[Transcript] – The Official CBD FAQ: Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About CBD, Combining Psychedelics With Cannabinoids, Smokeable Ayahuasca, Microdosing With Plant Medicine & Much More!

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/supplements-podcasts/full-spectrum-cbd/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:02] Podcast Sponsors

[00:03:24] Guest Introduction

[00:07:04] Adam in The Realm of Fitness and Spirituality

[00:15:52] Full-Spectrum CBD vs. Others

[00:22:16] How CBD Interacts with Different Serotonin Receptors

[00:27:18] Morning Plant Medicine Routine

[00:35:37] Podcast Sponsors

[00:38:00] The Two Main Extraction Methods of CBD and What to Look for as a Consumer

[00:44:47] Preferred Delivery Mechanisms of CBD

[00:50:31] Compounds Adam Stacks with Full-Spectrum CBD

[01:00:51] Fertility and the Cannabinoid System

[01:07:31] Closing Thoughts

[01:13:50] Closing the Podcast

[01:14:33] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Adam:  I was trying to heal people in a one-on-one setting. I soon realized that I needed to do it on a bigger scale. Sure, there's a lot of medical doctors that really know their stuff and they care about their patients, but a lot of times that's just not the case, especially when they think their way is the only way of doing things.

Ben:  Are you saying you would attribute that to the hCG, the FSH, the meditation manifestation, or in your opinion, knowing yourself, what do you think had the greatest effect?

Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Well, howdy ho, folks. I got my friend on to talk about plant medicine, cannabis, and CBD. My friend Adam from Florida. You're going to dig this cat. He's a good guy.

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Alright. So, I think it was two, maybe three years ago, I was in Miami, Florida and I was staying at this pretty cool facility. It used to be Canyon Ranch down there. I think it's called the Carillon Spa or something like that. Now, my guest on today's show will be able to clear that up for us, but anyways, I met the guy who you're going to hear me interview here momentarily, and he was a really well-informed and kind of badass trainer who was there at the gym. And he was coaching me and another physician who was there through this crazy protocol like rowing machines, and rock wall climbing, and kettlebells. It was a ton of fun. And I got to know him a little bit afterwards. We went out to dinner and wind up being able to keep in touch via phone afterwards for several months.

And it turns out that he's actually got a really, really cool background. He grew up in Miami in a Cuban Jewish household and began martial arts at a pretty young age. He actually has a pretty extensive jiu-jitsu practice. Now he's a brown belt in jiu-jitsu and trains in boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing. And he also went to the University of Florida. But anyways, what happened was he went through a bunch of injuries in college even though he wound up graduating in physiology and kinesiology. But because he got injured, and I'm sure he can share some of this with us, he delved into a ton of stuff, like plant medicine and Zen Buddhism, and some more fringe aspects of spirituality that turned him into a little bit of a unicorn when it comes to knowing both the physical and the spiritual aspects of health.

And then, he really delved into the world of cannabis and CBD, and he has a lot of history in other aspects of plant medicine, too, even though we're going to be talking a lot about CBD today because he began formulating these CBD products. And actually, I've talked about one full-spectrum CBD product that I use called Element. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me mentioning that as the way that I turn off my monkey mind at night. And it's pretty much, in my opinion, the only CBD I know of that can put an elephant to freaking sleep because this stuff is just like something about it, so potent, so powerful. We'll talk about that a little bit on the show today, too.

So, anyways, if you're curious about all things CBD and cannabis, if you want to hear a fun chat about THC and CBD's effect on fertility, on pets, on extraction methods, on vaping versus edibles versus oils above and beyond, then you're tuned in to the right show. Everything that you hear about today you'll find at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdfaq. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdfaq. So, my guest, I didn't give you his name yet, is Adam Wenguer. Did I pronounce your name right, Adam? I just realized I've never actually said your last name, I don't think, in public.

Adam:  It's Wenguer. Close enough.

Ben:  That was close. I think Wenguer sounds more refined, dude. You should just change it to Wenguer.

Adam:  Sounds like warrior-ish, huh.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. But we can go with Wenguer, too. So, Adam, welcome to the show, man.

Adam:  Man, what an introduction. Thank you so much.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Obviously, you and I know each other pretty well and have gotten to know each other, but I know you have this whole history in the mashup of extreme fitness and badassery in martial arts, but then also, CBD and plant medicines and the whole spiritual, and even the mystical aspect of things. And you even told me you have used a little bit of a shamanic approach to healing incorporating meditation and plant medicine, psychedelics, and CBD.

So, I'm curious if you could, we got time, don't worry, share a little bit of your backstory and just how you became the unicorn that you are when it comes to merging fitness and spirituality.

Adam:  Cool. Let's get started. So, growing up in South Florida is pretty unique experience. Fighting is sort of a way of life down here, fighting in drugs. At least when I was growing up, we basically fought for everything.

Ben:  Yeah. And I don't know if I told you, I'm interrupting this early into your story, my dad grew up in Miami. I spent a ton of time in Miami growing up. And yeah, my dad had a lot of run-ins with fights and drugs. And his brother got murdered, which is why he wound up moving to Idaho, my dad. But yeah, it's a crazy place down there.

Adam:  Yeah, absolutely. It's a little bit different now, but I mean, that's a crazy story, man. I didn't know he was from down here.

Ben:  Yup, yeah. I used to go to Miami two or three times a year from the time I was like 3 until 12, 13 years old.

Adam:  Yeah. I think we actually met like three or four years ago. Maybe 2017 even.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adam:  Yeah. That was a cool workout.

Ben:  What was the name of that hotel with the huge rock climbing wall?

Adam:  The Carillon Resort and Spa.

Ben:  Carillon, okay.

Adam:  Miami Beach.

Ben:  I remembered right. Alright, cool. Yeah. It used to be the Canyon Ranch. Cool. Cool spot.

Adam:  Yeah. Well, basically, you were staying at some conference hotel and I'm like, “Man, Ben cannot stay in a conference hotel. He's got to check this out.”

Ben:  Yeah. It's a good spot for anybody down the Miami area. A lot of cool things, including a giant rock climbing wall where Adam punished me. So, anyways, dude, I interrupted your story early on.

Adam:  No, don't worry about it. Fighting was just something we did. It was part of our culture, I guess. I mean, even if we were getting in a car of four guys and I called shotgun, someone else said, “No, no. I got shotgun.” We circled up and we fought. And the loser had to go in the back seat, whoever gave up. So, it was just kind of like a way of life for us, and I didn't really know that it was abnormal until I got to college.

Ben:  You mean fighting that much?

Adam:  Yeah, fighting that frequently. I mean, this was before MMA got very popular.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adam:  But eventually, it turned into more competitive stuff with jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, and the like. But yeah, as you were mentioning before, of course, we partied, did a lot of drugs, too. That was just part of the, I guess, the fun of growing up in Miami being a port city. But I had a severe injury. I remember it was–I think it was Muay Thai practice. I took a shot to the leg and my foot blew up to like a balloon, my foot, and I couldn't walk on it, I was on crutches. A couple months after that, I had a crack in my spine from rowing. So, it was very detrimental injuries that you don't want to go through when you're about to go to college. So, I ended up getting to the University of Florida and I was prescribed oxycodone, which is–we can get into it a little more later, yeah. High doses of oxycodone, almost the equivalent of 60 per cassettes a day.

Ben:  Oh, geez.

Adam:  Yeah, yeah. I mean, I still got through school, everything was okay.

Ben:  I think pretty much everybody listening in is familiar with that. It's an opioid narcotic. Problematic issue these days.

Adam:  Oh my god, it's horrific. Now, it's a little bit harder to get, but back then, in South Florida, they were just giving it out. So, I ended up trying to get off those drugs and realized it was not as easy as it seemed. I ended up getting into Zen Buddhist meditation, getting into a lot of different modalities. On top of my traditional fitness, realized it was just becoming harder and harder. You don't really deal with your emotions so well when you're using these addictive type drugs. So, I was always looking for different ways to expand my mind and body and to be able to get off of these things that require all of your daily energy. It's hard to explain. Most people won't understand that when you're so reliant on something, an outside thing for your daily happiness, it's a very painful experience all the time. It takes away part of your spirit and you feel like this is how it's going to be the rest of your life.

