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CBD From A Medical Providers Prospective.
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – June 14, 2021
CEOCFO: Mr. Piermarini, what is the concept behind Restorative CBD?
Mr. Piermarini: The concept is that I am a board-
I started doing some research and I found out that we have a whole entire system in our body that responds to cannabis-
CEOCFO: What surprised you as you learned more and more about the system, about CBD, about the way it works and how it works?
Mr. Piermarini: What is really interesting about the endocannabinoid system is that it was only found in the early 1990s, in comparison to how long we have known about the cardiovascular system and the nervous systems. We have studied these systems extensively and this system is just beginning! It is a loose collection of receptors and neurotransmitters that is very difficult for the lay person, and even medical professionals to grasp.
It is kind of similar to the endocrine system, where there are distant receptors with multiple targets for the neurotransmitters and for the cellular messengers, so it is a very interesting, a very diverse, a very wide-
CEOCFO: You sell products, you work with physicians. How does Restorative CBD break down in the different functions or services that you are able to provide?
Mr. Piermarini: I just launched a Restorative cannabis coaching business last week. That business is directed towards CBD and cannabis coaching to the patients to insure proper use and proper education of cannabis or CBD products in conjunction with other health coaching modalities. I just published a book on Amazon, so that is part of my education piece.
I do sell products, but as this has evolved, I am becoming more of a warrior for education. Therefore, I go and speak at the expos now and try to educate on the proper terminology and what the endocannabinoid system and how CBD works for certain ailments. It has formed into more of an education piece. Yes I do wholesale the products and I sell direct to consumer and businesses, but the larger goal and mission of this company is to continue to push education.
CEOCFO: Are people/patients looking for more information, are sellers or physicians? To what extent do you see a change in the interest in really understanding rather than just taking or selling the product?
Mr. Piermarini: Great question! I was just speaking at the Lucky Leaf Expo in Austin last weekend, and I had 3 physicians and a nurse practitioner in my audience sitting there trying to learn about this very complex system and the need and the thirst for education is becoming more apparent as I actually get phone calls, not for people looking for product, but for people seeing me and say, “Hey I saw you speak,” or “Hey, I saw that you have a book, can you help me, how do I use this stuff properly.”
Because it has been such a kind of in-
CEOCFO: How do you help people? What have you learned about teaching, so you can help people understand something that is complex, whether it is the medical profession or the individual patient? Also, with so much noise in the field and so many fly by night people in the field, how do you establish your credibility? What can you say to people put them at ease, so they know what you are saying has meaning?
Mr. Piermarini: There are multiple facts. One, I have 3 Masters degrees. I have a Masters in physiology, a Masters in PA studies and a Masters in public health. I also just finished my Certified Health Coaching certifications with the National Society of Health Coaches. I use to teach anatomy and physiology to undergrads while I was in graduate school at the University of Arizona. I am also a healthcare provider. I am board certified. I have been doing this for 6 years and if you want to be a good healthcare professional, the root of that is teaching. If you want good compliance with your treatment protocols and your plans, you have to teach the patient. You have to get them to buy in. Many times, it is educating them on why they have to do these certain things and that just falls into line with CBD, endocannabinoid system, cannabis.
I have credentials, but not only do I have credentials, but I have got real world applications, teaching my patients how to use this correctly. I think that when people hear me speak and they can feel how genuine I am and how passionate I am about this industry. People start to look me up on LinkedIn and I have gotten to co-
I have also created an online education course, where people can take my courses; 36 lectures, to really educate themselves about CBD. It is all sourced anywhere from PubMed to different books. Therefore, I am really just trying to make sure that what I am saying is founded in fact. Sometimes in this industry, the tough part is that many people ask me certain questions and there is not a direct answer, because we are still finding out what something really is or how it is really working. What I knew 2 years ago may have changed, just because of their newest research.
CEOCFO: How do you help people differentiate between the various CBD products and how do stay on top of new information?
Mr. Piermarini: That is a great question. With the emerging influx of people coming into cannabis there is much more money coming in, which I think is pushing many of these companies to try and diversify and try and become “above the fray,” because I do speak at these expos and I have booths at these expos and I am selling products and everyone is selling very similar products. Everyone is trying to differentiate with a different minor cannabinoid with CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV; all these different things. However, the fact of the matter is that many of the people just need to understand that coming in and taking a full spectrum tincture with CBD and THC is a very, very good place to start and then branching off into the minor cannabinoids.
The way I stay ahead is that I am just always trying to educate myself. I subscribe to many different blogs, I read published papers as much as I can, I am just really trying to make sure that I am speaking the most current knowledge and there really no other, better way because there are a few societies with clinicians that I belong to and they publish some papers and people share best practices, so read those and share and do what everyone else is doing.
CEOCFO: What is changing in the industry? How is it different today than it might have been a year ago?
Mr. Piermarini: The industry is already growing. I think COVID put a spotlight on health and wellness. As a result, people are searching out alternative treatments for their health and wellness, not just taking certain medications, but how-
Cannabis dispensaries were deemed necessary businesses during the pandemic, which I am sure, in your lifetime, you never would have thought that a cannabis dispensary would have been deemed necessary! The lines are around the block here in Arizona, because it is recreational cannabis. Therefore, a lot of money is coming, many new people are coming in and people are confused, so we are just really making sure that they are seeking good products and good education.
