top of page
  • Writer's pictureReveal Cannabis

What is the endocannabinoidome? With Dr. Codi Peterson

*Note: I know many people would rather read a blog than listen to or watch a video. That's why I provide this rough transcript of our conversation, which is not meant to be a perfectly edited blog post. Thanks for your understanding (and not blasting me in the comments.)

What you'll learn:
  • Who is Dr. Codi Peterson - Cannabis Pharmacist

  • How Did A Pharmacist Turn Into Such a Cannabis Advocate?

  • Let's Take a Look at the Endocannabinoid System

  • Why We Have to Move BEYOND the Endocannabinoid System to the Endocannabinoidome

  • Why Are Dietary Fats So Important to endocannabinoidome health?

  • The Endocannabinoid System Is Much Different Than Your Other Systems - Here's Why

  • Maintaining a Healthy Endocannabinoidome Is About More Than Just Smoking Weed

  • Dr. Peterson Wants Us to Stop Vilifying Fat

  • Even Hemp Seeds Are Good for Your ECS

  • Are our ECS's Undernourished Because Our Livestock Don't Eat Hemp?

  • Should EVERYBODY Be Taking CBD on The Daily?

  • Are Terpenes Really THAT Big of a Deal? Dr. Peterson Says No

  • There Is Still Magic Left In Cannabis

Andrea Meharg: Welcome back to another video from Reveal Cannabis. My name's Andrea Meharg I'm a Certified Cannabis Coach and Educator, and I'm here on YouTube cuz I'm really passionate about cannabis education and how learning about this plant can have the ability to change multiple lives. This is part of a series of interviews that I'm doing with experts where I get to ask them all my kind of nerdy questions and I have been so excited for this particular interview with this particular gentleman, um, who I've been following for quite some time, and he has a really excellent way of speaking about complex cannabis topics in a way that people like me can understand. So I'm really excited to introduce to you Dr. Codi Peterson. He is a pediatric pharmacist, turned cannabis I don't know,

Dr. Codi Peterson: Science communicators is what Jason Wilson likes to call us Science Communicators.

Andrea Meharg: Yeah, that's beautiful. But I think you need a higher title than that. Like something even cooler than that with all the education that you're doing. Thank you. And today we're gonna be talking about not the endocannabinoid system, which we talk about a lot, and if you're new to this, I'll link to some resources down below that, explain what the endocannabinoid system is. But we're gonna talk about the endocannabinoidome. And when I first heard about this, I remember being really mad because I had just learned about the endocannabinoid system, and now you're trying to make me learn this new thing,

And then I'm taking this class with Jason Wilson from Curious About Cannabis and Dr. Peterson, presented on that class a couple of weeks ago, and I don't remember exactly what you said, but it was something like this, Well, folks today, you know, we're gonna move on from the endocannabinoid system because you know that's an outdated system that we're working in and we're gonna move into the endocannabinoidome. I was like, no, I come on, I'm just getting my hands around it.

Dr. Codi Peterson: You haven't even told everyone about this system and now we're talking about another system.

Andrea Meharg: So yeah, I would love for you to. Introduce yourself, tell you, tell us how you went from traditional, maybe western medicine into this realm. And then let's start talking about the endocannabinoidome. Um, Dr. Peterson's just gonna like give us a little lecture on it, I hope.

Who is Dr. Codi Peterson - Cannabis Pharmacist

Dr. Codi Peterson: Uh, well, I didn't prepare a lecture, although I do lecture on this topic. Uh, from time to time. Actually, today, this afternoon, I'm going to prepare, Uh, I'm now leading a class with another pharmacist at the University of California Irvine.

They have a new pharmacy school, and their pharmacists are gonna have an elective for cannabis medicine because, Cannabis is becoming normalized in healthcare. Haha, look at me. Pharmacist practiced, trained western medicine turned cannabis pharmacist, and this is happening right now all around you without you recognizing it.

As colleges has have adopted cannabis programs, they've seen more and more interest built amongst the students that, that are in medical programs. Mostly because medical professionals really wanna be educated on what their patients are asking them. And when it comes to cannabis, unfortunately, most physicians and most pharmacists are not. So, I'm on a mission to help spread the word about cannabis medicine, the pros, the cons, the basics, and the tough stuff, and to get it out to as many people as I can. That's sort of my ethos. Now I'm doing that in, in a few ways. Uh, I guess first and foremost though, I'm still an overnight pediatric pharmacist.

I work in an emergency department. I see children who are hit by cars or fell off an e-bike or all of the worst of the worst are having a seizure. Uh, and I still respond to that and the hospital's seven out of every 14 days. So I'm very much still in this space. And I see pros and cons of cannabis there, and we'll maybe get to that later.

