Dr. Matthew Halpert holds a Ph.D from the University of Alabama and holds a faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Halpert is the Director of Research & Development at Medterra and is currently responsible for all its product related research and development. These activities include performing pharmacological studies on CBD’s efficacy, while evaluating the latest peer reviewed publications on CBD. Matthew Halpert and John Malanca discuss his entry into the CBD market and some interesting observation and study results.
John Malanca talks through good, bad, and exciting in cannabis medicine in this discussion of CBD with Dr. Halpert. When the Farm Bill expanded access to cannabidiol, manufacturers’ interest exploded. However, in order to make honest claims, Dr. Halpert teamed with Medterra CBD to determine the real healing powers of this remarkable cannabinoid. When Dr. Halpert, an expert in the field of immunology and inflammation was hired by Medterra, his professional interests centered around the quality, amount, and dosing of CBD as well as its functionality. Whether determined by double blind studies, studies in humans, dogs and/or on himself he engages in a frank discussion about his findings with John. He also confirms Baylor will enter the testing of CBD.
Dr. Halpert discusses the federal constraints around cannabis, its Schedule I status and how CBD testing remains erratic and difficult to distinguish. However, in dog studies, CBD showed remarkable action against osteoarthritis which continued to be effective long after the dosing stopped.
While Dr. Halpert has never worked with THC, he agrees that the entourage effects require serious scientific analysis and without the science, he fears this remarkable plant will sit on the shelves as a supplement, with the understanding of its quality and the tragic loss of our knowledge of its medical benefits.
Dr. Matthew Halpert – An inside look at Medterra CBD
John Malanca 0:00
Welcome back everybody. This is John Malanca. With united patients group be informed and be Well, today’s guest is Dr. Matthew Halpert. He is actually the director of research and development for medterra CBD, which you’ve probably seen seen our site lately. He’s equipped with a PhD from the University of Alabama. He is currently responsible for all product related r&d from performing pharmacokinetic studies on the efficacy of reviewing the latest peer reviewed publications on cannabinoid ion also known as CBD. Dr. Hubbard also holds a faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine, where he studied both efficacy and immunological processes, homeostatic regulation and cancer immunotherapy which I want to get into that as well. So welcome to the show. Dr. Hopper. How are you doing?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 0:50
Thank you. Thank you. I’m doing doing all right here.
John Malanca 0:52
So Baylor College medicine is in Houston while Baylor College is in Waco. Correct?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 0:58
Correct. Correct. They’re not the same university, not the same
John Malanca 1:01
university. Not that I was gonna say because I know, Baylor University in Waco has been on the big Jeopardy net. And so it’s been. I know, it’s come up on a couple of their questions over the years. And so yes,
Dr. Matthew Halpert 1:16
that comes up. Also Baylor School of Medicine or Baylor medical school people seem to a lot put a lot of things there. Yeah, it’s Baylor College of Medicine.
John Malanca 1:24
So it’s in the grand state of Texas. So welcome to that.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 1:28
All right, thank you. So
John Malanca 1:32
let’s get right into it. You know, how did you give you talk about your background, one of your credentials, and I know we spoke off camera about what you’ve done prior to becoming the expert in CBD because you have a whole background of cancer and testing and Immunology. So can you talk about cancer immune system, and then leading into where you are today?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 1:56
Sure, I can do that. So first and foremost. I’m here speaking on my own behalf, not necessarily on behalf of Baylor College of Medicine, just to be clear, but so yes, I’m an immunologist, research faculty at Baylor College of Medicine. I’ve spent roughly the past 10 years working on the immune system, and how it relates to cancer, or inflammation, kind of two sides of the coin there, right. So cancer, in the situation of cancer, the immune system has not properly turned on and eliminated the cancer. And on the other side of the coin, you have chronic inflammatory conditions where the immune system seems to be overactive and fighting against nothing, just destroying your insides leading to issues like IBD or arthritis and things like that. So for the longest time, I’ve been very fascinated with how the immune system really works, what, what regulates it, how to keep it under control, and this led to a lot of exciting advancements in the field of cancer. And getting the immune system to properly recognize it and destroy it. And around a couple of years ago, as the 2018 Farm Bill was passing, and CBD was becoming a big, bigger and bigger deal, I started working with that at Baylor, just in some little experiments to see if it could have any effect on cancer cells and tumor formation and things like that. And the results at that time, were very encouraging. And so I kind of continue to work with CBD in a couple of just different experiments just to sort of see, you know, is it is there anything to this? I mean, obviously, you and your viewers, I’m sure are aware, there is no shortage of anecdotal claims behind CBD. It can cure everything. If you’ve got an amputated leg, I’m pretty sure CBD can fix that. So there’s a lot of claims out there. A lot of people saying things and I was more interested in what the science had to say. What? What is scientifically valid? What can we really accomplish here with cannabis, cannabinoids, CBD.
And so I started working under that purview.
Along the lines, a couple of different for profit companies for profit CBD companies ended up getting in touch with me and asking me to work with them and to do some research for them. And what I learned very quickly is the CBD industry is largely not regulated. And companies and people can put whatever they want on a bottle basically. And they can tell you here’s 500 milligrams of the purest CBD ever and I know firsthand, that’s not always the case. So I started and I don’t know what these companies thought, but I analyzed The products they gave me, literally I would look at some of them by electron microscopy. And or we would do mass spec or HPLC. And the reports back would be like, yeah, this is there’s nothing here. This is contaminated. I mean, don’t don’t eat this. I don’t know if that’s hair or what, but it’s just some really subpar products.
