There are over 160 different cannabinoids, multiple ways to consume CBD and various factors that contribute to the benefits, effectiveness, and experience of the Cannabis products you consume. That’s why Leaf411.org, a nurse-staffed, free cannabis hotline for anyone in America to reach out, gets me so excited. On this episode, with my guest, nurse and CEO of Leaf411.org, Katherine Golden, we discuss the de-stigmatization of Cannabis and how we can bridge the gap between medicine and Cannabis.
[00:01 – 06:40] Announcements: The Texas 87th Legislative Session
[06:41 – 24:11] Katherine Golden’s background and Leaf411.org
[24:22 – 33:17] The Medical Conversation Is Influenced By Educated Consumers
[32:18 – 46:33] How Leaf411.org Guides Their Callers Through The Nuances of Cannabis
[46:34 – 56:16] Understanding Your Hemp and Cannabis COAs and Why It’s Important
[56:17 – 61:45] Reach Out, Leaf411.org Wants To Help You
Katherine Golden, RN, has served the medical community for over 25 years and for the past 5 years has worked as a cannabis nurse educator. She’s the CEO, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Leaf411.org. Katherine has obtained several cannabis-nursing certificates through The Medical Cannabis Institute Global, Radicle Health Cannabis Therapeutics of Medical Professionals and is Healer Certified. She is a proud member of American Cannabis Nurses Association, Cannabis Nurse Network, Americans for Safe Access and a member of numerous other cannabis related patient and professional advocacy groups to ensure she is up to date on the latest science and the most current issues.
Connect with Katherine on LinkedIn or email her at email@example.com
Visit Leaf411’s website at https://leaf411.org/ and check out their Instagram (@leaf411org), Twitter (@leaf411org), Facebook (@leaf411org), and LinkedIn (@leaf411org)
Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She’s currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda’s not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
“[Leaf411.org is a] nurse run organization. We are all registered nurses. We give evidence based education to them. We’re really firm on that and we’re gonna tell you what you sometimes don’t want to hear.” – Katherine Golden
“I think it all boils down to just educating our public on a very simple level.” – Katherine Golden
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Katherine Golden 0:01
We triage everybody, we see where their comfort is. And if we walk them through and we say let’s tiptoe through this and make sure that you’re comfortable step by step, if you’re an experienced THC user, okay, then we’ll go there to talk about how it could be beneficial. So you have chronic pain. We know chronic pain, you need both. Your ideal is both CBD and THC. THC works on the receptor, CBD as an anti inflammatory but also helps THC work a little bit better as far as binding and stuff like that. So you need both but if you’re not ready for THC or you’re in a non legal state, for THC, then let’s talk about CBD. Because that is actually everyone’s comfort to start with. Because it’s federally legal. We know that there’s always questions about testing positive, things like that. There’s a lot of people that have to be very careful. The last thing we want anyone to do is lose their livelihood lose anything to do with supporting their families.
You’re listening to two B one B podcast for cannabis marketers, where your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi. Well Hello, everybody. Welcome
Shayda Torabi 1:32
back to another episode of The To be blunt podcast. My name is Shayda Torabi, and let’s talk about the 87th Texas legislative session. By the time this episode airs, it’ll be on Monday, the session will have been wrapped up. For all intents and purpose. However, I’m recording this introduction prior to the session ending so I can’t really speak to how things are going to net out completely. But I want to give you you know, just some perspective and my two cents on what’s kind of happening in the Texas Legislature. As it relates to the cannabis industry. There were three bills. One was specifically speaking on hemp, and it would increase the time for farmers to get their products tested had some other applications in regards to hemp being approved as animal feed. And when that Bill moved from the house to the Senate and amendment was added specifically targeting Delta eight tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. And while it was frustrating that that amendment got added, it didn’t shock me per se, because ever since Delta eight really hit the market, there’s obviously been a lot of discrepancy. I mean, most recently, the state of Colorado has legalized it. And so I think with that kind of trend, you’re seeing other states have already acknowledged some efficacy challenges around delta. So I don’t really want to speak to why Delta eight should or shouldn’t be legal based on the quality of delta eight, I really want to address why Delta eight should remain legal based on access to the full plant and giving consumers options and really leaning into not banning delta A but better regulating cannabis in general. So you had this initial bill that again, was primarily around hemp, and then kind of added this amendment on Delta eight. Then there was another bill on concentrates. I don’t know if you know this, but in the state of Texas, a cartridge full of delta nine THC is actually a felony. And so this would be a penalty reduction bill and it would move that from a felony to a class B misdemeanor. And in that bill, kind of in a last minute like last week of the legislative session, we saw an amendment also get added to that bill that addresses Delta eight THC as well. So now there’s two bills that are specifically against Delta eight THC and excetera is kind of like other THC. So like Delta 10 has also been brought into that conversation. And then there’s a third bill, it’s more the medical marijuana bill or initially, we wanted to see it increased from the legal limit, which is point 5%, delta nine THC to 5%, delta nine THC, and it will actually end up passing I believe with 1%. So it moved from point five to 1% instead of the full 5%. And it had a limited conditions list that was being expanded upon. So originally, medical marijuana in the state of Texas is only qualifying for epileptic patients, and a few other kind of fringe cases that pertain to that. And some other kind of incurable diseases is kind of a lump name that I think that they get generalized under. But we were really hoping to see it expand to include cancer, PTSD and chronic pain. And again, kind of what I’m recording this to my understanding it does include cancer. I believe it We’ll include PTSD, but they’ve for sure have omitted chronic pain. Again, maybe by the time this airs on Monday that will have updated. But that’s just again, like a flash of what is happening kind of these three bills where things have kind of netted out here in Texas. And so kind of going back to my point, whether Delta eight is actually banned or not, whether we remove it from the market or not, I think it really is a devastation not because consumers won’t have access to delta eight in particular as a cannabinoid. Although I’d love to, you know, hear your concerns if you do or don’t like delta A, because I’m always open to healthy discussion and conversation. But again, as a marketer, as a retailer, as a consumer myself, I believe that we should have as much education and access to all the different cannabinoids, they shouldn’t be able to be isolated out, we should be able to leverage them and, and figure out what works best for us as individuals ultimately, and what’s going to work in our bodies. And so that’s really where my frustration comes with this potential ban on Delta eight. It’s just it’s not the right move. I think the right move would be better regulation, better standardization in terms of testing in terms of actually regulating who is able to sell cannabis.
