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The Health Benefits of Cannibis and CBD Oil

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Brandon Nolte from Healthy Hemp Oil joins us on Episode 21 of the Optimal Performance Podcast to discuss the many health benefits of the cannabis plant and cannabadoil, aka, CBD Oil.

Let's get a few things out in the open before we start...

The cannabis plant boasts a myriad of health benefits. The goal of this podcast is to discuss the full range of those benefits, to expose LEGAL applications of those benefits and to decrease the stigma (the whole reason I have to write this disclaimer) attached to medicinal or alternative health applications of the cannabis plant.

That said, we're not doctors and we're not advising anything outside of the law. Got it? OK, let's do this...

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What You'll Hear From Brandon and learn about CBD Oil in this episode:

  • Becoming the CBD guy
  • What is CBD? And why NOT ALL cannabis is marijuana...
  • So what IS the difference between hemp and marijuana?
  • IS CBD OIL LEGAL?
  • Why some people actually NEED THC instead of CBD
  • Why your hemp protein is NOT American...
  • Different types of CBD products: sprays, tinctures, gums...which is right for YOU and how to determine the right dosage for YOU
  • How does CBD improve performance?
  • Should we be Marijuana juicing? You know, like Kale Shakes...but with cannabis!
  • Is CBD another polarizing & highly questionable "deer antler spray" supplement?
  • Why you SHOULD be skeptical
  • Using CBD Oil to ease "performance anxiety" before the big game or public speaking
  • Get more of Brandon & Healthy Hemp Oil
  • Brandon's Top 3 tips to Live Optimal

Links & Resources:

Healthy Hemp Oil dot com

Special PDF for OPP listeners

Project CBD (dot) Org

Natural Stacks Performance Optimizers

Krill Oil

Serotonin Brain Food

Natural Protein

Health Benefits of Cannabis & CBD Oil

Ryan : You are listening to the Optimal Performance Podcast sponsored by Natural Stacks. If you're into biohacking, performance or getting more out of life, this is the show for you! For more on optimal performance, check out the Optimal Performance blog at optimalperformance.com

Alright, happy Thursday all you optimal performers! I'm your host Ryan Munsey, I want to welcome you to another episode of the Optimal Performance Podcast. Today we're joined all the way from Thailand by our guest Brandon Nolte. So Brandon, say hello, thanks a lot for joining us from halfway around the world.

Brandon: Oh, thank you! Yeah, I'm glad to be here, Ryan!

Ryan: So for our listeners, Brandon is one of the guys behind the scenes at Healthy Hemp Oil. We're gonna be talking a lot today about cannabis, hemp products, CBD oil and all the many benefits that it has for optimal performers like us. Before we really dive into today's content, couple of housekeeping notes. As always, go to optimalperformance.com for the video and blog version of this, you'll be able to see us talking and grab links to any of the resources that we talk about today. I'm sure Brandon's gonna share a lot of websites or links or products that we may want to visit so we'll have one-click links to those at optimalperformance.com. And of course make sure you head on over to iTunes, give us 5* reviews and let us know how much you like the show. We will read your reviews on the air. We've got 2 of them for you today. One from timcuser: 'Great podcast, great company, great products. 5 stars.' And another one from davidgrotnov: 'Very informative, thanks for all you do.' So if you guys have not done so yet, please head over to iTunes, give us a great review, that really helps us on iTunes. And with that, let's turn it over to Brandon. Brandon, how did you become the Healthy Hemp Oil guy?

Brandon: [laughs] I've never been called that before. But how did I get into hemp in general?

Ryan: Yeah, yeah!

Brandon: You know, as most things happen kind of through something that sparks something else and sparks something else, I was freelancing at the time and was practicing copyrighting actually and ended up writing copy for a guy who was selling a product, a CBD product and I, you know in the process of copyrighting you're supposed to do your due diligence and you analyze your audience and who they are and what their needs are and all this stuff. And in going through all this analysis I was kind of like: 'What is this product? I've never heard of this before. Why haven't I heard of this before?' And it's kind of like, um, it's kind of like when you discover something that is - it's like a secret. It's kind of like discovering something that you've - you think you should know but you don't know for some reason. And you know, eventually, you know, down the line maybe 6 months later it turns out that I, you know, ended up partnering with this guy and, you know, we - we started a business and um, moved forward with it. But yeah, initially it all just started from copyrighting and doing some freelancing so you never know where things will start.

