[Transcript] – Is Weed Healthy? The Controversial Truth About The Science Of Marijuana.

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Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/supplements-podcasts/is-weed-healthy/

[00:00] Introduction

[02:31] The Story of Sadie

[09:53] How James Got Involved

[14:22] The Side Effects Of Weed

[16:48] Why Weed Is Banned For Athletes

[18:22] Weed For Insomnia

[23:42] The Best Way to Use CBD

[25:40] Other Ways to Use Weed

[30:56] Checking On the Quality Of Your Source

[33:23] The Addictive Potential of CBD

[39:17] James’ Next Favorite Story While Creating the Documentary

[42:52] When “The Science of Weed” Documentary Comes Out

[46:18] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It's Ben Greenfield, and today we're going to talk about something pretty controversial.  And before I jump into exactly what that is, I want to let you know that I have a video for you that delves a little bit more deeply into the story that you're about to hear, and it's the story of Sadie.  And Sadie is an 11-month old baby who suffered from 300 seizures every day.  And she was given something specific and something relatively controversial to control these seizures, and I'm going to put a video of what happened next in the show notes because it blew my mind.  And I'm going to put the show notes up for this podcast episode where you can view that video over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/weed.  And my podcast guest today Dr. James Schmachtenberger, and I'm really going to hope I'm pronouncing that last name correctly, is the executive producer of a new documentary called “The Science of Weed”.  And this documentary is meant to put the truth and the real facts in the hands of people who need marijuana-based medicine so that they can make informed decisions about utilizing cannabis, not as a recreational drug per se but as an effective treatment for health issues.  So we're going to be talking all about this today with James and also about this new documentary that just came out.

So James, first of all, thanks for coming on the call.  And second, can you tell us a little bit more about the story of this baby Sadie and what exactly happened?

James:  Absolutely.  And thank you for having me and I'm excited to be able to share a little about Sadie because this has been an incredibly heartwarming and touching story to both just be witness to but also, in my case, get to be kind of close to and see the experience this family's gone through.  Sadie was born with a rare genetic disorder that caused a number of complications, but the primary issue was that it made it to where she was having between two and 300 seizures every day from the time that she was born.  And the family had gone through the traditional allopathic medicine to try to come up with a way to manage this, and she had been on, I believe it was seven different anti-seizure medicine, had been on heavy steroids, and they really just couldn't control the number of seizures that she was having.  And in addition to not be able to control it, they were causing a whole series of other issues where her liver was on the verge of shutting down from the toxicity from all the different drugs.  And when she was nine months old, the doctors had said that she likely would only live for another two months between the liver damage and the severe neurological issues that were being created from the seizures.

And so that's around the time that I ended up getting connected to the family and they were, at that stage, willing to try pretty much anything because what they were doing clearly just wasn't working without an attempt at something different, their daughter was going to pass away shortly.  And so they ended up putting her on an extract of CBD, which stands for cannabidiol.  It's another chemical that is in cannabis.  Most people are familiar just with THC, but CBD is the second most prominent chemical and it has many of the same medicinal effect that THC does, but it is…

Ben:  Who put her on that? Was it her parents or was it the actual medical establishment?

James:  It was her parents.

Ben:  Okay.

James:  The medical establishment isn't quite that far along yet to where they'll typically do this on their own.  And some of her doctors were a little weary about it, although that has since shifted dramatically.

Ben:  And where'd her parents get this?

James:  Her parents had gotten this, the company that makes the particular version that she's on, this company called HempMeds, and it's a particularly interesting and neat product.  Because unlike most other types of extracts, this particular one is derived from industrial hemp as opposed to traditional marijuana and they're doing an extract that's very high in CBD and has almost no THC in it, which means two things.  One is that the product is classified as an industrial hemp product, therefore it's legal to purchase almost anywhere, all 50 states and in most countries across the world.  And so that's a pretty amazing distinction that doesn't exist in most situations.  The other thing is that since there is no, we're close no THC, which is the psychoactive property, they're able to produce the medical benefits without the high.  And particularly when you're talking about a less-than-one-year-old person that can be really important 'cause you don't necessarily want to produce a high unnecessarily in someone whose nervous system is developing.

Ben:  So there's a way that this is actually metabolized in a way that's not producing a lot of the same endocannabinoids that would cause a high?

