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Ben Euhus , Cannabis Scientist MSc BioChemist traveled to Israel to see first hand what the world’s leader in cannabis research is discovering.
In this episode we explore the scientific world of cannabis and how it can be a dramatic change for personalized medicine for all. Hear what the world is doing in the field of Cannabis.
Featured in Today’s Episode:
- Is Israel leading the way for cannabis-based research?
- Endocannabinoid system
- Treating cancer with cannabis
- Clinical cannabis studies
- Dronabinol, man-made THC
- Cannabis based scientific research
Ben Euhus is a Biochemist interested in the drug development pipeline, as well as innovative solutions in the field of biotech. He is a seasoned cannabis scientist with first hand experience in researching the therapeutic potential of cannabis compounds in a pre-clinical setting.
[00:00:00]Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents.
[00:00:10] What’s up guys. Welcome back for the episode of the dime I’m Brian Fields and always I’ve got my right hand, man. Tell him Finney you’re with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Ben Euhus.
[00:00:20] Who’s cannabis scientists, Ben, thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?
[00:00:25]Ben Euhus: How’s it going guys? Great to be here.
[00:00:28]Bryan Fields: How you doing Kellan?
[00:00:29] Doing good,
[00:00:30]Kellan Finney: really excited to talk to Ben and learn as much as we can about the endocannabinoid system today
[00:00:34]Bryan Fields: and looking forward. It’s so bad. And for our listeners who are unfamiliar with you, can you kind of share a little bit about your background?
[00:00:39]Ben Euhus: Yeah. So I’m a biochemist from Texas trained in Texas state university. And most recently I finished my graduate program in Israel at the Technion under Dr. Danny MIRI. And we were pretty unique. We had unfettered access to a whole strain cannabis, extra. And biological models. We’re able to research by [00:01:00] occupy panels and mechanisms of action with cannabis acting on the endocannabinoid system, using healthy and disease model.
[00:01:07] We were mainly like a preclinical lab that focused on cancer studies. I focused focused on brain cells that were present in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, but that is, you know, a cannabis scientists, endocrinologist trained in Israel. So
[00:01:24] now take us through what your role is currently in this.
[00:01:27] Yeah. So right now I’m working with a group named the Nuvia. They’re a really unique group here in Texas and railroad Texas. One of the only groups with a DEA FDA approval to produce cannabinoid based drugs and formulations. I’m also a ambassador for Dutch medical cannabis society, and doing consultancy work with a global group called Veridian.
[00:01:51]Bryan Fields: Awesome. So let’s kind of dive into. I know not every day is the same day. So take us through kind of what goes through your [00:02:00] normal day to day process.
[00:02:01]Ben Euhus: So with the Nuvia they’re currently working on the formulation of a international formula. They also engage in a bit of psychedelic research. But it’s essentially, they’re one of the only groups that has a a pipeline for the production of FDA, DEA approved and adenoid based drugs for the purpose of patients with HIV.
[00:02:22] And also people that are coming off of chemotherapy suffering from nausea. And a host of other, you know, related kind of conditions, hosts cancer treatment. So I’m an analytical chemist with them and we worked on the API formulation and method development and validation to create one of the best possible standards for Texas.
[00:02:41] And hopefully the rest of the globe. A quick question, then
[00:02:45]Kellan Finney: you mentioned, could you kind of walk through what the API international is for, for listening to, we
[00:02:51]Ben Euhus: haven’t heard that term yet. So is a synthetic THC. It’s commonly used for HIV patients. As [00:03:00] well as for cancer patients that are experiencing conditions like nausea that are just coming off of chemotherapy.
[00:03:07] But given that it is a synthetic THC given that it is a THC based medication it does have a prospective slew of beneficial therapeutic potential. For conditions outside of HIV and even cancer patients
[00:03:22]Bryan Fields: from like a research standpoint, obviously there’s such a misunderstanding across the board of like where we are there.
[00:03:28] We need to be to, to get there. So, Ben, in your opinion, where do you want to see the research going? Can you talk about some of the recent research you’ve seen, that’s really excited you
[00:03:37]Ben Euhus: the most? Yeah. So, you know, when I went to Israel, I it was originally looking for a position in. Inside of the states that was doing more cannabis-based science and then kind of became clear that, you know, given the regulation that we have the restriction, it wasn’t really possible to find that.
[00:03:52] And it was so lucky that I was able to meet that MIRI at the cannabis science west conference. That’s held by Josh. And the whole [00:04:00] cannabis science conference team, but it became very clear, you know, that this was one of the only places to do cannabis based research and originally started with, you know, the love of the potential of these compounds.
[00:04:11] But I honestly fell in love with the endocannabinoid system and I’m hoping that as time goes on and we learn more and more about it, that we are beginning to understand what. Stances and biology and medicine, you know, to me, cannabis is like this key to the endocannabinoid system. It has all these potential activators, agonists and antagonists that work on the CB one receptors, CB two receptors, other G-protein receptors that are considered orphan G pro orphan receptors right now.
[00:04:42] But as well as receptors like the trap channels, you know, TRP, which has a whole slew of different constituent. So, what we’re seeing right now is an expanded definition of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is this ubiquitous homeostatic regulatory system that’s [00:05:00] found in every single living creature.