I just think you know, it’s really wild. And I get it, you know, you can see cannabis being sold in gas stations, I don’t know what the quality of delta A being sold in a gas station is. But I can bet it’s probably not a good quality. And on top of it, the vendors selling it probably don’t have any understanding of what actually is delta eight versus a dispenser like myself with research CBD. We’re as educated as we can be. We’re constantly steeped in the industry, trying to be a part of these conversations at the policy lawmaking level, and ultimately bringing that information back to our consumers. So that’s kind of my piece on everything that’s happening in Texas. And it was a very long introduction. But I think that it’s really pertinent before I mentioned who my guest is, because, again, I really believe in full plant access. And I believe in cannabis being really applicable for a lot of different things. But there’s over 160 cannabinoids, and whether you smoke it versus digest it, whether you take an isolate versus a full spectrum, there’s going to be different benefits your biochemistry through nutrition, your lifestyle is going to have variables that you know, determine how effective or not that particular cannabinoid or cannabis product is. And so that kind of touches then on the medical conversation, right? It’s like, we have a lot of customers that come into our retail shop. And they’re asking for us to help advise them, you know, they want to titrate off medication or they want to transition from their medication. And I unfortunately, legally by law, I can’t really have that conversation concretely with them. I’m not a medical professional, I can’t say hey, go tell your doctor this that on the other, you’re going to be on cannabis, you’re going to be on CBD, no, that’s a conversation for that consumer to have with their doctor, their provider. And so when I learned about leaf for one one.org, which is a nurse staffed, free cannabis hotline, for anybody literally in the United States to reach out, they have a phone and they have a chat service on their website. I was just besides myself, because this is the middle ground. This is the bridge that I’ve been seeking. And if you’re in the medical field, then you probably know that it is really murky. Still there aren’t a lot of reports and proper research done. Now with hemp being federally legal, you are seeing more research being done. But it still isn’t there. And so again, I mentioned that leap forward one is more of a bridge because it helps bridge that conversation for the consumer to be armed with the right information to have that conversation with their doctors in their medical providers. And it’s free. And so I’m really, really grateful and excited to have the CEO Katherine golden of Lee for one one. She’s also a registered nurse. And she is super knowledgeable. And we had a really good down to earth conversation just addressing the frustration that retailers and consumers and the medical world feel about how do we navigate cannabis. And so I hope this conversation is very enlightening and it empowers you and that you’ll go check out leaf 411 and interact with their staff. Again, they’re all trained professional operating nurses. And I just think this is a really great discussion to be able to present to the industry. So I hope you enjoy and without further ado, I’m going to introduce Catherine golden to the show. Hi, I’m
Unknown Speaker 9:21
Katherine golden. I am the CEO, executive director and founder of leaf for one one. We are the nation’s first first and only that we know right now cannabis nurse hotline that provides a free public service. We are a 501 c three nonprofit and Oh boy, where I started you know I have to be always transparent and as honest as possible. I’ve been a nurse for 25 years. And you know cannabis has been a very big topic in Colorado for quite some time. 2012 with some legislation and then 2016 with adult use. I voted against it. You know, I believed all the propaganda for being a nurse for at that time, 20 years thinking, gosh, you know, who would lie to us? Right? If this plant had potential medicinal benefits? Wouldn’t everyone including our governing bodies, and anyone just be telling us, hey, there’s something here that your patients can benefit from? So I believed everything they said, when they said, Oh, it’s evil, it there’s no medicinal benefits. And all of that never worked for me personally. In youth, you know, I experiment like everybody else does, and it just just didn’t suit my body. So I voted against it. I was like, Matt, you know, that’s just for people who want to disconnect from life and all of that. Then, five years ago, my brother in law was suddenly diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in his 40s, given two to five years to live, two kids in high school, and never a smoker. Nothing. My family was devastated. So, you know, they’re taking on this huge weight of information like, Holy moly, I’ve got cancer now. I’ve only got two to five years to live. I’ve got to take care of my family. They’ve never been in the medical world. So all this language that’s coming at them furiously and fast from everyone they saw and they were in Cal, they are in California. So they went to the top of the top as far as researchers in lung cancer. And they went to schools. Everyone’s heard of UCLA, USC, UC Irvine, they went to the top, only one of them a female scientists at USC said, You know what, we’ll look at cannabis, but as a last ditch effort, because we know nothing about it. So as my family is now getting all this information about immunotherapy, gene therapy, all language they never even knew. I said, let me take this one piece. I’m in Colorado, I’ve heard all kinds of talk about it. Let me see if there’s any validity to this cannabis stuff. So I took that one small piece. And when I looked in, I went to our usual go twos for science information. We’re talking what we call white papers, I want to see the black and white. It’s Science Direct PubMed. There’s wonderful ones now out now that even any consumer can look at which is fantastic. That actually has your studies with the dosing that they used on one called Canna keys, calm, amazing, um, they’re all subscription and you get access. But I started looking at the real science, and I was actually angered by it, I thought, How can this be? How can I be a nurse for 20? Some years, and people aren’t in the hospitals talking about, Hey, there could be this plan. You know, yeah, it’s not a magic potion. But there could be some potential benefits. And then when you look at the safety profile of it, you’re like, wait a minute, you mean, this is safer than taking Advil all day long, and eating up the your intestine linings, Tylenol all day long, for months on and years on end and damaging your liver? You know, to your saying that this plant is safe for them that there’s no lethal dose. I mean, even that is a huge weight off people’s