John interviews Dr. Frank Ervolino about everything you need to know regarding CBD.
Dr. Frank Ervolino – Nature meets Science, the Truth about CBD.
Host: John Malanca (00:00):
Hi everybody. Welcome back. This is John Malanca with United Patients Group, be informed and be well. My guest today is Dr. Frank Ervolino out of Florida, also known as Dr. Frank to many of his friends. We’re going to talk about CBD, a topic that comes up quite a bit. But I’ll give you a little background on Dr. Frank. Dr. Frank graduated from the prestigious Bastyr University in 1995 with a degree in naturopathic medicine. During this time, he not only studied Western herbal medicine, but also supplement industry formulations as well as manufacturing.
Host: John Malanca (00:35):
His medical school training also emphasized biochemistry as well as physiology. In 1999, he completed the master’s degree program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Bastyr University. During this time, he learned Chinese herbal medicine and other plant-based medicines and how to merge the West into the Western and Eastern systems into one therapeutic approach. So Dr. Frank, always good to see you. Thanks for being back on the show.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (01:01):
Always to see you, John. That sounded so good.
Host: John Malanca (01:04):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (01:04):
That sounded better than I really am.
Host: John Malanca (01:07):
Well, you take me along with you. I’m out here in California and it’s warm. It’s 95 degrees today. So I have-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (01:14):
My God. It was only 74 in Florida.
Host: John Malanca (01:17):
Yeah. Well, good to see you on. We talked about other stuff. We worked together in the integrative oncology world. The topic of CBD and cannabinoids has come up quite a bit in our conversation, so that’s why I invited you on. For our listeners, there are about 100, I’m going to say 130 to 150 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and plus or minus, because more are being discovered each and every day. A lot of them don’t even have names yet. But they all have their certain use. The most popular cannabinoid, which we’ve heard about for years, is THC. People say the recreational part of the cannabis plant. We can talk about it.
Host: John Malanca (01:58):
I disagree. It’s also part of the medical. But THC gives you a psychoactive, that cannabidiol, CBD, which is you’re seeing it everywhere, from gas stations to your local chiropractic office, dentist office, and online in dispensaries and stuff like that. You want to add anything to your … I’m going to turn off my emails. Quit the beeping here. Sorry. You want to add anything to your bio or you want to go right into that? Because-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (02:29):
I think the only thing I’d really add into my bio is something I’d probably say down the road anyway, which is that I run a very large low-cost medical clinic in Florida. It has over 7000 patients. So it’s one of my most important qualifications, which is the ability to work with hundreds of patients a month, see what they’re trying, see how it’s working out, and being able to follow up with them a year later. Most people in the natural products industry have very little interaction on a clinical level. I have quite a bit of interaction on a clinical level, so it’s given me an unusual window into this whole topic.
Host: John Malanca (03:15):
So you’re expert in a few different fields, how about that? Well-versed.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (03:20):
Host: John Malanca (03:20):
It’s great because most doctors unfortunately in this industry are just jumping into this industry, one. They really don’t know much about formulations, dosing. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. That’s the one that scares me quite a bit when you have a patient that will say, “I know Bill down the street has the same thing that I have and so I’m going to use the same product that he’s using.” That’s not always the case. We’ve seen patients, and I’m certain you as well, it’s not a one size. Some patients have success with one cannabinoid while the other one doesn’t.
Host: John Malanca (03:57):
I’m highly sensitive, as I was talking to you prior to the call. I’m highly sensitive to CBD. They say in high doses it’s great for sleep. Well, last night I tried a new CBD product for that reason and I was up till 4:30 in the morning. I usually go to bed around 10:00, 11:00 at night and sleep through the night. So that’s how my body is. Caffeine, butter, salt, alcohol, it’s another thing that, again, I’m sensitive to. Let’s talk about cannabinoids, one, but also the endocannabinoid and why cannabis is coming to the forefront again right now. The stigma is kind of starting to drop off and a lot of that reason is because of the cannabinoid, CBD, which we’ll talk about.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (04:52):
Right. Hemp has a long history in herbal medicine going back thousands of years to be used as a medicinal. In the Chinese herbal pharmacy, the hemp seed was called Ma Zi and the formula was Ma Zi Ren Wan. It was used to relax the intestinal system for constipation. They said it would moisten the intestines. So we’ve known about hemp for a long, long time. The use of THC was something that also has been around for a long time with different populations around the world that had access to it. And then myself being 68 in two months, I was part of that group in the United States in college who decided to try and figure out how much we could consume every day, and I certainly did do that.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (06:06):
I was a child of the ’60s and ’70s and I certainly had my day with marijuana. But what has come with some good research has been the identification of another component in the body that is part of the nervous system or a complementary part of the nervous system. They called it the endocannabinoid system because the cannabinoids from hemp or from marijuana had a particularly strong action on this system. Now, I get some people in my clinic, especially young people, who are like the third generation hippies. I had one guy say to me the other day, “Could you believe it? We were pre-programmed for pot.” I tried to tell him, “No, we were not hardwired for pot.”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (07:07):
There’s compounds in hemp and marijuana that we found out could have a huge effect. There’s many things on the planet probably that can have a huge effect on the endocannabinoid system. We’re just scratching the surface on that and on affecting the nervous system. So what’s important to realize though is that some compounds will, I’ll say, activate or aggravate receptor sites on the endocannabinoid system while others will up-regulate the whole system. That’s very interesting because they have different doses, different actions, different applications.
