CBD & Cannabis Special Episode: How CBD Affects Hormones, Fat Loss, Athletic Performance, Sleep, Recovery & Much More.

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It's cannabis time! The “Kentucky Castle” is a unique destination hotspot with a full biohacking facility, sauna, farm-to-table restaurant, precision medicine arm, hemp farm, horse facilities, and much more. It is owned by one of the physicians who hosts the “Wild Health” podcast, on which I was recently a guest. 

Recently, at the castle, I had the pleasure of giving a talk on how to hack your biology to get the most out of the genetics you were born with.

Afterward, I took part in a Q&A with several of the physicians in attendance at the conference, which you can also listen to here.

But during my time at the castle, I also had a chance to duck away with Dr. Matt Dawson, Dr. Michael Mallin, and CBD formulator and researcher Taylor Bright to discuss all things cannabis and CBD. We hit record on the mics and recorded all the hemp goodness for you on today's episode.

In this episode, you'll discover…

-The chemical effects of using marijuana…

  • Most often referring to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the part of the cannabis plant that induces the euphoric state
  • THC levels have steadily risen from 3-5% in the 1960s to as high as 28% today
  • THC fits inside the CB1 receptor in the cerebral cortex of your brain (which causes the “high”)
  • Less often known is cannabidiol (CBD)
    • It's one of over 80 cannabinoids in the hemp plant
    • It accounts for up to 40% of the plant's total cannabinoid extract
  • CBD is more often researched for medical purposes than THC
  • How CBD and THC are separated
    • Hemp plants are grown with male plants fertilizing female plants
    • Remove the male plants, and the female plants produce THC (they produce very little THC when pollinated by the male plants)
    • Male and female plants together meet the international standard of <1% THC
    • Female plants contain other cannabinols with efficacious health benefits (CBG, CBGA, CBC, CBCA, CBDA)

-The effects of ingesting CBD with and without the THC cannabinol…

    • CBD serves as an antagonist to CB receptor agonists (a substance which initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor)
      • In other words, CBD “mutes” the effects of the CB1 or CB2 receptors
    • CBD can elongate the “high” of THC by inhibiting the cytochrome p450 enzymes
    • Also an antagonist to the GPR55 cannabinol; found in the caudate nucleus section of the brain
    • Because CBD does not attach to the CB1 or CB2 receptors, it's not addictive or habit forming
    • CBD acts as an agonist for the 5-HT 1A receptor (for anti-depressant, anti-anxiety effects)
    • It's an allosteric modulator of your opioid receptors (for pain and chronic inflammation reduction)

-The interesting history of cannabis…

  • 2700 years ago, a Persian teacher named Zoroaster penned a compendium of over 10,000 plants; hemp was at the top
  • Hippocrates also recommended cannabis extracts for their medicinal qualities
  • Ethiopian Coptic church used cannabis in a sacrament in AD 45
  • Sir Russell Reynolds prescribed cannabis for Queen Victoria who was suffering from menstrual cramps
  • The father of French psychopharmacology, Jean-Jacques Moreau (de Tours), advocated for the use of cannabis
  • Hemp was in high demand during the American revolutionary period
  • Anything that can be made from plastic can be made from hemp

-The source of the stigma surrounding the use of CBD…

  • The Boggs Act of 1951 set mandatory sentences for drug users; claimed that cannabis was addictive
    • Voluminous expert testimony to the contrary has been overridden in the court of public opinion on claims that marijuana is a “gateway drug” to more addictive drugs
  • Book: Marihuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon (read for free here)
  • CBD gives nearly the same effect of opioid drugs (such as morphine) without the addictive quality

-The effects of CBD on our pathways…

  • Hormonal:
    • Reduces susceptibility to stress in HPA axis
    • The pancreas secretes glucagon and insulin
    • THC increases glucagon levels; CBD lowers insulin levels
    • Lower rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among CBD users
  • Has been shown to modulate acute and chronic inflammation
  • CBD is an excellent recovery compound (but not immediately after working out)
  • How it affects insomnia:
    • Cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine
    • It can enhance or help sleep if caffeine is not present

-How to know what CBD product to buy in the current unregulated marketplace…

  • Third party test reports are made available; a company doing things the right way isn't afraid of transparency
  • 3 main ways to extract CBD at the moment:
    • Hydrocarbon (through the use of butane)
    • CO2 (in the supercritical form)
    • Ethanol (done cryogenically)
  • Ethanol is Taylor's preferred method for CBD extraction
    • Blended with coconut oil; some oil emulsions for topical use