shoulders and you’re like, wow, how can this be? So then I did a deep dive into it. At back then, you know, even five years ago, very little as far as professional education. So you had to get up on your own. So that’s what I did. I went to many conferences for medical professionals. I did whatever course I could find for certificates. Luckily, there’s much more now now you can get a bachelor’s, a master’s and associate it means phenomenal how it’s growing. But back then I did whatever I could. I ended up getting a job at a clinicians office here in Boulder, Colorado, that did functional medicine and cannabis medicine. He was floored when I came in his office. He said you’re a real nurse and you want to be in cannabis. I was like, Yeah, I do. You know, there’s something here. So then that started the journey. But when I was there, I kept hearing the patient saying, wow, you know, we’re not only struggling to pay the $300 an hour to talk to a physician, but then I got to go out and buy the medicine. And if anybody knows, even something like what we hear on the market, a syringe of what they call RSO Rick Simpson oil that a lot of cancer patients have to use. People don’t understand that one syringe if they’re using it the way they should be last some maybe five days, that’s orange could be $75. Can you imagine people on fixed incomes, having to buy that, but then they’re on top of all their other treatments for their disease? You know, so I started hearing that there is challenges with affordability. And then I was thinking, Oh, you know, okay, we have all these people coming to us that have the funds to come see a doctor at 150 for 30 minutes or 300 dollars an hour. What about everybody else? What are they doing? And then the other thing I thought too is, you know, as I was learning cannabis, I was able to fly to California, I took my brother in law, my sister to the number one physician out there, Dr. Bonnie Goldstein, I got them in with her, she took them under her care. And they knew nothing about cannabis. So they’re looking at these delivery services, and they’re like, Oh, my gosh, I get a delivery from this weird company. And they come to my gate, and they give us a bag. But we don’t even know what this is, you know, we just are kind of told by the doctor what to get, but we don’t know what we’re taking. So I was able to sit with them and explain everything. So then that’s got me thinking, Well, what about everybody else who doesn’t have someone like me in their family, you know, or doesn’t have a friend or a neighbor that they can come to? And ask medical questions about cannabis. You know, you read the labels, and you’re like, oh, what does this mean? milligrams, milliliters, I mean, to us, we know, you know, it’s second nature to us, because we’re in the industry, but to the average person who works in other industries that I would have no clue about, you know, it’s like a foreign language to them. So I thought, What can I do to provide large scale outreach. So my first idea was gutting an RV and turning it into a library. And then I was gonna stand in front of dispensary’s and say, I’m a nurse, please come for free and talk to me. And I’ll give you all this literature. And then I was telling that to my husband, he’s like, Huh, what about a phone line? Like, okay, that’d be a lot easier. So that’s where the idea started. And him and I kind of sat on the idea for a little while, because he’s a very, very successful businessman. And it was a for profit model at the time. And for some reason, it just didn’t sit right with me as like, oh, to I can’t charge the consumer to be educated about a product that they have to go by and try to fit in there. You know, finances right. How do I do that? What could I do that’s different. So that’s when I decided that you know what, it’s got to be a nonprofit. You know, at the time, I had a co founder, Jennifer axles, fantastic. She’s since moved on. But at the time, her and I were like, looking into, you know, okay, how do we provide this to all the consumers across the country, and I wanted a phone line. And so many people even her said, it’s kind of antiquated, should be an app, it should be this, it should be that, you know, young people aren’t going to want to call anyone on the phone. They don’t want to talk to people. And I’m like, I don’t know about that. I stuck to my guns. And I said, I want a phone line. Because I want it to be where if a mom is, you know, stuck in traffic driving, she has nobody in their car. But she’s wondering, can I take the CBD? or What is this about? You know, THC, and what is cannabis about, she can call for the privacy of her car, she can be on the soccer field over in a corner while her kids are playing. And she could make a call, or you know, I got a call when I was at that clinical practice, I got a call from a man who was on his tractor in his field, because he didn’t have reception in his house. So he could only call me from the field and asking me questions, like, how do I use this for my cancer? I’ve gotten a call from a guy who is driving cross country in a semi truck, you know, and that’s his job. And he’s like, this is the only time I can call, you know, I’m at my rest stops. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at, you know, my emails and, and online, he’s like, but I don’t even know, you know, the difference between CBD and THC. You know, so that’s when I was like, okay, we’re going in the right direction. You know, phone line is why I wanted to wanted to have this people can use a cell phone, a landline, a payphone that they want to use. So that’s how it all started. And then from there, we just exploded, you know, we started the 501, c three, took us about a year to get all of our compliance, we had our entire regulating bodies here in Colorado, look at the business plan, because I didn’t want to start a company, and then all of a sudden have it shut down. Because people said, Hey, you didn’t follow our regulations. We got the A Okay, a letter of compliance. A year later, we started the hotline. That was our first program. Since then it has exploded. On average, we have about 15 to 20 calls a day. Sounds like a little but really, it’s not when you talk when you talk about every call is an average about 40 minutes to an hour. Because people have questions. This is not their industry at all. So they’re asking everything from I didn’t know there was different routes, you know, there’s still that thinking that you have to inhale to get the medicinal benefits of the plant or to get any benefit. They don’t know that there’s oils and gummies and edibles and things like that, that can actually maybe benefit you more If you have a chronic condition, that’s what I’m teaching, we’re teaching a lot on the phone. Now I have a team of nurses. We have a chat. We have a phone line. We’ve built more programs. We have an outreach program, we have an affordability program, we have a nurse program. There you go.
