an area where marijuana for recreational purposes is not legal and CBD is legal so it's a grey area where if somebody was smoking CBD they could quite easily get busted and try to explain to the cop, "No, this is legal because I'm not getting high from it". What a can of worms!

Dave: Well at this point they need to legalize it across the board. Yesterday us farmers took a blow. The USDA just released their regulations on CBD and hemp. It's a farmer's nightmare. For all of us who have invested the time and money - this is multi-million dollars have been invested - they want to bring in the DEA to do all the testing, law enforcement. They've put the level of THC at .3 or above. So say you grow a plant and it gets a little bit hot and you have a thousand pounds, you can be prosecuted as THC marijuana.

Doug: You're kidding!

Dave: It's just ridiculous. From the 1940s these guys.

Tiffany: Well it seems that if they're going to do all that and make all those restrictions, why even make it legal in the first place? Are they going to send people out to individual farms and test every single plant that you grow to make sure it's below the legal limit? That's going to make more work for themselves.

Dave: Yeah, that's what I mean. It's ridiculous. To have testing now it's got to be registered with the DEA and they want some type of law enforcement to come out to test your crop 14 days before harvest. With the majority of the CBD strains that you get with the low THC, they vary. You can't control the genetics. So, like I said, at one point it can be .3 and at another point it can be .7 which is still a very small amount of THC but you can be prosecuted for marijuana laws.

Doug: That's ridiculous. So it's something that you have absolutely no control over, even though your intentions are not to grow marijuana crops but to grow CBD crops. You could be busted because your plant happened to produce a little more THC. A little bit more, and still not enough to actually get you high.

Dave: Yes, exactly.

Tiffany: Can you imagine being sent to prison for growing CBD? {laughter}

Dave: It's happening already. There was a farm down in South Carolina, a 100 year old farm. They'd planted 20 acres of hemp and just because the GPS location was off a little bit, probably a mistake, they came and arrested him and cut down half his crop and now he's looking at criminal charges. He was compliant. There was another case I think in either South Dakota or North Dakota. They caught a driver with 300 lbs. of CBD and it had passed the test originally but when the cops tested it, it was .5 which broke the limit on the law and now he's looking at 15 years!

Doug: Oh my god! That's ridiculous.

Dave: Retarded. If you want to see somebody rant... {laughter}

Erica: Well part of why we got into this whole project, back to what we were saying about the medicine, was in the beginning we knew it was really unclear so we did our due diligence and we filed for a legal permit through the University of North Carolina ag program. They have a hemp pilot program. So they're encouraging, especially here in a rural area where we have lots of farmers, they're encouraging farmers to get involved with this and plant their acres and acres of hemp. We decided that we would go the CBD flower route because we could use greenhouse technology.

So we built greenhouses. We got dirt and we did everything. We started all of our seeds and let the state know what we were doing. You get your license and you put it up and then as we went through the season things just really started to change in the sense that all of a sudden about halfway through they said, "Well in North Carolina we're going to ban the growing of CBD flowers" because they didn't...

Dave: Smoking.

Erica: Smoking CBD flowers. It really put us in a predicament because now we're pretty invested and we're already halfway through our season. Do we cut everything down and just take our losses and so we decided to just keep moving ahead because there wasn't anything technically on the books yet. This is where we're at now, six months later, just trying to find out what the law is. They're really unsure about what the law is.

Dave: I don't know who makes policy but they promote it as the next best thing for some of the old tobacco farms and how the farmers could get economically viable. So they're really promoting it and then all of a sudden start restricting and banning it when, like I said, there has been millions of dollars invested just here in North Carolina and everything's just up in the air. They know the CBD strains go hot so they have us test at 3 weeks so you can pass and then they go hot and they turn a blind eye to it. And then they outlaw it. None of it makes sense.

Tiffany: So this is just for the CBD flower? I guess you have to grow flowers to make the oil but it seems like everywhere you look nowadays, CBD is available here. You drive past a video store or something, everybody is selling CBD. So is it the flower that they're cracking down on because they don't want people to smoke it or is it just everything CBD-related?