Host: John Malanca (07:58):
Actually, that’s a good point because with your third generation hippie that came in there and said, “Our bodies are programmed for pot,” is the way he said it, what do you say about the patients that have an endocannabinoid deficiency? They’re out of homeostasis. They’re out of balance and the cannabinoid bringing the body back to balance. This is something that is in the news all the time. You have Dr. Raphael Mechoulam out of Israel. He talks about this all the time. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (08:37):
That’s his way of describing it. The Chinese have a way of describing a cold with a fever. It’s wind heat or a flu virus is often wind cold. So it’s his way of describing, but it’s not the way … I don’t really like that description because it says that should be a component, the cannabinoids should be a component of your everyday life. Yes, that is a plant that has value, but there are other things that can … We still have things to find out about this endocannabinoid system. It wasn’t designed specifically for cannabis or hemp components. They’re just a molecule that seems to activate this part of the nervous system we didn’t even know about.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (09:32):
So there are people that do have deficiencies that affect their nervous system that affects conduction of electricity in the nervous system, that affect mood, that affect the ability to minimize pain as an experience. Those people, you could say they have a deficiency in the cannabinoid system because if you give them cannabinoids, they’re better. But we have yet to find out all the things in the world that actually activate the system. That’s not proprietary to the cannabinoids. That’s my response.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (10:13):
And then there is the other end of the spectrum on THC, which is a cannabinoid. I forget her first name, but Professor Trotsky out of Mexico, who was the daughter of the famous Russian politician, did some landmark work on THC consumption and the reduction of dopamine as a neurotransmitter of the brain. You see that in people that consume too much. So you got on one end too little and on the other end too much, which brings me, a guy who has studied Chinese medicine and the concept of zen, where’s the balance? What’s the balance? What’s the healthy balance? Too much can be a little bit undesirable. Too little can be undesirable. Does that answer your question, John?
Host: John Malanca (11:14):
Yeah. Back to the different, I guess, systems in the body. You said it just goes on and on, your nervous system, your immune system, your renal system, endocrine system. And then what a lot of people, as you were mentioning with the endocannabinoid system again, bringing the body back to balance, helps with pain, helps with anxiety and stress. So is this just another little bump in the system that will, I guess, help with those types? Is that what you’re looking at?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (11:45):
It’s like receptors that we really didn’t know, a system of receptors. These receptors, these cannabinoid receptors are all linked and they all have direct connection to the brain. That’s what was so fascinating about it was that it had direct connection and it was a system of receptors. Can you give me one minute, John? I just have to plug in this charger here. I didn’t-
Host: John Malanca (12:16):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (12:17):
Just a minute.
Host: John Malanca (12:17):
And one. Yeah.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (12:21):
So it’s an adjunctive system that we didn’t know about that has an effect on the nervous system and on what the brain sees. It’s very profound in epilepsy where the brain is processing electrical signals that are going to go into the central nervous system. And then all of a sudden there’s a glitch in the system, so then you get an attack. But for some reason, when you activate the endocannabinoid system, it inhibits either the action that brought on the attack or the attack itself. They’re still looking at that. They still don’t know that mechanism.
Host: John Malanca (13:14):
I’m always one to share that more is not always better as well. So you can have a success with two milligrams, other patients may need 500 to 2000 milligrams depending how their body reacts. As I mentioned earlier in the show here, my body’s very sensitive to different things and CBD is one of them. I have to be careful what time of day. I mean there’s times, as I mentioned, I’ve taken high doses at night for sleep and it works extremely well. Last night I did the same dose with a different product and I was up all night. Why does that do that?
Host: John Malanca (13:54):
You and I can go on for hours about the different cannabinoids, the benefits of THC, again, which I am a fan of for attacking serious diseases like cancer. You even mentioned epilepsy. We work with a lot of epileptic families with their children, pediatric. You could have CBD and CBD’s wonderful. You’ll have 25, 30% success at minute amount of THC. That success rate with a lot of these patients and families that I work with will have a 70% success rate stopping these seizures. I want people to realize THC’s not bad. It’s like going out and wine tasting. You can have a sip of wine, great, or you can have three bottles of wine and you’re going to be drunk. Same thing with THC and these other cannabinoids.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (14:45):
Look at THC and hunger in seriously-ill patients. It does a great job of that. It’s interesting too because part of the problem is is that we’re looking at CBD as this one-size-fits-all compound and there’s differences in manufacturing that can account for effectiveness. There’s also in each person there are, I don’t know, there’s a vast number of what’s called gene alleles, which are switches, genetic switches. Two of the biggest, most widely-known gene alleles in medical literature … I forget the numbers. The gene allele I think is number 62 and it’s the one that processes caffeine, has to do with the P450 enzyme system.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (15:50):
So if you have the switch on one way, you can drink coffee right before you go to bed. If the switch is the other way, you can drink coffee at 12:00 in the afternoon and be up all night. Another one is the gene allele for garlic.
