When David Jakubovic was first approached about making a film focused on medical cannabis, he reportedly wasn’t too excited about the idea. Fortunately, he was open to a change of thinking.
“Over the course of this project, I came to realize that cannabis is far from a gateway drug,” Jakubovic said in a release. “For many, it’s actually an exit drug from pharmaceuticals and narcotics. And in the U.S. — which has 5% of the world’s population consuming 75% of the world’s pharmaceuticals — we can no longer afford to be in the dark about the facts. Facts can save lives.”
In a sense, “CBD Nation” is Jakubovic’s proof of thesis. Featuring interviews with over 30 physicians, clinicians, scientists and patients, the documentary is a testament to those whose lives have been altered for the better since discovering CBD.
The subject matter is definitely new territory for Jakubovic, an Israeli documentary filmmaker whose previous work includes the History Channel series “Washington” as well as a World War II special for National Geographic. Speaking with Forbes about the announced release for “CBD Nation,” Jakubovic credited a 2014 TED Talk given by Dr. Dedi Meiri for inspiring him to take the project on.
In his presentation, Dr. Meiri — a biologist who runs the world’s leading cannabis lab at Technion University in Israel — collects facts and figures to present a compelling picture of CBD as a valuable medicinal tool of today and tomorrow. The subsequent six years following his TED Talk have proven Dr. Meiri’s words prescient. Today, it’s hard to avoid mention of the once-unknown cannabinoid that now makes it home in everything from beauty products to snack foods.
To be certain, many facets of the ongoing CBD marketing onslaught the U.S. now finds itself in are entirely disingenuous. Absent consistent guidelines or a governing body up to the task of classifying and validating CBD levels and potency at the federal level, much of the burden has fallen on consumers. One of the risks of this approach is that people get ineffective products and write CBD off as a fad.
By contrast, “CBD Nation” is a film that features an impressive array of experts and patients who all attest to the very real ways in which the cannabinoid can improve lives.
One notable subject is Israel scientist Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D. Known by many as “the father of cannabis research,” Mechoulam is credited with discovering the cannabinoid THC in the 1960s. He later discovered “the therapeutic efficacy of CBD to treat medical conditions” as well.
Now 89-years-old, Mechoulam sounds as lively and passionate as ever in a quote included with the film’s announcement.
“We published our findings 37 years ago: CBD blocks epileptic attacks in patients. What happened? Nothing for thirty years. Nothing happened until desperate parents like those in this film did their own research and found out that cannabidiol can help children with epilepsy. But epilepsy is just one of many conditions that we know cannabis medicine can treat. If the world chooses to not look at all of the science, it is not ignorance — it’s negligence.”
To Mechoulam’s point, “CBD Nation” follows the lives of several individuals treating medical conditions with CBD. One such story is that of Rylie Maedler, who at age seven was diagnosed with Aggressive Giant Cell Granuloma — a rare degenerative bone disease that caused tumors to eat away at the bones of her face.
Today, Maedler is 14-years-old. She remains the only known person with the disease worldwide whose bones have regenerated.
“I hope that U.S. doctors, educators and politicians see this film,” Maedler said in a press release, “because I’m living proof of the fact that cannabis and CBD have a place in modern medicine.”
In addition to Maedler and Mechoulam, the movie also includes interviews with Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo and a host of other industry heavyweights.
As with any good documentary, the call to action contained within “CBD Nation” isn’t subtle. As viewers learn about what Maedler has gone through, it is with the hope that her story will inspire them to demand their legislators protect CBD as medicine. There will, undoubtedly, be hashtags.
For those looking to stream the film, “CBD Nation” will be available August 25 on Amazon and select other video-on-demand services.