As CBD continues to gain interest across healthcare, many health professionals have joined the movement to explore its wellness benefits. This episode’s guest is a go-to expert for all things CBD.
Dr. Andrew Kerklaan, the founder of Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics is experienced not only with the health side of the industry but has also been involved in the business aspect. Listen in to hear about the products of Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics, as well as how CBD can be built into a wellness lifestyle.
Insights From The Episode
- How Dr. Kerkmaan witnessed the responses to CBD in his patients, including a particularly transformative story.
- What the most sough-after wellness targets were that Dr. Kerkmaan developed his products to address.
- What advice an experienced professional would offer to those just starting out with CBD.
- Why CBD has been trending in the past few years, and where the industry is currently heading.
- How the standards around CBD products have risen recently, and what businesses are doing to make it through.
- Why an amount of skepticism can be beneficial for consumers to have.
- What the immediate future of CBD may hold, including an interest in international regulations.
Resources & Links From The Episode
- 7 Rules For International Distribution Of CBD – Jay Leiderman Law
- A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain – Fronteirs in Pharmacology
- Cannabis, A Complex Plant: Different Compounds and Different Effects on Individuals – Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
Connect With The Guest
- Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics (website)
- Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics on Facebook
- Dr. Kerklaan on Instagram
- Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics on LinkedIn
- Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics on YouTube
- Andrew Kerklaan on LinkedIn
About Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics
Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics was launched after the founder felt he couldn’t recommend any CBD products to his patients. Dr. Kerklaan felt confident in his ability to create trusted products that were backed by scientific research, with the help of his background in clinical and medical experience. The products sold by Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics focus on common issues, such as relief, sleep, PMS, and skin. The products are made with high-quality hemp from Oregon and have been rigorously tested by third-party labs. As a result, Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics offers doctor-formulated, patient-approved CBD wellness solutions.
Scott: Hey, what’s going on, everybody? Scott here, and welcome to another episode of the “CBD Guide Podcast.” Really excited about this one because we have Dr. Andrew Kerklaan, who really is a go-to expert on cannabinoids. And he’s a former Goop panelist as well on the show today to really dive into the things he’s been doing, and really some awesome advice on really using CBD as part of a wellness routine and lifestyle. So, let’s just dive right in. Dr. Kerklaan, welcome to the show.
Dr. Kerklaan: Hi, Scott. Thank you very much for having me.
Scott: Yeah. Thanks for being here.
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, for sure.
Scott: So, I always like to kick it off with just the simplest question, how did you first discover CBD and realize how helpful it could be for just wellness in general?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, I had a very big aha moment, and it’s a bit of a fun story as well. Basically, 20 years in practice, pain management, you know, chronic issues, all sorts of health and wellness issues for people, and really loved my time and practice, which was half in England and half in Canada. And then Canada went federally legal for medical use, and then as most people know, recreational use not too long ago. But during the time of medical use, I had patients suddenly coming in asking questions about CBD and THC and cannabis, and I had zero information as a health professional, zero exposures, zero information. But, you know, I thought it was my duty to be able to answer questions for people. And it was obviously quite a hot topic in the news as well. So, when I went off and studied and researched, I was really blown away by the information that was out there that you just weren’t hearing about at the time, things have certainly changed. But that was part of the experience to be able to take my clinical experience, do the research, be able to relay information to patients, and then suddenly, see some amazing responses.
And, you know, the funny little story is that I had this elderly couple, mid-80s, super conservative, terrible chronic issues, every medication under the sun, and very frustrated for them, with them because of their situation, their health status. So, you know, one day I said, I might as well go for it and I said, “You should really try cannabis.” And they both looked at me, like, cross-eyed, “What are you talking about?” And, you know, lo and behold, they were very plugged into the medical community. They came back a week later and said, “Yeah, we’re gonna give this a go.” And then they went off and gave it a go, and was really amazed at how they responded, but I would say mostly amazed that the length they were willing to go to improve their health.
And so, put all the stigma aside, put all, you know, the conservative, mid-80s kind of stereotype. And being in Montreal, in fact, they literally had to roll a joint and be on the balcony in the middle of winter, to see if they would benefit from cannabinoids. So, that was a big aha moment for me. Obviously, there’s a huge demand for health and a willingness to explore and find new solutions at any age. Right? And then the other revelation was that, you know, that’s probably not the healthiest way to try and improve your well-being standing outside in the freezing cold, you know, in the middle of winter. So, that led me on a journey of looking at products and how can we combine cannabinoids into products for effective use and things that could be used in clinic and whatnot, and things that ultimately, I could recommend as a health professional. And so that led to the development of the brand, which Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics, it’s four to five years into it. It’s a fascinating journey. I thought I was just creating products to help people, and ultimately turns out we were developing an international cannabinoid brand. So, it’s been a crazy journey.