[00:05:02] People argue that it’s not found in insects, that you can find the trap channels there. So I would argue that it’s found in every living creature, this is predates cannabis by hundreds of millions of years. It’s been really interesting studies that show that aquatic species back, you know, 500 million years ago, carry the CB one, CB two receptors, carry the enzymes and the endocannabinoid systems constituents.
[00:05:25] So we’re really kind of seeing how ubiquitous and how prolific the system is. It’s found in, you know, your circadian rhythm, your pain and pleasure reward systems. It’s a responsible for the differentiation of what your cells to fight, you know, decide to turn into. Even programmed to when they die and really interesting Lee as well, is that on the end of serotonergic, dopaminergic neurons in every single brain that up here, and you know, as early as the fetal embryo, you can see the endocannabinoid system CB one, CB, two receptors, CB one [00:06:00] receptors acting as neuromodulators.
[00:06:02] So it’s absolutely essential to most everything in our lives. And is highly deserving of a place in medicine and biology for its potential and therapeutics for our
[00:06:12]Bryan Fields: listeners out there who are still kind of gathering the initial footing on the endocannabinoid system in its simplest form. If the three of us were sharing a joint, would this be why one of us would feel, let’s say sleepy and compare from the other thing more.
[00:06:27]Ben Euhus: Yeah. You know, I think so. We’re, you know, still not even sure as to why, you know, that high or what’s driving that, you know, that feeling of the high, the most interesting hypothesis that I’ve seen and heard is that it’s the endocannabinoids that are kind of modulating this. I can give you a really quick example with a compound called.
[00:06:46] And this is the noted as an endocannabinoid like compound. That’s not officially in the same realm as like a name to mine. And to AIG, it would be played, you know, plays a role in that entourage effect where it’s a steric [00:07:00] modulator. Dr. Meshullam posits that believes that Dr. Michelle was the guy that, you know, identified THC for the very first time in 1964, which dribbled into us discovering the endocannabinoid system.
[00:07:12] So very credible guy, but this compound named polyimide is responsible for. Sleepy feeling that we have a hypnotic feeling. This is also backed up by DeMarzo. So, and, you know, for sharing a joint and you know, one of us feels that it’s a sativa and another one feels that it’s an IndyCar. It’s more than likely that just given our basal levels and what our endocannabinoid levels look like pre joint and how those are modulating is what’s determining how we have an effect.
[00:07:41] So it’s not really in my mind simple as saying that this strain has these turpines, so it’s a sativa or this strain has these Turpin sorts of Endeca. It’s more than likely it’s a good guesstimate, but everybody is a little bit different. The many,
[00:07:55]Bryan Fields: too many problems, like our friend Dr. Abrams usually says, especially with.[00:08:00]
[00:08:00] We talk about, right? Like if someone’s bringing like a sativa, which we obviously hate discussing that as the frame of reference, but it just, for this case point, it’s, it’s the easiest way for the generalization of this. If you were passing that out and say, Hey, Kellen, like here, like you don’t need to worry about it.
[00:08:16] You kind of putting him in the. Here’s a sativa and then Kaelin, you know, has to take a quick nap on that. And he’s like, Hey, what’s, what’s the deal here? And it kind of just puts into to mind of how far we still have to come with the understanding from a science standpoint. So tell him kind of take it one step further.
[00:08:32] The ECS, right? Like it’s discussed more and more. We’re seeing it, but from a doctor state.
[00:08:38]Kellan Finney: Yeah. I mean, I think we’ve talked about this previously, the endocannabinoid system isn’t even taught in medical school yet. You know what I mean? And so like, we do have a long ways to go, but I just wanna piggyback on one other thing that Ben was saying in terms of.
[00:08:51] I mean, that’s why the need for personalized medicine is such a big deal. You know what I mean? Because like sativa hybrid, Endeca we having different [00:09:00] base levels of molecules in our bloodstream. It’s going to change how we, how we interact with that that product. You know what I mean? And so I just want to drive that point home a little more, but yeah, I mean, at the end of an ambulance system I mean, I’ve, I’ve seen a lot of different claims associated with what it, how it like affects our homeostasis, right?
[00:09:18] You’re just like base level of being alive for those who don’t know what homeostasis what we’re referring to, but I’ve heard it affect everything from mood to hunger, to your sleep cycle, everything that Ben was saying. So I think at the basic level, We need more research associated with the endocannabinoid system.
[00:09:37] And I think that’s probably the most fundamental thing that needs to occur in the industry because like categorization of all these products and dosing of THC and all these things could just be in vain. If we don’t understand exactly the mechanism associated. What is hot, getting hot, you know what I mean?
[00:09:54] And we can see that with CBD and THC, you know what I mean? I mean, very,
[00:09:58]Ben Euhus: very
[00:09:59]Kellan Finney: similar [00:10:00] cannabinoids from a structural standpoint, they they’re the exact molecular way. One has lacto one. Doesn’t right. And because of that one small feature, you get a completely
[00:10:11]Ben Euhus: different
[00:10:12]Kellan Finney: experience than like ingesting CBD versus THC.
[00:10:15] Right? I mean, and so how those molecules interact. The receptor and one, I mean, I haven’t read enough primary literature on the crystallography structure of the active site and CB one and all those things. So like truly. To be able to disseminate. I haven’t seen at least an argument placed before me that can really explicitly define why THC binds so much better than, than CBD and actually causes that quote unquote high.
