Episode 107: Understanding the Benefits of CBD with Colleen Higgins

Have you been wondering why some CBD oils work and others don’t? Do you want to learn how CBD can replace other medications and supplements you are taking? This episode will provide the tools you need to find the right CBD oil, delivery method, and how to dose it.

Do not miss these highlights:

[4:21] Working in the dispensaries, Colleen realized how little knowledge there was with pharmacists and physicians, so she wrote her book, The Cannabis Prescription

[5:16] The increased use of cannabis for medical reasons that is helping us step out of the opioid crisis

[6:46] A look at the endocannabinoid system, a receptor system in the body and some treatment strategies

[10:38] The importance of understanding and treating clients with CBD and THC so that they can be aware of possible side effects and adjust dosages accordingly

[12:37] Finding quality brand CDB products, researching producer practices and starting dosages

[16:47] An outline of the different methods of CDB ingestion such as oil, vape, and edibles

[19:40] Understanding the different strains of THC

[22:29] Uncovering the misconception of weight gain and CBD

[23:21] US regulations on the production of cannabis and hemp, its usage and the misunderstandings that come with it

[30:15] The impact the pharmaceutical industry has on our health

[33:12] How treating a symptom can just leave the rest of the body to deal with the side effects rather than looking at the body as a whole instead

About Our Guest:

Colleen Higgins is a pharmacist, author, and speaker who helps translate the complex world of pharmaceutical and cannabis medicine into an accessible language for patients and caregivers.

She has been helping patients understand how to get the most out of their medications for almost thirty years, first in various retail pharmacies, and most recently as a cannabis pharmacist in the medical marijuana program in Connecticut.

In 2020, Colleen completed her first book, The Cannabis Prescription: How to Use Medical Marijuana to Reduce or Replace Pharmaceutical Medications.

She created SwayInnovations.com, an educational website designed to translate cannabis science, in order to make it more accessible for both patients and healthcare professionals.

Colleen speaks to healthcare professionals, trains dispensary staff and educates patients groups on how the medical benefits of cannabis can be applied to specific symptoms in order to achieve a comfortable and successful outcome.

Colleen is certified in Diabetes Management, Medication Therapy Management and as a Pain Management Specialty Pharmacist

Social Media & Website:

www.ColleenHigginsRPh.com

www.SwayInnovations.com  

https://www.facebook.com/groups/587151111858241

Twitter: @ColleenHiggy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleen-higgins-rph-5160991a4/

Instagram: ColleenHigginsAuthor

Transcription of Episode #107:

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness. Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms.

Debra Muth 0:16
So it is so good to be back with you guys today. I am your host, Dr. Deb. And it is a pleasure for me to be with Colleen Higgins today. And Colleen is a pharmacist, an author, keynote speaker, and also a fellow podcaster. And Colleen is going to talk to us today about the benefits of CBD, and how we can reduce the prescription list of medications or prescription list of supplements that people are using. And can we replace that with CBD? And when we do that, how effective is that? What can we expect to see. And more importantly, today we’re going to talk about reputable sources for CBD because there’s a ton of controversy out there. There’s a lot of products. Some are good, some are not, it’s kind of like everything else in the world of medicine and supplements. But this is an expensive product. So you want to make sure that you get it right from the get go so that you can see that benefit. So Colleen, I can’t wait to talk to you today and share your knowledge with us.

Debra Muth 1:38
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Debra Muth 2:53
Colleen, welcome to the show. I’m so happy to have you here today. And I’m excited to talk about CBD with you.

Colleen Higgins 3:00
Thanks so much great to be here.

Debra Muth 3:01
Great. So this is a hot topic right now a lot of people in my practice and in others for the last couple yearshave been really looking to use CBD as an alternative to not only some of their prescriptions, but maybe some of their other supplements. And you are an expert in this topic. So I can’t wait to have this conversation with you. Me too.

Colleen Higgins 3:26
Lots of questions. I always get a lot of questions wherever I go.

Debra Muth 3:29
Absolutely. So tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started in this realm. Sure.