Ben:  I think a lot of people are–I mean, not necessarily to say that everybody's on oxycodone, but a lot of people do rely upon, as Anthony de Mello so succinctly and beautifully puts in his book “Awareness,” a lot of these external stimuli, not just drugs, but plant medicines, or supplements, or exercise, or nutrition and a diet, or alcohol, or sex, or anything, like they literally rely upon it for happiness. It becomes built into the hypnotic day-to-day trance. And yeah, when you try to remove yourself from it and you're not happy, that's a pretty big sign that you were overly dependent and attached on it.

And then, I've been writing about this recently on my site, people will be like, “Oh, well, that's cool because I heard on a podcast that I could fill that hole with something else like music or reading fiction,” like something else is just like maybe doesn't seem quite as prone to addiction potential or attachment. And then, they get four years down the road and they've bought every single guitar they can find on Sweetwater and Guitar Factory, and they're unhappy again. This all comes down to, and probably a little bit more of a rabbit hole than we have time to delve into today, but this whole idea of like a God-shaped hole, the need for something eternal outside yourself to fill that hole. But yeah. I mean, something like oxycodone, I've heard that over and over again from folks. I think it was Chris Bell who I interviewed about opioid narcotics and how he used kratom to wean himself off of those. I do certainly think that some attachments are super unhealthy and can be replaced by healthier things that are still attachments but less problematic.

Adam:  And the phone, that's another thing we just mentioned, just technology is one of the greatest addictions now. It's unbelievable.

Ben:  Ah, dude, don't get me started on that. So, anyways, you went through this injury and you're on the oxycodone and you had to figure out a way to get yourself off of it. You got into Buddhism, you got into meditation. What other kind of things did you learn along the way?

Adam:  Yeah. Meditation is something so profound that many people don't understand and it's very challenging these days. I even find it challenging. I do it every single morning. And sometimes I use an app like the Insight Timer to help me out because there's so much noise, there's just this like consistent noise that we all have all the time, especially living in a metropolitan style city like Miami or New York. So, meditation was one of the greatest tools that helped me out, but then I also started getting involved into plant medicine. And for people that don't understand what plant medicine is, it's kind of like a keyword in the spiritual communities now. It's basically the use of a psychedelic, but usually done in a more ceremonial setting.

So, what I mean by that is a lot of people have taken psilocybin mushrooms, they've taken LSD, and they've done it and gone to a concert. But the idea is that you're taking it for a true purpose, you're taking it to get some insight that you wouldn't have normally. Part of a little bit of a philosophy that I've come up with over the years, it's about balance, obviously. We all talk about balance all the time. But I find that CBD and psychedelics work very well as part of this balance because we talk about the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This is kind of like the perfect metaphor for that because CBD is a way that we support our body, we bring comfort to our body, but in a natural way. And plant medicine is sort of the opposite. It's actually a challenge for the mind and body, and actually for the spirit. It creates somewhat of an adversity, kind of like an uphill battle that we need to overcome. And the two go very hand in hand together. I can get more in the depth of that sooner.

Ben:  Yeah. I actually would like to learn a little bit more about that, especially the idea behind the endocannabinoid system being different than a lot of these serotonin receptors that psychedelics act on. So, we know those two distinct serotonin receptor binding sites, 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A, that's where a lot of the psychedelic compounds or these plant medicines are acting. But cannabidiol, it's not–well, CBD, I should say specifically, because that's the one you mentioned that you really like as a combination with some of these other things. It's also, from what I understand, interacting with some of these serotonin genomic, if I could talk, serotonin receptors, just as much or if not more than it's interacting with some of the classic cannabinoid receptors like CB1 or CB2.

So, have you looked into much in terms of how or why CBD seems to work so well especially when combined with some of these other serotonin tweaking compounds?

Adam:  So, I want to also clarify, what we sell at Element Health is full-spectrum. I'm like the biggest proponent of full-spectrum over any other type of CBD.

Ben:  Now, what is that and why is that?

Adam:  Okay. So, there's basically three types of CBD products that are out on the market. On one end of the spectrum, we have CBD isolate. This is basically CBD that's been stripped out of the plant, nothing else inside, it's usually mixed with an MCT oil. It's quite cheap to produce, and you find that in everything. It's usually flavorless. So, a lot of times, these drinks that they sell on the market or food products, they throw this CBD isolate in there. I'm not a huge fan of it. I guess it does have its place in the market, but to me, it's on the cheaper end of CBD style products. On the opposite side, you have full-spectrum. And full-spectrum, I like to say, is how nature intended it. It's what's called a whole plant extract. And the extraction techniques we use, we pull every single thing out of the plant, all the beneficial components.

So, it's not just CBD that we're talking about, we're talking about all the different cannabinoids, the biological terpenes, the flavonoids, the essential oils. It has everything that works together synergistically to produce a more complete effect. Well, basically what they call the entourage effect. So, you're getting so many different angles of beneficial use versus just CBD, which is somewhat limited. Like you said, it doesn't even bind directly to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. So, those are the two far ends of the spectrum.

Ben:  Now, with the full-spectrum, which is what I know you guys make, and perhaps that's why it knocks me out so well at night because it has all these other terpenes and active compounds in it, but a lot of people, I've heard, are concerned that the full-spectrum could also present more of an issue with there being large amounts of THC in there, which if you're getting tested at work or you're an athlete or something like that. Is that worth considering when it comes to full-spectrum?

Adam:  Oh, absolutely. Full-spectrum, well, under the Farm Bill Act in 2018, you're required to have under 0.3% THC. And this amount might seem negligible. You're not going to get a high or stoned effect when using a full-spectrum product, but it is very possible that over time, it builds up in your system and you can test positive. So, a lot of companies, they're trying to work their way around that with what's called a broad spectrum. The thing is these companies, they're not really held accountable. They'll say, “Hey, we have a broad spectrum. There's no THC.” But I've looked at the third-party tests and there is still a minuscule amount of THC. And for customers that don't want to risk their job, you really want to go with a CBD isolator, something that absolutely has 0% THC.

Ben:  Okay. So, your Element stuff, it's full-spectrum, but you wouldn't classify as an isolate then, right?

Adam:  No. We carry one isolate product and that's in our vape formula because I wanted to have one option for people that are drug tested.

Ben:  Okay. I got you. So, the isolate you can vaporize, but then if you just want–let's say you don't even care about any of this stuff, you're just like, “I want the most benefits out of CBD specifically for the reason whatever Ben uses it, for relaxation or sleep,” like a full-spectrum super powerful CBD extract would be the way to go versus a CBD isolate.

Adam:  A hundred percent. There's just so many more benefits. The terpenes, all the different cannabinoids, there's so many different effects. It's really incredible, especially with the new science coming out on CBG and CBN.

Ben:  Now, what about broad-spectrum though? Because broad-spectrum isn't the same as full-spectrum, but they just take out the THC?

Adam:  Right. But at the same time, there's still a minuscule amount of THC. It might be 0.001%. But I have heard of people testing positive while taking broad spectrum. And at the same time, if you're looking for the maximum benefits, you want the THC in there. It might be such a small amount that you're not getting a stoned effect, but it is contributing to the overall health benefits of the plant–of the compound.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. You know me, I guinea pig everything. So, I actually pretty much only use your highest power stuff, what is it, the 4,800 milligrams of CBD? So, I'm probably taking around 100 to 200 milligrams or so of CBD at night. And I think that comes out to like three, four dropperfuls of your Element stuff. And I just hold it in my mouth for 60 seconds, and within 20 minutes, I sit back, I read, and then I'm just dead to the world. Not in a way that I couldn't get up if the house caught on fire, but I don't care about shit and I'm ready to fall asleep and the racing thoughts are gone. And I have in the past just thought, “Okay. So, if this stuff works so well, what would happen if I just doubled the dose?” So, one night, I did eight dropperfuls. And I have to admit, I woke up at like 2:00 a.m. and I did feel kind of high, kind of like I would if I took like a Rick Simpson oil or something like that. So, I'll bet, there's probably like micro amounts of THC in it or something, or maybe it was just like that much CBD had that big of an effect.

Adam:  Well, I think you might be taking a lot more than you think because one dropperful should be 80 milligrams.

Ben:  Okay. So, 8, 16, 24–yeah, I'm probably getting closer to 300 milligrams a night, which is admittedly though, and you've probably heard me talk about this on podcasts, if you actually look at CBD and sleep research–so I'm not talking about anti-anxiety effects or focus effects, which are typically as low as 10 to 20 milligrams, but if you look at human research on sleep, it's in most cases 300 to 600 milligrams of CBD.

Adam:  Were those tests done with CBD isolate? The only ones I saw were with a CBD isolate, I believe, in like a hexane. I mean, it was kind of a funky test to begin with, wasn't it?