[00:10:43] Have, have you
[00:10:43]Ben Euhus: seen anything like that? Nothing as yeah. And I’m not an organic chemist or a structural chemist, unfortunately, a little bit over my head, but just on biochemistry about right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, one thing that was really interesting that I never reported and it might’ve even been in the [00:11:00] last decade was the, just the crazy comparison between THCs tertiary struggle.
[00:11:05] And then Nana mine’s tertiary structure and then a tertiary structure is you know, the structure that a compound exhibits, when it’s buying tourists after, you know, this lock and key kind of, you know, a method for biology, you to to activate different sectors. But when you look at a picture between a and THC, the similarity is just ridiculously, they’re almost identical.
[00:11:29] So I’m not really sure what’s going on. Cause you know if you were to, you know, take them apart and put them in their primary structure. Like, you know, if you’re just to draw them on a piece of paper, they look like very different compounds. So I’m not really sure what’s going on. In that respect, you know, there is you know, some things going on inside those receptors.
[00:11:44] That would be very interesting to see what is it. Nanda mind. Sorry. So an animal mind is an endocannabinoid. That is the acronym is ADA. And anonymize was the first con endocannabinoid discovered. And it’s a discovered by Meshullam a believer, another host of [00:12:00] scientists and was given the name of Nanda mine, which is sanscript for bliss molecule.
[00:12:05] And so this was the first ligand that they found to bind to CB one. And, you know, Back in a time when THC or I’m sorry, weed, wasn’t 30% THC and a was more likely to make you very blissful. I guess they felt that it was a very suitable name. Thanks for
[00:12:18]Bryan Fields: breaking that down. So let’s like, I can spend the entire episode, like asking why we didn’t learn about it in college.
[00:12:24] Why the doctors aren’t top, right? That’s that’s the past. Let’s talk about the future personalized medicine. What sort of roadmap? Would you have liked to see in order to take necessary steps to get there?
[00:12:38]Ben Euhus: Yeah. So even outside of the field of cannabis, to look at the, see, you know, in ketosis for, you know, for example a lot of people are doing these ketosis diets and that’s, you know, essentially when you starve yourself of carbide, But you’re producing these ketone constituents inside your brain.
[00:12:53] Inside of that realm of even just dieticians, it’s extremely, extremely difficult to get a [00:13:00] proper analysis of what’s actually going through your body right now outside of a spinal tap, even it’s very, you know, it might be even impossible, but it’s very difficult to determine what’s, what’s responding in your brain.
[00:13:12] What’s being produced in your central nervous system and your. So a roadmap would have a higher level of identification for these endocannabinoids that are circulating through your body. We could have a a better way of understanding. What’s actually being activated and upregulated. And right now we’re using my.
[00:13:32] And, you know, these mice are being sacrificed and, and we’re able to see a differential ability for the production of endocannabinoids. You know, one of our studies are a few of our studies from Israel, from the MIRI lab, really works on looking at the difference in endocannabinoid levels when given, you know, strains with.
[00:13:51] Identical TFC CBD levels. And we’re seeing that it’s a, there’s a tremendous difference in the endocannabinoids that are [00:14:00] being produced strain to strain, even if they have the same THC CBD. So something that would be really important for us is to one, to see where a patient’s basal levels are. And even in the recreational, you know, recreational consideration where a person’s basal levels of endocannabinoids.
[00:14:16] And how they’re modulating after you know, inducing some kind of cannabis product or, you know, cannabinoid like product. And another thing that is extremely important is refining our analytical techniques. You know, we’re, we’re so lucky that we are where we’re at because, you know, 40 years ago we didn’t have things like HPLC or LCMS.
[00:14:36] And this is, you know, one of the reasons that they weren’t really definitively able to show. How important, you know, cannabis or what inside of cannabis was actually producing a therapeutic effect. But right now we’re able to see that there’s, you know, 96 plus a hundred plus cannabinoids in any given type of strain, you know, in 2018, or even as far as, you know, most recently as 2012 when I [00:15:00] left my graduate program, there were still like 17 cannabinoids that were unidentified, you know, and they had names like 3, 1, 3 17 B and things like that.
[00:15:11] And they seem to have a role in the bioactive effect. So what we need right now is you know, a way to determine endocannabinoid, modulation and a more refined way of determining what’s actually inside the strains.
[00:15:24]Bryan Fields: Do you think we’ll get there in our lifetime to personalize?
[00:15:27]Ben Euhus: I think so. I think the field of personalized medicine is just exploding right now.
[00:15:31] The, one of the things that’s really kept or put cannabis science into semi warp speed is, is the amount of information that comes from outside disciplines. You know? So we’re using. And, you know, even recruiting people from outside disciplines, inner disciplinary fields at our, you know, just constantly pushing you know, the boundary of what’s possible.
[00:15:51] So, so yeah, the field of personalized medicine I feel like is just, you know, refining and there is so much interest and you know, [00:16:00] financial incentive to actually pursue R and D. I think that would be a matter of time for something potential inside of animal. To help us answer these questions inside of cannabis.
[00:16:12] So I’m, I’m pretty optimistic. In
[00:16:15]Kellan Finney: terms of the personalized medicine. I think that one of the biggest obstacles is like you were saying, being able to measure exactly what’s going on inside the brain. Right. Because we can talk about those cannabinoids and years voting them to go into your bloodstream.
