Welcome to Living in the Weeds, a series that explores the experiences of neurodivergent people who consume cannabis.
In today’s episode, hosts Lucy and Jessica talk to Dr. Miyabe Shields, a scientist with a Ph.D in endocannabinoid pharmacology who describes themself as a “queer neurodivergent scientist.”
Miyabe takes a deep dive into SO MANY great points, including:
- Their neurodivergent journey and how cannabis helps them “mechanistically and molecularly” more than pharmaceuticals
- Moving outside of the academic research realm and creating a neurodivergent stoner community
- Why lived experiences have as much clinical value as scientific research
- How cannabis gave them longevity and a life to look forward to, not suffer through
- The benefits of CBG and how it falls between the effects of CBD and THC
- Creating a reproducible experience with cannabis by tracking their consumption and getting granular with the cannabinoid blend, terpenes, dosing, and timing during the day
- Why smoking is the best administration form for them
- Why edibles fit the “gold standard” of orally administered medicines
- The importance for neurodivergent people to track their symptoms from consuming cannabis and the elevated risk of over-consuming
- How breeding cannabis plants for THC is creating a “designer dogs” problem in the industry
Loved this episode with Miyabe? You can learn more! Join them at Project Chronic to learn about dosing like a scientist and be included in future research outreaches.
Ready to start tracking your cannabis consumption? Grab one of Lucy’s Tracking Journals here and save 10% off at checkout with code CANNABISWRITER.
Why I Love This Episode of Living in the Weeds
This episode is GOLD. When Lucy and I first started talking about this series, I knew it would be woefully incomplete without Miyabe and I was elated when they agreed to be our first guest.
Miyabe touches on so many important points it would be impossible to dive into them all.
The Biological Differences of Neurodiversity
I love the point Miyabe brings up about how neurodivergent people are wired differently. It’s not just in your head – it’s also in your gut microbiome, your immune response, your sleep cycle, and your hormone regulation. This is something I don’t think we talk about enough.
Neurodivergence is often described as a “brain difference” and it is, but it doesn’t stop in the cerebellum. Comorbidities are incredibly common for neurodivergent people, and these are often centered around other systems in the body: having an autoimmune disorder, food sensitivities, over or underproduction of hormones – the list goes on. And crazily enough, these are all things that the endocannabinoid system governs as well.
Creating a Reproducible Cannabis Routine
One of the things I was most excited to talk to Miyabe about was their routine. Miyabe is open online about their routine, dosing, and cannabinoid blend. In our discussion, they mentioned that the main benefit of the blends they create is having a reproducible experience, which maximizes the value of the medicine.
This is such a good point – how many people have been turned off by cannabis because of the differences in effects from one strain to another? Taking a deep dive into cannabinoids and dosages can be confusing, but the end result is a consistent type of medicine optimized for your unique endocannabinoid system.
Getting Beyond THC Products
Miyabe also touches on the blend they make, which is usually a 40/40/20 with CBD, CBG, and THC. I’m a huge advocate for type II cannabis, which has a blend of CBD and THC, and incorporating other cannabinoids can help offset the negative effects of THC.
I also love how Miyabe calls out the industry’s obsession with breeding cannabis plants for THC. Calling them “designer dogs” Miyabe explains how, when you breed for one certain characteristic, it comes at the expense of everything else – including balance, and how high-potency THC products often create worse side effects.
They also call out how neurodivergent people are more at risk of the negative side effects of potent THC products. With brains wired more toward reward responses, Miyabe explains, neurodivergent people are at risk of overconsuming, whether that overconsumption is “social, financial, or productivity.”