This is very discouraging.
And probably a bit I learned a bigger problem than I ever would have guessed. And I think at this point, we talked a little bit about it off air.
journalistic sources will say have gotten to the rigors of testing different products from different companies. And they’ve, of course, published on some of that and you’ll see, we tested 47 different companies and six of them were accurate, and the others were not selling what they said they were selling. I think I think that’s a generous number. Well, you know, when that farm bill passed, you had a little bit and you still do a little bit of the Wild Wild West. Yeah, Gold Rush mentality. There’s money in these hills. And so people are just trying to make a buck and they’re not necessarily doing things the right way. So fast forward a little bit by complete coincidence, almost that is just too long to go until on this podcast. I got hooked up with Jay Hart and JP Larsen at medterra over Irvine, California. And they completely shared my viewpoint of science should go first. We should be accountable, we should have, we should be transparent, we should make a good product with all the right conditions. And more importantly, we shouldn’t sell products based on false claims or products that aren’t actually going to do what we are saying they’re going to do. And I was kind of a breath of fresh air that there was at least someone out there and this isn’t to say my tears, the Only one. But at that time, that was the only one I had come in contact with that was very much science for science for science first, Dr. helper, can we send you a product? Can you actually run it through some experiments and then give us a report? And so we know if we should go forward with that or not? I said, Sure. And that started with some small experiments. They went well, I was able to confirm several things, including the quality of their CBD product, first and foremost, from batch to batch, because I was getting different batch samples. And then I started working with it in regards to inflammation. And sure enough through a number of different experiments. Yeah, I would say bona fide, I can say our research and other published science clearly indicates CBD has an anti inflammatory role through so many more mechanisms than most people realize. It is not just a it’s not hitting just one receptor in your body. It’s hitting numerous. And so I think the There’s potentially a lot of safe and effective value there. So and just to, again, give an example. And I have to because it’s, I don’t think most companies are doing this. But medterra has a CBD cream. And they came up with a new formulation. And they sent both to me blinded, and said, will you run the side by side and tell us how they compare and inflammation. And I ran the test. Cream B did better than cream a, I wrote up a report, I gave them the results. All I ever promised to give is just what the data is. And they’re like, Oh, that’s great. Our new formula actually works better. So we’ll sell that now. And to prove a point, they also sent me the exact thing thing for two different roll ons and the new formula did not work better. And so to their credit, they said, well, we’re not rolling that out. We’re gonna go back to the drawing board and figure out why it didn’t work better. I can’t imagine. Most CBD companies are going to That kind of effort
John Malanca 9:03
to test their products. It’s funny you say out of the products that I that I’m using on a regular basis is one of their creams. And the lotion little pump bottle and I’m an avid cyclist and runner and I constantly rev it on my legs, my calves, my knees before my runs all the time. And so how’s it working
Dr. Matthew Halpert 9:23
John Malanca 9:24
It’s actually it’s working great. I like it. It has the I’m trying to see what it has the the metal in there as well. So I like knowing that something’s also working in there. But I use it on a regular basis. I’ve I’ve given it to family members as well, too. So to hear that out of all the products. So I don’t know if I have the new or the old old the I don’t either, but, but we’re working on that too. Yeah, they made it homework. Sorry.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 9:52
I’m saying the old product still works.
Yeah, it’s something that works better. So, but Yeah, go ahead. Well, I’ll let you know you You’re talking about
John Malanca 10:02
access, you know, in the gold rush and I wasn’t really on board, you know how my wife and I, who I shared with you has passed away a few years ago from pancreatic cancer. And, you know, I know that’s part of your studies too, so we can get on another show with that one. Everybody I wasn’t right when the CBD market just blossomed, you know, we use we use THC dominant products to kill cancer cells. And I think you need to have have both when fighting something as is severe as cancer, the entourage effect that he has been proven to kill cancer cells and we’ll see what he stops the spread. So reformulation, at least for us is what has worked with another family member. With all these CBD companies popping up these hemp CBD companies that were have been popping up over the years. I really hadn’t been on board until recently. And when I say reached the last two years I went in and toured facility, a farm and really was educated because I’ve seen the stuff that’s out there when the first round of CBD hemp CBD that, that made it into our office onto my desk, you know, I would test it myself, I’d go and test it to a third party. And the test results of labs that I trusted, were completely different than test results that they sent me. And this one company, which is frustrating. So well known company, I won’t mention it, you know, the nutritional value came out to 117%. And I said, Guys, how do you get 117%? You know, and they actually laughed. Haha, you know, no notice I say, Well, I noticed, you know, and I think that’s important of the reputation that we’ve built in this industry. United patriot is going out and vetting companies, like you said, as well. You know, you tried all these companies, let’s do a test and see see if their numbers really match up to what I’m seeing, especially you being a scientist seeing what’s with matching up in lab and so on. You said where that hair come from? I think that’s what you said right? In the product.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 12:06
That was one of the products. Yeah, one of the products hair,
John Malanca 12:08
