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BEAUTY NEWS: CBD IS HERE

A look at what CBD is and why it’s currently the most magical ingredient in the realms of wellness and beauty

To celebrate the launch of our curation of luxury CBD products - natureofthings, Saint Jane and Treaty - our Head of Content, Christel, spoke to naturopath Philip Watkins, a practitioner at the Integrated Medical Institute of Hong Kong, to learn a little bit more about what CBD is, where it comes from, what it’s health benefits are, and how you can be using it to help you live your very best life.


Listen to episode 1 of our podcast above, or read the transcript of it below.

CHRISTEL:Dr. Phil 你好!

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:你好。

CHRISTEL:你能分享有關 CBD的知識嗎?甚麼是 CBD?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:當然可以。CBD 其實就是大麻二酚。現時,大麻二酚是大麻植物或大麻中的主要成份之一。它目前屬於我們所稱之為大麻素的類別。就現時一般草藥來說,我們之所以能使用草藥的其中一個原因是:隨著時間,我們已經能夠以科學角度進行研究,找出這些草藥中的活性成份,並增加它們在草藥內的含量——這就是所謂的標準化——然後我們會將草藥供應給患者。由於草藥中含有活性成份,因此可為身體清除毒素。

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大麻二酚是一百種不同大麻素中的其中一種——它之所以這樣命名,是因為它們是大麻的活性成份——而大麻二酚可能是大麻中含量較高的成份之一。另一種是植物大麻素,可能因為它具有精神活性元素四氫大麻酚 (THC),所以更加受歡迎。現時,大麻含有超過 500 種不同的化學物質,因此大麻二酚本質並沒有作用,但人們普遍認為大麻二酚是大麻最高活性成份之一。

CHRISTEL:那麼,大麻實際上是從哪裡來的呢?這種植物生於哪裡?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:好問題。我想人們聽到大麻時,他們主要會聯想起吸食的大麻葉 (marijuana),而香港的大麻二酚尤其是來自火麻 (hemp)。我認為區別這兩者極為重要,因為你會發現它們的分別實際是非常有趣的。而且你還會發現在大麻世界中,很多專業人士實際上都不會使用吸食大麻葉 (marijuana) 一詞。主要分別在於,如果大麻的四氫大麻酚含量低於 0.3%,則將其分類為火麻。這只是美國的標準規定。我記得在英國,四氫大麻酚含量為 0.2%就是火麻。而大麻葉被認為是任何四氫大麻酚含量超過 0.3%的大麻,達到這個含量就會開始出現精神活性——例如尋求快感等。我認為人們不使用大麻葉的原因之一,是因為後期大麻葉的製造實際上是為了邊緣化墨西哥人。

我只是想說出來。在七十年代,相對於大麻法,大麻一詞本身確實是一件大事,而且⋯⋯

CHRISTEL:「反毒戰爭」。

DR.PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,反毒戰爭。我認為將大麻分類為大麻葉和火麻的方式很奇怪,它們的區別正如:「好吧,你想將柑橘水果分類為甜的或酸的,就是這樣。」因此,大麻葉和火麻的區別就是 0.3% 大麻酚含量。

CHRISTEL:這樣的分類⋯⋯

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:讓我告訴你⋯⋯

CHRISTEL:方式真的太⋯⋯

DR.PHILIP WATKINS:它們不應這樣分類,對吧?我認為我們應要學習更多有關大麻、大麻葉和火麻的知識,這些術語並不可互換。你明白嗎?它們經常被人斷章取義。

我們應要學習更多有關大麻、大麻葉和火麻的知識,這些術語並不可互換。你明白嗎?它們經常被人斷章取義。

CHRISTEL: Hello Dr. Phil!

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Hello.

CHRISTEL: Can you tell me a little bit about CBD? What is CBD?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Sure. So, CBD actually stands for cannabidiol. Now, cannabidiol is one of the key ingredients in the cannabis plant or cannabis sativa. Now, its class is what we call a cannabinoid. Now, in herbal medicine in general, one of the reasons why we’re able to use herbal medicine is that, over time, we’ve been able to scientifically look at herbs and draw out what the active ingredients in those herbs are, increase their content within the herbs – and that’s what’s called standardisation – and then give them to people with the idea that, because they have this active amount in them, that they’re going to do something clear in the body, physiologically.

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So, CBD is one of a hundred different cannabinoids – which is how they’re named because they’re active constituents from cannabis – and CBD is one of the, probably, the bigger content-wise constituents in cannabis along with another phytocannabinoid which is probably a little bit more popular because of its psychoactive element, which is THC. Now, there are over 500 different chemicals within cannabis so CBD doesn’t actually work on its own, but it’s generally considered to be one of the most active ingredients in cannabis.