[00:16:27] But like what truly goes through the blood brain barrier? You know what I mean, blue little shout out again. I’m going to try it another hail Mary here, but Elon Musk. Right? And Neurolink by actually implanting
[00:16:37]Ben Euhus: a chip though. Some light small sensors in there. And like being able to run some Cuban
[00:16:42]Kellan Finney: metrics and like be able to measure it can happen a way it’s like this could be a huge opportunity for, for
[00:16:48]Ben Euhus: most to make some money.
[00:16:49] Yeah. So this is like the outs, you know, across disciplinary, you know, outside disciplinary field, but that’s how you could do it. You know what I mean? Yeah, I think there could be something there. I don’t know how far along they are with the neural [00:17:00] link, but, you know, I guess they’re putting it in chimpanzees at this point.
[00:17:03] So I guess they’re playing video games with it already.
[00:17:05]Bryan Fields: I just want to go back to what Kevin said. And he said, there’s a chance for Ilan to make some money. It doesn’t solve problems to make money. He solves problems that eatings are necessary for like human survival, right? Like that’s where he’s at now.
[00:17:16] Not trying to make. But to continue on that path, maybe Ben can come back at a later point, update us on the comparison on the neural link and the endocannabinoid system. Let’s dive into your research in your graduate program. I want to learn more about that. We heard your talk. I mean, roughly two years ago, it was incredible.
[00:17:33] And I want you to expand on some of the areas from medical standpoint that you kind of came across or the research that fascinated
[00:17:40]Ben Euhus: you. Awesome. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I wrote a small publication for Cayman. Which is a pretty succinct missing some details and major points, but it was a succinct kind of an explanation of the patterns that we found.
[00:17:55] And, and the whole thesis we sent you was cannabis is a great key to the endocannabinoid [00:18:00] system. But, but inside the land that I was with for about, for two years we were a preclinical largely anti-cancer or cancer therapeutics, chronic disease based. So a lot of my colleagues were working on cancer pro projects.
[00:18:14] And I was working on a project with microglia and microglia is the primary cell inside the central nervous system and brain. It’s kind of like the primary Sentinel. That’s looking around repairing things, eating up stuff and alerting other types of immune based cells to drive an effect.
[00:18:34] Some of the biggest things that we found were that cannabis has such a differential ability, strain and strain. One of the things that really drives this was a colleagues. You know, it is paid it’s in the published paper. You know, there’s a few studies that I’ll bring up right now. And one of them was a.
[00:18:49] Study that did a 12 they had 12 different cancer cell types. And one thing that they found is that one, not every strain [00:19:00] has the same ability. Even if they are in, you know, very comfortable levels of THC and CBD. It’s not given that they’re going to have a tremendous ability. One thing that was also found in that, you know, or two more things that were also found in that.
[00:19:15] Is that not every single cancer cell type is susceptible to cannabis treatment. So, you know, there were, in most cases, there were two different types of cell of the same cell. So, you know, you can you know, when you’re doing cell biology you can get a few different cell lines that are indicative of a type of disease.
[00:19:33] So, you know, we had two different breast cancer lines, two different colon cancer lines, you know, et cetera, et cetera. And in some cases not, you know, both breast cancer, cell lines were not affected or not, you know, both H colon cancer cells were not effective. And sometimes you saw like a tremendous differential ability where the breast cancer was extremely susceptible.
[00:19:54] But cells like HD 29, which is a colon cancer cell had almost no susceptibility [00:20:00] to being treated by cancer by cannabis. And when I say susceptible, like literally what we were doing was admitting a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of cannabis extract and tracking to see over the course of 24 hours, how many cells died.
[00:20:15] So literally it was walking into a lab that was killing cancer. And that’s just, you know, it’s pretty cool in itself. But another thing that we found and, you know, another thing that was found in that study and you know, this there’s such a difference in, you know, from a higher levels of complexity and organisms.
[00:20:32] So it would be interesting to see if this is something that also carries through in in people, but the carboxylated forms of you know, THC and CBD. THCA, CBDA had a terrible ability at inducing cell death in cancer cells. So, you know, your formulation also plays a big role in you know, the way that a cannabis strain or an extract is, is going to effect a certain scenario.
[00:20:59] So [00:21:00] one more thing that I wanted to share in that same realm. Was a study done using mice. And what we did was induced in epileptic response using a compound called PTZ. And this is a really common thing to do when you’re looking at epilepsy and, and a therapy for seizures, but we use five different strains and looking at the response with the mice, what we looked at was the time in between seasons.
[00:21:24] The overall survivability and you know, how they fared basically one as we use five different strains. And one thing that was seen is that survivability went up for all the mice regardless of the strain that you use. So that, I mean, that’s very positive information. I feel like. But one thing that we saw was such a difference in the latency, which is the time it takes for them to have a seizure.
[00:21:46] And so there’s a tremendous difference ability in therapeutic potential. Just between these five different strains. And the kicker was that each strain had exactly the same amount of THC and CBD. So THC CBD is a [00:22:00] terrible indicator or determining a potential therapeutic response. You know, it might be better to, you know, as a guide versus looking at like a, you know, a strain that’s time, CBG or high in CBD.
