The Shocking Truth About Marijuana

The Shocking Truth About Marijuana

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: The Shocking Truth About Marijuana

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with Me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And guys, I was just mentioning this before we came on air here today, literally today we're recording this show. Today is seven years that producer now and I have been doing the show together. So hats off to producer Alan and for all his help with the show for the last seven years. But more importantly, I wanted to talk about, one of the reasons I brought that up during sort of pre show discussion was we've been doing the show literally for seven years now, and we've never talked about this subject. We're going to talk about today. And I think it's very pertinent and a subject that literally just happened in the state of Ohio last week during the last election, and recreational marijuana was passed and legalized, I should say.


And it's happening in more and more states now. We'll talk with our guest about how many states and things like that. We're going to talk about some things specific to the United States and how things are the state of that whole industry and some of the things. But one of the things we're going to talk about is a little bit kind of what you typically hear, I think is a little bit of a contrarian view. And that's some of the dangers that are associated with marijuana that a lot of people maybe don't understand. I know I don't. I'm a neophyte in this space, and so I know I'm going to learn a lot from this. But this week, our guest is none other than Dr. Raymond Wiggins. He is the author of “Weeding Out the Lies About Marijuana”.


He is a dentist and an MD. He has been at the forefront of healthcare for almost three decades. He has served in many leadership roles, including the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, Dental Review Committee, and the Edward C. Hines Academy Foundation Board. He has owned a practice for over 20 years. He has personally sedated over 27,000 patients. So he might know a thing or two about this. And he's seeing the devastating effects of marijuana in his patients, family and friends. He began investing the subject, and what he found shocked him.


Dr. Wiggins, welcome to Mr. Biz Radio.


Thanks so much for having me, Ken.


Yeah, so very curious to learn more about this whole subject. Like I said, just as we were talking about before we came on air, know, just got legalized recreational in Ohio here in the last week or so. And so I've had a lot of conversations with family and friends about it, and most of the people that I know just, they're not really familiar with it. And so I'm really curious to learn some about that. But before we get into that a little bit, if we could start, Dr. Wiggins, with sort of your entrepreneurial journey, sort of what led you to obviously mentioned during the intro, a dentist an know and then getting know, kind of taking a focus of what you're doing now in the marijuana industry and just kind of walk us through that process, if you would, in that journey.


Well, my dad was in construction when I was growing up, and he had a business of his own. My mother was actually a real estate agent. She had a business of her own. And the plan was always for me to go into business with my dad. That had been a plan from the time that I was very young. And it was in the late eighty s that I was getting close to being finished with college. And my dad came to me. We had a really great relationship.


And he came to me and he said, hey, son, I would love to have you in business with me, but I'm starving right now. Construction, there's just nothing being built. He said, if you come in with me, you're going to starve as well. He said, I'm happy to have you with me. If you want to do that, you're welcome to. But if I was you, I would go into something else and at least have that to fall back on. If you ever want to do this, later maybe, but for right now, I would do something else. So I started in public relations, the company that I was with, I only stayed with them about six months. I didn't like that.


And then I went into corporate America with a major retailer that you would know. And they put me in what's called their executive development program. And it was really kind of like getting an MBA. It was really a great experience. I got to work right alongside the top people in that company. But I saw one thing that I didn't like, and that was that, for instance, the president of the division that I worked for, I was in his office all the time. I'd go in and talk with him, and I asked him, I said, well, how many places have you lived?


And I called his name, and he said, well, I've lived 23 different places with this company. And that was in about a 20 year period.




And I thought, wow. That's not a way that I want to raise my family. So I started looking into other things, and I decided that I wanted to go into medicine, and that's something I had thought about a lot of times. And so wound up wanting to go into oral and maxillofacial surgery, went to dental school, medical school, six year residency after that. And then after I finished my residency, I decided to go a different route than most people. I decided to start my own practice.


And it's a decision that most people don't go that way, but it's a decision that's been a great decision, and I've really enjoyed it.


