Read the Transcript Below the Bio
Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor in New York City, with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and is also a licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide medical marijuana and is a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana.
She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.
She is also a leading voice in telemedicine to bridge the gab in healthcare availability and affordable lab testing for long-term wellness.
She has a special interest in innovation in health care delivery and patient empowerment. An alumni board member at Michigan State University’s medical school, Dr. Mary completed her residency training with MSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
She has previously served on the national speaker’s bureaus for multiple women’s health and osteoporosis pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, Amgen, Forest Pharmaceuticals and Medtronic.
After authoring her health guide, Waist Away and a companion cookbook, Get Waisted, she designed a 30-day wellness program to help patients take control of their health, with health coaching branches in 74 cities and online.
Her passion is to not only help patients create a fast reset for their health and lives but to support health practitioners to reset their practices and revenue through telemedicine and lab testing opportunities.
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Reena Jadhav: Hey everyone and welcome to unexciting and bottom of the podcast and a video interview today so we are chatting, but Dr. Mary Clifton about cbd and its role in completely alleviating pain as well as sleep issues. Dr Mary has been an internal medicine doctor for almost 20 years, specializing in weight loss, osteoporosis, menopause, these disease prevention and reversal. She regularly speaks at various health conferences, corporate wellness events, universities, and is the author of the bestselling book waste away as well as the coauthor of the book get wasted, but of course what’s most exciting is that she has an upcoming book on cbd that we’re going to talk about at the end of the interview. Dr. Mary, welcome. Thank you.
Dr. Mary: Excited to be here today.
Reena Jadhav: So I’ve got to ask, how do you go from waste away to cbd? How do you make that transition and what inspired you to get get into marijuana?
Dr. Mary: Oh. I spent a lot of time thinking about hoping nutrition, plant based nutrition, and I still love the power of nutrition and wellness in general for allowing a patient to take their health back into their own hands. And then over the past couple of years I’ve had a couple of experiences that just really enlightened me to the value of marijuana. It was just three or four years ago this month that my brother died and he went through. My mother has said after seeing my father and my brother died, that we’ve seen the worst event and the best of it that my father passed very commonly, but my brother really struggled and it was very difficult even with excellent medical care through hospice to get control of a lot of the anxiety and unfortunately the pain.
Dr. Mary: And then shortly after that, unfortunately one of my good friends got diagnosed with recurrent ovarian cancer and in a very high level of medical marijuana used right up until the end and had a shockingly calm and very well controlled transition. And I, I mean, having done this for 20 years, I’ve seen a number of different people move through this process and I had just never seen something so. So I thought if it’s working here, where else is it working and what don’t I know. And over the past several months I’ve been thinking and reading and creating a ton of valuable videos and the science that’s available around this drug. This is opportunity to be innovative and for patients to take their own care into your own hands and be able to do things like reduce their opioid requirements by 42 percent in, in all kinds of pains situation.
Reena Jadhav: Yeah. And opiod crisis is huge. We have got to figure out a solution for that. And if this is one that clearly I think we need to tell everyone about it. So thank you for being our guests today. One of the questions I get asked Dr Mary all the time as wait a minute, it was illegal and now it’s legal, you know, how can that make any sense? I’m sure there is someone’s making money off of this, you know, that’s why anything that’s done in this country anyway anymore. So for those who are very skeptical about how did we go from having something that was completely illegal to now being legalized?
Dr. Mary: Oh, well, I mean if you look back in ancient texts from India and China, Uber using this drug for thousand years ago for management of pain, abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss, a joint trouble. And then, I mean it was used very heavily in the 1,718 hundreds for management of pain and anxiety and situation. And then unfortunately in the 19 thirties underwent a prohibition here in the US and uh, and, and uh, across the world that has really limited its availability and its use and its scientific study. We have a very limited ability to study it scientifically here in the US because we have to use have a certain plant that’s only available from one certain growing area and it’s not even a product that anybody is using it more and the dispensary’s and and unfortunately our studies were really leaned toward the prohibition and trying to make the product look more dangerous rather than doing a good scientific work. So now luckily we’re getting some great new scientific data. We have great answers to some of these question but I agree. I think patients really struggle with the limited scientific evidence available for their different diseases and that’s part of my mission is to create these digestible videos that allow people to see what scientific evidence is available around their particular disease state.