but I always share that with people. You know, he tests or mold pesticides, fecal matter and they go back and they go fecal matter you kidding me and I said, some test results will show what’s in there. So know that you’re putting it into your body. And so if a company does not have lab results and test results, and nowadays you have QR codes, you have batch numbers so you can see exactly what batch that’s coming from if they don’t have that, go try it another find another company because you and I both know there are thousands of other companies out there some good some some great some bad and we’ve we’ve done a study on the good, the bad, the ugly, little Clint Eastwood there but it’s the truth of you know what’s out there. You’re putting this on your body, you’re putting it in your body so be aware of what what Sarah and if, again, if there aren’t test results attached to That product from a QR code or wherever you’re purchasing it, you know, try another one. Me personally, I probably wouldn’t buy something from your local your local gas station, right. So But anyway, good. Good.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 13:13
Sorry. I want to address to, to your point that yes, they sparked something. So there are companies that write they’ll say, whatever 100 milligrams and then they’ll run a test and it will be 200 milligrams, and they’ll proudly say 200% of what we say. That’s not any better, quite frankly, than being at zero percent. Look, people make the mistake of thinking blatantly, just flat out if some is good, more must be better. And that’s not necessarily true. A lot of biological systems do not work that way. There’s a happy area where you can be under it and underpowered to to let too little, but if you go over that area, you start getting negative feedback and your body starts. Oh, that we’re swamped with this and it starts out Actually shutting it down. So it’s a misnomer to think you’re getting more you know, or something like you need to get what you need to know what what you said what you’re putting in your body, not just what but how much and you need, you know, there’s there’s that. And then the other point about testing so this is also one of the reasons I was excited to join up with med Terra and even med Terra partners, they proudly put up their cgmp licenses, which means their current current Good Manufacturing Practices, it means they had to have been third party audited and checked and meet a bunch of standards and requirements. You cannot do trials with FDA without a cgmp license. And so to have that is is to say how clean and of course so medterra not only has that in house to cgmp licensure but if you go on their website for sure they post every mass spec analysis of every batch that they produce, right? They’re like they’re not hiding. They’re like, Here, look, here are the mass spec results carried out by a third party, you know, that we don’t control. And here are the results. Again, they’re not the only company doing that, but to any company that is doing that. I say kudos, thank you. Because at least that it’s somewhere and eventually hopefully, those will be the companies that hold hold the industry.
John Malanca 15:25
Exactly. And I think we need that you know, to bring bring that because there has been a lot of stuff that’s populating here and industry, you and I can go out and buy a 55 gallon drum a bit. CBD. And if we have a great marketing department, we can put our labels on it, you know, john and Matt CBD john and Matt CBD. And that’s the frustrating thing because a lot I’m saying majority but a lot of the products in the industry are the exact same product, just different label. Yes, you’re able to go go to this Costco type of a CBD type of supplier. And do that and so my biggest we’re getting a little out of our biggest frustration is when I see labels that misspell CBD. I was like how do you how do you misspell CBD? And it happens all the time. That’s not a good start.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 16:15
Sorry. So it’s not a good start.
John Malanca 16:17
No, it’s not a good start and I even listen to ESPN Radio and time. Kurt and I were in the car and they were saying C bB Charlie Bravo Bravo. And I was like, Oh my gosh, guys, come on. So CBD can have a dial so So anyway, let’s get back on track what you’re doing there in Baylor and so is Baylor open minded to having CBD or cannabis in their thing, or were they open minded before the farm bill or did this happen after the Farm Bill, they said we bring it in.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 16:51
So medterra actually started to form a relationship with Baylor before the passage of the farm bill and they wanted to use that At that time to run experiments in the lab. And I naively thought, sure this won’t be a big issue. Next thing you know, I’m talking to all kinds of lawyers at Baylor outside counsel and I’m just guys that CBD What’s the problem? And they’re like, what I was filled into is at that time, it was still a schedule one drug, I mean, me working with that was the same as my working with LSD or heroin in the eyes of the scheduling system. And so they were like, so we really can’t just, you know, they can’t send that across state lines. They can’t we can’t have that here unless you have an appropriate researcher license. And so I was getting ready to get, you know, go through the six months and get the license needed. But the farm bill passed a week later. And so then I checked with them and they said, Well, that makes it a lot easier. Now we need to see if Texas is gonna
John Malanca 17:54
abide basically, which is a tough state. I mean, we work with so many patients on a regular basis. That, you know, their hands are tied and in what you’re doing a bunch of with your state doing a bunch of random road stops. I mean, I have friends that live from Houston and they moved I believe in their following. He was following his wife and the daughter in their car. He was in the in the U haul. And they came to a stop. What do you have in here? My daughter’s belongings and they went through you know, all their belongings, but if they were looking for for drugs, I guess, and we’ve had patients that have driven to California to obtain medicine for their loved one and on the way home, they get pulled, they got pulled over. Yeah. And so well.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 18:43
Three months took about three months for Texas to say, okay, we’re in bull abide by the new scheduling system. cvds d scheduled no longer class one and once that happened, yep. Bella had no issue. They were okay. It’s not an illegal drug anymore. If you want to research with it, it’s fine. You just have to go through the normal, appropriate protocol approval and all the things to do experiments. We’re not allowed to just wake up one day and do an experiment. I mean, that’s how it used to be done, but not not today. So, you know, I’ve got to file all the protocols and what I plan to do and get approval of that. But yeah, they were fine with it. And even if you look in the, you know, stratosphere of the internet, you’ll see a press release from that year in which Baylor was seemed to be very proud of we’re teaming up with med Terra. And the point was, science needs to step up here. I mean, if it doesn’t, you know, the whole area is going to be flooded with unsubstantiated claims. So let’s get on it. And since that Baylor’s issued even a couple of press releases, and they’ve been I think, overall, I think they’ve been pretty proud and happy with the relationship.