Dave: It's because they can't distinguish the two.

Tiffany: Ah!

Dave: Between CBD and THC. That's the main complaint of law enforcement. So they're making it a law enforcement issue.

Doug: But you guys could still use the flowers to make other CBD products, yeah?

Dave: Yeah. We're in the process of having a whole product line from CBD oil to salves and lotions. There's just an amazing demand and also the testimonials we're getting from folks. Every day someone's like, "Man, that's the best stuff. It has saved my life. I can actually deal with pain" or "I can sleep at night". I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. I wasn't sure how effective it was, whether it's placebo. It seems like there's a lot of science behind it too, but it really is helping people.

Doug: And most of the people who are getting it from you, are they using it for pain or is there other things they're using it for as well?

Dave: There's a whole gamut of stuff people are using it for. Some people can't sleep or they have anxiety. They either smoke it or take the drops and it helps with that.

Elliot: For the drops would they just take them orally or do they hold them under the tongue or something?

Erica: Yeah. We've been using our flowers and just infusing MCT oil, fractionated coconut oil and putting it in a dropper and put it on your tongue to take internally. You can also extract it with grain alcohol, 191 proof grain alcohol. So just let it simmer in there. It has a little taste of alcohol. But we're really still in the research and development phase so what we've been doing is just giving people the product to try, just to get feedback. By far right now, the most popular item we've been making is our salve which is just the flowers with coconut oil and beeswax and cocoa butter, cooked down in under 240 degree temperature and you can cook it for anywhere from three to 12 hours, just in a crockpot and then making the salve with it and having people use it applied to the skin.

We have a lot of elderly folks where we are and it seems to be 85% of our clientele that has used it are older and dealing with things like arthritis, aches and pains, recent knee and shoulder surgeries and actually topically applying to the skin. People are feeling relief. Dave can share the story of his back issue with you.

Dave: Yeah, the first time I used it, I thought, "Let's check this stuff out and see what it does". I could barely stand up straight. I was in pretty severe pain and nothing in the past really worked but I rubbed the salve on and within 10 minutes all the pain was completely gone!

Elliot: Wow!

Dave: I don't know, but since then I've been using it and it definitely helps. I was down at the gym a couple of days ago and I'd given some to one of the guys I know at the gym. He had shattered his shoulder and was in a cast for eight months. His injury reappeared and he said, "Oh, I tried the salve and within a few minutes I could move my arm again!"

Doug: Wow!

Dave: I hear that constantly.

Doug: It's interesting that you can do it topically as well as taking it internally or smoking it. I think there would probably be a lot of people who weren't really interested in smoking it for whatever reason. You were mentioning the elderly. I can see that maybe they would not want to actually smoke it. But can you get all the same benefits from doing it topically? Everything is absorbed and gets into the blood circulation and everything?

Dave: Maybe Erica knows. I'm not sure of the science behind it.

Erica: I'm not 100% sure if topically you get all of the phytocannabinoids in there, I've got to be honest.

Tiffany: It seems like if you really wanted to give it a real one-two punch, if you didn't want to smoke it you could use the salve and also use the drops?

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: If you're dealing with some kind of pain issue you can put the salve directly onto the part that's hurting and then try the drops for the anti-inflammatory effects.

Doug: You could throw in a suppository as well just for good measure. {laughter}

Tiffany: That would be the direction I'd take. {laughter}

Erica: Going back to that whole endocannabinoid system and how it seems to bring the body back into balance using the plant medicine to modulate all these different things that seem to be out of balance, in the literature they call it the ghost in the machine, that CBD's the ghost in the machine for the endocannabinoid system. It works with all of your other systems as I suggested earlier, the endorphins, the hormones, the cytokines. So I don't really know the exact mechanism with which it works but it seems that topically, at least for muscle pain or injury, that something in the body recognizes it and it has that balancing effect, maybe bringing the body back into homeostasis. And then taking it internally as well.

