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CBD: Beyond the Hype
Episode 3820th December 2021 • Back Talk Doc • Sanjiv Lakhia - Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
00:00:00 00:41:29

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Health care has been a constant presence in Matt Parks’s life for much longer than most people.

His mother is an ER nurse. His older brother was born with a rare condition and was often hospitalized as a child. And as a college baseball player, Matt started taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to cope with a shoulder injury.

He became dependent on the medications and started to experience migraines. He also developed depression when his parents divorced, which he still struggles with.

By 2019, having been Vice President and Sales Manager at Williams Medical Supply Inc. for over a decade, Matt was a veteran of the medical supply industry. Conversations with people in his field who had looked into cannabidiol — better known as CBD — and customers who had used it, convinced him that the majority of CBD products were ineffective.

This inspired him to see if he could come up with something better. He had three main areas of improvement. He wanted to create a hemp-derived topical CBD cream that he could verify did not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. He also wanted to build a company that was directly accessible to customers who had questions, and a brand that didn’t traffic in the usual hype.

That year, he founded One Less CBD — as in “one less pill to take.”

Listen to this episode of Back Talk Doc to find out what CBD is and isn’t, how to choose a CBD product, and to hear about Matt’s journey from patient to employee to entrepreneur.

💡 Featured Experts 💡

Name: Matt Parks

What he does: Before founding One Less CBD in 2019 and leading the business as CEO, Matt was Vice President and Sales Manager at Williams Medical Supply Inc for over a decade.

Company: One Less CBD

Words of wisdom: “[CBD is] not going to regrow cartilage. What we see is a daily topical application to help people become more mobile, become more active and create a better overall lifestyle, and stop reaching for two or three Aleve every single day, and apply something that is more plant-derived and natural.”

Connect: LinkedIn

⚓ Anchor Points ⚓

Top takeaways from this Back Talk Doc episode

★    CBD is thought to help reduce inflammation by assisting your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids are anti-inflammatory molecules produced by your body. However, certain enzymes interrupt the ECS process, and absorb endocannabinoids, reducing the system’s effectiveness. “The whole idea behind CBD is, let's introduce more cannabinoids, block out some of those enzymes, and actually let the body do some natural healing,” Matt says.

★    Hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD are different. Both hemp and marijuana are types of cannabis plants. The key legal difference is that marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component that causes users to experience a high, and less CBD than hemp. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less. It’s important that CBD consumers know that the topical they’re using does not contain more than 0.3% THC, because if it does, they could fail a drug test.

★    Consider who’s selling you CBD. If you have a question about the CBD you just bought, it’s not a given that you’ll be able to connect with a real person or even find legitimate information on the product’s website. And while CBD is legal, there’s no regulatory body for the industry yet. Get it from a naturopath or chiropractor rather than, say, a gas station or convenience store.


⚕️ Episode Insights ⚕️

Top takeaways from this Back Talk Doc episode

[00:00] Mobile-based solutions for clinical practice: Check out our sponsor, QxMD, which builds mobile solutions that drive evidence-based medicine in clinical practice.

[01:44] Meet Matt: Matt Parks is the founder and CEO of One Less CBD. As a college baseball player, Matt injured his shoulder, and began taking NSAIDs to cope. He became dependent on the medications, which led to migraines.

[6:04] Unimpressed: Working in the medical supply industry after college, Matt interacted regularly with consumers dealing with painful conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. They were underwhelmed by CBD products. Matt was inspired him to come up with a superior product.

[10:34] Opening the floodgates: The 2018 Farm Bill took CBD off the Schedule I narcotics list, which sparked the CBD craze. But there wasn’t any regulatory framework to ensure quality control.

[16:29] Blocking the blockers: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) reduces inflammation in our bodies by releasing cannabinoids, but these cannabinoids are sometimes intercepted by enzymes that absorb enough of them to prevent the ECS’s therapeutic effects. CBD products are designed to block some of these enzymes so healing can occur.

[18:30] A supplement, not a cureall: Matt describes his CBD as a topical application to help people become more active and mobile, while avoiding the stomach damage that can result from taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin. The name One Less CBD refers to taking one less pill. 

[22:08] The goal: Everything One Less sources is made in the U.S. Matt and his team found a supplier who could provide them with 99.99% pure CBD. It was important that there was no THC in their product, so that customers would not experience side effects or fail drug screenings.