Ben:  I don't know what form of CBD they were using. I assumed they had just isolated using pure CBD. I'm not quite sure. But either way, something about this bottle that you send me, this full-spectrum stuff just knocks me on my butt.

I mean, that's a good explanation that you just gave between the full versus the broad-spectrum versus the CBD isolate, but we got on this discussion as we were talking about why you think that plant medicines or psychedelics pair well with CBD. I was talking about some of these receptors, but really, CBD, I think this is important for people to understand, it does interact with the serotonin–I'm just going to say the serotonin system because I can't talk today. So, it interacts with the serotonin system and kind of like an enamide, which is also a cannabinoid compound does. But I looked into this a little bit because I was noodling on why, if you take CBD, I'm just going to put this in super simplistic terms, you don't have a bad trip, or whatever you're using in conjunction with it in terms of a psychedelic or a plant medicine, feels better afterwards.

And it turns out that the 5-HT1A receptor, that first part of the serotonin system, that's the one that decreases blood pressure, that lowers body temperature, that slows the heart rate, that lessens pain, and that just basically makes you feel chill. And CBD is an agonist for that. Meaning, CBD is going to upregulate all those kind of like anxious feelings. And so, you're probably getting like a little bit more of an ego dissolving effect in terms of the way CBD is interacting with the 5-HT1A. And then, for the 5-HT2A, that one is the one that causes a real hallucinogenic effect, can cause headaches, can cause mood disorders. That's kind of like the bad trip part of the serotonin system. And apparently, CBD is an antagonist for that one. So, you may not hallucinate as much as you might normally, but you're also far less likely to just basically have headaches, mood disorders, neurotransmitter imbalances, and all the things that would happen if the 5-HT2A was overactivated. And so, it's really interesting how CBD is just almost like an expert clock worker. It's kind of like tweaking the 5-HT1A towards a better experience while turning down the dial a little bit on the 5-HT2A.

Adam:  That's really fascinating because I haven't taken them together. I usually use CBD more in the evenings or at night. And I try to do my psychedelics more in the morning because when I get a blast of serotonin, I like it during the day, I find that it interrupts my sleep a little bit. In fact, I like to do plant medicine more first thing in the morning. But circling back to CBD for a moment, caryophyllene, which is pretty much the most prevalent terpene in our CBD formulas, which it should be in most CBD formulas. That does directly interact with the CB2 receptor. So, maybe that explains a little bit why when you took a good amount, you felt high because the amount of THC is still fairly low. But the terpenes, I mean, there is so much new science behind them now about the amazing anti-inflammatories, analgesic, antibacterial effects, even like the anti-suppressant stuff, which is–

Ben:  That's a good point because like nutmeg, the classic prison plant medicine, cheap hallucinogenic compound if you take enough of can certainly tweak some dials in your brain, that has a host of terpenes in it that, from what I understand, are similar to some of the terpene hydrocarbons you'd find in CBD. It's got things like limonene, and sabinene, and pinene, and some of these other things that CBD has in it. So, that could actually be the case that I'm actually feeling the high, high dose of terpenes that I take as well when I use your stuff.

Adam:  And the thing with the CBD, everyone forgets that it's really all about the endocannabinoid system. I mean, we can get into that in a little bit, but the endocannabinoid system is just like the perfect balancing agent for almost every part of our body. I love using the phrase “optimize,” I mean, the term “optimize.” I always got it from Jay Campbell, one of your previous guests, because optimization is just the way that we achieve greater balance versus just pushing everything to such extremes. I mean, I might seem like I'm pushing it to an extreme with the psychedelics and the plant medicine, and then using the CBD to bring it back, but it's really amazing what the endocannabinoid system has been–like being discovered as to do right now in terms of so many things like fertility, hormone production, liver function, bone growth. It's really fascinating stuff.

Ben:  And there's a lot of avenues I still want to delve into when it comes to a lot of the questions that I get about CBD. But one thing you mentioned that I'd be remiss not to ask you about is you said that if you're going to use plant medicine, that you like to use it first thing in the morning. Now, in the past on the podcast, I've talked about the fact that everybody from executives to Silicon Valley folks, to writers and artists and beyond, will microdose with psilocybin, lion's mane and niacin, or microdose with LSA or LSD.

It's something to basically enhance focus or creativity during the day. That's pretty commonly known now that that's a practice, but I'm curious for you, is that pretty much what you're referring to, or do you have some other favored compounds that you would use to really help you charge through a day effectively if you're using plant medicine in the morning?

Adam:  Yeah. So, let's dive into that. That's exciting stuff. Like I was saying, I will test out some different plant medicines, some different psychedelic compounds in microdoses to improve my general focus, or even improve compassion and creativity a little bit. But when I'm referring to plant medicine, I'm seeing it more for deeper healing in myself. I mean, it's funny. Since I met you, I love talking to you because you've sparked so many different new areas of interest in my life. When we met, I was trying to heal people in a one-on-one setting where I was trying to bring them different health benefits by teaching them stuff in a lecture or in a class. I soon realized that I needed to do it on a bigger scale, kind of like what you were doing or what you are doing right now, and I wanted to understand how to do that. So, I turned to plant medicine. And in 2012, I had my first ayahuasca experience. I'm sure you've discussed that a little bit.

Ben:  Yeah. I haven't done a lot of ayahuasca specific podcasts per se, but yeah, it's come up a lot, but go ahead.

Adam:  So, I developed a smokable version of ayahuasca. The thing about ayahuasca is it really requires a lot of preparation. It requires you to fast for a few days or at least diet. It really takes a lot of your energy to put into it so you can get a lot out of it. And that's a great thing, but for guys like us, we're super busy every day of the week, seven days a week. Sometimes I want a little bit of a shorter experience that still has a lot of the same benefits. So, there's a type of smokable ayahuasca that not many people know about. I mean, there's so many things on the market. Well, not on the market now, on the underground, you could say. And with this one, it utilizes the MAO inhibitor effects of the ayahuasca vine with DMT and other herbs to give you what feels like an ayahuasca experience in about 20 minutes.

So, I actually, every morning, I wake up, I write in my journal, this is something I've just done for a few years now, everything I appreciate, everything I love about my life and what I want to achieve, everything I'm grateful for. So, morning meditation is just a game-changer, as you know. You've been meditating a good amount of time now. And once I've cleared the space, I was trained and I've learned a lot of cool shamanic techniques from guys. In fact, from one guy who married me and my wife in 2017, he just wrote a book on Amazon. It's now on Amazon. It's called “Ayahuasca Wisdom.” This book is called “Achieving Personal Spiritual Healing with a Quantum Model of the Psyche.” I mean, this is the game-changer for people that want to understand plant medicine and spiritual healing, but from a scientific approach.

And anyhow, he really showed me the way of shamanic understanding of the world, which is basically paying homage to the Earth, using our willpower and understanding the great other, the thing that has a thousand names but is also unnamable, and to have so much gratitude just on a daily basis that you create what you want in every moment. So, I try to get this mindset, and then I sit down outside, and I load up whatever smoking device I feel like at the time. And how do you explain it? You take a few little hits to get the ball rolling and you feel like reality's changing.

Ben:  It's almost like an extended DMT experience, like a 5-MeO experience.

Adam:  Right. And we just add a few other things to it, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, because I have done this. You sent me some and I loaded up a bong and I have never done well with DMT vape pens. I've never really enjoyed much that full ego death lights, just blast off experience that you get for 5 to 15 minutes with DMT. And so, I had some reservations, just knowing between that and my previous ayahuasca experiences. For some reason, those particular medicines or compounds have never really agreed with me. They typically take me to a little bit more of a dark, almost the best way I can describe is almost like a darker kind of like a demonic place that for some reason–because plant medicines will work differently for different people, but every time I do it, as soon as I drop in, my body's like, “No, no. Get out. Not for you. No. Okay, just breathe through it.”

And so, it was a very, very interesting, this smokable ayahuasca experience that you referred to that I also tried. It is very, very interesting. It's not for me, at least at this point in my life, and I think set and setting for me is super important, too. And I did it. You do it in the morning before a day of work, et cetera, and I just think I had too many other things going on also. But yeah, it's very, very unique, this idea of being able to–and obviously, this stuff isn't really accessible for people to just go out and purchase like CBD is, but yeah, it's a super interesting approach, this smokable ayahuasca type of experience.