John Malanca 19:53
When you say experiment, you can’t just come and do experiments. So are there certain things you come after that you’re going after? Is it Are you doing anything on on cancer studies with CBD? Are you doing stuff on autoimmune disease and pain? I mean, how does that work as a scientist?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 20:11
Question. It’s a it’s a loaded question. Oh, really?
John Malanca 20:19
Okay. You know, you were saying, we just can’t experiment like we used to, and you have to, you know, fill out the form, stuff like that. And so as a scientist, you go in there and say, This is what our next project will be.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 20:30
There’s a lot of oversight. Let’s say that Baylor is a large institution, Baylor, Baylor, I mean, Baylor College of Medicine, large institution, they they’re going to protect themselves, they’re going to and it’s also very important that they make sure any animals we use or anything that we do is safe, appropriate, humane, ethical, all those things. And so, the way it works is if I want to do for example, an experimental off topic, but if I’m going to do an experiment on you know, als or or diabetes or whatever it may be. What I need to do is very clearly write out and there’s a system in place write out a protocol of how the experiment is going to go, how I can justify it, what my fallbacks are, how we’re going to make sure it’s properly cared for run, what resources and reagents I’m going to need, all that stuff has to it goes through a group, specifically designed to look over to make sure that it’s a safe, justified efficacious study, and only once they approve it, and I actually love to do the experiments. And so it’s not that I can’t do any of the experiments you just mentioned, it’s just not what I’m saying is I can’t possibly get that done in a day, because it’s gonna take a month just to get the approval to even start on it. So the good news for anyone listening is if you want to look at it that way, it’s all very well regulated and checked over.
John Malanca 22:00
So So with these regulation and I don’t know that side of the industry of the of the science portion is so is met with medterra doing the studies with Baylor and I don’t know if it’s a partnership or how well you would legally call it I know you see a lot of red tape, but are they supplying the CBD that is going towards your experiments? Or how is that working?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 22:22
Yes. So medterra entered into what is called a sponsored research agreement with Baylor. And the way that works is they fund the work and they send the product. And in return, they get data. And I am allowed and expected to publish through the peer review scientific process. Which I could get up on a pedestal right now and discuss how that process has been horribly subverted over the past several months, but go through the public Location process and publisher results good or bad and I was very clear with material I do not control or manipulate the data. I am only reporting it if it works this way great if it works the other way. Are you ready for that? And I was told point blank Absolutely. Because if it works the other way we should we’d rather know and change it yeah then just blindly move forward. So that is how that relationship works. So yes, when I am working with CBD in the lab, it is not a research grade product I got from some chemical, you know, plant or something. It is literally the CBD that med Terra is selling on shelves. And that includes the CBD that we used in the the canine trial that I assume we’ll talk about, but yeah,
John Malanca 23:43
I want to talk about that too. Because I I personally use cannabis on our animals with with pets and so before we before we get in there, if you want to finish your your your thought process.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 23:55
I know we’re we’re good. I’ll just keep rambling on if you let me gotcha.
Unknown Speaker 23:59
Um So before we Move on
John Malanca 24:02
cannabinoids. And if you want to share with our listeners what a cannabinoid is. And I always say I hear I’ve heard everything 113 to 160 or under 140. Our two months ago is about 120. On how many cannabinoids are out there? What on your on your scale? Where are you?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 24:23
Oh my gosh, no, don’t don’t put that on me. I don’t know how many there are. Okay, I can tell you there’s about two endogenous ones. So I people may or may not know. So our bodies actually make what are called endo. cannabinoids like we actually produce products that would fall in that category and they’re called that because they hit the CB one CB two receptors, naturally. And so and those receptors are involved in things ranging from pain to
sleep, two things like that.
CBD what is called CBD
is the exogenous form from hemp that we take that also can bind to those receptors, cb one, cb two, but it also binds to several other receptors including the serotonin receptor, which I think is very interesting. And it binds to at the moment I’ve seen anywhere between six and 10, maybe well vetted inflammatory receptors that CBD interacts with to reduce inflammation. So it’s a very multifaceted molecule that is I’m curious to see where it goes. As far as how many there are. You can get better than I can I don’t have an answer.
John Malanca 25:44
Sorry, are you able to experiment with THC in your your lab or because Texas is not a federally illegal state is is that?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 25:56
No, no. Okay, yeah, you got it. Right. So first off, medterra has no THC. Exactly. They don’t use THC in any of their products. It’s one of their I think calling cards one of the things they’re very cautious about, as far as researching it. It is it’s still a class one. So it’s not that we can’t research it, but not certainly not freely. We cannot just get THC shipped to us to research and so up to this point. Now I have not researched
John Malanca 26:23
anything with THC. So you said classified a couple times, do you? Well, I guess with the farm bill is changed but but if there was a gray area for a while of where we’re at CBD fell under because of the federal government still said because it was from the cannabis plant. We go into that as well. It still would probably fall into the schedule one scheduling and what are your thoughts of the scheduling scheduling of no medical benefits, but the patent is on medical benefits as benefits of CBD as a neuroprotective Have you got Have you researched that? That portion of it or and if not, we can skip
Dr. Matthew Halpert 27:05
over it. Well there’s there’s, there’s, it’s again, it’s a heady subject you know, various drugs like I said before they’re scheduled by the DEA and schedule one or your you know nefarious narcotics LSD heroin cocaine and yes marijuana has up to this point is is on that list or has been at schedule one and then included CBD. And of course if you can, you know if we can be fair CBD, certainly in past years was not as well known. So it just got lumped in with marijuana like they wouldn’t know oh, this particular you know protein is okay. As evidence started showing up. And of course we should give a shout out then to GW Pharma getting epidiolex FDA approved, which is CBD, it became pretty clear that CBD did not belong on the DEA. Schedule one narcotic list. And so they dropped it. Now, the other organizations are very quick to tell you that does not actually mean it is now legal. Yeah, it just means that the EA is not coming after you if you have it. And yes, there’s been a lot of confusion, you know, what is the FDA say? What’s, you know? What does the government say, you know, what are we allowed to do? And it feels like a lot of them are kind of in a standing pattern just waiting to see what happens here. But to the second part of your question, or somewhere in there, the FDA what, what their role mostly is determining medical, in the drug space in the pharma space is determining medical benefit. It is a product safe, you know, safe, well tolerated, generally, and is it efficacious against a certain indication, and do the rewards outweigh the risk? And so, you know, GW went through years and years of clinical trials to show that dialects Yes, it can help certain seizure disorders in children and the reward outweighs the risk and the FDA agreed and said yes, that’s FDA approved to date that is the only FDA approved CBD. Yeah product though.
