How do first responders recover from traumatic events? Adam Markel introduces William Branum, the founder of a CBD company called Naked Warrior Recovery, SEAL sniper instructor, and retired Navy SEAL leader. William talks with Adam about how failures are the most precious lessons in your entire life. You can use failures to build resilience in yourself. William also talks about how when things become stressful, inflammation happens, leading to chronic illness. That’s when CBD enters the picture because it helps fight inflammation and acts as a neuroprotector, helping you find healing mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. Listen to this episode to learn more about recovering from traumatic events.

Show Notes:

00:03:45 – Introduction of William Branum

00:09:37 – There’s so much you can’t control

00:13:33 – Learned how to be a better runner

00:17:39 – Build resilience in yourself

00:17:39 – You’ll get immediate feedback

00:17:39 – Went out of SEAL and started own company

00:28:16 – Trying out CBD

00:31:53 – The naked Underwater Demolition Team

00:39:33 – CBD is an anti-inflammatory

00:42:51 – Everyone’s endocannabinoid system has different requirements.

00:46:15 – Studies on the effectiveness of CBD

00:50:27 – Be consistent with your bedtime.

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How First Responders Recover From Traumatic Events With William Branum

[00:00:06] I am sitting in a seat of gratitude, feeling incredibly blessed and fortunate to be here, to be doing what I’m doing and looking forward to the conversation that I’m about to start with someone that I was introduced to. We have a mutual friend and we’ve been chatting for a couple of months. I got to see firsthand what he’s up to and his business. I experienced some of that, which we’ll get into. Let me share a little bit about him and then we’ll dive right in because it’s going to be a rich conversation. All of you are going to love it a lot.

[00:00:42] First of all, Will Branum is a retired 26-year veteran of the Navy SEALs. In fact, he was a Chief Navy SEAL, a SEAL Sniper Instructor, and then pivoted out of that service. We thank him so much for that service. We’re going to talk a little bit about that as well in connection with how it was that he created a maintain resilience as a SEAL instructor, as a leader in that incredibly respected institution, as far as the military goes. It’s thought of in a way that’s a little different than maybe some other branches of the military and we could talk about whether that should be the case or not, but I want to thank him for his service, the outset here.

[00:01:24] He also went into something quite a bit different. You are going to love the pivot story of retiring from service, starting a business on his own, an entrepreneur like so many of us, and launching a business, a CBD company, back in March of 2020, which is an interesting time. If you think historically, you wouldn’t be like to start any a new business in March of 2020, but it’s called Naked Warrior Recovery.

[00:01:50] Initially, its inspiration was to help veterans and first responders recover from traumatic events, both physical and emotional. We’re saying tongue in cheek that it would be a difficult time to start a business at the outset of a pandemic and yet the business was intended to assist veterans and first responders in being able to recover from traumatic events. I can’t think of a more extended, traumatic period than the last several months for so many people. Will, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show. I’m glad that you could join us.

[00:02:26] Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

[00:02:29] I would love to know what’s not a part of that bio, that people might be thinking to themselves, “What does it take to become a Navy SEAL?” If you’ve ever read a book or listened to another Navy SEAL talk about what that training is like. What it’s like to not apply, but to go through the process and be accepted into that service. It’s pretty daunting. Developing yourself to that capacity is a great unknown for a lot of people. Will, what can you tell us about yourself that you want people to know at the outset that’s not a part of the bio I read?

[00:03:04] I spent 26 years in the Navy, 95% of that time was in the SEAL teams. I had some good times and bad times in there. I’ve had many failures in my life. I love having failures because those are the most precious lessons in my entire life. It didn’t matter if it was a marriage or if it was doing some underwater navigation while diving. I never learned when I succeeded. I only learned when I failed, like, “Don’t do it like that. Do it like this.” Those are all my greatest lessons. Failure is my friend. Even though I don’t like it, I hate failure, but I also love it.

[00:03:42] We could probably stop this show right now and lead with the one great lesson that your failure is your friend, but you’re still not happy to see that friend. It’s like, “I know you’re my friend, but I wish you weren’t here right now.” The first chapter of the book. It’s a middle chapter. I haven’t gotten to the end, so I don’t know what the end chapter is, but I imagine that if history is any indication of the future, our lives are filled with great ups and downs. The moments where we feel we’ve “succeeded” and moments where we have gotten the feedback that something hasn’t worked according to plan or “failure.”

