Newsworthy EventI’m Running 7 Ultra marathons on 7 Continents to raise funds to build 7 Schools for under-privileged students around the world - AMA
Dec 21st 2016 by joelrunyon • 24 Questions • 71 Points
I co-founded Imperfect with the goal of closing the loop on the billions of pounds of produce that get wasted every year because they aren’t pretty enough for grocery stores. We deliver delicious but wonky-looking produce to people’s doors for 30-50% less than grocery store prices. Since our launch over a year ago we’ve kept over 1.8 million pounds of food from going to waste, gotten on the cover of National Geographic, and are about to expand to Los Angeles! Find us at www.imperfectproduce.com
Proof: http://imgur.com/a/KErLV EDIT: I have to go and so unfortunately cannot answer any more questions today but had a blast and would love to do another one of these soon. Happy holidays everyone!
Welcome to reddit! If you could tell one thing to every person in the world, what would it be?
Hey, I'm 8 months clean off of heroin, living in Seattle. Have there been any long term studies into the effect of using marijuana during cravings? That's what I've been doing - smoke a big bowl and sleep through it til tomorrow. But am I actually just putting off an inevitable relapse without learning better coping mechanisms?
Edit: Holy wow! I was not expecting such a response from my little throwaway comment. I am totally overwhelmed by this show of support and I'm going to send the day getting to everyone. Thank you!
My understanding is that "ugly" produce is what is sold to companies that turn them into juices, Broth, and pieces so small that the defects are mitigated (such as baby carrots).
Is this the case? If so, how much waste is there if you account for these products?
This might be my favorite question.
And yes. He would go down.
I would just run around around a track one time and he would be winded :) BUWAHAHAHAH
Although I think we'd probably just have a stare down, bust each other's balls, talk about how the other person is lame and then grab a drink.
I would like to spread awareness about brain tumors. Support the fight against childhood cancer. May is brain tumor awareness month. I'd like for people to support it more especially during that month
Well...Bryan has a new book out, full of great advice. -jf
Oh my god, thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing your story. There are absolutely ZERO long term studies about this, but I hope to be the author of those one day!!! Based on the literature, the only things that could definitely enhance your recovery are social support (being meaningfully connected with humans around you) and mindfulness meditation. YOU CAN DO IT.
You're right -- a lot of ugly veggies have a processor market. Apples, oranges, and other fruit tend to. Often even when there is a processor market, farmers are forced to sell it below cost. So we buy some of that stuff and are able to pay a lot more than processors do. But most items -- basically all the field packed product like celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. don't have a processor market and would be left in the field. And then even items like kiwis, eggplants or any other pears besides the bartlett often go to animal feed for 1 cent per pound.
What were both of your "Hey, I finally made it in Hollywood" moments?
What are your thoughts concerning use of cannabis in the NFL?
Just try not to think about what you have. Let your family or whoever take care of that. Just focus on being a kid. You know who I got that from? M. O. M.
When we did Freaks and Geeks I remember sitting around Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, the four of us was just like, THIS IS IT! WE MADE IT! HOLLYWOOD HERER WE COME! Even though that show was so good, when it first came out a not a lot of people watched it, so we kind of had that moment and it kind of was taken away, and then it was given back to us when it played reruns. - jf
Man, I can't even express how much this issue means to me. From a brain/concussion perspective, a chronic pain perspective, as well as a cannabis perspective.
There is clear evidence that these guys experience REALLY nasty consequences of bodily trauma and chronic pain. CTE is a devastating disease. Based on the data, cannabis appears to be a safer alternative to opioids for chronic pain relief. In my opinion, it's irresponsible for professional sports leagues to allow their athletes to engage in activities that would endanger their lives and livelihood, while also preventing them from utilizing safer alternative therapies. Edit: for clarity.
Awesome! SD should actually be sooner rather than later. We are planning on launching in LA in late January/early February and should launch in SD by April or May. You can sign up on our website ahead of time so you're all set up when we launch if you want.
So if these things can be proven by someone who has researched it for over 10 years, what more steps need to be taken to change the law?
Apparently everyone loves it :)
Gray said he wants to video his first response. We are uploading it and will edit this link shortly!
There has been some conversation about that. I dont know if or when that could happen, I guess we have to gauge the temperament of the fans to see if its something they want. But maybe. It would be fun to play with all those people again. It would be like if you (JF) did a Freaks and Geeks movie -bc
Bryan, has anybody ever told you that your voice is like smooth butter dripped over some like mashed potatoes? I fucking love mashed potatoes.
Could you go into why it wouldn't pass fda approval? If it is safe it should be fine right?
Do either of you find it harder or easier to do comedies as compared to dramas?
Hi! My question is about the obstacles you might face with your research since cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. What has been the biggest setback in that regard? Can you receive federal funding? From whom/where do you receive the majority of your funding? (I'm a physiology PhD student in Colorado, and I've always wondered about funding for cannabis studies.) Thanks for doing this!!