Host: John Malanca (16:07):
Let me ask you about the switch because back in my coffee days, and I haven’t had coffee in three years. But I used to live in Belgium and so we would drink coffee like it was water, coffee and chocolate, coffee and … It rained every day, so that’s another reason why we did that. But I would have a cup of coffee 10:00, 11:00 at night and go right to bed. But now I wouldn’t chance it because sleep’s important to me. So does that switch go on and off as-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (16:34):
Absolutely, it goes on and off. The switches in the immune system go on and off. You will find a person that in their early life before they hit puberty, they will have terrible allergies. And then after they hit puberty, they will go maybe 40 years without allergies and then in their later stage of life, they’ll get the allergies back. Yeah. Garlic is the one. Some people can eat garlic and it’ll come out of their pores. Other people can eat garlic and it won’t affect them at all. It’s a gene allele. It’s a switch. So we have a lot of switches that determine whether THC is going to work better for us or not, whether CBD is going to work better for us or not. It’s very interesting.
Host: John Malanca (17:25):
I don’t even know if you know how we started United Patients Group back in 2011 when my friend’s dad, my father-in-law, was diagnosed with stage four cancer, metastasized to his brain. He was given weeks to live. We knew nothing about the benefits of the cannabis plant. But while in that oncologist’s office, I mean he was on full-time oxygen. We asked how much time do we have and they shared weeks. We asked what about cannabis for appetite stimulation, not knowing anything else. His doctor said, “Go for it. You have a couple weeks.” We ended up finding him a coconut oil capsule with raw and heated cannabis in there, both THC and CBD, CBDA, THCA, about three milligrams.
Host: John Malanca (18:12):
You know what? Within 24 hours he was eating. We said, “Fantastic. He’ll pass peacefully.” Day two, day five, day eight, now he’s off his oxygen, walking around. Six months, hospice fires him as a patient. And then we started incorporating the other cannabinoid I was talking about, THC, into this, again, small amount, about 25 milligrams at night before bed. In nine months, he went and got scanned. He received his first scan. They came back with no evidence of recurrent disease. We’re what, 2020 right now and he’s still alive and he’s had, I believe 18, 19 lung and brain scans.
Host: John Malanca (18:52):
Getting away from the CBD topic, sorry. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. What works for one patient may not work for the other. If he was on a straight CBD regimen, I know for a fact he would not be here today. THC was needed. As you mentioned earlier, CBD, I don’t want to say it’s … I don’t want to give anybody any false hope. I don’t want to say, “This is the golden pill, the golden ticket. It will cure.” I’ll never use the word cure because you can’t even cure a common cold.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (19:23):
Right. Well, remembering that THC is one of the cannabinoids.
Host: John Malanca (19:29):
That worked with us where others have seen success with one-to-one ratios. This is a topic that comes up and you and I were talking about this before. Each cannabinoid has their own purpose and they work well with each other in unison. It’s called the entourage effect. It’s like baking a cake and leaving out the eggs or the flour. They all work well with each other. Is there a psychoactive effect? Do any of your patients have psychoactive effects with CBD?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (20:01):
Well, I helped develop a product and we were manufacturing it from hemp that was farmed in California, in Salinas. And then we had all this what you would call throwaway plant material. We decided to make a regular water extraction out of it and drink this garbagey plant material that wasn’t useful for processing. We gave it to some animals. They liked it. We gave it to some people. They thought it was a little herby, planty tasting, which isn’t a favorite with people. But there was a general consensus that even though there was supposed to be very little THC in this, like none, and there was supposed to be almost no CBD, there was a relaxing effect by both animals and humans.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (21:06):
It would be hard to make it because you can only pick, at least in California, CBD twice a year or hemp I mean twice a year. But it begs the question as to what other components are in the plant that are contributing? This goes to the entourage effect of … You talked about entourage effect of CBDs. But entourage effect really came from the plant medicine world where we continually started finding plants that could do things, like yew tree bark had a very, very beneficial effect in breast cancer. So then a drug company goes and takes the yew tree bark and makes Taxol out of it. They brought out the main constituent.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (21:58):
This happens all the time. But one of the things that we’ve consistently seen is that when you separate a component out of a plant, you lose a lot of other components that were complementary to that plant. So the entourage effect, to me, means the whole plant, the whole plant. At the company that I helped develop the product for, the CBD product, we also found out that the most common methods of CBD manufacture were resulting in CBD1 and 2, which really to me are almost man-made compounds. They’re made by the decarboxylation process. Their method of action was directly on the cannabinoid sites. It’s sort of like an irritating activation of the cannabinoid sites.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (22:55):
What we found is that the natural form of CBD, the main form, CBDA, did not act directly on the site. What it did was it up-regulated the whole CBD endocannabinoid … I mean not CBD, but the endocannabinoid system. It up-regulated the system. So your own neurotransmitters worked. Your own cell signalers worked well on the endocannabinoid system. I saw that that was more effective than directly on the endocannabinoid sites and I saw that it worked a lot more. It’s the more natural product. In making that product, we kept everything in the product except for the fiber and the protein because proteins or lectins are the things that people are going to have the most allergic reactions to.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (23:54):
So we took out the protein in the extraction, took out the fiber. We ended up with the chlorophyll, all the other components of the plant, all the complementary components. It’s a more natural form of CBD.