James:  Within cannabis, there's about 70 different cannabinoids that have been identified.  Each one has different medical applications.  Some have psychoactive properties and some don't.  And THC is the primary one that people know of, which has incredible medical applications and yet it also has a very extensive psychoactive effect, which creates the high.  CBD on the other hand has no psychoactive effect and has most of the same medicinal properties.  So in the case of many people, but particularly young children, being able to get CBD-rich extracts where you can control whatever the medical condition is without causing the high is really quite important and profound.

Ben:  Interesting.  So what happened with Sadie?

James:  So in her case, she actually, as part of the medical issues that she has, her throat had had to be clamped off.  And so they feed her and give her medicines through a tube in her belly.  So in this case they took, the product was called Real Scientific Hemp Oil, and they had to dilute it down a little bit so it could go through the tube, and they put it into her belly.  And within 15 minutes, she stopped seizing.  At two to 300 seizures a day, that means that she's almost in constant seizure.  The parents hadn't actually seen her eyes open but just a few times in her entire life because they were rolled back in her head during seizures.  And so within just a few minutes she stopped seizing, and over the next about two weeks as they were working to figure what the right dosage was for her, she had two more seizures.  But since then she hasn't had any seizures and she just had her one year birthday a little under a month ago.  So she's going on four months now with zero seizures.

Ben:  Wow.

James:  So we went from two to 300 a day down to none, and she was supposed to have passed away likely two months ago.  And now not only did that not happen, but all of her test results were coming back the best that they've ever been.  She's starting to be able to recognise her surroundings, which is something that was expected that she would never have.  So now when her parents speak or she hears a sound, she'll be able to recognize where that sound is coming from and turn towards it.  Her nervous system is starting to build and regenerate in a way that was just never anticipated.  And so her family is just incredibly grateful, her doctors are sort of florid and don't quite know what happened because there is nothing within traditional Western medicine right now to produce that kind of effects when it comes to such severe forms of epilepsy.

Ben:  Right.  Interesting.  So how do you get involved with all this? Like how'd you find out about her story and then get involved producing an actual documentary about weed?

James:  Well, my background is in alternative medicine.  So I used to own a vocational college in San Diego where we taught all different forms of alternative medicine, from nutrition, to alternative psychology, body work.  And it was during that time that I started to get introduced to sort of the medicinal aspects of cannabis, which isn't something that I was familiar with, and I more so had my own judgments around it.  And then I started to get presented over and over again with people that I knew and respected that were beginning to use it for different ailments and seen the benefits.  And so about…

Ben:  Like what kind of stuff were people using this for?

James:  Well, I was seeing a whole myriad of things at that point and I've since seen vastly more from things that are relatively simple in nature, like treating insomnia, anxiety disorders.  But then I started to see people utilizing it for severe and chronic pain.  There was a patient I got introduced to I think just under five years ago now who had been in a severe car accident and shattered his spine.  He had multiple vertebra that were fused together and was just in severe pain on a constant basis.  And the doctors had put him on both oxy and Percocets.  And as a result of being on those, they did absolutely manage the pain, but he expressed that he felt like he was in a constant daze and he couldn't function.  Much of the time, he couldn't even drive and live a normal life because of how high of a dosage he had to be on.  And this was a man that had children and said that he was just devastated by it because the pain was too extensive for him and not take those drugs.  But then when he was on the drugs, he didn't feel like he could connect to or relate to his family.  And so he ended up starting to switch over to cannabis.  And over the course of about a month and a half, he…

Ben:  Did he switch over to the same thing that they were giving to Sadie? What'd you call it? Cannabidiol?

James:   Yeah.  That's what Sadie's on.  In this man's instance, that's not what he was on.  He was actually using both smoked cannabis as well as edible forms.

Ben:  So he would have been getting a high effect from that rather than just the oil?

James:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Okay.  Interesting.  Go ahead.

James:  But in his circumstance, though there was some high, it wasn't so significant that it impacted his ability to relate.  And actually the high itself helped to support him with some of the depression that had been created from the lack of mobility that had been developed.  And so over the course of just over a month, he ended up weaning himself off of both the oxy and the Percocet to where he wasn't doing any of that and he was just doing a combination of smoked medical cannabis, and his life was just completely changed as a result because now he was able to be present with his family, he could relate with them, he could feel again, he didn't have that numbing sensation that came from the drugs that he had previously been on.  And then he also didn't have the negative side effects.  Most of those heavy drugs have significant effects to the liver and will oftentimes dramatically reduce someone's life expectancy as a result of that.  And with cannabis, that's not true.  So he was able to get the pain relieving effects without the detrimental effects to his liver as well as the detrimental effects to his psychology.