[28:06] Full disclosure: A transparent CBD company should provide contact information, indicate whether its products have been tested by an independent third-party, and list where its CBD is available for purchase.

[33:54] The future of CBD: CBD is still trending upward despite a decline during COVID-19 — and Matt predicts that it hasn’t peaked yet.

[36:01] Worth a look: Matt recommends the Original Strength fitness program and the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

[39:34] Special offer: Get a free travel jar of One Less CBD Topical Inflammation Cream. Just pay $4.95 for shipping.

 

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Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to backtalkdoc.com. To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at carolinaneurosurgery.com.

Transcripts

intro (:

This podcast is sponsored by our partner, QxMD. QxMD builds mobile solutions that drive evidence-based medicine in clinical practice. Check out Reed for easy access to research personalized for you and Calculate for over 500 easy-to-use, decision-support tools. Try them today at qxmd.com/apps. Again, that is qxmd.com/apps.

intro (:

Welcome, you're listening to Back Talk Doc, where you'll find answers to some of the most common questions about back pain and spine health brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, "where providing personalized, highly skilled and compassionate spine care has been our specialty for over 75 years." And now it's time to understand the cause of back pain and learn about options to get you back on track. Here's your Back Talk Doc, Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Over the last few years, it's been almost impossible to go through a work week without encountering a patient who asks about the use of CBD. CBD has gained a tremendous amount of popularity over the last five years. It's short for cannabidiol. And it really generates a lot of its interest given the derivative from the Marijuana plant. And it's one of the topics that, on Back Talk Doc, I've really had on my list to talk about, have an episode about and engage in discussion in.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And I was fortunate enough to come in contact recently with Matt Parks, who is the founder of One Less CBD, which is a product we're going to talk about. So today I'm really excited to have Matt on the show and to go through this idea of CBD. And he brings also a business background to it and just have a good discussion for all the listeners out there. So, Matt, welcome to the show.

Matt Parks (:

Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

All right. Well, let me give you a little introduction. Matt is a entrepreneur and expert in the medical supply industry, where he's spent the last 10 years dealing directly with end users of consumer products. In 2020, Matt founded One Less CBD in response to what he perceived to be the underwhelming offering of quality CBD topical products. Topical inflammation cream has helped many people decrease their reliance on over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti inflammatories and has helped them create a healthier approach to daily inflammation relief. Matt self-funded his company with the hopes of creating customer-focused, results-oriented company that puts its customers first.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

He's been featured in Authority Magazine and has been asked to speak at The Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's and at the VGM Heartland Conference in Waterloo. So Matt brings expertise from the business side. But also, as we dive into today's conversation, I was able to read the interview that you had done on, I think, it was medion.com or Authority. And they really talked about your journey from how you got to this idea of founding this company.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So why don't you go ahead and dive in? Introduce yourself to the listeners. And share your journey of medical sales and into where you are today.

Matt Parks (:

Well, the journey really can be traced back to even my childhood. Born and raised in Baltimore City, Northeast Baltimore City. Born in 1985. And my mom has been a night-shift ER nurse, God, for the past 42 years.

Matt Parks (:

And my brother, who's three years older than I am, was actually born with a Dandy-Walker malformation and hydrocephalus. And for those who are unfamiliar, essentially he's missing 80% of his cerebellum. His birth defect was present from the time he was in utero. And so that really became a journey for him from the time he was a baby to the time he was about 16, 17 years old in and out of Johns Hopkins University. Ben Carson was his surgeon.

Matt Parks (:

So how that all affected me was I pretty much grew up in the health care space. I was in and out of hospitals. I was a pretty independent kid because, while my parents were inpatient at Hopkins two or three weeks at a time, I was staying with this church family or that church family or these grandparents or these aunts and uncles. So I really had to be pretty independent from an early age.

Matt Parks (:

But the health care industry was exposed to me from a very early period, so led to my infatuation with health care from the get-go. But became a pretty decent baseball player. Ended up being recruited and played baseball at Belmont University. And that's where my personal journey with NSAIDs and pain relievers started because of a shoulder injury I had my sophomore year of college. And then it led to a fantastic high school career that didn't translate into college.

Matt Parks (:

And being a Division I baseball player, you are basically practicing 60, 70 hours a week. You have full-time classes. And I was doing everything I could just to get on the field. And in order to do that, I felt like I had to take four to six ibuprofen before every practice just to get my arm through a practice because if I didn't perform well, I wasn't going to see the field again for another two or three weeks.