Host: John Malanca (24:11):
So leading into that, is all CBD the same? Because this is a topic that comes up all the time. You have the cannabis people. Laws have changed and now they’re being able to breed the THC now. Extraction companies are able to literally shake out and literally pull out the other cannabinoids and leaving in CBD. I am a big fan of CBDA and THCA. Those that are just tuning into the show, it’s the raw portion of the plant. So it’s basically like wheatgrass. Remember in the ’70s and ’80s, everyone would juice wheatgrass.
Host: John Malanca (24:47):
So if you have a cannabis plant in your backyard and it’s a high THC or high CBD plant and it’s raw, you can juice that. Take it as a wheatgrass shot or cannabis shot, non-psychoactive, great for inflammation. That’s the acid form, not LSD acid, but acid form, the raw form.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (25:04):
The raw form is acidic in nature. I totally agree with you, John. Those are the natural forms. When you start changing them, when you start processing them heavily, you’re going to strip out components that were, in my mind, were meant to be there in nature. We talked off-camera, I think, about or maybe we did this on-camera about some people that are trying to treat epilepsy with CBD. There’s a percentage that has success and a percentage that doesn’t. I’ve seen a higher success with the more natural CBDA acidic component, that kind of an extract.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (25:48):
So to me, CBDA is more exciting and so is the THCA. They’re the natural, found in nature forms of these two components. That’s the way nature intended them and I don’t like the heavy processing. I’m not a big fan of CBD1 and 2. I’m not a big fan of decarboxylation processes either.
Host: John Malanca (26:14):
Well, it’s funny. I had a friend of mine, a doctor, on the show. He said the first, I guess, documented case of cannabis was 5000-plus years ago. He said, “Well, first off, they didn’t know how to document anything 5000, 500 years.” So that was the thing. And then he said, “Here’s the point. They didn’t discover fire for the longest time either, so maybe that’s why they always went raw, raw, raw, raw with the raw plants until they-”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (26:43):
You could say that. But I mean I liken that more towards if you really think back even a couple of thousand years ago, there were no lights. There were no TVs. There were no highways. There were no cars. There was a donkey.
Host: John Malanca (26:57):
Isn’t that nice? I mean we’re having that right now. We’re at home. I’m not liking the traffic to come back out.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (27:03):
Well, what somebody did was somebody that had survived for a while and was considered an elder would probably put a big heavy robe on before the sun went down. Take a person who’s a little bit younger out. Take him to the edge of the forest. We didn’t have cultivated crops back then. You took a younger person to the edge of the forest and you point and said, “You can eat that.” It might have been an onion. “You can eat that.” It might have been rapini, like a wild broccoli. “And then if you get a cold, you can chew that or you can make it into a tea. If you get pain, you can chew on this.”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (27:41):
So this is how these medicines got discovered. And then somebody said, “Well, let’s find out what component of that plant makes the pain go away. Let’s pull it out and we’ve got a better thing.” In that case, aspirin is salicylic acid which is in a lot of plants. What are we finding out? Taking aspirin will eventually corrode your stomach if you take your baby aspirin every day, which can be another cause of death. I’m not telling people to go out to the edge of the forest if they have pain and start chewing plants. I mean we have plant medicine that you can access. The entourage effect, to me, is as much of the plant as you get.
Host: John Malanca (28:32):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (28:33):
It’s as insignificantly denatured as possible. You don’t want to denature the plant. That’s what I think a lot of people are doing in the CBD manufacture. I think the machines are very inexpensive. They can make huge quantities. It’s in an oil then usually. Now they’re responding and making it into powders and stuff, but they’ve got to reprocess it to do that. Well, what we did when we looked into this was say, “How can we just take the plant and how can we end up with everything but the protein which is usually reactive and the fiber which is bulky?” If you look at one of our capsules, it’s green because the chlorophyll’s still in there.
Host: John Malanca (29:18):
Which I’m a big fan of. Again, like you, I’m not a big fan of the isolates. A lot of companies are coming to start making these isolates. Before we move on, I love your description. I’m a visual person and seeing the elder in his robe taking the young out. But we’ve had the conversation with my friends like, “Who discovered how to truly eat artichokes?”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (29:42):
Bite it. You’re right.
Host: John Malanca (29:45):
It’s like, “Don’t eat that one. You have to pull the leaves off. But if you get to the middle, the heart, but make sure you pull all the hairs off.” We were out to dinner with some people one time and we had some business colleagues that came in. I kid you not. They started pulling the leaves off and chewing it. I’m like, “Have you not eaten it?” They said, “We’ve never even seen this before.” I said, “No, you do this.” They’re like, “I’ll be darned. I would never have known that.” They were looking at us, “Do we need to be polite? Can we spit it out?” We had a good laugh.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (30:17):
Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m Italian and I make artichokes during the winter and into the-
Host: John Malanca (30:23):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (30:23):
Yeah. I make them maybe every week.