Ben:  Now I've seen some talk about how the use of marijuana can do things like suppress the immune system if you use it long term, or cause things like reduced testosterone and stuff like that.  Are there trade offs here when you use marijuana for everything from pain control, to enhancing sleep, to some of the other things that you've mentioned?

James:  With anything that you take, there's potential side effects and downsides.  However, the vast majority of the things that have been suspected as potential downsides have since been disproven.  So there were some beliefs back in the '70s and '80s that regular cannabis use would suppress the immune system.  So NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is the federal agency that oversees research on this topic, had started a number of studies to try to prove that cannabis would suppress the immune system.  And in the process of running those studies, it up getting found that it was exactly the opposite, that not only did cannabis use not suppress the immune system but they were indicators that in many cases it would actually increase immune function.  There's still a tremendous amount of propaganda and kind of misinformation that it impacts the way in which research is done.

And so every once in a while, there are studies that come out that indicate certain negatives.  But then when you look at those studies and the way that they were done, most of the time they were done with a very clear bias going in and weren't properly done studies.  And then whenever a full-fledged study is done, it ends up finding different results.  The testosterone issue, as I understand it, is one that is at this stage somewhat questionable.  There was one study that was done that indicated the potential for minor reductions in testosterone production with heavy use of cannabis, and then there have been a couple of follow-up studies done that have indicated that that isn't the case, but there haven't been any full blown clinical trials on either side to fully determine that as far as I'm aware of.

Ben:  I personally do not use weed.  Like I live in Washington, it's legal.  I can get edibles here, I can get pot pretty easily, but I don't use it because I compete in events that are sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Association and it's banned.  Why do you think it is that the WADA would ban marijuana for athletes?

James:  Well, I think that predominately is just a kind of political and legal issue more than anything.  Because it's been pretty clearly indicated that marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug and…

Ben:  To me, it's almost like a performance de-enhancing drug.  I mean I've used it sparingly in the past and always had really crappy workouts the next day.

James:  Yeah.  And some people are affected differently as far as that goes.  I mean I have known athletes that feel like it does give them a sense of energy to be able to go in and workout harder.  But as a whole, that's not the case.  That's more of a rare individual experience.  I don't remember the name of the organization off-hand, but the organization that oversees drug use with the Olympics had made an official determination that it was not a performance enhancing drug and yet it still remains a banned substance within most areas of competitive athletics, and that really has to do just with the fact that it's not legal at a federal or international level.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Let's return back a little bit to the use of weed for medical conditions.  You mentioned one that I know I get asked about a lot, and that's insomnia or difficulty sleeping.  How could somebody use something like marijuana for that?

James:  There's a number of different ways that they can utilize it.  For insomnia, one of the best methods is tends to be to take it in edible form.  And the reason is that when you inhale, it the onset is almost immediate.  It happens usually within a matter of seconds to a few minutes, but it only lasts typically for about an hour and a half to two hours.  And if you have trouble sleeping throughout the entire duration of the night, that might mean that it'll support you in getting to sleep but it won't necessarily support you in staying asleep.  On the flip side of that, when you ingest it, it takes significantly longer to have the effect start, usually anywhere between half an hour and just slightly over an hour, but then it lasts typically for about eight hours.  So if people ingest cannabis shortly before they're ready to go to bed, then as it onsets, it'll support in them falling asleep, but it'll also support in them staying asleep.

Ben:  Have you ever seen any testing that people do with these new sleep apps or sleep tracking tools to see if it affects quality of sleep or if it somehow affects the extent to which you can get into a deep sleep phase?  The reason I ask is, for example, if you look at something like a valium or a diazepam-based medication, you fall asleep but it's basically like a chemical brick.  You just go into this non-neuronal repairing sleep phase that really doesn't ever get to into deep rapid eye movement sleep.  Do you know if that's the case with weed or if it's kind of a different mechanism?