Uh, in addition to that, I'm doing all sorts of things. I went back and I got my master's degree in Medical cannabis science. Happy to say that I was president of the Medical Cannabis Student Association. We're really trying to drive forward cannabis science education for healthcare professionals, for coaches, for communicators, because everyone needs to sort of get on the same page around the beauty of this plant, the beauty of this system, the endocannabinoid system, and so much more.

In that mission, I got my degree, and now, uh, I've started a non-profit in California with a bunch of smart pharmacists, um, including the one that I'm doing this program at UCI. She started a cannabis elective at UCSD where I lecture on the endocannabinoidome to pharmacists. So, uh, that definitely a topic that I like talking about.

Uh, in addition to that, I'm Chief Science Officer of the Cannigma, So as the science forward media company who's basically trying to answer people questions on Google with science forward and accurate information instead of just optimized search content that's sort of been copy and pasted or, or regurge repeated, um, all over the internet.

You know, where, how this goes. You go to one website, you read the same rumor, uh, a Mango and myrcene is, is still floating out there, although it's finally starting to cool off. So, yeah, so the Cannigma is, is this company, We're trying to do this, and what we're doing is we're, we're bringing in experts like a pharmacist or like a cultivation expert, a PhD, whatever degree or specialty they might have to review the content and make sure that it's both accurate and well cited so that people can go learn more when they want to go above and beyond, sort of taking people at their word.

Uh, in addition to all of that, uh, I'm a scientific advisor at a few companies. Uh, I'm leaning into a little bit of engagement with LA and OC NORML here in Southern California. Um, I do consulting work, uh, and I, and I do a bunch of other stuff. I know I'm forgetting something big right now, and, and it's like taking up a lot of my time every day.

But definitely, I want people to know about the Enigma. So that's, C A N N I G M A, uh, for all of your cannabis questions, if you're curious. Punch Cannigma and your question into Google, and you will get something that's at least relevant on almost every single cannabis question. You got hundreds of diseases listed on the site, you know, uh, even more articles, everything from should you put ice in your bong, to should you put your hot water in your bong? All of it. We try to cover the whole gamut. What are people asking? How can we best answer that question?

Andrea Meharg: And it really feels to me, I've always liked the enigma, but it really feels to me over the past year that the scientific content and backing and oversight has just like ramped right up where every article that comes out, I can be assured that somebody with your level of expertise and knowledge over the plant has like kind of gone over this article with a fine tooth comb to make sure like, this is what we actually know, this is what we have no idea about, and move on from there.

So I appreciate all the work that you are doing over there for sure.

Dr. Codi Peterson: Yeah, I took over about a year ago, so I'm not sure if you just did your homework really good and you're a great, good compliment. But yeah, so I've been building that team over the last year, maybe a year.

How Did A Pharmacist Turn Into Such a Cannabis Advocate?

Andrea Meharg: What, what led you on this trajectory?

Dr. Codi Peterson: Yeah, I mean, so I always preface this question with, Look, cannabis is medicine. Hands down. You wanna know how I know the FDA approved cannabinoids as medicine in 1984 before I was born? Okay. A THC made in a lab not made by the plant. Plant is dirty, hard to control.

You know, can be seeds, can be sowed. Uh, so we gotta make this in a laboratory where we can control it anyway, the point being is they made thc, dronabinol and approved it before we even knew what the endocannabinoid system was. No one had even found the CB one and CB two receptors, so we didn't understand it.

We just knew that it was medicine. So the FDA has already acknowledged this. They just have a bias towards plants. Anyway, kind of setting that aside as does the DEA kind of setting that aside, my personal journey with cannabis started actually at the end of high school, um, where I was encouraged to take a puff by actually an individual's parent.

End of graduation, it was a party. He was, uh, obviously a proponent, and he was basically said, What are you afraid of? And, you know, made me question what my preconceived notion was about this plant. I was drinking at the party that I was at, you know, talking to this, this gentleman's father.

And he said, Well, I don't know what's holding you back. This isn't, you know, It's just a plant. So anyway, that kind of stuck with me. I found I made a relationship with cannabis throughout college. And then what happened is, a woman I was dating, um, her grandmother had fallen ill, uh, had with pancreatic cancer was, was terminal, was having a lot of trouble with the morphine and ativan that she was receiving, um, and, and expressed an interest in trying cannabis.

Um, her granddaughter facilitated through me a nice infused cake, uh, and the results were tremendous. This, this, uh, dying woman had a chance to eat again with her, all of her children, and laugh and take pictures and be pain free. Uh, it was only a few more days, uh, before she passed. I think she had one more slice of cake.

Uh, but it really helped her and the family really just, just move past this, this loss and kind of accept it. Really cool, but I kind of just put that in my pocket and walked with it. And then one day serendipitously my current employer, uh, changed the reimbursement program to go back to school.