[00:04:29] I’ve always had a personal issue with that word and this is in the vein of motivation maybe or inspiration, but how do we reframe that word failure? If you think about it, if you’re sitting right now, reading this and you think, “I failed like this guy. The guy’s a 26-year veteran of the Navy SEALs and led other SEALs. He’s talking about how his greatest teacher was the failure.”

Failures are the most precious lessons in your entire life. Click To Tweet

[00:04:58] Where do we see our own lives and see our failures and give them a meaning that is all about what didn’t work, what we wish we could’ve done differently, the regrets we’ve got about those things are the stories that we tell about how it stopped or impeded us? What I’m getting out of this is that your ability to consistently move forward has been the result of the failures you’ve had. It’s an ironic relationship.

[00:05:24] It comes down to resilience. That is another word that you can use. I didn’t prepare before I went to SEAL training at all. I was able to pass the physical entrance test, but I didn’t work out that hard before I went. It certainly showed when I got there because I experienced a lot of failures. However, I wasn’t there to quit. I was there to become a Navy SEAL. I watched these amazing athletes. These guys could run, swim, do obstacle courses, PT, work out. To me, they were leaders and inspirational. Oftentimes, those were the first guys to quit.

[00:06:06] When you’re going through that selection course, you’re going to fail. The job is to fail, learn and become better. You don’t show up to SEAL training, knowing everything. You’ve got to learn. They’re going to break you down. Many of these people were collegiate athletes. They were the best of the best in their circle or in their team. They got there and they would run super fast or they would do everything better than everyone else, “You all suck. Lock arms, get in the water or run over this berm and get wet and come back for the next hour and a half.” To me, I was like, “That’s part of training.” For them, they’re like, “I did everything right. I should not be punished right now.”

[00:06:46] They couldn’t take the fact that they weren’t number one anymore. They were a loser like everyone else in the class. They were a failure. They couldn’t take that emotional stress on their psyche. They took it personally instead of like, “This is a team effort. Our job is to suck it up and move forward.” I was talking to a friend of mine and we were talking about attitude and effort. Usually, it’s very expensive for entrepreneurs to go to the program called The Project. It’s a 75-hour little mini hell week and a friend of mine is one of the instructors there. They take all of the control away from you, which is important in life.

[00:07:31] There is so much around you that you cannot control. These guys who were super athletes couldn’t control the fact that they were losing and failing right now. All you can control is your attitude and your effort. Are you going to have a good attitude and are you going to put forth the effort to do what you need to do to accomplish your goal? I didn’t realize that at the time, I was just there to finish training. Later on, as I matured, I learned that it’s about attitude and effort. It doesn’t matter what is happening, whether you’re in combat and things are blowing up around you.

[00:08:06] You put forth a lot of effort to train, to make the right decisions, do the right things, get out of bad situations and you have to have a good attitude. When things start going badly, some people lockdown, and that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. You need to look up and start looking around. When things go bad, that’s the most important time to have the right attitude and to put forth the maximum amount of effort that you possibly can.

[00:08:35] Will, it reminds me of that old Chuck Swindoll quote about attitude. I wish I could quote the entire thing. I won’t right now, but the penultimate line in his almost like a poem, is that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. The attitude is the only thing. It’s a quote about attitude. It’s the only thing. You’ve got to play that one string over again. Your attitude, how it is that you respond to things attitudinally. When I was a kid, my dad would sometimes say to me, “Change your attitude.” I was like, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. What do you mean?” “To have the self-awareness.” I go, “My attitude sucks right now. You’re right. I got to change my attitude.”

[00:09:23] That word was an enigma to me growing up. To hear you talk about attitude and effort being these two things that were the inflection point at the SEAL training between guys that made it and guys that didn’t. The inflection point wasn’t as much about performance. We’re about raw talent. You’re saying these guys have tremendous talent and ability, yet when faced with failure they couldn’t control, not a failure because they themselves sucked but when you’re only as strong as your weakest link. I know we’re hitting up a couple of clichés here. Any team, whether it’s a SEAL team, it’s a team in your business or any area of your family, you’re legitimately only as strong as the weakest link is.