I just find it interesting that the sleep issue is really something a lot of people struggle with. A couple of weeks ago we did a show on anxiety and all the alternatives that people are using for that and it seems that the CBD is really helpful for those anxiety issues. Now earlier somebody mentioned the paranoid with THC. In some of the states it's legal. In California they have clinics where they're doing ratios, like 1.1 part THC, 2.0 CBD so people are getting the entourage effect of the plant. They're getting the benefits of relaxation and not the anxious, paranoid high that would come from the THC aspect.

Doug: It's really interesting talking about anxiety and brain stuff because I know they've been doing really promising studies on things like Alzheimer's disease, psychosis, post traumatic stress disorder. They find that it actually helps protect brain cells and regenerate brain cells. It helps with seizures, epilepsy, autism. It's all preliminary research. It's not necessarily a cure but just the fact that there are so many different things that it seems to be helping with, it just makes me mad that there are so many roadblocks up to just getting this amazing medicinal thing out there to the people who actually need it.

Elliot: I can imagine that big pharma have had their say. When you've got something so miraculous working on an endogenous system it's almost like the perfect type of medicine for the human body. It works with such a wide variety of things. If you think of practically any health condition and you type in CBD or CBD and health condition into Google, there's usually something on there. And that's not just personal anecdotes. It's actual clinical, scientific literature which has been studied.

So there's a major potential there but I think that it could hurt the profits of some of the longstanding pharmaceutical medications like pain relievers. You've got gabapentin and all these kinds of things. CBD really works and it doesn't have the horrible side effects and it also isn't terribly addictive like many of these pharmaceuticals are. I can imagine big pharma don't really like it.

Dave: The conspiracy side of me is like, "Yeah!" I don't know who's writing these policies but it's not benefiting anybody who really needs it.

Doug: Yeah. It's not even just the pharmaceuticals. I think there's a lot of other institutions that actually benefit from having marijuana illegal or even medicinal marijuana. There are a lot of forces, I think, that are actually trying to keep it down including big pharma. But even the prison system that's benefiting from having pot dealers in jail or CBD farmers in jail and the DEA. There are a number of different forces that I think would be very happy to keep it exactly where it is.

Tiffany: Well next we'll be hearing about how CBD is a gateway drug to start smoking marijuana and then marijuana leads to other harder drugs. I don't think that their stance on CBD is going to be as lenient as most people would hope. You'd think that once they started legalizing CBD people think they'll legalize regular marijuana soon so this is just a step. But I don't know if it's going to be that easy.

Doug: Yeah.

Erica: I will say, selfishly, we hope that the federal status - right now marijuana or cannabis is a schedule 1 drug the same as heroin and cocaine - and then with the passage of the farm bill with allowing the states to grow hemp as long as it's got that less than .3%, in leaving it up to the states to establish their own framework on how they're going to regulate it and test it, if they just did away with the federal status of schedule 1 and they changed it to a schedule 5 then there wouldn't be such an issue. But as you all are saying, they're paranoid it's going to be a gateway drug but it's so confusing because you have states - I don't even know how many states now - where it's legal recreationally.

Doug: Nine I think?

Erica: Then you have other states like North Carolina where you could get in trouble for growing CBD flowers. It's so confusing as farmers trying to decide what we're going to do even next year. Do we do this project again next year? Is it a huge financial risk? If they implement this no flower policy does that mean that they're going to show up at your farm and cut everything down and haul you away? It's unnerving to say the least.

Dave: This is an example. In Illinois they banned smoking CBD flowers and then a week later they made it legal to smoke THC.

Tiffany: What?!

Dave: That gives you an idea of...

Elliot: That doesn't make sense! Why on earth would they do that?

Dave: I don't know. We're dealing with politicians, a bunch of idiots for the most part.

Doug: So right now in Illinois you could get busted for smoking CBD whereas smoking pot wouldn't get you busted?