And simultaneously the same day, my best friend from across the country in Maryland calls me and goes, Hey, just saw a billboard yes, a billboard that said that, you know, master's degree, cannabis and a pharmacy school, sounded like you. And it was just, it felt like fate and sort of the rest is history. This is three years ago. I applied and I ended up making it into the first class. At that time, I decided to lean in and, uh, lean into podcasts actually. That's how I learned almost best, maybe visually is the best way.

Um, and, and so listening to podcasts, whilst I did all my other things, I learned a lot. And I also discovered, uh, Wayne Schwinn, uh, and, and his podcast which is Periodic Effects. And, you know, listen to many, many, many episodes before leaning in. Finally to write him an email and be like, Hey, I'm going to, I'm gonna go to the University of Maryland for this program.

I've listened to all your episodes. Uh, you know, and he brought me on. And that was, I guess, my first podcast. And it really has snowballed from there. And I mean that in a, in a. It feels very snowballing to me, is it keeps picking up and people continue to express the need for pharmacists in the cannabis space.

You know, no matter where I go and who I poll, as long as people don't feel that pharmacists are going to act as gatekeepers, right? Saying, Oh, you can't do that. Oh, you can't consult cuz you're a nurse, or cuz you're, you're, you know, you're not degreed. As long as pharmacists just enter the role as a helpful role.

I, I've seen zero objections. When Pharmacists try to play gatekeepers and by the way, we've seen this before if you go back a hundred years ago, it was actually pharmacists and poison laws that took, you know, these medicines and made them prescription only. Um, it, it used to be that even a snake oil salesman could sell coca plant or opium or extract.

It was really under these Poison Control acts, a version of Prohibition around a hundred years ago that this went away. And in California, believe it or not, it was led by pharmacists. It was actually the Board of Pharmacy that first banned what they, at the time called Locoweed. If that's not racist.

I think there's a lot of forces at play. And actually, I wouldn't say it's mostly the pharmacist, The Board of Pharmacy, particularly at that time was, were filled with politicians because they were appointed by the governor.

Uh, and, and so, you know, it, it wasn't. It wasn't that straightforward, is what, I guess what I wanna say. It wasn't really the pharmacist. In fact, if you go back and look at healthcare professionals, doctors and pharmacists, up until the 19, you know, when it became like prescription only and then eventually taken off of the pharmacopeia in 1940s, cannabis was wanted by the healthcare professionals.

We didn't wanna lose that tool. I mean, look, This is a lot of things coming together at the same time. But through the 18 hundreds, Eli Lilly actually developed their own strain, cannabis Americana, their own version of low or balance type or whatever they found to be medicinal, and they patented their extraction method, probably alcohol extraction.

And then they tested that product, not in, not with gcms, not with the analytical tools that we have today. They gave it to animals. And saw what it did to animals and that's how they gauged how potent their drugs were. That is, uh, a wild thing to think about, but that's what was going on less than a hundred years ago in this country.

Look, cannabis is a botanical herb. It's been used as medicine for thousands and thousands of years.

We know that it is, uh, you know, not harmful compared to alcohol, cigarettes, um, and, and many other things that we openly accept. Um, and so should we make it available to children on every corner? No. Should we tax it? Yeah, probably. But we gotta stop trying to pretend that we can prohibit an herb that just doesn't make sense.

Let's Take a Look at the Endocannabinoid System

Dr. Codi Peterson: So the endocannabinoid system is a drug target. It's a therapeutic target for pharmaceutical companies, and they're absolutely working on drugs. They're in trials right now, have had some trials and failed that target either the enzymes within the endocannabinoid system, the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, or just pretend to be ligands in the system.

Mm-hmm. . So those are the three parts of the ECS. I'm jumping right into the next part. We episode without, without any, uh, prompting. So the endocannabinoid system as we understand it, Is those three parts, and really those three parts exist as we go throughout the day. Okay, so this is the endocannabinoids themselves or, or the endocannabinoid-like molecules.

Okay. These are also called lipid signals. Signals created from the fats stored in your body. Usually on the bilipid membrane of every single cell in your body is, is fat, right? And those fats are from your diet. What fats are you consuming? This is why fats are considered essential nutrients, okay? Because your body needs them to create cells.

Now the, those signals, those endocannabinoid, are activated they get sent and they get destroyed within the system. So they are created, right? So now you have anandamide, the bliss molecule. Most of your listeners have probably heard of this. It's a bioactive lipid produced mostly in our brains, and it makes us feel good and happy and warm.

We get that same feeling when we get a little bit high. Or we get anandamide release when we do things that we enjoy. Let's say you just had really good sex or really good pizza, or you know, something that's very dopaminergic. You just won on your video game or your board game, or you hit the lottery.