James:  No, it's definitely a different mechanism.  Anecdotally, there are a handful of people that I've known that have insomnia and other sleeping disorders that have utilized it and then tracked it with things like the Zeo device or some of the tracking wristbands that will show what their sleeping patterns are, and typically it'll increase their deep sleep time by at least double.  And some of those tracking devices are more or less accurate, but some of the more accurate ones that I've seen, you'll see significant increases in REM sleep as well as deep sleep, which is really interesting, but that is a little bit more anecdotal.  There are, however, several more significant, federally funded clinical trials that have also been done that show that pretty definitively, that it both helps to fall asleep, but it's bringing people into deep sleep much more so.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Okay.  Cool.

James:  Insomnia is actually one of the things that cannabis is approved for in the majority of areas.  You've got 22 states right now that have laws allowing for the medical use of cannabis, and insomnia is one of the conditions that it's approved for in most of those areas because the science at this point is pretty definitive in terms of its ability to support in that area.

Ben:  Interesting.  That's one of the things that I get a lot of questions about from athletes is how they can enhance sleep or sleep better and I didn't realize that it was actually approved to go to your doctor if you're having difficulty sleeping and get a prescription for it.

James:  Well, quality sleep is obviously critical when you're trying to push your body at a high level in athletics.  You’ll be able to have the regeneration time.  And so that's something that cannabis can definitely do.  And for athletes that potentially want to have that benefit, but are then interested in not having the psychoactive effects, something like the cannabidiol oil, like the Real Scientific Hemp Oil that Sadie is on is something that would be beneficial for a lot of people 'cause the CBD will have pretty much all the same effects as far as supporting deep sleep, but will do it without any of the psychoactive effects.

Ben:  And do you actually get that from a specific website or do you have to have it prescribed? How does that work?

James:  No.  That particular one, because it has sort of a different legal classification and everything else, you can just go online and purchase it.  And if you go to our website, scienceofweed.com, we have some information on there and some links out.  Or the company that actually produces that is a company called HempMeds.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Okay.  I'll link to that in the show notes for people.

James:  These benefits as well that would be likely very interesting to athletes, which is the powerful anti-inflammatory effect.  So both CBD and THC have been shown to be some of the most powerful anti-inflammatories in existence.  So when you're pushing your body at a high level, that becomes very important in terms of being able to increase recovery time as well as decrease pain 'cause that allows you to train more often and train at a higher level.

Ben:  Interesting.  So how would you use it? Have you seen studies where they've used it post-workout or what would you say is the best way to use something like that?

James:  I haven't personally seen any studies that have been done as it relates to the competitive athletic specifically.  Unfortunately, especially here in the US, research is dramatically held back by its legal status.  So there are some more compelling studies that have come out of certain areas in Europe and Israel, but that's one area I haven't seen specifically but I have seen anecdotally.  I have a number of friends who are competitive athletes, both in the Olympics in X-Games, and as well as just for more personal competitive purposes.  And I've seen a number of people utilize it, and pretty much everyone has had the same response which is if they take some of the CBD oil in the evening before they go to bed, they wake up feeling more rested and the soreness and pain that they would have anticipated from the workout the day prior is either not there or dramatically decreased.  And so then they go and they work out the next day, they're able to push even harder.

Ben:  And that's the stuff that you can just get online?

James:  Yeah.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  Cool.  And I would imagine that you'd probably want to wait until the evening to take it just if you do get that sleepiness effect, huh?

James:  Yeah.  I mean many people will take it both during the day and in the evening.  That will typically have an effect of anywhere from about eight to 12 hours, so some people will take it twice a day.  And people are affected a little bit differently.  There's no psychoactive effect to CBD, but it can produce sort of a sleepiness in some people.  Yeah, oftentimes doing that just in the evenings is something that works out really well for many people.

Ben:  Now what are some of the other things from The Science of Weed documentary that you've found to be very useful applications for marijuana or ways that we could be using it that we're not right now because it's not legal?

James:  Absolutely.  Well, there's so many.  It's one of the things that's just kind of floored me as I've gotten deeper and deeper into this field is that the amount of conditions that appear to be benefited by the use of cannabis is sort of overwhelming and there are some that are more notable than others both because of their effectiveness as well as the number of people that are affected by those conditions.  So epilepsy, like we talked about with Sadie, is one of the areas that is just outstanding.  Marijuana seems to be more effective in suppressing seizures than any pharmaceutical drug that is out there today and does so without any of the negative side effects that the pharmaceuticals have in terms of liver function.  Additionally, it serves as a neural protectant.  So where there's sometimes neurological damage that's happened from seizures before people get on it, it actually helps to in many cases reverse some of the neurological damage.  So for epilepsy, it's extraordinary.

