Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Weed Budz Radio! I am your host, Ry Russell and today we have a special guest, Riley Kirk, Ph.D. Cannabis Research Scientist and Educator.
Join our discussion of the importance of using intention to heal, nourish, and make lifestyle changes to promote healthy living. Learn about Riley’s journey of educating individuals across the country about equipping themselves to make good choices about how and when to use traditional Pharma vs natural remedies such as cannabis and her desire to create supplements that are ethically harvested and safer for consumers.
We have lots to discuss, join us!
Welcome back to another episode of WeedBudz radio.
And, of course, I’m your host Ry Russell, and I want
to talk to you all today about healthy cannabis living.
We often do not put a lot of intention
necessarily into the things that we consume or how
we consume them, and I know that I definitely
don’t, at least not as much as I should.
And so that’s why I’m really excited to
introduce our next guest to you, Riley Kirk. And Riley,
welcome to Weedbudz Radio.
Hey, thanks. I’m stoked to be here, and both of our
names are kind of Ry, which is fun. Yeah.
But yeah, I’m excited to talk about intention
because I live my whole life around intention. Amazing.
And Riley is joining us from New Hampshire and received
her doctorate from the University of Rhode Island and also
happens to be a Maine native like myself and grew
up not too far away from each other.
And Riley is a cannabis research scientist, and
she educates hundreds of thousands of individuals every
day across all of her platforms.
And so we’ll definitely have links to all
of her channels in our show notes.
So you’ll definitely want to continue to follow Riley.
Well, I want to jump in because we get into
the cannabis side of things in a little bit.
But, Riley, I saw on your Instagram, I saw you
making your own supplements, first of all, and that got
me completely intrigued, and why are you doing this?
And then I got to learn a little bit
more about your lifestyle, so I’d love for you
to kind of share that with everyone.
Yeah, I think it’s really cool that you’re interested
in learning about this, because usually when people are
talking to me, they’re just trying to get me
to feed them cannabis knowledge, and that’s great, but
it’s so much more than that.
It’s not just cannabis is going to
solve all of your problems in life.
It often includes some lifestyle changes and just
being aware of what’s going into your body.
So I kind of take this to an extreme.
I am fortunate that I have enough property that I
can grow most of my medicinal plants and supplements.
My husband and I are super passionate about harvesting
most of our meat through trapping, hunting, fishing.
We grow most of our vegetables,
and we also grow our medicine.
So part of the reason I started making my
own medicine, I’ll get into the other part, too.
But in graduate school, I was working with
the FDA on a project where they were
looking into supplements that have been adulterated, meaning
that there was something else other than what
was supposed to be in that product.
So sometimes this gets intense when there’s a toxic
plant that’s included into a, quote, medicinal plant.
So then they’d have to understand
how that happened, et cetera.
But a lot of these supplement companies, if you
were to just go to Walmart and buy a
ginkgo or ashwaganda supplement, they’re not harvested ethically.
They’re often like very young children harvesting all these
plants, and they’re kind of just shipping them over
for us to mass extract and then throw them
on the shelves in a capsule.
So I think one thing that I’m very passionate about
is knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body.
If I’m growing those supplements, I know what they
look like, I know what active compounds are in
them, and I know how to extract them.
And that is why I choose to do that.
And I think the other problem here is, if you’re
taking supplements that are in capsules or something like that,
that is taking away this component of intention.
Because as Americans, we’re living such busy, busy
lives that we want things to be
as quick and accessible as possible.
So if I read on the Internet that ashwagandha
is going to help me with my stress in
my extremely stressful life, I’m just going to run
downstairs and take a pill every morning that has
ashwagandha in it and then race off to work.
That’s not how traditional medicine works.
Traditional medicine is taking the
time to produce that medicine.
And as you’re making that medicine, whether you’re making
a tea out of leaves or roots or a
tincture, by extracting things in alcohol, you’re intentionally paying
attention to what you’re trying to heal.
And this sounds super, supper hippie, and I am definitely classified
as a hippie, but there has been evidence that this
helps by actually putting your brain towards the actual issue
and saying, I’m trying to be less stressed.