Matt Parks (:

And so it just led to this dependency on NSAIDs, which then developed into migraines, which then I developed depression through my parents divorce, which has stayed with me through my life. And it's something I fight every single day. And so it was just that kind of initial journey that started this whole infatuation with health care.

Matt Parks (:

Fast forward to 2010, my wife and I moved back to Nashville. We take over my in-laws medical supply company, where I'm really dealing directly with patients every single day. And these are patients who have ostomies, who have rheumatoid arthritis, who have spina bifida. And the root cause of everything or it seemed like the root of all evil was inflammation. And that just led to an encouraging field of study and discussions with people who I had known for years that had developed a topical anti inflammatory.

Matt Parks (:

And they were getting out of it as this CBD thing was taking hold. And I was really, like you said, underwhelmed with what I saw. It just seemed like base elements, mix in CBD and call it a pain-relief cream. And what I was hearing from consumers was, "This stuff really doesn't do anything for me." It go them to basically swear off CBD and not get involved in it.

Matt Parks (:

So started this entrepreneurial journey of, "Maybe I could do it better. And let's see what we can do." And two years and about 20-some-odd formulations later, here we were. And that was the beginning of the whole process. So a long-winding journey, but essentially it's really been starting since I was a kid.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Wow. Thank you for sharing that story. And it never surprises me. And I think those of us particularly in the health care space, and that's whether you're clinical, administrative, business, there's always some degree of a personal experience that then you're able to take, learn from and use it to help and serve others.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

I myself, so I'm a board-certified physiatrist, I treat spine issues all day long. And I'm obsessed with it. I have my own. My family members have their own. And I am no different than the people that come to see me. I want treatments that are safe and effective.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And I was to do it in an order before we get to that end point. And thank God, I work at an amazing practice where there's amazing neurosurgeons. But quite honestly, I don't want to see them. And none of the people that come to see me want to end up seeing them. So I'm on the hunt for natural treatments.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

I'm currently finishing up my fellowship in integrated medicine. And I'll tell people. I'll have people on the show. I don't endorse any products. But I do share information.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And I think your story resonates with me and a lot of people who are listening to this show. So thanks for sharing that. I don't want this necessarily to be a largely scientific discussion. But let's talk a little bit about CBD for the listeners who aren't all that familiar with it. One of the concerns people have is that if they they take any CBD product, it's going to show up as positive on their urine drug screen and they're going to get fired from work. So CBD is different from traditional marijuana because...

Matt Parks (:

So essentially, we get into the science a little bit. But cannabis sativa essentially is the name of the cannabis plant. So when you talk about CBD and marijuana, you're not really talking about two different things. They're essentially one in the same. They all come from that species, cannabis sativa.

Matt Parks (:

But there's hemp-derived CBD. Then there's marijuana-derived CBD. What CBD is in really hemp-derived, when we're talking about deriving it from hemp, hemp contains more CBD and less THC.

Matt Parks (:

And the THC is the big thing as far as tripping the drug test. THC is the psycho-addictive properties of mainly the marijuana plant that give you that riding on a magic carpet feel or things aren't quite what they seem. We hear it more commonly referred to as weed.

Matt Parks (:

So hemp-derived CBD really is a CBD that is 0.3% or less weighted THC. So it basically means it's got a small trace amount of THC in it. And unfortunately, that 0.3% is an arbitrary number. It's been studied. But it's been that benchmark for cultivating, extracting and producing a consumer-packaged good, which is what you're seeing now out in the market is all these different products with CBD in them.

Matt Parks (:

But essentially, the 2018 Farm Bill is where this CBD craze started because it took CBD off the Schedule I narcotics list. So CBD was right up there with heroine and those different types of medicinal properties out there that really were harmful drugs. CBD, when derived from hemp, was being shown to not have any overdosing qualities. So essentially, you can take as much CBD as you want as long as it's hemp derived and you really shouldn't have any ill effect or any overdosing effects from taking a hemp-derived CBD product.

Matt Parks (:

Whereas, when you start getting into marijuana, you start getting into different... how people grow it, what kind of properties they're doing to grow it. And it's really a different species within the plant. Cannabis sativa in and of itself has 540 different phyto-terpenes or phytochemicals inside of it. There's 540. We're just talking about CBD and we're talking about THC, two out of the 540.