Reena Jadhav: So let’s start with pain primarily because I know so many people that suffer from pain and chronic pain and it’s almost like something magical happens when you cross 39 to 40. Dr Mary, I don’t know what it is a, but somehow you go from 39, no pain, the 40 and everything’s creaking and I hear it’s much worse when you’re 50 and I’ll know in two years when I hit that how the pain intensifies, but we know that pain is something that a lot of us are dealing with and, and yes, the cause might be inflammation, et cetera. How does cbd work in alleviating
Dr. Mary: the entire cannabis sativa plant? The entire. We use marijuana and cannabis interchangeably. Those two words that basically mean the same thing, but the cannabis sativa plant, the bud has a 80 different phytochemicals that are referred to as Turpines. There all of the different chemicals that, uh, that are active in the human body when the marijuana is adjusted, whether it’s, you know, baked or smoked or, or adjusted in a tincture or adjusted in an edible. Those products enter the system and, and activate the various receptors. And the, the heavy hitters. I mean there’s 80 different chirpies, but the heavy hitters within the cannabis sativa plant or the CBD and Thc and the Thc, we all recognize is the psychoactive product. It’s the cannabinoid that gets you high, and CBD is the workhorse of cannabis sativa. It’s the cannabinoid that relaxes the muscles and helps to calm the mind and helps people to sleep and helps to control pain.
Dr. Mary: It does that through CB one and CB two receptors that are located all over the human body. In fact, we have an endocannabinoid system already in place where these CB receptors are present and then endocannabinoids, the Amanda might and age too, are created when the body needs to try to control inflammation or pain. So that system is already in place. Endocannabinoid meaning from the inside and cannabinoid. So when you’re administrating cbd or thc or any combination of these other cannabinoids, you’re stimulating the CB one and cb two receptors located throughout the body. You had different CB receptors that you get different responses. CB One receptors are located primarily in the spinal cord and the brain, so when you’re dealing with pain, for example, when you burn your finger, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this, that you burned the tip of your finger and tiny tip of your finger, and yet the whole hand feels uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
Dr. Mary: I mean the the ascending pathway from that tiny fingertip burned sends that pain up through the spinal cord and then the spinal cord takes that to the cortex and in the brain, the pain gets amplified to some degree. That allows you to protect the whole limb so you don’t injure yourself and then all that information comes down through the descending pathways, but there’s different controls and regulators in place at all of those levels. That CB impacts the end. The CB two receptors are really involved in immunology there, CB two receptors all over your immune cells, the lymphocytes and macrophages, but also concentrated in the lymph nodes and spleen so they can impact and regulate your immune to various different difference that your body experiences.
Reena Jadhav: What about sleep? Because that’s of course the other one. Then we’re seeing sleep issues, sleep disorders, not just an older populations but also in teens these days. So my followup question is going to to be of course about age range and cbd usage, but how does cbd work for sleep?