[00:22:12] What have you, or THCV things like that, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by just using those two compounds as an indicator for a therapeutic. Yeah.
[00:22:21]Kellan Finney: And that’s exactly what happened to GW pharmaceutical too, is they had to literally grow the exact same strain and doors in order to be able to produce the same, like the exact same chemical profile up a dialect is literally that exact issues.
[00:22:34] They discovered that it wasn’t the ratio of CBD and THC. It’s everything else. Right.
[00:22:41]Ben Euhus: So one of the, you know, the things I kind of harped on when I was there, it’s, you know, it’s not really the levels that we should be concerned with. Maybe it’s an indicator that, you know, strains that are high in CBD are carrying other kinds of beneficial types of compounds, but, you know, Maybe they’re acting as the vehicle, but it’s [00:23:00] a, it’s more of an indication.
[00:23:01] I think that’s something is inside of it that is acting or drive or helping drive the effect. And I just want to touch base as far as the carboxylated compounds while they were not very helpful in the cancer study that we did and my research dealing with microglia. And one of the things that we looked at was how well these these cells were able to respond to a wounded.
[00:23:22] So essentially if you had some kind of neural damage which is what’s happening with a disease like multiple sclerosis, we wanted to see how fast and how much better these microglia were able to respond. And you know, make some kind of a repair in this scenario. The cardbox latest strings were tremendous and they were the ones that we follow to suit.
[00:23:43] So it just entirely depends on the situation entirely depends on the condition that you’re looking for in the outcome, but it does seem to have you know, both parts, both a both forms of the plant, you know, seemed to have, you know, tremendous effects in their own respect, ton to
[00:23:58]Bryan Fields: unpack. So I [00:24:00] take a couple of steps back and I apologize if I kind of misspeak.
[00:24:03] So when you were doing the cancer studies, You had identified specific strains work better for specific types of cancer? Is that how I,
[00:24:12]Ben Euhus: yeah, so certain cancer cells, cancer cell types were more likely to be effected by just cannabis in general. And then certain strains were more likely to induce a positive response.
[00:24:25] And one of the things
[00:24:26]Bryan Fields: CBD and THC.
[00:24:29]Ben Euhus: Exactly. You know, it’s something that we that’s found in this same publication. And I think it’s if anybody wants to look it up, it’s Brom 2018 or 19, we’ll include a link in the
[00:24:45] papers is titled. But one thing that they did is you know, they saw using about 16 different cancer cell types. They saw that some strains had a more consistent ability to induce cell death. And [00:25:00] what they did is take one of these strains, which was high in THC. And they performed, you know, took a gradient of different strains at different levels of THC.
[00:25:08] So we had you know, let’s just say like 12, it might be something like this. So don’t, you know don’t quote me, but it might be like 12 different strains or so ranging from one milligram to four milligrams of THC. You know, per percentage of, you know, the entire plant and they also used purified version of THC and what they did using these different strains at variable levels of THC was you know, determine how well they were at inducing cell death.
[00:25:35] And very surprisingly the purified THC didn’t seem to have any effect on inducing cell death at that level. And then. Absolutely no way to determine a strains ability to induce cell death based on its percentage of THC. So the highest performer was. 3.6, 3.2, something around there, but the strains, the left and the [00:26:00] right of it did not indicate that this was a, you know, a gradient or anything that they had shared in common outside of their THC
[00:26:08]Bryan Fields: Let’s take another step forward in this direction, right? It’s a promising step. What’s the followup after a trial like this, is it additional trials in this direction? Like take us through kind of how.
[00:26:19]Ben Euhus: So one of the things that you know, really is essential to transform this into a clinical trial is determining the bioactive compounds.
[00:26:28] So one of the things that we did was a process called fractionation and fractionation is a pretty old technique. It’s pretty used in the field of just in biomedics in general. You know, it’s, it’s used outside of cannabis. It’s used in other Israeli labs that are able to access this research, but essentially what they do is use a bit of column chromatography.
[00:26:50] And kind of partition out based on time and size of compounds and partition out the compounds and a cannabis extract [00:27:00] into different little components. And you do this so much that the idea is that you’re getting the most isolated versions of compounds present as possible. And so what you do is, you know, you make about like like five to seven different kinds.
[00:27:14] The first one’s got THC, the second one’s got CBD, the third one’s got know THCV or a whole slew of minor cannabinoids, and you go through and just, you know, determine at what combinations or you know, if there’s any combinations that are working and you just kind of repeat this process until you’re left with the most isolated versions of these compounds and can kind of determine what’s going on.
[00:27:36] And just in the whole aspect of our refining of analytics, this is a process that is very difficult to get a good source of these components because these compounds are coming in at such a small amount of the end of the extract. And it’s very, very difficult to elute them out at large enough. Cause after you and looped the mountain to different components, [00:28:00] you have to go through a process of refining and purifying them.
[00:28:03] And through any step along the way, you’re going to lose some products. But essentially in research looking at the bioactive compounds in cannabis, kind of follows this suit where you’re kind of alluding them out and that could use like a lot of revision, but you know, as far as Epidiolex and even, you know, Bedrocan the Dutch medical cannabis program.
[00:28:22] They have a very strong backing on their genetics that are using. They want to have the absolute, most consistent plant time after time after time. Because one of the biggest pushbacks that we’ve seen in the field of pharmaceuticals or clinical science using cannabis is that it’s extremely difficult to have a consistency in botanical formulations.