Two bill . Uh, so anandamide the bliss molecule produced in small amounts in the brain, very powerful substance. Thc like, okay. Now, That's an endocannabinoid. It goes in its release and it stimulates a receptor. Think of it as a satellite dish receiving this signal. These receptors perform different functions depending on which cells they're on and which organ system they're in.

You have different, you know, distributions of receptors in your brain as a kid than you do as an adult. Women or people who you know, have estrogen, uh, have different endocannabinoid tone than those with men with testosterone because of the different way the hormones affect the ECS. But those receptors are still there.

It's just how abundant and how available they are now. So you have the, the drugs, the anandamide, you have the receptors, and there's also enzymes that produce and destroy them. Okay? So this is, these are, um, you know, cellular machinery used to take a fat and turn it into an endocannabinoid, and then take an endocannabinoid and turn it back into a fat or turn it back into whatever else the cell needs to do.

Okay. The three components of the endocannabinoid system. The ones we think of are anandamide, the bliss molecule. We talked about it, but that is just one of many. When we talk about the ecs, we're really talking about anandamide and 2-AG. It's really like a very simple definition because they activate CB one and CB two receptors by definition. This is a very simple thing to understand. Then we've got some things that produce and destroy, and we are not gonna get into the names cuz they're extremely long and cumbersome and scientific.

The endocannabinoid system regulates everything from sleep to mood, to your energy balance, all the things you might associate with weed, right?

You might get sleepy, you might get the munchies. It regulates your eyes, right? You might get sensitivity to light or you might get dry eyes. Saliva production, like all the things that THC does, the ECS is involved with because when we smoke Herb THC comes in and stimulates the ECS all over. In particular, the CB one receptor.

Very important receptor, the most abundant one in our brains. Okay, You've heard of serotonin receptors? There's more CB one receptors in your brain. You've heard of dopamine. There's more CB one receptors. In fact, those serotonin and dopamine receptors in CB one are often together.Tickling one trickles the other.

Okay? Now the CB one receptor, when we stimulate it throughout the body and in the brain, causes all these high effects. Great. We've simplified it. THC acts like the bliss molecule. You got these effects done. Mm. That's great. And that was our early preconceived notion of like where we were in this system, but it's, it's not what we know today.

Certified Cannabis Educator Program

Why We Have to Move BEYOND the Endocannabinoid System to the Endocannabinoidome

Andrea Meharg: So when I first learned about the endocannabinoid system, it was exactly like you just talked about. We have these two receptors, we have these two endocannabinoids, and we have these two, uh, or three enzymes that create and metabolize the endocannabinoids, but then when I was learning about CBD and how CBD doesn't actually really interact with CB one or CB two Yep.

And in fact, it interacts on all these other different things. I was having a hard time understanding how CBD kind of fit into the endocannabinoid system. And then as I learned more, I learned about, you know, other endocannabinoid like congeners and like all of these things that were related somehow a little bit to cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, but but also weren't, and so.

Is this why the idea of the endocannabinoidome is here is because the endocannabinoid system was too limiting for what we actually understand? And then can you explain what it is?

Dr. Codi Peterson: You're spot on. That's exactly what I, how I wanted wanted you to, to talk about it and CBDs the exact example, Did you take one of my lectures?

No, no. I believe that you took that information very much from a lot of the smart people that I learned it from. Absolutely. When we talk about CBD, you know, again, that sort of old school definition when we really didn't fully understand it, we were like, oh, CBD is a modulator, modulator at CB one, or it mostly acts, you know, uh, at the CB two receptor, which was, has been wrongly cited in numerous like publications and pictures around the internet.

What's really going on here is CBD is a floppy molecule. Uh, that's just the way I can say it. And this creates a lot of problems in the industry. Just that inherent statement, but we'll just talk about one right now, the pharmacologic one. Now, THC is a three-ring structure. Okay? It's very rigid. Okay. You kind of see I have three rings.

It can't really twist anywhere, but if you separate those three rings and you kind of connect these two rings, imagine here, and these rings are able to spin in three, three dimensions, you can fit into a lot different spaces, essentially. So CBD is, promiscuous molecule it, it engages with numerous receptors when we do tests in the laboratory. And that means that depending on your biochemistry, depending on your genetic makeup, there's a lot of variability that you might experience when you're taking CBD as well.

Okay, now, CBD does not engage highly with CB one and CB two receptors, but it does engage strongly with the receptor in our body, known as TRPV1. Now, TRPV1 is a little bit less of a satellite dish and a little bit more of a tunnel, and it actually allows ions in and out of cells. The type of receptor the TRPV1 is, is an ion channel and it is involved in pain for example. We know this for a fact. It's the same receptor that capsaicin from the chili pepper acts on.