CHRISTEL: So, where does it actually come from? Where does this plant come from?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: That’s a great question. So, I think one of the key things when people hear cannabis, they automatically think about marijuana, and CBD in Hong Kong especially comes from hemp. Now, I think it’s very, very important to differentiate between the two because you’ll find that it’s actually quite an interesting differentiation and actually you’ll also find that a lot of professionals now, within the cannabis space, don’t actually use the term marijuana. The key difference is that hemp as a classification only has, or is classified as hemp if it has less than 0.3% THC. Now, that’s the American standardisation, so the British have, I think, 0.2% THC, and that’s how you consider it to be hemp. Now, marijuana is considered to be any form of cannabis that has more than 0.3% THC, and this is where the psychoactive nature can start to come through – the euphoria and some of this kind of stuff. Now, I think one of the reasons why people don’t use marijuana, and, I think, as a term, is because marijuana is actually created in order, you know, to marginalise Mexicans.

I’m just going to come out and say it. It was, the term itself was actually really quite a big thing in the seventies in relation to the marijuana act, and the –

CHRISTEL: The “war against drugs”.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: The war against drugs, right. So, I think this is where the classification between hemp and marijuana as cannabis is kind of strange because the way, people, the way you differentiate between the two is that you’re saying, “Okay, well you want to classify citrus fruit as either sweet or sour and that’s it.” So, marijuana and hemp, 0.3% THC or not.

CHRISTEL: Wow, what a–

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: You know, let me tell you –

CHRISTEL: – way to describe it.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Yeah, it just doesn’t work like that, right? So, I think we’re now learning more about cannabis, and marijuana, and hemp, which aren’t interchangeable terms. You know what I mean? They’re used out of context quite a lot.

We’re now learning more about cannabis, and marijuana, and hemp, which aren’t interchangeable terms. You know what I mean? They’re used out of context quite a lot.

CHRISTEL:那麼,在你的行業中,大麻指的是甚麼?你會如何區分⋯⋯火麻?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:這是有趣的事。作為一名醫師,我會將它稱為大麻二酚。

CHRISTEL:好的。你指的是它具體的屬性。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,這就是如何區分,也是它們的區別。就如薑黃和薑黃素的其他區別方式。

CHRISTEL:原來如此。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:薑黃素是薑黃中的活性成份,很有趣的是,就像薑黃中具有抗炎或抗氧化特性的十種活性成份之一,因此我們將其稱為薑黃素。這可能只是過去十年的新趨勢,我們將其命名為活性成份,而不是薑黃。就我個人來說,從專業角度看,我將其稱為 CBD 或大麻二酚,但較常見的是 CBD。這個想法就是我知道 10 毫克大麻二酚有可能會在體內產生某些作用。所以我會使用這種語境。

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CHRISTEL:那麼,可以告訴我大麻對身體的一些作用嗎?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:當然可以。我認為形容 CBD 功能的最佳方法是稍微回顧一下它的運作系統並加以解釋,好嗎?也就是內源性大麻素系統。當你想到內源時,你會想到內源性,意思是內在。在大麻素系統內,我們發現體內存在大麻素的化學物質和受體,十分誇張。基本上,大麻二酚主要用來協調身體。我聽過一種非常有趣或更生動的形容,就是它的工作是——確保人們能適當地放鬆、進食、睡眠、放空和自我保護。

我們發現體內存在大麻素的化學物質和受體,十分誇張。基本上,大麻二酚主要用來協調身體。我聽過一種非常有趣或更生動的形容,就是它的工作是——確保人們能適當地放鬆、進食、睡眠、放空和自我保護。

CHRISTEL: So, within your practice, what do you refer to it as? How do you...hemp?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Well, this is the interesting thing. As a practitioner, I refer to it as CBD.

CHRISTEL: Okay, okay. You refer to it, that, specifically of the property that you’re referring to.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Yeah, and this is how, this is the difference. You’ll hear this happen in other ways with turmeric and curcumin.

CHRISTEL: I see.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Okay, so curcumin is the active ingredient within turmeric, or funnily enough like one of ten active ingredients within turmeric that has an anti-inflammatory or antioxidant quality, so we refer to it as curcumin. And this is just probably a newer trend over the last ten or so years, where instead of naming it as turmeric, we’re naming the active ingredient. So, for me personally, from a professional level, I would call it CBD or cannabidiol, but more often CBD. So, the idea is that I know that potentially ten milligrams of cannabidiol is going to do something in the body. So, that’s the context that I would use, yeah.