Ryan: I like that answer. And, you know, it's interesting the way you phrase that, you know: 'something that we should know.' I mean, the hemp plant has been around for a long time, there's research and anecdotal evidence, you know people talking about it way, way back. You mentioned CDB. So for our listeners, you know, first, what is CBD? And, you know, then we'll get into some of the benefits of, you know, some of those products that you ended up researching for your copyrighting.

Brandon: So, CBD is a chemical compound that's found both within marijuana and hemp. So, I like to think of - it's kind of confusing when people talk about cannabis, they talk about cannabis and the use it interchangeably with marijuana and really cannabis is kind of like the over-arching, you know, the basically the family and that can be broken down into the varieties of hemp and marijuana, both of which contain different amounts of these chemical compounds, one of which is CBD. So CBD is just one of - and I think it's about 75 or 80 different compounds that scientists are finding. The other one that you guys are familiar with is obviously THC, which is responsible for the chemical, the psychological, the - 

Ryan: Psychoactive?

Brandon: Psychoactive, thank you! The psychoactive elements, which CBD doesn't have. So to recap, CBD is a chemical compound found both within marijuana and hemp in different quantities depending on the strain and the variety.

Ryan: Okay, very cool. So, what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Brandon: At a broad strokes level, hemp was grown historically for its hearty stalk to be used for things like clothing and for building things and for paper and it's, you know, naturally has a low THC content. So, you know, this is where you get the teenagers who are discouraged by trying to smoke hemp thinking because it looks exactly like marijuana that they can't get high from it, and that's because there's no THC from it, unfortunately. So, that's the main difference is I would say that the levels of chemical compounds between the two, hemp and marijuana, differ. And also, you know, hemp is grown for that strong stalk so it's used for industrial products as well.

Ryan: Okay, very cool. So, before we get into any of the benefits or some of the specific products, I know the question that everybody listening wants to know if they're not already familiar with CBD or any of these any products. Is it legal? Do you have to live in a state where marijuana is legal to be able to acquire these products? You know, where are the boundaries on all that?

Brandon: Yeah. It's a - it's a great question because it's very confusing to the outsider and the way that it stands right now in terms of the U.S. is that products made from hemp and specifically dietary supplements made from hemp are legal within the United States because of their low levels of THC. So there's a legal limit of I think it's .01% where you can have products with .01% THC in them and still considered - it has to be below that limit to be legal, right? So it's kind of like the trans-fat limit. Something is 1% or below trans-fat or something like that then you can claim that it's 'trans-fat free'. But the thing is with - well going back to your question in terms of legality, it's 100% legal to purchase and consume CBD products made from hemp within the United States. When you go abroad you have to consider the customs and every - internationally it's a lot more complicated. But basically if you can import dietary supplement from the states, then we can ship it to you. And that pretty much goes across the board with CBD products. Now when you go over to marijuana, so CBD products made from marijuana in the U.S., there are lots of legal implications. You can't ship marijuana products across state lines unless there are, you know, both states are legalizing it in which case it's still illegal federally, so you're still kind of - you still have that to deal with. So there's lots of issues regarding CBD products made from hemp - or, marijuana, but we only use and lots of other companies use CBD products from industrial hemp specifically, because of those reasons. It's [unclear 00:08:48] as buying hemp protein at Whole Foods.

Ryan: Okay, okay. So, I guess, if it were legal to distribute and cross state lines with CBD products made from marijuana would that be a better option? I guess my question, what I'm really asking is: Is there more CBD in marijuana? Or different types of compounds in marijuana versus hemp? More beneficial?

Brandon: So the main one is THC because it's - it's not as prevalent in hemp. And I think what some people - some people actually do need the THC and a good example is someone who's going through chemotherapy which kind of kills your appetite. You know, so for people who need appetite stimulation, CBD is not gonna do it for you, you need the THC to actually stimulate that appetite and get you eating again normally. So for that case marijuana would be a better option. But it kind of depends on a case to case basis depending on what your needs are.