Colleen Higgins 3:35
I started out as a pharmacist. So I have been a pharmacist now going on. Oh, we’re talking about like 25 years, which is crazy. So we started off in that realm. And at that point, if cannabis did not exist, it was an illegal drug. The propaganda was strong and it was you know, a troublemaker. So all that went away, although around the time that I got licensed, they did discover the endocannabinoid system. So we started with that right? Around 2013. In Connecticut here the program was the MediCal program was started. So in 2014, I started in the program, I actually wanted to get a license a medical licenses for dispensary myself, I was not able to get one of those. So I have been working in the dispensaries. And very quickly, I noticed how there was, you know, pharmacists are not trained physicians are trained in school on this. And so to give the information the patients required to get a good outcome, I didn’t have enough time. So I ended up writing a book. So in 2019, I wrote my book, The Cannabis Prescription, which is available on Amazon and on my website, Sway Innovations. So with that it was really a directive so patients could refer to something again and again and again. But since 2014, I’ve counseled many, many, many patients, and it’s fascinating. I had no idea as a pharmacist that people were really failing on the drugs that I was just going through because if they It’s not working for them, they just don’t come back. So or they’ll or they’ll talk to the doctor and see another drug pop up and then another trying different drugs. And with cannabis, I was just amazed as so many physicians are and pharmacists are and people that work in it see the results very quickly. We’re also talking about a significantly less toxic drug than the pharma drugs. So for things like inflammation, there are studies coming out that are concluding that it is significantly effective for pain so we can step out of that opioid crisis that we’ve met in and as something to step even further as something that we can look down down the road for for dementia and Parkinson’s, which are pretty similar in the way that they present. There’s no medications for that we have no anti inflammatories that cause this damage in the brain. So there’s been some chatter now about possible use of cannabis as well for dementia and Parkinson’s because of the strong potent anti inflammatory properties of the plant itself. Both CBD and THC and then we’ve got 100 other ones at least 100 other ones have, they’re called cannabinoids, so very interesting stuff. And I’ve just been fascinated by it since day one.

Debra Muth 6:08
It is awesome. And you mentioned the endocannabinoid system. Can you talk to our listeners a little bit about what that is? Because it’s an amazing system. That for the longest time we didn’t understand anything about it. We didn’t understand that we weren’t feeding it. But can you talk to us a little bit about what that is and kind of what’s been missing all these years since we haven’t been using cannabis in our environment?

Colleen Higgins 6:32
Sure, sure. The endocannabinoid system, fantastic discoveries such a shame that it wasn’t discovered before the 1990s because as a schedule one drug, we’re not able to do research on a schedule one drug, but with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, it’s the most prolific receptor system in the body. So we have them through our nervous system through our gut in our eyes on our skin. So this and there is a lock and key effect with THC, but with CBD, not as much so it will land in the receptor. But then other areas of the body serotonin is one are affected by these CBD molecules. So there is a theory that we have a balance of our endocannabinoid system, we’re looking to have that system balance. And if it’s off balance, we develop symptoms that are often difficult to treat through pharma medications, such as fibromyalgia, such as migraines. migraines have been very effectively been treated with on both CBD and THC. So there’s this imbalance of this system and then we start getting different symptoms glaucoma, another disease that’s very effectively treated through cannabis. And for patients that can’t get relief through the other medications. It’s the only thing for some patients. So yeah, balance of the endocannabinoid system, which allows us to not develop diseases down the road.

Debra Muth 7:53
Yeah, and I think that’s so important. Because there there is some thought to that because we have been beating that endocannabinoid system for all these years, that maybe some of the complications or some of the diseases that we’ve seen, in the more recent years, the last 10 or 15 years that that could be a result of not feeding that system. Is that correct?

Colleen Higgins 8:13
Yeah, absolutely. We look at that. Let’s look at fibromyalgia. You know, that was I think about it in my book, it’s it’s close to 20 years before they developed a drug. Most of the patients are female. As we know, sometimes in healthcare female patients are left in your head or it’s not quite and can’t find anything. Yeah, real. And the people that experienced this, they you know that it’s a real, real problem and real symptoms. So this is something that’s helped tremendously for those patients. And yeah, so it’s really something that we’re just starting to dive into now.