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CHRISTEL: So, tell me a little bit about what it does to the body.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Sure. So, I think the best way to describe what CBD does is kind of just to go backwards a little bit and explain the system that it works with, okay? So, the endocannabinoid system, so when you think endo, you think endogenous, so it means inside. So, the inside cannabinoid system, so we’ve found that there are chemicals and receptors for cannabinoids within the body, which is kind of crazy. Basically, CBD works towards harmonising the body. And one of the really interesting kind of ways or the more poetic way I’ve heard of it described, is that its job is to – let me make sure I get this right – is to relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.

We’ve found that there are chemicals and receptors for cannabinoids within the body, which is kind of crazy. Basically, CBD works towards harmonising the body. And one of the really interesting kind of ways or the more poetic way I’ve heard of it described, is that its job is to – let me make sure I get this right – is to relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.

CHRISTEL:妙極了。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:這就是系統的運作。太生動了。我認為科學界常缺乏像他們一樣的創意。但那實際上是 20 年前的部分研究結果,你就像坐在那裡讀著這份深入的科學論文,而你只是聽到別人隨口說的話。我認為關於內源性大麻素系統的另一種思考方式是協調,也是自然而然的方式。如果感到壓力沉重,你會放鬆一下。如果感到飢餓,你會進食。如果需要休息,你會休息。它的確有助將身體回到基本水平。

我們知道,大麻二酚起作用的原因之一是因為內部大麻素的存在,我們稱為花生四烯乙醇胺。這個名字實際上是繼梵文「幸福」一詞命名。因為這種化學物質實際上與該內源性大麻素系統中的受體互相發揮作用,可幫助人們平靜下來或感到幸福。

CHRISTEL:所以,如果我用通俗易明的表達方式,你是說人體的確會產生某種與這些大麻素有關的物質嗎?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,說得對。

CHRISTEL:好的。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:因此,說到大麻時,我們會發現大麻二酚和四氫大麻酚及其他化學物質之類的物質可能會在內並與內源性大麻素系統發揮作用,從而提供這種多目標、多功能的效果。做到放鬆、協調等等的事。你可以施用大麻二酚在體外製造這些效果。這是一件大事,而且很有趣,就像⋯⋯

CHRISTEL:大麻是甚麼時候發現的?人在們甚麼時候知道有大麻的?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:毫無疑問,必定是歸功於來自以色列的 Raphael Mechoulam,因為 80 至 90 年代期間有很多關於內源大麻素系統的早期研究都是在以色列發現的。

我的意思是,自四十年代開始就有人對大麻二酚進行研究。在 19 世紀甚至有傳聞指,維多利亞女王用大麻來紓緩經痛不適。我認為大麻研究已進行了很長時間,但直至現在才出現有關大麻的立法,直到 2018 年和《農場法案》——如果你去翻查一下,這某程度是真正研究的轉捩點。大麻的研究已經進行了一段長時間,但基本上直到近期我們才能接觸到大麻。我知道這聽起來很原始,但研究人員卻未能掌握這點。這就是為甚麼我們現時的研究有很大進步。

CHRISTEL:請告訴我有關大麻二酚在香港的情況和接觸途徑。以及人們的普遍了解或缺乏了解。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:我認為教育十分重要,而且需要一段時間才能達到。明顯地,香港對大麻採取的零容忍態度,因此我們採用的仍是根據四氫大麻酚含量的傳統分類方式。最近,應該是去年 11 月的時候,有關大麻的法例有所修改,有需要可問我確實日期。所謂零四氫大麻酚是指大麻的大麻二酚含量很高,但沒有任何四氫大麻酚。這消除了高四氫大麻酚含量的大麻具有的精神活性和潛在的成癮性。

CHRISTEL:所以最重要的是不會令人亢奮嗎?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:不是,但這也是有趣的一點。如果你與不同研究人員交談,他們都會表示,如果你變得亢奮,那即是你吸食得太多了。

CHRISTEL:原來如此。

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CHRISTEL: Divine.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: That’s the job of the system. It’s so poetic. You know, I think people often, within sciences, don’t get their credit for being as creative as they are. But I think reading that, that actually came out of some research twenty years ago, and you’re kind of sitting there reading this intense scientific paper and you just hear something that rolls off the tongue like that. So, I think the other way of thinking about the endocannabinoid system is that it’s harmonising, it’s there. You know, if you’re feeling stressed, you relax. If you’re feeling hungry, you eat. If you need to rest, you rest. It helps to really kind of bring the body back to baseline.

