Steve Ottersberg is driven to change the way the world sees cannabis. He’s hoping to destigmatize the cannabis industry to allow more individuals to benefit from the use of CBD and cannabis for everything from anxiety and sleep to depression and cancer. Steve believes that consumers should understand and be armed with information on which terpenes are beneficial for their medical condition and whether or not they are contained in the product they are purchasing.

In this podcast, Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up Health, interviews Steve Ottersberg, who is a wealth of information on all things CBD oil, cannabis, interpreting genetic data, and more! (In fact, when recommending  a cannibus product for use in a condition-specific treatment such as cancer, he first starts by looking at the genes that influence neurotransmitter metabolism.)

Have you ever wondered why some strains of CBD or THC make you feel either high or low?  Ready to go beast mode, or ready to hibernate for winter? Steve shares what makes the effects of the different strains more or less beneficial for different conditions and why he doesn’t believe in the classification of Indica or Sativa anymore. This is one episode you won’t want to miss!

Steve Ottersberg graduated from Fort Lewis College with a B.S. in biochemistry and has an M.S. in Bio-organic chemistry from Arizona State University, where he also taught both organic chemistry and nutritional-biochemistry. He also held a faculty position teaching chemistry at Fort Lewis College. Currently, Steve is Owner and Supervisory Analyst of Green Lab Solutions, living in Colorado with his wife, cancer survivor and thriver Dr. Nasha Winters, whose work (she is also the author of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer) complements one another. 

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About his work doing genetic coaching with clients in wife Dr. Nasha Winters’ practice bringing in the biochemistry of CBD into her practice and their work with Alex Swanson of Nutrition Genome [4:30]
  • Hear what gene markers Steve looks at when recommending a cannabis product [8:35]
  • How you may be functioning well on the surface, but biochemically you may be struggling, creating a higher burden on the body which can lead to cancer and other ailments [10:05]
  • About the terpenes in the plants and how Steve recommends CBD strains based on them for different ailments and conditions [12:20]
  • That hemp and marijuana are both cannabis Sativa but the difference between the two is marijuana has been bred to selectively produce THC [13:25]
  • How myrcene binds to opioid receptors [14:00]
  • A study in Japan showed smelling limonene was as effective as anti-depressants in an institutional setting [17:35]
  • How his lab is calibrated for 21 terpenoids, but it only seeing 5-10 at levels that are significant in a typical marijuana plant in Colorado [20:30]
  • Why Steve doesn’t believe in the Indica and Sativa classification anymore [21:0]
  • How beta-pinene and limonene counteract the sedative effect of THC to make them more uplifting [21:45]
  • What one of the most powerful antidotes to THC is [22:20]
  • How to reverse the effects of too many edibles that have snuck up on you [23:00]
  • Why we need to start with terpenoids and end with cannabinoids in our description and high THC needs to come to an end except in extreme cases [23:50]
  • Where most people go wrong with edibles [25:00]
  • What Steve wants to see in a dispensary, and how you should start with CBD vs CBD/THC strains [26:25]
  • How high myrcene strains can provide high pain relief rather than opioids [27:00]
  • About how some of the labeling laws differ in different states and what to look for [29:50]
  • Recommendation to consumers to ask for lab testing data from your dispensary, even if it’s not labeled [34:00]
  • Cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors tune our neurotransmitters, and THC and CBD allow us to fine-tune our normal neurotransmitter function. The terpenoids are the way we as consumers can fine-tune CBD and THC for desired effects [36:25]
  • Steve’s plea to the growers [39:00]
  • Top terpenes and what they’re good for [40:00]
  • Steve’s work to publish a website and a book as a resource for patients seeking condition-specific support [51:45]
  • How in the future, Heads Up will be able to crunch all that data — genetic SNPS, terpene profiles, blood test data, blood sugar values and more — to help both patients and clinicians track data more efficiently. [52:25]


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About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

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