Photos by Edgar Frausto
Meet the 2016 High Times Winner, Dr. OGX (pronounced Oh-Gee-Kush). This all-natural, cannabis-infused drink claimed First Place – Best Product at the Cannabis Concentrates Cup this January, and Dr. OGX is just getting started.
Steve Suh, President and CEO of Dr. OGX, generously shared some samples and sat down with me to discuss this new cannabis drink. There’s an Indica and a Sativa option; and doses are 50mg, 100mg, or 150mg per 2.8 fl. oz can. Consider it a shot of cannabis. I tried the 150mg Indica. The drink tastes a lot like Red Bull. It’s carbonated too; so, DO NOT shake it up first, like I did. There’s a subtle, yet delightfully dank marijuana aroma. While there is a THC type of aftertaste, it doesn’t taste like you’re just chewing on the plant, like with some edibles.
What sets this drink apart from the cornucopia of available cannabis products?
It’s water-soluble; the body absorbs everything in roughly five-to-ten minutes. More than sixteen cannabinoids are present in Dr. OGX, including THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG, with only 36 calories and 6.5 grams of sugar. Low-calorie and low-sugar junkies will love this drink. The sugar is the real deal too, no aspartame or other artificial sweeteners are present. Delivering 180 percent recommended daily value, the Vitamin B content in Dr. OGX brings even more health benefits. It has some caffeine, but the Indica qualities shine through with a body relaxation effect. I would not consider this an “energy drink” because the physical body high was pretty strong for me and some other folks that sampled it. Dr. OGX – Indica (150mg) was a very effective sleep-aid for me. I felt a non-psychoactive, physical relaxation within minutes of downing the can. The body high was better than I expected. I still had energy for my usual evening routine — walking the dog, making dinner, etc. — because the caffeine, CBD, and other cannabinoids balance the sleepy Indica feel. Three other people trying the drink confirmed similar experiences.
Unlike most cannabis products using cheap, plastic packaging, Dr. OGX is contained in a small aluminum can. The aluminum protects the THC and other cannabinoids from degrading in direct sunlight.
Golden State Collective (GSC) Cannabis Laboratories describes the difference in medicinal benefits between Indica and Sativa strains in a Dec. 6, 2011 blog entry titled, “Cannabis Sativa and Indica Compared.” The authors wrote, “Sativa strains produce more of a euphoric high, lifting the consumer’s mood and therapeutically relieving stress. Indica strains relax muscles and work as general analgesics, also helping with sleep. A cancer patient hoping to relieve the pain from chemotherapy would benefit greatly from the effects of an Indica plant bud, whereas an individual dealing with depression would better benefit from a Sativa plant bud.” Dr. OGX lives up to this Indica description.
You Know What They Say…Families that Develop Medicine Together…Stay Together.
About a year and a half ago, Steve and his family started developing this effective, healthy treatment for cancer and chronic pain. They were hungry for an alternative to the toxic, painful pharmaceutical regimens and drugs offered by traditional medicine. Casey Suh, Steve’s wife, was at war with brain cancer. Steve and his son, Q Mushi Suh, hit the lab. Q Mushi used his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Neuroscience from University of California San Diego. After more than a decade of running successful businesses, Steve had retired from producing vitamin and energy drinks, including the GenX energy drink. To save Casey, they joined their strengths in neuroscience and nutrient-rich energy drinks to develope a drink that’s easier to absorb and has more cannabinoids available, thanks to their solvent-free extraction method.
When Casey was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago, the whole family got involved with her recovery. At one point she was taking eight different medications and it was not working. Casey was still having seizures from the stage four cancer. She grew depressed. Q Mushi recalls looking for his mother in the crowd at a graduation ceremony, wondering if her meds would keep her well enough to sit through the festivities. He decided then to dedicate his life to finding a way to help his mom. The family was desperate for an efficient, healthy treatment plan. A friend suggested CBD oil, specifically Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). Steve said they were willing to try anything. A ray of hope broke through when Casey spent a week completely seizure free. The CBD concentrated oil showed significant positive effects for Casey for about eight months. Then, she had another seizure. Black, tar-like RSO came out via stomach pump and vomiting. Her body was weakened from the chemotherapy and unable to breakdown the amount of oil concentrated in her RSO treatment.