Matt Parks (:

So there's so much more research being done and more digging into this CBD craze. But unfortunately, the 2018 Farm Bill, while it makes it legal, it didn't really give us a whole lot of regulation and whole lot of regulatory framework with which to build off of, which is why you've seen such an over saturation of a cash crop and people trying to capitalize on essentially a gold rush to try to make a quick buck. And that's unfortunately where this industry has lost its way.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Right. So then just to summarize, cannabidiol or CBD, it's one of the main pharmacologically active phyto-cannabinoids of the cannabis sativa plant. So it's non-psychoactive. But it does exert a number of beneficial pharmacologic effects, anti inflammatory, antioxidant, which is why there's a lot of interest in it.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And there's an entire cannabidiol receptor, cannabinoid system of receptors within our body; in the brain, in the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, in the gut. This is why there's tremendous interest in it particularly from a pain management arena where obviously the need for alternative treatments in lieu of opioids remains very, very important nationally. So I think that is, you couple that with the legislative change, why we had this huge explosion. And frankly, clinically everyone and their mother was coming in on CBD.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And I get asked all the time, "Does it work for pain?" And I'll tell you, Matt. Upfront, my answer up until now has largely been, from the type of conditions I treat, I haven't seen significant pain reduction for people taking off-the-shelf CBD. So, for example, individuals will come in with an acute lumbar radiculopathy or radiating nerve pain down their leg or an acute disk injury. I haven't seen CBD as having a role for acute management.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

But I'm very interested in look at it mechanistically from an anti inflammatory lifestyle. I'm a huge proponent and I talk to all my patients about the Mediterranean Food Plan, anti inflammatory living, natural alternatives to NSAIDs. So that, what you're after, is very, very similar.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Now in your formula, which, I think is a little bit unique, you're okay if I go ahead and share that? I got the bottle, the canister right in front of me. I'm just going to read off the label here.

Matt Parks (:

You can share it all you want. It's just like Coca-Cola. There's a secret vault. So you can name those things. But, yeah. Go ahead.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So you utilize menthol and eucalyptus oil. And that gives us that cooling effect that sometimes people will feel with a Biofreeze or something of that nature. It feels very nice. The white willow extract is essentially a natural version of Aspirin, an anti inflammatory benefit but far safer than ibuprofen.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

The one I did have to go back and look at was geranium oil, which is an essential oil. And I was researching that today and really surprised to see it has a broad spectrum of potential benefits from even antimicrobial to anti inflammatory. Can you share a little bit about how geranium oil found its way into your cream?

Matt Parks (:

And the cool part about this is that there's essentially 28 elements that make up One Less CBD. And the cool thing is that it's our formula. We did it. We know the secret sauce.

Matt Parks (:

And when you go to the lab and you start developing this... and, like I said, I had very good friends who were in this space for over a decade. So I was able to get into an FDA licensed co-packing facility right off the bat to build that relationship out. So you had all those checks and balances in place to make sure that we were making something that was, one, something that people wanted to apply. And that's where the geranium comes in is that geranium, what we've found, helps reduce inflammation as more of a topical agent on the skin.

Matt Parks (:

So everything that goes into our formula, we're trying to make sure that the patient, one, wants to apply the cream; two, they enjoy the scent; three, that there's actual absorption and you don't feel like it's on your skin for five, six hours at a time, that it actually fully absorbs. And, like you said, with the eucalyptus and the menthol, it gives that nice cooling sensation. So the geranium... and we even have some lavender oil in there and our carrier oils, which are hemp seed and jojoba oils that we've used that all work synergistically to make sure that it's a pleasant experience as a topical and then also that we're getting underneath those tissues and actually getting the cannabinoids, like we talk about, through ECS.

Matt Parks (:

With ECS, what we're doing is the body's naturally releasing cannabinoids in our body. And that's supposed to help naturally reduce inflammation. The problem is that there's enzymes also in there that absorb cannabinoids and block the body from releasing enough cannabinoids to decrease inflammation. So the whole idea behind CBD is, "Let's introduce more cannabinoids, block out some of those enzymes and actually let the body do some natural healing." That's what gets people excited about CBD.

Matt Parks (:

When we talk about ECS, it's all about homeostasis in the body and promoting this overall wellness. And that includes... cannabinoids can be produced from sleep, from exercise, a healthy diet. It all plays a part.