So for this next 20 minutes,
I’m going to prepare a medicine.
And as I’m preparing that medicine, I’m
going to think about why I’m stressed.
I’m going to think about how I can
help with that stress and all of that’s
kind of incorporated into this traditional medicinal approach
at relieving these different issues in their lives.
The same thing can be said for cannabis, too.
Cannabis is absolutely a medicinal plant,
and there are hundreds of different
reasons that people are using cannabis.
And you can use that in multiple ways.
You can just be absolutely stoned for
your entire life and absolutely obliterated.
You’d use tons and tons of THC, and for
some people, that is the medicinal component of it.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you probably do
need a lot of THC to get through your
days, and it’s going to be different for everyone.
But if you’re using it for mental health issues or
some other issues, using it in a lower dose and
really having to pay attention to why you’re using it.
Are there other lifestyle changes that you can
make that can also assist in that medicine?
Maybe cannabis brings your brain to a better spot,
but then when you’re in that better spot mentally,
you need to shift your thoughts and energy into
thinking about how you can improve your life.
Cannabis isn’t just like an instant switch to
change everything in your life to be better.
You still need to put through the effort to get there.
But I think cannabis can help you get there
for sure, but it is a multi step process.
You still do need to pay attention to
what is causing these problems in your life.
Is it just cannabis that you need to
help that are there other natural products?
Are their lifestyle changes?
Are there people in your life you need to get rid of?
It’s incredibly complicated and of course it’s
going to be different for absolutely everyone.
But I think the more that we can be
vulnerable and take the time to pay attention to
our medicine and how it’s helping us.
I think the benefits of cannabis and other
natural products can be so, so much greater than
just taking it in a capsule form or
just like medicating without actually thinking about why
you’re medicating and what you’re trying to solve.
And that’s why I thought it was so critical
to talk to you about this because I feel
like a lot of individuals will bring one approach.
This is a medicinal product for this
reason, or someone else say, well, this
is a recreational product for this reason.
And really it’s part of a lifestyle
and it’s part of a regimen.
And I like that you really kind of hit home
that it’s not a cure all for these things.
And your body is this big machine
and it requires work and effort.
And I think when I was watching your video, like, what
hit me the most was like, man, that’s really cool.
I would love to make my own
supplements and probably learn more about the
supplements that I am taking in whole.
But the way that you just described the process being
so much more than just, oh, well, I want to
make my own supplements, there’s the intention and your mind
is processing all sorts of things during that time.
So it really is more than just
getting high or using cannabis for something.
It’s about the lifestyle.
And so I’m really glad, and I’m glad that our
followers are going to be able to follow you because
you have a lot of tips and tricks about that.
Yeah, I am a scientist, but I am also someone who
has used cannabis every day since I’ve been 14 years old.
Cannabis is a part of my life, a
part of the culture of my friends.
It’s part of what just shaped my life.
But a lot of that was using intentionally and if I
ever felt like it wasn’t intentional or if it was causing
any damage, that I would adjust my lifestyle from there.
And I think that’s the hardest part about educating
on cannabis is we’re not all the same.
We’re not all consuming the same way,
we’re not all consuming the same products.
We all have different tolerance, we all
have different past traumas, mental health issues.
I mean, there’s so many factors.
So often I’ll get these comments like, hey Riley,
how many hours before bed should I smoke?
And it’s like, I have no idea.
I have no idea what would be best for you.
You really do have to experiment and this is kind
of where intention comes again, if your intention is to
for writing things down, especially when you’re learning about cannabis
and what products work for you.
Writing things down, saying, okay, I took this dose
on this day, I was suffering from this.
And then kind of going from there and saying, well,
this worked really well, this didn’t work at all because
I cannot tell you what’s going to work with your
body and I don’t think anybody can.
We can help guide you to maybe
here’s the best extraction method for this.
That’s a way I can tell you what to do.
But telling you a dose and the time of day, etc.
It’s not really going to help everyone in the same way.
And that leads me to ask you, you have
this, I don’t want to say traditional academic background,
but there is a traditional aspect to your studies,
but there’s also the untraditional aspect of clearly you
do a lot of research that’s outside of what
you studied at university.