Cannabinoids seemed to stop the seizures, at least for some time. The challenge became finding a way to get the most cannabinoids into Casey without oil as the carrier. Steve and Q Mushi developed a 100 percent water-soluble drink. They combined old school medicine with a modern approach by using a high power gravity chamber, instead of solvents, to extract the medicine. “By changing the atmospheric pressure, and charging the positive ions, this will allow the important cannabinoids to be transferred from plant to air. From the gas state we change to liquid state through pressure and temperature change,” Steve explained. Casey was in mid-seizure at one point, drank Dr. OGX, and the seizure stopped immediately. Steve knows there are others successfully using Dr. OGX for seizures. Since our bodies are mostly made of water, not oil, the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are completely absorbed within five or ten minutes. Organic, high-resin cannabis plants are used for whole-plant extraction, yielding more cannabinoids than is possible from hemp or synthetic options. Casey was taking a 150mg shot before every chemo session. Her seizures were gone, replaced by signs of life: an appetite, sleep schedule, happier attitude, and interest in social and physical activities.
The plant wins! More cannabinoids, more power.
In February 2015, a study published by “Pharmacology & Pharmacy” titled Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol, concluded that “using pure, single-molecule CBD resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve; so, when the amount of CBD reached a certain point, its therapeutic impact declined dramatically.” This makes single-molecule CBD less desirable to use in clinical trials compared to whole-plant extracts with more and organic molecules. Their studies also suggest “other components in the extract synergize with CBD to achieve the desired anti‐inflammatory action that may contribute to overcoming the bell‐shaped dose‐response of purified CBD.” By using whole-plant extraction, Dr. OGX can acquire more cannabinoids in a safe, healthy way. Source awareness is important, know where your meds come from. Is it hemp grown in the pristine conditions of Scandinavia? Is it hemp grown with pesticides, herbicides, and other poisons? Is the CBD from synthetic molecules? Was the extraction method clean or did it use solvents like Butane? Of course, Dr. OGX only uses high-resin, all-organic marijuana plants, and never any synthetics or solvents.
Steve has testimonial after testimonial of his friends, family, and acquaintances trying the drink and revolutionizing their pain management and overall health. His son survived a car wreck around the same time Steve and Q Mushi started developing the drink. To avoid using pain killers, Steve’s son used the drink to relieve his body from pain. It worked. His pain was erased. He bypassed potential addiction to a narcotic painkiller, and he got some bonus Vitamin Bs.
At the High Times cup, Dr. OGX team bonded with their booth neighbors, Grow for Vets. Steve came to America in 1975 with $3 in his pocket. “If it weren’t for the American troops in Korea, I would never have received the opportunity to go to the United States,” he says with goosebumps covering his arms in the summer heat. Now, Steve wants to give back to the community. Dr. OGX is developing purely to help people feel better; to alleviate pain, help with sleep, and improve the mood. Grow for Vets’ mission is “providing Vets with a safe alternative to deadly prescription medication.” They won’t stop until every soldier has access if they want it, and can get their cannabis medicine for free. When Steve learned this, he immediately wanted to help. He gave donations for Dr. OGX directly to the program. These organizations are in talks about joint efforts and how to help one another.
Recap – What it is:
– 100 percent Water soluble: Body absorbs everything within five – ten minutes.
– BONUS Vitamin B: 180 percent of daily value
– Pride in Packaging: The aluminum container blocks sun rays, which degrade THC compounds
– Whole-plant extraction from high-resin marijuana plants.
– 16 cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG
– Only 36 calories, 6.5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fat.
– Made with real sugar
– Indica (reduces chronic pain; helps with sleep; relaxes muscles) and Sativa (relieves stress; lifts mood; stimulates mental activity) options: 50mg, 100mg, 150 mg doses/can
How to get it:
Currently, DR. OGX is made in small batches for Casey’s treatment and is funded by Steve himself. Legal and financial restrictions prevent Dr. OGX from hitting the medicinal market in a big way just yet. But, this is literally a budding business. Watch it grow. They already have two other forms of this clean cannabis extract in development.