Debra Muth 8:44
Yeah, it’s, it’s really a shame that we’ve gone this long before we could understand something just simply because it was a schedule one drug, right. And then we have all these new drugs that come to market that are more problematic than CBD. And yet we prescribe them like their candy. And it’s no big deal right now. And

Colleen Higgins 9:05
they do not I read an article a news article the other day how the UK was watching one of our broadcasts here, I can’t remember exactly what it was. And they were shocked at the Big Pharma commercials that we have here. They don’t do that and the rest of the world, you don’t want to advertise these and they were like, why are people taking anything? You’re also like, I’m gonna die. No, it’s they’re advertised and they have the side effect of death, which cannabis does not so it’s very confusing for a lot of patients, but we are seeing tremendous overgrowth, I would say overgrowth of this industry right now. And a lot of our patients are senior patients, as you know, they are they have to come off the medications as they get older and that increased chance of death and other dementia and opioid. So I talked to many patients in their 80s and 90s, who take nothing and just remain in pain because they can’t take the other medications. And when they start to learn how to use cannabis, it’s extremely effective very quickly. And it’s really wonderful to have that tool in our toolbox now, because you can’t take the steroids, you can’t take the ibuprofen, you can’t take, you know, all these other inflammatory drugs that they need.

Debra Muth 10:16
Yeah. And even though you can take those things, they create so many problems for us. I mean, look at the kidney issues and the liver issues. And as we get older, and those systems don’t work as well, but cannabis and CBD really don’t come with any of those side effects. So we don’t have to worry about kidney function and liver function and interference with stuff like that. Such a plus,

Colleen Higgins 10:38
we have to just educate our practitioners on the side effects. I think that’s where we’re at. We had a woman who was doing very, very well, with some, some headaches and some migraines and some pains, we put her on an extended release CBD tablet, and she started to develop some gut pain because at high dose DVD, you can develop kind of a crampy belly and upset belly and maybe a mild headache. And she did develop those in the doctors were kind of lost for a bit and instead of just lowering the dose, they took her off completely and she was went without medication, all their stuff came back. So if we could just you know, educate on the dosing, and then another funny story, your listeners will, I can tell you all kinds of stuff. And the other patient I had, she had Parkinson’s, she had pain, she had all kinds of stuff going on. And so her and her sister came in for a consultation. I gave them a honey that had equal amounts of CBD and THC and we started her on a nice low dose. And the sister helped saw her her sister doing so well. She decided to try a dose for her pain, but apparently took a little too much. And was having some trouble reading. So when she went to talk to her neighbor who was a stroke nurse, she thought she was having a stroke.

Debra Muth 11:45
Oh my gosh,

Colleen Higgins 11:46
SHE went to the hospital and was being tested for a stroke when really was she just took a little too much THC. So we really need to educate our practitioners about what a side effect is of THC or CBD. So we don’t get all, you know, crazy.

Debra Muth 11:59
all worked up about so all right, and have that Million dollar workup for nothing. It’s right. Yeah,

Colleen Higgins 12:05
the cost of it for those side effects is totally unnecessary. is

Debra Muth 12:10
you know, so I’ve seen a lot of patients over the last few years that have been using CBD. And the question always becomes, how do I know I’ve got a right quality brand? And how do I know that I’ve got a good dosage? Can you help guide people into how do you know which brand is good and which one is not. And I’ll preface this by saying if you’re getting your CBD at the gas station, it’s probably not the best quality CBD.