Host: John Malanca (30:27):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (30:29):
I’m the fastest choke puller there is.
Host: John Malanca (30:32):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (30:33):
Yeah. You know what? If you’ve ever watched Survivor, I could just imagine somebody looking at a bunch of artichokes on the edge of a forest and going, “I’m hungry as heck and I didn’t catch anything. I’m going to see what these things are like by sticking them in a bag of boiling water.”
Host: John Malanca (30:52):
It’s like the stinging nettles. You can’t touch them, but you can put them in your boiling water, make tea out of it.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (31:02):
Yes. I’ll give this great little story. I lived in Seattle for 20 years, stinging nettle heaven. I was an herbalist and I learned from some of the Native American women that you could eat the fresh tops of the nettle and it wouldn’t sting. So me and my daughter, who was seven at the time, we would go out and play this form of Russian roulette where we’d pick a top and eat it. The loser would get the stinging part because they picked something that was a little too mature.
Host: John Malanca (31:35):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (31:36):
Host: John Malanca (31:38):
Did she learn the hard way or was she a quick learner?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (31:41):
We both learned the hard way.
Host: John Malanca (31:42):
Yeah. I was going to say I think you both were quick learners. CBD, I can talk with you all day. I love these talks with you. This topic always comes up about hemp CBD versus cannabis CBD. I was on that side until about two years ago when I went and toured a hemp farm and I was blown away. To me, hemp was for industrial hemp, clothing, ropes, backpacks, bags, et cetera, and at that point, not medicine. I know they can’t say medicine. But went out and saw the field, touched it, smelled it, tasted it, said, “I’ll be darned.” It is actually the cannabis plant with legal limits now, if you want to say, minus the-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (32:37):
It’s same species, yeah.
Host: John Malanca (32:39):
Is CBD, CBD? I mean we’re both Italian. Tomatoes, and I always use the description Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes. They’re tomatoes, but they’re all different. Is that the same? What’s your definition?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (32:55):
I know a lot of people dispute me, but I think that CBDA is CBDA no matter where you get it. The problem with the CBD, there could be some different chemical components in there, some little nuances. But I think that they’re pretty much the same. I guess I’m not big on processing food or processing herbal medicine. You do have to process it to get the THC out if you’re using a high THC. Now they’re starting to hybridize out the THC. That’s fine. That’s a really great skill. I think it’s, to me, the same. I think that the US government was leaning more towards hemp CBD because they had seen some research that I’ve seen.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (33:57):
That came out of Trotsky who them went to work, I think, for the FDA about decrease in dopamine concentrations in people that use a lot of THC. I’ve seen some of these people. So I think they wanted to go with the safer version of the CBDA which needs a tiny bit of THC to activate it. That’s what you get in the hemp. So it’s an easier solution than growing THC and then or I mean growing the marijuana, cannabis indica and sativa, and then pulling the THC out. But now the hybridized versions are taking care of that. I don’t know where the government’s going to come out on it, but I know that CBDA is a very good compound for people. I mean I take a lot of young people off of Xanax and Effexor and Prozac using CBDA.
Host: John Malanca (35:03):
We’re using CBDA. You were talking about you’ve seen with people with too much THC. More is not always better. I’ve been to conferences, these cannabis conferences in California, here in California or Colorado, and you’re seeing people getting sick. It’s the hyperemesis where too much THC in the system where it will make you throw up. I wasn’t going to go there, but the antivenom, yeah, you can use just like a snake venom is CBD. It’s amazing. I’ve been with people where next thing you know it’s like, “Here, start dragging off this vaporizer pen or the tincture.” Vaporizer pen, the reason it’s quicker-acting than putting a tincture in your mouth.
Host: John Malanca (35:57):
They had too much. They said, “I’m going to take more.” It’s like having too much alcohol. “Here, you going to drink some more to sober up.” You’re out of your mind. You can see the body just come back to balance. So if anybody has too much THC, it’s not something you can throw up like alcohol.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (36:14):
Now, I know that I reached a point where when I … Prior to that, when I was in college and everything, if I would use some marijuana, I’d have as good a time as anybody. I’d want to go eat some food. I’d want to laugh it up. I’d want to drink a beer. And then something happened where I got some signal, I guess, where I would use this marijuana and all of a sudden get completely paranoid. Where it really came to light was when I took a group of friends in Seattle into the Olympic Mountains and we went way, way up on one of the top 10 backpacking climbs in the nation, the Robin and Tuck Lakes up in the Olympics.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (37:09):
We’re way up in the splendor. Marijuana’s legal there. These guys pull out a little joint and I said, “Well, what the heck. I’ve been busy being a doctor, raising kids, but I’m on vacation.” I was enjoying all the splendor. I took a couple of puffs off that thing. Within about 15 minutes, I was not having fun. I just realized that my body had changed to the point where I could not tolerate the THC. So we do change. Does that mean that because I don’t have fun with it, nobody else should use it? No, I see people having a lot of fun with it. I think it should be legal just to cut a lot of red tape and a lot of problems for people.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (37:58):
But the CBD portion is a good antidote to anybody who has a little too much THC. The CBD portion has, to me, a broader spectrum of medical possibilities. The THC has its possibilities for medicine. They’re very well-defined. There’s some we haven’t understood. But I don’t think it’s an equal of CBDA when it comes to helping people overcome mental, emotional, stabilize mental-emotionally or not have as much pain or to have a modulating effect on the nervous system for epilepsy, things like that.