This is why topical CBD may have some pain relieving qualities cuz the same reason that topical hot chili oil may. Why does this matter, right? Mm-hmm. . Well, because even though CBD looks so similar to thc, it has extremely different behavior in the body. But it is a cannabinoid and it looks almost the same.

It's made of the same exact chemical formula as thc. It only, it's made in the same plant. It's just got a different enzyme. I, it just gets folded in a little bit different way, so, That brings to question is what about these other receptors that CBDs acting on? Okay, so then they said, Okay, well we see CBD does this, THC does this, what does anandamide do?

What does this molecule inside of us do? And what they find is it doesn't just interact with CB one and CB two, it interacts with a litany of other, of other molecules in the body and has dozens of potential targets, and it's not just about anandamide either. When anandamide is produced in the brain, we talked about it that one endocannabinoid, it's actually produced alongside an entourage of other molecules. Yes. The word that we talk about on the plant is actually was first described by Dr. Rap Mechoulam in the nineties, and his team, excuse me, his team to the entourage effect in the body where anandamide is produced. But next to it, there's also another, another, uh, molecule called Palmitoylethanolamide.

And this is PEA. It's produced alongside anandamide, and it protects, it acts as an entourage, keeping the enzymes away letting Anandamide get to the target and PEA is made from the A saturated fat.

Why Are Dietary Fats So Important to endocannabinoidome health?

Dr. Codi Peterson: Okay, so, and we haven't gotten into this yet, but we said they're made from fats. Well, PEA is made from saturated fat, which we only get from certain foods, whereas if you look at anandamide, it's made from omega six fats, which is also something you only get from certain foods, both saturated fat and you know, this other fat are considered essential fatty acids. We need them to live because they're so important to things like balance, homeostasis and, and the endocannabinoid system.

So interestingly enough, PEA, even though it's produced in our bodies, can actually be found in a lot of foods that we think of as generally healthy. Some peanuts, some eggs, and uh, and some other, you know, nutrient rich foods. And it, it turns out that this, this fat communication system that's in us. It's not just about us.

It's about us and the microorganisms in our environment and the foods that are available here on earth. And every living creature with a spine has CB one and CB two, and TRPV1, and, and all of these other receptors. It's cellular communication that we're talking about. It's not really about weed.

Andrea Meharg: So when our body's producing anadamide, it's also producing PEA and PEA doesn't fit into our definition of the endocannabinoid system.

Dr. Codi Peterson: Because it doesn't interact with the CB one and CB two receptors itself.

Andrea Meharg: So isn't the endocannabinoidome the whole freaking body then? Like, like I don't understand how I'm unraveling this from the rest of my systems because this system is, is doing the balancing of everything else.

The Endocannabinoid System Is Much Different Than Your Other Systems - Here's Why

Dr. Codi Peterson: So first of all, the endocannabinoid system was always different than all the other systems.

I wanna make that clear. Even the ecs, the original definition, CB one, CB two, it's not just in one place. It's not just the central nervous system that that is in a certain cells, okay? The ECS is not just in certain cells, it's in heart cells, it's in muscle cells, it's in eye cells, it's in skin cells, it's in immune cells.

It's a system designed to help cells of different varieties communicate. Cells of the same type are already adjoin. They don't need to talk, but cells over there need to talk to cells over here and let them know what's going on. So this cellular communication system keeps the whole body in balance because it's telling one type of cell, one organ system that something's happening and how to respond.

It's this big communication system. And the only difference, the only difference in the, in the meaningful, meaningful takeaway between the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome, is that there's a lot of ways that plants interact with us medicinally that we don't yet appreciate or understand because this system is new and we're only discovering it.

Maintaining a Healthy Endocannabinoidome Is About More Than Just Smoking Weed

Dr. Codi Peterson: And the other thing you need to appreciate is it's more, it's about more than just weed. So, for example, the endocannabinoid system, or the endocannabinoidome, excuse me, another molecule called OEA. Mm-hmm. has been found to be heavily implicated in mediating hibernation in squirrels.

And marmots and bears. Okay, so this, This is mammals surviving on earth based on the fats that we eat. Remember the salmon that the bears eat incessantly? They need that to thrive in the winter to have less inflammation. If they ate other foods, they might have more inflammation because they have omega three s from the salmon they're gonna do better. It's like it's life on earth thrives. It's because of the fats in our diet and around us. And we can leverage that. And we can leverage other activities we know that mediate the endocannabinoidome. Yeah. Smoking weed affects your ECS. Sure. But it also affects the endocannabinoidome and other exercises can affect that as well.