Cancer is another one that the research is sort of overwhelming at this point.  Initially people were looking at the use of marijuana in terms of just treating the side effects of cancer treatments.  So being able to manage the nausea, the pain, things like that from chemo and radiation, and for that it's absolutely beneficial, and you can look at it in just more of a quality of life support.  But more and more as continued studies have happened, what we're finding is that cannabis will, in and of itself, actually slow the growth of cancer cells, and in many cases reverse them.  There was a study done by Dr. Tashkin out of UCLA, and this was a federally-funded study that initially was intended to find that people who smoked cannabis on a regular basis would have increased risk of lung cancer.  So they ran the study and what they found was actually the exact opposite.  They found that not only was there not an increased risk, but that many of the patients that they were following were showing a slower progression than the control group was, and we've seen this over and over again.

So what happens is that both THC and CBD increase what's known as apoptosis, which is scheduled cell die-off.  So cells are, they're formed, they split, and then they're intended to die off before they have an opportunity to mutate into cancer cells.  In an unhealthy system, that function doesn't always happen the way that it's supposed to.  So THC and CBD increase that so as to make it to where cells are dying off before they're mutating and it's also supporting the cells that are already mutated to die off, causing shrinkage in tumors.  And there's at this point literally tens of thousands of anecdotal studies showing that cannabis could in fact be able to reverse cancer.  And there are several clinical trials that are indicating that as well, though not a hundred percent conclusive at this point just because the research is still held back.

Ben:  Yeah.  We've got a guy who I've had on this podcast before, Dr. Mark Sircus, who I know, he operates out of Brazil, but I know that he utilizes cannabinoids and marijuana for treatment of some of his cancer patients just because of the research that's been done on scheduled cell death and apoptosis in tumor cells.  So I think it's super interesting.  If I ever got cancer, somebody close to me did, there are specific things that I would certainly look into like ketosis, low carb diets, some of the stuff from the Gerson therapy, and I would definitely investigate marijuana too if it were me just based off of the research that I've seen on it.  And of course in your documentary, you get into a ton of other medical conditions, and I'll link to it in the show notes for people over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/weed or you can go to scienceofweed.com.

The other thing I'm curious about is, I've had people like Dave Asprey on the podcast before, and we've talked about mold, and fungi, and mycotoxins, and those type of things specifically in plant-based compounds, beans, seeds, cheeses, things like that.  Do you have to be careful with things like that in marijuana? How do you know that your source is actually pure or good? Are there other specific things that you can do to check on that?

James:  Yeah.  Absolutely. With any plant, there's the potential that you're going to have molds, funguses, things like that that are going to become present.  And so there's a number of different factors for how to handle safety regarding that with cannabis.  One is that there is laboratory testing available, and more and more of that's becoming sort of an industry standard within dispensaries is to test the cannabis that they're bringing in before they sell it to patients.  And they're testing both for potency as well as making sure that there's not the presence of mold, mildews, pesticides, things like that.  And so there are the safety mechanisms in that way.  Additionally, though because of the ways in which cannabis is taken, even if that was to be present, it's typically not a safety factor because, for instance, if you're smoking at and there did happen to be trace amounts of mold or mildew, the heat will kill that off.  And so it ends up generally not being an issue.  And then similarly if you're doing it as a concentrate or in an edible form, typically there's, in the extraction process, there's either some type of a solvent used like alcohol that will kill off the molds and mildews, or there's heat that's applied that again will kill it off.

So even if there was something that was present and it wasn't tested for, generally speaking by the time that it gets to the patient, that's already been mitigated just in the ways in which it's taken.  But I do think that safety testing is something that should be done as well because you are oftentimes talking about people that have compromised immune systems and a number of different challenges.  And so taking safety into account is key.  But in the scheme of things, it seems to be less relevant with cannabis than it would be with a lot of other herbals where, with a lot of other herbs, you might just dry it, grind it up, and put in a capsule, there's nothing in that process that would kill off a mold or mildew.  Whereas with heat, or alcohol, or something like that, that'll usually handle it.

Ben:  Yup.  Now how much addictive potential is there here?