John Malanca 29:15
It’s funny because they came out originally with Sativex with a one to one ratio for MS patients and which was available I think in eight to 12 countries not including the United States and so everyone in the United States replicated that in 2.75 milligrams THC, 2.75 milligrams of CBD, a one to one ratio, and they were having success with a lot of MS patients. And so I think they went back and go, okay, we, we didn’t make money on this one. Let’s see if we go out there. And I have friends that have used up a dialects and have had success and I think it’s very beneficial for the patients that don’t live in legal states. One but also very beneficial for the patients that Cannabis cost money and insurance companies are covering this medicine and seen it work. As I say medicine even seen it work as medicine. And I know in the hemp industry, I don’t think you’re allowed to say medicine correctly, you’re not allowed to say patients.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 30:16
So, okay, so, yes. So Sativex is actually still
John Malanca 30:20
around and still going it is not available here. Yeah, not now.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 30:23
It’s in several clinical trials. It’s not available to you, but it’s a it’s moving through clinical trials are available
John Malanca 30:28
as a patient is in other other countries are able to buy it, right. Well, I can’t.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 30:37
So clinical trials are basically just large experiments. Yeah, using humans. So right, they’re not there. They’re the test subjects. They’re not buying it and using it recreationally. They’re using it to see if it actually addresses the need. And if enough proof comes out of those trials that it does, the FDA will most likely approve it.
John Malanca 30:58
For, for for United States.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 31:01
But to your other point? Absolutely. And CBD companies hemp companies are getting. I mean, there’s been so many warning letters and I don’t know that they don’t understand. You cannot and should not quite frankly, it is a disservice to make medical claims without the backing of any legitimate scientific studies and the FDA. Yeah, they don’t like that. So if you’re just if you’re medterra, for example, or any of the other ones and you say take our CBD definitely will help you with your headaches. No, how can you say that? No, you cannot it’s not a medicine. They’re not patience is not you cannot do that. I will tell you. I mean, there are studies where the placebo effect, meaning the patients taking nothing, they report great responses sometimes as high as 40% of people will will report a positive response in the placebo. Group. Yeah, so just because a CBD company can say, Look, I’ve had five people call me today to say CBD helps with their headache. So what that’s like people? What if those are the only five out of 1000? Yeah, don’t you, you’ve got to do the FDA rigors the clinical trials to be able to make any claims. That that I would say are that strong. So you can certainly point towards data, you can suggest you could hem and haw about, hey, it might be beneficial and, you know, arthritis, but until you actually get that stamp of approval from the FDA, I would highly advise against making quote unquote, medical claims or calling customers patients.
John Malanca 32:43
Yeah. And back to medical claims. I see a lot of companies out there that, you know, have on their labeling, they’ll say that and I think you know, if you go to fda.gov type in CBD, you’ll see some of these letters and it’s scary. I mean, you don’t The FDA, you know, on your back about anything like that.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 33:05
I mean, the concern there just, I’ll finish up on this concern is that people, most people are not doctors. Most people do not know what’s going on biologically, they don’t know what the problem is not at a base level and they don’t know what they need to treat it. And if they are misled into thinking that they’re getting actual benefit from an unproven and remember, unregulated product, they may not go get the therapy they actually need from their doctor. And, you know, we can’t, I mean, I don’t want to be responsible for that. So yeah.