Ryan: Okay. Now, I just want to clarify for our listeners, you know, even though you are currently in Thailand, the company Healthy Hemp Oil is an American company, you guys are in the U.S. 

Brandon: Correct! We're based in the States, we're a Pennsylvania company and we - we manufacture in the States, everything is U.S.-based except we do import our hemp because you cannot sell dietary supplements - here's another crazy law - you can't sell dietary supplements made from hemp if the hemp was grown in the United States because that is considered marijuana and is illegal. So we actually import our products, our hemp from outside of the United States and process it inside of the United States.

Ryan: So can you tell us where your hemp comes from?

Brandon: We have a bunch of different sources, some of them are in North America like Canada, sometimes we have suppliers in Europe as well. So we have a bunch of different suppliers and we kind of use them all interchangeably depending on the product.

Ryan: So, that'll hold true then for the hemp protein at Whole Foods that you just mentioned as well, right?

Brandon: Yeah, yeah.

Ryan: That's gonna come from a plant grown outside the U.S.

Brandon: I would believe so, yeah. 

Ryan: Wow! That's really interesting. Okay. 

Brandon: Yeah.

Ryan: So let's go back to Healthy Hemp Oils. Talk to us about some of the different products that you guys have. I mean I just browsed the website, I'm seeing sprays, tinctures, gums. Give me some pro's and con's for the different types of products and, you know, for an outsider or beginner, where do we start?

Brandon: Yeah, that's always the question, right? Everyone comes to us and says: 'Hey, I've got this, this, and this and this and this.' I'm sure you get this with fitness as well, right? It's like: 'Hey, I've got a bad knee and you know, I'm 10 lbs. overweight, I wanna lost 10 lbs., what's the right program for me?' So it's very specific, it's the same thing with CBD. But one thing that we find with our products is that it's easy to start with certain products. And so what I typically recommend with beginners is to start off with one of our sprays, our tincture sprays. And the reason that that's easy is because it's - when you first start out with a dietary supplement like CBD your body isn't used to it yet and you need to find that balance, that right amount for you. And in order to do that you need to kind of go up and down and try to - and you really have to feel it out, it's not - unfortunately I can't say, you know: 'You need 3.5 milligrams because you have X, Y, Z disease,' it's just not that scientific. So, the best way that we found is to have a product that's very flexible like a spray, where you can safely increase the dosage in only, you know, a couple milligrams per spray. So that's a - that's a very easy product to get into and one that I recommend for all beginners.

Ryan: Now, is that an oral spray or topical?

Brandon: It's an oral, yeah.

Ryan: Okay. Is it - what's the advantage to being oral?

Brandon: Well it goes sublingually, so like if you were dipping or anything, that's the whole reason why, you know people take things sublingually it goes right to -

Ryan: Hits your bloodstream faster.

Brandon: Exactly.

Ryan: Right. Okay. So give us - I know the benefits in your range is very broad, but some of the benefits, some of the reasons that people might use CBD products.

Brandon: So, yeah this is another area where I have to be very careful what I say because, you know, the FDA obviously is looking at CBD companies who, some of which are making some crazy claims.

Ryan: So, we'll go ahead and say you and I are not doctors, this isn't medical advice, if you're gonna do this consult a physician.

Brandon: Of course.

Ryan: We're not liable. You know, we're not claiming to, you know, cure cancer or change the world.

Brandon: Yeah, and that being said, there are - there are extremes where people have seen crazy, crazy, you know improvements in things like seizures and with cancer reduction and all this stuff. The problem is that I - I can't mislead people and the way that we say in our company is you have to make the right decision for yourself. We want to educate and we want to give you the best information but you have to pull the trigger and you have to be responsible. Take the education, go to a doctor, see what they recommend, go see other perspectives and see what makes sense. But back to your question. The ones that I - that I can recommend without hesitation are anxiety, low levels of inflammation typically due to - or you know, pain inflammation, joint inflammation, back pain, knee pain, that kind of stuff, and sleep. Those are the ones that come up again and again and CDB performs spectacularly. I mean, you can check out the reviews on our site to see that. 

Ryan: So, let's say I'm a high-strung, high-stressed business person, whether it's Wall Street or an entrepreneur or a lawyer, whatever, and I have trouble sleeping. How could I use CBD to relax, calm down, get some sleep, shut off my brain at night?