It's interesting. So I guess I'll ask. It's a great segue. So why did you make that choice? Versus maybe, I guess, the alternative typically would be to go join a practice. Correct.


That would be the way that most of my friends went and most people go. And today there's a lot of private equity money, so even more people are going that direction and working for someone else rather than going into a practice that they may eventually become a partner in. But I decided to go that route because I wanted to control my destiny, control where I lived, control my hours. And like I said, for me, that was a great decision. I enjoy controlling the things that I'm doing a lot more.


Yeah. And so from there, you pivoted now, and your focus is in the marijuana industry. What sort of led to that decision and leading you down that path?


Well, marijuana is very personal to me. I have three close relatives that died young, and I have no doubt that they'd be with us today if not for marijuana. There's a lot of substance abuse in my family. I'm from a large family, particularly on my mother's side. But on both sides of my family, there was a lot of heavy substance abuse. And particularly these three men who died young, they were all very heavy marijuana users, and one actually died just a few years ago.


He had smoked marijuana very heavily for about 30 years, and he had a sudden heart attack, and it was directly related, in my opinion, to marijuana. And then a close family member of mine, another one is a young man who went off to college, got in with a group of guys who were smoking marijuana, and he had never smoked it before, but he saw these guys seemed to be doing well. They didn't seem to be having any problems.


And after only a few times, he began developing psychosis. He was having paranoid delusions. He thought people were chasing him. He got into his car, started driving. Thankfully, he saw pretty quickly that he couldn't drive very well. So he just pulled over to this road, but still thinking that people were chasing him, he went to a convenience store where someone saw him there and saw that he really wasn't doing well. And they got his phone, called his mother, they called 911, and he wound up spending a significant amount of time in a psychiatric hospital.


Unfortunately, he was never able to go back to college. So seeing that, that's the personal side and then the professional side, I see significant anxiety in my patients who smoke marijuana. It takes about two and a half times more anesthesia to keep these people sedated when they use marijuana, especially if they're using heavily. And then the last thing is, it takes about 60% more pain meds after surgery for us to keep these patients comfortable.


People think that marijuana reduces pain, but in reality, when you come down from it, there's what's called hyperalgesia. There's more pain. And so seeing those effects in my patients family and friends, I began investigating. And what I found, as you said, it shocked me.


Yeah, interesting stuff. Well, we're just dipping our toe in the water here, guys. We got to hit a break, and we're going to come back and talk to Dr. Wiggins with more things about, first of all, I want to get some of the nomenclature. I don't know about you guys, but I'm unfamiliar with a lot of terminology, and we're going to have him help with that.


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All right, welcome back to it's time for Mr. Biz Tip of the week. And this one's a short one. But the tip this week is culture is queen. Anyone who listens to the show knows I close every show out with cash flow is king. But culture is queen. Just right there next to it. Super, super important you get what you tolerate. And we've talked about this on different tips over the years, et cetera. But the real important part about this is if you tolerate bad behavior, negative type of activity, and people acting in a bad way and people not pulling their weight, what happens is you end up losing your superstars because superstars get frustrated because they have to pull the extra weight, et cetera. And so while you think you might be doing someone a favor, you're actually hurting things.


And so again, culture is queen. You got to have a really good culture. You got to make sure there's accountability, et cetera. And we can dive into that much deeper on other shows, but that is the Mr. Biz Tip of the week. This week, culture is queen. Again this week, we're talking with Dr. Wiggins. You can find out more. First of all, you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, go to his website, We'll put that in the show notes as.


So I guess, Dr. Wiggins, I mentioned this before we got started. Forgive my ignorance. I don't understand a lot of the terminology. I hear this terminology thrown around, and I don't know the differences between a lot of these things. So, for example, cannabis versus marijuana versus THC versus CBD. You hear about the delta ATHC. Can you clear some of this up for me? Because it's pretty muddy water for me right now.