John Malanca 33:42
That’s why I never used the word cure. And, you know, for that, I mean, you can’t even cure common cold. And so I just, you know, when I see companies out there that that have that out there and make these claims, especially, you know, being a spouse, a caregiver, you know, for My wife, I put myself in other people’s position when you have those that diagnosis something as severe as cancer, any anything, you will do anything in your power. And the last thing you want to do is be sold something or read me, you know, because there are a lot of companies that sell on fear and it’s scaring the patient of mine. And I just think that’s just the wrong list. I never want to give give false hope. I am a fan of hope. I’m a fan of, you know, we’re here to support you and give you that hug that a lot of patients don’t receive in need. And so, you know, doing things like this, this show, you know, gets us that gets us information out of what to look for what to avoid what to ask. You know, I always say ask the questions. Don’t be afraid even if you live in an illegal state like Texas, talk about it with your doctor. It’s not illegal to ask questions, of course. I want to go into so in your position, are you We become the medical director. how’s that gonna be? Cuz I know you’re you’re trans? I don’t know if it was. I think I’ve met Tara. Yeah, we’ve met Tara.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 35:08
So, of course, I still am an active researcher and faculty member at Baylor. But I also, you know, I’ve been a consultant for Medicare. And I think that’s sort of evolved in I think the term you’re looking for is Chief Scientific Officer right there. Yeah, sure. And so my role went from, you know, doing some research, you know, double checking their products, giving them some suggestions on, you know, ways to improve it or something like that to my job is to keep them up to date, to know what the latest science is to make sure they’re at the front of it. Using, you know, going after the right things, doing the right things, you know, what indications are being studied? We absolutely, I say you can’t make claims but we can absolutely talk about scientific publications, data, you know, things that are out there that are very encouraging or pointing towards us. Way, helping them with their you know, I’ll tell you, I mean not to spill any beans but medterra is soon to launch. I don’t know the specifics and I would call it an advanced line. So CBD is not very bioavailable. It’s kind of like curcumin, it’s one of those things where you actually only probably get benefit of maybe two it’s been shown to to 20% of what you take, probably actually makes its way to where you want it to go. And the rest is either excreted or metabolized down to something fruitless. I mean, in general, your body is not thrilled. If you want to picture it. It’s almost like taking you know, eating a screw your body or a nail, you know, your body’s like, this is not what I want. This is not water or something to easily break down. So a lot of people you know, they think they’re taking 100 milligrams, maybe two milligrams by the time they’re actually their body has digested it. Knowing that and being scientifically forward Thinking that terrorists coming up with a line that alleviates all those issues and drastically improves the bio absorption of CBD and also avoids what’s called first pass metabolism of the liver. And so it’s going to help avoid drug drug interactions or liver issues and things like that. And so that’s just an example of staying on top of the science and what you know then what direction they should go.
John Malanca 37:26
Yeah, and I can talk about maybe you can’t but cannabis is not a one size fits all CBD is not a one size fits all.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 37:33
Absolutely. You know,
John Malanca 37:34
I’m I’m highly sensitive to, you know, butter and salt and stuff like that. If I take CBD, you know it’s in the morning or I take it take it late at night and I have to find my sweet spot. Because sometimes we can add enough I take too little too much. I can be up all night sleep is really important to me. And so, like you said more is not all He’s better and made a great point. You know, I always talk about it’s not a one size fits all you should look at age, weight, current health condition, sensitivity, and then drug to drug interactions and as Good, I’m glad glad you brought that up because I it is important to know, you know if there are drug to drug interactions to can you talk about, and I want to go into this, and I believe he did a peer reviewed study in a journal on pain about CBD with animals. And so I want to get into that, but let’s go right into that. Let’s talk about what you’re doing. With that,
Dr. Matthew Halpert 38:38
that study? Sure. All right. So yes, we, just a few weeks ago, it hasn’t been out too long.
We did get did have a paper published in the Journal of pain paper that went through all the peer review process, the revisions the normal way we published papers in this country. And the paper highlighted a couple of different things, ranging from what we were seeing in the lab to what we could do with CBD and in the world, and on this point, I’m going to mostly speak in my capacity with medterra as their consultant or scientist, and not per se, on bailor behalf, you know, this wasn’t necessarily Baylor doing this, but so in the paper, we are able to in the lab show that CBD, as I mentioned before, reduces inflammation. And it does that through a variety of ways, including Hallmark inflammatory signals, such as TNF alpha, and interleukin six, those are just great examples of if those things are up, you probably have some inflammation going on somewhere. So we saw that in the lab and then we were able to test it in some small inflammatory models not in a petri dish but you know, in an appropriate animal models and we saw a shirt now CBD The cream is reducing swelling, it’s reducing pain. It’s reducing again, the cytokines. So it looks like it’s been very beneficial. And about this point medterra said, is all great, that’s great science, but it’s kind of so what I mean, how does that relate to the real world? Is it really working and someone hopped in there and was like, you know, we sell CBD Do we have a pet line? And I’ve heard people say it helps our dogs, is there a way we could potentially show that actually is real. And you know, it’s safe. And so at this point in the story, I do put my disclosure that the entirety of the canine study was carried out at sunset Animal Hospital, which is if you go to their website, you’ll see they’re actually one of the few ha accredited clinics in the country. I mean, they’re a highly reputable clinic here in the Houston area and we’re worked with them before in other collaboration. So I said to medterra I said, Well, I cannot experiment on dogs at Baylor like I have, they will I cannot be I mentioned before, I will never get approved for that. Can’t do that. But I can put you in touch with sunset they they’re very good clinic. They see a lot of dogs and you know the topic of dog arthritis came up because you may not be aware, but it is estimated 20 to 90% of large breed dogs will develop osteoarthritis in their lifetime. And I was shocked by that. And when you look a little deeper, you’ll see that osteoarthritis in dogs, very similar to arthritis in humans. 35 million Americans have osteoarthritis right now. There’s no cure. I mean, I’ve talked to a rheumatologist. It’s like, yeah, we just give them Advil until they need a hip replaced or knee replaced. We really don’t have anything So let’s get everyone we’re excited. Well, alright, let’s just see what, what’s going on here. So medterra and sunset, you know, worked out the finer details. I can tell you right now there was some discussion of going farther with the study. You know, let’s look at the synovial fluid, let’s do imaging. And sunset was like, it’s kind of a catch 22. They’re like, Ah, there’s not even a publication that says there’s actually any benefit here in the first place. So we’re not going to do this invasive thing or this expensive thing. But what we’re willing to do, we actually have a lot of dogs that have arthritis. We’re very interested in CBD ourselves. So we’ll, we’ll do it. And we’ll go ahead and do some blood draws to make sure everything’s safe liver, you know, liver enzymes, things like that kidney function, and then we’ll use appropriate scoring systems to score the dog’s arthritis. After 30 days of CBD use, so
John Malanca 43:00
orally not topically or orally
Dr. Matthew Halpert 43:02
correct. So, this was a 30 day study. It was placebo controlled. There was a group of dogs that only got placebo for these 30 days. It was double blinded, triple blinded, if you want to count the dogs but double blinded meaning the vet was never given either a placebo bottle, a low dose, bottle height, you know, they were given a one of the groups, they don’t know which group it is ABCD they gave it to the owner. The owner doesn’t know. the undersigned informed consent. Yes, I know I might be in the placebo group. They don’t know. And then owner gave, you know their pet CBD every day, or at least they were supposed to for 30 days, and then come back and again, there were pain there were scoring systems revolving around the dogs, pain and mobility and general attitude, you know, that was being scored by both the owner and the That.