Matt Parks (:

It's just that now that we are able to access CBD and actually use it, we see it as an extra layer in our tool belt with all these other botanicals versus just making CBD the star of the show. But unfortunately, with the way the framework is, we have to make people aware that CBD is in our product, how many milligrams we're putting in our product, where we source it from, how we test it. And even from banking and how you set up your business, as soon as you put those three letters in your name, you are basically looked at like a high-risk account business.

Matt Parks (:

So you have to be upfront, because let's say two years down the road somebody finally figured out, "Okay. It's hemp. But it's actually CBD." If I was selling it on Amazon, it would get pulled right away. And if I was banking with an entity and they found out I wasn't upfront with the amount of CBD in the product, again pull my account.

Matt Parks (:

You have to be upfront about those things. But, like you said, some people will listen to this and they'll go, "Well, isn't he really downplaying the effects of CBD?" No. I'm telling you what CBD actually does, because, like you said, it's not going to put your disk back in place. It's not going to regrow cartilage.

Matt Parks (:

What we see is a daily topical application to help people become more mobile, become more active and to create just a better overall lifestyle and stop reaching for two or three Aleve every single day and rather apply something that is more plant derived and natural. Again, you can't overdose on, you can't damage your stomach linings with like you can with an ibuprofen or an Aspirin or an Aleve. So there's so many things we know negatively about NSAIDs. That was my mission with this.

Matt Parks (:

When we say, "One Less CBD," we mean one less pill. Maybe that's instead of two ibuprofen, it's one. Or instead of two Aleve, it's one Aleve or we can get off Aleve completely. That was the mission. And that's in essence what we're trying to do.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Yeah. I like that. And I think it's important we continue to push for alternatives to nonsteroidal anti inflammatories. Don't get me wrong, I certainly prescribe them every day.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

But the literature is emerging them they're not benign drugs. Particularly long-term, they disrupt the gut microbiome balance. That can have broad effects given the gut-brain access connection that's definitely emerged in the last 10 years.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So, I mean, you even mentioned upfront about the mood issue that you went through. And ibuprofen, daily usage, short-term GI side effects, long-term disrupted gut microbiome, which certainly can have broad effects neurologically. So I like the idea.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And then prescriptive wise in this space, there's topical NSAIDs you can certainly get. There's homeopathic topical Traumeel. There's things like Tiger Balm Patches with capsaicin. So I think there's definitely space for a high-quality product.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And the formula is very interesting because in other healing traditions, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, that is the standard. It is in modern Western medicine where we do a reductionist approach, where we'll isolate an ingredient, concentrate it and prescribe it. In traditional Chinese medicine, you'll get, let's say, a formula for back pain. And it'll have a primary botanical but then will have six or seven others that will help offset side effects, maintain balance within the system and have synergistic effects. So that makes perfect sense at least for me.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you because I feel like you can also educate my listeners. Many of them are out there purchasing nutritional supplements and things to help with their pain. Given your business background, are you able to give a brief, 30,000-foot overview of how something goes from being a plant or an herb that can help to actually becoming a product, a jar of cream that you can reach for off the shelf and buy? What does that look like?

Matt Parks (:

Oh, man. I thought I knew anything about it. And once you actually get into it and you become a part of the process, you realize you don't have a clue of what actually goes to taking a product from conception to actually putting it on a store shelf. It's fun in a lot of ways. It's slow in a lot of ways as well.

Matt Parks (:

I can't imagine even right now with supply chain, logistic issues we're having, which for us is why we're so passionate about making sure everything we source is domestic. Even from our jars and our lids and our labels, everything is in the US. Anything that we get that goes into our formula comes from the United States.

Matt Parks (:

Nothing comes from overseas. And that has proven to be a very good decision for us. From the get-go, we wanted to commit to that. We knew we could make a product that was economical. And we knew we could do it here in the States.

Matt Parks (:

So really, what you're looking at, you're looking at all the elements. So initially, you're looking at your base element, which is your cream. So when you're sourcing that, you can buy creams from any manufacturer out there. And there's base hand creams, moisturizers. There's all those different types of things.

Matt Parks (:

And what you're looking for is a strong base that will actually absorb all those botanicals and actually house everything and that you can actually take your product... and what I like to do with people especially is take my jar, flip it upside down and show you that it's not running out of the jar, which means that we have the right mix of solvents and oils. And everything is combined, like you said, synergistically to make this one formula. And from the CBD, the CBD was the big part. We really knew how to source eucalyptus, menthol. Mainly, your FDA facilities already have relationships in place on where to source a lot of those botanicals, especially if they're already making moisturizers, creams, those type of things, which our place was.