-The most common questions I'm asked regarding CBD…

-Why Taylor prefers the ethanol mode of CBD extraction over the others…

  • It creates a more natural product
  • CO2 is more efficient but pulls out plant waxes and lipids you want to remain in it
  • All ethanol is pulled off the final product via a rotary evaporator
  • Full cannabinoid profile on all products; shows its efficacy in the various strains of CBD

-Why precision in dosing and THC:CBD ratios are so important…

  • Dosages are highly individualized
  • It affects different people in different ways (sleep, anxiety, etc.)
  • Studies of the effects of CBD need to take these variants into account
  • Endurance athletes are finding that microdoses of THC with CBD are very helpful
    • Legality issues depending on the event
    • Opioid-like effects (dulling the pain)
    • Stress reduction

-The specific ways Mike, Matt, Taylor, and I use CBD…

  • Sleep (when necessary, not all the time)
  • Topical: Muscle spasms and pain, CBD sex lubes, enemas

-How a novice or new user should shop for CBD…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– The Wild Health CBD discussed in this show (use code: BEN10 to get 10% off). They use only pure C8 as the carrier oil and control the process from seed to bottle 100% with our in house team of chemists, farmers, and doctors.

Articles and podcasts on bengreenfieldfitness.com related to CBD

– Book: Marihuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon (read for free here)

– 2010 Article: Key Ingredient Staves Off Marijuana Memory Loss

My podcast with Drs. Dawson and Mallin

Episode Sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.

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MVMT Watches: Clean design, minimal and high-quality products. MVMT watches start at just $95 and have sold nearly 2 million watches in over 160 countries. Get 15% off your order PLUS free shipping and free returns when you order through my link.

Got a question for me or the guys at the Kentucky Castle about cannabis, CBD, or anything else we talk about in this episode? Leave a comment below and we'll reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

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46 thoughts on “CBD & Cannabis Special Episode: How CBD Affects Hormones, Fat Loss, Athletic Performance, Sleep, Recovery & Much More.

  1. Marc says:


    Towards the end of the podcast you mention something different from CBD for deep sleep, for those who wake up in the middle of the night. Passiflore flower and maybe something to do with GABA.

    I’ve listened many times but can’t piece it together. You mention a sleep remedy but not which one.

    My son is autistic and has ween waking up between 4 and 6 for the last 10 years. I’ve tried him up to 40mg per day but not breakthrough. Could you clarify the other approach please?


    1. I use Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy with CBD and it works great: http://bit.ly/2LMFMee

  2. Bernadino Castilleja says:

    Have there been studies on how cbd oil effects newborns? Is it bad to take while pregnant ?

  3. janeck says:

    Hi Ben ,

    I really enjoy your podcast thanks for the great infos!

    i have a question regarding potential liver damage induce with CBD i’ve read here.

    What are you thoughts about that?

    Have a great day!

    1. Minh says:

      I am looking forward to an answer to this question also. Much thanks!

  4. Tom says:

    Ben, you mentioned at the beginning of this podcasts that because of CBD’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory potential, you wouldn’t take it right after training, but later on, in the evening, as it is a very good recovery type of compound. My question is, why would one want to avoid antioxidants immediately after training? And how long after training would one want to wait before ingesting anything high in antioxidants?

  5. Mike B says:

    Ben, Great and informative podcast! My wife recently gave birth to my daughter and she is breastfeeding and struggling with pain from postpartum cramps, increased anxiety and difficulty with deep sleep (likely due to crying baby), I was wondering if you know of any research or potential harm with using CBD while breastfeeding.

    1. Check out ProjectCBD.org … Tons of great info there.

  6. Denys says:

    This podcast is the best and most comprehensive on CBD I have ever heard following Ben for 9 years! Thank you so much, Ben.

    Does this podcast have a transcript yet? For great podcasts like this, I try to write down notes for my future refresh learning. I noticed there does not seem to be a single link or way to locate and access transcripts for every podcast. It seems like not all podcasts have transcripts, or some of them get published much later than others? When available, I can see it at the beginning of the podcast web page. Is that the only way to find the link to the transcript page? Again, Thank you for all the great podcasts, Ben.