Brandon: It's exactly what you said, it's exactly what you said. And this is the perfect - I think - the best use of it. At least that's what I've found is that as an entrepreneur you always have things running through your head and sometimes you work late and, you know, it's 12, 1, 2 in the morning and you still have the laptop open and you're looking at it and things are running through your brain and then oh, it's time to shut down and you immediately try to go to bed. Your brain's not ready to go to bed, right? Because you're still tied in to all these thoughts. So, what's great about using CBD in a situation like that is that it naturally kind of calms your brain and slows down your thoughts. It's almost like if you were to meditate and you see your - your um, your thoughts kind of passing through and then they just kind of disappear. It's really kind of magical, to be honest, but that's my favorite use case it to take a spray if I'm rolling around at night time and I feel like I can't sleep, I just take a little bit and, you know, within 10 minutes, it's like clockwork I'm out.

Ryan: Awesome. So that was gonna be my next question is how far in advance do you use it and I mean it's - from what you just said it can be one of those things where maybe you don't necessarily take it every night but if you're restless laying in bed and you can't fall asleep, pop up, hit a couple of sprays.

Brandon: Yeah. Again it depends on the specific person. For my needs, I like to use it as an as needed thing. Some people might need a little more help or if the actually have insomnia they might need a higher dosage of it to get, you know, into the rhythm of things. And we always recommend with any of the products is that with dietary supplements you need kind of some consistency for your body to kind of understand what it is, and especially with CBD because there's actually receptors in your brain that the CBD goes into, there's CBD receptors that can lock into. So, we recommend taking it for a week or two weeks when you first start on a consistent basis so that you can kind of get your body in the rhythm. And you're more likely to feel a benefit because it's a very, very subtle feeling.

Ryan: Okay. So, I've seen recently that people in states where marijuana is legal are acquiring full plants or at least the leaves not in the dried state and they're actually juicing them the same way that you would juice spinach or kale or any other leafy green and, you know, deriving a lot of the benefits that we're talking about here and in those cases they're claiming that - that the marijuana plant has compounds that can attenuate or even kill cancerous cells. Have you heard about this, juicing marijuana? And if you have, your thoughts and you know, how does that compare to a concentrated dose that you might find in a tincture or spray?

Brandon: When you say juicing do you mean like reducing it to an oil, into like a thick concentrate?  

Ryan: I - I think, you know just throwing it into a Vitamix, you know, like you would kale and making - like if you're gonna do a kale shake or like that kind of juicing.

Brandon: I haven't really heard about that so I can't comment. But I do know that people try all sorts of crazy things, you know and - and, you know, I don't blame them. If you have a serious illness or disease and you hear somebody who has had success with it, people will try whatever they can and I would do the same thing. 

Ryan: Okay, alright. So, one of the things that I can foresee is with - with the internet world being what it is and people rushing to make reviews or judgments before they understand what something is, you know, I can see where people may label CBD oil or the whole cannabis movement as, you know something under the same, I guess, concept of like the deer antlers sprays or one of those things where it's like a gimmick or snake oil thing. How would you address somebody that may have that thought process towards it?

Brandon: I would say do the research. I mean if you - if you look into it enough, you'll find that it's not just - it's not a raspberry ketone, it's not a garcinia cambogia, you know no offense to those two darlings of the supplement world. 

Ryan: Dr. Oz.

Brandon: Yeah, but you know, and the thing is that none of this is a miracle drug, right? CBD is not the miracle drug either. It just happens to work for certain people in certain situations. So, I think - I think the thing is you should approach it with some skepticism. You know, anyone listening to this should be skeptical of CBD, you should be! And if you're not then you need to look into it deeper to figure out what you trust and what you don't trust. That's why we - we try to approach this with an education standpoint and say: 'Hey, here's that facts. Here's what science says. Make the decision for yourself.'

Ryan: Okay. So, with everything that we've talked about would it be safe to assume that you would like to see marijuana legalized?