Adam:  Yeah. The issue with pure DMT is that it's just so fast and so chaotic, but what a lot of people understand is these psychedelics and plant medicine are not supposed to be fun. And Terence McKenna, one of my favorite authors and speakers, he always says, “Everything you do is an art.” And the first few times I did it, it was, like you said, you have these reservations and it's a scary thing. It's a little bit dark, but I think confronting your shadow side is part of the experience. So, sometimes you dive right in and you experience wholeness with the entire universe, and other times, it just toughens you up spiritually and mentally.

Ben:  That's a very interesting point, especially your point about safety and trust because any time that I do any of these type of things on my own, I never have as good an experience as I would if I have someone sitting with me, watching over me, ensuring me, “It's okay. Your dosage is okay, your protocol is correct, you're going to be fine, you're not dead. Breathe through it.” So, I would imagine if you had been sitting by my side, it would have probably been a different experience. And I think for me, that's a big, big part of it, is I'm one of those guys who's constantly looking out for danger and constantly analyzing my environment, my surroundings, looking around the corner everywhere to make sure everything's okay, planning, preparing, et cetera. And so, for me, sometimes just to be on my own, whatever, sitting in my sauna, trying something I haven't tried before, I think that's probably not the best way for me personally to approach stuff either.

Adam:  Right. I like to be outside. There's something about having your feet in the grass. And that's also part of my morning routine, waking up. I think you even spoke about this on a podcast, watching the sunrise and trying to watch the sunset while you're grounding. Ah, while you're grounding?

Ben:  It's amazing. I mean, and granted I cheat because I often don't get up early enough in the morning, and this is where the nerdy biohacker comes out. I have a grounding mat at my desk and my Joovv lights. So, I'll go in there in the morning and drink my coffee, bathed in red light, standing on a grounding mat. And yeah, it's not as natural as being outside of my bare feet looking at the sunshine, but I can also do that at 7:30 a.m. versus the ungodly hour of 4:45 or whatever. So, plus on a snowy negative 10-degree day in Spokane, Washington, sometimes you just don't want to be standing outside barefoot at 5:00 a.m. searching for the sunshine that isn't there anyways.

Adam:  I'm with you though. I'm plugged into the wall right now. I got a little bracelet on. I'm grounding myself.

Ben:  Yeah. Nice.

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I do want to make sure that I tackle a few of the CBD topics that I know you can speak well to, and I did have a couple of other questions for you specifically related to CBD. And one is about all these different extraction methods that are out there. One that's commonly talked about I believe is called a CO2 extraction. Is that one?

Adam:  Right.

Ben:  Talk to me about these extraction methods and what you think people should be looking for, and why.

Adam:  There's three main methods. There's a hydrocarbon method, and this is old school. This is using butane or hexane. This was used initially when they were getting all those THC vape carts. Do you remember back in the day, I'd say like 10 years ago and everyone was coughing up lungs?

Ben:  Yeah.

Adam:  Not that new vitamin E acetate, but I'd say 10 years ago, everyone was coughing and they were saying vaping is like the worst thing for you. That's because they were using butane extractions on everything, because it's very efficient, but there's just a lot of byproducts afterwards and a lot of leftover solvent. You don't want to inhale this stuff. You don't want to ingest it. So, there's two main extraction methods. The first one I like to talk about is ethanol. It's a polar solvent. It's more hydrotropic. I've had my farms use these. These methods work phenomenal. You can do very large yields of CBD or create very large yields of full-spectrum CBD from it. And within that, you have warm ethanol baths, you have cold ethanol baths. And the warmer ones, basically, they're better for smaller batches and they leave very little residue, but you have to do a lot of processing later.

With the cold one or the room temperature one, you can pull out more specific cannabinoids, and it definitely reduces the amount of pigments and the total cannabinoids. So, there's like a little bit of a balancing act there. I like ethanol extractions personally, but the farm that we work with that I have a contract with that produces the exact CBD I want, they're really focused on doing CO2 extractions. This is like the–yeah.

Ben:  Yeah. Before the CO2, what you just described, that's pretty much considered like a solvent extraction method, right, using ethanol or low-grade alcohol. Butane would be another one. From what I understand, there is a problem with the solvent because the extraction liquid apparently can, not only strip away a few of the cannabinoids and some of the flavor from the plant material, but from what I understand, you do get a higher risk of, for example, chlorophyll concentration, contaminants, some of the other chemicals, or the harsh chemicals, frankly, that are used in a solvent extraction method.

Adam:  Exactly. And I personally like a dark-colored, earthy flavored CBD, but they've just found that CO2 is just a more beneficial means for extracting full-spectrum cannabinoids these days. I have no problem with ethanol because the newest methods they are stripping out any residual solvents and all types of stuff that you wouldn't want to ingest, but as times change, there's more expensive materials, there's more quality equipment, so you might as well go with the best.

Ben:  Yeah. Okay. Got it. And that is an interesting note because, yeah, your Element stuff, it tastes very earthy, I guess is the best way I can describe it. I personally like the flavor. It's not harsh at all, but now you're using CO2, right?

Adam:  Right.

Ben:  So, talk to me about that.

Adam:  The original way that they used CO2 was a supercritical method, which is very efficient you can do higher yields, but it tends to damage. I mean, we're going for full-spectrum. That's what we want. That's what we've always just decided is the best way to do this. It might be the more expensive product, but it's the most efficient product. I'm trying to bring healing to as many people as possible all over the world. And if we're pulling out or damaging terpenes and any phytocannabinoids, we can't go with that method.

Ben:  And so, the subcritical, that's lower temperature and lower pressure. It'd be like if we were going to use–let's even talk about canola oil, right, which obviously gets a lot of flak these days. There's like Whole Foods, and I even mentioned this in my book “Boundless,” I have less of an issue with the canola oil at the Whole Foods salad bar even though it is still an inflammatory vegetable oil because it's cold expeller pressed canola oil. So, that's low temperature and low pressure extracted canola oil. So, the rapeseed is not getting exposed to quite as much oxidation, and pressure, and temperature. And so, when you're talking about a subcritical extraction of cannabis, essentially, you're talking about the same thing, lower temperature and lower pressure. So, less damage to the terpenes or the omega fatty acids and things like that.

Adam:  Right. I mean, let's be honest, if it comes from Whole Foods, it's got to be healthy, right?

Ben:  Exactly. We all know that. That giant bag of dark chocolate covered almonds is just going to be fine no matter how much weight you're trying to lose.

Adam:  Their cakes are great, man, so you got to be healthy. Someone told me that like a year ago and I definitely use that excuse every time now. It's Whole Foods is health.

Ben:  Whole Foods cinnamon rolls, baby.

Adam:  So, yeah. Now, there's combinations. There's ways that they can use subcritical and super critical together. So, you're getting the best of both worlds. There's a mid-critical that retains terpenes and all the essential oils and sensitive materials. So, really, it's a variation of subcritical, like you just mentioned, with the canola oil. That's probably the best way. That's what we use. And you get all the beneficial components of the hemp plant.

Ben:  So, it's a subcritical CO2 that you use, and then you go for a–it's a full spectrum subcritical CO2 extraction?

Adam:  Right.

Ben:  Okay.

Adam:  They're showing me new techniques where there's like a mid-critical now. It goes a little bit above my knowledge base here, but I've tested everything and we get everything back with all the terpenes that I want in there, all the specific cannabinoids, and I'm so happy with the formula. So, I just let them keep going.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adam:  Well, they want to get more innovative and, hey, we could try it out.

Ben:  I know some hacks at home who will just take their plant, their raw plant, and do their own decarboxylation or–yeah, I guess it is a decarboxylation of the raw plant material. They'll do that in an oven at 250, 270 degrees and use their own olive oil extraction method, which is kind of like a home method. If you're growing your own plants, you literally heat it up in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes, and then you add a bunch of olive oil to it and continue to heat it for a couple of hours, and that's kind of like the poor man's home version if you're growing your own plants.

Adam:  Exactly. The only issue is it's not as concentrated, so you'll be taking tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil to get 20 milligrams of CBD.

Ben:  Yeah. Now, what about the delivery mechanism? You mentioned that if you're going to do like a super safe non-THC, CBD isolate, you prefer like one of your guys' vape pens for that. But obviously, there's edibles, there's oils, and that's the form I use from you. I use your little tincture-based dropper bottle because I've found that to be, for me, the best even versus capsules and soft gels, et cetera, but of course there's also capsules and soft gels. And so, in terms of delivery mechanisms, what do you think is the most effective way in terms of actual bioavailability, or does it matter that much?