Scott: And I love the story too where it was spurred by the folks that you were treating and your patients, and them being curious and saying, “You know, I’ve heard about this,” and that kind of spurs you to do your research as a professional and say, “Okay, I need to learn about this.” You mentioned the products. It’s such an important thing because you’re right, standing outside in the freezing cold smoking a joint isn’t exactly maybe the ideal way for a lot of folks. So, you kind of talked about the success you’ve had, what are some of your most popular products and what are the folks that Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics that sing your praises, what are they saying?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, we started off by looking to answer the question, you know, the why for the patient or the consumer. So, we develop these products in these categories, relief, sleep, skin, and my wife contributed to a category for women, PMS. And so, you know, we wanted to answer the why for the consumer. And then, you know, we very quickly saw a huge response and really in the relief category, in the sleep category. And so, I relate that back to my clinical experience where I saw many, many people just stuck in a rut of not being mobile or having pain or, you know, not being able to be active. They then sleep poorly. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue, fatigue leads to a change of mood, and then, you know, they just end up cycling through this pain, poor sleep, bad mood situation. And so here was, you know, a cannabinoid or cannabinoids, which could potentially influence those three factors. And wow, what a revelation to be able to change some key impacts or have key impacts on someone’s health just by using cannabinoids. So, the relief line is hugely popular. The sleep line is very popular as well.
Scott: That’s fantastic. And I love how, and I’ve seen this true with you and some of our other guests as well, when you’re developing these products, you kind of start from that wellness target. You’re saying, “Okay, what can we help address? Where can we fit into someone’s wellness lifestyle and target something that maybe they’re struggling with, be it sleep, be it pain, and you really have crafted products towards that, right?
Dr. Kerklaan: Exactly. We actually… I think we were pioneers, I’ll say in the topical space. We originally launched in California and the THC market, made these ratioed products. So, looking at ratio between THC and CBD and looking at the influence of terpenes. And then we moved into the CBD space. And we’re able to incorporate other ingredients like melatonin, and mint, and peppermint, and Eucalyptus. So, it’s been an amazing journey. But ultimately, I put my name on the products, my name on the brand. And that was really to reassure people that this is a product that’s properly developed, it’s properly tested, it can be trusted, and you know, hopefully, convey the message that you should absolutely try these products.
Scott: Sure. And I’m curious because there are so many products out there and there’s different doses, strengths, all of this, what advice might you have for folks on how to really, I guess, use CBD or a CBD product for the most positive impact as part of maybe their health and wellness routine? When they’re going and maybe they order one of your products or another product, what’s the key for, okay, now we need to incorporate this effectively?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, for sure. A bit of advice to start with is, you know, start low and go slow. You wanna see how your body responds. Everyone responds differently. It could be like any medication. You don’t get the exact same response in everybody. So, for cannabinoids, you wanna just test it out, see how you feel, see how you respond. But also, many things that people are looking to address are more chronic in nature. And, you know, the way the body responds is not instant gratification, instant fix. Many things… You gotta get going on a road to recovery. And so, the other thing is really giving it some time. So, you know, don’t try product for a day or half a day and say, “Oh, that didn’t work for me.” You gotta give it a chance. If you think of inflammation as an example, you know, let’s say your back pain or an injury, and your body’s producing inflammation, you got this inflammatory response, you got stuff that’s built up in the tissue, and you got nerve irritation, and muscle irritation, you know, all those things don’t just go away in an instant. Your body actually has to reabsorb the inflammatory process and calm things down, right? So, you have to give these products a chance to work. That doesn’t mean you take them for a year and wonder whether it’s had an impact or not. You generally see a very quick response. And then you have to play with the intensity or the dose, so to speak. So, some people are just less sensitive and will need to use more or take more and other people are extremely sensitive and can certainly take less. So, it is a journey. And I think that’s part of the misunderstanding here is that people think there’s, like, this massive big fix, boom, take this and…
Scott: Boom, here’s the silver bullet. It’s all done, right?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, one of it, it has unbelievable potential, I’ll certainly put it that way. I like to give an analogy that if I ever recommend it to a patient that they use a menthol cream, a cooling cream, and they never came back and said, “Wow, that was the best recommendation ever. Thank you. It helped dramatically.” Whereas in our topicals, we get people coming in saying or calling us or emailing or whatever testimonials saying, “Unbelievable how much this has impacted me.” And that goes well beyond the placebo effect. So, there’s certainly real dramatic potential here. But like I said, everybody’s different, and so you gotta just give your body a chance to see how you’re gonna respond.