So literally practicing yoga, meditating, singing, dancing, all have been shown to influence your ecs. And when we say that it's not just you and, it's not just about bliss, it's about inflammation, it's about swelling, it's about immune response, it's about, it's about thriving and, and doing things other than just herbal cannabis or pharmaceutical medicine has an impact on your health through this system, including your diet.

Andrea Meharg: I think this is what a lot of people miss when they first start learning about cannabis and how impactful it can be for health is that because it can be helpful for so many things that we think like, Oh my gosh, I'm just gonna increase the amount of cannabinoids that I take, and that's gonna be the be all, end all.

But it turns out that that is one way that we can help balance and nourish our endocannabinoid system. But, Eating well, exercising, meditating, handling your stress in an appropriate way also all can give you a natural boost in the system as well. I hear you talk about fats all the time like this. I've just recently, I've been listening to you in various ways, and you're really fired up about dietary fat and ensuring that we're consuming dietary fat in the correct way, specifically to help with this system.

Can you. If you were gonna give people a recommendation of, as far as how they can make their ECS work better via the route of fat, what would you ask people to do?

Dr. Peterson Wants Us to Stop Villifying Fat

Dr. Codi Peterson: Stop vilifying fat. So one of the biggest problems associated with inflammation as it been proposed in papers, this isn't my theory, although uh, I'm extrapolating a bit, is that omega six fats are pro-inflammatory. Anandamide and 2-AG even are considered generally pro-inflammatory technically because when they're destroyed, they're the precursor for pro-inflammatory mediators.

Omega six s in general are pro-inflammatory. Omega three s in general are anti-inflammation. As a general rule. Everything in balance, we don't need all omega three s. That's not the natural diet, but there is this idea that there's a golden ratio of about one to four grams of omega3 to grams of omega six.

That's just what we found to be optimal for, for health. However, uh, it probably has to do with ecs. It just hasn't been extremely well explored. When we're talking about fats, everyone thinks, Oh, that's bad for me. That's filled with fat. If it's a good fat and we know that Americans are chronically depleted, there's really not like too much that you can have. Uh, so I think really focusing in on increasing omega three fats where you can. If you're really big into meat, one way that you can do this, there is some science yes, science to suggest that when you eat grass fed animals, that they are higher and richer in omega three fats than omega six fats or, well, comparatively to non.

So you can go with grass fed dairy, you can go with grass fed, um, any of your animal products if they're grass fed, whether it's eggs that is going to be better for your profile. Um, and, and overall better. If you can't, or maybe you're just really like, Whatever dietary choice you're making, you can crank up the omega three s in another way.

You can do supplements, you can do teaspoons of, of olive oil. You can have hemp seed oil. Um, but know that omega three fats compared to omega six fats are very unstable. They go rancid, they go bad sooner. So products usually that are on a shelf are not, have no omega three s products that are not in the fridge go bad quickly if they're exposed to air.

So omega three s go bad very quickly. They oxidize. Um, so I think that's a really important thing for people to note. So sourcing those omega three fats you know, locally or in small batches, things like that, kept in the fridge is all good practice.

Even Hemp Seeds Are Good for Your ECS

Andrea Meharg: I love that it comes back to hemp seeds or cannabis seeds. I love that there's that full circle thing happening there where one of the ways to improve your endocannabinoid system tone is to consume actually the hemp or cannabis seeds.

Dr. Codi Peterson: Well, he hem seeds and I have to chime in. Hemp seeds are really a great food. Snacked add to anything you're doing. Hemp seeds a have all of the essential amino acids, so, so hypothetically your body can produce anything it needs from the hemp seeds.

And it also is very rich in, I'm talking about hemp hearts right now, by the way but, um, it's very rich in fats at the right ratio four to one. So it's got the omega six omega-3 ratio built right in.

Are our ECS's Undernourished Because Our Livestock Don't Eat Hemp?

Andrea Meharg: I know it's perfect. Can we talk about, I've, I've heard this theory before, I've read this before, that one of the reasons why so many of us might be dealing with a depleted endocannabinoid system or a under-functioning endocannabinoid system is because up until prohibition times, we would've been eating far more, um, Omega in our food because our livestock were fed hemp seeds. That hemp seeds was a important part of our livestocks diet for so long and since prohibition times, our animals have lacked that, and so then we lack that. Do you think there's any merit to that theory?

Dr. Codi Peterson: Uh, you know, I think the theory is, is rooted in good faith.

Uh, I think that it's probably not just the hemp, right? Animals have been eating whatever's available to farmers to feed them, whether it's corn, soya, or hemp for a long time in this country. It depends on what part of the country you were raising, cattle in. But here's what I will say about modernity and, and what's going on.