Shayda Torabi 20:16
It’s incredible. Like truly when I first heard about leave 411, just to kind of connect the dots for the listeners. I was interviewing Krista Nichols from light shade, which is one of my favorite dispensaries. And so your business LIFO and one is based in Colorado. And so this dispensary is based in Colorado and from my perspective also as as a retailer as a marketer, obviously, you know, the connection between I have a medical question Can cannabis be the solution is one that comes up so frequently, and it puts us in a position of like, I want to help the consumer, but I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. And I also don’t want to miss inform them. And so it’s this kind of, you know, interesting storm that has developed and so and Krista mentioned that they were a part of leaf 411, I was like, shut the front door, I have to, I have to connect, I have to learn more. Because, again, from our perspective, you reflected really beautifully your position in Colorado, and obviously, Colorado being the first you know, rec state to open up. So I think all of the other states have kind of been watching, you know, what’s happening in Colorado, and then here I am in Texas. And it’s still I mean, I think it’s still the wild wild west for everybody, but especially in the states that don’t have a full medical or full recreation program. We have people who are asking, you know, is CBD going to get me high? Am I you know, allowed to be on this medication and consume these cannabinoids. And we try to delicately you know, address that through anecdotal quips here and there. But it certainly gets to a point where there are legit medical questions that the uncomfortable part. So we launched in August of 2018. And Austin is definitely much more progressive than the rest of Texas. And so you didn’t have resistance so much as you just didn’t have medical professionals who had any inclination or understanding of what we were really selling. I mean, eventually, they kind of, you know, got wind of Okay, well, I think CBD is all right, but especially in the early days, and really, when we launched that was kind of like where the market was really beginning, from a CBD perspective. There weren’t medical professionals who were educated on cannabis or educated on, you know, how it’s going to interact with your body. And you touched on it to the lack of journals or research that has been produced and put out there. And so it’s a little bit like, there wasn’t really anything for them to be reflected on because it wasn’t really being taught in their education as medical professionals. But now as these products are hitting the market, and obviously being categorized in some, you know, capacities as medicine, you’re like, Well, my doctors aren’t talking about it. My doctors don’t know when I have customers come in, and they’re asking me, can I use this product, I’m on this medication, I said, I’m not a doctor, you need to go talk to your doctor, you need to go talk to a medical professional, they’d go to the medical professional, the medical professionals, like I don’t know what the hell CBD is, like, you know, does a quick search and, you know, no disrespect to the medical profession. But even my doctor, I was just going and seeing my ob gyn and I’m, you know, trying to let her know, it’s a new relationship. I’m trying to let her know, hey, I consume cannabis. And she’s like, well, I don’t know a lot about it. So I can’t really speak to it. And so you obviously are still having a lot of people who they just don’t know. And so it’s changing. It’s evolving. I think you’re getting more and more medical professionals who are opening up to it more resources. Now, the transition that we’ve seen in our storefront to is I am having more medical professionals who are acknowledging, hey, CBD can be worthwhile, THC can be worthwhile, I don’t necessarily know enough. Why don’t you go talk to a retailer, like us that restart, hey, they know a lot about cannabis and kind of helping bridge that gap. And so, again, when I found y’all, it was like, dammit, this is incredible, and especially being a free service for that consumer to help navigate some of those conversations. And so I am curious from your perspective in terms of educating consumers, how do you also see it influencing that medical conversation? Because obviously, we need more medical professionals to be aware of it to help bridge that gap. Right. And so I want to kind of, you know, address that component because I think we need more medical professionals to be aware of cannabis.
Unknown Speaker 24:49
We do and it is our responsibility as licensed medical professional. When you have the public’s health in your hands. You should understand whatever new is on the land. escaping the, you know, cannabis is now part of the landscape, right? People can use it in every state. Even if you’re like Texas, you know, there’s no program or there’s no adult use people travel, and they use it and wherever they travel to, we know what’s really happening. So we want to at least educate everybody who has access to it. You know, I did get a lot of questions, pre pandemic, when we were doing some in person kind of education. Some people said, Well, you know, how come the medical professionals are late to the table? You know, why are they barely coming out? Now, you know, in, in defense of all the very wonderful medical professionals out there, you know, we’re a skeptical group, you know, when you’ve got patients health in your hands, when something is you’re just hearing about something, you are not going to jump on that bandwagon, say, Oh, yeah, you should use this too. It’s going to be years before they start seeing the science and really dig into it. So you’re asking, you know, these, say, we’ll just talk about physicians or even nurse practitioners to have their specialties into chronologist, you know, pulmonologist oncologist, you have all these guys that that’s their focus. And now they’re like, what I got to learn about cannabis, too, you know, how do I take that on, and that’s why we are that good resource for them, because we can show them where all of those research papers lie, you know, when we’re all the many educational courses they can take are for medical professionals. But we need to have our community empowered to where they feel comfortable having that conversation like you did with your doctor, let me tell you, when I first started in this, I hit the information and till I could read, even my vet, even my vet, I wasn’t a fourth out there with my information about what my dogs were on, much less than me unless I could read that clinician and say, Okay, I think they’re open minded. And if I have to, I’m going to have that conversation with them. Like, hey, and I had and I have, you know, I had a veterinarian, that pushback right away said, Oh, you have your dogs on CBD, like, yes. Well, I think that that’s dangerous. You know, do you know how many dogs I see come in here that ate THC. I think that’s kind of like a story. You know, a lot of people play. And I said, Well, actually, I’m a cannabis registered nurse. So you know, if you want to have a conversation about some of that education, let’s let’s go there. Even myself being in it, I withhold that information until I can read my clinician and see, okay, you know, do I want to just get through the appointment and get out? Or do I want to share everything, we encourage all of our callers to share all their information, but I’m also going to give them that language, so that clinician knows that they’re an educated consumer, you know, so that if that consumer goes to their primary doctor and says, Hey, you know, I’m taking CBD, the nurses told me, it goes through the same pathway as some of my pharmaceuticals, can you tell me if there’s an you know, I’m taking something that goes to the P 450. And we say, you don’t even have to know what that means. Don’t bother yourself with knowing what that means. Because your doctor knows what that means. You know, all you have to say, if they don’t know, CBD goes through the P 450. And then they’ll know all the pharmaceuticals they’ve written for you, which one also goes through that. And then there’s a potential for interaction, doesn’t mean you can’t take it. I don’t know of anything out there. To date that you cannot take cannabis with. There’s interactions, but there’s not contraindications. Those are totally different interactions. Just mean, we either got to space timing, or we got to watch blood levels. That’s all. So now you tell your doctor, hey, this is part of what your service is, can you watch my blood levels for me, and just make sure that my CBD isn’t causing that pharmaceutical to stay in my blood longer, or block it from even affecting me? That’s all. And then if it does, great, you know, do we need to increase my dose? Do we need to spread the timing far apart, take my CBD in the morning, take my pharmaceutical at night. So it doesn’t go through the pathway at the same time. There’s so many ways we can do that. The doctors know this because there’s a ton of pharmaceuticals that go through the same pathway. And they schedule things differently to to avoid each other. They can do the same with cannabis. So this is all the education we give our public.