James:  So this is an awesome topic and it's been a controversial one for a long time.  But at this point, there's not much reason for it to be controversial, the studies are just absolutely clear.  Cannabis doesn't have any physiological addictive potential.  So no matter how heavy someone's use it as, if they stop it, they won't have the withdrawal syndromes that someone would if they were coming off the heroin, or Percocet, or any number of other things.  So its ability to be physiologically addictive has been pretty much completely disproven at this point.  It can, however, like pretty much anything, be psychologically addictive.  The same way that someone could become addicted to watching TV or addicted to some other substance, the way in which people feel when being on it can become something that they have a reliance on, and so there can be challenges in terms of coming off just from a psychological standpoint.  But that is oftentimes much easier to address and work with than physiological dependency.  And there's no long term effects from that.

Ben:  Okay.  Is it the same with this oil? Or is any potential for like psychological addiction to the oil mitigated by the fact that it doesn't result in the same kind of high as smoking weed or an edible?

James:  To the best of my knowledge, there haven't been any studies done on CBD only in terms of its potential for psychological dependency.  But just kind of from a logical standpoint, that really wouldn't be present.  Because you're not getting a high or that sense of euphoria that someone might get from taking THC.  That's just not going to be present.  If CBD is helping them with something, like let's say someone has chronic pain and they're taking and it's making their pain go away, they may not want to stop taking it because it means that their pain is going to be present again, but that's different than saying that they're addicted to it.  That just means that they don't want to give up the benefit that is there.  But there really shouldn't be a psychological dependency because it's not creating a psychoactive effect.

Ben:  Have you seen the changes in states like Washington, where I live in, and Colorado has made any type of difference in, I don't know when you started making this documentary, The Science of Weed, or if weed became legal on a state level since you started making it and if that's caused changes in terms of availability, or in terms of perception, or in terms of creating more issues, but has that changed things much in your opinion, like with you being immersed in this from a medical standpoint?

James:  Yeah.  It's absolutely made changes.  And for the most part, they've been pretty profoundly wonderful in terms of what has shifted regarding public perception as well as regarding policy.  So a lot of people who were more on the prohibitionary side were just terrified that when legalization came into effect, it would mean the end of society as we know it.  Everyone would start having huge breakdowns and crime would flourish in the streets.  And as we've seen legalization come into effect in Washington and particularly Colorado where it's sort of a more significant roll out, that's all been shown to be not true.  And there was already other indicators of that.  Portugal had decriminalized all drugs about 12 years ago now, but we really hadn't looked nearly as extensively at it until it shifted here in the US.  And what's been really clear from that is that not only has crime not gone up, but crime throughout Colorado has actually gone down significantly.  And it's not clear whether that's the result of legalization or not, but it is clear that legalization did not cause an increase in crime.

And then additionally to that, you see the benefit in terms of additional tax revenue particularly as it relates to improving education.  The way that Colorado's laws are drafted, the majority of the tax revenue goes into the school systems, which causes tremendous long term benefits.  So most of what it was that people were worried about that could go wrong has at this point been pretty clearly shown to have not gone wrong and actually in many ways gone the other direction.  And anytime that you move away from prohibition and just telling people they can do something and instead make it available but regulate it to handle safety factors, you generally start to see that the issues that we thought would be there aren't there, and in fact it ends up being a huge benefit.

Ben:  Yeah.  Gotcha.  Now in terms of science of weed, what was the most interesting thing you think, I mean we talked about the story of Sadie, which is obviously a fascinating and heartwarming story, and it is a really powerful video.  I'll put a link to that part of the video in the show notes for people.  But is there any other story that you think was really, really interesting that you came across while creating this documentary?

James:  Oh, absolutely.  We've come across so many stories at this point…

Ben:  Like if you had to pick one that you think was just super intriguing.

James:  Well, there's one that stands out for me personally, and I think that might be really interesting to a number of your listeners as well, there's a man that we've been following and working with through the film who was a two-time gold medal Olympic basketball coach from Australia.  And just last year, he was actually inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.  And he's had diabetes for much of his life and then over the last few years been struggling with cancer.  Pretty incredible story in that when he was still an active basketball coach, he had let the league know that he was using marijuana to control his blood sugar for diabetes, and so they kicked him out actually.  And then at that point his team started to lose and go downhill where they were on a major winning streak.  And so after a few losses, the league decided to sort of make an exception for him and bring him back on as the coach.  At that point, when he came back they ended up having a huge winning streak and actually won the entire year.  So we've got this footage of his teammates going crazy and has being so excited to go from this huge losing streak to then winning the entire the entire year.  He's been using cannabis for quite a long time to control his sugar.  But then as he…

Ben:  Like smoking or?