Hi Ben! As an Imperfect customer, I first want to say thank you for introducing me to world of crazy fruits and vegetables! I've tried lots of different produce that I normally would never have eaten, and I'm curious -- what is the most "exotic" fruit or vegetable you've ever eaten, and how did you prepare it?
If I did it again, I would have been bigger before I started the cut.
I got down pretty low and I think it was an awesome way to try out manipulating body composition, but I'd like my end weight next time to be in the 190s for a photo shoot again.
That said, we've had some incredible transformations, people losing 80+ pounds, getting off their diabetes meds, etc - so the program works, but I would add a specific muscle-building program for people who don't have size to start on first (actually working on something like that now...so stay tuned).
As for the apps...I'm not sure which ones you're talking about? MoveWell is coming out with an update here soon & the other 3 (paleo.io, paleo recipe pro and cold shower therapy) all just got pushed an updates - so they should be good to go!
Well thanks for that question, Sayshoe. Comedy can be tougher because its more fragile. You can ruin a comedy easier than you can ruin a drama. And thats why I say that. A drama is usually very well scripted. A comedy is not fully baked. You are infusing, on a daily basis, opening them up and trying different things. And because of that a comedy is much harder than a drama -bc
I have been funded by the National Institutes of Health for my entire career. My funding comes from NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is the only federal funding agency that can currently give out money to study cannabis. The rub is, that they will only give you money to study the "addictive" or bad effects of cannabis, rather than the potentially medicinal/useful effects. This is the reason that there is a huge negative bias in cannabis research. The biggest setback to medicinal science is the inability of the NIH to give us money to study the potential benefits. I'm hoping that eventually the controlled substances act issue will go away so that we can overcome this barrier.
The reason NIDA has always had an interest in my work is that my goal has always been to reduce opioid use/abuse/bad stuff. I got in the back door.
Colorado has a state-level grant program, so all is not lost!
Thanks for the support! So happy to hear you're loving it. I cooked lotus root once which is basically this big gnarly root that grows in the muck. You slice it up and it looks like swiss cheese in the middle. Like a big mud tuber. It's really delicious and crispy fried tho. https://www.google.com/search?q=lotus+root&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS723US723&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizoO6EhYvRAhXJLmMKHTBcAZAQ_AUICCgB&biw=1920&bih=974
Would you be interested in me writing an erotic fan fiction about your movie?
Wow. Love how unbiased those grants are. Do you feel this also has an impact in the how published peer-reviewed results are framed?
I feel like I get depressed and alone but I always remember that I have people to help me through those moments. And when I remember that, it makes me feel peppy again. That there are people out there that are cheering for me and it helps me not feel alone and conquer what I'm going through. From Michelle, keeping him involved with people with similar conditions. Like CoachArt. When you do things with CoachArt, there are families and kids with similar situations and we get to be together as a group. Creating opportunities to share within the foundations we are involved with is an outlet for him to share. It creates a support network Gray says I like CoachArt because it helps me meet people who know how I feel and it makes me feel better because other people really don't know how I feel
I find it very flattering when one piece of creative evokes erotic fan fiction, or another piece of creative. So why not go for it -bc
Do either of you have a favorite gas station snack? If so, what is it?
Many of my fellow physicians use urine drug screens as part of pain contracts with patients receiving opioid narcotics. They will refuse to prescribe narcotic medications if patients test positive for any illegal drugs, marijuana included. I've always found this odd because they rarely screen for alcohol use, nor do they refuse narcotics to patients who use alcohol.
My question is, what are the effects of marijuana on opioids from a patient safety perspective? Does marijuana interfere with the metabolism of opioids?
I'd like to say thank you and I'm sorry to hear about what you lost. But just remember, there's always a silver lining at the end of the rainbow!
A slim jim. Its like an old piece of sausage and you chew on it and you're like, oh wow there's a lot of grease in there. And then you realize you just ate a pig snout. Why dont they just come out with pig snout?? -bc
From a safety perspective, all signs point to cannabis LOWERING the opioid risk. When patients have access to cannabis, they self-taper their opioid intake by roughly half. In states with medicinal cannabis laws, there is a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths.
In terms of basic pharmacology, cannabinoids and opioids interact synergistically to produce pain relief (the two together provide much greater relief than they do alone). However, this does not appear to be true for the side effects like sedation and motor coordination (cannabis enhances the good effects of opioids, but not the bad effects). EDIT: A lot of this work was done in animals.
We don't have any evidence of cannabis interfering with opioid metabolism. The precise mechanisms of the drugs' interactions are poorly understood, and the topic of my ongoing research!