[00:10:14] If anybody fails, we all fail. They couldn’t handle the failure personally, so they couldn’t ultimately be part of the team. Is there a way that you were able to reframe that word? I know I’m being a bit semantical now, but for folks that the word failure itself is a trigger and even an anchor, keeping people stuck in place. Did you reframe that word and use a different word to describe what you were experiencing?

PR William Branum | Recover From Traumatic Events

Recover From Traumatic Events: The job is to suck it up and move forward.


[00:10:45] For me, it was a learning point. I learned how to be a better runner and push my body in ways that were as uncomfortable. I don’t have to go quite as hard and I’m still going to pass the run, swim or not quite keep up on the run. If I put forth a little more effort, it’s going to hurt a little bit now, but I’m going to be finished more quickly. The pain is going to stop. It taught me to think about how much effort am I going to put out. You’ve got to put the effort out. Am I going to put it out right now or am I going to extend out the amount of pain that that effort brings over time? I learned to run faster and work a little bit harder.

[00:11:33] I’m getting chills here just because on a performance, like a part of what we do and what I’ve been doing for a while. I was a lawyer for eighteen years, I pivoted out of that profession and it performed quite well. At least at a business level, I wasn’t performing well on a personal level. It was destroying my life. All these amazing things to be grateful for, wife, love of my life, college sweetheart, four kids, all that, I’m miserable. It’s funny because I work with our company and sometimes consult with organizations about resilience. I’ll work with individuals within those organizations, including the founders, CEOs and stuff.

[00:12:12] I find these other people too, like me at that time in my life, that have everything truly to be grateful for, but they’re somehow still miserable. In some regards, it detracts back. I’m doing my best right now to trace this back to what you described, which is that a lot of people are saving. They’re saving themselves and their energy. They’re holding back for something they imagine they’ll need that reserve for in the future. They’re not putting out their best effort at the moment, thinking that somehow they’ve got to save it for tomorrow. I’m a spiritual guy. I’m not terribly religious, but there’s a great story and learning of failure and success in things, in biblical texts and other spiritual texts.

[00:13:02] I love that story of the Jews wandering in the desert. They’re given enough food, mana, for their day. They’re told, “Don’t save it because you don’t need to. You’re going to have some more. There’ll be more tomorrow for sure.” People couldn’t deal with that uncertainty with the lack of control, perhaps the control over their destiny, so they went ahead and saved it anyway. It turned poisonous, toxic and the rest is history.

[00:13:31] It’s interesting when you think about what you described that the lack of control and uncertainty that tends to produce fear in us, that we go into saving mode, saving our energy. If you’d have done that, do you think you would have succeeded if you’d been trying to save yourself at the moment?

[00:13:53] Not at all. I didn’t understand what I was doing back then. Now that I’m older and I have many other lessons in my own life, I’m still trying to build resilience in myself. Most people are going to take their time and ease their way up the hill. I don’t do that. A friend of mine, he calls it, attack the hill. I attacked the hill and I think about him every time. He’s a former teammate of mine. I run up the hill and once I get to the top, I think about slowing down, catching my breath, and figuring out the next plan of action. whether it keeps going at the same speed or slows down, I catch my breath and then get ready for the next hill.

[00:14:51] Even at the end of SEAL training, we’re out on San Clemente Island and you have to earn your food every day. You have to do a bunch of push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups to eat, or you run up what they called Frog Hill. It was about a quarter-mile almost straight up. It starts off pretty flat and then it turns into this very steep hill. I was a mediocre runner, middle of the class. It’s like this little goat trail that goes up. If you go slower than the guy in front of you, you’re pretty much-screwing everyone behind you.

[00:15:26] I thought it was my job to get out of everyone’s way. I would run as hard as I could and I was in the top 3 or 5 every time we did that hill. Other people were like mosey on up or whatever, but you have to get there in a certain amount of time or you have to go get in the ocean, come back and eat. Your lunch or dinner is soaking wet outside within the class. That was something I learned early on that you always have a little more in the tank. It doesn’t matter what it is you’re working on, if it’s like a paper, you’re writing a book, exercising, or working on a relationship, you always have more in the tank than you think you do.