Adam:  They've found different results with testing, the specific delivery methods, and then actually, people experiencing specific effects and the levels of CBD in their bloodstream. Technically, what they say is that when you use a vape formula, it instantly gets inside your body, but it also leaves your body in about two to three hours. So, there's always that inverse relationship between how fast you can ingest the product and get it going, get the positive effects, but how quickly it leaves your body. So, I like vaping. They say vaping is ideal for people that are dealing with extremely stressful situations, or they're feeling like intense anxiety right before public speaking. You can use the vape pen and it'll hit you pretty quickly. You're not going to get high from it like we always talk about, but it tones everything down, it reduces that excess noise, so you have more clarity and focus. The next version would be sublingual or mucosal, and that's the way I believe you take it, that's the way that I like to take it.

Ben:  Yeah. Do you leave it in your mouth for like–I usually go about 60 to 90 seconds. Do you think that's too long, or what do you think in terms of time?

Adam:  I do it for as long as possible 'til I forget. I go about two minutes.

Ben:  Okay.

Adam:  Yeah. I just think they say a minimum of 30 seconds, but longer is not going to hurt. And essentially, that's going to stay in your body for approximately four hours. And then, if we ingest it orally, if we're taking it, just swallowing it, it usually can take 60 to 90 minutes, and then it'll stay with you for about six hours. So, you always have that trade-off between how hard you want it to hit or how fast and how long it's going to last. I personally just stick to sublingual. And the good thing about it is it's building up in your system. That's what we want. We don't want to take it in a time of emergency. We want to take it consistently for endocannabinoid system optimization.

Ben:  Okay. Got it. So, the vape pen would be if you need that super quick effect, and then the sublingual absorption would be for the most bioavailability. And then, the oils, or not the oils, but I guess like the soft gel or the capsules that you're actually ingesting, or even the edibles, obviously, you're not going to feel it as quickly because it does have to go through liver first pass, it does have to go through the stomach, get absorbed, et cetera. But do you know if there's much loss of the actual CBD during that process, or perhaps like with THC, there's actually a conversion process in the liver that might allow for you to have access to different components of the cannabinoids that you wouldn't get via, say, like sublingual or vaping?

Adam:  Oh, absolutely. I mean, with oral, as you said, it has to go through the liver first. And I've seen all the studies that say 5% to 15% is what's bioavailable if you're ingesting it orally, or as high as maybe 30%. So, if we're talking about capsules versus oils, I always just say, “Unless you have this complete aversion to an earthy taste, you shouldn't need capsules, you should definitely just take the drops directly in your mouth.” Some people, they just don't like dealing with an earthy taste. So, what we do to bypass that is we put in like a soft gel form, at least what our company, what my company does, and we use piperine, we use a little bit of turmeric. They say that that can help with absorption. What I find though is sublingual and mucosal is just the optimal way of ingesting it.

Ben:  So, for CBD, that would be the case, but what about for THC? I mean, obviously, if you were to eat like a THC edible, you're getting–what's the conversion in the liver, do you remember what THC gets converted to in the liver?

Adam:  Delta 9 THC. I forget the percentage of what it actually converts to, but it also helps to have a high fat meal. At least for CBD, I tell people that if you're going to swallow it, or even if you're going to use it sublingual, try to do it around meal time, and I find that you just seem to get a little bit better absorption that way.

Ben:  Right. And what I'm getting at, for people who are confused, is that it seems paradoxical, right? So, like with THC, if oral THC is less bioavailable, then why would edibles be so strong? And the reason for that is because unlike inhaled cannabis or sublingual cannabis, oral cannabis gets processed by the liver before it produces any effects. And in the liver, something like THC gets broken down into that 11-hydroxy-THC, which is technically able to cross the blood-brain barrier and have different effects than if you were to just take THC via vaporizing. And so, that kind of like first pass effect, so to speak, I guess what I was getting at was, is there some kind of a first pass effect with CBD that if we were to eat a CBD edible, or a capsule, or a soft gel, is going to give us a different effect of that CBD than if we vape it or take it sublingually. You see where I'm getting at?

Adam:  Yeah. I haven't found there to be any type of different effect in terms of breakdown. Maybe there's a new study on that, but THC is the only one that converts to a totally different compound.

Ben:  Okay. Got it. That makes sense then. Okay. So, another question for you that I wanted to ask, and then I also want to touch on another couple topics while we have time that I know you've been visiting when it comes to fertility, which I think is super interesting. But what about stacking? Obviously, we talked about the interaction with some of the serotonergic receptor–whoa, I just said it correctly, serotonergic, all of a sudden.

Adam:  Yeah.

Ben:  My coffee must have kicked in. It took a while. Alright. So, then actually, these serotonin receptors, CBD's effect on 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A we talked about. But what about other things that would stack with CBD, like things that you think would work well in terms of effects on focus, or sleep, or relaxation? Is there anything that you're messing around with in terms of stacking certain things with your CBD?

Adam:  Oh, absolutely. It's pretty interesting because I was reading your recent article, or maybe I was listening to it, where you talked about taking breaks from caffeine, at least one week out of the month. And at the exact same time, it was like the perfect timing because my wife Kristen, she's in the IVF process, which we'll get into, and they told her she needs to stop drinking caffeine. So, I just found it was like the perfect synchronicity right there. She quit caffeine and it just so happened that I forgot to drink my morning tea a few days in a row and I had no withdrawal effects. And I was taking CBD with it, a little bit of lion's mane and Cordyceps, and I found that all my friends, anyone I know that drinks coffee consistently, has withdrawal effects from traditional coffee. I think it's something with the theanine in the tea that I drink. I drink a very simple blend from Yogi brands, and it's a combination of black tea, green tea, theanine, and a few other ayurvedic herbs, and it gives you like a nice little kick of 80 milligrams first thing in the morning. And I'll do that with CBD to get a little extra focus. If I want to have more focus and more neurogenesis type effects, I'll add the lion's mane and psilocybin with it, which is pretty well-documented.

Ben:  So, you'll microdose–well, I guess lion's mane wouldn't be a microdose, but psilocybin would be a microdose. You'd add lion's mane and then you'd take CBD at the same time.

Adam:  Right.

Ben:  I'm assuming you're taking smaller amounts of the CBD for daytime function?

Adam:  You know, I could take up to 30 milligrams, 50 milligrams, and not really get tired. Everyone's a little bit different. Then we're getting into the diurnal effect of the endocannabinoid system, which is just such an amazing topic in itself. I find that if I take CBD in the morning, it purely improves focus and relieves stress for me. If I'm taking it in the afternoon, I get more stress relief, but in the evening, that's when I'm just like out cold, like you had mentioned.

Ben:  Okay. Got it. Yeah. I mean, for me, I have some 10 to 20-milligram delivery mechanisms that are–actually, I'll tell you exactly what I have. It's not your product. I get it from–

Adam:  Right. Thorne's, right?

Ben:  No. It's Alive by Nature. I think it's Alive by Nature, but it's an NAD/CBD nasal spray. And so, if I do like a couple of sprays and that in the nostrils when I wake up in the morning, I'll sometimes do NAD injections sublingually, sometimes I'll dissolve one of those Alive by Nature NMN tablets under my tongue. For me, I'll play with different forms of NAD, and I find it respond to it a lot better when I do indeed play with different forms of NAD. But one thing I really like, if it's more of like a calorigenic effect I'm looking for, like head-clearing type of effect, I'll do that CBD/NAD compound from Alive by Nature as a nasal spray. But I think I'm probably getting like 10 milligrams of CBD versus the 300 plus we already mentioned I'm taking at night.

Adam:  Right. That's a perfect dose, I think. I mean, people don't really need that much in the morning unless they're getting ready for work and driving in all tense, you know. Or maybe they just didn't get a good night's sleep the night before. That's something that I found really helps if I'm kind of groggy in the morning because for whatever reason I had a lot on my mind, then you wake up. If you use a little bit of CBD with breakfast, or even if you're fasting, I find that it takes that grogginess away.

Ben:  Okay. Got it. So, you like lion's mane, you like psilocybin. Any blood flow pre-curve like arginine, or citrulline, or beet, or anything like that?

Adam:  Oh, yeah. I take a beet extract. What is it? Organic beetroot powder. It's very simple. So, it's not even an extract, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah. Alright, cool.

Adam:  I love taking Ancestral Supplements grass-fed animal organs. That's something you turned me on to recently when we were talking about fertility.

