Dr. Bomi Joseph shares his philosophy on healing and how he developed a patented non-cannabis CBD
Over the past few decades, a pattern has emerged in healthcare across the US. There has been a significant shift in the types of diseases associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Americans are increasingly getting sick from endogenous rather than exogenous factors – they are making themselves sick from a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. [1, 2] The rising cause of mortality is cardiovascular disease, not infection. While the importance of a healthy lifestyle is now widely recognized and understood by the healthcare community and a majority of Americans, this idea was quite novel in the 1980s when Bomi Joseph, MD, PhD, was in training.
Early in the Game
Dr. Joseph noticed this alarming trend in health before any of his contemporaries. It shaped the rest of his career. In fact, when he tried to discuss the issue, others called him “nuts.” But, he persisted and continued to pursue this area of research. A little ways down the road, Dr. Joseph began working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, he felt as though he was fighting an uphill battle – the US healthcare system at the time had latched on to pharmaceutical drugs to combat diseases.
And Americans were also on board. Isn’t it just easier to take a pill for a quick fix rather than put in the time and effort to heal? To be fair, Americans weren’t exactly privy to the fact that their food was being increasingly pumped with added sugar, salt, and other preservatives that were contributing to their declining health.
Tracing Back the Roots of Disease
After facing difficulties with making real change at the FDA, Joseph became involved with the World Health Organization (WHO). Working as an advisor for their traditional complementary and integrated medicine unit, Joseph found a way to pursue change. Countries outside the US seemed to be more open to treating disease at their source.
“Doctors are not taught about health and nutrition. We’re taught about disease; we’re taught about fixing the problem and giving drugs. I think that’s the biggest problem. It’s rare to find a doctor who is focused on health,” said Dr. Joseph.
Joseph’s research and work at WHO set the foundation for Peak Health, which opened in 2014. Peak Health is a California-based fitness and nutrition company on a mission to create products that work with the body.Dr. Joseph works closely with patients to develop tailored, comprehensive health plans to meet individual health needs. And this starts with a lot of education.
A key source of poor eating habits lies at lack of nutritional understanding. For example, many people do not know the difference between natural and processed sugar – and that sugar from a brownie is very different than sugar from an apple. Making small improvements in health starts with the very basics about food chemistry and their effects on the body.
“Victory for us is the person healing him or herself and not taking any medications,” said Dr. Joseph on his approach to health.
The Phyto Pharmacy and a Novel Cannabidiol
In cases where patients do need therapeutics, Joseph provides plant-based options. A key part of Peak Health is the Phyto Pharmacy, which develops and dispenses plant-based medicines, or “phytoceuticals.” While nearly all pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plant matter, companies reformulate the compounds so they can patent protect their product – but this pharmacy cuts out the middleman, delivering natural compounds straight from the plants themselves.
Over twenty different natural products are available at the pharmacy, including a very familiar (and popular) plant extract – cannabidiol (CBD). However, this is not your typical hemp- or cannabis-based CBD. While Joseph recognized the medical benefits of CBD, he wanted to avoid dealing with the ever-evolving legal regulations surrounding cannabis-derived CBD. He also opted out of hemp-derived CBD since government restrictions only allow extraction from the stalks and stems – while the higher concentrations come directly from the plant’s flower. 
Joseph decided instead to pursue development of an extract from the Humulus kriya plant, a hop variety.  Following rigorous study, Joseph and his team found that this plant has a bioactivity profile similar to Cannabis sativa; in addition, extracts from this plant (now patented as ImmunAG™), have significantly higher bioactivity compared to several different commercially-available CBD products. And Joseph takes his testing seriously. 
“If we don’t process our CBD properly, the bioactivity [will decrease] …our biggest advantage is that we measure it; and because we measure it, we know it, we see it, and we are able to improve it,” said Joseph.
He touches on a key issue in the CBD industry at the moment. With an increasing number of available products on the market and an ever-expanding industry, how can consumers trust that the products they purchase are of high quality?
“[CBD testing] is like your credit score; if you have no idea what your credit score is, it’s probably not good,” noted Joseph.
Shifting Toward Plant-Based Medicine
While Joseph struggled to convince his colleagues of the benefits of plant-based living during his training, he is optimistic about the younger generation.
“I’m seeing the change now, that’s actually why I’m getting more active in [giving talks and educating people]…the younger generation has woken me up,” said Joseph enthusiastically.
There is more work to be done of course as people continue to struggle with health conditions associated with poor diets. But, as we continue to increase awareness and education of what the body needs and how it can be healed, there is promise for the future of health.
- MacDonald, K.G., “Overview of the Epidemiology of Obesity and the Early History of Procedures to Remedy Morbid Obesity”, Arch Surg,2003, Volume 138, pg. 357-360. [cited by 91; journal impact factor = 8.498]
- Hruby, A., Hu, F.B., “The Epidemiology of Obesity: A Big Picture”, Pharmacoeconomics, 2015, Volume 33, pg. 673-689.[cited by 267; journal impact factor = 3.338]
- Cushing, D., Kristipati, S., Shastri, R., Joseph, B., “Measuring the Bioactivity of Phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol from Cannabis Sources, and a Novel Non-Cannabis Source”, Journal of Medical Phyto Research, 2018, Volume 1, pg. 8-23.[cited by 1; journal impact factor = N/A]
4. Cushing, D., Joseph, B., “Identification of Cannabidiol from Humulus Kriya Using
X-ray Crystallography”, Journal of Medical Phyto Research, 2018, Volume 1, pg. 29-47.[cited by 1; journal impact factor = N/A] 5. Cushing, D., Joseph, B., “Towards Systematically Assessing Bioactivity of Natural Compounds or Bio-ligands: Cannabidiol as an Example”, Journal of Medical Phyto Research, 2018, Volume 1, pg. 26-28.[cited by N/A; journal impact factor = N/A]