Hey! Thanks for writing in. To answer your questions: 1) Yes, to be fully transparent, our growth as a company has not been without its fair share of growing pains. As the volume of orders has grown our customer care, supply, and operations teams have all had to adjust how they do things to keep up. We have strived to keep quality consistent as we have grown but there were certainly times where orders fell through the cracks. I want to sincerely apologize for the fact that you experienced the quality issues you did. Please understand that they in no way reflected neglect on our part, just an earnest effort to adapt to the challenges that growing a small business with logistics as complicated as ours entails. We hope you will give us another chance in the future. In the past few weeks alone we have revamped our produce receiving process, box packing process, and added new quality checkers which has produced a noticeable drop in issues related to produce quality and missing items. We are committed to constantly improving our produce box service and would love to prove it to you if you are interested. 2) Our supply team works with farmers to source "seconds" or produce that cannot be sold in grocery stores because of how it looks. We do not source produce that is moldy or damaged on purpose. That said, each time we work with new farm or source a new product there is a certain amount of time that it takes for the farm to understand exactly what our specifications are for "ugly" produce so it can take some time during the course of a season to dial in on the quality of the "ugly" items that we source. The reality is also that some produce does not survive the journey from farm to warehouse as well as others. We attempt to weed out any items that are not fit to deliver when we receive the produce from the farmers. Produce delivery can be a tricky logistics chain to manage and some items will occasionally deteriorate along the way due to moisture, bruising etc... We are always working to put new protocols into place to ensure that these items are caught and don't make it into boxes. I really appreciate your candor and honesty about the issues you experience. Honest feedback like this helps me and my entire team do our jobs better. Thanks!
Is there any evidence that cannabis increases the half-life of opioids? Or that it can worsen the most severe side effects such as respiratory depression?
To find a cure to brain tumors. I have lots of dreams but that's my biggest dream. I think 7 kids die from a brain tumor each day. I could be wrong about how many but that's scary to me
I love the director John Hamburg. He does most of those Focker movies, I Love You Man, just great guy. He was acutally my professor at NYU so I knew him a bit. WhenI heard that Bryan was interested, it just seemed like a great opportunity to it. I've been doing comedy with Seth Rogen for a long time, and I've been a fan of Bryan for a long time -- so here was a chance to do comedy with a new crew. - jf
I'd be hesitant to say that tachycardia cancels out bradypnea. Heart rate doesn't matter if your aren't oxygenating your blood.
However, it's reassuring to know that cannabis doesn't further depress respiration. Thanks for the answers!
Hi! Just the fact that I'm still here and still going. Any time that I'm feeling down and having a bad day, I remember that I'm a brain tumor survivor and that's not by luck. It's a little luck but we've fought hard
James kissed my nose once while filming. I didnt think it was appropriate for you to use tongue in my nose though, James. His tongue darted out and went up my nostril. I didn't say I didn't like it, it was just unusual. -bc
If either of you were marrying off your daughter or son, what would make you question them "why him?"
I am a person who uses both opioids and cannabis for chronic pain, if you have any questions fire away.
Thanks for the reply Joel and I absolutely plan on using the Hard now- Easy Later affirmation to kick myself into prepping for a marathon. All the best on your mission to raise funds! :)
Hi Gray, thank you for sharing your experiences with us!
What has been the hardest part of dealing with your medical issues? Would be interested to hear from your mother about this as well.
Mr. Cranston, do you ever see yourself directing a film in the future?
I'm currently baked. Any questions for me LUL?
Just going through treatments one after another after another after. Every time I have an MRI or surgery, I'm wondering "am I gonna make it or am I gonna die? Sometimes I wonder if this is the last one." Mom said hardest for Gray has been the anxiety and anticipation of going through treatments. That's ALWAYS been the hardest.
Yes, I do have a script that I wrote that is getting some traction and could possible go next year or the year after that. I'm really excited about it. I directed an episode of a tv series I created call SneakyPete on Amazon -bc
How does your cannabis use affect your craving for alcohol? Would you rather just smoke another bowl?
Save me some Franklin's brisket!
Hey guys huge fans of both of you! Unbiasedly which of you are funnier?
The more cannabis I started to smoke, the less alcohol I felt like drinking. When i became a daily smoker, my cravings for alcohol are pretty much zero to none.
Hello. I was a homeless alcoholic by 19. I managed to weasel into the military, where my alcoholism was accelerated to comical levels. Just, hilarious. Upon separation, I took up smoking pot to try and replace the alcohol with something else. It worked.
Marijuana quite literally saved my life. I now hold multiple degrees and have a very nice University desk job. If anyone ever says it's just replacing one addiction with another, they're right. But only one has negative consequences. The other has been an unimaginable boon to the successes I've had over the past decade.
My wife and I frequent a farm locally where we pick our own produce. I love this idea, and bringing awareness to people that there is perfectly good food to eat, that just may look different then you are used to.
I have been mostly unemployed for 8 months, surviving off web/contract work. I love the idea of promoting this way of thinking. I also live in the LA area, so this is exciting. Which leads me to my question: What would it take for me to get a job working for you and your company? (I have a resume I can send).
1) I didn't leave my job at UPS - I got FIRED (AFTER CHRISTMAS!)
And it sucked.
I sat at home feeling bad for myself for another 3 months after that watching Burn Notice.
I finally managed to get a job ($0/month + commission), and turned that into a $1500/month position before finally working my way up to marketing director in about 18 months and getting a new job.
I didn't quit my job until about 2 years after I had started my blog and I had a side income of about $1500 at the time.