Shayda Torabi 29:37
Yeah, you illustrated a really great example which is, again, from my perspective, I get people who are sharing with me that you know comfortability they’re maybe not as comfortable sharing with their doctor. So I think from one you know, point I think that’s really key. It is trying to figure out how to navigate when you are talking to your medical professionals, your doctors, your nurse practice. Just what is going on with your body? You know, and so trying to kind of highlight this is what’s happening in my body, these are the things that I am taking, that is an uncomfortable conversation because you You said it, I felt it when my doctor was asking me I’m thinking, and I’ll kind of play this out for you a little bit too. You know, I’m at an age where I want to, you know, check my fertility, I want to make sure that my body is operating according to, you know, the plan essentially. And I want to make sure that I’m not gonna have anything conflicting Should I want to get pregnant and so seeing my ob gyn for the first time establishing relationship, I’m trying to very delicately address you know, I didn’t really fill out say I consume THC in these capacities, but I was sharing, you know, I take CBD and this is a federally legal product as long as it has less than point 3% THC. And so trying to, you know, just interesting, it’s like I’m trying to educate her on what I’m doing. And also gauge her knowledge and understanding. I’m not somebody who’s on a ton of medication so I can understand the complexity that it adds if someone were to be on medication you’re trying to understand if there would be any conflict I’m glad you kind of addressed that point because I didn’t necessarily even know that to have that question comes up a lot you know, I’m on this medication can I be taking CBD and but I think being able to understand kind of how it will work in your body and present that information back to the medical professional to help kind of have an open dialogue conversation is really how we’re going to continue to see I think the adoption of it grow and certainly awareness of it grow.
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast, restart CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin, Texas. We operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm. Again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt. I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. Now another kind of position that I find you know, we sell CBD right here in Texas. It’s it’s super accessible. It’s super popular. But I think that there is still this stigma around it from a medical perspective because Is it a drug is it should it be a pharmaceutical and so from your experience navigating these conversations with both medical professionals, as well as consumers as well as brands, I mean, there is still a lot of variability in cannabis. Now, I know and I’m not a medical professional, but I know that there’s not a lot of impact to consuming cannabis. But the industry is very broad. There’s a lot of products on the market. There’s a lot of products, there’s a lot of new cannabinoids coming to market. And there’s a lot of, you know, conditions is kind of the word I’ll probably choose to use a lot of conditions for why someone would be wanting to use cannabis. And so you’re getting into there’s medical marijuana versus CBD versus you know, trace amounts of THC, you brought up RSO oil. And so from a medical perspective, how do you start to navigate that conversation when someone is calling in and wanting to understand, you know, how do you fit them into products,
Unknown Speaker 33:37
we triage everybody, we see where their comfort is in if we walk them through and we say let’s tiptoe through this and make sure that you’re comfortable step by step if you’re an experienced THC user, okay, then we’ll go there to talk about how it could be beneficial. Say you have chronic pain. We know chronic pain, you need both. Your ideal is both CBD and THC. THC works on the receptor, CBD as an anti inflammatory but also helps THC work a little bit better as far as binding and stuff like that. So you need both. But if you’re not ready for THC or you’re in a non legal state, for THC, then let’s talk about CBD. Because that is actually everyone’s comfort to start with. Because it’s federally legal. We know that there’s always questions about testing positive, things like that. There’s a lot of people that have to be very careful. The last thing we want anyone to do is lose their livelihood, lose anything to do with supporting their families, you know, so we talk about different CBD products, compositions, whether there’s a broad spectrum product versus a nice lip product versus a full spectrum product, how that differs in your body, how that differs with your condition, and why there’s a market for each of them. You know, there’s a market for the person that needs to isolate because no way no How can they afford Risk testing hot, you know, and even with a full spectrum CBD product, if you’re treating something as serious as cancer, and you’re using 100 milligrams a day of CBD, and it’s a full spectrum, so it only has in its a Hampton and only have that less than 0.3% THC, you’re taking a lot of it over six months time, you could test positive, people have to know that. So there is a market for an isolated and I we have to let people know about that. So it’s really gauging where that comfort level is. But honestly, the bridge to that cannabis journey starts with CBD hemp, CBD hemp is a good place to start, it’s a wonderful place to start. It’s that supplement that that body needs, you know, we call it a very promiscuous kind of compound, because it does a whole lot in your body, you know, it’s not picky where it goes, it goes to a lot of different areas, not like THC, where it hooks onto a certain receptor, you know, CBD kind of just, if you picture it, you know, and we try to give visualizations to people, you know, it floats around in your body, and it goes to where it’s needed. So that’s why it’s a wonderful place to start, then when you’re ready. And if you’re able to legally go into THC, we’re going to guide you on how to do that safely, how to start low, how to start testing your body, testing your tolerance to it. And then also educating that you don’t have to be impaired or intoxicated to get a medicinal benefit. I mean, that’s you and I know that it’s amazing how half the country doesn’t, you know, half the country still thinks, like I was saying earlier, that the only they think the only product out there is actual just flour. They don’t know that there’s oils, patches, you know, edibles, they have no idea that stuff exists
Shayda Torabi 36:51
