I am Matt Elmes, PhD; Cannabis scientist. After making discoveries about how we process cannabinoids at the cellular level, I transitioned to work in the California cannabis industry. I’ve also been a regular cannabis user myself for 20 years. Now...
TL;DR: Academic cannabis researcher who transitioned to work in the California cannabis industry. Here to announce our brand new nationally-distributed CBD brand Care By Design Hemp and answer all of your questions about cannabis, cannabinoids or working in the cannabis industry!
Hi Reddit! I am Dr. Matt Elmes, Cannabis scientist and cannabis enthusiast. I did my PhD in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Stony Brook University, where I studied how our bodies metabolize plant cannabinoids (such as THC & CBD) and endocannabinoids (the compounds our bodies naturally produce which THC ‘mimics’ to exert its psychotropic effects). The work done by me and my group identified ways that cannabinoids are transported to their respective metabolic enzymes inside of our cells. We first showed how this intracellular THC transport step happens in the brain, then later in grad school I went on to extend these findings to how it works in the liver. Our livers serve as the main site of phytocannabinoid inactivation so it is an important tissue for how we experience the effects of THC.
After grad school I accepted an industry-funded postdoc position with Artelo Biosciences doing preclinical drug development on a novel class of drugs that are able to alter our endocannabinoid system (ECS) signaling. By using a drug compound to block the molecular transport step that leads to our endocannabinoids getting broken down, we are able to temporarily raise the levels of endocannabinoid signaling in the brain and nervous system, which results in potent anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects. The overarching goal was to create a new class of non-addictive, pain-killing drugs to help combat the opioid epidemic…and the ECS-boosting drugs my team and I created show remarkable efficacy in rodents! We’re only in the preclinical stages of drug development (and thus still quite far away from being considered as an FDA-approved drug), but I believe that ECS modulation strategies will prove to be a promising therapeutic avenue for many conditions that are suffered today.
During my postdoctoral work, some guy I had never heard of named Dennis Hunter reached out to offer me an interview for a position at his cannabis company on the other side of the country. This happened 18 months ago and brings us to today. I now work as the Director of Product Development for CannaCraft, located in northern California and one of the largest cannabis product manufacturers in the entire world! We’re very vertically integrated here at CannaCraft; meaning that we do everything from sourcing and growing cannabis, to extracting the cannabis oil from these plants, to using that oil to manufacture hundreds of various product SKUs (e.g. vapes, tincture/droppers, infused edibles, mints, beverages and many others), to doing our own distribution (as well as third-party distribution) delivering to dispensaries state-wide through our wholly-owned distribution entity KindHouse.
If you are a cannabis user living in California then you are most likely already familiar with some of our brands:
• Care By Design: Care By Design is our CBD-focused, wellness brand. Founded in 2014 under the old medical cannabis regulations, it is the roots of what CannaCraft has become.
• Absolute Xtracts: ABX’s target audience is more the recreational cannabis consumer. High-THC products that are formulated using strain-specific cannabis-derived terpenes.
• Satori Chocolates: Our Satori brand is all about delicious infused chocolates and other edibles. We hired a culinary-trained pastry chef to make sure all of our edible confections taste fantastic. (and they really do!).
• The Farmer & the Felon: This is our cannabis flower brand, for those consumer’s who enjoy consuming cannabis the old-fashioned way. The brand tells the interesting back-story behind CannaCraft’s co-founders Ned Fussel (the ‘Farmer’) and Dennis Hunter (the ‘Felon’).
• Loud & Clear: Loud & Clear is a sister brand to ABX which focuses on high potency and flavor vape cartridges by formulating with live resin.
• HiFi Hops: In a partnership with our friends down the road at Lagunitas Brewing Company we have created the best-selling cannabis beverage in California, which is the largest legal cannabis market in the world.
Want to see what goes on behind the scenes at CannaCraft? Let me take you on a virtual tour of our 30,000sq.ft. manufacturing facility located in Santa Rosa, California!
I'm here with you today for a few things!
First, I am excited to announce that we have just launched a brand new hemp CBD company Care By Design Hemp so for the first time ever we are able to legally ship the products we make over state lines, directly to people’s doors, almost anywhere in the US! For those who don’t know, hemp is a type of cannabis plant that produces only tiny amounts of THC, but most hemp is still able to make lots of CBD. Hemp has become federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, and so unlike the other products we make, we are able to offer these hemp-derived CBD products outside of California. This AMA intro is getting a bit long, so I’ll tell you all about what makes all our new hemp-derived CBD products cool and unique somewhere in a comment below. Though I do want to mention in this intro that we are giving out a hefty discount code to our online CBD store for all the Redditors taking part this AMA…enter promo code “CBDAMA30” for 30% off your entire purchase! We’ll leave this discount code active on the Care By Design Hemp website for the next 2 weeks or so.
Next, I can actually use YOUR help! I am in the midst of recruiting daily CBD users to take part in a current IRB-approved clinical study investigating the liver safety of using CBD products. Care By Design Hemp pooled funding with ten other prominent hemp CBD companies to fund this $1.5M+ clinical study to directly address the hepatotoxicity concerns expressed by the FDA. We are recruiting from all over the country, and if you participate in our study we will send you a free 3-month supply of a Care by Design Hemp CBD product of your choice, and you also get a $100 VISA gift card upon completion of the study! Participants will monitor their daily CBD use on a phone app over 30 days, then will go to your nearest lab testing center (e.g. Quest Diagnostics) to provide a single blood draw. Your blood will be analyzed for various markers of liver function and your results will be fully accessible to you! Some of the specific inclusion criteria for all study participants are that you can attest to 30 days of daily CBD use, and also have abstained from using any THC products in that time period. We only have around 100 spots left in the study, so if you’re a CBD user interested in helping to advance cannabinoid science and believe you might qualify, then take our online questionnaire here to go through all inclusion/exclusion criteria and sign up!
Lastly, you have a leading cannabis expert on the line here...Ask Me Anything! I’ve contributed dozens of presentations, peer-reviewed publications, podcasts, interviews and articles about cannabis and cannabinoids. As a long-time Ent (hi r/trees!) and lurker of Reddit I’m excited to be doing this! There are some things that I may not be able to touch on in order to protect company IP, but otherwise I’m an open book. AMA!