[00:16:16] I want to transition into and this will be simple because we’re talking about it already, but what does it take to create resilience? Over 26 years in that profession, line of work and service, what did you learn about what produces long-term resilience? You saw guys come in. Some of them failed and were able to succeed because they learned from their failure. I might reframe the word failure as feedback or as finding out. You don’t fail, but you find out. You find out often what’s not going to work. You know what didn’t work in that instance and you can make some adjustments.

Build resilience in yourself. Click To Tweet

[00:16:54] You saw that at the outset and through 26 years, you must’ve seen guys come and go, people come and go, make it, not make it at all levels. Can you draw some conclusions about resilience in the SEALs and what resilience looks like, what produced it and how ultimately it either contributed to people being able to go the distance or when it was lacking there they’re not being able to?

[00:17:18] A lot of it is the mindset. In the SEAL teams, you’re lucky because you’re surrounded by similar attitudes and mindsets. If you start to dip in your resilience, performance or any way, you’re going to get that immediate feedback. If you don’t perform, show up, if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you will get immediate feedback. It’s not always positive feedback, but it’s feedback. Therefore, it gives you the ability to make corrections that you need to make.

[00:17:52] The reflection of other people around you that may not feel supportive when people hold you accountable or give you rough feedback, but you can’t hide from the truth of the moment, is that right?

[00:18:10] You’re not hiding anything. It’s such a tight-knit group of people that there’s no hiding and real secrets. You can have secrets, but things will come out and be exposed at some point. If you’re not performing to the level that you need to perform to the level of the team, the team will either bring you up or you will no longer be a part of the team. It won’t be an easy path. Nothing is given to you. You have to earn it every day.

[00:18:34] I’m thinking to myself that the name of your company, it feels like it has something to do with what we said because when you’re that exposed to everyone around you for the purposes of you being better, ultimately, that’s the only goal. I suppose it might not feel like that to some folks when they’re being pressed so hard, but it’s for you to be better because the team is better as you individually are better.

[00:19:03] You’re naked that whole entire time, so you got a company called Naked Warrior Recovery. I said, “I want to track both the name of the company and the naked part of it, as well as the recovery piece.” In our study and research about resilience, a lot of it has to do with that word recovery to see if we can talk in terms of the expenditure. The spending yourself in the moment part, knowing you’ve got more in the tank and yet understanding that recovery is, in many ways, an unsung hero of resilience that doesn’t get spoken about a lot. Why don’t we start with the name?

[00:19:42] I transitioned out of the SEAL teams on August 1st, 2018. I started a consulting company to help organizations navigate the military acquisition system. It was a science and technology field where I was pretty good at getting money for other companies to develop technologies for the military. I wasn’t super happy doing that. People wanted me to sell their widgets that I didn’t believe in. I also lost a family, a team that I had. Once you walk out the door, it’s not like the Marine Corps, once a Marine, always a Marine. You’re expected to uphold all these values and maybe you have the same support system. It’s not like that in the SEAL teams.

[00:20:27] It’s not that they don’t want to be helpful, don’t want to be friendly or whatever. They’re busy doing other stuff. They’re preparing to go into bad situations and they have to take care of that inner core. You’re no longer part of that inner core. We’ll talk to you when we can. That created an incredible loss for me. I was in denial of getting out of the Navy. I was returning emails the day that I retired on the work projects I was working on and was in complete denial. I’m like, “IT department, maybe you need my phone back.”

PR William Branum | Recover From Traumatic Events

Recover From Traumatic Events: Surround yourself with a team that will bring you up.


[00:21:00] That was very traumatic for me. My entire adult life has been in the SEAL teams. Now I’m a civilian, I have greatly reduced income now. I no longer have a mission, a purpose in life. I no longer have a family and a team. It was a huge traumatic transition for me. I also have some other stuff. We’ll call it middle baggage from toxic relationships, work stuff or whatever. Life isn’t fair and will beat you down if you don’t take charge.

[00:21:44] I was using alcohol for many years to turn off that noise that’s in my head. At some point, I had heard about CBD before it was cool. There are a million CBD brands out there now. The guy was talking about the medicinal qualities of THC and medical marijuana. Up to this day, I never tried marijuana, but I’m certain that it’s not as bad as the amount of alcohol that I’ve consumed. He said, “Everyone knows about THC, but there’s this other molecule called CBD. It has all these medicinal benefits, good for your central nervous system and all these other things.” I was like, “Maybe I should try that one day.”