Ben:  Yup. They have good stuff. And what about at night if you're sleeping, do you go with just CBD? Because for me, what I use primarily is your Element Health full-spectrum, super-powerful CBD. But then if I'm traveling, I will take melatonin, either the high dose melatonin suppositories from John Lieurance, or if it's just like fewer time zones I'm traveling across, I like the Quicksilver sublingual melatonin. And then, occasionally, if I wake up at like 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. and I don't want to get up yet, I'll take some kind of an inhibitory neurotransmitter precursor-like a GABA. For example, this would be like holy basil, or tulsi, or another one I like is Quicksilver Scientific has one called LipoCalm. That's kind of like an–but that's something I'd only use. I have it on my bed stand if I wake up at 4:00 a.m. and I'm thinking about work, I don't want to get up quite yet. I'll do a few squirts of that and then just fall back to sleep.

Adam:  So, that happens to everyone. They wake up at a 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. thinking about stuff.

Ben:  It happens to you. Yeah. I think it's called entrepreneurs.

Adam:  Yeah. Once in a while. I'm working on it though. For the most part, I sleep really well, but when I have a lot of stuff going on, it's like you, wake up and I'm just ready to go.

Ben:  Yeah.

Adam:  You were taking precursors, you said. So, you're not actually taking GABA, pure GABA?

Ben:  No, no. I forget what all is in the Quicksilver LipoCalm, but it is something similar to holy basil. Another example would be passionflower. That's a GABA precursor. Chamomile has some GABA precursors in it. I'm trying to remember other botanicals. There's one other that's–what did I say? Chamomile, passion–oh, skullcap. Skullcap is another one. I think they actually have skullcap in LipoCalm, but they may actually have PharmaGABA in that, too, now that I'm thinking about it. I think I was talking with Chris Shade, who runs that company about this, and they have some kind of a fermentation process where they're fermenting GABA. And once they ferment it, it becomes more bioavailable, and then they add that in with like skullcap, and passionflower, and chamomile, and stuff like that. So, it seems to work well for those early, early morning awakenings when you just need to shut down some of those excitatory neurotransmitters and start to flood your brain and you just want to fall back asleep for an hour or two but not wake up groggy.

Adam:  Yeah. In the evenings, I like to use, I'm very precise, I use 2.5 milligrams of THC. I don't like to take too much. I find that, I don't know, it inhibits my dreams. I feel groggy the next day, but 2.5 milligrams is so minuscule, it's like perfect with about 50 to 80 milligrams of CBD. Occasionally, I'll go Ben Greenfield style and just throw a few droppers back. I used to love–remember like the old school ZMA for like–they did sell it as like a bodybuilding–

Ben:  Yeah. I just take that when I was bodybuilding.

Adam:  Yeah, exactly. Well, the zinc and the magnesium is fantastic stuff. So, I take pretty high doses of magnesium. It's pretty funny. I was working with a functional medicine doctor that's at University of Miami. She's an integrative medicine doctor, sorry. She told me, “Just take as much melatonin as you can, and the next morning, if you find that you have diarrhea, take it back one or two pills.” So, I found like a sweet spot of about 800 milligrams, which really helps me recover from the hard workouts, I've been loading up on zinc ever since all this news about COVID, and I use some high-dose melatonin as well. They're showing a lot of the neuroprotective effects now and preventing Alzheimer's. There's a compound pharmacy. I believe you can even buy it from the Nutrascriptives, I believe is the name, and they have pharmacy grade, everything, B vitamins, melatonin.

Ben:  Really?

Adam:  I mean, they're a phenomenal company, yeah.

Ben:  Nutrascriptives. Alright, I'll write that down. By the way, for those of you who are just trying to keep track of all this, I'm keeping track of all the notes if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdfaq. You guys can just jump on over there if you want all this in one place. So, what did you say again, Nutraprescript?

Adam:  Nutrascriptives. So, it's a compound pharmacy called MedQuest. And whenever they need special stuff made for, whatever, hormone doctors in Miami, or wherever you're going, they also have a supplement line called Nutrascriptives. So, they'll have something like melatonin, vitamin D, but all compound pharmacy grade. So, you don't have to worry–

Ben:  Wow!

Adam:  Yeah, yeah. It's so much better than buying something on Amazon and hoping it's what it says on the label.

Ben:  I mean, obviously, for supplements, 90% of the time, if I can get it from Thorne or get it from Kion–like I'm pretty much Thorne and Kion, like those are my two top sources, but I always have my finger on the pulse of the supplement industry as well because there's certain things, like let's say DHEA, for example, which I'm always looking for a good pharmaceutical-grade version of for some of my clients who need help in the hormone department. That is one perfect example where–I can't necessarily get it from Thorne or from Kion, so yeah. That's good to know.

Adam:  Well, actually, Nutrascriptives has great DHEA.

Ben:  Oh, there we go. Alright.

Adam:  And I forgot to mention, Kion. I live on that stuff, so of course, you turned me on to it, but–

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I own the company, so yeah.

Adam:  Yeah, but it's very different because I can trust what's in it. I'm taking your essential amino acids, EAAs, like morning and night for two different workouts. I take the Flex, which is helping my joints. I'm about 37 now and I'm still fighting in jiu-jitsu and lifting weights, and doing Muay Thai. And I also use your Kion Lean because I just love that. It's fantastic for me, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. You're preaching to the choir now. And now, we got to get this podcast sponsored by Kion.

Okay. So, I got to ask you though, man, fertility because you have been delving into this stuff hardcore. You've sent me some interesting anecdotes on this, and so I can't let you go without asking about what you've found in your own journey or process of fertility for you or your wife because you've found some pretty interesting things even related to the cannabinoid system. So, can you talk to me about that?

Adam:  Yeah, for sure. And this is something I was so hesitant to bring up. I don't know why. I just didn't think it was that important or if people would be interested in it, but I just found that men don't like discussing this type of stuff. If they are having issues conceiving, there's always this stigma behind it, but I just don't care. When you do enough psychedelics as I have, you don't really give a shit, to be honest. I just want to help as many people as possible and get the knowledge out there. So, when I was in college, I was bodybuilding and I didn't think I was going to live past 35. I just didn't think that far ahead. So, I was using an absurd amount of steroids on top of doing all those addictive drugs and I really screwed up my endocrine system. So, eventually, I got in touch with some hormone optimization doctors and I started working with them on testosterone optimization. But the downside to all of this stuff is that your sperm count can go to zero. So, you'll feel amazing–

Ben:  The downside of which stuff?

Adam:  Of using testosterone.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah.

Adam:  Yeah. I mean, even if it's through a doctor using healthy levels that puts you in natural ranges for a male, regardless of the age. And this is something that they don't discuss when young men are trying to get jacked up and taking a shortcut. You just think, “Oh, yeah. I'll just have kids later. You won't think about it, but it can have severe long-term effects.” I ended up getting married and we wanted to have kids and it just wasn't happening. So, I went to a doctor and had sperm counts checked and they told me, “You were at zero, like literally zero.”

Ben:  Wow.

Adam:  Which they're like, “Usually, we see like half a million or something along those lines.” So, I got it rechecked and it was the same thing. So, that's actually when I called you and we talked to–who was it? It was Jay Campbell, exactly. And you put me in touch with him. And right before that, I had seen another doctor. And this fertility doctor was supposed to be the best doctor in the Southeast United States. And they treated me like I was a piece of cattle. They just put me in, had other doctors poke and prod at me, and then told me, “Okay. Get off testosterone. Call me in three weeks, and then we'll put you on meds.” I'm like, “This doesn't really sound like a very holistic or integrative approach to healing.” But hey, I went along with it and I felt horrible, just like death. And they gave me all these prescriptions for different meds and they said, “It could raise your fertility levels, your sperm count, motility, all this.”

I felt so bad. I didn't even want to have anything to do with anyone. I go to work angry one minute, happy the next. I mean, emotions up and down, your hormones are fluctuating. So, then I talked to Jay Campbell and he said, “You can't listen to these people. You have to take matters into your own hands.” And sure, there's a lot of medical doctors that really know their stuff and they care about their patients, but a lot of times, that's just not the case, especially when they think their way is the only way of doing things. So, he told me about hCG, which I heard about from bodybuilding. Everyone knows about it. But also, follicle-stimulating hormone. So, I ended up getting those–

Ben:  Yeah. hCG and FSH for maintaining sperm count in guys who are using testosterone. Those are both pretty effective compounds for that.