Scott: Right. Right. And go into it with open eyes and willing to give it a chance. And not I took it once and everything wasn’t fixed. So, therefore, this doesn’t work.
Dr. Kerklaan: You know, we have a sleep product and actually got some other exciting developments in the sleep category. But a little while ago, we had someone write us and say, “Oh, I got my product, the sleep topical, I used it last night. Can I return it? It didn’t work for me.” Yeah, we have no issue with products that people wanna return them but, you know, give your body a chance, right, especially if you’re having major sleep issues. Sleep is a habit and it takes time to get things going in the right direction.
Scott: A hundred percent. When you’re looking across the world of CBD and how it intersects with wellness, what do you think may be some of the biggest trends or be they types of popular CBD products, usage, or methods, or otherwise, what are some of the big trends you’re seeing?
Dr. Kerklaan: I think CBD and other cannabinoids fit in this amazing, let’s say, intersection of much more awareness of health, and wellness, and well-being, and the importance of your health, especially in the last year and a half. And so, there’s the demand in natural products or natural solutions. There’s really a heightened awareness of active lifestyle. And, you know, especially baby boomers getting older and wanting to be super active. You know, so I think CBD really fits in this amazing intersection of all of those interests. And so, it has this huge opportunity to help in many ways. And, you know, products, I think, you know, there’s certainly a very strong interest in ingestibles. Topicals were the first out of the gate really, and even into mass retail, but the first kind of awareness of, you know, a mass product, so to speak. And ingestibles are fascinating, for sure. And, you know, I think there are lots of novel products to come. I do point out that I don’t see CBD as a panacea. It’s not gonna fix everything for everyone. There could be some, I’ll say, consumer fatigue at some point where maybe they don’t feel like, you know, they need it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and need to wash the bodies with it, and all sorts of things. You know, everybody has their own needs and I think there are some niche interests there. But I think that we’re really at the start of something really tremendous, I believe.
Scott: I totally agree. And maybe this is actually a perfect segue, kind of a shift, but we’ve been talking a lot about from the consumer perspective and what we’re seeing from people who are using these products and things like that, but you’re talking about trends. From the pure business side, what are you seeing with how companies, be they established or new, really navigating the landscape? And I’m curious about maybe some of the challenges and innovations happening as it’s really… I mean, you said it just now, we’re on the cusp of so many exciting things but there’s still just this landscape of business that seems to be shifting constantly. So, I’m just curious to hear your perspective on that.
Dr. Kerklaan: We’ve certainly lived that every day. We are around a pretty farm bill. So, if people are not aware, there was a bill passed, right, which opened the floodgates for the hemp CBD market in the U.S. But there’s still legislation needed to clarify how products fit into what categories. And there’s certainly gonna be some debate at the FDA around cannabinoids, either as isolates or as a full spectrum or broad-spectrum oil. I mentioned we started in these ratio THC, CBD products in California. So, we’re actually launching those products in Canada shortly. We have international business going on. So, what we formed in 2016, so been around for a bunch of years already. And so, we’ve seen this perspective of really being there before the wave and then this crazy wave as a result of the Farm Bill, but a lot of uncertainty. So, whether large retailers run with it or not, how are their compliance departments, their legal departments? Are they comfortable with it or not? You know, what are the insurance implications? What are import, export implications?
Scott: My gosh, yeah.
Dr. Kerklaan: They’re really extremely complex business to navigate. And I would say, for the CBD consumer goods market, I think for a while the barrier to entry was really quite low. There was a sudden, huge interest in cannabinoids and CBD, and the market study is showing 10x growth and all sorts of really big numbers, right? So, a ton of entrepreneurs is very interested in the space. And ultimately, there were a huge number of brands, a huge number of products, which is really just not sustainable in the long-term. We know Brightfield, who do a lot of the market data, and they’re quoted as saying last year was a mass extinction event for CBD brands because of, you know, the tough environment, the tough economic environment, and retail closing down for a while. And, you know, we all know what happened there. You know, so I think there’s some consolidation happening there. There are brands emerging as true leaders and there are product categories emerging or consumers are really definitely interested, and you’re seeing strong growth in those categories. So, I think the future’s bright and fascinating. I think the space will continue to be a challenge to navigate. And it’s certainly not for everyone. We’ve seen some people, some large companies decide to put a toe in the water and then back off because of complexities. Yeah, so, it’s just a fascinating space to be involved with.