when we first launched in the industry. To be fair, we launched as an isolate first CBD brand, because we saw that full spectrum was really the only thing being touted. And it’s not that I don’t believe that full spectrum is more medicinal, but I take the same approaches you have there’s a graduation, and depending on your situation and circumstances, you should be educated to know that yes, this is a product that contains trace amounts of THC should you be consuming it in high doses over a period of time, it could show up in your system, and you could fail a drug test. And that’s again, where connecting with y’all has been so valuable, because it helps continue that discussion and that dialogue in a more secure manner where it gives the people some confidence of Okay, well, I might not have explicit one way or another. But this at least helps me kind of, you know, bridge that gap. And so I think I was going to share was and kind of, you know, get your thoughts on. Because hemp is federally legal, marijuana is not but you are seeing more states flip. There still are issues and contention points rather where you know, we don’t really have coverage. And so the narrative in the story I’ll highlight is, we had heard from a woman who this was not our product, because I think, again, highlighting for my audience, when you’re in a position of selling a cannabis product to a consumer, you need to be as educated as possible, and also have a great group have resources that you can pass consumers off to, to help them make the best decision for them. And so we’ve heard of people who have been sold products, again, not by us, but just in general not fully educated. So on one hand, you have people who might have a buzzy experience where otherwise maybe they didn’t want to so delta eight is very popular right now in the market, especially here in Texas and I have heard stories of people selling them delta A not telling them what it is. And, you know, they think they’re taking a CBD kind of relaxation effect. And next thing they know, they’re kind of you know, having a trip out. And that’s not the desired outcome. But specifically, I had a woman who came in she was sharing, she is seeing a pain doctor, and she’s here in Texas, but she didn’t realize that delta A and just trace amounts of THC can build up in her system and flag for THC, because the tests vary. So I think drug testing is also an interesting topic because it’s not consistent. And depending on who your employer is, or what drug test is using and what they’re actually testing for. That could be a challenge. But this woman was sharing. She failed her drug test and now she can’t get her pain medication. And she’s like, nobody told me this was the reality and like, What do I do? My doctor doesn’t care that I tell him it was you know, CBD or legal, you know, THC, and now she’s kind of, you know, shit out of luck. I feel bad for this woman. She basically is just trying to, you know, help champion, make sure you’re educating consumers properly and so just kind of from your observation. experience, how do you kind of help navigate that conversation? Or what is your experience having that conversation?
Unknown Speaker 40:07
Yeah, I think that that was early on, I learned that that was a frustrating point was pain clinics, you know, the the cannabis clinicians office that I worked in, we were on the second floor, and there was a big pain clinic on the bottom floor. And there was definitely stress there, you know, because they, they knew what we were doing. And we knew, from hearing from their patients that they get tested all the time, you know, to be able to be eligible to be in their pain clinic, and THC, you know, flags that right away, as much as we could try to educate them and saying, well, these, these patients aren’t using it, um, for a detachment of, you know, from life, they’re not using it in an abusive way, they’re using it for a medicinal benefit that they’re gaining. It didn’t matter, you know, because they have the rules they stand by. So, you know, that’s what’s really frustrating there. But we need to educate our public, you know, that’s where it starts with to tell them the difference between, okay, that’s where I told you about the triage thing. What is it that you do in life? You know, what are your activities of daily living? What is employment? You know, are you getting drug tested? You know, is there a potential for that? Well, you know, we have to know that so we can guide you accordingly and know where to educate you. I think it all boils down to just educate them on a very simplified level, I’d like to really explain to even our clinicians and my colleagues how we know the science, we know the endocannabinoid system, we know how the receptors work, you and I know that the average consumer because they’re not in medicine, this isn’t their wheelhouse, it’s not really something that they want to know. They just want to know, tell me, which can AB annoyed, or they don’t even know that word. But, you know, tell me which part of the plant to use, we have to make sure that language is simplified for them to understand. So they don’t accidentally cross that line. Because we had lots of people that I’ve heard plenty of these stories of people testing positive, saying they just took a CBD product. And at first, I was like, you know, when I first started getting in the industry, I’m like, how could that happen? But now I know, even when I look at CEOs, which I’m so glad you guys have CEOs available on your website, you know, when you look at certificates of analysis, you can even see with a hemp product, okay? If I take enough of this product, even though it’s federally legal, it’s below, you know, your dry weight right below the 0.3%. But when it’s formulated, if I take a full dropper full, you know, I could get one milligram of THC, you know, so yeah, I can feel that, I have to know that. That’s why every member that we have, we look at those co CEOs, because I want to make sure that if it’s my, you know, 8090 year old who’s calling me taking a CBD product for the first time, do you know how many people start off with a full dropper just, you know, to droppers at a time? Because, right, you know, our society thinks more is better, more is better. You know, everything, you know, in abundance is better. So they start off like almost taking the whole bottle saying, Okay, this is going to take away my pain. Little do they know, well, you could end up being taking, you know, 123 milligrams of THC. And then Phil impaired. There goes your day, you know, because you can’t be driving and things like that. So all of these little nuances we have to educate to
Shayda Torabi 43:28
Yeah, you’re emphasizing a lot of things that we for sure, take super to heart because it’s an interesting market when you have the word medicine being thrown around. It’s also adult use slash recreation, you have medical professionals who are obviously prescribing medication. I think another thing to highlight is, I never want someone to think and you said earlier, which I appreciate it. I never want someone to think that cannabis is this magic pill. I never want someone to think that cannabis is the end all be all, I certainly have a lot of conversations, as I know you do too, where someone is on medication, they don’t want to be on medication anymore. They would like to titrate off their medication. Again, I’m always like, I’m not a medical professional. I can’t tell you to get off your medication specifically, like, you know, I think people like CBD for anxiety and they don’t want to be on their anxiety medication for this, that and the other because there are side effects more so with medication than was a plant. We’re trying to navigate that conversation and ultimately be able to educate that consumer with enough information. That is I’m not saying get off your medication. I’m not saying cannabis is better than medication. I fully believe that there’s a time and