When I DID quit, all I remember thinking was "I would rather go back to working at UPS than deal with this desk job."
Honestly, if you don't have a way to make any sort of monthly income, I would NOT quit your job. Figure out how to make $1,000/month while still at your job. TEST your ideas and if they work, THEN quit to focus on them full time.
You do NOT want to blow through your savings while testing out ideas you're not sure are going to work. That's how most people do the "quit in a blaze of glory, travel the world for 3-6 months, and are back working in the same type of job within in the year" circuit (and I say circuit because there's a lot of them).
Let me know if you have more questions on this!
That touched my heart, thank you. Skip Bo, Monopoly Deal, and Uno Attack. This is from Joe, I can tell you first hand Gray is savage in Skip Bo
I think it was our fight. I really enjoyed it. Its complicated, its like a dance. You have to choreograph it. There's something that happens during the fight that wasn't planned. Once James and I were in a certain position... its like 'well, look here'. I bit down on James Franco's crotch. I got a mouth full of Franco. That was the best and worst moment on set -bc
For both of you. What is a particular moment on set that comes to mind where you couldn't contain your laughter?
I've had two board certified, well respected pain doctors recommended it (in certain words, and with the caveats they can't and won't prescribe it, etc etc) to me over my alternative pain regimen: Norco. I'm totally off opiates now, something I never thought possible and don't have to go through grueling monthly withdrawals anymore, since I started using cannabis. It's been a godsend, and I was devastated to move from CA to TX.
How would Heisenberg deal with James Franco's character in Why Him?
If you'd like more feedback, come join us over at /r/trees
Making moments out of everything. If you're saying something can't be done, someone else is doing it
Speaking of barrels, he would've rolled out a barrel with some sort of chemical in it. And I would say to him “are you going to be good to her? Are you gonna be a gentlemen? Cause if not I will come after you, and no one will ever find you. -bc
Oh, you think I haven't been lurking there for like, ever? But yes, I will take you up on your offer to participate in scientific research. My compensation for your contribution will be witty quips and gracious thanks.
3 years probably!
I would definitely rather smoke a bowl. In fact, i choose not to smoke hours before going out to a bar.
Between Grim Rocket and Grim Chaos, Gray said he likes Grim Chaos better. But it's close
I usually get up pretty early. There's just so much to do. Although I go to bed pretty late. I've been trying to get more sleep, but it's so hard! Bryan left the party early last night! - jf
Thanks for your answer, I have a hypothesis that cannabis reduces ethanol craving, this is great!
Also, as a food waste prevention and socially-conscious company, we naturally do a really good job of donating everything we can and composting the rest.
Hey guys, did you happen to pull any pranks on each other while filming? I feel like you're both the type of dudes to have a little fun on set.
I'd love to see a study done on this.
Personally, I've stopped drinking alcohol completely. It just doesn't interest me as much anymore.
yes. so James was also teaching every weekend that we were shooting this. We worked 14 hours a day on our show. So during the week often, where there was a couch or something, James would take a nap on the couch (in the middle of everybody working), we'd go over and take cast pictures with James while he was sleeping. He can fall asleep anywhere. And he reads more than anybody I know - bc
Joel! What's up man? I'm going to make this a three-fer, I hope you don't mind. 1) How'd you get connected with Pencils of Promise, and why did you choose to work with them over the many other charitable organizations out there? 2) Do you have any kind of daily ritual / routine? Something involving your mornings, or mindfulness, or anything like that? And 3) What are the biggest mistakes you've seen people make when it comes to running long distances? I'm just getting started with my ultra-running an curious to know if there's something you would have done differently / focused more on when you were getting started, knowing what you know now. Thanks for doing this AMA! You're an inspiration, my man.
Good morning, Gray! Thanks for doing this. I think you're awesome and inspiring. Is there a way I can keep following you to hear/read about what you're up to and be able to say hi? PS: Joe is way more popular since he started hanging out with you. Good job teaching him how to be more fun.
I started drinking socially in my late teens and through my early 20s. Nothing out of the ordinary for that age group, but I could drink a fair bit when I was partying or whatever. I started smoking cannabis at about 22/23 and have now not touched alcohol for 5 years. Never made a conscious decision to stop drinking, I just completely lost any desire to.
That is funny about Joe. I have a Facebook site that I can receive messages: https://www.facebook.com/Amazing-Gray-117720188251784/?fref=ts
Considering that Bryan likes slim jims....he probably puts anything on that pizza. - jf
It's pretty rare we would ever use normal produce. Sometimes we use produce that is #1 market grade, but we get it because it's surplus.
Cannabis kills my craving for food(can make me hungry sometimes) and alcohol. How do you feel about teenage use of cannabis? or teenage use of non-psychoactive cannabis extracts such as CBD?
Yes I do. The patient is always right. The patient AND their parents are always right. Listen to your patient's parents and also listen to their parents. Don't look at them like they're crazy. Just trust them. They know what they're going through more than you would know because that's why they came to you
It was pretty good on this one. Bryan would get everybody pizza, or Mexican, everything. Every Friday. It was great. - jf
TL;DR: Don't mess with your developing brain, unless you absolutely have to because of medical reasons (intractable epilepsy etc).