Dr. Mary: within our age group? Sleep is the number one reason that people are looking for CBB or medical marijuana and it’s a perfect use for this product. The CB one receptors are a richly present throughout the brain in, in all different areas, in areas involving memory storage, but also in the cortex and particularly in the frontal cortex where a lot of thought and emotion is stored and using the particularly cbd, uh, in the setting of sleep has been shown to be very effective for helping people with insomnia, insomnia under control. Most people get quite a bit of benefit purely from the CBD. Some people describe an entourage effect and the research supports this, that the administration of cbd combined with other cannabinoids in the hole, but actually more significantly controls the sleep and, and helps people do even better. But a lot of people get great results with cbd alone,
Dr. Mary: with any disease that you’re trying to treat with CPD or medical cannabis. The big issue is titration because so many people try and try it once they take one dropper full, they hold it in their mouth because if you’re taking a teacher, you know, and you let it absorb across the oral membranes, it responds very quickly, especially if you’re using nano a product you can get almost immediate absorption. But if you don’t like the taste or if it doesn’t work with one dropper, full people will set it aside. But in all of the studies, the titrations can take up to two weeks where you’re increasing up to four dropper falls to see if you’re getting the result. So that you really want to think about if you’re trying to titrate and take a little time to see if it’s going to work for you.
Reena Jadhav: That makes so much sense to not give up. And you’re right, I hear this all the time that you’ve been on my end. Like, oh, I tried it. It didn’t work. And you might, you know, my suggestion always is how long did you try please keep trying, try different dosage, trying to try different types of, of intake. So for some sprays work because I’m lotions work for other people, pills, work, you know, figure out what’s gonna work for you before you just kind of quit and give it up.
Dr. Mary: About 10 percent of people don’t like it and they quit, they don’t use it. But I will, will be other people. There is this range of titration and also studies show over and over that when people are using an edible, that’s when they’re really satisfied because you, you take the edible and then you have a 60 to 90 minute timeframe that been waiting for this product to start to work. And so who even knows if it worked, it’s like 90 minutes later. So if you take a tincture or you didn’t return and you can determine if it’s working and then titrate pretty rapidly. So it just leads to a better level of success if you start with a tincture or a vape with these products.
Reena Jadhav: So let’s talk about all the fears that prevent people from actually doing the cbd route. What have you heard that I’ll share what I’ve heard and then hopefully you can help alleviate some of these concerns that keep coming up that prevent people from trying something that really does work.
Dr. Mary: Yeah, I mean, I think the big concern is the limited scientific evidence which we’re really trying to get on top of for people. And then another concern is legality it cbd is legal in all 50 states, but you know, I spent some time in Michigan, that’s my home state and on the west coast of Michigan, everything is much more relaxed than on the east coast of Michigan. And so we would have to be careful, I think even as a medical marijuana user to be very, uh, you know, outward about your medical marijuana use on the east coast of Michigan. And that’s true in a lot of states, county by county. You kind of have to read their local law enforcement in addition to following, you know, federal and state guidelines. And then there’s concerns about becoming addicted to cannabis dependence. And I, and I’m not sure where you’re at with this, I think that, I mean in my review of the literature, you definitely are aware that you’ve withdrawn from cannabis, but there isn’t really a withdrawal syndrome that requires drugs to treat. It doesn’t cause a dependence like the opioid withdrawal that is so dramatic. So I’m not too concerned about dependency issues. Patients also deal with social stigma. You don’t want to be, you know, somebody’s grandma smoking a or somebody in your church using drugs and then
Reena Jadhav: it’s getting around the mental structures of I am doing cbd. I think that’s a big part of it.
Dr. Mary: Oh, I do too. I do too. But I’m amazed at the, at the amount of movement in people’s thought processes, even in the last several years, I think the studies show 70, 80 percent of Americans are ready for marijuana to be legal recreationally, everywhere. So we just have to, for a government to catch up with their times so that they can, you know, manage where the money goes. There’s definitely gonna be a lot of money in this more than is already being spent and wants to make sure that their resources are captured.
Reena Jadhav: Definitely. Let’s dig a little deeper into the whole concern around am I going to get addicted to this because I think that’s such a significant piece of why a lot of adults educated adults don’t do it because like you said, there isn’t enough science to prove that I won’t get addicted and I just don’t want to try that. Especially if I may have had an addiction issue in the past. What is being done? What are you doing on your own? What organizations are working to do enough clinical trials and prove that it’s not as addictive, addictive at all. Meaning, you know, like we don’t get addicted to aspirin, you know, you take it, it does its job and that’s it. You take it as long as you want it to do its job and when you no longer need it, you don’t take it anymore. So talk a little bit about what’s being done to create more of a scientific basis for dispensing marijuana.