I've already addressed it. So everything's now eating corn and soya for the last 50 years ish. You know, everything's been just eating grain. Everything's grain fed. Grains are very rich in omega six, very low in omega three s generally. Okay. Therefore, the cows, instead of eating grass richer on omega three s, eat grain.

Animals in general are not eating, they're eating grain. So we make then the animal products that we are consuming as humans are too rich in omega six and not enough In omega three. We actually over produce. Omega six, including anandamide, but mostly the endocannabinoid called 2-AG. The other player in the room, I wrote a good article on 2-AG on the Cannigma, if you wanna learn about it, Uh, personally wrote it.

Yeah, please. Um, so 2-AG, if it's overproduced, because it's so potent at the receptors, can actually down-regulate our endocannabinoid system. Okay. So now we're setting ourselves up to be less responsive to our own bliss molecule, less responsive to what have you. So our ECS tone is outta balance, but I would argue that it has less to do with hemp seed and more to do with our overall dietary changes, which again can kind of go back to that hemp seed feeding our cows.

I just think we're giving hemp seed a little bit too much credence. Yes, yes. It was in our cows diet, our cows animals diets have changed. Are therefore fat fatty acid intake has changed. And I do strongly believe it's changed our tone. It's putting it more at risk at heart disease, more at risk of diabetes, more at risk of any inflammatory autoimmune condition.

So I do think that. It's just for slightly different reasons.

Should EVERYBODY Be Taking CBD on The Daily?

Andrea Meharg: Okay. Well, how about this theory that I have, um, that. Again, most people who live in 2022, which is all of us who are probably not doing the thing, sleeping well, eating well, managing our stress well, et cetera, should people be taking CBD as if it's a dietary supplement just like us Canadians we take vitamin D in the winter cuz we need it. Should this be something that people are considering just to maintain, boost their endocannabinoid tone? In your professional opinion, do you see merit for that idea or do you see holes in the idea that I don't see.

Dr. Codi Peterson: I think it's overly simplifying the variability of, of CBD pharmacology. Um, do I, do I think that we need to start treating it like a drug and restricting how much people can buy and grow? Absolutely. Not, none of that, but I wouldn't blanketly see every, everyone needs it. I wouldn't say blanketly every patient needs the same thing as a healthcare professional.

But at that being said, there's very little harm to this molecule. There's certainly. , you know, less concerns than I have for a lot of other things that are being put into our food or put into our clothing, our carpentry, all of this. Mm-hmm. . So for those reasons, I'm not opposed, but, I think that everyone can find a use for cannabis and it there is a way that cannabis can make your life better.

So in that way, yes. If you go back to the original Pharmacopia ever to document medical cannabis use, and this goes back to approximately 3,700 BC to the first Chinese dynasty. Uh, there's a, there's the. Emperor, who's a mythological creature called Shennong. Shennong wrote down 200 herbs. Herbs that you should take every day.

Herbs that you should take sparingly and herbs you should only take when you're gonna die. Cannabis fell into the, take this herb every day. The very first time anyone ever wrote down a book of medicinal plants somebody put this in the, You should probably take this one every day, . So think about that.

Andrea Meharg: I think the other thing that we need to consider oftentimes is that although humans have been using cannabis medicinally and for so many other reasons, for literally thousands of years, that our cannabis landscape is so much different right now in 2022. And

Dr. Codi Peterson: They were not smoking THC-O, vaping it from a battery filled with lead and cadium

Andrea Meharg: Right, exactly. So yeah, here we are with a human's endlessly inventive and endlessly entrepreneurial spirit leads us into some crazy places with cannabis for sure. I wanna ask you, whether you have something in the cannabis space that you're like really angry about or really excited about?

Is something firing you up either way in this, in this industry?

Are Terpenes Really THAT Big of a Deal? Dr. Peterson Says No

Dr. Codi Peterson: Controversial topic. Um, I think that we're overstating the value of terpenoids. I think that, that we've leaned too hard into this as an explanation for all the nuanced differences. And this endocannabinoidome expert feels that a lot of the variability that we see may have to do with nuances in our own individual bodies, rather than the nuances delivered between a limonene rich and and the myrcene.

Now, I am not discrediting the entourage effect entirely. No, I'm not. I'm saying maybe we're giving too much credence to these terpenes in, in a way that is so variable between people that it's not going to be as the end all be all.

It's funny that we, cannabis, you know, based on the cannabinoids, get the entire system named after it. Yet the industry has hyper focused on the one cannabinoid thc, and then the terpenes and terpenes are in every plant. Okay? Every plant is making essential oils that smell and, and could potentially be bioactive. But the cannabinoids are the money saws here.

