Introducing Chief Science Officer of Open Book Extracts, Dr. Salzman – a Pioneer, Inventor, and Entrepreneur specializing in the production of pure rare cannabinoids. 

With an increase in consumer demand for natural methods to ease anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, inflammation, and pain, it’s no surprise that CBD is on the rise. At OBX, we hear and celebrate the testimonies of individuals finding relief and support every day. And as trust grows with CBD, so does the demand for CBD’s friendly cannabinoid cousins like CBN, THCV, CBC, and CBG. 

Through our recent acquisition of Chilmark Labs, we’re delighted to welcome the newly appointed Chief Science Officer of OBX, Dr. Andrew Salzman, his team, and a host of rare cannabinoid ingredients.

The opportunity to introduce consumer products with precise formulations of rare cannabinoid ingredients to support real therapeutic outcomes is here. 

We spent some time learning more about Dr. Salzman, why he’s dedicated his last five years to rare cannabinoid research and development, and what’s in store for the future.  

Read on to learn more from our chat with Dr. Salzman.

OBX: Tell us about your background, Dr. Salzman.

Dr. Salzman: I’m a physician, scientist, inventor, and biomedical entrepreneur. I studied biology at Yale College and then medicine at Harvard Medical School. After that, I undertook a pediatric internship and residency at Columbia University (New York, NY), followed by post-doctoral fellowships in pediatric critical care, neonatal critical care, immunology, epithelial biology, and pediatric infectious disease at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel), Children’s Hospital Medicine Center (Boston, MA), the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA), the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (Worcester, MA), and Beth Israel Hospital Medical Center (Brookline, MA). Prior to launching my entrepreneurial career in biotechnology, I founded and led the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH).

 In 1999, I left academia and hospital administration to found a series of multinational pharmaceutical companies, which included a strategic partnership with Genentech for an oncology drug I invented and an initial public offering on the NASDAQ for a glaucoma drug we discovered. Over the past twenty years, I have been active in basic and applied research, which has been supported with funding from 135 NIH, DARPA, and BARDA grants and contracts totaling $160 million. This work has supported research activities resulting in 200 scientific publications and 50 patents, spanning work in ischemia-reperfusion injury, intestinal mucosal biology, pulmonary arterial hypertension, autoimmune disease, and mechanisms of pro-inflammatory gene expression. Over the last five years, I’ve dedicated my professional time to cannabinoid research, pioneering innovative methods to produce rare cannabinoids at scale and carrying out studies of CBD in patients after bone marrow transplantation. 

OBX: Why did you decide to start Chilmark labs? 

Dr. Salzman: I started Chilmark Labs because I believe that we have developed methods of purification of the rare cannabinoids that are pioneering and could bring help to millions of people who have never had an opportunity to take advantage of these remarkable natural molecules. 

OBX: We talk about the importance of full-spectrum in the efficacy of CBD, but not the other, less known cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, CBG, etc. Why don’t people call those out specifically?

Dr. Salzman: There is actually a tremendous interest in the lesser known cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, and CBC. Indeed, the principal reason why people are excited about full-spectrum is because of the presence of these rare cannabinoids. And the only way one can currently access these molecules is in full-spectrum distillate. Never have they been available before in pure form, but the interest in full spectrum highlights the excitement around this class of molecules. In full spectrum, however, the concentrations of rare cannabinoids are too low to see the full benefit that they can offer, and they also vary from batch to batch based on the cannabinoid profile of the hemp source material. 

OBX: What are the key cannabinoids with the most benefits? 

Dr. Salzman: Up until now, research on rare cannabinoids has been limited due to cost, but what exists is promising and exciting. Currently, most research exists on CBN, CBC, CBG, CBDV, and THCV. Easier access to these rare cannabinoids will facilitate more research in the near future. Early findings suggest the following therapeutic benefits may be derived from these rare cannabinoids:

  • CBN (Cannabinol) is considered a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, and is known for its powerful sedative and relaxing properties. Accordingly, CBN may help relieve symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and stress. CBN may mimic natural cannabinoid-like molecules within the body (“endocannabinoids”) which have been shown to promote rapid-eye-movement sleep by interacting with melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. 
  • CBG (Cannabigerol) may aid in the hydration and healing of dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema. It possesses powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. CBG is also a potent CB2 agonist (activator). CB2 receptors are found in peripheral tissues and gut. Activation of these receptors induces immune suppression, halts inflammation, and blocks pain.
  • CBC (Cannabichromene) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that may relieve pain, fight acne, act as an antidepressant, and assist with digestive and gastrointestinal disorders. 
  • CBDV (Cannabidivarin) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that resembles CBD but has a shorter side-chain. Like CBD, CBDV significantly reduces the frequency and severity of seizures. It also reduces nausea and inflammation and may be beneficial in the treatment of pain, mood disorders, and acne.
  • THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) inhibits the CB1 receptor that THC binds to and thus has powerful appetite-suppressant effects. In addition, THCV has shown exciting potential in diseases as diverse as Parkinson’s, circulatory shock, epilepsy, nicotine addiction, and diabetes.

OBX: What is unique about how you extract and purify these rare cannabinoids? 

Dr. Salzman: We have invented ways to efficiently recover trace amounts of these valuable rare cannabinoids in a way that now for the first time becomes cost effective and commercially viable. This efficiency is based on our discovery of how to perform these purifications on a very large scale.

OBX: Do you think we’re going to start seeing more products with a focus on these cannabinoids or is this just a marketing thing for people trying to make their CBD stand out from the pack?

Dr. Salzman: We are already seeing more products with rare cannabinoids. At the moment, the majority of products promoting rare cannabinoids only contain an insignificant amount so that could be seen as a marketing tactic. However, once these cannabinoids are attainable in a cost-effective way and consumers appreciate their therapeutic benefits, rare cannabinoids will flood the market and perhaps even surpass CBD sales.

OBX: Why did you decide to join forces with Open Book Extracts? 

Dr. Salzman: I was immediately attracted to OBX by their total commitment to quality and ethics. At the end of the day, it is not just about money and efficiency, it’s about the integrity of the process and the people that you’re working with. I want to be in a place where my scientific work supports a commercial effort that respects the consumer. 

OBX: What excites you most about the future of cannabinoids? 

Dr. Salzman: I’m most excited about meeting major unmet medical needs in a safe and socially-responsible fashion.

Thank you Dr. Salzman for your time and expertise! Learn more about our rare cannabinoids available here

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