After researching and benefiting from cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for my own chronic pain and tendency toward attention deficit disorder, I knew that more people need to be educated on how this can help with their pain, stress, and suffering. So it’s become a part of my personal mission to make that happen in a big way.
The universe of the human body is not that different from that of space: it experiences homeostasis, dramatic and sudden changes, and, eventually, entropy.
After each transition from the possible to the factual, as one of the great pioneers of quantum physics, Werner Heisenberg, described it, the evolution of tendencies or possibilities for future actual events starts anew but now from a different starting point from before, so that the universe is evolving. Physicist Hans-Peter Dürr, a longtime co-worker of Heisenberg’s, has called this a learning process. With the experiences that it makes through us, the cosmic potentiality is learning; it constantly requires us to look for the next way in which we can challenge ourselves.
Quantum physics is a kind of idealism: it says that there is a part of the world that we cannot see but it is real.
The same thing can be said for the human body. Despite all that we know, much of it is unknown to us, and even to scientists. What we know is constantly evolving.
Like you, I’ve also evolved. As is the case for many children in America, I was brought up by a single mother on welfare, living in a 300-square-foot studio apartment in a converted motel room with one bed and a hotplate. Mom knew that getting a good education was our only chance to get out of poverty, and this was the closest place we could get to a great public school. All my life, all I could think about was how I was going to help get my family and myself out of poverty. After a series of jobs, I took a leap in 1994 and started my own wellness company. It was a big risk, but the timing was perfect. I tapped into our nation’s need for wellness, and plant medicine became my life’s work. Even though I was able to provide for my mother and my own growing family, and I was happy, I wasn’t fully fulfilled.
In 2008, just as I was at an inflection point in my life, I met Peter Diamandis, the founder of the X Prize Foundation as well as the chair of Zero Gravity, a company that operated weightless flights. For her tenth birthday, I treated my daughter, Kessely, to a Zero Gravity flight. It was one of the most memorable activities that my daughter and I have ever shared together, and it was spectacular. But what was even more amazing was the catalyzing moment, during this flight, in which I tapped into creating something deeper out of my own life, something different, something that would push me to my own limits. A mere few days later, I joined a meeting at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley to discuss the formation of Singularity University, created to explore the convergence of exponential technologies to solve some of the world’s grand challenges.
As something clicked inside, I realized that, deep at my core, I was drawn to fundamental physics. I wanted to work towards solving the world’s most complex and challenging issues related to energy, our role in nature and our connections to the universe.
I walked out of my wellness company, and for the next eight years I never went back. Until I met cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD, which is derived from the cannabis plant but has no psychoactive properties, has been discovered to have a substantive medical impact on diseases ranging from cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, pain, insomnia, and countless other health challenges. I had heard about cannabinoids, but it wasn’t really until I started taking CBD for back pain, and my mother started taking it during stage 4 of her cancer treatment, that I started to appreciate the power of this molecule. I believe, having done all of my own personal research on CBD and learning about how it works on the endocannabinoid system, that it provides us with a pathway to alleviating pain and disease, and I feel a responsibility to share my experience with the world. In researching and reading about how other people were using CBD and experiencing beneficial results, but seeing how expensive and inaccessible it can be to get access to it in our cannabis-averse culture, I realized that I had a responsibility to step back into the fold.
In both my nutraceutical and my physics work, I want people to feel comfortable, satisfied and compassionate enough to move forward. When we have a country in mental and physical pain, we can’t achieve that goal. We’re tied up in stress, strain, and barriers to positive change.
Based on my personal experience, therefore, I’ve penned a book on CBD and what it can do for us as a country. Pain Nation helps us unwrap the challenges of using effective and easy plant medicine solutions in our health care system, and explores how food and drug corporations can get away with preventing facts from being clearly communicated by health agencies and doctors that have been established to protect us. As health consumers, we deserve better, and instead of laying blame on the systematic blockade of CBD from our lives, it’s our responsibility to take control of our minds and bodies and transform our lives for the better using the direction nature, medicine, and thousands of years of research have directed us to go.
I also realized that I needed to dip a toe back into Irwin Naturals in order to carry out this mission. We need more education on CBD in the medical field, easier access for patients and cheaper prices in order to give people an alternative solution to what ails us and to provide the nation with effective plant-based medicine.
My quest is to make CBD as affordable as we can make it so that the people who need it most can access it. A lot of the most surprising and life-changing findings from leading scientists are hidden because our health care system places emphasis on how we can make money, rather than changing our daily habits and incorporating basic shifts in what we eat and how we move. My hope is that, by providing a higher quality product at a fraction of the cost, we can drive down CBD pricing across the board so that consumers will benefit. In order to provide consumers with more options, Irwin Naturals is launching several new affordable and easily accessible CBD product lines including HydroCanna, a plant-based line of skin care products; FloChi, a food and beverage line; and LoveMyPet, for the pets we love. We view this as part of our social impact mission. Today, our company is buzzing with the excitement of a new purpose for coming to work: service to others, service to themselves and, most of all, love for their community and for people in need of health assistance.
Taking some time to achieve this goal doesn’t mean I’m stepping away from physics; quite the opposite. I perceive a beautiful synergy between the personal and societal harmonizing effects of CBD and what we are exploring throughout the universe. A full life acknowledges the invisible background of the human body as much as it does the mysteries of the universe around us. The compassion, kindness, and empathy and care that we find in medicine we also find in every facet of existence. We all have one common goal: leaning into creating something deeper out of life, something different, something that will push us to our own limits. I believe that CBD can help all of us find that path forward.