[00:22:19] It wasn’t for another year after I got out of the Navy because I’m a child of Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs, Just Say No. I’m still scared of that stuff. I finally tried CBD because a friend of mine gave it to me. He was like, “Here you go.” I said I was interested, he had some bottles and he gave me a bottle. I tried it that night. I slept a little bit better. I like to say the water boils at 212 degrees. I was walking around at 210 degrees. It didn’t take long to hit that needle, have a flare-up and trigger like a small trigger, not even a big trigger. I started coming down from 210 degrees to 208 degrees. It’s a very subtle change and I didn’t notice it immediately.

[00:23:06] I know people are tracking this, but your emotional stove ran hot as a result of this trauma, stress and stuff in the bag that you’re carrying around. You started to explore the CBD and could see that the figurative temperature of that stove was coming down.

[00:23:27] Something else I noticed was some pain was not as bad as it used to be. Normally, I would do certain movements and it would be the stabbing pain. Every time I do the movement, I’m grimacing and getting ready. About three weeks after I started taking CBD, it wasn’t the sharp pain that was stabbing me anymore. It was this dull pain. I was like, “When did that happen? I must be getting better.” I ran out. I thought nothing of it and things started coming back. Things started like little triggers were starting to set me off. I was like, “Maybe there was something to that CBD.” I tried another brand and things got a little bit better.

[00:24:06] Eventually, I’ve found a way to start my own CBD company because I believed in the product and what it did for me, so I started Naked Warrior Recovery. The Naked Warrior is the predecessor to Navy SEAL. Back in World War II, if you’ve seen the movie Saving Private Ryan, you saw the assault force in the beginning of the movie. They went ashore at Normandy. Prior to the assault, several days, two weeks prior to that, these guys at the Navy got to volunteer. They would swim into the beach, measure the depth of the water with a rock on a piece of string and look for obstacles on the water. They would do 3,000 to 5,000 yards of the beach a night, back to the ship, chart everything out and then go back out the next night.

[00:24:58] Hours before that Saving Private Ryan taking the beach, these guys would go out. They put a demo on all the obstacles in the water and as many on the beach as they could. As the assault force is coming, they’re blowing, they’re taking fire from the beach and the Naval ships are firing at the beach to give them some cover fire. They blow the obstacles on the beach and then the assault force comes in. In the Pacific, the Marines were doing the same thing. They were doing these amphibious assaults. They would run aground on a barrier reef around the island campaign.

[00:25:33] They would run off wearing 60 to 80 pounds of gear and run off the edge of the reef thinking they were in 3 feet of water and they would drown. The Navy brought these Underwater Demolition Team, or these Naked Warriors, because they would go into battle naked. A mask, some fins, shorts, a Ka-Bar knife, little leadline and slate, that is all they wore.

[00:25:55] They would go in and they would clear these obstacles, so the Marines could go and move forward. In 1967, the Underwater Demolition Team became Navy SEALs. That’s nowadays’ Navy SEAL. I was walking around and I still do sometimes walking around with this ego, armor and chip on my shoulder, for the lack of a better term. Everything was an attack on me, a trigger or something that was holding me down, keeping me down or whatever.

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[00:26:28] At some point, CBD allowed me to be a little bit more vulnerable so that I could face those triggers and stressors. I find a little bit more healing mentally, emotionally, psychologically. What I discovered is at some point, in combat, we put on armor to go into harm’s way. We come back, take our armor off, go clean up and whatever. In life, we never take that armor off. We never allow ourselves to recover, get naked, expose ourselves to healing. We’re all warriors in our own life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a soccer mom, real estate agent, Navy SEAL. Anything in between there.

[00:27:13] There are stress and triggers in your life. I had to learn how to expose myself to people who want to love me and not everyone trying to attack me. I needed to get naked in order to find the healing that I needed because I needed a lot of healing and CBD was a modality that helped me get to that point.