a place for medicine. I think that it exists for a purpose. And so I think that there has been some resistance kind of in the industry perhaps of Oh, these people are you know, trying to take this aspect away by introducing this plant but obviously we know to the plant has these medicinal properties and so it’s trying to figure out, what do we know about it? What do we know about the body? What do we know about these Endocannabinoid systems and then kind of Have you use the word triage how you triage kind of through that conversation, which is it’s just it’s fascinating because there really isn’t a explicit Oh, if you’re on this medication, you should be on CBD or THC instead or you need to be on half and half or you need to be on this particular dose. And I think when you have people who are used to the medical side of the conversation, they’re being prescribed something, they then come into a retailer or a dispensary, and then they also want to be prescribed something. And I’m like, I can’t prescribe you anything. I can explain to you what I know. Here’s my world. Here’s cannabis, this is your body. In fact, I often you know, reference us being CBD, Sherpas, cannabis Sherpas, I’m like, you have to go on the mountain. It is your mountain. It’s your body. It’s your journey. I’m here to guide you to express hear like you said, you learn their story. You say I’m you know, getting drug tested for my job. Okay, well, I, I would personally not take a full spectrum product. Maybe you’re not taking in enough dose to fly to drug test. But I need you to know that that is a possibility. And give them that empowerment to ultimately make those decisions. But it is just so fascinating because it feels like this industry is moving at such a rapid pace. And we’re trying to catch up not only educating consumers on these products, but now there’s new cannabinoids hitting the market. And so it’s just kind of trying to make sense of all of it for the consumer. But you brought up seaways and kind of testing and so quality of products. I’m curious from your experience, how that conversation generally goes with the consumer, whether it’s an education on just, you know, looking out for certain types of percentages or certain types of products, because from my experience, as well, we get told as an industry to have CEOs. I think from a hemp and CBD perspective, it’s more so enforced and encouraged. But to be very frank, and honest, I spend a lot of time in legal states, I spent a lot of time in Colorado over the last, you know, six, seven years, it’s been rec legal. And nobody’s ever presented a CFA to me, no one’s really, you know, connected or educated that and so, it’s helpful if you’re having that conversation of qualifying, but at the same time, it’s, it’s not as easily, you know, accessible. So,
Unknown Speaker 47:27
yeah, that’s a good question. So, you know, we educate that, you know, the brands that have third party testing the brands that offer a CEO a, they’re not going to be readily available, you can go, every dispensary item, as far as you know, here in Colorado, you can go in there, and they’re not going to have the certificates of analysis readily available. But if you ask them for when they have it in their back, you know, a copy for them. Or they can give you the brand’s phone number and say the brand has them, you know, as long as the brand has that available to the public, meaning they’re being transparent. That’s key. So that’s our number one. Does this brand at least offer or this business offer to show you a third party testing? If they say no, usually, if they’re buying a gas station product? Yeah, I don’t, I can’t get any kind of lab off of this, then you don’t even know what you’re taking. But if there’s a company out there that says, hey, we have third party testing available for you to see, just ask for it. Or if you have a dispensary that says Oh, yeah, we can get you third party testing. Yeah, there usually needs to be a step. They’re not all going to have it readily available. Some companies do have it with each product on their website and things like that. But as long as that company is willing to be transparent with you, then you know, okay, this company at least is a step in the right direction versus the ones that, gosh, who knows what you’re taking. So we tell people it’s important because the consumer is super savvy and they’re getting more and more savvy. We talked to almost all 50 states now every day across the country. And there are people now that are exploring cannabis use CBD hemp or marijuana, which just so to explain to your listeners, we do the same thing we consider CBD hemp, we put it in that category and marijuana is anything that’s sold in a dispensary even though we all want to switch to cannabis because marijuana has those, you know, derives from racist comments and things like that. There’s a racial racist history to that. That’s still the word that is used by our governing bodies. So it’s not here in Colorado. It’s not the cannabis Enforcement Division. It’s the marijuana Enforcement Division. So anyway, so we always want to make sure that our public understands when they get a CRA or they have that transparency given to them that company at least is one that they should start gravitating to, you know and and then what do they do with that? So you’re right okay, now they have the CIA, what are they doing? It or they can get it that the consumers now are having, you know, autoimmune disorders, they’ve got to see what pesticides are in there, they have to know what additives are in there. So that’s when the CIA becomes incredibly important is when you have somebody that is fighting cancer, that’s fighting any kind of autoimmune condition that they need to see everything that it’s tested for, what are the heavy metals in there? You know, what, what are the contents of all of these LEDs, things like that, you know, so for a company to be transparent, say, hey, we’ve got this third party testing for you to see if you want it great. Ask for it. That’s those are the consumers who need that. So that’s why we educate to know if there’s a certificate analysis available for your product. And the other thing too, like you’re saying, there’s a lot of, you know, bad actors in every industry, and unfortunately, in cannabis, too, and CBD hemp, you know, you want to make sure that there really is CBD in the product. I just looked at one the other day, I had a caller and said, Oh, you know, I had to get the least expensive one I could find online. And I looked at that website. And I said, Oh, dear, I said, I think this is just a gummy. I think I see artificial flavors, I see corn syrup, I see all these ingredients. And then at the very end of this huge paragraph of ingredients, nothing. All of it was chemicals. the very end it said and CBD. Like it doesn’t even tell you how much CBD is in the product. There is no Phyto cannabinoids listed on the product, there’s nothing Do you have to be very careful. So that’s why, you know, certificates of analysis can be very useful for that savvy consumer that says, You know what, I’m dealing with a whole bunch of different issues conditions here. And I’ve got to know what I’m putting in my body. Um, so those are wonderful to look back and see, you know, that they’ve passed all the pesticide testing and all of that.