Dr. Mary: My patients say that like, I feel better when I use this inhaler for my asthma, but then when I don’t use it, I still have shortness of breath and I don’t want to get addicted to it or you know, or their blood pressure pills and, and oftentimes the setting of blood pressure, diabetes, not every time, but oftentimes we are giving somebody a crutch to give them some time to manage their lifestyle and get things turned around. And uh, but I mean the, these, these drugs are not addictive in so much that they work. And if you stop them, they quit working. So is cbd really has no addictive potential and has the potential to make you feel better and in that way you may want to stay on it. But, uh, you know, cannabis dependency is a hotly debated topic if it is real at all.
Dr. Mary: And I think, you know, when you’re looking at, there’s just so many great scientific articles where people got significant improvement and multiple chronic diseases. I mean, ptsd, anxiety, also chronic pain from neuropathic causes or from central pain syndromes or from like actual painful exposures, acute traumatic injuries that had really good results with cbd. There’s benefits for a very, really nice emerging data in the opiod epidemic and people withdraw from their opioids and, and also als and um, and you know, weight loss and loss of appetite with cancer and HIV, all of which are important, uh, important and valuable and places to position this product.
Reena Jadhav: Let’s talk teens and teen challenges for now. So we know we’re having some pretty interesting challenges and health for teens, especially around gut and sleep. So how can a parent think about offering their child cbd as a medicinal product for some of their issues? What are your thoughts on that?
Dr. Mary: Yeah, I think that what you have to be careful is there. You know, there, there is some variability in these cbd products. You really have to know your supplier. I mean, you, you choose your cbd based on how it’s grown. If that matters to you, it matters to me that things are grown organically and that there’s a limited pesticide exposure, so I really try to identify as cbd products that are grown for the plant. The plants growing conditions are excellent and the harvesting conditions are excellent and then I also worry about the distillation process. If the. If the distillation process leaves behind some harmful solvents or alcohols in the final product. I am not interested in that product either, but some of the products I don’t have as much cbd as you think they do or they may have some traces of other cannabinoids like THC
Dr. Mary: There was a study published in Jama in 2017 that looked at 84 different cbd preparations and found that 26 percent of them had a different concentration of cbd in the final product than what was on the label and the distillations are allowed to have a certain percentage of thc. So there are some products that are really, really cleanly distilled that are zero thc products and that’s. That would be the product I would choose for a younger person or for somebody where drug testing is a significant concern so that you can avoid any kind of thc exposure
Reena Jadhav: and where can you find products that are approved by Dr Mary
Dr. Mary: specific products for sale on my site. So I work with people who are interested in offering products to their audiences to make sure that they have some recommendations for good products. I am really interested in these highly carefully distilled products that are really clean and um, and I love these very innovative herbalists who are adding adaptogens and other like, for example, skullcap combined with cbd for managing insomnia and all of it in one. So I’m excited for these herbalists that are really thinking in a very innovative way. So those are the products I have my eye on right now.
Reena Jadhav: Any particular against someone listening, watching this today saying, okay, I’m going to do it, you know, I’ve, I sleep issues, I’ve got pain, I’m going to do it. I’m going to give this a try. Where do they start? Where do they go? Where do they purchase?