[00:27:35] There are multiple meanings to the way that you’re using the word as a part of your brand and company. To me, the origin story is so important. I’m very happy that you shared that. Thank you. The idea is that so many of us are walking around with this armor and are unable or unaware of what it takes or what it could look like even for us to take the armor off at points to recover. A TED Talk was a little bit of a different metaphor, but so similar because I was using this metaphor of guarding. It was a lifeguard. Can you imagine walking around in a guarded state all the time and hypervigilant, always looking for the threat?

[00:28:21] I grew up in New York and I was a lawyer for eighteen years. It was like I had all this kindling for that fire of fear. That’s all that is when we’re unwilling to be vulnerable. By that, I mean being real about where you’re at in a moment without thinking that you make yourself the weak member of the herd. By being the weak member of the herd, you get eaten. That’s the way our brains work.

[00:28:52] You’re stuck in this fight or flight concept. You are never able to slow down and recover.

[00:28:59] As a part of putting this all together, you’ve become an expert. You’re very knowledgeable now about how the body works biochemically. How these things are helping us or what modality will help us when our parasympathetic system and adrenals are compromised and when we’re producing cortisol morning, noon, and night because we’re walking around with low level and sometimes not so low levels of anxiety? How do we recover?

[00:29:33] What’s cool about your new company is that it’s one of those ways that people can recover that not everybody is considered or even aware of because there are a lot of stigmas. You and I, before we started, we said, “There is a stigma associated with CBD.” The other part of the plant or at least the psychoactive component known as THC is a Schedule 1 drug. It’s still in federal law, and you go to prison for it. States are changing those.

[00:30:06] Until December of 2018, CBD was still was a Schedule 1 drug, even though there were no psychoactive effects of it at all.

[00:30:15] I don’t want to get into politics. I know you probably don’t either. Do you have a sense of why it is that that’s something that is not dangerous and, in fact, is helpful has gotten that stigma? Do you have a historical perspective on that?

PR William Branum | Recover From Traumatic Events

Recover From Traumatic Events: When things get out of whack, that’s when chronic illness happens.


[00:30:27] There is some history that it was political. It was business political, but people can frame things and make stories up to tell whatever story they wanted. Hemp, marijuana, whatever you want to call it, has been around for thousands of years. People have used it for medicinal purposes. When it became more recreational, there was a stigma put on it that it was going to create more crime. It was a paper company that helped get hemp to be illegal until World War II, when it became legal again so that you could make rope and things like that and then it became illegal again until 2018. It was because hemp was a viable alternative to paper. The Constitution was written on a hemp document.

[00:31:24] What is it about the components of CBD do you think or do you know that’s helped you to bounce back and recover?

[00:31:32] For me, CBD is an anti-inflammatory. It’s not an anti-inflammatory the same as ibuprofen, which takes into consideration acute inflammation. You stub your toe, bump your head, or have a headache, that’s acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is where a lot of diseases are derived from or it happens because of disease. CBD has been shown scientifically to reduce chronic inflammation. It also interacts with your endocannabinoid system.

[00:32:04] All mammals have this giant network of neuroreceptors throughout your entire body that’s connected to your digestive system, endocrine system, central nervous system, immune system. It’s connected to every system in your body. It’s called the endocannabinoid system because you naturally create endogenous cannabinoids. I didn’t know that until I started researching this industry, science, how the body works, and why CBD works.

[00:32:34] It turns out that CBD is a neuroprotectant. It helps feed your endocannabinoid system, keep your endogenous cannabinoids from breaking down, reduce inflammation. The reason that’s important, the endocannabinoid system, is because everything is connected. When things get out of whack, that’s when chronic illness happens. You may have heard stories where people are saying, “CBD cured my cancer, Lyme disease and all these other things.” It’s not curing anything. It’s reducing inflammation. It’s like a multivitamin for your endocannabinoid system and it helps to bring it back into homeostasis.

[00:33:12] The homeostasis is a word to represent now.

[00:33:16] It brings everything back so that everything can work the way it’s supposed to work and was made to work. Your body heals itself.

[00:33:25] If your body is not self fatigued or your body isn’t expending energy in ways that aren’t efficient, it has the capacity to resolve things without the use of drugs or certain things like that in cases, we’re not saying across the board. Is there a particular way that you have experienced yourself or you’ve seen in others that’s the best way? I’m sure people who may not know much about CBD are saying, “Do I ingest it? Is it topical? I’ve seen it in both forms. Is there a best practice for somebody that was curious and wanted to find out more?” What’s the best way for somebody getting started with this to experience CBD?