Erica: You've got to wait until 2020 in Illinois. It will go legal in 2020. But one of the things that's interesting about Illinois is that they made it legal recreational - and this was on Forbes website - they're concerned that they're not going to have enough supply for the demand and they're going to let over 780,000 marijuana convictions off. They're going to let almost a million people go on these convictions that they have for marijuana. But you can't smoke the CBD flower. {laughter}

Doug: Just tell the cops it's marijuana. "Don't worry. It's not CBD."

Tiffany: So in the CBD world now, especially with so many states legalizing it, there's a certain chicness to smoking pot now where it used to be that people would sneak and do it. Now it has become this whole cultural thing. So with CBD do they have all the different types like they do with marijuana, all the different funny names?

Erica: Yeah, most definitely. Damian if you want to show a picture. We've found a strain - maybe you want to talk about it - what we grew this year, because we did grow some specific strains this year on our farm.

Dave: What's the picture?

Doug: It's on Instagram.

Damian: Oooh! That's pretty. {laughter}

Tiffany: The CBD porn.

Erica: So Dave will tell you a little bit about this flower. These are the flowers that we grew on our farm.

Dave: That's what they call the abacus. It's actually nice. It's a purple plant. It's one of those strains where they bred the hemp ruderalis into the indica so it produces a really high percentage of CBD. But as you can see it looks just like the THC flowers. In the CBD flower smoking market that would be a prize plant to have or flower.

Doug: Do you still get the crystally type stuff on it? I don't have a good shot of the picture there.

Dave: Yeah, that's the cannabinoids and the CBDs.

Doug: Ah!

Dave: That's what that is. The plant is creating that to catch pollen.

Doug: Oh, interesting.

Erica: So the abacus has almost 19% CBD, 20% CBD content. So this is one of the ones that we decided to do because of such high content. I know Tiff, you had asked earlier about the difference between hemp and CBD. The hemp is not just female plants. It can be both.

Dave: If you're going for fiber it doesn't matter, you're growing for the stocks mainly, you're not growing for the flowers.

Doug: So all the talk of the percentage, how the THC has to be below .3 percent, what percentage - just to get some perspective - what percentage would a plant have to be in order to actually get you high?

Dave: It's a little bit debatable but probably you're looking at 3-6% on the low end. The THC strains they sell now for recreational are up to the high 20s or more, to give you an idea.

Doug: So really, they've got a buffer there. If they really wanted to they could make the cut-off 1% or 1.5% or even 2% to give you guys a little bit of leeway so the risk isn't so great for you guys. Sorry to have to destroy your crop because it went .1% too high.

Dave: Yeah, that would be the common sense approach, right? {laughter}

Doug: Right.

Dave: A lot of the CBD advocates are trying to push for that 1%. It eliminates that problem entirely so if your plant is a little bit hot you can't get arrested.

Doug: Right.

Dave: You might still be a little bit but we always joke that they like the plants hot because people love to come buy them because they feel good, right? {laughter} So a little bit high.

Erica: Also, just to bring the farm bill into the discussion, Damian I don't know if you have that image of the farm bill. I think I sent it to you on the chat. I've been trying to follow the farm bill because again, navigating through this whole legal process and doing our due diligence at our end with sending in our coordinates and having the license and the testing done and protecting ourselves from the inevitability of getting in trouble for doing this. So the far bill in 2018 was passed. Trump had something to do with that I guess. {laughter} It was actually Mitch McConnell from Kentucky who proposed it and pushed it. They got it passed and it's an 807 page report, the entire farm bill, but this little image shows how they say the era of hemp prohibition is over, that hemp is now permanently removed from the Controlled Substance Act and it is forever deemed an agricultural commodity. It no longer is a controlled substance like marijuana.

Well that's a little unclear, as we're starting to find out. They said "By redefining hemp to include its extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives, Congress explicitly has removed popular hemp products from the purview of the Controlled Substance Act, the drug enforcement administration no longer has any possible claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products." Well that's just not true, as we're finding out. "This should give comfort to federally regulated institutions", so like banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites.