[00:28:44] So even if we were to see an extract, that was very, very helpful. In the lab if they’re not able to replicate it, you know, time, generation after generation and this happens to this happens in Israel. You can have a very therapeutic response to it, one generation, and then the next generation, [00:29:00] it doesn’t work or even worse.
[00:29:02] It brings about a serious adverse effect. So those are things that they do. They, you know, are still trying to just make a consistency in the genetics and. And find strains that are helpful to patients and, you know, just pray that they can replicate those you know, that plant composition. And they’re also working to determine bioactive compounds through processes of illusion.
[00:29:23] Well, that’s kind
[00:29:24]Kellan Finney: of not even bringing it full circle back to synthetic chemistry as potentially the answer. This is what they did for Taxol, right? The chemical from free that’s a cancer
[00:29:33]Ben Euhus: drug. Right? My favorite example is this comes on the Pacific Northwest. Three, the mountain, you, and, you know, it was, it’s a chemotherapy drug that’s extremely, extremely was, you know, determined to be extremely effective.
[00:29:47] And it got to a point where they were like, there wasn’t enough trees, you know, to even produce the level of demand for this, you know, this medicine. So, you know very smart people started synthetically producing Taxol and it’s at least in the [00:30:00] very beginning of the two thousands, it was. The highest selling chemotherapy drug.
[00:30:05] It’s not one of the highest selling drugs on the market. So there’s a high demand for it. It’s very efficacious. And it’s the synthetic chemistry that is, you know, really making this a possibility for the modern
[00:30:16]Bryan Fields: world. Ben, your opinion, do you think pharmaceutical companies will be. Help the cause for cannabis as a therapeutic, or do you think that they’re look to,
[00:30:26]Ben Euhus: honestly, I’m pretty optimistic.
[00:30:27] I believe in the cooperation between pharmaceuticals and cannabis. I don’t have the stands that pharmaceutical giants are out to destroy us. You know, that argument can definitely be made. And I don’t know if we have enough time for that entire. But just speaking to doctors and physicians that are trying to get access to up a dialect or research studies or even through patient access.
[00:30:49] One of the, you know, the biggest things that they’ve said time and time again is that the FDA DEA are very co-op. But they’ve boxed themselves in, you know, there is this [00:31:00] extreme regulatory framework that the FDA DEA, as, you know, set up against themselves that has boxed them in. So they don’t have the ability to, you know, want to just drop it for, you know, but they don’t have the regulatory ability to engage in this activity just yet.
[00:31:14] But it does seem like they do like to cooperate, you know, within reason for drugs that have passed the clinical pipeline that have been proven to be effective. So I, you know, I’m very pro pharma and I think that, you know, there are very positive things that will come out down the line with it.
[00:31:30] But do you want
[00:31:31]Bryan Fields: to take your natural stance of anti pharma
[00:31:34]Kellan Finney: now? I think that from an optimistic perspective, I mean the biggest challenge is going to be like, we’ve, we’ve literally been discussing how specific strains, a different effect. And I
[00:31:45]Ben Euhus: think to kind of distill.
[00:31:47]Kellan Finney: That down to its essence is different strains are gonna have different chemical profiles.
[00:31:52] Right. And at the end of the day, we’re seeing the very complex extracts that could have upwards of four, 400 [00:32:00] chemicals president at one time. Right. Just you’re manipulating a few of these different chemicals in very, very small concentrations. Right. Because if I don’t know exactly what the. Potency of cannabinoids in terms of mainly CBD and THC were in your extracts, but I’m imagining they’re above 50 to 60% in, in, in the extract.
[00:32:20] So we’re talking the manipulation of the other 40% and with 400 chemicals over that 40%, we’re talking potentially a couple milligram difference in an active chemical. And I mean, it’s just like, it sounds. A very steep hill to climb, to go through and identify exactly which chemical,
[00:32:43]Ben Euhus: which concentration is the one
[00:32:45]Kellan Finney: that’s responsible for what we’re seeing from a result standpoint in how effective these drugs are at that
[00:32:52]Ben Euhus: point right now, using this research, you know, are, you know, because of the pharmaceutical industry, you know, I, you know, [00:33:00] understand that the da kind of got us into this situation at the beginning of the century or beginning of the 19th, 20th century.
[00:33:06] Sorry. And if we have the analytical capacity that we do now, back then, you know, there was a cannabis appeared in the American Pharmacopia as late as 1952, I believe. And there were physicians and pharmacists that were really advocating that the therapeutic potential of this plant has not yet been fully.
[00:33:26] I think if we had that capacity back then there’s no way that it would be the same situation that we’re in now. So, you know, I do realize that, you know, DEA has put us into this and there’s just been a crazy amount of repercussions extending, you know, not even just in medicine, but you know, in in civil rights You know, R because of the you know, the regulatory framework or even how they’re planning or how they deal with it.
[00:33:52] But I think the times are changing. And I think that, you know, people that are inside those, you know, regulatory groups right now would be hard pressed to [00:34:00] say that it does not have you know, therapeutic potential. And, you know, just in terms of the scheduling of CBD and the de scheduling of THC, these are baby steps in the right direction.