    1. The transcript is now available. All episodes will have a transcript, but it sometimes takes 2-3 days after the episode.

  7. Mat says:

    Hi Ben, you mentioned taking CBD in large doses for deep sleep (100mg), for example, to make the golden latté at night. In what form do you take that amount of CBD? oil, powder, capsules…? Which product in particular, do you recommend using? A direct link would be fantastic. Thanks!

  8. Mike C says:

    Hi Ben,

    If i have been dealing with Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and have been trying to get off/reduce use of Opiods (oxycodone) is there a certain CBD product that would help with the pain/nerve pain in my leg and help get off Opiods?

    Thank you!

      1. mike c says:

        Thank you for the response!

  9. Hi Ben, great work as usual, I’ve been a long tome listener and you helped me a lot ! Thank you.
    On a second note, when you talk about hemp being pollinated by males so they don’t have THC, it’s a common mistake. Hemp grown for CBD are just females and are not pollinated. The pollinisation of hemp or cannabis stop the developping process of cannabinoid. What differentiate hemp vs cannabis is the genetics. Hemp genetics have to be consistently tested lower than .3% THC. In reality, even hemp plant when not pollinated can get over .3% THC tho, so the grower need to be careful. Anyway, great podcast as usual and keep the good work !

  10. Leo says:

    Hi Ben,

    Listening to this podcast. Thanks for sharing. Although I am not a Coptic Orthodox Christian, it is worth mentioning that your statement regarding the Ethiopian Coptic Church’s belief that cannabis is a sacrament and such related statements is only associated with a relatively recent Rastafarian offshoot of the Ethiopan Coptic Orthodox church (which does not hold any regard to cannabis…) I have a hard time locating any Church Fathers, or early Christian writings at that, that mention the use of using cannabis.. The biblical references are a long-shot at best, and such interpretations find their origin within the latter portion of the last century. The way you worded what you said is just slightly misleading, giving the impression that the larger Ethiopian Orthodox Church (roughly 32 million Christians) believe such a thing. Thought it was worth the clarification. If you have any reliable resources that state otherwise, I would love if you shared them. God bless you and all that you do.

  11. Mike says:


    The podcast you said to send you manufacturers to check out, can you tell me if Medterra is a good source of CBD oil? They’re organic and have a 3000ml bottle.



    1. Please reach out to Wild Health via Instagram. They said they would test a few brands.

    2. Jeff says:

      Ben, I’m hearing for sleep you recommend at least 100mg of CBD but all of these brands come in such small doses that we would have to use a third of the bottle per night. Which exact product do you use and how much?

      1. I use anywhere from 60-100mg. Element Health is my go to for potent, high dose CBD: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/ben-recommends/b…

  12. Vince says:

    Hey Ben, you cite C02 extraction as being inferior because it strips the waxes and lipids from the oil, but are you sure you’re not mistaking this for what the process of winterization does? Winterization is commonly known as the process of removing unwanted compounds (waxes, lipids, and plant chlorophyll) from an extract. This process can be applied to both ethanol and C02 extracts. Do I misunderstand you here?

    1. The CO2 passes through the cannabis material and strips the plant of its oils, waxes and other matter. That's how it extracts. Unless it's supercritical or subcritical carbon dioxide extraction, you lose much of the terpenes in the process.

  13. Nick says:

    Hey you guys briefly mentioned something about people carrying a genetic trait that could make CBD negatively impact their sleep. I replayed that clip of the podcast a few times and noted this info: “FAAH snip CC homogenous = CBD bad for sleep”. Did I get this right? How can we determine whether or not we have this snip with our 23andMe raw data? Thanks!

    1. Cara L Zaller says:

      Just go into 23andMe and browse raw data. Put in FAAH and a list of many FAAH comes up. What we need is the RS# that is associated with sleep. I have many homozygous CC’s for many of the FAAH SNPS but not all and I take 150-200mg of CBD which does nothing for my deep sleep but helps me fall asleep and stay asleep much better. Is it not consistent with my REM sleep either. So, I’d love to know what else we can take to enhance deep sleep if we are one of those with those genetic SNP’s.

        1. Nick says:

          Thanks for replying, Ben. what within this link am I looking for? I did a search on keyword “CBD” and didn’t find any info relating to “FAAH snip CC homogenous = CBD bad for sleep” but maybe I missed it. Best, -Nick

          1. The link was in response to the comment below yours… and yes you got it. CBD has been shown to not be nearly as efficacious for those with the FAAH snip with CC variant.