[00:34:21] Everyone is different. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system has different requirements and needs. I have gummies that are only 10 milligrams of CBD. They are the least efficacious product I have, but I have more positive feedback from the gummies and any other product I sell. The most efficacious would either be at a tincture that you take sublingually or the soft gels, which have a nanoemulsion technology. It makes the oil droplets much smaller for better bioavailability.

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[00:35:00] If you’re going to try CBD, whatever you feel, you should try. The gummies have a pretty good price point to get in. It’s $40 for a jar of 30. If that’s not enough for you, maybe you move up to a soft gel or up to a tincture. Tincture has the quickest absorption because you’re pretty much getting it right into your blood system sublingually.

[00:35:22] You drop it in under your tongue is what you said.

[00:35:26] You hold it there for 30 to 60 seconds. I use the tincture mostly if I have some triggers come in and I start getting super pissed off. I’ll take a tincture in 10 or 15 minutes. I’m still mad. I’m just less mad. It doesn’t make your problems go away. It takes the edge off of like I’m not ready to come across the table and choke someone. I’m like, “Now we can have a reasonable conversation. I’m still angry, but we can work through this reasonably instead of me making irrational decisions.”

[00:36:03] Without being repetitive about it, this is without any psychoactive component. This is not THC. It’s like you went outside to smoke a joint so that you weren’t so angry. CBD does something different.

[00:36:20] It does something different. It makes the bad stuff less bad. I can still perform at a very high level. It’s the way that it interacts with the central nervous system, with the anger and whatever my emotions are. There is a ton of literature on PubMed. I go to It’s got a great search engine and you can type in CBD endocannabinoid system, CBD anger or endocannabinoid and see any combination. You’re going to come up with studies that are as current as of November 2020. Possibly there are studies published nowadays. Peer-reviewed studies are published on PubMed.

[00:37:04] Prior to December 2018, CBD was not studied very well because of that Schedule 1 class of drugs. Now there’s more popularity and emphasis on it. There are studies coming out every day on the effectiveness of CBD, how it’s working with the body, what it’s doing. I’ll go there to get more up-to-date information. What I know is how it affects me, is it brings me down. It brings me away from that 212 degrees. It brings me down to like, “Okay.” Because I’ve taken enough CBD, I can come down much more quickly. Before, it was like, “I’ll come down one degree. Now I can come down to ten degrees.”

[00:37:46] There are topicals as well. The topicals work for people with physical pains, aches, and things that are more chronic, not acute. I’ve got some knee challenges occasionally, surfing and stuff like that, shoulder. I use it topically and I see relief from that. Do you use it topically as well?

[00:38:09] I use it topically all the time. If I’m working out and I have a sore session, do squats or something and I’m like, “It’s so hard to stand up and walk around,” I’ll put some CBD on. It’s still pain. It’s just not that stabbing me in the legs pain that it takes much time to get over. I can get up and start moving a little more quickly. It doesn’t take the pain away. You’ve caused that damage to your body. You’ve torn muscle tissue. The lactic acid comes in and creates that soreness. It makes the soreness less.

[00:48:42] The studies are clear on that too that pain management is a big thing. That’s probably why too many opioids were prescribed. When you’re not in tremendous pain, your body will recover faster. It’s one of those things that we track to the topic of resilience. One of those unsung heroes is recovery. They perform better long-term when systems in place for recovery take the armor off and produce a period of recovery. We’re walking around with our armor on and some of us have a difficult time taking it off ever or taking it off at all.

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Recover From Traumatic Events: Have the same bedtime every night.


[00:49:42] The exhaustion that comes from that, I don’t have to think. I know it personally and I know it through so many of the people we’ve worked with and even studied. I’d like to get one ritual that you have created for yourself. It may be that you’ve answered this question. I believe that the power of ritual is so important when it comes to creating a conscious change. What’s one thing you do on a ritual basis daily that helps you to recover and create that longer-term resilience?