Adam:  Right. For maintaining, but once you're at the point where you've lost that sperm count, it's tricky. But I did find some studies that showed that people were still on testosterone, utilizing testosterone, and getting on hCG and their sperm count went up like 25%. So, I said, “What the hell? Let's give it a shot.” I cut back on the cannabis use. I only used a tiny amount at night.

Ben:  Both CBD and THC or just THC?

Adam:  I kept doing CBD.

Ben:  Okay.

Adam:  I believe that when you optimize your endocannabinoid system, everything else works more efficiently. So, I cut back on the THC a little bit, and to be honest, I meditated on it a lot. I would meditate on fertility, I'd visualize my family, I'd picture healthy sperm coming out, I'd picture my life ahead, almost like a life review one year ahead of time. So, at the end of 2021, what I want to accomplish, and I pictured exactly, is having a beautiful healthy child. I did that enough and then my wife said, “Hey, just go get your sperm checked.” So, I went and got it checked out and they said, “You have normal levels of sperm exactly what a normal guy would have at like in his 20s or 30s.”

Ben:  No kidding.

Adam:  So, we were just baffled.

Ben:  And wait, are you saying you would attribute that to the hCG, the FSH, the meditation manifestation? Or in your opinion, knowing yourself, what do you think had the greatest effect?

Adam:  I think it's a combination of it. It has to be a combination of everything. I believe it could have happened without the hCG and the FSH because I didn't use high–they wanted me to take three times the dose that I was taking. I didn't want to deal with that. I just had a feeling just pumping excess hormones into the body is not the way to go. So, I stuck to fairly low doses, and I believe it's the power of intention, and that's something you talk about so much. And your journey's changed, I read in your Sabbath ramblings. And it's like it's such a powerful thing that people need to understand. And it's not just, “Oh, I can feel better.” You can make biological changes in your body. You can change every day of your life. You can change the next year of your life.

Ben:  Oh, yeah, absolutely. Did you log or write a blog post or keep track of everything that you did for sperm count and fertility? And the reason I ask is it would be really cool to have some kind of a link in the shownotes for people if you ever wrote anything like that down because I get a lot of questions about that stuff.

Adam:  Really? No. I mean, I have it all written down just because those are the instructions I gave myself on a week-to-week basis. But yeah, I can make it more of like an official guide.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, if you do and you share it with me, I'll put it up at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdfaq, if people are interested in something like that, which I'm sure some people are, and I'm sure people have a lot of questions about a lot of the other stuff that we talked about also.

Anything else that just while you're here, you didn't get a chance to mention regarding CBD or anything else that you just really wanted to make sure you got a chance to say? Or we were just that good in that–

Adam:  I'd think about that for a second. Let me think about that for a second.

Ben:  Yeah. I mean, one thing I should note, by the way, is Jessa and I are totally on the CBD for pet's bandwagon, and both of our pets now use CBD, and they're good kids. It seems to just settle down the dogs. And I know it has a lot of other anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety, and joint health, and other benefits for pets particularly, which is why a lot of people dig it for their pets. But if you have a pet, especially if you have like a more hyper pet and you're not using some kind of a CBD biscuit, or CBD compound, or CBD oil, or something with them, CBD for pets is pretty amazing.

Adam:  Yeah. We have a pet line, actually.

Ben:  You guys have a pet line?

Adam:  Yes, on our website. It's fantastic. You should see the reviews. We got a review about a guy and he thought he had to put his dog down, like it would sit on the couch, they had to carry it off the couch, wouldn't eat. They started the CBD, and now it jumps off and on the couch, eats like a normal puppy.

Ben:  It's just like an oil that they're putting on the food?

Adam:  Yeah. We just put it in our food. I mean, we use the max strength in our dogs because we have three hyper little pit bull types yeah but uh you can use any of our formulas but we do have a pet specific one and we just put it on their food in the morning and night and they're like the healthiest pets. It's unbelievable. Everyone thinks they're puppies when they're about five years old.

Ben:  No kidding. Huh, that's interesting. I didn't know you guys had a pet line, but what I'll do is I'll link to all of your stuff in the shownotes. And I think, don't we have some kind of like a–I want to say when I've been posting your CBD to Instagram, I have like a code or something. Now I'm forgetting what it is.

Adam:  And this is BEN15.

Ben:  BEN15. Okay. So, it's BEN15. Was that 15%?

Adam:  Right, 15% off for all your listeners.

Ben:  Okay. So, I'll put that in the shownotes as well, or if you guys wind up over on the Element CBD website, then you just automatically put that code in. And then, the other thing I should mention is the one that I use, you guys, just in case you all are wanting to get the exact one that I knock back for sleep, I use the full-spectrum CBD–I mean, I shouldn't say this because I need my own supply. So, if you sell out, you're going to have to make more atom. But I use the Element CBD, the full-spectrum CBD oil, but it's the maximum strength, the 4,800 mg. That is the bee's knees, you guys, if you want some of those, just knock you on your ass. So, anyways.

Adam:  Yeah. And email me. If anyone has questions, email me. I respond super-fast, and this is what I'm passionate about. Yeah. That's alright.

Ben:  Yeah. Hopefully, you have somebody filtering that shit because–

Adam:  No. You can cut it out there.

Ben:  No, it's okay. Honestly, just what I would do is set up a robust email filtering mechanism before this podcast gets released.

Adam:  Now you got me scared.

Ben:  No. It won't be too bad. My listeners are all very nice, friendly, kind, considerate people, unless I tweet about like vaccinations or abortions or something like that, and then I get read the riot act, like I did yesterday on Twitter. So, anyways though.

Adam:  Oh, great. I didn't see that yet.

Ben:  Yeah. Go check out my Twitter feed. It's pretty–oh gosh, I don't even know if I want to say on this podcast what I tweeted. Okay. So, here's a thought exercise for you guys. I'll tell you what I tweeted, but I'm not going to get into a big conversation about it with Adam because frankly, we're out of time. But what I tweeted yesterday was, “How come a woman's body is my body my choice when it comes to abortion, but not my body my choice when it comes to wearing a COVID-19 mask?” I was just thinking about that as a society, like we tell women they can do whatever they want with their bodies except, “Oh, by the way, you have to wear this, no questions asked.” And to me, I was just thinking about that from a societal standpoint. It seemed a bit paradoxical, but–

Adam:  You should be able to talk about whatever you want to talk about.

Ben:  Yeah. I just threw it out there as a question and just to generate some discussion, and I got reamed. So, I think I lost a few thousand followers in the course of 10 minutes. And I probably just lost a few thousand podcast listeners, but it's okay, you guys. I like platforms for discussion. Okay. I'm not a troller. I simply like to put questions out there that get people thinking, and then I am constantly learning. I'm the most open-minded guy you're ever going to meet. So, when you guys hear me say something, I also got called out, what was the–oh, I was talking about Thrive Market and how Thrive Market supports BLM, and I had a lot of people come in on the comment section, get super upset about that.

But again, you guys, that's why somebody like me will just say things that I think need to be said, or talk about something a company is doing that needs to be said, and that's a platform for discussion. I'm not putting out there as a platform for hating, just a platform for saying, “Okay. Let's talk about this. Let's actually have a discussion. So, what do you guys think about BLM? Let's talk about it.” Not like, “BLM is bad, BLM is good. Let's all hate each other on BLM.” It's just, “Yo, let's talk about it. I've got a comment section. I'm all about discussion that elevates, that makes people better, that also allows people when necessary to change their world views about something, or in a very humble way, be persuaded one way or another, or at least be open to other people's opinions.” That's a big part of what this platform is about. And I'll get off my soapbox here, but ultimately, what I'm saying is I'm not a hater in the least about any of this stuff. All I like to do is just talk with people about stuff. I enjoy it. Socratic dialogue is amazing for people making each other better people. And so, I would encourage everybody listening in, anything that we talk about that I might bring up on my platform, let's talk about it, let's not hate about it, let's talk about it. And so, that's my perspective on this.

Adam:  Exactly. We all come from the same source, we all can respect each other, we all can speak and just be, right? We don't have to judge everyone and jump off a bridge or go crazy.

Ben:  Right. Exactly, exactly.

Adam:  It just seems like common sense, but hey, I'm with you, man.

Ben:  Yup, yup. Totally. Alright. Well, that went in a direction I didn't expect. But either way, we're out of time, anyway. So, anyways, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/cbdfaq is where the shownotes are. That's also where you can link up to the Element Health CBD. My code is BEN15 if you guys want to use that for a discount. Knock yourself out literally and figuratively. And Adam, dude, thanks for being a friend, and thanks for coming on the show.