Now, one of the reasons that we know CBD works is because we actually found an internal cannabinoid called anandamide, which is actually, literally, named after bliss in Sanskrit, because this anandamide chemical is actually having an interaction with the receptors in this endocannabinoid system, and it was helping people to calm down or basically feel blissful.

CHRISTEL: So if I can, sort of, I guess, put it into layman’s terms, you’re saying that the body does produce some sort of substance that talks to these cannabinoids?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Right on, yeah exactly.

CHRISTEL: Right, okay.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: This is, so, leading to that, when we looked at cannabis, we actually found that CBD and other things like THC and some of these other chemicals actually could come in and have a relationship with this endocannabinoid system that offered this multitarget, multifunctional kind of outcome. So, relaxing, harmonising, all of these things. You could actually externally create that with the administration of CBD. So, it was a huge thing and funnily enough like the –

CHRISTEL: When was this, sort of, discovered, I guess? When did people know?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: You’ve always got to give a big shoutout to a guy called Raphael Mechoulam from Israel because a lot of the research originally around the endocannabinoid system came out of Israel in the eighties and nineties.

I mean, CBD has been researched since the forties and there’s even some kind of anecdotal words that Queen Victoria used it to relieve her menstrual cramps in the nineteenth century. So, with that, I think it’s been around for a long time, but this is where we come back to that legislative thing about marijuana, in that the research wasn’t actually being able to be done until, well, two thousand and eighteen and the Farm Bill Act – if you want to go and look that up, that was kind of changed the research. It’s been researched for a long time but only recently have we been able to get access to weed, basically. I know it sounds very crude, but the researchers haven’t been able to do so. So, that’s why we’re seeing quite a big jump in the research now.

CHRISTEL: So, tell me a little bit about the situation of CBD here in Hong Kong and what access we have to it here. And the general understanding or lack of here in Hong Kong.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Sure, so this is where, I think, the education really has to come through and it takes time for that to happen. Obviously within Hong Kong there’s a zero tolerance towards marijuana, and that, once again, if we’re using this old school classification that’s THC-oriented. Recently, I think only just last year, I think November it was but I have to get the date if you need it, November the law changed in relation to hemp. Now, what that refers to is zero percent THC, and that means that you’re using a form of cannabis that has a high amount of CBD but zero THC. So, that takes away the psychoactivity and what’s considered to be the potential addictive qualities of that form of cannabis with high THC.

CHRISTEL: So, essentially, you don’t get high on this?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: No. This is actually kind of a funny point as well, because if you speak to a lot of the researchers, like, if you get high, you’ve had too much.

CHRISTEL: I see.

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DR. PHILIP WATKINS:嚴格說來,從草藥的角度來看,我想你已吸食過量。換句話來說,即是太多四氫大麻酚。因為嚴格說來,你應該會感到輕鬆。你應該能感受到好處,除此之外別無其他。

CHRISTEL:原來如此。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:所以就你的看法,火麻應該不會令你感到亢奮。它具有非精神活性,可與全身的受體協作,這就是為甚麼與大麻素系統有關。因為肺部、心臟、消化系統和四周都有大麻素和大麻二酚受體,不論是肩膊和雙腿,幾乎無處不在。

CHRISTEL:那麼這個系統是甚麼,你所指的內部系統在體內起了甚麼作用?它指的是甚麼?神經末梢、血液,還是是甚麼?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:最重要的是,它主要為不同系統和身體器官提供支持。內源性大麻素系統原指受體的集結。CB1 受體存在於大腦和脊髓內。在其他外圍部位還有 CB2 受體,包括肺部、心臟、免疫細胞、胰腺等。這就是令人興奮的地方,因為我們知道大麻二酚是多營養性,這個別致的命名源於它具有不止一種功效。維他命 D 也是屬於多營養型,對人體有多種功用。因此有大量研究針對內源性大麻素系統。它確實可對每個人的全身產生相對大的影響,因為每個人體內都有大麻素系統。這真的十分引人入勝。

CHRISTEL:那太瘋狂了。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:實在是瘋狂,所有人都有。你知道自己有這個系統。

CHRISTEL:不過,我不知道應該如何將它命名,究竟是物質、草藥還是藥物,或者由你們命名——它已被標籤。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,這個情況正在改變。

CHRISTEL:的確是。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:它也需要改變一下,其他形式藥物的標籤也有所改變。我一直追隨 Rick Doblin ,他創建了 MAPS 協會,這個名字很奇怪,「迷幻藥研究協會」。越戰後,他製定了一項策略,將搖頭丸用於創傷後壓力綜合症及壓力障礙。