Matt Parks (:

The CBD was the nuance part of, "Where do we get this from? Who do we talk to?" And it's like anything. You go to trade shows. You start meeting people.

Matt Parks (:

And that's where we met some individuals from a company called Treehouse Biotech out of Longmont, Colorado. A very smart gentleman, believe, graduated from Yale with a degree in biochemistry. He's a young man and just knew that the space was going to blow up. And he basically moved up to Colorado and started creating his own formulas utilizing CBD.

Matt Parks (:

And for us, we wanted to go isolate because... when we talk about CBD isolate, basically our CBD in our product is 99.999% pure CBD. What it looks like to the naked eye is like powdered sugar. It's like a granular. And that was to ensure there was no THC in our product, that people would not fail that drug test and that people actually could apply it and not have any concerns about any side effects or, like you said, failing a drug test. That was of the utmost importance to me.

Matt Parks (:

And then there are some arguments out there that people say that, "You can only have full-spectrum, broad-spectrum CBD mixed in. And that's the only way you get all the benefits of all the cannabinoids and terpenes." And that's been proven false time and time again.

Matt Parks (:

And most of the studies that are out there, white papers that are done, and most of these are done specifically on rodent population, specifically in rats in studying cannabinoids, 95% of that has been done with CBD isolate. That's where it's been studied because they're studying CBD. They're not studying all the other [inaudible 00:25:22] cannabinoids that are in there. So it's just a combination of all those things.

Matt Parks (:

And then when you actually see the process take place and there's different tanks and different reservoirs and things are introduced at different stages of the manufacturing process, I mean, from the time you put that PO to the time you have a finished product, it's about 12 weeks of testing and moving different elements from one area to the other, letting them sit. It's pretty cool just to watch all that go into it. I was a nerd really soaking it in, all these different things that I had no idea went into taking a product from conception to store shelves.

Matt Parks (:

So it's a lot of different, little nuance things. And I think that's where a lot of companies, they weren't trying to purposefully mislead people. But they didn't have the right process in place.

Matt Parks (:

So we're seeing a lot of CBD products that, when they're independently tested, they actually don't have the right milligram concentration or they contain more THC than they're supposed to because they just didn't know. There's a lot to know. There's a lot of research to do. It took two years just to get to, "Here's a finished product."

Matt Parks (:

And a lot of people were just like, "Okay. We can make it. I know a guy who does creams. I know a guy who grows hemp."

Matt Parks (:

And they try to bring all these people together. And it usually ends up in either a poor product or just a disaster business plan. And COVID helped weed a lot of those businesses out because they haven't survived past the pandemic.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So you brought up poor product. For the average listener who's interested maybe in trialing a CBD product of any type of variation, how can they tell if what they're reaching for off the shelf is of high quality?

Matt Parks (:

I think it's like anything. You want to make sure that there is a mechanism with which to connect with that company who actually produces that product. So at One Less CBD, you can get in touch with me directly.

Matt Parks (:

We actually had a gentleman the other day who has severe contracture and has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 12 years. And he's not paraplegic or anything. But he is in immense pain on a daily basis.

Matt Parks (:

And he had questions about our formulation, about how we tested it, about things that he had read. So he could actually get in contact with me. And I could walk him through all those steps.

Matt Parks (:

And then we also put a QR code on our product that actually shows the independent, third-party testing to make sure there's no THC in our product. It's really that, if they're being fully transparent, you will see that in their website. You will see that in the way that you can communicate with that company.

Matt Parks (:

And then you're also going to see where it's available. So if you're going to a gas station, pretty good indicator that CBD product is not probably at the highest quality. Whereas, you're going to your chiropractor or naturopathic physician who maybe carries one or two products that they put out to their patients, that's a good, trusted source.

Matt Parks (:

And then word of mouth is always good. You're talking to people who have tried other products. "Hey, I've tried this. These are the conditions I have. This is where I've noticed relief. This is how many times a day I apply it."

Matt Parks (:

And anything topical, I always tell people, "The inner part of the bicep is always a very sensitive part of the body. Dab a little bit on there. See how your body interacts with it. Make sure that there's not a red, splotchy mark after applying a small amount of cream."