Colleen Higgins 12:35
That’s the one that’s that’s the good one. We have a lot of these CBD CBD stores popping up around our town. And I’ll stop in and take a sample just to kind of see and talk to them and find out where it was produced. And I found some really good quality products. There’s a website called socialCBD.com. They are run by one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. And their products are extremely well tested. And they’re not only well tested and quality products, but they’re good doses. So many of these CBD products, as you know, over the counter products are not regulated by the FDA. So it only comes to light once there’s a problem and they might not have anything in there that you want. So you want something that is quality product but also has a significant dose. Most patients will start on five to 10 milligrams of CBD, which is a very, very low dose. Although I have seen patients do well on 10 milligrams, and they need to take it more than once a day. So I find when patients take it once a day and I’ll say Hey, how you doing with it. It’s just okay but not really because they’re not taking it often enough to keep the blood levels regulated you want to go a minimum of every 12 hours although every eight hours would be even better. If we’re talking about the oral dosing and social CBD has you can get 2000 milligram drops for under $100 with their discount and you can get 25 milligram gummies which I find to be a great dose for a lot of people 25 milligrams if they wanted to start with a half a gummy twice a day, see how they did and then go up to a full gummy because the lower the dose The more you save in terms of money. But that those there are some quality products but you do want to do your research and make sure that it’s being produced and the ones I saw around here also had other cannabinoids which added to the effect. THC will not be in these products as it is legal. But other cannabinoids like CBN, which is a nice relaxing cannabinoid CBG which is anti inflammatory on the gut. There’s a new one called THC and it’s a Delta eight so it’s not like the regular THC, which gives the strong psychoactive feeling. This one doesn’t have that and this is another molecule that’s coming out to help with relaxation and it’s non psychoactive so it’s just constantly changing, constantly growing. So if you find those other cannabinoids mixed in, that’s good. That’ll that’ll add some more. The more cannabinoids, you have, you have more of an entourage effect, which means that all works together to give you those benefits.

Debra Muth 15:03
That’s awesome information. I appreciate that. Is there a difference between CBD grown organically versus CBD grown non organically or more naturally, but maybe not organic?

Colleen Higgins 15:16
Great question. I would say the growers, we have four producers here in Connecticut, their top quality and when I would talk to them, they say we’re as close to organic as you can get, because anything that goes into the dirt is going to land in your product, right. So if it grows, some mites or some pests, and they spray it down with a big chemical that’s going into your products. So that’s another reason to make sure you do some research on your, your maker of your CBD to make sure organic they said they can get as close as they can possibly get. But they can’t legally put a label on of organic on these products. So you just want to make sure whoever’s making it is making a top quality product.

Debra Muth 15:56
Great. And people should be able to call the manufacturer and ask them what their growing practices are correct?

Colleen Higgins 16:02
Yes, yes. Hopefully that’ll be on their website as well. And you’re dealing with some reputable people. Yeah,

Debra Muth 16:08
yeah. And if they’re not willing to tell you that that would be a red flag, like you probably don’t want to purchase that product. If they’re not willing to tell you their growing practices for sure.

Colleen Higgins 16:18
Exactly. They, the people that are making quality products are extremely proud of that. They go through a lot of time and money to the way they produce the product and the way they test it. So those those companies are gonna want to tell you.

Debra Muth 16:29
Absolutely, absolutely. So is there a difference in delivery between a CBD and an oil versus a edible versus maybe a tablet that’s dissolvable? or a tablet that you swallow? What’s the difference in those different products, how they’re made?

Colleen Higgins 16:47
Yes. So when we inhale something, and people can actually buy CBD vapes, when we inhale something, or we place it under the tongue, excuse me, it’s going directly into the bloodstream. So it’s a very fast effect. CBD sometimes when you’re inhaling it or using it sublingually, it can be difficult to kind of titrate that dose and know what’s best for you, or it’s just a difficult dosage form. So a lot of patients dealing with pain or other issues, excuse me, we’ll take an oral dose, when we take an oral dose, it’s often called an edible. An edible is anything that lands in the belly. So if it’s a brownie, if it’s a cookie, if it’s a pill, anything that lands in the belly, there’s the delay in the absorption. So we have about an hour for most people, sometimes a little bit longer, sometimes a little bit less. And then you generally get about a four to six hour window is what we see in terms of relief for a lot of patients. And so there’s the difference, right? You have a short duration of action and a fast action with something that’s inhaled. And then you have a slower duration of action, or a shorter I mean, I’m sorry, a longer duration of action with the oral doses, but it does take a little while to get there. There’s one little change that’s coming to the market right now. And they’re called nano tinctures. So nano tinctures are when you take that CBD molecule, and you surround it with something called a surfactant. And it just allows it to absorb much more quickly. So if you do find a product that is a nano tincture, it will start working when you take it orally in about 15 minutes. Wow. Yeah, some patients don’t have can have side effects, a little gi upset to those nanotechnology, but it’s a great concept to get a much faster dose out of an oral dose.