Dr. Mary: Well, I mean I’ll tell you what, probably my top three favorites right now would be a Dr Tom O’bryan, a product. He works with some horse products and they have a very nice, a candidate that’s a combination of cannabis plus adaptogens, which is really great for managing day to day stress and anxiety and just feel fantastic. That’s a very good product for children. I particularly like the Messiah products, which is not spelled messiah. It’s spelled m, a s a y, a messiah oil and Annabel is a vanderbilt biochemist. She has, uh, has distilled a very nice product and has an amazing story surrounding to use for her own son. And then another person that I like who’s also a coauthor or contributor to my book is Lou. He runs the apothecary kitchen here in New York City down in alphabet city and he does all kinds of amazing herbs and he also has a couple of herbalists, several herbalists, right on staff that will mix products very specific to your needs.
Dr. Mary: But his cbd combinations are really nice and he’s very intelligent. He’s been doing this forever. So I think going to any of those professionals, you wouldn’t go wrong. They’re all doing very high quality products, it just depends on exactly what you’re looking for and that really only touches the surface I have to say that, I mean within, within organic food and also within cbd there are a few people who aren’t doing excellent work, but the vast majority of the people that I’ve run into blue moon, holy grail, I mean people are providing some really nice products. It’s just that most products are distinguishing themselves on their packaging and the packaging is great. That matters to me. I buy stuff if it’s pretty no doubt, but when I’m using a medicine or food I really want the highest quality of that product. So those are my papers companies right now.
Reena Jadhav: Oh wonderful. Thank you for sharing those. And Dr Tom O’bryan is, I’m a huge fan of his and um, did his book masterclass and in fact we’re hosting a call in a live session with them. So I’m super excited to hear you mentioned that he’s, he’s in the top of your list. So that’s very exciting for us to hear, um, do our listeners or viewers need to get a prescription or is this something you feel vacant handle on their own? Go directly to the sites.
Dr. Mary: about CBD is that you don’t need a prescription. You can take back your health and run it yourself. If you need consultation, certainly there’s doctors in mind that provide those. I can provide those for you also, but we also have a coaching community that can help you for a much lower cost and give you some really great advice. I how to, how to, how to titrate if you need that, you know, you, you may be surprised at how effective you are taking care of yourself with these products and just titrating yourself and. But, but sometimes you need a little bit of advice and going forward or a little bit of uncertainty and you know, you don’t need to spend $300 an hour to talk to an internist for that. If you can talk to somebody who knows the data and can up level a question if they need, then a little coaching is really effective without having to empty your wallet.
Reena Jadhav: So true. And the analogy that I give and I’d love to get your thoughts on, on this analogy is, you know, we don’t go to a doctor to find out if we need skullcap as an example. You know, if I need herbs, I certainly don’t go to my doctor and say, oh, so you know, what herb should I be taking or go ahead and give me a prescription for herbs. And I think we have to transition from thinking of cbd is something that’s a medical pharmaceutical grade product that needs a prescription and need someone to watch over. Me Too. It’s no different than taking Ashwagandha or any of its licorice root or any of those other herbs, Rosemary, etc. It’s just that it’s got a branding problem, uh, because it was illegal for so long and it was connected to getting high and addictive for so long that we forgotten that it’s in it’s original. It’s just a leaf.
Dr. Mary: Yeah, and I mean if you think about it, you know, just uh, back in the twenties you would be, I don’t know, would you be driven a car or would you still be on horseback?
Reena Jadhav: I mean it’d be growing in the ditch.
Dr. Mary: It’s just an ordinary weed. It was, it was everywhere. And with the prohibition now there’s very limited exposure which I postulated before might really be impacting your endocannabinoid system in the first place because if you don’t give the body be appropriate precursors to create things, the body when we can’t move forward on some, on some important products. So I mean if you’re, if you never get any exposure to cannabis, this was a product that you, that you breed the pollen in twice a year at the very minimum a, you know, as, as recently as the 19 twenties after the prohibition in the forties, of course it’s disappeared, but there’s probably value in the addition of the small amount of cannabis at least just to help maintain a balanced to your system. And again, some people love the cbd. Some people try the cbd and say, I feel like I’m getting some benefit. I don’t know that I’m getting everything I was hoping, you know, and, and the, the, the movement forward to a medical cannabis is a great choice and I love medical cannabis because it blurs so many lines, you know, it’s moving out of the prohibition, which is lovely and people feel better from the point of view of their multiple sclerosis or their, you know, nausea or their pain or their ptsd. But in addition to that, they feel better.