Yeah, absolutely. Marijuana is obviously, it's a mind altering substance, and it comes from the cannabis sativa plant. And that plant contains about 540 chemical substances, and approximately 120 of those are what's called cannabinoids. Let me clear up what each of these is. There's THC and CBD, which are the main cannabinoids, the main active substances in the cannabis sativa plant. Okay, cannabis and marijuana, those terms are often used interchangeably, and it causes a lot of confusion. But technically, the cannabis plant can refer to.


Cannabis can refer to the genus of the cannabis sativa, the genus in the specieS. So cannabis is the genus, but a lot of people use that in exactly the same as they use the term marijuana. Technically, marijuana is used for the parts or the products from the plant that have a higher THC, which is the mind altering substance that's in the marijuana plant or the cannabis plant. And if it has less than 0.3%


THC, then it's hemp, and that's legal in all 50 states. But if it has more than 0.3 THC, then it's considered marijuana. And again, THC is the substance in the cannabis plant that causes the mind altering effects. And then there's CBD, which is the other main ingredient, main substance, that's a cannabinoid and it's supposed to be non mind altering. But the problem is that there really are some mind altering effects with CBD as well, and especially because much of the CBD that's out there has THC in it. So I hope I haven't muddied the waters too much there. I hope I've cleared it up for you a little bit, but I'm happy to answer any questions that you have regarding that. And then I can talk about delta Eight too here in just a few moments.


Yeah, no, that's interesting because it does help me, because again, I was under the same impression. I hear a lot of people say I feel like they use interchangeably, like cannabis and marijuana. I assume there was some difference, some technical difference at least. So I appreciate you clearing that up. And then THC versus CBD. So yeah, let's go to the Delta Eight THC. I hear about that. And then I want to talk a little bit, which I think will be a good segue, probably into potency. I know we talked before we came on air about the differences between generations ago to now.


So let's start with delta Eight, though, if you would.


Well, THC comes in several forms. In the cannabis plant, there's Delta Nine THC is what we're talking about most of the time. If you just hear the word THC, people are generally talking about delta nine because it's the most common and the most potent of the THCs in the cannabis plant. Delta Eight is in much lower quantities in the cannabis plant. It's a psychoactive substance, but it only has about half or three quarters of the potency that delta nine does.


The main substance that is in the cannabis plant again is delta nine, but the delta Eight is so low that they have to actually extract CBD from a hemp plant and then they chemically alter it and turn it into delta Eight THC. Technically, in all 50 states the delta Eight THC is legal, but when it goes through that synthetic alteration in a lot of jurisdictions, it's no longer legal. Also, it's really difficult to separate out the delta Nine from the Delta Eight. So anytime they're making the delta Eight, there's always going to be some delta nine in there. And when they concentrate the delta Eight to give a better high, when they make delta eight, they generally concentrate it a whole lot so that it gives a very similar effect to delta Nine. Well, when they do that, there's also some delta nine in there in the vast majority of delta Eight.


And so if you take a drug test for that reason and also drug tests, a lot of the drug tests can't really differentiate between delta Eight and delta nine. So if you're using delta eight and you get drug tested, you're taking a chance that you're going to lose your job and lose your livelihood and potentially a lot of other legal ramifications from it. So although it is technically legal, really, it's a legal minefield.


Got you. Okay, so to touch on a little bit, if you would, for the viewers and the listeners, I know you filled us and me and producer out a little bit on some of the differences. I think a lot of, I know, I was completely unaware of the difference in potency of what was 20, 30, 40 years ago compared to now.


Yeah, if you go back to 1969, to Woodstock, the potency of marijuana at that point, the amount of percent of THC that was in it was usually 1% to 2%. If you got the really good stuff, that was about 3%. You fast forward to 1995, and it's about four times that today. The average potency of marijuana is 23%. And that higher potency marijuana, anything above 10% is considered high potency. And high potency marijuana carries a four times risk of addiction, and it also carries many more problems.