James:  Uhuh!  Smoking as well as edibles.  And then more recently since he's been dealing with bone cancer, in addition to what he was previously doing, we also added the Real Scientific Hemp Oil, that CBD-rich oil to his protocol.  I just spoke with him about a week or so ago and he had just gotten his lab results back, and they were the best that he's had in years.  And so we're starting to see the turn-around that's happening with his cancer.  And in addition to that, just that he's able to move around and function in a way that he hasn't been able to for quite a while because the pain had been so great and the challenges with his immune system and all of that starting to reverse now where he's so much more lively, he's more engaged again.  And the indicators are that his cancer growth is actually reversing now.

Ben:  Yeah.  Cool.  Nice.  This is really fascinating stuff.  And I think that a lot of people, including myself, were under the impression that maybe the use of weed was only something that you could do while at the same time getting high, which I know is nice for a lot, like that's why some people will use weed recreationally, but there are uses that go way above and beyond that in terms of its medicinal use and the use of some of these oils and some of the things that you've talked about today.  So when does the actual documentary come out? Or is it out already?

James:  This one isn't out yet.  Myself and my director did produce another film about three years ago called “Medicinal Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health”, and that one is out and it's available online for free.  People can go to marijuanamovie.org and see that one.  And it's similar in nature.  It touches on the research from a very credible standpoint and it's a great resource for people to look at.  But over the course of the last three years, the amount of information that's come out is just so much more.  So now we're doing this much larger scale film.  That first one was all filmed in California.  And right now for The Science of Weed, we've been filming all over the world.  Actually, my film crew just landed in Italy yesterday and they're filming now throughout Europe for the next couple of weeks and then flying over to Israel.  So for this film, we're still in production currently.  We're going to be filming for about another month, and then we'll go into editing, and we're kind of working with the distribution companies to decide on an official release date, but it looks like sometime right around the beginning 2015 is when Science of Weed is going to be coming out.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  And I see on your website you've got a place where people can put in their email addresses to get a notice when it's released and all that good stuff.  So, cool.

James:  Exactly.  And between now and then, we're going to be releasing a number of shorter videos.  So feature film will be coming out in early 2015.  But in addition to the feature film, we're also doing a whole series of disease specific videos that are going to go more in-depth about each of these different diseases, both showing the research as well as the individual stories of it.  And so we're going to releasing a number of those between now and then.  And so we'll go to the website, and then you get signed up, they'll be able to have access to all of those along the way.

Ben:  Nice.  Cool.  Alright.  Well I'm going to put a link to that and also a link to this video of the story of baby Sadie over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/weed.  So if folks are listening in, you can go check that out.

Well folks, I know this is kind of a controversial subject.  If you have your own thoughts, your own comments, questions, leave them over in the comments section for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/weed, and be sure to check out this documentary when it comes out, and thanks for listening.  And James, thanks for coming on the call today.

James:  Awesome.  Thank you so much!

Ben:  Alright, folks.  This is Ben Greenfield signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.



The video below tells the story of Sadie, an 11-month-old baby who suffered from 300 seizures per day.  She was given Cannabidiol, an oil-based extract of marijuana.

What happens next blew my mind.

Grab a Kleenex and watch.

The truth is, marijuana – although an extremely controversial drug – has been proven to be effective for medical issues like:


Epilepsy (seizures)

Muscle Tension








Crohn’s & Colitis

And much, much more…

My guest in today’s podcast, Dr. James Schmachtenberger, has made it his goal – as the executive producer a new documentary called “The Science of Weed” – to put the truth and real facts in the hands of those who need marijuana-based medicine, so they can make informed decisions about utilizing cannabis not as a recreational drug per se, but instead as an effective treatment method for health issues.

In today’s podcast, James and I discuss:

CBD Oil Extract

The difference between medicinal cannabis and weed…

The best medicinal uses of marijuana…

How you can use marijuana without side effects of endocannibanoids…

Why the WADA has marijuana listed as a banned substance for athletes…

How you can use marijuana to sleep better or beat insomnia…

Whether marijuana is effective as an anti-inflammatory…

Do you have to be careful with mold and fungi in marijuana, and how do you know your sources are “good”…

Is weed addictive?

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “[Transcript] – Is Weed Healthy? The Controversial Truth About The Science Of Marijuana.

  1. Reading all the experience and reviews from other user for this medicine and seeing a lot using it is very promising.

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