Another thing the farm bill was give farmers the access to needed crop insurance and they can fully participate in USDA programs for certification and competitive grants. "State and tribal governments may impose separate restrictions or requirements on hemp growth and the sale of hemp products, however they cannot interfere with interstate transport of hemp or hemp products."

So those are kind of ideal guidelines, but when you get down to brass tacks, it's not really working out like that.

Dave: There was another case recently also to do with smoking flowers. They had banned it and some folks took them to court and won in court where they said by banning smokable flowers it was unconstitutional due to the farm bill.

Doug: And they won!

Dave: And they won. The judge ruled in favour of them saying "You can't ban the smokable flowers because it's included in the farm bill".

Doug: That's encouraging. {laugher}

Dave: That was three days ago.

Doug: Oh wow! You guys are really on the cutting edge here. I guess this is part of the problem with being on the cutting edge. It's a little bit perilous. You guys must be so stressed out actually. From day-to-day it just seems like another thing happens.

Dave: Well good thing we've got plenty of CBD. {laugher}

Doug: Exactly.

Erica: It's funny because Mercola put out an article in June called CBD Market Explodes Despite Perplexing Legal Status. In the article they talk about how "The sale of CBD products has exploded into a $390 million per year industry and it's projected to hit $1.3 billion by 2022. But there's still a lot of confusion around the federal legality of CBD commerce in the US."

And this is what they sold to the farmers and we've talked to farmers here in North Carolina. "Look! Here's this great economic opportunity for you. You can get out of debt. You can pay off your land. You can hire people. And yeah, we're not quite sure what the legal status is on that." But if you look online, if you Google CBD products, it's in everything. They're making it for your pets. They're making sex lube with it. They're making nerve tonics. It's unbelievable just doing research on how to even build a website and what's your target audience. CBD oil for cats, that was a good one! {laughter}

Dave: We're trying to focus mostly on the medicinal benefits.

Doug: Yeah. Not the novelty products.

Erica: One thing that we do have working in our favour is that we've decided that maybe the flowers is not the best way to go for right now until they really can nail it down, to just go with the salves, tinctures. You could realistically make it into tea. There's so many options available because it's a plant medicine. It's a botanical medicine just like Echinacea. Back in the day nobody knew about Echinacea and then they started studying it. Or things like Tulsi, holy basil. There's a lot of different ways that you can use it and produce it and get around this whole legal tightrope because the FDA is not really going after CBD products unless you make health claims which we have covered I think on our show before about how broken the FDA is.

But as long as I don't put on my website that it can cure your broken back, I think we're safe.

Tiffany: So is it time to do a shameless plug of your products and your website? {laughter}

Erica: Yeah. I will say we have a website up. It's more just pictures and some contacts. You can send us your email. We hope to have a newsletter that has a little description of our farm and who we are, I think two pictures. We hope in the near future to be able to offer the salve on the website and the MCT oil. There's Dave at the farm.

Dave: We have plenty of smokable flowers too. {laughter}

Erica: You were asking Doug, there's Dave on the farm. You were asking about the close-ups of the flowers so we put some of those on there. You can see all the tricones on there and the terpenes. Those are the things that make it smell good and taste good. So it's more just informational than anything else, just to come and see what type of interest there is if people want to try it. I've been giving it to everyone at work, at the post office, the grocery store and really looking for testimonials from people, their experience, is it good, is it something that they would recommend to other people. I guess when you're starting a start-up, as we are doing, you find your market and what people are interested in and how it helps them. Like I said, we've been getting a lot of really positive feedback. For the most part, other than one gentleman telling me he really didn't like the way the salve smelled - obviously it smells like cannabis - I haven't really had any negative feedback from it.

Dave: We have orders every day just from word of mouth. It's incredible.