And I’m interested, how does modern medicine
and plant medicine and just kind of
that whole living, how do they coexist?
Yeah. And I will start by saying yes, I
absolutely have a traditional academic route for education,
but I don’t believe that that’s the way
that all of us need to be educated.
I think there’s many other routes just
from life experiences that we can learn
just as much valuable information.
But I think I kind of speak anti-pharma
often and I know for a lot of people
that might make them feel bad because they’re on
pharmaceutical medications, but I do think there is a
time and a place for pharmaceutical medications and I
think they have brought people a lot of benefits.
But that being said, if you want to take your medicine into
your own hands, it is going to be a lot of work.
It’s not going to be as simple as a
pharmaceutical medication where you just take a pill every
day and it will change essentially your brain chemistry.
I have a lot of friends now
that are trying different things, whether it’s
cannabis, whether it’s psilocybin containing mushrooms, whether
it’s other psychedelic compounds to help essentially
reset their brain architecture.
And this is really hard because not everybody in
your audience, not everybody in the world, really understands
the way that our neural networks work.
I mean, I don’t understand how they work because
they are so complex and they’re overlapping and we
don’t really understand why certain conditions happen.
So I think it is very safe if you’re
in a really bad spot to get on pharmaceutical
medications, to get yourself into a better spot.
And then when you’re in that better spot, really
think about what you’re putting into your body. Study.
I mean, if you just Google Lexapro and molecular
mechanism, it sounds really fancy, but there are articles
out there that are meant for patients, that are
meant for people who don’t know anything about drugs
or pharmacology to learn more.
And I know it’s going to be hard and
you’re going to have to look up some definitions
of certain things, but this is your brain.
It’s really, really important.
Like you are altering the chemistry of your
brain every time you take these pharmaceutical medications
and every time you take cannabis.
So, although it is a little bit more work,
I think that’s the best thing you can do
to become more aware of whether it’s pharmaceuticals or
cannabis, what it’s doing to your brain.
And then you can kind of learn over time,
even like a good cannabis strain to use.
If you say cannabis strains and ADHD, you
can find these different forums online that say,
hey, this strain worked for me for this.
And then this is where it
gets a little more complicated.
We know that different cannabis strains
are producing different active compounds.
So if you see that 40 people say that this
strain worked for ADHD, go look at that strain up
on Leafly and look at what’s in that strain.
Is it low THC?
Is it high THC?
Does it have CBD?
Does it not have CBD?
What’s the dominant terpene in that strain?
You can start to learn these different things.
So even if that product is not available to you,
try a similar product, see if it works for you.
Try it in a low dose first.
If that doesn’t work, try in a medium dose.
Try it in a high dose.
It’s such a game of just trial and error.
But if you find your perfect
product, it will change your life.
And then hopefully, you can slowly wane off
of the pharmaceuticals and you can be in
charge of your medicine, your brain.
But that’s not for everyone.
I mean, if you have really severe paranoid
schizophrenia, I would not be trying cannabis strains
just willy nilly and these different doses.
I would stay on my medication because that is the
safest way to live your life at that point.
Obviously talk to your doctor, get these opinions.
If your doctor wants to put you on a
bunch of different pharmaceuticals, maybe let them know that
you’re not really comfortable with that and can you
try some other stuff and then report back to
them with what works, depending on your doctor,
Sometimes they’re going to be really cool
with that, sometimes they’ll be uncomfortable with
that, but it’s definitely worth the conversation,
at least in my opinion.
It absolutely is.
I know it’s something that I’m
very engaged with my doctors on.
I have a book here from one of the doctors of
a clinic that I went to to kind of study my
brain because I was fascinated about it and I really do.
It’s so intimidating trying to kind of
figure out where to get information.
And it’s one of the questions our audience had
for you is what are some resources that people
can go to to kind of learn for themselves?
Because I’m always telling people to
document their journeys, document everything.
Obviously we also work in a dispensary and so we’re
always encouraging our guests to write down what time you
started your session and how much you had and we’ll
dial it in with you over time, but I can’t
make any promises on any of it today and so
it’s really going to have to be tailored to you.