Debra Muth 18:29
that’s awesome. That is really awesome. Now, if somebody has a gut issue where they’re not absorbing things, or maybe they have a little CBOE, some small intestinal bowel overgrowth, well, they have a different experience in using an edible versus somebody who’s got a really good healthy gut function.

Colleen Higgins 18:47
Yeah, it could be it absolutely could be in which case, you’d probably look to go either inhaled or sublingual. sublingual, we have quite a few CBD products that are sublingual. I usually ask patients can you take a pill? Right? So at that point, they usually know whether their doctors told them you’re not absorbing. You shouldn’t take oral medications. Or if they’re not if they’re not absorbing. I probably look to a more like a sublingual route or maybe even a liquid. Right? If we’re if we don’t break that tablet down, we might get a little bit more absorption with the liquid, but if they’re not absorbing, they should look to other roots as well. Yeah.

Debra Muth 19:22
Okay, awesome. Can you talk a little bit about some of the different strains for THC? Now there’s the sativa. And there’s indika. My understanding is to sativa gives you more energy indika makes you a little bit more relaxed. Is that actually true?

Colleen Higgins 19:40
Yeah, that’s actually true. There are some scientists who say we don’t need to use the indicus ativa designation and it doesn’t really fit and there are there truth to that, but I find for just lay people right for just the regular person. It’s a good guideline to use. These are indika and sativa are typically THC based poducts. Although we have also indicates the TVs DVD as well, but they don’t tend to feel as strong. those qualities, those sleepy or wakeful qualities are due to something called terpenes. terpenes are the smells and tastes of the flower. So indicas, which are in the bed into couch, that’s what we say about the end, because they tend to be more earthy. They have terpenes, such as beta myrcene. And these are little, little little tools in lavender. So it’s got that relaxing quality. And yes, the team is tend to have something called limonene. And to be a bit more perky and good for depression, for patients with anxiety, just want to let them know they should, they should be a little careful with sativas. Some are very, very stimulating, and can actually induce a little anxiety like too much coffee. So you do have to kind of take the dosing very slow on these strains until you’re familiar with them.

Debra Muth 20:50
Yeah. And what’s a hybrid?

Colleen Higgins 20:53
A hybrid is exactly exactly what it sounds like you’re blending the two. And these days, everything’s hybridized. Let’s be really, we have a strain we picked from some wooded area, and I’ve kept it to itself. You know, it’s it’s all whenever you take that mother plant and you plan it, there was a competition, that’s that’s done annual, and they give a mother plan and they give clones pieces of that to different growers. And the numbers are all over the place, the terpenes, the THC, the CBD, they’re all over they can they can vary as much as 20%. So you know you it’s the grower that’s really going to develop that. And then it’s not just the growing, it’s also the curing and the drying phase as well that you get that real quality product at the end.

Debra Muth 21:32
Awesome. That’s, that’s a good thing, because then we’re really picking the best of both worlds right and putting it into a product. And as we learn more, we’re just constantly tweaking that to to create the best plant we can.

Colleen Higgins 21:46
And some hybrids, llenos ativa. And some hybrids will lean on indika. You kind of have to sample a lot of them are blends because they really want them to be in the middle where everybody can take them a lot of people are looking to relax. So they tend to be a little bit more on the relaxing side. If they’re a hybrid. If you wanted something specifically wakeful, I probably would look for a sativa rather than a hybrid just because the hybrids can tend to be a little bit on the more on the relaxing side.

Debra Muth 22:11
Absolutely. So do you have like, we all know that marijuana has the bad effect of the munchies? Right? Do you have that same effect with CBD so for our women that are conscious about not wanting to gain weight, do they have to worry about that with CBD?

Debra Muth 22:29
No the opposite it can decrease your appetite that’s with were with cancer and are looking to increase their appetite. The CBD is fantastic for the inflammation, right? you’re developing so much inflammation when you’re using the chemo. Naturally, just the drug itself is giving you a lot of inflammation so it to get that CBD and does offer a lot of benefit. But it can decrease the appetite for these patients. So they have to be aware of that. And if they’re not getting the appetite that they are looking for, they might need to decrease their their CBD if they’re using products in combination with CBD and THC. But yeah, that actually does not increase your appetite at all. It can work in the opposite.