Shayda Torabi 51:55
Yeah, I’m just so glad that y’all exist to help champion that conversation. Because I do think that having it is important at so many different touch points. So it’s not just you know, with your doctor or with a medical professional, or through a resource, it should be also through your retailer to the brands that you’re shopping to the products that you’re choosing to put in your bodies. And so just helping that end consumer kind of understand how to navigate it, I think is just so key and highlighting on transparency, it is so appalling. The amount of CBD products that have hit the market the amount of products that get brought to my store, whether it’s a consumer saying I bought this a while road tripping through random state, I don’t know what’s in it and I look at it, I’m like, there’s no CBD in it. Or worse they are like I bought it from this gas station. I bought it from Amazon. I just saw Amazon. Amazon selling hemp Amazon’s now selling Delta eight. I’m like, WTF I would never buy it from Amazon. But I know there are consumers out there who find themselves in these positions. And that’s I think where I always come from is, yes, I’m a business owner in the industry, but I’m a consumer first. And so I care about the consumer journey and the consumer experience. Because I’m I’m on that journey. And when I look at products, I’m trying to do that, you know, research and corroboration does the label say what the CIA says? Do these ingredients resonate with what I want to put in my body? Is this the right consumption method for me and, and yes, I’m more educated than the general consumer who might be calling Li 411. But to know that there are people out there, like us who are trying to help highlight and educate and have this conversation, giving you more kudos, though, because I really think you’re helping address from that medical side, which is just so important, because that’s where we get hung up. I mean, part of it is the legality. Like I legally can’t tell someone that this can have this particular impact on them. But I feel bad when they’re, they’re just so helpless. They’re like, well, I want to try it. But I don’t know what the repercussions could be. This is my situation, I really like empathize for that consumer. And so trying to be a brand that wants to bridge that gap to the medical professionals. I’m constantly I receive a lot of referrals now from doctors and medical professionals who’ve identified but then I’m like, let me help educate you back. Like how do I help empower you like Thanks for getting clued into this conversation but knowing for every one medical professional that is you know, in favor of it. I mean, you even highlighted your own journey, you know, kicking the conversation off how hesitant you were and reluctant and even voted against it. It’s like, dang it like I know that there are those you know, people who are existing and it’s no disrespect to them. It’s just they don’t have that understanding or that knowledge and I do think that most people make that transition when they end up having you know, someone in their immediate family or friend group who is kind of going through something that requires that discussion around cannabis for medical purposes, but it’s it’s exciting. To see more consistency, and I think consistency and what we’re communicating what we’re talking about, and trying to help that consumer then apply and digest that information back to their own bodies, because it is such a variable and people again, they want that one size fits all my doctor gives me a prescription a Can you give me prescription a and I’m like, I, I can guide you, but I can’t help, you know, tell you exactly explicitly what’s going to be it. So I’m really grateful that you know, Li 411 exists as a free service for anybody like that was the other thing I was just so shocked and, and I know that you have memberships and things that you set up to empower, you know, the brands, the manufacturers and the retailers and dispensaries to partner in leverage Li 411. And so like people listening, it’s all about the consumer, yeah, like call contact.
When we first connected, I was like, Okay, I’m gonna ask some questions, because I always have, you know, areas that I can be better educated and learn and, and so it’s just, it’s been very enriching to be able to see your service and to get to be able to partner with you guys. And to be championing the work that you’re doing to really help, you know, shift the stigma from your, you know, corner of the world. And so, I don’t know if there’s anything you want to add or kind of leave the listeners with. But otherwise, I think everybody should definitely go to leave for one one.org and start a chat or call the phone number and just start to have an educated conversation. And my two cents for retailers and brands listening out there is, you know, you carry a weight of position of influence with these consumers, please don’t fuck it up and be Miss educating and misinforming. If you don’t know the answer to something, pass them on to someone, point them right. Don’t tell them that this product is going to help them and then it potentially will hurt them. And so it’s just kind of helping continue that that dialogue and championing the plants?
Unknown Speaker 56:55
Yeah, no, thank you was wonderfully said. And I think, you know, just to let the consumers know that, you know, we’re a nurse run organization, we’re all registered nurses, we give evidence based education to them, we’re really firm on that. And we’re going to tell you what, sometimes you don’t want to hear, which is you need to see a cannabis clinician, you need that hand holding, you need that exact dosage, exact frequency all of it, or Hey, no, I think you know, you’re able to do this on your own. And I’m going to guide you on how to do that, you know, so we’re going to be very honest with our consumers and our public just like we are in the hospitals, you know, and that’s why I’m so proud that we have this nurse organization, the nurses are the ones that are stepping up, because that’s who we are. We’re educators, we’ve been educators all along. And now we’re using cannabis to say, Hey, we’re going to educate you, and empower you with that information. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to a doctor nurses do, I used to do that on the floor all the time, when I was a floor nurse, I’d walk into every single patient’s room and I’d say, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, you know, they’re not scary being you want to start conversations. So that’s why coming to us and getting some of that language. Now you have that language that shows them, hey, I’ve done my research, I can talk to you, um, you know, on a on a different level now because now I can I can help you understand why I’ve chosen to integrate cannabis into my regimen. And that’s one thing we talked about. It’s a great adjunct therapy, we tell everyone, don’t just throw away your pharmaceuticals, you can start filtering them in, you know, and and, you know, really coupling things together. So synergistically, they work phenomenally, then, like you said, talk to your prescribing physician to start weaning you off. We tell them all the time, talk to whoever prescribed you that pharmaceutical, that’s who you need to work with, to start reducing, if you start seeing that the CBD is really helping your pain now, just very proud that we can be a nurse organization, they’ll kind of lead the cause, you know, we’re voted, you know, number one trusted profession for 19 years in a row now and it’s because we’re honest, we tell it like it is and we handhold and we’re at your bedside and we’re at your phone and you know we’re at your computer chatting with you. And we’re going to walk you through this journey.
Shayda Torabi 59:20
I’m going to keep the exit super short and sweet. Thank you so much Catherine for joining us and to anybody out there who is curious kind of where things have netted here in Texas. Please check out some of my resources that I personally follow. Texas hemp coalition. I am a member of their board they’ve been doing a wonderful job keeping us updated. Texas normal has been another great resource and Texas cannabis collective. If you’re looking for more information on what is happening from a legal legislative perspective of cannabis in Texas, those are the resources to follow. And then please go check out leaf for one one.org it is a truly great organization that is there to help the end consumer navigate the cannabis journey as It relates to their medical and well being. So thank you for tuning in to another episode. I will see you guys next Monday with a another new episode. If you are new here I thank you for tuning in for finding the podcast and for spending the time with us. So see you guys next week and talk to y’all later. Bye.
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