Steele Clarke Smith, III and Theresa Ann Smith co-founded C3 International, Inc. in 2006. The group has worked hard to enlighten people about the positive medical effects of cannabis. C3 is the manufacturer of Idrasil™, the world’s first cannabis prescription.
The prescription drug can be taken to treat a number of health issues. Unfortunately, due to the United States’ war on drugs in the 1980s, a whole generation of Americans look at cannabis with a suspicious view. The U.S.’s stance on cannabis is softening, however. Smith hopes it won’t be long until more and more people are able to take Idrasil™ for their health problems. C3’s goal is to make Idrasil™ available in all 50 states to treat clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) and improve patients’ quality of life. So far, California and Florida are the only two states to license the drug and Smith hopes more will follow. Smith, as Chairman and CEO, sat down to discuss the issues that C3 has faced as one of the leaders in this burgeoning cannabis marketplace.
Steele, how have Americans’ opinions changed toward cannabis in recent years?
On the one hand, I think we’re at a crossroads in the healthcare community. Many Americans – particularly those in the Millennial age group – are intentionally living a more holistic lifestyle. This includes regular exercise and mental health techniques, as well as organic products and natural remedies. Prestigious medical institutions like Duke and St. Jude’s have adapted to their patients’ needs by creating branches devoted to alternative or complementary medicine, which provide a way to cure health issues instead of just managing them with potentially harmful drugs.
On the other hand, the legalization of cannabis in many states for both medical and recreational purposes has made the study of cannabis easier for researchers. This has led to the discovery that cannabis is very similar to our bodies’ naturally occurring endocannabinoids, which means that cannabis can be used to treat multiple illnesses simultaneously and naturally. As measurable prescriptions like Idrasil™ remove the stigma that people associate with cannabis, I think it has the potential to become the penicillin of the CECD community.
What health concerns has medical cannabis been found to treat or cure?
Ethan B. Russo wrote a paper on cannabis’s efficacy in treating migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other treatment-resistant conditions. The list of issues that cannabis can treat often starts with his paper, but it doesn’t end there, as the last item suggests. Cannabis has been shown to have a positive impact on a host of other mental and physical health issues, including ADD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, cancer, migraines, nausea and chronic pain. Steele re-visited the issue in his White Paper, Clinical EndoCannabinoid Deficiency Revisited, in 201. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24977967
Many patients are prescribed medicine by their doctors while taking other prescription drugs to treat the side effects of the original medication. Smith explains that Idrasil™ prevents pain sufferers from taking multiple medications and simply mimics the natural endocannabinoids inside the body.
Idrasil™ is a medication developed by C3. How is it different from the pain relief medication prescribed by most doctors?
Most prescriptions are single-molecule drugs designed to target a single symptom. Unfortunately, they have the potential to cause harmful side effects.
These two factors explain why 30 percent of Americans take two or more medications, either to address multiple health concerns or to combat any negative symptoms of the drugs.
Idrasil™ is made from pure, all-natural cannabis, which supply the endocannabinoids to our endocannabinoid systems (ECS), without the euphoria associated with recreational cannabis.
As a result, it functions as a multi-molecule prescription, with a broader application than other prescription medications. It also comes in reliable 12.5 mg, 25 mg and 100 mg tablets that can be divided into smaller doses if necessary.
It’s natural with a harmless nature – combined with the fact that it’s prescribed by a doctor, like any other medication – makes Idrasil unique.
One of the unique aspects of Idrasil™ is it can be prescribed for a number of illnesses. While doctors may have to prescribe multiple drugs to treat a patient’s issues, It offers an all-inone medication to help those who take Idrasil. While it is proven to help people, C3 must now convince states that it is a proper medication that can do great things for patients.
Unlike other medications, Idrasil™ can be prescribed for a host of illnesses. Do you foresee more states allowing medical cannabis pills in the future?
I do. To be successful, every new venture has to meet some sort of demand. Idrasil™ addresses the primary problems that most people have with consuming cannabis medically – that is, the stigma of visiting a pot shop, the unreliability of the doses and the lack of proper medical supervision.
C3’s vision for Idrasil™ is to prove that cannabis can be safely used like any other prescription – more safely, in fact, given its ability to interact with our ECS’s like our native endocannabinoids. Once people understand that scientific research supports this view, I think more state legislation will follow.
Many states are still resistant to the idea of treating ailments with cannabis. Why are so many people reluctant to accept the scientific fact that it truly helps people in pain?
There are several reasons for this. First, America’s 20th-century war on drugs federally criminalized cannabis as a Schedule 1 Substance, making it difficult for researchers to study. Now that many states have legalized cannabis as a medical and recreational drug, research has been able to catch up with the 21st century. So, until recently, it was an illegal substance that wasn’t getting much attention.
It makes sense that people would be hesitant to try something that they’ve been told is irredeemably harmful. Smith has seen the use of medical cannabis for some time now. During the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, Smith volunteered his time to help those suffering from the disease in Los Angeles. It opened his eyes to the pain sufferers went through and the relief cannabis gave them.
Steele, you spent time volunteering with the AIDS Project Los Angeles during the height of the AIDS epidemic. What did you learn from working so closely with patients during a time that few people understood what was going on?
The desire for dignity is universal. All human beings share the need to be respected and loved. The people I worked with who were suffering from AIDS were the first pioneers and beneficiaries of medical cannabis.
For the last 12 years, Smith and C3 co-founder Theresa Ann have worked to further the learning and understanding of patients, doctors, and other groups about the power of medical cannabis. It has been an uphill battle at times as C3 works through unnecessarily complicated state and federal laws to move in the right direction. Fortunately, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
In 2006, you and Theresa Ann co-founded the California Compassionate Caregivers (C3) Cannabis Collective. How did the group help further your understanding of cannabis as a medication?
Theresa and I had day-to-day contact with people who were ill. That contact was a learning process of trial and error, as we received feedback from patients about the efficacy of their treatment. It was a very personal, caring and loving process.
Steele, since co-founding C3, what have been some of the struggles that you’ve overcome in the years since its creation?
The major struggle has been the incongruity between state and federal law. Medical and recreational cannabis is legal in three-fifths of the U.S., but it’s still illegal on a federal level. That can make things unnecessarily complicated, as we slowly but surely move in that direction.
What’s next for C3 in terms of business outside California?
We sold our first Idrasil™ license to Florida and are scaling accordingly. That leaves 48 states that can potentially license the Idrasil technology for their patients. As more states become aware of cannabis efficacy in treating a wide variety of illnesses, we hope to offer Idrasil™, nationwide.
Medical cannabis could be the new wonder drug, just as penicillin was in the 1940s and 1950s. Idrasil is on the cutting edge of the medical cannabis revolution and before long, patients in all 50 states across America may be able to use it to relieve a myriad of issues. Smith was once called the “most hated person in Orange County” thanks to his outspoken views and secrets-sharing of the cannabis industry. However, Smith wanted to do more for the cannabis community and those looking for relief of multiple medical issues. Idrasil could make Smith the most popular man in the U.S. If more prominent people can set aside what they have learned about cannabis in the past and accept the research completed on Idrasil™, it could change the landscape of the medical industry forever.
For more information on Steele Clarke Smith III and C3 International Inc., please visit https://c3internationalinc.com/