So why is the industry left CBD to the side?. And hyper grown, these hyper THC potent plants with no CBD, while we know that the cannabinoids are the bread and butter here. We know that's what makes cannabis unique and it, it kind of blows me away. So yes, when you limit yourself to type one cannabis, high THC varieties, yeah, the terpenes are gonna have a very important effect.

And I'm still, they probably have an effect when you go 2, but I promise you, if you. A myrcene rich type one and a myrcene rich type two, there's gonna be a drastic difference. But if you take a myrcene rich type one and ocimene type one, mostly the effects are gonna be generally, generally more similar because THCs the money maker, not the terpenoids. Terpenoids are changed when they're smoked, you know, they're, they dissipate over time.

There's so much variability here. Cannabinoids are the, are the bread and butter here.

Andrea Meharg: I'm the same way. When we teach students at the Cannabis Coaching Institute about terpenes, they get really excited and they go down all the rabbit holes and spend a lot of time like really focusing on terpenes.

And then inevitably they come back and start thinking about like, what about if I added CBG in or CBDA or something and then they come back. The other thing that I learned in this book was that we are possibly not even testing for the right type of terpenes. That terpenes have like mirror images of each other.

So maybe you're testing for this terpene, but, and you're not getting that this one is in there and this one does different things even though it looks so similar.

Dr. Codi Peterson: So the right hand in the left hand, these are, these are an enantiomers. Technically you think they're the same, right? But they're actually not the same.

And, and, and they fit into these little receptors. People kind of can't conceptualize receptors, but think of it like a glove and the drug, like a hand. You can't put the right hand into the left glove and have functionality. So it matters a lot. The three-dimensional configuration of these, of these molecules,

Andrea Meharg: Yeah, it's not quite so simple as understanding like, Oh, I smell lemon and so now I'm gonna definitely wanna go clean the house.

Dr. Codi Peterson: Energized. If it was that simple, everyone would be jazzed to clean their kitchen, because pinene and limonene are in all of your kitchen products. Anything scented like people don't realize that terpenes and terpenoids, really terpenoids are, um, oxygen-containing terpenes are used in everything from paint thinner to industrial smells to, you know, essential oils are a lot of terpenoids, but you know, it's not as straightforward as this does this for this person every time.

Andrea Meharg: Yeah, I think we forget that sometimes because it's way easier to think about. Like, for sure if I buy this, I'm definitely gonna have this experience.

There Is Still Magic Left In Cannabis

Andrea Meharg: It is lovely to have all of the science and all of the research that we do, but there is something magical about just consuming the plant in her whole plant form and recognizing that we literally have no idea what's in that plant like we still don't know, and we don't know all the ways that it's interacting with our body and like, Being kind of okay with that and a little bit grateful for it, right? Yeah. There's a little bit of magic left

Dr. Codi Peterson: Trial and error, your life experience, how it really makes you feel, and variations. Did you not get enough sleep?

Your set and setting matters even with weed, right? So if you're wired up and you had a super anxious day and you don't change anything about your set and setting, you just jump right in and smoke. And that same stuff is still popping up. Anxiety is hanging right there.

It is a common side effect. But if you clear the table, take 30 minutes for you, do some breathing exercises, use weed as a tool to feel better, now all of a sudden you can create some space between you and that, that side effect. So there's really a lot to this magic thing called weed. Uh, again, in a little history lesson, you know, in the, in the dark ages, those who had cannabis in, in Europe, the witches, right?

Like cannabis was not unknown to, to Europe. We just lost knowledge of it because everyone who was using it was a witch. Uh, so. There's a lot of stuff to unpack with this, this herb, and I look forward to being one of the voices in the room and appreciate the time and space you've provided with me here. I, I, uh, I like to see you thriving as well.

Andrea Meharg: Oh, thank you so much. I'm so glad that you were able to like, talk to us about the endocannabinoidome and why we need to have a bigger, different understanding of the endocannabinoid system and like what's happening with everything in our body.

Um, I will link to all of the places where people can reach out to you and all of the great work that you're doing down in the description below. And I know that you're super active on LinkedIn and you're producing lots of really excellent educational content and playing around with showing it in different ways with graphics and stuff.

So definitely make sure that you go check out Dr. Peterson in all the different places that he is.

If you love this type of thing, please make sure that you like and subscribe, and share it with people who might need to know about this beautiful endocannabinoidome, and all the ways that it might be affecting you. So thanks for sharing.

Dr. Codi Peterson: Yoga, meditation, exercise, diet. All of it's intertwined how you talk to yourself, whether you volunteer, whether you like to sing in the shower. This is all dictating the way you feel, the way you move. So, you know, be kind to yourself. Give yourself that little bit of extra healthy fat, uh, and you know, you, maybe you'll feel a little bit better.

Andrea Meharg: You've inspired us all, I'm sure.


bottom of page