Doug: Wow! That's amazing. Was there anything else that you wanted to talk about or cover about CBD or about your farm?

Erica: No.

Tiffany: I have a question. What would make your product stand out? Is it organic or...?

Dave: We strive for the absolutely cleanest high quality. We're waiting for some equipment and we'll be able to do extractions where we can make stronger batches, cleaner batches. All our cannabis is grown strictly organically, natural methods, no pesticides. It's very clean. A lot of the products on the market are not very good. There's a lot of snake oil salesmen going on right now. We're setting a higher quality.

Tiffany: So vaping is popular now. Can you make CBD juice that people can vape?

Dave: Yeah, we'll be able to do all that kind of stuff. We'll have those products in the future, what they call concentrates.

Tiffany: Yeah, not juice. {laughter}

Dave: That's an idea. CBD juice.

Erica: That's really why we're just starting locally, having people be able to see and meet the farmers who actually grew the product. So it goes back to the whole billion dollar potential industry. A lot of the stuff I've seen is derived from hemp so it doesn't necessarily have that high CBD content but it also could, as Dave was saying, have a lot of pesticides or herbicides that were used to save the crop. Here in North Carolina it's a pretty harsh environment to grow things just because of insects and weather and humidity and all the different very small but turn into very big obstacles that you could deal with in a growing season.

But just being open to have people meet Dave and I to be able to say, "Yes, we did this all ourselves. We had help from people in our community but for the most part we didn't do anything sketchy or toxic and we just want to make the best possible medicine that's available out there." I think people really being able to meet someone who has grown their product from seed to the end and then processed it themselves without sending it off to be processed by some big extractor.

One of the things we also hope is that we can have these particular strains like the abacus and people can see that this particular strain is good for these things. There have been books written on that out of California, about what strains are good if you have anxiety or what strains are good if you're dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, for example, because different strains have different medicinal purposes. It's like the difference between different types of bay leaf or parsley. It's the same kind of thing with cannabis. The plants have different effects on people depending on the strain of plant that it is, if that makes sense. I'm rambling.

Doug: No, no. That's really interesting actually.

Erica: So to answer your question Tiff, we are organic, all natural and here to answer any questions and if we don't know the answer, we're really eager to research it and find out, as has been happening now with the legality of it, every day, like Dave said. Two days ago, it was one thing. Tomorrow it may be something different. I'm hoping in 2020 that, like I said earlier, they just de-schedule it a federal offense and it opens the way for farmers to actually do what the farm bill intended, which is to grow CBD as an agricultural crop to reinvigorate farmers in the United States because let's face it, when you're dealing with big ag you're screwed as the small guy.

Doug: Yeah, for sure.

Erica: I wouldn't be surprised if that was the intention behind it all, not to go down the conspiratorial route, but big ag...

Doug: There's the potential to help so many people and it seems like whenever there is potential to help a lot of people, it inevitably has all these roadblocks in front of it. I think that's just the way it goes, conspiracy or not, although I lean more towards the conspiracy angle for sure.

Erica: And that it's affordable medicine. It's not going to cost you an arm and a leg and it's not going to have the side effects.

Dave: Yeah, it's something you can grow in your backyard is seen as a threat to pharmaceuticals.

Doug: Well you guys are fighting the good fight and we're glad that you are.

Erica: Well thank you for having us and giving us the opportunity to ramble on and on. We might come back and everything might have changed. We don't know.

Doug: Well fingers crossed for you guys. So if people want to find you they can go to Highlander CBD Farm.com and you've got links to your social media on there. You've got a Facebook, a Twitter and an Instagram.

Erica: Right.

Doug: Pictures of those righteous buds. {laugher}

Erica: Peeps like pictures.

Doug: For sure. Well, thanks a lot for coming on guys.

Dave: Thanks for having us.

Doug: Okay. I guess that's the show for this week. Be sure to join us next week for another Objective: Health. Like and subscribe below and we'll put links to Dave and Erica's farm and all their social media down below as well and we will see you next time.