[00:39:28] For me, and I have to work hard at this, is to have the same bedtime every night. I still get up at the same time, no matter what time I go to bed. The important part because I’ll stay up until 11:00, 12:00 to 1:00, whatever, doing stuff, or letting my mind get in the way of sleep. I used to use alcohol. I still do drink alcohol but not as much as I used to. I’ve cut it in probably 2/3. I drink about 1/3 as much as I used to. If I allow myself to stay up past 10:00 or whenever I’m going to go to bed, that affects me for the next day. That affects like I don’t feel like getting up. I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m setting tomorrow up for failure by not going to bed by 10:00 every night.

[00:40:58] I had somebody that we did an interview that was all about rest and the difference between rest and sleep, which was cool. No one’s ever said before that bedtime, specifically that the ritual of going to sleep at a certain time or before a certain time, is the component of setting up their resilience or their performance for the following day. I feel the same way. If I stay up past a certain hour, call it 10:00, who knows when I’ll go to sleep? I know I’m going to go to sleep before 2:00 for sure unless it’s a weekend and we’re hanging out.

[00:41:34] To get interested in something and start reading, watching or whatever it might be, it could be 12:30 and then getting less than the right amount for me. I’m an eight-hour guy. I’d love to get eight hours of solid sleep. I typically tend to get up at least once a night. Once I’m up for a couple of minutes, I go back to sleep. To not have that solid sleep is setting ourselves up for more feedback than we hate. Finding out what doesn’t work for us, so for me personally, to hear you say that, that’s powerful, Will.

[00:42:12] For those of you that are out there going, “It’s the same thing. I’ll watch the news, TV, do crosswords, whatever.” Lying better somewhere else and you go, “I could be sleeping, resting and recovering, so that the next day when I wake up, I’m not groggy.” I’m not sitting in that zone of, “Am I okay? Am I not okay? Am I feeling good?”

[00:42:35] You can fall off the cliff pretty quickly, especially in the morning, those first waking thoughts. This leads perfectly into my own waking ritual, maybe a bookend to what we’re talking about here, which is how you begin the day. What’s your waking ritual like? My waking ritual used to be get up in the morning, put my feet on the floor, feel shitty and even anxious to start the day and go, “What the heck? It’s starting the day. What do I have to be anxious about?” Thinking about what’s going on or whatever.

[00:43:08] Falling into self-doubt or self-pity, even in that nanosecond energetically at the beginning of the day. In part, it was not getting enough sleep at night and also not having what is more of an automatic set my compass correctly, whereas my grandmother would say, “Start out on the right foot.” The starting out on the right foot for me was the first thought and idea that I’d entertain. It’s in my head and then physically, what am I doing? That became a moment to say something.

[0:43:43] That’s my first physical act in the morning, other than swinging my legs across the bed and sometimes it comes before that is to feel gratitude. Mentally I go, “I’m awake, alive and grateful for that.” There were people who put their heads on the pillow at the same time as you did and not everybody woke up. You go, “I’m aware. That’s as real as it gets. I’m grateful I’m awake.” I say out loud, “I love my life.” These four simple words. That’s my physical act at the beginning of the day that I have done for several years now.

[00:44:27] It’s such an automatic thing and yet it doesn’t fail me in the sense of I’m recognizing how I want to experience myself and how I want to experience the day, but I will not lie and say, “If I’ve gotten a poor night’s sleep because I stayed up too late or whatever it might’ve been the case that that’s tougher.” It’s tough to start out on the right foot.

[00:44:50] I’m super glad you brought that up and we sat with it for a while too, because it’s an unsung hero. I don’t think people recognize enough. They hear people out there who are influencers talk about how you should do work 100 hours a week. Don’t be a wimp. Start your side hustle at 7:00 PM, work until 1:00. I talked total bullshit, in my view. I could care less who reads that. That’s crap, except for the people outside of the bell curve may be, who somehow their bodies don’t require more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep. For those folks, good on you. Thank you for being on the show. I know we’ll have it again. People are going to want to have questions. We’ll have questions they want to get answered.

[00:45:40] You can go To Leave a comment, question there, subscribe, tell a friend, share this episode with a friend, especially if you think there is somebody that might be open to learning about CBD There are a lot of companies out there, not all entirely reputable, not all doing the right things, recognizing a business opportunity more than something more moral or ethical in terms of what they produce. You’re not coming from that place. Will, thank you again.

[00:46:33] Thank you.


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