Debra Muth 23:09
That’s awesome. So can you talk a little bit about some of the changes we’re seeing in the regulations in the US when it comes to CBD at this point.

Colleen Higgins 23:21
I just read this week that it used to be actually in the farm act of 2019 approved by President Trump there, they legalized hemp, which is a form of cannabis cannabis achieva. And hemp is technically where it has THC below it was point 5%. And that the CBD would be the natural or other cannabinoids were naturally at much richer in those plants, and they would be able to extract it and make their products. They just changed it now. So technically it’s 0.5 to 1%. I guess getting it that low is a little difficult. These plants look exactly like other cannabis, but they legally have less than 1% THC.

Debra Muth 24:02
So that’s on a federal level on the farm bill. That’s amazing. That’s great.

Colleen Higgins 24:07
They’re still figuring out who’s supervising it though. The FDA just said we don’t want to do it. So it’s the USDA want to do. Yeah. So I just wish they’d reschedule it. So we wouldn’t have to deal with the insurance issues and the banking issues and all these other you know, issues. It’s it’s really difficult for those of us that work in the cannabis industry.

Debra Muth 24:28
Absolutely. I know in Wisconsin, we opened up I think it’s been two years now because last year is just kind of a blur, right with COVID. But I think it’s been two years now they opened it up as a learning opportunity. So it’s being managed by our university in Madison, in the USDA part there and so they’ve been studying it to see you know, what can they do working with farmers helping farmers grow again, and it wasn’t they only had like they had a opportunity, I think to have like 50 growers, but they only ended up with like 10 or 15 growers that actually participated in the program, which was bad. I mean, because this was such a huge opportunity.

Colleen Higgins 25:13
Yeah, I’m nervous people get scared. I don’t know what’s legal. I don’t know what’s not legal I get it, I get it. It’s it’s patients that come in, and they’re nervous as well, what a great opportunity to have the university study. That’s smart to link those two. That’s really, really smart. And as people, maybe they don’t know how to grow it, and they don’t want to waste their money killing it. Was that, but yeah, I think that’s a fantastic opportunity just to continuously studying,

Debra Muth 25:42
and they don’t know who they’re going to sell their product to. I mean, farmers are used to going to a specific place to sell their product to but now they have hemp, who did they sell that to? So the university was helping them figure, you know, connect growers and manufacturers, and so that they had a place to sell their product and things like that. So I thought that was really great. And I hope they continue that program for a while to help some of these small farms that want to start to get into this so that they can understand and learn how to do this without wasting, you know, hundreds and 1000s of dollars to get it right. Yeah, exactly.

Colleen Higgins 26:18
Exactly. I think it’s fantastic. Absolutely. There was some issues with some drivers having their plant seized when they were driving those plants to extraction places because they look just like marijuana, regular marijuana that people are used to. So whether that’s all of this confusion is just feeding the problem more and more, as you know, we have this multibillion dollar industry, Colorado, since they’ve developed the program and made it was $10 billion. Yeah. federally illegal. You see that we continue with this. But

Debra Muth 26:53
yeah, where do you go with $10 billion of illegal? I mean, where do you put your money? What do you do? And why can’t we put that money back into society, to help with our taxes to help with the homeless? I mean, there’s so many things that we could do with that kind of money, are these states that are like falling apart? And they’re bankrupt?

Colleen Higgins 27:14
Yeah, in Connecticut, they’re they’re very much looking our governor is because we have all the states surrounding us that are going recreational. So and they were talking about putting tolls back on our roads and another gas tax, we have enough taxes here in Connecticut, I’ll tell you that. So you know, this would solve all those problems. And they in the education system needing more funds, and this would solve all infrastructure, all of it would be solved by having this up and running.