Matt Parks (:

There shouldn't be any allergens. There's no parabens, those type of things. But for the general consumer, it's just making sure that what you see on the bottle, you can go to that website and see that same information.

Matt Parks (:

And then if you want to and you want to ask questions, you can get to somebody. And you'll get answers. And it doesn't look like it's just coming from a message board or an auto response. It's an actual real response from a real person.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So you touched on this earlier. But is the CBD industry regulated by the FDA?

Matt Parks (:

No. And this is really where it gets muddy. The FDA, there's two problems out there; one, that there is a prescription drug out there called EPIDIOLEX, which is used in childhood epilepsy. And there is a CBD element in that product. So the FDA has given credence to this product while at the same time you have a lot of companies out there trying to register it as a dietary supplement. And the FDA has simply said, "No."

Matt Parks (:

Now, I feel like the industry was heading in that direction of getting some validity from the FDA. And then COVID hit. And the FDA said, "We have more pressing matters to deal with right now. CBD is going to have to take a back seat."

Matt Parks (:

So you were seeing some momentum. And every state is a little bit different. But on a federal level, really, it has not been given validity by the FDA. It has not been given the stamp of approval.

Matt Parks (:

And there's a lot of people in the industry, some of the bigger ones, cbdMD, Green Roads, Charlotte's Web, who... actually, I won't say Charlotte's Web. If you want to see a company who has done it big and has done it really well and has a great mission for CBD, Charlotte's Web has been phenomenal. One of the godfathers of product development and doing it right, that is a fantastic company. And you'll see smaller pharmacy chains and people who care about the products that they source in their stores, 90% of them are probably going to carry a Charlotte's Web product because of their transparency, because of their mission which derived off of Charlotte [inaudible 00:31:19], who suffered from epilepsy and was this development of CBD. It's a really interesting story to read about how their product and their company came to be.

Matt Parks (:

But they're, like I said, the godfathers of the industry. But to me, companies like cbdMD are more focused on commercial marketing and celebrity endorsement and trying to push that dietary supplement marketing. Whereas, Charlotte's Web is trying to depend more on the science and the actual results from their products much like us. Now, we're small. Charlotte's Web is huge.

Matt Parks (:

But I just feel like it's not a very genuine approach that people are trying to push the FDA to give it this okay because it's more about dollars and cents than it is about actual real-world application in my opinion. So really, in all honesty, we're no different than the beauty cosmetics market. And it's just like taking my vitamin C.

Matt Parks (:

You can tiptoe around some things that you say that you hope your product does. But you cannot come out and claim that your product does X, Y and Z. It has to be a very subjective approach in how you communicate with your consumer and really just the overall message that you're putting out there. Or the FDA will come down on you pretty hard.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

You have a disclaimer that says, "These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and not intended to treat or cure any ailments." So I think that's pretty clear. Do you think we are at the peak of the CBD boom? Or are we just getting started? Where do you see it going in the next five years?

Matt Parks (:

And it's hard to say because everything we were seeing pre COVID was trending up and was trending up drastically, like 20-some-odd billion worldwide by 2026 up from about 200 million. So you were talking about 8%, 9%, 10% growth annually over the next six, seven years. Leveled out a lot during COVID. And multiple reasons for that.

Matt Parks (:

One, people weren't shopping. So the products weren't being consumed as heavily. People weren't working, not as much available money to put out on CBD products because they can be expensive.

Matt Parks (:

I think as more white papers come out, as more people do their research, I still think it's a trending upward industry. I don't think it's peaked. I think there's still some other... like we said, there's 540 different phyto-cannabinoids species that are involved in this plant. We can still discover things. But there's still a lot of things we don't know about CBD.

Matt Parks (:

And so now you have people coming out with different cannabinoids, CBG, CBN, and trying to tout their properties. We don't even know as much as we need to know about CBD to be going off in that direction. So I really think the sky's the limit provided some regulatory framework starts to come out. I do think we need some type of measuring stick to try to weed out more of the bad companies and try to really give those who are trying to do it right a better path forward.