Research has clearly shown that consistent adolescent use of cannabis (under 21 yrs of age) is strongly associated with cognitive deficits as an adult. The human brain does not finish developing until approximately 21 years of age, and intervening with its normal development is usually not worth the short-term benefits of cannabis.
If you or your child are considering medicinal cannabis for your condition, you should have lengthy discussions with your doctor about short vs. long term effects of cannabis. This includes CBD, which we don't fully understand.
For a few items it usually is -- like apples, valencia oranges, lemons, etc. A lot of items don't really have juicing markets like kiwis, persimmons, eggplant, etc. Even the apples and other items with super well developed juicing/processor markets the farmers often lose money selling their produce and sometimes it's sort of a grey area where they may not have a guaranteed buyer and are in the same boat with a bunch of other apple growers trying to offload ugly apples. So the price falls out, they sell it below cost, and sometimes aren't even able to find a buyer so it still does go to waste.
Hey Ben! Awesome concept. What inspired you to start doing this?
Retention of information. Reaction time. Learning new tasks and the like.
I first got interested in food waste in college when my friends and I noticed a bunch of really good food from our dining hall was just getting tossed out at the end of the night. We created this program called Food Recovery Network to recover and donate it and FRN has now grown to 200 colleges. I ran that for 4 years and learned that where the most food is actually getting wasted that could be recovered is on farms. I used my vacation time to take a little trip through California's Central Valley and after talking to a lot of farmers and realizing they all had this same problem of overly strict cosmetic standards I was inspired to move to the Bay last summer to start Imperfect.
Is there any chance that we will see an included guide or email along with our box that can give guidance on storage (refrigerating, lifespan, etc.) of the different fruits and veggies we're getting? Having such a huge box can be tough to get through and I want to make sure that my produce doesn't go bad too quickly. Loving everything else so far, thank you!
Holy crap you guys, have you seen the comments on imgur? That place is the sewer of the internet.
Great question! First time customers automatically get our handy refrigeration and storage guide to help navigate this problem. We totally hear you that it can be daunting to have a big box of produce and worry about parts of it going bad before you finish it. Our company is built around the idea of avoiding waste so we want to make sure this is easy for our customers as well. If you did not get your storage guide for some reason we are more than happy to send you another one! Just shoot us a message on Facebook or email email@example.com and we will help you out. Thanks for your kind words and support!
How far is an ultramarathon and what is your best time running one?
I can only imagine the pain you've been through. If I could ask what exactly is the kind of brain cancer that you have and are you currently in remission?
In a perfect world, how do you see cannabinoids being used in the treatment of opiate addiction?
What is your favorite fruit?
Anything farther than 26.2
You could run 26.2 and then run to Dunkin Donuts and it would be an ultra.
The farthest distance I've gone was 89km at Comrades. I think my best race was Patagonia Ultra (was like 7 hours I think - even after I bummed my ankle). If it had stayed good - it would have been a fantastic race.
From Michelle - he has diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma throughout the brain and spine. He is not in remission, we do the best we can to manage tumor growth and all the effects through chemo and surgeries
I see cannabis as an exit drug, not a gateway drug! That is, I see it as one tool (of several) that could help people transition away from opioids. By substituting a dangerous, potentially fatal behavior, with one that is far less risky, people may be able to re-engage in their lives. Addiction is often discussed as a disease of disconnected-ness. That is, people are looking for a connection with something, and often the only thing they feel connected to is their drug. Why be connected with something that can kill you? Edit: to be succinct.
I'm a watermelon guy personally. More recently, having moved to the west coast to start Imperfect I got put onto persimmons. I'm a big fan of the Fuyu in particular.
I work in a detox facility for people with a wide range of dependencies including Cannabis. We do not use Benzodiazepines to manage anxiety. At the moment the only medication we have available to support the anxiety we see in Cannabis withdrawal or Opiate withdrawal is Quetiapine. I feel this is lacking something.
Could you point me to any studies or give me any suggestions based on pharmacology as to how we might better support our patients?
Because hachiya persimmons are the astringent asshole of fruit unless you let them ripen to the point of juice?
Japan has this figured out with the dried hachiya persimmons. Those are delicious.
WOW, I wish I had something less disappointing to say about this, because this is really the reason I got into science in the first place: to help people with substance use disorders. Mindfulness meditation is really gaining traction for a wide variety of psychiatric and biological disorders. This review might be a great place to start: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27111302
Hey friends! Thanks again for the wonderfully thoughtful questions. This was so much fun. I have to run now but would absolutely love to do a follow up session some time. Happy holidays!
What is your take on the legalization of the recreational use of cannabis? With so many doctors are even wary of it's medicinal uses still, I'd love to hear the thoughts from a Neuroscientist!
It was okay.
I felt great through about 43 miles. The last 13 miles took like 3 1/2 hours. That was ugly!
