Episode 45 - Why “K2” and “Spice” Are So Much Scarier than Real Cannabis. Plus 3 Crucial Things You Must Know Before Buying CBD
Neuroscientist Dr. Greg Gerdeman makes the scientific case for legalization and regulation.
Interview content begins at 20:58.
Greg Gerdeman, PhD was one of the first people to make me aware that the runner’s high is not the result of endorphins, but is in fact, brought on by endocannabinoids -- the molecules produced by our own bodies that mimic the effects of THC and CBD found in the plant. Since then, Greg, a former tenured professor at Eckerd College and now Chief Science officer at 3 Boys Farm, an organic greenhouse-based cannabis provider in Florida, has become a trusted friend and colleague. He is one of those rare people who can make complex biochemistry of cannabis understandable, even sexy.
That's why Greg was the first person I called when I wanted to understand the difference between the scary synthetics like K2 or Spice and real cannabis. As he explains in this fascinating interview, these fake cannabinoids were first produced in labs by renown scientists who were looking to locate and understand the way that endocannabinoid system of receptors in our brains and bodies work. But unlike THC or CBD, the synthetics were designed to attach to stick to the receptors for a very long time. That’s why they are 10,000 more potent than natural cannabinoids and so much more dangerous.
Even more dodgy are the haphazard ways they are made: Bad actors in Southeast Asia get access to these synthetic cannabinoids and then spray them on herbs in random, unknown quantities. Some doses may be mild; others deadly. No oversight = no quality control. They are exported are then sold here in gas stations and convenience stores to the uninformed looking for a cheap high. As Greg points out, this illicit trade is the result of prohibition. If everyone could legally obtain cannabis, the need for synthetic substitutes evaporates.
In this wide ranging interview (which is reflective of Greg’s wide ranging brain) he also explains the differences between “full spectrum CBD” and CBD products made from “isolates” and “distillates.” He warns why the product labeled "organic" featuring a cute couple hiking The Rockies, might not be what’s advertised.
To read all of Dr. Gerdeman's papers click here.