Puff, pass and welcome to the Wendy Love Edge Show with Topher Kogen, Season 4 Episode 1, featuring Dr. Brian Nichol, Tonya Sanders, Hannah Withers, Joelle Storet, and The Traveling Squirrels. Kicking off the new season with a funky, soulful bang, musician Will Brand remixed the show’s traditional theme song. Love-Edge and Kogen began the show by acknowledging the strange circumstances of quarantine meetings and editing, and how unexpected it was to see another season of the show beginning under social distancing practices. 

Some exciting news for the show is they now have a house band cheekily titled, The Buds. Love-Edge brought Derek Weiand on the show to talk about the creative process of The Buds which includes musicians Mike Kinkle, Sarah Loethen, and Tanner MacKay as well as Weiand himself. Weiand said the band didn’t stick to a specific genre but rather chose a different genre for each segment of the show including Health, Green Zone, Music and Arts, Community, Philosophy, and the outro. 


Health Segment: Love-Edge is chatting with Tonya Sanders, RN who is a cannabis patient, advocate, nurse, and talk show host. Sanders explained her experience being diagnosed with advanced Lupus and after following doctors’ instructions for eight and half years and going through all types of mainstream pharmaceuticals, she was sent home at 35 to live on hospice. 

“I looked at them as a nurse and said I’ve done everything you guys have asked me to do. I’ve never abused anything, never taken more of anything, I’ve done three different chemos… and you guys are going to just give up on me?”

Sanders said she was never offered the option of cannabis though she’d researched it heavily but was afraid of the legal implications it could have on her in Ohio where she lived.  Love-Edge echoed Sanders saying cannabis is almost always offered as a last resort— after a multitude of pills that can wreak havoc on the body. Sanders said she is supplementing her healthcare with cannabis calling it the glue that holds her together. She said it is the best medicine she’s ever taken in her life and that she would know because she’d been on nearly every medicine. Sanders said cannabis has helped her nausea, pain, anxiety, depression, and inflammation and has allowed her to be a mom again. 

“I’m not cured but I’m not suffering and I call that a win,” Sanders said. 

The two talked about how important education about cannabis is in hospitals and how beneficial the drug could be for demographics like the elderly for its help in easing the effects of Alzheimer’s. Sanders said she believes cannabis should be offered upfront, before synthetic drugs, and not as a last resort just because of the way it is stigmatized. 


Sunshine in the Community: Sunshine met with Hannah Withers inside an empty Maxine’s to talk about businesses in the time of COVID-19. Withers is the owner of Leverett Lounge and the caretaker of Maxine’s Taproom. She is also a board member of the Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance (FIRA), an organization seeking to help people in the restaurant business in times of economic uncertainty. Withers said that through donations and national and state grants, the organization has been able to put thirty thousand dollars into helping restaurant employees pay their rent, grocery bills, gas and utilities, and health insurance. 

Withers is also a member of a COVID-19 task force in Fayetteville where local experts in different areas can brainstorm ways to help preserve and protect Fayetteville’s local small business culture. During this time, Withers has also participated in Feed the Herd, a way to help those who are struggling financially to still put food on the table for themselves and their families. People in the community can file for a grant at FIRA and check a box titled “food insecurity” to obtain groceries and food. Withers said they feed anywhere from 100 to 130 people a night and that the community has come together to donate extra food to help feed their community members. 


The Green Zone: Dr. Brian Nichol sent Love-Edge and Kogen samples of some CBG and CBD and asked them to take the recommended dosage 45 minutes before they interviewed him to see how it affected their symptoms. Love-Edge said she was experiencing neck and back pain as well as anxiety. Kogen said he was experiencing some knee pain as well as some sinus trouble. They put the cannabinoids under their tongues and 45 minutes later, began their interview in The Green Zone with Dr. Nichol. Dr. Nichol said he got into cannabis when he realized that his patients that would show up positive for THC were not his “problem patients,” and he became interested in how they were doing better with less medication. 

Dr. Nichol said he didn’t learn about cannabinoids as medicine in school and that the curriculum has not changed. He said the reason that cannabis is so effective in treating a multitude of issues is because of the endocannabinoid system. He explained that the human body makes its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids and they are used as neurotransmitters. These endocannabinoids receptors are attached to nerves running throughout the whole body, except the brain stem, which is the reason that people don’t overdose from cannabis. The endocannabinoid system has a multitude of different functions and keeps your body at homeostasis, meaning that cannabinoids are effective at addressing a multitude of issues throughout the body. 

On the topic of CBG, Dr. Nichol said that CBG is a cannabinoid with incredible anti-inflammatory properties. When asked about how the CBG affected her, Love-Edge said her pain went from a six to a two and her anxiety was significantly improved. Kogen said his knee pain had improved as well as his anxiety. 


Simple Conversations with Topher: Kogen talked with special guest Joelle Storet about faces, portraits and loneliness. Storet highlighted the importance of technological communication ike Facetime and Zoom during a time of social distancing. 

“Not only has this period taught us about a virus and social distancing, but it’s helping us start to discover the beauty of being intimate and having somebody close to you,” Storet said. 

Storet creates portraits of faces and said part of her creative process is using math, measurements, and depth perception. She said she has been trained to implement caricature versions of pop culture icons and has translated that to her work. Storet told a story of how she used this skill to draw the face of a woman who did a hit-and-run on Dickson Street. After she gave her work to the police, the woman was arrested for a DUI the next day. 

In this time of wearing face masks, Storet said she can still see people’s genetic makeup and how a person may have their mother’s eyes, despite the mask covering some of their face. 


Music and Art: The music segment premiered a music video for the song Troubadour by The Travelling Squirrels. The rock song featured a sepia-toned person walking through the wilderness in a cowboy and a striped poncho. The lyrics “I’m a troubadour and I don’t know where I’m going” communicated that there is not a destination in mind, just the journey ahead. 

Keep up with the cast of The Wendy Love Edge Show with Topher Kogen on Facebook, Instagram, and their YouTube channel.