Host: John Malanca (38:42):
With your patients, do you recommend it as a daily vitamin, daily vegetable? Are you-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (38:49):
For a pain patient, yes.
Host: John Malanca (38:53):
Pain or sleep, anxiety, even just health and wellness-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (38:55):
Well, I go-
Host: John Malanca (38:56):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (38:58):
I go by person by person. I mean I have some people that did not do well on CBDA. I don’t use the CBD1 or 2. I use the CBDA. I’ve had some people have not done well on it. But it’s extremely good for people that were put on antidepressants because the antidepressants … Sorry, guys. You put a lot of money into them, but with a vast majority of people they don’t work after a while. The people get worse. And then a lot of these people have trouble sleeping. So when I put them on as little as 10 milligrams of CBDA once a day, they smooth out.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (39:43):
They smooth out on paranoia, anxiety, depression. They can get off their pharmaceutical which is not doing them any good.
Host: John Malanca (40:02):
I guess the way you offer them the CBDA, is it in tincture form? How are you offering it? Is it in-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (40:13):
I don’t have a bottle of it here because I sell out of it to the point where I often will give my bottle away to somebody in the clinic. But what we have, I’m just going to show you because you didn’t see the form we have. We have a capsule form. It’s a capsule form.
Host: John Malanca (40:34):
No, what is your product? I mean we can go right to that.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (40:37):
I’m sorry. This is the professional version. It’s called Complete Spectrum and it comes in 10 milligrams and 20 milligrams. It’s encapsulated. And then the retail versions are called Green Power, Green Power 10, Green Power 20. The reason why we started with a capsule was through some research I did at conferences, both patient conferences for cancer and practitioner conferences where I asked people, “Do you like to take a liquid? Do you like to vape? What would you find more convenient, a capsule, vape, or liquid?” It was almost 85% capsule.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (41:22):
We are a capsule-oriented society. I heard stories about liquid being spilled in a purse, spilled on clothes, an awkwardness in a professional setting of trying to dose yourself. Vaping ran into its own little problems where there’s questions about lung health. People like capsules, so we brought it out in capsules. It’s a powder. We can make it into several forms. But when you think about the price component of a supplement, the CBD is the cheapest part of the supplement. The next expensive part is the label. The next expensive part is the bottle. Somewhere in between those two is the shipping of the heavy liquid and breakage.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (42:22):
So you get a bottle of capsules. It’s light. More of the money is spent on the supplement. The powder we make is more expensive than the liquid, the decarboxylated liquid. So we can get to put more of the-
Host: John Malanca (42:40):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (42:40):
Yeah. More into the product. It’s an expensive proprietary food solvent-based extract.
Host: John Malanca (42:47):
Yeah. Everybody, I’ll put the link below of the … Dr. Frank, and actually you’re partnered with David Wales, correct, in this or is this a different product?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (42:59):
Yes. David Wales and Rick Jahnke from American BioSciences brought me into work on this project, geez, almost 10 years ago.
Host: John Malanca (43:08):
Yeah. I’ve known David I want to say, goodness, six years maybe, five, six years from the integrative oncology world. I remember when he was getting into this and glad to see you guys are still doing this as well.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (43:27):
Well, how we got into it was very interesting. At least the story I was told was that the farmers, we had this manufacturing plant for this other cancer product that we have. They were talking to the farmers that are out in Salinas where the plant was at the time. The farmers were telling them, “Look, we’re getting the go-ahead. We’re being told we’re going to be able to grow hemp as a cash crop. You’re a company that can manufacture. Would you consider buying our hemp?” So the farmers came to us. It was very interesting. Sure enough, they were right.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (44:01):
That’s when the US Department of Agriculture got that ruling that farmers could grow hemp as a cash crop in this country. It coincided with the surge in legal marijuana and the surge in CBD use. I feel bad for some people who are taking products that I know are not as effective. They’ve got a cute little method of presentation. I’ve seen CBD in honey with little bear plastic jars, strawberry flavor. That’s all fine and well. It’s usually a very dilute decarboxylated liquid. I’d rather see them up-regulate their system so that they get a better effect with the CBDA.
Host: John Malanca (44:50):
Yeah. Again, I am a fan of the acid forms of that. It’s frustrating because especially out here in California, anywhere, the majority, and I talk about this on my show all the time. The majority of the hemp, probably until recently, but maybe even still to this day, but the majority of the hemp out there is the same hemp. I mean you and I can go down and buy a 55-gallon drum. We have a lot of money for marketing. We could put our label, slap our label on it, and go sell it.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (45:14):
Host: John Malanca (45:15):
Where Sue down the road has the same product and put a different label and they’re reselling it. So it’s really-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (45:22):
It’s almost a forbidden subject. You bring it up and the pushback is huge.