Brandon: Um, yeah! I think I would. I haven't thought too much about it but I don't see it as a very harmful and from a health perspective, you know, it's hard to argue that people aren't having incredible success using it medicinally, you know? I mean there's the challenge of trying to regulate it and, you know, use it recreationally and the taxes and there's a lot of things that go into it but it seems to be less harmful than a lot of other legal substances.

Ryan: Okay. Other than Healthy Hemp Oil, do you have any sites or sources that you would recommend for somebody looking to get more information on this topic? 

Brandon: There's a great website called Project CBD. I think it might be projectcbd.org, I'm not 100% sure. But they have a lot of great research articles. You know, like I said it's an education thing. Once you find out about it, you just need to dig a little deeper to find out what you believe. Look at the reports, look at the - look at the research and see for yourself. That's a great resource. Other than our website obviously we've got some scientific articles according to different ailments, you know, a whole CDB 101 for beginners and all sorts of other helpful educational stuff.  

Ryan: Alright. So we talked a little bit about easing joint pain, helping sleep which we know will enhance recovery. Are there any other possible performance benefits that we might be able to pull from using CBD or any other cannabis products?

Brandon: I'd be stretching, but I think that, you know, some people - I have known people who have used marijuana recreationally for studying and for um, focusing. Personally I don't prefer it, I don't like it but, you know, the whole point of CBD and using it is that it kind of - it kind of gets rid of that mental clutter. You know, like I talked about when you're going to sleep, kinda gets right of those errant thoughts, almost like you're meditating. If that's a problem, it could be something that calms you down not only in a social situation or before bed but also possibly when you're trying to work and focus on something.

Ryan: Okay. So I've got a couple of athletes who, what I affectionately call performance anxiety where, you know, they're great in practice but on game day they make it a situation that's, you know, so much bigger than what it really is and then, you know, they have, you know they fall flat, right? And they don't perform to the level that they know they could. So maybe a couple of sprays of CBD before game time?

Brandon: I think it would be worth experimenting with. That's the real message I guess it that everyone can find some sort of benefit with it, it just depends on the person. And along those lines, I have found that a lot of people find that it works really well for giving speeches, for presentations, so in that kind of shape, you know, performance-wise it definitely helps because it takes that edge off. It's like having a beer before you do something, you know, you kinda just takes the edge off a little bit.

Ryan: Without the psychoactive, you know, negative if there - if you could call it that. Right?

Brandon: Exactly. It's a very - it's a very calming but very subtle effect. And in fact - and I want to emphasize this, Ryan, is that people when they take it they still think and feel like they're gonna get high from it. In fact, I felt the same thing when I took it for the first time. But you don't. It's - it's a very, very subtle feeling. It's very calming and the closest thing I can relate it to is - is having a beer is really, that's all it is. It's - it's not um -

Ryan: It sort of takes the edge off?

Brandon: Yeah, in a very, very subtle way. In fact some people, some people can't even feel it. So they're just not taking the right dosage, 'cause if you take enough you'll feel it for sure! But it's not a high feeling, it's just a very chilling, calming feeling that is very tied in to what people feel when they smoke because obviously CBD is part of marijuana as well.

Ryan: Okay. 

Brandon: So, I would like to give you - your listeners a little PDF guide that we've got and it's helpful because it's called 'Cutting Through the Confusion' and what it does is it helps you kind of understand the basics about CBD and what kind of things you should be looking for, what kind of characteristics you should be looking for in a CBD product. So it's helpful for a beginner to kind of see: 'Okay, what are really the things that I should be looking for?' And if you go to healthyhempoil.com/optimal-performance, we will have a link to the PDF that you can download and that should certainly help people get off to the right start. And if they want to poke around the rest of the website, there's in the 'Learn More' section there's a CBD 101, there's our blog where we have lots of articles, more about CBD, there's a scientific research section and people can kind of get lost on our website for a while 'cause we have lots of content. But that's what we're all about.

Ryan: Yeah! I was checking out your site, there is a lot on there, it's really great. So, for our listeners, we will have that link in the show notes, so make sure you head on over to optimalperformance.com and we'll have that link that Brandon just mentioned for the free PDF that he's gonna hook us up with. Alright so, Brandon tell us a little bit about the different types of CBD.