現已成立了 50 年,而到去年為止,這筆資金已真正用於幫助患有創傷後壓力症候群的退伍軍人。相對於我們最初擁有的事物,環境有了很大的改變——毋須太誇張,由最初被妖魔化或產生負面形象,現在可看到它們對我們的真正幫助。

CHRISTEL:是的,與酒精等對比,這是完全合法的,但同時又完全被濫用。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,對的。因此,我認為這是我們需要在教育方面取得平衡的地方。從治療角度來說,明顯地我們需要真正幫助人們了解大麻,而且我認為應該遠離大麻,例如可以對人們提供以大麻為題的教育。

CHRISTEL:對。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:不過相反而言,人們也經常想到大麻的有害成分。而且我對大麻二酚其中一個感興趣的地方是它與大腦淋巴系統的聯繫。我是否話太多了?

CHRISTEL:怎會呢?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:我對它很感興趣。你需要進睡的原因之一是因為你的大腦⋯⋯

CHRISTEL:因為我很疲倦。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:不是,因為你精疲力盡。因為大腦實際上需要進行內部清洗。淋巴系統是不同血管和運輸系統的集結,這些系統可清除大腦產生的廢物,但也有助運輸神經遞質(如血清素)及令你感覺良好的化學物質,以及其他重要的東西如葡萄糖。睡眠時,大腦排毒的過程由星形膠質細胞的化學物質監控。大麻二酚其中一個最了不起的是,它被視為可增加大腦中星形膠質細胞的水平。因此睡眠時,大腦有足夠的刺激排毒。每當提及衰老時,這種淋巴系統對我們來說非常有趣的其中一個原因是:隨著年齡增長,淋巴系統活動實際上會減少。這是我們開始發現大腦無法自我清潔的地方,也可能就是認知障礙症、失智症及其他腦退化疾病發生率更高的原因。

CHRISTEL:真的。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:因為大腦無法自行清潔。

CHRISTEL:思想變壞。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:是的。我沒想過,但是你說得沒錯。字面上的確是這個意思。你還提到了另一個方式:乾淨飲食法。保持星形膠質細胞水平一致,我們可能找到大麻二酚等產品的長期施用方式。而大麻種子——有些新方法可以做到這點。它們可以保護大腦更長時間。同時,我們亦相當重視抗炎和骨質疏鬆症,並有很好的研究針對大麻二酚的抗炎特性對牛皮癬皮膚的幫助——人們不一定完全了解。正如我提出的看法,我認為我們自己、父母和祖父母都會為認知能力下降感到擔憂,透過削弱系統或以大麻二酚管理內源性大麻素系統,我們能找到一種潛在的方法,在某程度上保護或至少阻止這種下降。因此,研究所得出的長期好處可能對每個人來說非常非常有用。

CHRISTEL:讓我們談談如何實際使用大麻二酚。如何刺激或令內在身體知道這是最有效?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:內源性大麻素系統。

CHRISTEL:內源性大麻素系統。最好的做法是甚麼?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:問得好。事實上取決你想要甚麼。我認為這是大麻二酚油最初打入市場的其中一個原因。我亦會局部使用在皮膚上,以不同措施幫助人們。

[00:20:00]

正如我所說,實際上我只是在過去兩年左右(或一年)取得大麻二酚。我的臨床結果仍未出現,但是總括來說,我已經看到一些不錯的成果。我認為這項研究正朝著口服噴霧瓶的方向發展。將它噴在面頰內側,在某種程度上可避開消化。

CHRISTEL:我想是直接進入血液。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯。例如,如果你將它當作藥物,那麼 Sativex 或其他美國食品藥品監督管理局批准或國民保健署批准的醫用大麻通常都是噴霧劑。正如我所說,如果你希望將它用作補充劑,那麼油質或噴劑(強度較低)可能是個好選擇。絕對可以局部使用在皮膚上。

CHRISTEL:好的。就香港的管理機構而言,我們是否有這樣的機構呢?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:香港衞生署是最主要的部門。我曾與他們短期合作,所有人都仍在努力中。出現這種情況的其中一個原因,就是因為研究仍處於非常初步的階段。因此可以肯定的是——正如我所說,如果有在實驗室進行大麻二酚產品測試,而四氫大麻酚含量為 0%,那麼以我所知是可以接受的。

CHRISTEL:精彩。如果可以的話,請問你可以分享一些軼事、故事或其他親身經歷的好處?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:當然可以。我想我絕對可以分享我在診所的使用方式。我想看到了不起的事情是,當我治療他人的消化問題時,例如我們感知環境為威脅時,那便會自然告訴大腦這是不安全進食。這些信息會經人體接收,通常會在消化過程中接收到信息,表示好吧,我將在處理這種威脅時自我關閉,並在感到安全時進食。