[00:34:11] But they’re, I, I feel like indicative that there is a cooperation on Verizon. And I think that
[00:34:17]Kellan Finney: as daunting as that task could be to figure that out, if you put the fundamental research on the shoulders of universities across the globe, I think that they’ll be able to kind of push through with that kind of a, I can’t
[00:34:30]Ben Euhus: wait.
[00:34:31] Honestly, I feel
[00:34:33]Bryan Fields: like we’re about to go through like a period of time where there’s going to be just massive breakthroughs and it’s just going to be so exciting to see like all the progress from me.
[00:34:41]Ben Euhus: Yeah. And, you know, even outside of cause there’s like little blips of this and one of the most fascinating endocrinologist scientists me is this, I think her last name is Mueller and she’s a German scientist who’s treating Tourette’s.
[00:34:53] She’s got this conjugated system using a like an antibody-based delivery tied to PA, which is a [00:35:00] endocannabinoid. So I think that will, you know, in the realm of medicine and. Begin to see compounds like that. You know, we’ll start merging cannabis compounds with you know, monoclonal antibodies bi-specific antibodies, things like that, you know, inducing it at an adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy.
[00:35:15] And I think that we’ll just see a tremendous benefit that otherwise wouldn’t be possible using these compounds by themselves. So I’m very optimistic about it. They need to teach this in school for sure. But, you know, I, I do think it’s on the road. One problem at a
[00:35:29]Bryan Fields: time. So question for you, Ben, what is one area that the everyday consumer of cannabis might not be aware of?
[00:35:37] Just from your understanding or research, something that you’ve come across that you say that most people would be surprised or be shocked
[00:35:44]Ben Euhus: by. I mean the field of the endocannabinoid system in general, you know, I or what we know about the endocannabinoid system in general you know, I tell people all the time that cannabis co-evolved with the, you know, the ECS cannabis led us to the endocannabinoid system in the lab, [00:36:00] but in nature, The endocannabinoid system led to cannabis.
[00:36:04] You know, this is a series of receptors and enzymes and Liggins found in all species that predates cannabis, that predates trees, that predates flowering plants by hundreds of millions of years. So when I’m talking to you know, most cannabis users that are familiar with CB one CB to the extent of how prolific and ancient this system doesn’t seem to be, you know, understood or common knowledge just yet, which is extremely frustrating.
[00:36:34] So, and I, you know, I just feel like on a common level, you know, what we know about the endocannabinoid system really needs to be identified and just grounded in to our cultural lens. Since
[00:36:44]Bryan Fields: you’ve been in the cannabinoid industry, what has been your biggest misconstrue?
[00:36:48]Ben Euhus: The biggest misconception, I guess that you know, that THC and CBD are the only company.
[00:36:54] But that’s not the same problem that you find with cannabis users. You know, at this point they kind of know about, you know, CBG and [00:37:00] CBN and things like that. But I guess that, you know, the anticancer properties lay, you know, exclusively in THC or THC and CBD, but even using CBG, you know, we’ve seen at least in cell research that it produces a tremendous amount.
[00:37:16]Bryan Fields: What what’s your favorite minor cannabinoid? That’s not really getting the most publicity out there.
[00:37:21]Ben Euhus: You think a is CBN, is that considered minor? Canaveroid
[00:37:27] okay. I don’t know. 3, 1, 3 16 B. Yeah. I would say that honestly, they’re one of pounds that is unidentified. There are glimpses in, you know, cell and in vivo research. That shows that this might play a role in the bioactive effects. That’s admitted from these extracts. So I’d have to say one of the ones that isn’t fully identified yet, because when we’re doing these fractionation methods, it seems that those compounds are actually playing a [00:38:00] significant role, which just blows my mind.
[00:38:02] I find
[00:38:03]Bryan Fields: that
[00:38:03]Ben Euhus: on the internet, I will have to take a look, but I, don’t not sure. Google, just Google that exact. Yeah. I shouldn’t even be talking about it, but you can look, they’re going to show
[00:38:18]Bryan Fields: to Ben’s house now.
[00:38:20]Ben Euhus: My old PI is going to show up in my house and take me away. So the idea of that is going to show up.
[00:38:26] But if you look at publications from the miry lab you know, one of the things that you can see between the difference in the PTZ study that I mentioned with the mice that were induced with an epileptic response and even the paper that they just released in February of this year, that was actually using patient samples and surveys.
[00:38:44] Is this tremendous difference in those unidentified. So it remains to be seen, which one of those could carry a bioactive compound. But it does we just don’t know as much as we think we do at this point. That’s how dope,
[00:38:58]Bryan Fields: if you could sum up your experience in the [00:39:00] cannabinoid space into a main takeaway or lesson learned to pass onto the next generation.
[00:39:05]Ben Euhus: What would it be? One thing that I, yeah, it seems that what really is essential right now is an understanding of analytical chemistry, bioinformatics in silico, which is like computational, like ligand binding and stuff like that. So I really think that like, what is going to be most helpful to this field is this interdisciplinary cross discipline expertise that.
[00:39:27] So helpful in the field of medicine right now. And that seems to be like, were even, you know, the recreational and the medicinal space are most lacking is with analytical chemists, bioinformatics, computational scientists, things of that nature. And it’s, you know, it’s more than likely that that is going to be what really helps us elucidate what the heck’s going on with this plant.