Adam:  Oh, thanks for having me, man. It's always an honor and I appreciate everything you do, bro, so much, from my heart, man.

Ben:  Awesome. Thanks, bro. I can feel the heart thumping. Alright, talk soon. Folks, until next time. I'm Ben Greenfield along with Adam Wenguer signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.


I've covered the basics of one of my favorite compounds, CBD, in many past popular podcasts and articles, including:

But there are still many unanswered questions in the realm of CBD, including:

  • What is the difference between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, and other forms of CBD?
  • What is the difference between extraction methods of CBD? 
  • How does one decide between vaping vs. edibles vs. oils vs. capsules vs. soft gels, etc. and what are the differences in absorption between all those options?
  • What can CBD be effectively stacked with, what are your best stacks, and what can you can expect from different stacks?
  • Does CBD have a variability of effects depending on the time of day it is used, based on some kind of diurnal effect?
  • And many more…

My guest on today's show is Adam Wenguer, who has grown to be a friend of mine after we met training at a gym in Miami, Florida. Adam grew up in Miami in a Cuban Jewish household and attended the University of Florida. He started martial arts at a young age and continues an extensive Jiu-Jitsu practice as a brown belt as well as training in boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing.

After suffering a spine and leg injury in college, Adam was treated with pharmaceutical opioids which led to an intense, but all too common, addiction. On his path to recovery, he became immersed in Zen Buddhism, health and wellness, and began his lifelong path into spirituality. This eventually led Adam to graduate with a degree in applied physiology and kinesiology as he sought to bring greater physical healing to others, as he had done for himself.

As a strength and conditioning and health coach at a well-known 5-star wellness resort, Adam worked with a wide array of professional athletes, company executives, and individuals seeking optimal health. Many of his clients were suffering from the same ailments—sleep issues, anxiety, inflammatory disorders, and a general emotional and spiritual disconnect. This led Adam to want to take a more holistic approach towards educating and treating his clients with the use of natural compounds such as CBD. In 2017, Adam founded Element Health, one of the leading suppliers of the highest quality full-spectrum CBD products in the world.

Adam spends the majority of his time with his wife Kristen and their three dogs in their beach community of Surfside, FL. In his free time, he continues to train and compete in martial arts. He is also heavily involved in the study of plant medicine and the shamanic approach to healing. Adam hunts boar and deer several times a year to ethically provide his family and friends with the most nutritious protein available. Finally, Adam finds the deepest joy and his true purpose by sharing the healing techniques of his intense journey with as many people as possible.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-How Adam became well known in the realm of fitness and spirituality…7:05

  • Fighting and drugs were the norm growing up in Miami
  • Eventually became introduced to Muay Thai kickboxing
  • Suffered injuries to his foot and back just before entering college
  • Prescribed oxycodone (equivalent of 60 Percocets per day)
  • Dependence on drugs to mask pain takes away a measure of one's spirit
  • Awarenessby Anthony De Mello
  • Sex, drugs, rock and roll, and iPhones fill the God-shaped holes in our hearts
  • Meditationis a challenge due to “noise” all around us
  • Plant medicine– use of a psychedelic in a ceremonial setting
  • CBD is the perfect complement to psychedelics (CBD relaxes the mind and body; plant medicine challenges it)

-Full-Spectrum CBD vs. others…15:50

  • Adam is a proponent of full-spectrum CBD
  • CBD isolate is a cheaper form
  • Full-spectrum gives the “entourage effect”
  • Full-spectrum contains trace amounts of THC which can build up in the system over time
  • Broad-spectrum still contains a minimal amount of THC
  • Isolate is the way to go to ensure there's no THC in the system
  • THC gives the max benefits of the CBD compound – full-spectrum is the way to go

-How CBD interacts with different serotonin receptors…22:34

  • CBD upregulates the 5THT1A receptor
  • 5THT2A receptor causes hallucinogenic effect (CBD is an antagonist to it)
  • Adam uses CBD at night, psychedelics during the morning
  • CBD is about the endocannabinoid system
  • Optimization is the way to greater balance; not pushing to extremes

-Adam's morning plant medicine routine…27:20

  • Smokable version of Ayahuasca
  • Deeper healing and meaning in one's self
  • Utilizes MAO inhibitor effects of ayahuasca vine with DMT and other herbs
  • Ayahuasca Wisdomby Jules Henry Rivers
  • Psychedelics and plant medicine are not intended to be fun
  • Terrence McKenna: “Everything you do is an art”
  • Watching the sun rise and set while grounding with the earth

-The two main extraction methods of CBD and what to look for as a consumer…38:10

  • Ethanol
    • Warm and cold batches
    • Cold can pull out more specific cannabinoids
  • CO2
    • More desirable for producing full-spectrum CBD
  • Mid-critical: combination of sub- and super-critical
    • Retains terpenes, essential oils, etc.
  • Boundless

-Preferred delivery mechanisms of CBD…44:45

  • Vaping
    • Enters the body the fastest, and also leaves the fastest
    • Ideal for stress and anxiety
    • Reduces excess noise for clarity and focus
  • Sublingual or mucosal
    • Stays in body approx. 4 hours
    • The optimal way of ingesting
  • Orally
    • Stays around 6 hours
    • Goes through the liver first
  • Element Health Full-Spectrum CBDsoft gels
  • Use around a high-fat meal for the best absorption

-Compounds Adam stacks with full-spectrum CBD…50:30

-Fertility and the cannabinoid system…1:00:51

-Closing thoughts…1:07:30

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

– Adam Wenguer:

– BGF podcasts and articles:

– Books:

– Other resources:

As mentioned in the episode, Adam has been pursuing fertility treatment. Here is the protocol he is following, in his words.

“Since I have been utilizing Testosterone optimization therapy, generally sperm count goes down drastically. I remedied this by using a combination of pharmaceutical compounds, otc supplements, plant medicine, and daily meditations.

Pharmaceutical compounds:

These primarily support the stimulation of new sperm cells.

1)  HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) – 500iu every other day (EOD).

2)  FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) – 75iu (EOD) or HMG as a substitute

I recommend starting at half the dose for the first month or two to see how you react.  This can cause some spikes in estrogen, so it's important to get blood work done. I used DIM and Indole-3-carbinol which can act as an estrogen receptor antagonist and promotes the healthy metabolism of estrogen.

Otc supplements:

Improves sperm motility, morphology and overall health of these cells.

1) CoQ10 (as ubidecarenone) with PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium salt). I love the liquid version by Apex Energetics.   Studies show this can also improve egg quality and reverse cellular aging.

Antioxidant supplements and semen parameters: An evidence-based review

Negative effects of ROS generated during linear sperm motility on gene expression and ATP generation in boar sperm mitochondria

Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging

2) Coast Science – MFSg5 or Fairhaven Health – FertilAid for men.

3) Researched Nutritionals – ATP Fuel

4) Rehmannia 6 (Chinese medicine) – Restore kidney Yin and normalize kidney function.

Plant Medicine

While this is not generally used for fertility-related issues, I find that micro or macro dosing Psilocybin, DMT, and/or specifically Ayahuasca mixtures can improve Reproductive health.

Reproductive effects of the psychoactive beverage ayahuasca in male Wistar rats after chronic exposure

This study was done on ayahuasca in a research setting. However, the spiritual component of fertility is often neglected. Traumas/wounds from childhood (even passed down from parents) can affect our psychological and physical well-being.  These plant medicine tools allow us to look into the “mirror” to see what habits and patterns we have deeply ingrained into our psyche. When we can mindfully observe these traits or behaviors, we can then change them and rapidly improve our view of the world and sense of self which leads to a deeper sense of purpose and reduction of stress.

This also greatly improves our ability to meditate and allow affirmations to become our reality.

Last – CBD for fertility. Many theories but no studies yet.


Endocannabinoid receptors have been found in sperm and the female reproductive tract. Because of this, it’s thought that they can improve a sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg, boost ovarian function, and follicle maturation. In short, that CBD can be a natural way to boost fertility with minimal negative side effects. There is yet to be strong evidence to support this theory.”

CBD and Fertility

CBD vs. Marijuana’s Effects on Fertility”

To check out more about Adam's company Element Health, click here. Use discount code “BEN15” to get 15% off your order.

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order.

Organifi Gold Pumpkin Spice: A new take on an ancient secret: Pain-soothing herbs, incredible antioxidants, and phytonutrients all in one delicious, soothing “Golden Milk” nighttime tea! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Butcher Box: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones. 

Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card worth up to $20 when you begin a new membership.


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