I may try to redeem myself this year after Two Oceans, but we'll see :)
To not worry. That you're in good hands with your family and your doctors. Make sure your family knows that they need to trust what they believe in and not always trust what the doctors say. And your family will always take care of you no matter what you go through
I am all for recreational cannabis for this reason: adult-use laws create a genuinely separate market for medicinal use. These laws completely eliminate the guise of "I need it for my (insert bogus condition here)." In this space, we can tackle medical issues rigorously, head-on, and in the absence of haters. With the law on our side, we can conduct the research and collect the data that will benefit science and medicine at large.
Hay Adie, Thanks for doing this AMA, and for the importaint work you do. From reading your answers, there seem to be many upsides to Cannabinoids. Are there any downsides or dangers?
To be honest, the 12 ultra is gonna be a mind-game because it's just for time (and you have to go as far as you can).
There will be walking and there will be swearing of some sort. This is my first time getting ready for a race like that so we're going to see how it goes. My plan so far has been
1) Make sure my legs are as strong as they can be
2) Make sure I can do the mileage
3) Train my mind as much as possible.
Even when following specific training plans, most ultra guys I know don't run more than 20ish miles for a training run, so when you get into that 30+ territory, you just have to be prepared to meet your mindset .
The 100k will be similar I expect to what I did for Comrades. Lots of long runs. Back to back medium-long runs to get used to tired legs and then lots of recovery (foam rolling, stretching, cold baths).
I've found a long time ago that I'm very good at pushing myself, but much, much worse about recovering. If I spend more time recovering, I tend to be able to be much, much more durable.
Does that make sense?
My favorite thing right now is cauliflower rice mixed with eggs and bbq spices. Yeaaah
YES, FOR ADOLESCENTS. Research has clearly shown that consistent adolescent use of cannabis (under 21 yrs of age) is strongly associated with cognitive deficits as an adult. The human brain does not finish developing until approximately 21 years of age, and intervening with its normal development is usually not worth the short-term benefits of cannabis.
Three scholarly articles come to mind: An evidence based review of acute and long-term effects of cannabis use on executive cognitive functions. Effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain. Considering Cannabis: The Effects of Regular Cannabis Use on Neurocognition in Adolescents and Young Adults.
I use CBD oil to reduce inflammation from my JRA (didn't feel so juvenile before the CBD) and I feel so liberated! I can make a complete fist again and I feel like I have my 25 y/o body back! When I heard that CBD is going to be Schedule 1 I was devastated and wanted to kick a lead ingot. Reading about the side effects caused by "real" RA meds scare me half to death and I'm nowhere near desperate enough to take them. Why is it that the DEA like to keep barbed sticks up their asses?
I'm working on getting faster - so far, I'm just pretty good at suffering :)
People think that I'm fine sometimes. "Oh, he's fine, he's not chronically sick." I just want to be heard and my story be heard. Michelle says "I think people think you get cancer and they take it out, you get treatments, and it's done. But it's not like that, he's been in and out of treatment for 10 years. Some cancers are too dangerous to remove"
EDIT: To add movies, mom said Chicken Run used to be a favorite. But Gray said emphatically that it is no longer the case. He said "I love Zootopia and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
Dang, what I wouldn't give to know why the DEA insists upon this wretched self-sodomy. I too, was devastated by their recent decision, which, fortunately, seems to be totally illegal and a gross over-stepping of their duties. We'll see what happens there. I'm SO happy to hear that you've found a way to get some relief. I have a close friend with JRA, I truly know your pain, I've had hour upon hour of conversation about this. Thanks for sharing!
What are your opinions on medical cannabis and what is holding you back from CBD trials?
What exactly does "how cannabis interacts with opioids" mean? From a physiological POV?
Having been a heavy pot smoker most of my life.. and having a few years where I was an opiate addict, I've mixed the two more than I'd care to admit..
had to google this :-/
From mom, we actually tried it like five years ago. Had to get him a card. We didn't try it as a treatment, we tried it for anti-anxiety and neuro calming effect. At that point, they didn't have all the blends so the amount they were giving was so much that he would be knocked out. That prevents us from being able to maintain accurate neuro status and that's very important
Yes, from a physiological standpoint.
In my career, I have studied the acute effects of combined cannabinoid/opioid administration (for pain relief). I have also looked at how chronic cannabinoid exposure effects opioid pain relief, and opioid tolerance (the loss of effectiveness with repeated use). I have also studied how chronic opioid exposure effects cannabinoid pain relief.
My ongoing and future studies are to examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind enhanced pain relief and reduced opioid tolerance, as well as the addictive potential (or lack there of) of combined opioid/cannabinoid administration.
Considering the attention given to THC, how much of your research focuses on cannabidiol? Has it been shown to be more or less useful than the psychoactive cannabinoids for things like pain management?
I usually fall asleep for 12 hours when I'm done :). How far was your race?
If you're not positive, negative things are going to happen. You get what you put out. Think positive and positive things happen. Good luck to you! EDIT: From Michelle, there was a pivotal point in which I decided that we were going to live, we were not going to let his treatments take over and stop us from living. You have to live your life. Why fight for it if you're not going to actually live for it?