[00:39:51]Bryan Fields: Five years from now. It’s 20, 26. Have we achieved a breakthrough in cannabinoid research that has changed this, the [00:40:00] space medically
[00:40:00]Ben Euhus: forever. And I don’t know, where were we? Five years ago? Like let’s think in 2016. And I guess Epidiolex had been released had been rescheduled though, and it wasn’t even, you know, out in a couple of countries and, you know, even a few states hadn’t even, you know, began the process of the Medicity.
[00:40:19] Market. So, so I don’t know. It’s hard to say there has been tremendous change in the last five years. It has been tremendous change the last 10 years, but seriously, like what we know about the endocannabinoid system and everything that I’ve kind of said in regards to that was discovered before 2012.
[00:40:34] So it’s out there. It just needs to be brought to light in my opinion. So, yeah, I don’t know it, baby steps, to be honest. And I guess it depends if you’re asking me, but you know, sister asking me, I, I would say that these would be tremendous steps. Like I’m so gung ho about you know, just the, the minor incremental steps that we’re taking.
[00:40:53] And, you know, even if, because I’m in Texas right now. So even if Texas was just to offer an expanded list of conditions [00:41:00] offered, you know, to the medical marijuana program, I think that would be a, just a tremendously large. So the other Texans, we talked
[00:41:07]Kellan Finney: to
[00:41:10]Bryan Fields: say that we need you on the record though. Ben, have we achieved a big breakthrough by 2026?
[00:41:17]Ben Euhus: I’m gonna S a shit I’m going to say maybe, maybe it depends on the access. You know, Israel is doing an incredible job and it’s, you know, they’re one of the only countries right now that’s using the access. They have. You know, I’m not really sure what’s going on Canada. I never worked there before, but they do not engage in the same biological experiments.
[00:41:39] The Marzo is like B man in my book, and he’s just done so much for this field. It’s, you know, most people came and hold a candle to him, but unless countries are able to increase their access. More than likely we’re going to be somewhat in the same space VR now, but I do want to harp that even though we don’t have like biological access in the states, [00:42:00] the recreational industry has really driven a lot of innovation, you know, without the recreational industry, we would not see this, you know and see allodynic effect of CVG.
[00:42:09] You know, these anti-anxiety effects of CBG, the, you know, use of CBN for sleep and things like that. So I do believe that the recreational industry. Innovation, but in my mind, there is not another country like Israel, that’s producing the same level of output necessary to really get us so point where we have a fine holding on, you know, everything that’s plant has to offer.
[00:42:33]Bryan Fields: So I’ll have you down as a maybe leaning.
[00:42:36]Ben Euhus: Yeah, there you go. I like that. I say yes.
[00:42:39]Kellan Finney: And I think the breakthrough is that we rescheduled THC and CBD and you get access globally. Universities get access to it, which I think then will be kind of like the catalyst for just a waterfall of innovation and deeper understanding associated with the.
[00:42:54] Indogenous chemicals in the planet, across the board. What about you, Brian? What’s your prediction? Let’s hear
[00:42:58]Ben Euhus: it. So usually
[00:42:59]Bryan Fields: I like to take the [00:43:00] opposite of the consensus, but for this one, I agree. I think it’s just going to be like a stepping stone of advanced innovation and it’s going to be fast. I think there’s going to be breakthrough left and right, because we’re finally just going to open up the gates and say, all right guys, like have at it, like, let’s see what we can find out.
[00:43:16] And even from the early studies, it seems like it’s super, super promising. Having advanced opportunities to kind of expand on this would really be promising.
[00:43:24]Ben Euhus: Yeah. And I’ll just say one more thing. You can see what type of clinical studies are being undergone right now. You just go on like clinical.gov. I believe it is.
[00:43:34] But if you Google that, you know, you’ll be able to find it about two years ago and don’t call me this. But like a few years ago there was a, just a tiny, tiny amount of clinical trials undergone using cannabis compounds that were being. Is that the word, but right now I believe that there is, you know, upwards of over 70 or so just in the states alone.
[00:43:54] And they, you know, they vary between you know, can you drive on this to the effects of you know, [00:44:00] people with multiple sclerosis, but there’s a tremendous amount of clinical trials that we’re not being, you know, the, the list has just grown every single year. So that to me makes me feel very often.
[00:44:11] Yeah. Just the
[00:44:11]Bryan Fields: idea that cannabis can help people medically, I think is like, kind of sometimes like the silent story in the room with all of the noise that’s going on. And I think it’s so promising that at the end of the day, if this product can show people, we should allow others to kind of benefit from it.
[00:44:27] And if it helps people, if that’s all that
[00:44:28]Ben Euhus: matters. So
[00:44:31]Bryan Fields: Ben for our followers who want to get in touch, they want to learn more and they want to pick your brain about this new cannabinoid. Where can
[00:44:37]Ben Euhus: they reach out? So you can find me through Veridian and we spell that B E R I D I a N. So you can find [email protected]
[00:44:47] Verdeans the color green VR is the Latin roots of truth. So we are a green truth, basically. You can also just feel free to reach out to me at Benoy who’s 91 at genome.com. Welcome any [00:45:00] kind of collaboration questions. Or anything of the sort, thanks so much your time. Ben, are you shaded guys? [00:45:05] Pleasure to be here.