      1. Jeremy B says:

        I was wondering which specific SNP on this myself and based off this article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289074/#!po=2.58621) I would say it is FAAH rs324420. Per my 23andMe data I am C/C for that particular SNP. I have used CBD on/off for pain (general aches) at different times and tried many different products. I also tried one day/evening about 160mg (2 full droppers) one night and will say that my sleep that night SUCKED overall. I did read (quickly) through the article (linked above) that did research on this particular SNP with people and it was “recreational use of joints” and also mentions that recreational joints have higher concentrations of THC in contrast to CBD… granted not sure if this makes a difference or not.

        1. Greyson Huber says:


          This was helpful to me

  14. Minh says:

    Would you recommend some good brands for CBD? Thanks!

    1. https://elementhealthsupply.com/pages/greenfield15

      There are many great brands of CBD but we specifically believe in full transparency and the highest quality/concentration at an affordable price. The link above will automatically provide 15% off your entire order based on Ben Greenfield’s recommendations.

      1. Bonnie says:

        This link does not work. Please help!

        1. Seems to be working okay on my end… Mind double checking?

  15. Rachel says:

    Hi Ben, great podcast. I’m considering using CBD for IBS, pre-diabetes and sleep. However, I’m currently dealing with low cortisol during the day and wonder if CBD could make my cortisol even lower, which I definitely would want to avoid. Thanks for any insight you might have!

  16. Mike says:

    Hi Ben, any good recommendations for CBD oil in Canada?

    I’ve taken a few but really want to be sure to get a super clean source that is affordable (since all of the studies are using high amounts of CBD and everything on the market is expensive and small amounts).



    1. Check out our Maximum Strength version as recommended by Ben. It is the most concentrated on the market at an affordable price for reaching this higher doses.

      Someone else also asked about differentiating between traditional Marijuana and Hemp in regards to CBD. While they are both considered Cannabis, the main difference is thc levels but always keep in mind, all plants come from different genetics/lineage. Ours are hemp derived and under the .03% max thc threshold. We have a phenomenal profile of cannabinoids that create amazing synergistic effects (without the need for high levels of thc).

      Make sure to use Ben’s promo code: Greenfield15 or click this link and it will automatically be applied – https://elementhealthsupply.com/pages/greenfield15

    2. I recommend posting this to the Kion Community. It’s a completely free online community of like-minded people who both have advice and are seeking advice. Facebook.com/groups/GetKion/

  17. Cory Hicks says:

    Also Ben, as a cannabis advocate, I really appreciate that you touch on how THC and being high is a subjective experience, there’s really no one shoe size fits all for getting high!

  18. Cory Hicks says:

    Hey Ben, I was wondering if you’ve ever touched on/researched the difference between hemp derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD. From my understanding, Cannabis derived CBD can be more medicinally beneficial as opposed to hemp. Im not sure why as it’s just what I’ve heard but I would love to hear if you had any insight. The difference between cannabis and hemp is should be that hemp should be classified as marijuana with less than 3.0 % THC, whereas cannabis-derived CBD should come from a plant with more THC. Would really love to know if you could find out more on this.

    1. The plant has many more cannabinoids than just THC and CBD, and they can work synergistically to create different "entourage" effects. As explained in the episode, the presence of CBD can enhance many of the effects of THC, while mitigating some of the negatives which might create a better experience for some. Check out ProjectCBD.org they have a ton of great info.

    2. justsomeguy says:

      I believe it is .3% (ie 1/10th of what you sited).

  19. Sarah Krogen says:

    Love all the great info on this podcast !

    Question: my beloved dog, “Moses” was diagnosed with 3 cancers 1 Oct 2018.

    ~Prostate carcinoma,

    ~Adrenal gland mass/ metastatic carcinoma

    ~Anal sac adenocarcinoma

    Using medical mushrooms, chinese herbs, diet, acupuncture, Essential oils, red light, some chemo.


    into his plan, Please,

    Can you help with TYPE, DOSAGE & DISPERCERY ?

    Prostate tumor is extending into his urethra

    which is extremely life threatening for him

    Thank you !!!!

    1. I recommend checking out ProjectCBD.org … They have a ton of great info.

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