Photo: David Gabric for unsplash

There is a lot of talk about cannabis lately, despite the fact that for thousands of years the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) has been used as medicine, food, or fiber.

But, cannabis use is definitely on the rise across the globe. According to Forbes, the global cannabis industry is projected to hit $31.4 billion in 2021.

Today, WF sits down with Stephen Lermer, CEO Terrace Global to help dispel some of the myths surrounding the products and the burgeoning cannabis industry.

WF: Stephen thank you for chatting with us today all the way from South America. We appreciate you taking the time to help us understand the industry a little bit better and dispel some of the misconceptions. For example, many of our readers believe that all cannabis products are comparable to traditional marijuana and contain significant amounts of THC. What would you say to dispel this belief?

SL: The first thing that is important to understand is the product and the industry have shifted dramatically from its roots in the heady days of the 60’s. There has been a significant amount of research conducted and many clinical trials completed to understand these products and their effectiveness at providing life altering solutions to chronic issues of pain, seizures,sleeplessness and anxiety. And, its important to keep in mind that THC is only 1 of 60 cannabinoids that exist.

WF: While we recognize that there has been a lot of work going on, we think few people know. For example, when we spoke withour community – we discovered that there were very few women that actually use CBD products. In fact, most had never tried or didn’t intend to try any CBD products.

SL: So, the first thing your community needs to understand is that we all have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that is similar to our nervous system. The Endocannabinoid system exists if you use cannabis or not. The ECS plays a role in regulating a range of body processes including everything from sleep and mood to appetite and memory. I come from a career in big pharma, so I came to this industry from a more skeptical perspective. But, having been introduced to the industry when I worked for Charlotte’s Web, my perspective quickly changed. Seeing the work that the Stanley brothers have done alongside the Figi family – to help vulnerable children – was awe-inspiring. It changed my perspective and helped me to educate myself on the product and the benefits.

WF: How would you help our community understand the differences among all the products, or as a starting point, the difference between CBD and THC?

SL: CBD and THC are similar in that they are both cannabinoids. But,the way that they interact with your system is different. CBD by itself has no psychoactive effect while THC does.

Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body.Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc#chemical-structure

SL: And, despite the stigma that exists against THC, some individuals may benefit rom CBD that has trace amounts of THC. This is known as the “entourage effect”

Photo: SatimedUSA.com

WF: Can you explain to us about the work you do at Terrace Global?

SL: Terrace Global focuses solely on growing for medicinal purposes. We work to help develop products that can help consumers suffering from anxiety and inflammation to sleeplessness and chronic pain find solutions that traditional medication can’t solve. All that to say, we recognize the need for both traditional medications developed by the pharmaceutical companies and non-traditional medications.

WF: So, how would you suggest that our community that is interested in exploring CBD products go about picking a product?

  1. Always consult with your doctor as you would before starting any new supplement regime.
  2. Make sure the product is  manufactured by a company that provides certificates of analysis (COA) as proof of third party testing (by an ISO certified compliant lab)  You need to be sure that the production processes are thoroughly vetted so that product inside the bottle matches the label.
  3. Buy from a reputable retailer.
  4. Speak with organizations such as “The Realm of Caring” to understand how to safely explore these products  based on the symptoms you are experiencing.  Also, visit the healthcanada.org site to fully understand the products available in the marketplace.

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Source: health.harvard.edu

WF: It’s been well documented that vaping as a tool for consumption, regardless of content, poses serious health risks and concerns. Can we expect the industry to move away from this tool?

SL: I don’t recommend vaping as a delivery tool at all. As you say the dangers associated with vaping have been well documented. I believe one of the best delivery systems is using a nebulizer. Other than that – either capsules, tablets or gummies. There is more work being done on technologies that will enhance delivery and reduce degradation of the CBD particularly in the stomach.

WF: How does the North American market compare to the European market in terms of the development of products, distribution and treatments?

SL: Funnily enough, the North American market is way ahead of European market in terms legalization of CBD products as well as the availability. Although, this remains a very important market for us in the future. As the restrictions on products are lifted – we see more demand in this market than in Canada and the US.

WF: Lastly Stephen – for our Investment gurus – where do you say that they should invest their money?

SL: In me – Flowr and Terrace Global!No seriously – the industry has undergone a significant transition over the past few years – from the time anyone had a bathtub was producing product, to a more sophisticated, regulated system in which the manufacturers are producing high quality products that make a significant difference in the quality of life of individual clients. So, I would say

  1. Do your research.
  2. Narrow down the top manufacturers.
  3. If you are new to investing in the industry start slow.
  4. Watch what the regulators in North America, Europe and South America are doing.

WF: Stephen – Thank you so much for speaking with us from across the globe.

Tune in next week as WF sits down with Sasha KalcheffKorn from Realm of Caring an organization founded by two moms desperate to find relief from their young children’s life threatening epileptic seizures.