In the latest episode of Call Me Cannabinoids, we sat down with Dr. Joe to talk about CBD research, delivery methods, and cannabinoid receptors. Dr. Joe is a retired surgeon and chemist, in addition to being the CEO and founder of a number of different health brands.
Dr. Joe is passionate about helping educate the public about the scientific backing for CBD as a wellness-boosting compound and the importance of maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system.
CBD Research and Documentation
Dr. Joe points out that, contrary to popular criticism, CBD and its effects are well-documented.
“If you go to PubMed and do a literature search on CBD, there’s basically over ten to 12,000 peer-reviewed articles on CBD in the literature,” he says.
Some critics downplay the number of academic papers and available research on CBD’s effects and delivery, framing the existing research as inadequate and insufficient. While that information may not extend to human clinical trials, ten to 12,000 existing resources can still provide a wide breadth of information.
Some of the existing research appears to support the idea of using extracts formulated as closely to the whole plant as possible. These extracts are often referred to as full-spectrum and are widely regarded as more nutritionally beneficial than a lab-created CBD isolate.
Dr. Joe is quick to point out that research into CBD isolates has yielded troubling data.
“If you take an isolate–which is just a single compound and how most of the drugs are made in the pharmaceutical world–then you get the lowest response rates and the highest incidence or frequency of complications,” says Dr. Joe.
Concerning the nature and quality of the research and the entities that conducted it, Dr. Joe points out that the United States government actually used tax dollars to fund some of this very same research–research that proved some of the benefits of CBD–at the turn of the century.
CBD Delivery Systems
The best method that a substance is delivered into the body is a critical factor in determining both serving size and the most effective ways to deliver such a substance. Studying the most effective CBD delivery systems can help us maximize its impact.
We stand to learn quite a bit about the best way to deliver CBD to the body from studying the delivery systems for other chemicals, according to Dr. Joe.
“CBD is a chemical,” he says. “It’s delivered through delivery systems that can be used for any other chemical.”
According to Dr. Joe, studies have found that about 10% of sublingual CBD supplements, like tinctures and CBD water that you swish in your mouth, are absorbed into the bloodstream from beneath the tongue.
Oral delivery systems like capsules, which are broken down in the digestive tract, absorb at a one to 10% rate.
“When [orally-delivered CBD] hits the stomach, the acid destroys a portion of the CBD,” he says. “No one’s really studied how much it destroys. So once it gets through your stomach, it goes into your intestines where it’s absorbed and then it goes to your liver. Once it’s in your liver, it gets destroyed further.
“Oral preparations of CBD are really questionable if you want to use them on a long-term basis because you just don’t get much of it into your bloodstream to be effective.”
Vaping yields a higher absorption rate of 30%.
“When you inhale the CBD into your lungs, your lungs are just basically two big sponges of blood vessels,” he says. “That CBD gets absorbed rapidly into your bloodstream.”
Transdermal formulas are another effective, efficient delivery method, though Dr. Joe says their efficiency is why the FDA considers transdermal CBD to be a drug.
Dr. Joe’s team has studied nanotechnology, using water as their delivery system, and they’ve found it to be an effective approach.
“We’ve actually done absorption studies to show about 95% absorption using our nano-drug delivery system,” he says.
Aside from water nano delivery, Dr. Joe’s team is researching time-release oral caplets, lotion, and suppository delivery methods.
“Suppositories are really great because they bypass the liver and the circulation in your lower intestine so your liver won’t have a chance to destroy the CBD before it goes into the body,” he says.
“Even though it’s not pleasant for everybody to get suppositories, it’s a great delivery system if you want to use it to provide CBD in high concentrations.”
Further Insights into Endocannabinoid Deficiency
The discussion of how to best administer CBD can be moot if we don’t understand why we’re consuming CBD in the first place. According to Dr. Joe, our own endocannabinoid systems are a prime reason why we should be supporting the body’s needs with CBD.
There appears to be a correlation between a deficit in cannabinoids in the body and a variety of disorders. Now, it’s possible to conduct blood tests that reveal whether a person is experiencing endocannabinoid deficiency–the body’s inability to make adequate, naturally-occurring cannabinoids.
When we’re looking to replenish our natural cannabinoids, Dr. Joe says it’s critical to choose safe, quality products.
“Everybody should be trying CBD to see if it actually makes a difference,” he says. “That intuitively makes sense because we all have quadrillions of CBD receptors. The hard part is making sure you’re getting good products.”