And so I love the way that you speak on
that and obviously the way that we got connected was
a board member sent me one of your videos on
the Emerald Cup classification and dominant terpenes, and that has
at least so far, made the largest impact in my
cannabis selections and in kind of how I’ve dialed in
what’s best for this body, anyway.
Did you find that one of those
categories that you’ve previously kind of been drawn
towards in the past, like your favorite strains
all fit in one of those categories?
Yeah. So I’m a Sativa individual.
Yeah. Me too.
So anything with those citrus based terpenes is going
to just absolutely be the best thing for me.
And then after dinner, I can have a very
low dose of an Indica and that’s it.
I don’t need a 27, 28, 30% Indica to go to sleep.
That’s just my body.
However, maybe 4 years ago, it would have taken a
quarter at 30% THC because I lacked intention and I
lacked responsibility of how I was treating my body.
And so just really monitoring that kind of dialed
things back and dialed things in for what I
think is now a much healthier lifestyle.
Well, right. There’s always this debate about
is cannabis healthy to consume?
People ask me that all the time
and I’m like, what do you mean?
Is it healthy?
It helps a ton of people.
It helps millions of people live
their day to day lives.
So in that sense, yes, it is healthy, but there
are many people who use it to escape reality, too.
They can’t do anything unless
they’re feeling extremely high.
And I think that’s where you need to look back on your
intentions and say, is this really helping me, or is this kind
of a cloak to be able to interact with society?
And as you said, for a period of
time, you can use that much cannabis.
If it can get you through a bad
time, that is totally fine, I think.
But over time, you do need to revisit that and
say, okay, is there a more sustainable way that I
can use cannabis that benefits my life in more ways?
And I’m still very functional during the day.
I can still wake up on time, I can still
go to my job, I can still interact with society.
Those are the times you kind of have to revisit it.
But it’s super situational, and if you’re going
through a bad time, then embrace it and
it can help you through that bad time.
Absolutely. I know we’re running out of time for today, so I
want to get to some of the questions that some of
our team and some of our listeners had burning.
We’ll probably have to do a part
2 someday because there’s so many.
But first and foremost, one of the ones that
was asked that I thought really made a lot
of sense was, is it possible to create concentrates
that could be utilized at a lower temperature?
And what does high temperature concentrates
actually do to the body?
So thank you, Julia, for that question.
Yeah, so this is kind of what our team studies.
Not specifically concentrates, but we study how heat
affects the cannabinoid profile of your product.
So our whole thing is harvesting cannabinoids from
smoke and making that into a product.
So what we do know, at really high temperatures, some
of the active compounds in cannabis can kind of break
apart and they can form some harmful compounds.
I think probably the best known one
is Benzene, which is a carcinogen.
It can be bad for you for sure,
but at low temperature, low temperature dabbing is
absolutely possible, especially with the modern ways that
people are consuming, even something like the Puffco
Peak Pro, I think it’s called.
That I think is a great, great rig because you
can control the temperature so easily that you can
prevent some of those harmful compounds from being produced.
It will require slightly different production ways
of producing those compounds just to make
sure your products are going to essentially
vaporize at that temperature.
But that is possible, I always say.
Well, with dabbing, I like to prevent really
high temperatures because it is a concentrate.
So if there are harmful things being produced, it’s
going to be produced in a higher concentration.
We all know that when you take a
joint, you’re lighting that on fire too, right?
And that’s a really high temperature as well.
But the average concentration of these cannabinoids and flower
is a lot less than it is with concentrates
because the name suggests it’s a concentrate.
So I think a lot of people
again will ask, well, is smoking bad for you?
Is smoking good for you?
People have been smoking for thousands of
years, and we don’t have any rigorous
adverse effects from smoking either.
So again, if you like the effects of low or
high dabs of smoking or not smoking using in moderation,
I think is the best thing you can possibly do.
Smoking anything is going to cause
some harmful compounds being produced.
Dabbing anything is going to produce some compounds that
we probably don’t want to be inhaling either.