Host: John Malanca (45:29):
I always share with followers and patients, ask questions. Make sure it’s US grown. I’m a fan of that. Regulations are different overseas than they are here in the States. Make sure it’s tested. They test. You as the patient don’t have to, and the consumer, you don’t have to be in charge of the testing. The company that you’re buying from as well as the company that you’re … The company of the product that you’re buying it from, the manufacturer or the dispensary should have test results on that. Ask for these test results. It should be mandatory, the regulation-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (46:07):
You’re right. In fact, one of the things that I saw is we spent a lot of money on this product and then we priced it out. One of the things that had me going, “Hmm,” is that they’re taking this generalized liquid CBD1 and 2 product that was, I think, man-made through the decarboxylation process. They’re putting fancy labels on it and fancy bottles and calling it all sorts of things, like Full Spectrum and everything. And then they’re charging more for the product than we’re charging for what I think is a more natural version that was very expensive to make.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (46:51):
I think a lot of groups are marking this up. So I see this because I don’t go to the clinic every day. But we average 150 patient visits a week. That’s a lot of patients. That’s 600 a month. We have a lot of cancer patients, a lot of pain patients. What I noticed is they’re all trying to sell this CBD1 and 2 because they got it from a friend and it’s the best. They’re all trying to get me to carry it. And then I check back with them in about three or four months and they’re not using it anymore or I don’t have to check with some of the people that switched over to the CBDA because they keep buying bottles. They keep buying bottles. I might be underselling them. But I sell it for about $36 a bottle for a one-month supply.
Host: John Malanca (47:45):
Which brings you back to what your clinic is all about is low-cost medical guy … When you say clinic, just so everybody, Dr. Frank, it’s not a cannabis clinic. It’s a medical clinic.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (48:01):
No. Yeah. It’s a medical clinic. What I did was when I was at Jupiter Hospital I handled a lot of cancer. I handled a lot of autoimmune diseases. I handled a lot of idiopathic depression, anxiety, things like that. I had a clinic in the hospital. I was really getting one-on-one with the patient. To be honest, I sort of burned out. When you have 30 or 40 people that you care about at once, you burn out. So then I started this clinic and rather than having to spend 45 minutes with a patient, which there’s really … You could do most of the stuff for the patient within 15 to 20 minutes.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (48:47):
I decided to start this low-cost acupuncture clinic because, for one thing, it would be acupuncture which I’m very good at. But for another thing, it would sort of screen people from seeking me from Miami, driving two hours up and saying, “Help me. Deliver me from this disease. This is a huge load.” So what I did was people were coming in and they were like, “I’ve got a bad shoulder or I can’t salivate because I’ve got an autoimmune condition or I’m got rheumatoid arthritis or I’m depressed.” And then I could turn around and say, “I have some time for a patient.” I can get a little deeper in.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (49:26):
What happened was I thought I’d get a few patients per day. We ended up with 7000 patients and we ended up being full all the time. I have some wonderful practitioners and acupuncturists. They’re maybe not as innovative as me because I’m older and I’ve got a medical degree. But we sit down and we talk about the time. They’ll call me up, “What are you doing? What should we do? What more should we add? How can you help this person?” So it’s worked out really well for my community. We only charge 20 to 40 dollars a visit and we refuse extra money but, invariably, we get money from patients.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (50:04):
I think right now we’re sitting on about $5000 to pay for people who can’t afford treatment or to pay for … We paid one woman’s electric bill for six months in advance. She has breast cancer. She lost her job. She’s getting some assistance. I came in and paid her electric bill. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m really a doctor. Sorry about that rant.
Host: John Malanca (50:29):
No. I experienced cancer with my wife. So when you’re in there, your world just comes crashing down on you. I work with cancer patients all the time that don’t have any money.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (50:44):
God bless you.
Host: John Malanca (50:45):
That don’t have anybody. It’s like, “Are you alone?” “I’m alone doing this.” It hurts because I would have done it for another 500 years, get up, spend two hours of sleep a night, up and down, up and down, up and down, making sure she was comfortable. What you’re doing, because your world becomes rocked when you hear those words, “You have cancer,” and to hear-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (51:11):
Yes. In fact, one of my practitioners-
Host: John Malanca (51:13):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (51:14):
One of my practitioners had a lump in her throat that was affecting her swallowing. They went in to remove part of her thyroid. They came out and they told her she had anaplastic thyroid which is immediately stage four. This woman, a month before, had no perception of any problems. Now she’s told she has anaplastic stage four. I was there on my off day today treating her because she needs the kind of attention,-
Host: John Malanca (51:42):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (51:42):
… a special kind of attention. To end a bad story, she just actually found out she had, with these new wonderful tests, she had a mutation that they can treat successfully.
Host: John Malanca (51:53):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (51:54):
So I’m hoping that she’ll be back as a practitioner. I didn’t want to get the little violins out for me.