Scott: Yeah, I’m curious, do you think that kind of that consolidation you were talking about, ultimately, is that going to be great for the end consumer and for the quality of the products that do stand the test of time and do successfully navigate all of these waters? Do you think that that ultimately will result in, hey, the CBD products are gonna be better for everybody going forward?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, I think for the consumer, yes. There’s then more awareness. There’s, you know, developed inherent trust around quality, the products and whether they’re tested, and where the ingredients come from. A lot of that has been unknown in this sector. So, companies have to be shouting, “Oh, we’re triple lab tested and we have the best CBD supply.” And those are becoming very standard in the sector now, right? Even as we speak to retailers, they want us to supply our COAs. They’re not blown away by any means when we have them because that’s just become a standard, right, the certificate of analysis around testing. So, I think for the consumer, ultimately, as having better information, having quality products, quality brands on offer. And the one thing I’m, I’ll say, hesitant about is that I’ve never been, I’ll say, a fan of Big Pharma. I think that ultimately, I hope not where the sector goes, but you can certainly see the wagons circling and a lot of interest, whether it’s a very large alcohol companies, some Canadian companies. You know, there is massive industry ready to move in and then some are already moving in. So, I think the craft producers, the small brands, I think there could be challenges down the road, but ultimately, very good for the consumer because standardized product, quality product, quality offerings, it’s all, I was gonna say coming but it’s already here. You’re just starting to see the differentiation really and the quality rise to the top.
Scott: Right. Exactly. The quality is rising to the top. And I think that’s the big thing, whether you’re looking for the latest, greatest CBD product to help you out with whatever your wellness challenges might be or from the business side, if you’re looking to have that success in CBD, it’s A, bring the quality, bring that message, and you’ll rise to the top. I think that’s true, right?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, I don’t think there’s… You know, it’s not a good thing to cut corners and, you know, try and race to the top. I think ultimately, you wanna be building a quality consumer brand with quality products that the consumer is interested in. And I think that’s really the winning formula. So, as I said at the beginning, I developed these products, really just thinking of patients and how we could help patients. And little did I know we were embarking on this brand-building journey with all the marketing and everything that goes along with that, right, but at the root of our brand, my brand is really the interest in serving people and helping people.
Scott: You had that great story at the top about that elderly couple that you helped out there. There are still so many people out there that haven’t tried CBD. Maybe they’re skeptical. They don’t believe it works or they think it’s pure snake oil or whatever that it might be. When the rubber meets the road and you’re having that conversation with someone who’s skeptical and it’s like, is this really gonna help me out, what might you or have you said to them to encourage them to really take the plunge, so to speak, and give a CBD product a try as part of their wellness routine?
Dr. Kerklaan: First of all, I love the skeptic because when they try it and they benefit, they become vocal and they’re 100% convinced, so that’s a good thing to be skeptical but don’t be closed-minded and not willing to ultimately try something that could benefit you. So, I like the skeptic but I do think that for people to understand that you should be looking for sure, for quality product and quality brand and don’t necessarily trust the first thing that you see, try and dig around for information on the product tests that are available, look for the brand reputation, look for stuff in the news, you know, get comfortable with the product you’re going to purchase. And ultimately, if we look at CBD and other cannabinoids, you know, like scientific terms around toxicity level, and danger, and reactions, and side effects and all those things, you can never say it’s nonexistent, but it’s really almost nonexistent.
Scott: Quite low.
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, quite low, right? So, you know, your body already makes nearly identical compounds to what you’re ingesting or applying to your skin. So, there’s this amazing, call it tolerance, right, amazing response. And so, extremely low risk in side effect, which I think ultimately, I like to talk about relative risk. And so, when you look at the big picture of things you’re doing and you weigh benefit against risk, I think the benefit is hugely in favor of trying CBD and trying other cannabinoids. But just, you know, get the right information, get yourself educated. Look for quality products and brands, dig around for information, and I’m sure you’ll get a good response.
Scott: I like that. Get educated, obviously, but then also that sort of benefit and risk. And when you are doing the research and you see what’s out there, I mean, it just seems so obvious, like, hey, why not try a little bit and see if you can get these benefits because there’s so many out there?
Dr. Kerklaan: You know, I love the story of someone who buys one of our products for their elderly parent and doesn’t tell them what it is. Just says, “Here, you know, I bought you this cream, go ahead and use it,” right? And then the elderly comes back and says, “Wow, I need more of that. What was that?” And then there’s the disclosure, “Oh, it’s the CBD.”