CBD does not seem to provide as much pain relief as THC or other CB1 receptor agonists. The reason is that CBD does not directly activate the CB1 receptor. My work and others has shown that CB1 activation in the part of your brain that is the headquarters for pain control (the periaqueductal gray) shuts off pain for the whole body. CBD seems to have some anti-inflammatory effects, probably mediated by the immune system, so this may be a different mechanism for pain relief. My personal research does not involve CBD, but I follow this VERY closely!
Wow, good for you! You are a true inspiration.
My mother and I argue constantly about the uses of marijuana and she claims that "even if it could cure cancer", she would be against it (which I HIGHly doubt). What are some solid researches/studies I could show her to prove that it is more than just a recreational habit, and some to prove that marijuana in fact does not kill all of our brain cells?
I do have super-weird dreams post-race. It's like my mind is trying to process WTF it just did.
Doing arts and crafts. I like to do all arts and crafts.
EDIT: From Joe, his Pinterest username is "michelleandgray" He loves Pinterest!
Unfortunately, overcoming stigma like this is going to be a generation-long process. In my experience, this stigma is harder to overcome by showing someone solid data, and the shift really happens when there is an emotional appeal. Lots of videos on Youtube of kids' seizures stopping after an oral tincture, or parkinson's patients having normal conversations after a j. If you REALLY want a list of solid studies, there are literally thousands of them, too many to link here!
I'm about 6 months clean from a crippling opioid addiction. I've used, and continue to use, kratom in my battle. I still smoke cannabis from time to time, but only in very small amounts. I've had more than one cannabis-induced panic attack since quitting opioids. My anxiety is still severe, even after 6 months. Have you done any research on kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)?
I've found that the two go very nicely with each other. Since kratom doesn't cause respiratory depression, much like cannabis, there's no real danger in ODing. Kratom has literally saved my life, and if you haven't done any research on it, I would strongly recommend that you do. For me, it also does a better job than cannabis at attenuating alcohol consumption.
I'd be more than willing to answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability. Thank you for doing this AMA!
I find it's easier to raise money and ask other people to donate & sacrifice when I'm leading by example in that regard.
EDIT: Like, their grilled cheese's are the real deal. If I had two places to choose to get grilled cheese, it would be In N Out or the hospital
Thanks for the guidance, I think you're really onto something, I will definitely look into this! As far as the anxiety goes, the side effects that cannabis can have on cardiac activity could definitely contribute to that: your mood and your heart rate are very closely related. That's why beta blockers are so good as anti-anxiety meds: they directly reduce heart rate and "trick" your brain into thinking everything is chill.
Super interesting research you're doing! What kind of results have have you made toward how cannabis effects chronic pain?
Also where do you see the future of your field going?
Cheers from Denmark.
I'd rather run 62 miles in antarctica :)
Thanks for the interest!
Cannabis has huge potential in the treatment of chronic pain. The most commonly prescribed pain relievers are opioids, which have very nasty side effects (cue apocalyptic epidemic). When chronic pain patients are given access to cannabis, they drop their opioid use by about half. There is also some recent data that suggests cannabis actually improves cognitive function in these people, probably because they are lowering their opioid usage. The most common reason people seek out medicinal cannabis is for pain relief, and it appears to be very beneficial, because the US states with medical cannabis have 25% fewer opioid overdoses... this is HUGE.
Let me know if you want links to scholarly articles :)
Thank you for you work, first and foremost. I use cannabis for pain management. I was injured in the military and have chronic low back pain, for which I was prescribed many things, starting with ibuprofen 200mg-800mg, Lortab, Vicodin, and Methadone, among others. The side effects of the prescription meds were awful, such as bleeding ulcers, constipation, hemorrhoids, cramping, etc.
I tried cannabis for the first time at age 31, and it has been a life-saver. I don't understand why, but the cannabis does not exactly eliminate the pain, but rather causes me to not really be concerned with it. Can you explain why/how (aside from the high feeling) that cannabis has this effect on pain?
Dodgers! I have friends that play on a little league Dodgers team so that's why
First of all, thank you for your service and sacrifice. What you are describing, in terms of your ability to cope with pain, is the same thing that we observe with cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation for pain. I can't, based on data, explain why this phenomenon occurs, but I think what you are describing has serious clinical usefulness!
Do you get tired of people focusing on cancer as a defining quality of you? I mean, would you rather people talk about something else more often with you?
Damm I wasn't aware it was that significant. That sounds super promising! I really interested in what future research will bring.
I'd love some articles! I'm not involved in any medical/neuroscientific studies or research, I'm just a philosophy student who find neuroscience really fascinating. That said, I'll read whatever you'll recommend!