對於很多人來說,對威脅的認知一直持續。在工作、電郵、所有一切——尤其在 2020 年威脅無處不在。對我來說,使用大麻二酚幫助人們減弱威脅。留意,我並沒有用「壓力」一詞,因為我認為 2020 年對所有人來說,都是相當普遍的特性。將大麻二酚用於協議的一部分,從而幫助人們看到廣泛的意義,實在是非常有趣的事。因為這讓我可獲得最佳結果,透過了解我們不只是無頭騎士,我們同樣會遇到消化等特殊情況——日常腹脹、腹部不適或類似問題,那麼利用大麻二酚等物質既可與全個系統協作,亦可以與大腦協作,實際上為人們提供精神空間,讓他們做自己需要做的事情,也許是運動,或者改變他們的飲食習慣——這可能是我使用大麻二酚的最大收穫。

CHRISTEL:有趣的是,當你表示身體或感覺到受威脅時,你就會知道那是身體的警告,告訴你這是不安全進食⋯⋯

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:嗯。

CHRISTEL:我的身體告訴我,大可放心地安全進食。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:確實會。看,我想這很有趣,對吧?即使感到不安全,也是可以進食的,但是在消化時,你的身體不會⋯⋯

CHRISTEL:對。所以,我想大麻二酚等東西實際上可以使我們與身體更好地接觸,因為我們脫離了所需的東西,對嗎?

大麻二酚等東西實際上可以使我們與身體更好地接觸

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: So, technically, from a herbal medicine standpoint, I guess, you’ve actually gone too far, and you’ve ingested, if you like, too much THC. Because technically you should have a relaxed feeling. You should feel the benefits but you shouldn’t get any further than that.

CHRISTEL: I see.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: So, to your point though, yeah hemp shouldn’t get you high. It’s non-psychoactive and it works with the receptors that are all over the body, and this is why the cannabinoid system is of such interest, because there are receptors for the cannabinoids and CBD in the lungs, the heart, the digestion, the peripheries – so your arms and legs, pretty much everywhere.

CHRISTEL: So, what is this system, the internal system that you speak of, what is it in the body? What is it referring to? Nerve endings, or blood, or what is it?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Yeah, so the big thing about it more than anything is that it’s primarily driven towards actually being around to help the different systems and the different organs of the body. So, the endocannabinoid system itself refers to the collection of the receptors. So, there are CB1 receptors in the brain and the spinal cord. Then there are CB2 receptors in the other periphery areas, so the lungs, and the heart, and the immune cells, and the pancreas and that type of thing. This is where it becomes quite exciting, because we understand that CBD is what we call a polytrophic, so that’s just a fancy name for it has more than one effect. Vitamin D is also polytrophic in that it has more than one effect on the body. So, the reason why this system is actually being researched a lot is because it can have quite a whole-body effect on everyone really, because we all have this endocannabinoid system. So, it’s really, really exciting.

CHRISTEL: That is wild.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: It is crazy isn’t it, that everyone’s got it? You know, and you can – yeah.

CHRISTEL: And yet, you know, I mean, I don’t even know how to refer to it as a substance, as an herb or a medicine, or however you want to refer to it – it’s been so stigmatised.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: It is, yeah, and that’s changing.

CHRISTEL: Yeah, it is.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: It needs to change as well, and I think, just broadening that, you know, you’ve got other forms of medicine that are also having their stigma changed. I’ve been following Rick Doblin who has created an association called MAPS, which is – the name’s quite strange – in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. But he created a strategy after the Vietnam War to use MDMA for post-traumatic stress syndrome, stress disorder.

And it’s taken fifty years now and that is now, as of last year, been funded to actually help veterans with PTSD. So, there’s a really big change in the air in relation to things that we have originally – you know, without being too hyperbolic about it, originally demonised or had a negative relationship with, and now seeing that they can actually help us.

CHRISTEL: Yes, I mean, you know, to compare it to something like alcohol, which is perfectly legal and yet perfectly abused at the same time.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Sure, sure. So, I think this is where we need to find a happy balance between the educational side of it. Obviously, from a therapeutic element, we need to really, kind of, help people understand cannabis, and I think, moving away from – maybe educating people a little bit more about how marijuana was named, for example.

CHRISTEL: Yes.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: I think the other side of this, though, is that we often think about cannabis for its acute elements as well, and I think one of my personal interests in relation to CBD is actually more related back to what’s called the glymphatic system in the brain. Now, tell me if I’m talking too much.