Debra Muth 27:40
We have the same problem. Everybody around us is illegal marijuana state, we are the only ones sitting in the island of the Midwest that doesn’t even have a legal marijuana product program yet. And everyone’s going recreational. And so if you want access to things, you literally go across the state line and go into Illinois and go to their dispensary that is not even half a mile over our state line buy what you want. And you bring it back in. And the state said, well, as long as you have below x percentage, we’ll leave you alone. And I’m thinking, so we’re going to give all of our money to our neighboring states, instead of keeping our money here, and we’re broke, and they’re broke. And this makes absolutely no sense because people aren’t going to get it if they want it. And we’ve already proven that it’s not as bad as what people think.

Colleen Higgins 28:29
Well, I wrote the first chapter I wrote, I started with the history on cannabis, because it’s extremely interesting. Yes, you know that none of this is built on safety and science. Not a drop. It’s completely built on money and politics. And there’s a lot of racism tied into it as well. It’s just never been built on the good of study. And man, it’s been built on this other fear and propaganda. And it started you know, Robert Randall was the first he was the gentleman who had glaucoma and was going blind steadily. And the Supreme Court show that that was the only thing that was that was keeping him from going blind. And he did die without ever going blind. And then they started growing it in Mississippi, and I remember thinking, please, now they’re growing it. Our government is growing it and giving it to people yet it’s unsafe, and there’s no medical value. Wow. Okay, that’s just, you know, that’s not going to roll so the medical value is there. But where do those where’s that money going to come from? You know, that’s going to come off with Big Pharma that’s going to come up with alcohol that’s going to come off tobacco, you bet is again, you know, I wrote about it in the book where it dropped 15% Medical programs that opened up the states lost 50% of their alcohol sales to a very powerful industry. So yeah, you know, it’s it’s, it’s typically not about safety on this is really about money.

Debra Muth 29:49
Well, if people look at the history, I mean, our Constitution was written on hemp paper. And if we look back and we say, why was it given such a bad name? Well, in part it was because they were in able to make textiles out of hemp. And they were able to make all these things. But the big elite people who had tree farms that wanted everything to be done on paper, they’re actually the ones that made have such a bad thing.

Colleen Higgins 30:15
The paper mills, yeah, he’s huge. First paper mills and then pharma. Back then pharma actually had an in, but they there was just this whole press of getting rid of it. And so, you know, they started with the Tax Act. And that was shown debunked by Mr. Leary, of leery of when he went and crossed down into Mexico and said, this is an unconstitutional act. So the next thing came along, I think it’s 71 and created the scheduling and this is only a 71. Right now scheduled as a federal drug, the head of the American Medical Association came and said, Please don’t do this. Please don’t do it anyway. So if you’re having the head of the American Medical Association coming in saying this is bad for humanity, and you’re doing it anyway, yeah, for sure. Tough to swallow that one.

Debra Muth 31:01
It is tough to swallow it. And then when you look at who holds the patents on a lot of these things, it’s the tobacco industry is the pharmaceutical industries. They’ve all held patents for years on this. And it’s like, Okay, if it was so bad, and they didn’t want it there, why did they go and get a patent for something?

Colleen Higgins 31:21
They know the money is that’s why they keep an eye, they hold on to it super, super tight. They know.

Debra Muth 31:28
Yeah, I always say if the pharmaceutical industry is behind something, you better dig deeper, because there’s a reason they’re behind something. And you know, when they put out their drug, a new drug, I always look at it. I tell patients don’t do anything until the drugs been on the market at least three years, because within that time, there’ll be a lawsuit if it’s bad, and then you will have dodged a bullet. Yes, nine times out of 10. There is a lawsuit that comes out because they knew there was a problem. But they needed to make their research money back anyway. So they just put it out there about it.

Debra Muth 32:00
Have you heard of the latest with Singulair, a very, very popular asthma drug that’s been given out, I had no idea until someone was affected with that side effect of possible suicide and aggravation and anxiety, you’d never think of that with an asthma drug. So there is now a blackbox warning on that, that it can cause severe mental side effects. So and if you think about teenagers, and all those that are going through those times with that, and how delicate they are, and you don’t hear about it, you don’t hear I never heard anything until I looked it up. And I couldn’t believe because I’ve been out of Pharmacy Practice now for six years that that had popped up and there wasn’t a peep.