I half think people just associate me with cancer. But mostly I think people think I'm a normal kid and look like a normal kid. Part of it is because I don't have the typical signs like losing my hair and stuff. It's feels bad when people give me a weird look like they're scared of me when they find out I have cancer. Sometimes my doctors focus on the bad even though I know they are just doing their job and trying to make me better. Sometimes I don't like being at the hospital because of the negativity. Sometimes I feel poisoned with negativity. Outside of the hospital I feel like I can breathe. The negativity is like smog and I'm breathing in the smog. It feels nice and good not to have negative thoughts
A colleague in my department used to do clinical pain research in Isreal, where cannabis medicine is booming: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=haroutounian+cannabis
Same result, this time out of Harvard: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27790138
Ayo Captain Gray!
If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?
Oh this is great thanks!
I'm curious as to what methods you use, when you're doing research?
Also are there other areas of neuroscience that you find interesting or have made fascinating advances?
Donate all to brain tumor research. To find cures for brain tumors
I am in fundamental (I hate the word "basic") research. I use animal models, and brain tissue from animals. We observe how animals react to drug treatments, and as an electrophysiologist, I record the electrical activity of brain cells when I wash drugs onto the tissue. COOL, HUH? Some overachieving redditor may dig up my Instagram, where I posted a short video explaining electrophysiology.
Hi Captain Gray! Do you play any kind of video games? PC, Console, or mobile, it doesn't matter. If so, what kind of games are you inclined to? First person shooters? Or Racing games? or Role-playing games?
Have you smoked it yourself... Since you know.. You study it?
Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS. I play food games on my iPad. Cake Mania is one
Answered earlier; yes, but not in a way that would endanger my career.
Have you ever heard of depersonalization/derealization?
Smoked for the first time around 8 years ago and have never been the same since
I have heard of this, and I suspect that some people may experience this based upon the unique properties of their own endogenous cannabinoid system. Mysteries abound, people...
I currently live in the state of Missouri, which does not yet have any legal uses for cannabis. In other legal contexts/states, when I did not have anything at stake (for instance, a DEA license for conducting research), I was known to partake. It would be a bit hypocritical for me to lack a first-person perspective!
Does recreational use ever become physically harmful at a point? Basically, how often is too often?
I'll refer you to the DSM-5 for the criteria on cannabis use disorder. If those items start to creep into your life (and granted, I'm no recovery professional) it's probably time to chill. Yes, cannabis can definitely become harmful, but probably not in the way you're thinking: more likely in the psycho-social realm than the biological health/longevity realm. Edit: disclaimer.
Can you explain why smoking weed makes the effects of alcohol so much stronger in some people, but not at all in others? (Not sure if your expertise covers this)
Differences in endogenous cannabinoid functionality. Your brain cells are studded with proteins that are the site of activation for cannabis (CB1 and CB2 receptors). Your brain also produces its own endogenous cannabinoid agonists (anandamide and 2AG). The natural variability in this system is most likely reason for differences between people when it comes to cannabis consumption.
What do you think about Pharmaceutical corperations in general? They hold alot of lobbying power in government. And seem to only care about profits rather than opioid addiction (big problem here in Portland OR metro area).
Bonus question what's the percentage of success if someone with a GED asked someone with a PhD out on a date? (this is a purely hypothetical question by the way, just random)
We need big pharma, they are a necessary evil. There are a lot of VERY effective, life-saving medicines out there that would not exist if it weren't for them. I agree that their motives are not always the best, but one of the great things about cannabis is it's existence in the public, rather than patented sphere. If they want to develop more cannabis-based medicines, I say bring it on! WE NEED HALP. Bonus answer: hypothetically, if the PhD had a spouse, as evidenced by AMA proof (wedding ring) then the statistical probability of a date would be around 0.001%.
There have been many cases where cannabis has been used to ease chronic pain, as well as instances where using it to treat disease has cured the malady. Now, I understand why more research isn't being done (no money in the cure, only in treatment) but coming from a researchers point of view why aren't more studies being done especially on the benefits?
Most scientific research in the US is funded by the NIH, which is a federal institution. The federal government does not recognize any medicinal benefits of cannabis, because of its status as a Schedule I controlled substance. There is currently no federal funding mechanism to study the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Huge catch 22: we don't have data because it's illegal, and it's illegal because we don't have data to show its safety and efficacy.
I am currently suffering from myeloma and a resultant complete collapse of 4 discs I'm my back. I have been on oxycontin continually for almost 3 yrs. I hadn't smoked weed since the 70's, but I found a dealer, and have been smoking weed daily for the last 6 months. It seems like it helps me in numerous ways, the best being that it seems to help neuropathy. My pain doc doesn't know, but I doubt he would have an issue. My question is does this seem like a sustainable regime? I never feel any desire to take more opioids than prescribed. How safe am I on OxyContin in the long term?
Thanks for sharing your experience! Long-term opioid therapy is NOT sustainable. Anything you can do to maximize your quality of life, and minimize your opioid exposure is probably going to be beneficial. Talk with your doctor. Edit: to be concise.
any interest or previous experience with psylocin and its serotoninergic properties? opinions on ssris, snris, or maois?
I can say that CBD is a partial agonist at one of the serotonin receptors. Probably not the answer that you're looking for, but that's about all I got!