Brandon: So, you can get CBD in a couple different forms: capsules; tinctures which is kind of like a solvent, a liquid form of CBD; vaporizers; you can get it in a concentrate in a tube form. And all of these different forms are good for various reasons. The vaporizer is good if you like to use e-pens and cigarettes, that's a very natural transition. Actually a lot of people have used CBD as kind of a transition off of nicotine, which is interesting.

Ryan: Okay.

Brandon: It's also the quickest method of absorption is directly through the lungs. So if you - if you need to get CBD into your system quickly, vaporizing is the best way to go. Capsules obviously have to be digested so they're much - they take a lot longer for the effect to hit your system. It's also hard to go up and down in dosage, so for a beginner if you don't know how much you need, capsules are not really a good bet. But if you know how much you need and you need a lot, capsules are usually where it's at 'cause they give high dosages. Then you have the - the tinctures which come in many different varieties and flavors, like I said it's great for a beginner to start out with that. And the tubes, the concentrates are just basically pure hemp oil extracted and you know, extracted from C02 and put it in this glorious little tube and it's very hemp-y, very earth-y and it's - you need very, very little of this to feel the effect. I mean, we're talking like the size of half a grain of rice for you to start feeling stuff.

Ryan: Yeah, I saw those looking around on your site and they definitely caught my attention. So, I guess, how would you know when to move from tinctures to, you know, something a little bit not - I don't want to say stronger, but something maybe for a more advanced user.

Brandon: Yeah and it's difficult, it's difficult to find out when that point is and the only - the only real way to tell is through self-experimentation. So that's why I recommend the tinctures is because they're cheaper and it's easier for you to kind of find that sweet spot. And if you know: 'Okay, I need about 3 servings a day, and 3 servings, each serving is 1 milligram, so I need 3 milligrams a day,' you know, then you can start figuring out okay, now let me get a better, better bang for your buck. Which is, you know the tubes offer a lower cost point per CBD milligram, but you're buying in bulk, right? So, you know, it's gonna be more costly but it's saving you on a per milligram basis. So you kinda have to play with that to find the right sweet spot and then, you know, it's just self-experimentation.

Ryan: Now, you just mentioned, you know, maybe somebody who's taking a milligram 3 times a day, what's the half-life on CBD?

Brandon: That's a great question! I actually don't know the answer to that.

Ryan: Okay. So, I mean, you could dose it multiple times a day if you needed, you know, constant -  

Brandon: Absolutely!

Ryan: Anxiety relief or pain relief or whatever, for whatever reason you're using it.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. And a lot of people find because of that they like using the vaporizers because that's something that you kind of puff throughout the day, it provides a constant, you know, kind of clearing of the mind and a feeling of relaxation and so having like, something like that is very natural to do.  

Ryan: Alright, cool, cool. Alright, well it's time for the question that we ask every guest. Your top 3 tips to live optimal. 

Brandon: Top 3 tips. Does this have to be CBD-related?

Ryan: No, no it can be on topic, off topic. If you were just, just talking to somebody on the street and they said: 'Hey, Brandon, I know you're into, you know, maximizing human potential, give me your 3 ways that I can live my best life.'

Brandon: Okay. Number one is probably eliminate or completely reduce sugar. It's hard to argue against - against reducing sugar consumption so do the research, it's not good for you. [laughs] I mean the same thing would be with smoking, obviously, or any other bad habits but I assume that's pretty obvious. Next I would say, you know, man all the things I wanna say are just so obvious. It's like, you hear the same things over and over again. I'm gonna say get good sleep, you know? It's wrote until - until you actually do it, so if you're the person out there who's listening and you just need that one extra person to tell you to get some sleep, get some sleep! Set your alarm a little earlier, that's the only way that I know how to get up earlier is to set my alarm earlier. And I guess - I guess the other thing is, I would say take a natural approach to how you want to eat and put things in your body. And realize that, you know, what you put into your body is an extension of who you become, so you know, let food by thy medicine. 

Ryan: Hippocrates, right?

Brandon: There you go!

Ryan: So Brandon, thank you so much for hanging out with us! For our listeners, thank you guys for tuning in. As always, head on over to iTunes, hit us up with a 5* review, make sure you go to optimalperformance.com so that you can get the video version, all the links to the resources that Brandon and I talked about today and we will see you guys next Thursday.

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