Matt Parks (:

So I think it takes everybody. You're starting to see more and more people ask more and more questions, get involved. But it's whether they are on the marijuana spectrum part of the aisle or they're on the CBD aisle. Those two don't mix.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Well, I know from a scientific basis the explosion in [inaudible 00:35:02] in terms of published peer-reviewed articles. It's just been astronomical. And I can't pretend to keep up.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

So I do the best I can looking at review articles and summaries of basic physiology. But it is being studied across all different spectrums of medicine from pain to oncology, certainly mental health and nervous system disorders. So I'm very anxious to see how that evolves over the next decade or so.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

Matt, it's been great talking with you. I love getting unique guests on the show and a little change of pace from just traditional interviews with other physicians. Before I let you go, I always torture my guests by asking them to share something personal about what makes them successful; a morning routine, a podcast you love, favorite books. What's something you can share with my listeners that maybe they can take and add to their daily list of activities to improve their life?

Matt Parks (:

For me, there's a great program out there. A guy I trained with years ago in Maryland when I was playing baseball, he's got a fitness program. It's called Original Strength. And it really concentrates on how the entire body and the functional movements, especially crawling, taking us back to infant movements, and how all those functional movements create a better form of self and a better form of homeostasis and just a better routine.

Matt Parks (:

The exercises I do with his program requires one kettlebell. And it's an hour. And I am dripping wet after this workout.

Matt Parks (:

It is unlike anything I've ever done. And it's just functional movements, just constant engagement of different muscles you didn't know existed. You find out they existed the next day when you can't get out of bed.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

It's a good thing you've got your jar of One Less CBD next to your nightstand, I'm sure.

Matt Parks (:

Exactly, yeah. So that program coupled with... I'm a big fan of Atomic Habits by James Clear, which just opens people's eyes to how all the different things you've introduced into your environment become habit and how those habits shape bad habits and how to turn them into good habits. It could be simple things like putting a fruit bowl in the middle of the table versus where you keep your cereal so that you're reaching for fruit versus reaching for cereal. And just the way you structure your workday, the way you structure your conversations with family and friends and how you arrange your clothes in your closet, it's a very insightful book that I read about a year ago that really opened my eyes to how much our environment plays a part in what we're capable of doing each day, what we're capable of getting done.

Matt Parks (:

When we think that we're so busy we can't get another thing done, it's simply because we set up our environment that way. We actually can undo 80%, 90% of that. It takes time. And it's little habits built up over a period of time.

Matt Parks (:

But that book was so eye-opening for me and has been something that has really changed my perspective, because I'm a father of three. I got eight, five and three-year-old girls and a wife. And I work at my store. I'm an entrepreneur. It just seems like it never stops.

Matt Parks (:

But after I read that book, it really allowed me to develop that line between personal, professional, family, spiritual time. And that to me has been an eye-opener. And I encourage anyone in any form of work to read that book because it will change your life.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

We'll definitely link to it in the show notes. I have actually come across that book and read it maybe a few years ago. But I'll admit, it was thick.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

I'll definitely have to go back and break it down. It's not a book that you just read and go on with your... it's almost like a work book. Or if you really want to get something out of it, yes.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

But he's not wrong. I think the habits, they shape our paradigm. And our paradigms shape our results. So that's a great tip.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

We'll link to that. We'll link to the Original Strength workout that you mentioned. And then what's your website for people who want to take a better look at your company?

Matt Parks (:

Yeah. So it's simply www.one, O-N-E-L-E-S-S-C-B-D, Charlie, Bravo, David, dotcom. So www.onelesscbd.com all spelled out. We do like to extend a travel-size gift for people who don't want to invest in the full jar.

Matt Parks (:

So there is a travel offer that we offer people. And it's simply shipping and handling, $4.95, for a quarter-ounce jar. And they can simply go to www.onelesscbd.com/spine and they can take advantage of that offer.

Matt Parks (:

And, like I said, for $4.95, they can actually interact with our jar. We break even on that. That's not a profit-building endeavor. That is simply we want to get our products in the hands of consumers and let them try it. And we've felt that offer has been a great thing to just get our product out in the hands of consumers and see if it works for them.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

That sounds like a great offer. It sounds like a great intention that you're putting out there. And if you've been thinking about trying something, that sounds very easy to get into. So thanks for sharing that. We'll definitely link to that as well in the show notes.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

And I really enjoyed the conversation today. I appreciate what you're doing. And let's stay in touch.

Matt Parks (:

Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.

Sanjiv Lakhia (:

All right. Thank you.

outro (:

Thank you for listening to this episode of Back Talk Doc brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates with offices in North and South Carolina. If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back issues, go to backtalkdoc.com. We look forward to having you join us for more insights about back pain and spine health on the next episode of Back Talk Doc. Additional information is also available at carolinaneurosurgery.com.

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