CHRISTEL: No, no.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: I get excited about this. One of the reasons why you need to go to sleep, alright, is that your brain-

CHRISTEL: Because I’m tired.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: No, this is, because you’re exhausted, yeah. It is because your brain actually needs to clean house. The glymphatic system is kind of a collection of different kind of vessels and transport systems that actually clean the waste products out of your brain, but also help to potentially transport neurotransmitters like serotonin and the chemicals that make you feel good. Also, other things that are really important like glucose. This process of somewhat brain detoxing while you’re sleeping is governed by a chemical called an astrocyte. Now, one of the cool things about CBD is that CBD actually is now considered to increase the levels of astrocytes in the brain, so that when you go to sleep you have got enough stimulus for the brain to detoxify itself. Now, when it comes to aging, one of the reasons why this glymphatic system is quite interesting to people is because, as you age, your glymphatic activity goes down, it actually reduces. This is where we start to see that the brain is unable to somewhat clean itself and this may be potentially why we’re seeing a higher incidence of things like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and some of these other brain degenerative diseases.

CHRISTEL: Wow.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Because it just can’t clean itself.

CHRISTEL: Dirty mind.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Indeed, yeah I didn’t think that, but you’re right on. It’s literally like that, though, right? And you talk about clean eating as another side of that. But then, you know, having this consistent astrocyte level, it means that we may actually be able to find a way through long-term administration of something like CBD. And, you know, hemp seeds – there are new ways of coming out with this. They may actually really protect our brains for a lot longer. So, whilst we kind of consider anti-inflammation, there’s some really great research in psoriasis for skin from the anti-inflammatory nature of CBD, osteoporosis – there are a lot of things that people don’t necessarily know about. But, as I said for me personally, I think we’re all worried about both for ourselves, our parents and our grandparents, I guess having a cognitive decline of sorts and we may, through the attenuation of this system or managing the endocannabinoid system with CBD, we may have found a potential way to, kind of, somewhat protect or at least stem the decline. So, there are longer term benefits coming out of the research that might be really super, super beneficial for everyone.

CHRISTEL: So, let’s talk about how you actually take CBD. I guess, how is it best effective to stimulate or speak to your endo-say it again?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Endocannabinoid system.

CHRISTEL: Endocannabinoid system. How best to do that?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Great question. So, it really just depends on what you want. I think the CBD oil is one of the things that, I guess, originally came onto the market. I’ve used it topically for skin as well, so there are measures that you can take in order to help people.

[00:20:00]

As I said, my, you know, this has really only been available to me over the last two years or so, or, say, a year. So, my clinical kind of outcomes are still coming around, but, topically, you can, I have seen some great results. So, I think the research is moving towards what’s called an oral buccal spray. So, actually spraying it on the inside of your cheek, which, somewhat then kind of dodges the digestion.

CHRISTEL: Straight to the bloodstream, I guess.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Right on, yeah. So, in that, if you’re using it as a medicine, for example, so Sativex or some of the other FDA-approved or NHS-approved forms of medical cannabis, they’re generally in a spray. As I said, if you’re looking to use it as somewhat of a supplement, then the oil or, you know, less intense version of the spray is probably a good one. For the skin, definitely try it topically.

CHRISTEL: Right, right, right. So, in terms of a sort of, I guess, governing body in Hong Kong, do we have one for this sort of stuff?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: The Hong Kong Health Department is the primary one. Through the small amount of work that I’ve done with them, everyone’s still working it out. One of the reasons why this is the case is because the research is still very preliminary. So, there are certain – as I said, the rule is that if you have a lab go through your CBD offering, and it has 0% THC, at this point, in my understanding, at the time of this recording, it’s considered to be just fine.

CHRISTEL: Amazing. So, if I may, have you yourself, do you have any anecdotal, sort of any stories or anything, about your own personal experience of the benefits of this?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Sure. So, I think I can certainly speak to it from anecdotally on what I’ve used in the clinic. I think one of the cool things that, I think, I like to see is the fact that, I guess, when I treat someone’s digestion, for example, the way we perceive our environment in relation to, you know, threats and things like that are naturally going to tell our brain that it’s not safe to eat. That information then gets fed through the body and, you know, oftentimes the digestion will, kind of, receive that message and say okay well I’m going to turn myself off while you go and deal with that threat, and then we can eat when we feel safe.