As far as problems with your brain, problems with your heart, problems with many other parts of your body, including your immune system and your fertility, your oral health, et cetera. And one of the biggest things is mental health. There's a tremendous increase in the mental health issues when we're talking about these high potency marijuanas that we have today.


Interesting. Well, look, we're going to hit a break here. I want to make sure during the next segment, I want to touch on, first of all, a couple of different things. Edibles versus smoking. I don't know if there's a big difference there. I want to talk a little bit about that as well. As you touched on it and you started to allude to a little bit there, Dr. Wiggins. But sort of some of the effects that marijuana has on the body, whether that be your brain, your heart, your lungs, et cetera, and then mental health, maybe delve into that a little bit more, sort of the State of the Union, if you will, of the marijuana cannabis industry in the United States.


So, guys, we're going to hit a break here again, Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Come back after the break. We'll continue talking about cannabis.


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All right, welcome back to show, and let's get into it. We got a lot of stuff to cover here, guys. So I want to make sure we get through some of this stuff, because I still have tons of questions. During the break, I was writing a bunch of questions, and I'm like, trying to, like, okay, what I want to make sure we focus on. So first of all, edibles. Like someone taking gummies, edibles, whatever they might be, versus smoking it, is there a difference?


What's the significance of that?


There's a big difference. Usually the potency of edibles is significantly more. They're able to pack a lot more in there. The biggest issue that you have with edibles, when you smoke marijuana, when you smoke it, it's about 30 seconds and you're high, and the peak effect is in about five minutes. And then it slowly goes down from there. When you eat an edible, when it goes through your digestive tract, it's extremely variable as to when you get the peak effect.


And so what happens with edibles, especially people that don't know what they're doing with edibles, people that are new to that, they'll eat some, and 20 minutes later they think, wow, I'm not high. So they eat some more, and 20 minutes later they eat some more, and then you see overdoses with that. So there's a lot more calls to poison control centers from edibles than there are from smoking marijuana.


Yeah, it makes sense. And I guess I learned something there because I was thinking it's probably about the same, but it makes perfect sense what you're saying. If smoking it, you get a much more immediate impact compared to ingesting it and having to go through the digestive system. It makes sense. And I could see that where maybe someone who talked to a friend or whatever that smokes it and then tried an edible, and they talked to their friend, and they're like, their friend's like, yeah, you should feel it pretty quickly thinking of the smoking aspect of it. And if you're an edible and you're like, oh, this isn't having an effect on me. Like you said, I could see easily where people would sort of double down. Well, let me take a little bit more. Like, I don't know enough about this. I must not have got enough. And I could see the dangers in that.


So I guess let's dive into it. We got about six, seven minutes left here. So what are some of the effects that marijuana has on the body in mental health as well? Because I think a lot of it seems to be not exactly what you always hear in the mainstream media.


Yeah, obviously, everybody understands that there's immediate effects to marijuana, the short term effects. But what most people don't know, what a lot of doctors don't know, what I didn't know until I really started looking into it, is there's a lot of long term effects to marijuana. There's problems with the brain. There's two major studies that have come out, and one study showed a drop in IQ of eight points. The other one showed a drop in IQ of five points over the years. And that may not sound like a lot, but if it's eight points, then your IQ is below 71% of your peers.


There's also problems with increases in strokes. People don't understand that there's a 41% increase in a type of stroke called an acute ischemic stroke. It's the most common type of stroke. And in 18 to 49 year olds who use marijuana, there's a 41% increase. Probably the biggest thing that I didn't understand until I started looking into marijuana is the problems with the heart. When you smoke marijuana, for the first hour after smoking marijuana, there is a five times risk of a heart attack.