Reena Jadhav: what are the top 10 things it does? If I was to start taking cbd from dr tom’s shop, what would I experience? What are the things that I should look out for and get excited about?
Dr. Mary: Well, I think that he would experience a reduction in anxiety. The research, most of the research that I’ve published and surrounding ptsd because that’s the medical indication. But, uh, you know, you could also apply it to anxiety and stress. It’s a very good stress reliever. Most folks in menchies are going to move toward a higher cbd product, lower thc, because the high thc, that sensation of getting really high, we’ll sometimes trip and anxiety reaction in predisposed people so the cds and very effective and posttraumatic stress and also in anxiety and your stress. Anybody dealing with muscle spasm or neuropathic pain can expect a reduction in the pain. I mean, again, it’s not for everybody. About 10 percent of people that start these trials end up going off the trial because they don’t like the sensation that they didn’t think that it worked for, for nausea or, or weight loss or loss of appetite. The cbds are very nice, but perhaps a touch of thc and some of those may stimulate the appetite a little more effectively. There’s been some really neat, uh, animal studies, even though I don’t focus a lot on animal studies, some of them are really good, but there’s a really good animal study that shared with the thc seems to be the thing that really sets up the munchies
Dr. Mary: Like you might think you would with a full on cannabis product.
Reena Jadhav: And how does it pertain to weight loss? Can I, can I ask you that? Does it help or hurt weight loss.
Dr. Mary: They looked at different cb two receptor blockers and receptor enhancers. the study that I really liked that looked at this was a, and I hate to talk about animal research, but, but this was such a good study. They injected a animal tummies with either a cbd product or just normal saline and then all of the animals I got a high using a higher thc product and the mice that had the thc without the cbd, it a lot more, much more munchies, but the mindset had teach c that was tempered with cbd, didn’t have that terrible munchie experience. so, um, so the cbd doesn’t appear to enhance the appetite and it does appear to blunt that appetite enhancement that you see with thc. And so, uh, but in, I mean in, in populations that regularly use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, you don’t see an increased concentration of obesity actually the mean within drug and alcohol addiction treatment. We always say it takes a lot of cupcakes, shot of heroin, I mean cupcakes or seem to your brain and feel good. They pop a bunch of receptor, but 120 fIve people over and overstep their opioids and get very heavy. So they give you the stimulation you need without having to over indulge on food products.
Reena Jadhav: That makes a lot of sense. Anything else that you’d like to share before we wrap up?
Dr. Mary: Oh, no. I feel like we covered everything. I would just really encourage a healthy time for titration at least two weeks for titration and uh, and seeing what works for you. And then remember, there’s a lot of dIfferent modes of administration. If your state has gone to the point that well, everybody gets access to cbd and there’s a million different mechanisms to administer that. Most people prefer a tincture, just a dropper full that You hold in your mouth. If you’re using a medical cannabis. There’s edibles and hard pressed tablets and bates and whole. But just make sure that you, um, you know, choose a mode of administration and If you don’t like it, try a different mode of administration before you give up the mode of administration matters to people’s level of satisfaction.
Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing that. And for the rest of you, uh, this is just as teaser, we are going to be interviewing dr mary again when her book comes out. So stay tuned for that and make sure you subscribe to our newsletters because we are going to feature her book masterclass in there. And then of course we’re gonna follow it up with a bootcamp, a cbd bootcamp, so we can be there with you as you try this most amazing herb, which truly seems like it can help us all, every single one of us. So would that said, mary, thank you so much again and keep doing the great work.
Dr. Mary: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me
Mary Clifton, MD
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