Now, for a lot of people, the perception of that threat is constant, and, you know, work, email, you know, everything – 2020. So, for me, using CBD to help people, kind of, take the edge off that threat. And notice I’m not using the word stress, because I think in 2020 we can just all just say that that’s a pretty universal characteristic for all of us. But using CBD actually as part of a protocol to help someone in the broader sense has been really, really interesting to see, because that’s where I’ve gotten the best results is actually by understanding that we’re not just headless horsemen and women, and that if we come in with particular conditions such as the digestion – you know, your average kind of bloating or abdominal discomfort or things like that, that utilising something like CBD both to work with the whole system but also to work with the brain so that you can essentially give someone the mental space to, maybe, do what they need to do for themselves, you know, maybe a little bit of exercise, or change their eating behaviours – that’s been probably the most rewarding part of using CBD with my stuff.

CHRISTEL: Interesting, because I guess, you know when you say when the body or the person senses a threat and then that’s your body telling you it’s not safe to eat –

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Mm-hmm.

CHRISTEL: My body tells me it’s way too safe to eat a lot.

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: Yes, indeed. Look, this is, I think, so, this is the interesting thing, right? Even though you eat when you feel like it’s not safe, okay, which is fine, your body, when it comes to your digestion, won’t get –

CHRISTEL: Yes. So, I guess what I’m getting at is that perhaps something like CBD can actually put us in better touch with our bodies, because we’re so out of touch with what we need, right?

CBD can actually put us in better touch with our bodies

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:沒錯,這是很好的解釋。就我個人而言,大麻二酚的另一面是,它讓我們所謂的「熱腦」變冷。

熱腦更像是神經炎症的通用語。眾所周知,神經發炎開始分散人們的專注力。想到這點時,也就是普遍出現的下午 3 時精神萎靡,對吧?你可以去品嚐美味的意式薄餅或在午餐時吃任何東西。對我而言,我可以在午餐時間犯上很多不同錯誤。然後在下午 3 時精神萎靡,大腦開始慢慢地傾瀉下來。在 Pete 的大型演講時,你的專注力開始漂移。實際上,人們進行了一項非常有趣的研究。他們認為隨著炎症在大腦中出現,首先會影響專注力。於是你可以使用大麻二酚,以改善全天的精神質量等類似情況,它的功效確實很好。

就你的觀點而言,如果你專注某事,思緒便會更清楚,然後你的決定隨之也可能會改變。對於醫療從業者來說,這是最終成果、重要卻很難做到的事情,嘗試幫助人們保持個人主權水平,並掌控一切。如果我們能找到任何例如大麻二酚等物質,並幫助人們做到這點,那確實是很宏大的目標。

CHRISTEL:臨近結束,你能告訴我剛才分享最有詩意、最美麗的台詞嗎?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS:內源性大麻素系統——讓我們看看是否可以再次正確使用此系統。內源性大麻素系統的作用是放鬆、進食、睡眠、放空和自我保護。如果我說錯了,那真的抱歉。我不是詩人,而我的記憶又是——與普通人無異。但我想,如果你想要大型霓虹燈招牌,實際上要很多人在日常生活中都不介意。

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: That’s a great way to interpret it, it really is. I think the other side of CBD is that, personally, I feel like it chills out what we call a hot brain.

A hot brain is kind of, I guess, more of a colloquial term for neuroinflammation. I think we now know that neuroinflammation actually really starts to hinder people’s attention centres. This is, so, when you think about that, kind of, classic three o’clock slump, right? You go and have a nice focaccia or whatever you do for lunch. In my case, there’s a multitude of different crimes I can commit at lunchtime. You know, and then at three o’clock your brain starts to slowly dump itself, and then your attention towards Pete’s big presentation starts to wander. You know, they’ve actually done some really interesting studies to suggest that, as the inflammation rises in your brain, it affects the attention centres first. So, this is where, you know, using CBD as a potential just to improve the quality of your day or any of these types of things is really good.

But to your point, you can actually then, if you were paying attention, you get a little more clarity, and then, your decision making may change from there. As a health practitioner, that’s the endgame, that’s the billion-dollar outcome, is to try and help people to retain a level of personal sovereignty for themselves, and to be able to take the reins. If we can find anything, CBD or whatever that is, to try and help people do that, I mean, that’s really a big goal.

CHRISTEL: So, just to close, can you give me that most poetic line that you shared earlier about, that beautiful line?

DR. PHILIP WATKINS: The endocannabinoid system – let’s see if I can get this right again. So, the role of the endocannabinoid system is to relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect. And I really apologise if I butchered that. I’m not a poet and my memory is, once again, on it’s – I’m just as much as good as everyone else. But, I guess that if you wanted the big neon sign, right, that description in itself really does kind of bring what a lot of people wouldn’t mind having in their day.

2020-07-15 00:01:00.0

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