And then for 2 hours, there's about a 1.7 times risk of a heart attack. There's a study that shows a 63% increase in heart attacks for those who use marijuana for 30 days. There's another major study that's out that shows two and a half times risk of heart attack for those who use marijuana. They actually did a study where people who generally have angina or chest pain, whenever they exercise, they would put them on a treadmill and they would see how long it took them to develop chest pain. A couple of days later, they would do the same thing, except before they got on the treadmill, they would give them a joint, they would let them smoke one marijuana cigarette.


And those people, on average had chest pain 50% faster. And again, I have a cousin who I have no doubt would be here today if not for a heart attack from this drug. If you want to talk about the lung effects, it's not difficult to comprehend. When we think about tobacco and all the problems that tobacco causes to our lungs, we know that marijuana probably has a similar effect. We know for sure when we look at studies that it does.


The American Lung association says that smoking marijuana clearly damages the lungs and it stops them from working properly, and it causes chronic cough, phlegm production, asthma, wheezing, bronchitis, et cetera. And there was a study in the European Respiratory journal that showed that one joint is equivalent to 20 cigaretes. When comparing lung cancer risk and the risk of lung cancer in a moderate to heavy marijuana smoker is five and a half times that of those who don't use marijuana.


And you can go into immune system effects, we're having to think about that as surgeons. Now, is my patient going to heal as quickly as they should? And then so many other effects that we could talk about, but probably don't have time at this point.


So interesting to me, because again, my non doctor neophyte brain here, I'm thinking about, again, what you typically hear and what I've heard. It mellows you out, you're chill, whatever. So it surprises me that you have sort of some of those impacts. Is there any sort of correlation of what sort of maybe creates that situation or causes that situation, especially in regard to strokes and heart atTacks?


Well, if you're talking about the strokes and heart attacks in the blood system, there's a lot of increased inflammation, there's a decrease in the amount of oxygen that's in the blood, and there's an increase in the amount of carbon monoxide in the blood. And when you add all that together, along with a 20% to 100% increase in blood pressure and heart rate for several hours after using marijuana, it's very hard on your heart and your whole cardiovascular system.


Yeah. And that's the part that's interesting to me, because, again, I just always heard that it kind of mellows you out. I would think it would lower your blood pressure, if anything. Right. And your heart rate especially. And so it's interesting to hear that that's not necessarily the case.


Yeah. And when we're talking about being mellow, for most people, it does make them mellow while they're using it. But for some people, it increases anxiety. But for pretty much everyone, it increases anxiety afterwards. It increases the risk of depression. There's between 40% to 80% increase in depression in those who use marijuana. Depending on how much they use, there's up to a six times risk of attempting suicide, unfortunately, especially in young people, for those who started young and who use heavily, and there's a great increased risk of schizophrenia as well. Somewhere between three and a half to seven times risk of schizophrenia.


Again, for those who start young and who use on a regular basis, a great increased risk of schizophrenia there and again, we saw that in the young man. That's a close relative of mine as well. And I hear that all the time. I get a lot of emails from people wanting to talk to me about situations in their lives or in their family members, and I hear about schizophrenia and suicide attempts and even actual suicides from so many people. It's really heartbreaking to hear all the stories that I hear.


Yeah, I can't even imagine we're running out of time here, but just maybe 20 seconds or less. Is there a way? I know you had mentioned, I think, off air, but that a lot of people don't understand that it can be addictive. In your estimation, Dr. Wiggins, is it possible for someone to safely consume cannabis or marijuana, maybe on a small level, or do you think that that's a slippery slope?


I think it's a slippery slope. I don't think there's any way that anybody could say that for them personally that they won't be addicted. Depending on the studies that you look at, they're somewhere between a ten to 30% rate of addiction and it's much higher in young people. Unfortunately, you never know if you're going to be the one. And so it's a very slippery slope. And I think it's very dangerous to think that you can consume and know that you wouldn't be addicted.


Good stuff. We're out of time here. Dr. Wiggins, I really appreciate you coming on show. I learned a ton. I'm sure everyone else will as well. Guys, go out to, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and we'll put all this stuff in the show notes. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king


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