But I get so many questions like, smoking really hurts
my throat, but I want to keep doing it.
And I’m like, dude, if smoking really hurts
your throat, you need to stop doing it.
That’s your body telling you to stop doing that.
So with anything cannabis related, if
it hurts, don’t do it.
If you’re feeling like you’re coughing a lot or you’re
coughing up phlegm all the time or something like that,
that’s your body trying to get rid of things.
So listen to your body.
If your body is telling you not to do
something in one way or another, you should listen
to it and try to consume a different way
that’s more compatible with your body.
Because our bodies are sensitive, and if we’re going
to do the same thing every single day for
multiple times a day, we need to make sure
we’re not causing more damage than we are good.
And Riley, I don’t want you to
just do the soft plug there.
I know you’re studying a lot of this, and so
do you mind, can you kind of sneak us behind
the curtain, if you will, about kind of what your
work and what your companies are working on?
Yeah, so we have a patent pending
technology that we invented to capture the
active compounds from cannabis from the smoke.
So normally it’s extracted from the actual bud,
the flower, but we realized that people prefer
smoking, and there’s a reason people prefer smoking.
And we’ve been studying it and we
realized that the chemistry is different in
smoked cannabis versus not smoked cannabis.
So I think the best example of
this, just to help conceptualize it, is
THC, when exposed to high temperatures, partially
turns into CBN cannabinol, a different cannabinoid.
So this isn’t just happening with THC, though.
This is happening with pretty
much every compound in cannabis.
When it’s lit on fire or when it’s exposed
to high heat, it’s producing other, like we call
them, daughter compounds of the parent compounds
THC, it’s producing daughter compounds from
that compound because the high heat
has transformed it into different compounds.
And they’re not harmful for you, they’re
still cannabinoids, but they’re interacting with your
body in a slightly different way.
So that’s what we’re studying.
But we also now make products using this process.
So the process is the smoke and all process.
And we make hemp based products that we literally
take cannabis flower, put it in an oven, burn
it, collect those cannabinoids from our patent pending filter,
which makes an extract, and then we incorporate that
extract into topicals and tinctures right now.
So our tagline is we smoked it for you.
And it’s really cool though.
So it is like a CBD based product, but it
contains other minor and rare cannabinoids that are produced from
the smoking process that no other products contain.
So one of the most abundant ones is
CBT, but we have CBC, CBG, CBL.
There’s so many of these different compounds that no
other products have, and that’s why we think that
they’re working better for people compared to just CBD
isolate thrown in a cream and mixed together because
there’s only so much that one compound can do.
You kind of need that molecular diversity
because chronic conditions are really complex.
You need complex products to combat complex conditions.
And how can we find these products?
Are these products ready?
Can any of us go online and buy some?
Oh, they’re ready and they’ve been selling great.
You can find them at profoundnaturals.com.
And we also have an Instagram,
but also we do wholesale.
If any dispensaries, CBD shops, whoever is looking
to sell our products in your stores, we
would love to work with you.
I am the person who answers the wholesale
email, so if you want to talk to
me, then just email me through our wholesale.
Amazing. Well, you’ll probably have an email there soon.
If you want some of these products at Budz Emporium,
just let us know.
Well, Riley, we will be sure to add all of the
links in our show notes so everyone can connect with you.
What is the best channel for people to follow you on?
I post more on TikTok than any other channel and that’s
just because one, it’s really easy to make videos, which is
why I do it, because I’m kind of lazy, and then
it has the most viewership, you can reach, the most people.
And I kind of target people who are newer
to cannabis and natural products as my audience, but
I get deleted off of platforms all the time.
So my Instagram is also @cannabichem, that’s
the same name on my TikTok.
And then our company pages are Smoking all
and Profound Naturals and we’re on Instagram there.
Perfect. Well, we will have those.
Thank you so much for joining us and I
really do look forward to having you again.
Yeah, I’d love to be on again.
We can talk more about
the endocannabinoid system and everything
science and cannabis.
I love it.
And of course, we are so grateful to all of you
for tuning in to another episode of WeedBudz Radio.
We look forward to seeing you in the next episode.