And so they’re all blinded. So they don’t know.
You know, let’s just be honest, we don’t even know what group we’re in. And so what we saw when I got so then I get all the data. They don’t even know what it’s an interesting setup. They don’t know what the results are. They said, here’s the data. And so I kind of put it together. And what we saw what was seen, I’ll say, is the dogs that got the placebo, or the low dose of CBD
didn’t really see any benefit.
The owners didn’t see any benefit the vet, you know, they weren’t more mobile, they weren’t happier. I thought that was a very, very low placebo effect. The two groups of dogs that got either the higher dose of CBD and when I say high were still actually extremely low. This is pretty low. I think the high dose was 50 milligrams a day. Total or the better absorption form of CBD was also in the group but with a lower dose. The dogs in those two groups saw eight 890 percent, I’d say close to 100% of the dogs in those groups saw some sort of improvement to some degree that was qualified by the owners and or the vet. On average in those groups, we saw about 50% 40 to 50% reduction in pain scores. I mean, just honestly, and I told her these are older dogs. Yeah, average age of the dogs was about 1011 years old. 50 basically a 5050 mix of male female great mix of breeds. I mean, all kinds of breeds and that’s all in the paper. You know, the the dog characteristics are there but you know, I got a lot of there were a lot of notes. So my dog so happy and this has gone so great. And I can’t put that in a publication. It’s not objective or scientific, but it was kind of it was nice. I told Matt, as I warned mentor at the beginning, I said, Guys, the data is gonna be the data. Are you prepared? You’re gonna pay for this? I can’t promise you it’ll work. true to form. They said, yeah, we I mean, we want to see. So we’re and I warned them. I was like, Guys 30 days, it’s really short. osteoarthritis is kind of a chronic issue.
I don’t know what kind of benefit we’ll really see in just a month.
And to my surprise, we saw again, there was a pretty significant improvement in what I would call were the arthritic related symptoms of the dogs. And even to me as a scientist, more importantly, the two groups of dogs that saw benefit, were still there was a follow up two weeks later, where they weren’t taking CBD. They still were reporting significant benefit. Wow. So that tells me the CBD wasn’t just masking the pain. Yeah, temporarily, but it was legitimately reducing the inflammation causing the pain and That was still lingering on even two weeks after they had stopped taking it. And so we saw great, I think, impressive efficacy. There were no red flags that popped up in any of the blood works no adverse events, which means nothing. Yeah, nothing catastrophic, no red flags. It was a very went very well. And, yeah. Is the bales that
John Malanca 47:24
baler on the since you’re doing this? And again, this is not this is not these studies were not at the Yes. Medicine. And so Will any studies on humans see taking place at Baylor anytime soon?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 47:42
Yes. Short answer. Yes.
So at this point, a mentor is phenomenally interested in let’s call it the pharma route for CBD like hey, we would love to make If CBD can help, yeah, we’d love to be able to help. We’d love to have an FDA approved product that we can make medical claims on. Of course, I just told you 35 million Americans have osteoarthritis. We just saw it work very well in dogs that outbred genetically diverse study, granted a small study. But could this be beneficial to humans? And we can sit here and play the anecdotal game all day long. I can point to the science I can say, look what happened, you know, in this study, but the reality is, as I said before, if we want to actually make a claim and say, yes, it does, we need to do the clinical trials. medterra needs to do the clinical trials. And Houston is just easily one of the top med centers in the world. I mean, we’ve just got so much that it makes sense to try and coordinate these trials in Houston with all the appropriate rigor and care that goes into that, so we’re not Tarah moving that direction pretty rapidly. And soon enough, you’ll probably be able to read that. Yes, mentors launched a few clinical trials and we’ll see where that goes. And
John Malanca 49:12
where’s their CBD? grown? Is it here in California where they know?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 49:19
So that middlee the better question for, you know, Jay for them. I’m pretty sure.
Unknown Speaker 49:29
So, if you don’t know,
John Malanca 49:30
yeah, just say and we can get Jan the show, you know?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 49:34
Yeah. Yo, by all means. I think it’s grown in Kentucky. Okay. It’s definitely in America. And it’s very, like I said, well sourced and cgmp certified, but unless they’ve changed I don’t believe it’s in California.
John Malanca 49:49
Gotcha. What else you studying over there? Hey, Woody Woody, in your science with
Dr. Matthew Halpert 49:55
my spare time.