Debra Muth 32:38
Nobody’s talking about it. And, and for our listeners, you know, your doctors don’t always know this kind of stuff, either. They don’t know the side effects, they don’t know a lot of things. And so when you go with a new complaint, unless you can put it together that this started after you started a particular medication, and even then they probably won’t listen to you. You have to be your own person that identifies this, because they’re just going to want to give you another pill that takes care of this new side effect that you got, instead of looking at the fact that the drug they gave you may be causing the side effect in and of itself. Exactly.

Colleen Higgins 33:12
Yeah, it’s interesting. They don’t they don’t pick up on that. Or we’ll just try a new one. And it’s it’s very frustrating. It’s very, very frustrating. And a lot of people are tired of going in, I know I’m tired as well, I was one of those patients that dealt with chronic sinus infections for over a decade to sinus surgeries. And it was a dairy allergy the whole time. Yeah. So you know, just tired of going in and getting more pills every time you walk in. And it’s just it’s become the norm. And we’re not quite sure why anymore.

Debra Muth 33:41
Exactly.

Colleen Higgins 33:42
And we treat we treat our body like a car part I car is I always thought you know, each part, you take this one away, oh, that should fix that problem. And then the whole rest of the body deals with the side effects. So we need to treat it more on on Eastern medicine, a whole unit, a single unit that’s tied together.

Debra Muth 33:57
Yeah. And that’s what’s so nice about CBD is you’re getting a plant as a whole instead of getting an extract because so many of our drugs are made from an extract from a plant, but it’s the one thing and when you lose that synergy of things, that’s when we get side effects. This is so such a nice thing about CBD is you’re getting the plant as a whole. So it can combat some of those side effects.

Colleen Higgins 34:18
Exactly, exactly what you want. And the non toxic effects and the anti inflammatory effects. There’s just so many benefits to this plant versus the pharma drug. We have pharma drugs, fantastic, can’t say anything bad about them, you know, the the, the extension of life and the quality of life and some amazing, amazing things. But the idea and as a pharmacist, it just felt wrong for me that people were coming in and I’m living on this drug and I’m living on this drug and I’m now on five drugs and I’m now on 18 drugs and I’m like, Is this better for the patient or? Yeah. Soyeah, it’s it’s a matter of just going and getting a pill going and getting a pill and realizing that I think we need to look at what are our foods that we’re eating, what’s our stress level that we’re eating it I have personally I moved more towards acupuncture and chiropractic with pain. So, you know, it’s just a matter of the insurance has to cover it, right? So if the insurance isn’t covering and patients aren’t going to go for it.

Debra Muth 35:13
Yeah, we need our whole insurance system to change so that patients can use their insurance dollars to pay for what they want to do that was forced down their throat. And then we would truly have wellness, because then we truly have prevention and it would cost their insurance companies a lot less if we were doing true preventative and that’s what they actually paid for. Outside of you know, just a pap smear and a mammogram and vaccines are not preventative. But you know, that could be a whole nother conversation. Well, Colleen this has been such a great conversation. If people are interested in learning more about what you do and what you know, how can they reach out to you?

Colleen Higgins 35:53
Yes, so they can reach me through my website, my website is colleenhiggginsrph.com Otherwise Sway Innovations, maybe easier to remember, I got my dog here. He’s about to start running around making noise. So Sway innovations, and people send me questions all the time. So whether it’s about cannabis, or whether it’s about their regular medications, you know, my doctor wants to start me on Zoloft. What do you think about that? And I’m happy to give my opinion. I have some blogs on there and a connection to where you can get the book which is on Amazon and has received amazing reviews. I’m so so happy about. So yes, I know. It’s very happy. So Swain innovations, feel free to reach out if you have any questions whatsoever.

Debra Muth 36:32
That is great. And for those of you who might be listening to this, once you’re driving, don’t try to write it down. We’ll have it on our website. And we’ll also send your her information and her book information where you guys can get that on Amazon. We will link that all in the show notes. And when we send our blast out to social media, we will also put that there for her and you as well so you can get access to that. Thank you so much, Colleen. This has been a great conversation. This was fun.

Colleen Higgins 36:56
Thanks so much, anytime.

Debra Muth 36:59
Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest

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