CEOCFO: How are you growing your business, growing your education, without being split in too many ways? Are you training people? What do you see for the future and how are you taking care of that aspect or planning for it?
Mr. Piermarini: As of right now, it is just me. I run my wellness and pain management clinic here is Scottsdale and do my CBD stuff two days a week, so we are hitting kind of an inflection point where I am going to probably start needing some help, some sales associates to go call on some of these clinics to get the CBD in there. However, I still have full control and that is important to me, right now, in the beginning while I am laying the foundation of all the educational platforms that I am building.
As any small “bootstrapped” business, growth is obviously a blessing and a curse at the same time. Who do you hire, how do you hire, who do you trust? That is difficult. I was just talking to one of the ladies that runs our front desk and I said, “I need you to start hiring, I am looking for someone to hire to help me out, because I cannot physically keep doing everything, I am running out of hours in the day!”
CEOCFO: What have you learned as you have talked to more and more people? What might have changed in the way you are doing your education, based on either feedback of just what you have learned as you are going out and talking to more and more folks?
Mr. Piermarini: Great question. My wife has been very, very helpful in this area, because I tend to sometimes speak a little but more with the medical vernacular and a little bit over people’s heads. When I make my presentations for these expos, I will run them by here, practice my presentation and her response is, “This is really good, but you also have to realize that you spend your entire day reading and doing this, so these types of terms are so second nature to you that you have to slow down, you have got to start defining these terms a little bit better.”
I am really working on bringing myself down, because I am also balancing between having discussions with medical professionals, which I ramp back up to my medical vernacular and then ramp it back down to lay person vernacular. Therefore, I am kind of bouncing back and forth between those two worlds and for me it is kind of a challenge. However, that is what I am working on; trying to make sure that I am relatable to the lay person with my story.
CEOCFO: Are you seeking funding or partnerships as you grow?
Mr. Piermarini: Yes, that is going hopefully going to be very soon. I have a few more projects that I need to solidify and I definitely think I am not there yet, but hopefully it is going to be in the next 6 to 8 months. I am hoping to get to a point of where, taking a friends and family round or something like that, to take some funding to help grow.
CEOCFO: Where do the regulatory issues come into play for you? How cognizant do you need to be of where you are, in what state or even if the locality has particular restrictions in place or is that really not relevant from your end of it?
Mr. Piermarini: It depends. With my cannabis coaching business; if I am crossing state lines, I have to be very careful that the clients that I am talking to understand that I am working in the capacity of a certified health coach, so I can never treat nor diagnose certain medical treatments, but I can assist in using CBD or if cannabis is legal in your state. CBD is legal in all 50 states.
Obviously, cannabis has varying legalizations from medical and to rec, depending on which state you are in. However, it is a difficult position to walk a fine line of what you can say to John Smith in Ohio and not be construed as medical advice, but as more of health coaching. Therefore, that is difficult. Also, the regulatory of the products, so cannot make claims. We have had to change labels, credit card processing, banks, bank statements; it is not an easy industry! There are many barrios to entry.
CEOCFO: What about other medications that people are taking, conditions they may have, medications prescribed as well as supplements. It is important, but how do you get that across without either overwhelming people? There is a balance there. How do you get that across?
Mr. Piermarini: What I always say when I am doing any of these talks is, “this is not medical advice.” That is a pretty wide disclaimer but, if you are starting any supplement, CBD is a supplement; actually, technically it is not, the FDA really has not given us any guidelines, I always recommend talking to a medical professional about, “I want to start this, are there any medications that could counteract with it.”
The rule of thumb, for sure, any time you start any CBD product is, if you have any medications that shows that you cannot take a medication with grapefruit, it is very highly likely that there is a potential interaction with that medication, seizure medications, blood thinners are medications that are life sustaining and CBD is not a life sustaining medication. Therefore, I always say that if you are going to take this go to your neurologist and make sure that they are aware of you taking this supplement and to keep an eye on your levels or check your INR a little bit sooner than usual, just really being conservative.
CEOCFO: There are many companies in your industry, lots of services in your industry to look at. Why should our readers pay attention to Restorative CBD?
Mr. Piermarini: Great question. Because I am very, very passionate about making sure that patients get quality products, but above that, there is quality education. I am forefront of the opioid crisis for the last 6 years and I have seen what opioids can do. What the problem is with these opioids is that they are cutting patients off because the pendulum has swung the other way. We are more conservative, but we are not giving patients viable options to help with their pain that we should be, and that is due to a lack of knowledge and experience in the medical industry.
I am very passionate because I have seen what it does. I have seen what it does for me, my family members, my patients that I work with directly and so, I am not only passionate about selling a product, I am passionate about selling education and furthering this industry as a whole into the correct direction. I had multiple medical professionals in my talk that came up to me and told me, “Thank you for actually educating properly about these systems,” because they do not know who to turn to. However together, if I am able to educate these other medical professionals and together, we are able then to go disperse legitimate information, where the industry as a whole come-
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“Like most medical professionals, I had no education or experience on the endocannabinoid system or CBD or cannabis. Therefore, I started having a lot of patient’s approach me with CBD bottles and different tinctures and I was left kind of speechless, because I had no idea of how to speak intelligently about it. It was not until I started taking this seriously that I had patients coming back and handing me their Percocets and their oxycodones and saying, “I do not need this anymore,” and I said, “Why.” They say, “I am on CBD,” and I said, “What is this!”