John Malanca 49:57
As you as you mentioned, your husband You’re a father of three, what’s happening with this whole COVID thing? Are you are they? Are they letting the kids go back to school? Or are you and your wife having to do homeschooling stuff right now?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 50:10
So right they of course, like everywhere shut down school. It’s I’ve got three, three daughters 10, eight and four. Wow.
And the four year old is really on it. So
yeah, they shut everything down. They’re planning to send the kids back to school in person, but it’s still a few weeks. It’s been bumped a few weeks. So I don’t I’m not even sure if there’s an official start date locked and loaded just yet. But yes, the plan is to send the school. I know my wife could
John Malanca 50:46
could use the bridge. It’s funny. I talked to some parents, you know, friends, and half of them are using it. Are you using your kids back? Yes, we take them.
Dr. Matthew Halpert 50:55
I had I had a call earlier and I thought I would do it without my Everybody says I took them out. I hear my four year old screaming. Who knows why I’m like, all right, back in. Well, good.
John Malanca 51:09
Okay, well, I’m it’s, it’s funny because we’re in California, my nephew, he goes back to school in two weeks, but again, homeschooling talking to a friend of mine this morning, and his family’s out in Georgia. And they’re all going back to school, you know, in classes and stuff like that. So I don’t know if it’s, you know, making its way down. I think it will stop before it gets to Florida from you guys. But that’s, that’s, uh, you know, we’re all going through a little stuff, right? You know, this pandemic, it’s, I always say is kind of like been like The Twilight Zone, you know, we we toasted in the new year in 2020 things. This is the year you know, next day, you know, stay inside, stay inside and I can tell you about all the other research but in reality it’s
Dr. Matthew Halpert 51:51
right it’s been largely shut down several months.
John Malanca 51:56
so before we get off, so I know mentor has a whole line of products from topicals. To tinctures to pet animal pet pet products as well. In New new things that are coming up they have a nighttime melatonin CBD product that is a capsule or not a capsules can be a tablet that you that is you’re able to snap and that was a call not perforated
Dr. Matthew Halpert 52:24
but when surfer it It’s okay.
John Malanca 52:28
And so you know they get caught. Yeah, they’re they’re looking to get into the, you know, FDA approve of the medical side the pharmaceuticals I think this is where do you Where do you see this plant going for the future? Or where do you you know, what do you see the benefits? What do you see in the future for this?
Dr. Matthew Halpert 52:47
Right? Well, I’ll tell you first what I my opinion, what has to happen. So CBD is not the first fad. It is this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened where Everyone’s rushing for it. Other things have popped up. You know, I’ve seen I mean ashwagandha curcumin, I mean various things. And the reality is either you get serious science behind it. And that means in the clinical space, or you don’t. And if you don’t, it tends to sit on the supplement aisle at your grocery store. And you can take it if you want, but there’s only so much advertising that anyone could do. It’s it’s another soapbox I have but people again, it’s not just CBD that lacks regulation. I don’t know what people who do they think is regulating all those supplements at the grocery store. There’s the FDA doesn’t regulate it says right on their bottle. This has not been looked at by the FDA. So you’re running into the same thing. As I mentioned before, you don’t even really know what you’re getting if you haven’t done your due diligence. So If science doesn’t lead the way, this will pay down and probably end up being swallowed by the eventual legalization of marijuana. And so if we cannot as scientists and doctors show legitimate medical benefit to CBD, I think what will happen is it will it’ll, it’ll shrink, it’ll dwindle and if you see in five years okay marijuana is now legal people will say, Well, why don’t I just take marijuana then I just smoke a joint Why am I taking CBD which is just a part of it. And you know, it’s going to be something the industry is going to have to deal with. On the other hand, if at that point, there’s a gamut plethora of clinical trials, pushing CBD through the regulated scientific process. And yes, CBD in and of itself is beneficial. It’s safe and beneficial for this for this for this. Well, that’s it Game Changer right there. Now you’re okay. I mean, the reason I’m going to still stick with my CBD is it was vetted to help with osteoarthritis. I don’t know if marijuana is gonna help. I don’t know if curcumin is really going to help. I mean, my grandma said it did. But who knows? Whereas this is going to be able to point to No, no, that’s, that’s been done through a trial that’s been FDA approved. So, I do think Medicare is not the only one, I guess, several of the larger players in the space, you can see are starting to gear up to move to have that those arms. I think they see that and maybe I’ve been a part of that push. I don’t know, because I’m pretty. In all the things I do. I’m pretty open about that, like this needs to happen. For the good of the industry. You need to actually do these tests. Prove it. Don’t just say it, prove it. I think CBD may be very helpful for osteoarthritis. But that’s just one man’s opinion based on a study, you know, like, no, let’s prove it. Let’s Getting the trials and actually see if there’s benefit or not and it’s risky
might not work but
John Malanca 56:06
again, it just start like I appreciate that you know the step type I always talked about is the ripple effect throw there throw the pebble in the pond in this information gets out there and so just like you said, your background was not for the past 10 plus years has not been a cannabis. Known CBD now it is and what populates when they go you go Your name is is Dr. Matthew Harper and CBD and so but you know, again, getting this information out is important. Matthew, I appreciate your time appreciate what Medicare is doing, and taking it to the next step next level of showing the benefits of this plant and this endless cabinet and I’m looking forward to what the future has to bring for all of us and this industry and and for, I can see it for patients. So I thank Dr. Robert, I appreciate you again your time and Love to get you back on the show. Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Thank you, everyone. This is John Malanca with United patients group being formed and be well we’ll see you soon. Bye bye