Host: John Malanca (51:59):
Yeah. Yeah. Anybody going through something as serious as that, I send everybody-
Dr. Frank Ervolino (52:06):
I’m going to be 68 in two months. I mean-
Host: John Malanca (52:07):
I know. I was going to say happy birthday to you too.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (52:11):
That also means I mean you got to think about your own self and bless yourself that I’m able to go on the floor and treat 14 patients in four hours in the clinic. That’s how we do it. Yet, I never push anybody out of their spot in the clinic. If a person needs an hour and a half to two hours with the acupuncture needles, I’ll let them go. It’s very interesting.
Host: John Malanca (52:38):
Well, I need to make it out your way to get treatment because I’m a fan of acupuncture.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (52:44):
There’s awesome clinics like mine right near you in San Francisco.
Host: John Malanca (52:47):
I know. I go now. I have a great acupuncturist out here too. Well, Frank, I always appreciate you being on the show and learning about what you’re doing, what you’ve done in the background.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (52:59):
Host: John Malanca (53:01):
My dad was in banking, so we grew up in Asia.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (53:04):
Host: John Malanca (53:04):
So I’m a big fan of Chinese … herbal medicine, Western medicine, alternative medicines. If you can bring an arsenal to get your body back into homeostasis and balance, why not? Again, I’m alive because of Western medicine and probably pharmaceuticals, but cannabis and other natural herbs are a lot easier on the gut, as you were talking about.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (53:30):
And whatever works is the most natural.
Host: John Malanca (53:33):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (53:34):
Whatever’s the least force to make the patient well. If that’s a pharmaceutical, that is the least force. Unfortunately, sometimes when you try and solve some chronic health conditions with a pharmaceutical sledgehammer and you get problems out of that. Let me tell you the first time I ever got acupuncture was I had a friend who owned a Vietnamese market in downtown Seattle, Viet Wa. I knew this guy real well. Before I became a doctor, I was in investments. When I had these terrible allergies, he said, “Come down to the store. We have this world-famous Vietnamese acupuncturist that works in my store and he’ll treat you.”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (54:12):
So I go down there and I go to my friend, “Where’s this acupuncturist?” He started screaming down the aisle of this huge market in Vietnamese. There’s this little guy sweeping the aisle with a white apron on. The guy responds and he said, “Come here,” in Vietnamese. The guy puts his apron down, puts his broom down. He had a long white beard and he goes, “This is the world-famous acupuncturist.” I go, “Why is he sweeping the aisles?” He goes, “Well, we brought him over from Vietnam and he doesn’t like to sit there. If he doesn’t have a patient he wants to do something. He’s like our uncle.” So he takes me in this little closet and he goes to do acupuncture.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (54:51):
He pulls these old needles out of some alcohol or something, like in a barbershop with the old combs.
Host: John Malanca (54:59):
Yeah, yeah. Barbasol, yeah.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (54:59):
I’m like, “What the heck is that?” So I get up and I run out to the market. I go, “Give me a box of those needles,” and I bought a box of disposable needles and I gave them to him. I thought he was going to cry. He treated me and I was like, “This stuff works really well.” He also gave me an herbal formula with bugs in it that I would make into a tea. But I’ve since learned that those bugs are really good for calming the immune system down that causes allergic rhinitis.
Host: John Malanca (55:28):
Again, the bugs were probably the elder in his robe taking the young youth out and saying, “These are the bugs you can eat. These are the bugs you-”
Dr. Frank Ervolino (55:37):
Crush these beetles and make them into a disgusting tea that made my allergies go away. I’ve since learned how to do it without the bugs for my patients.
Host: John Malanca (55:46):
Dr. Frank Ervolino (55:47):
Anyway, it’s been great being with you, John.
Host: John Malanca (55:49):
Yeah, Frank. Thank you so much, Dr. Frank Ervolino. Happy birthday.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (55:54):
Ervolino, that’s right.
Host: John Malanca (55:55):
How can people get a hold of you if everybody’s interested?
Dr. Frank Ervolino (55:59):
Well, the best way to do it is to go to my website. The best way to do it is to put my name on there so they can see the last name. Just Google Dr. Frank Ervolino and you will see all the contact info. My clinic is called Treasure Coast Community Acupuncture and the website-
Host: John Malanca (56:27):
Out of Florida. Out of Florida.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (56:29):
In Florida. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and that’s S-T-U-A-R-T community.com. That’s my direct email, email@example.com.
Host: John Malanca (56:43):
Cool. Fantastic. Dr. Frank, always a pleasure seeing you, talking with you, working with you. We’ll get you back on the show.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (56:52):
Host: John Malanca (56:54):
This is John Malanca with United Patients Group, be informed and be well. Have a blessed day, my friend.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (57:01):
All right. Thank you.
Host: John Malanca (57:02):
Happy birthday to you.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (57:04):
It’s coming up.
Host: John Malanca (57:05):
Sure. Take care.
Dr. Frank Ervolino (57:07):
Host: John Malanca (57:08):
Bye-bye. Hi, John Malanca here with United Patients Group. I hope you’ve enjoyed our videos. Please click Like as well as subscribe to our channel here on YouTube. Also, follow us on Twitter, @upatientsgroup, and on Facebook at United Patients Group as well as for our podcast. Please click the link in the description below. We’ll see you there. Bye-bye.