Scott: CBD or whatever it is.
Dr. Kerklaan: Then they often think they’re like cool and hip because they’re using this product, right, but…
Scott: Sweet. I’m cool. I’m gonna go on the Facebook and tell people.
Dr. Kerklaan: When it’s just like a blind taste test in a way, you know, you’re gonna get a very honest response. And I’m always blown away by that honest response and how well people respond to CBD and other cannabinoids.
Scott: Absolutely. We were talking a bit about the future of just like the industry, the business side of things. But if there’s other things going on, what do you really see in the future for CBD as a whole and how might the landscape really continue to change in the months and years to come?
Dr. Kerklaan: I think, you know, international followed opportunity, international regulations, things changing at the World Health Organization and other governing bodies, you know, international trade and really multinational international brands developing I think is part of the future. I do like to say CBD is the first cannabinoid out of the gate from a federally legal perspective. And so, I truly believe other cannabinoids are probably gonna surpass CBD at some point when availability and, you know, cost is figured out. But amazing stuff around CBG and THCV and other cannabinoids. And really, the plant is ultimately so complex. I think it’s really amazing whether it’s hemp or cannabis, you know, the complexity of all these cannabinoids and terpenes and the effect of how they potentially work together and this entourage system, I think the future is really, really fascinating. But I would say it’s not gonna be restricted to CBD alone. So, there are gonna be other interesting cannabinoids that really come to the forefront and already are starting to, to a degree.
Scott: Right. And as new products are created, new research is done, people discover new things about the plant and these cannabinoids, I think it’s just gonna lend itself to better and better things happening.
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah. What I hope doesn’t happen is you end up isolating specific cannabinoids, altering their structure, patenting something, and then coming out with it as a prescription drug with a very big price tag to it. I think there’s such variety in the plant already that using the natural compounds and hopefully using them in this holistic way, acknowledging that there is, you know, very likely this strong entourage effect. So having whether it’s broad-spectrum or full-spectrum oils, perhaps with more of a focus on certain cannabinoids, that’s what I would love to see develop.
Scott: Right. Because it’s all in there. It’s all in the plant. So, it’s just a matter of how you’re applying.
Dr. Kerklaan: Exactly. Yeah, it’s all in there. But, you know, it does make science a little complicated, right? If you think of how many different variations you can have, if you combine a few cannabinoids and a few terpenes with the different percentages, and, you know, it gets extremely complicated very quickly. So, reproducing, measuring the outcome gets very complicated. So, I do think we’re best if we look at this more from, I’ll say, like, a supplement perspective, a drug perspective, right? So, how can cannabinoids, how can CBD impact your health and well-being measured from some broader measures, as opposed to down to the molecular effect on your body, right? And so, I think that’s some fascinating stuff. I recently, speaking to a company that’s doing research, almost, like, if you think of, like, crowdfunding in a way, AI type of big data, where they’re able to survey thousands and thousands of people and crunch the numbers from real-life use. So, get real-life information that’s statistically significant. I think that’s a fascinating way to go because one of the issues in this sector around research is if you wanna design a clinical trial, you know, and have 1,000 people do exactly the same thing, exactly at the same time with exactly the same broad-spectrum or full-spectrum oil, that’s hugely costly, very time-consuming, and very challenging. And there are already people benefiting tremendously. So, if we can find models to do research and get data out of people who are already benefiting, I think that’s a tremendous way to go.
Scott: That’s really, really fascinating and exciting. I think that’s all what’s to come and what’s already almost here for a lot of ways. Dr. Kerklaan, thank you so much for joining me on the show today, sharing a bit of your story and your insights. And if folks want to find out more about your products, what you’re doing, maybe they wanna try something out, where can they do that? Where should they go?
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, absolutely. Our website, drkerklaan.com. And I will spell it out because I got a funky, Dutch last name. So, it’s drkerklaan.com. So, check us out.
Scott: Absolutely. And we will be sure to have links to your website and more about what we discussed today on our show notes. So, thanks again, Dr. Kerklaan, for joining us and sharing such great information.
Dr. Kerklaan: Yeah, my pleasure, Scott, and congrats to your podcast here. I’ve enjoyed being here, but I also say it’s important to get the information out. So, I think you’re doing a great job.
Scott: Oh, appreciate it. That’s what we’re all about here.
Dr. Kerklaan: Great, Scott.
Scott: All right, thanks.