Medical claims like this deserve a high amount of scrutiny. But numerous testimonials backed by a patent make for a compelling start to the evidence. (Fun fact: a patent doesn’t have to work to be approved.)
On Undoo's website are a dozen articles about the product in a smattering of up-and-coming cannabis publications. Of course, none of the articles denounce Undoo. Several contain first-hand accounts of the effects. Users report feeling more alert and less anxious within minutes. But that could be just a placebo effect. Does Undoo have any basis in science? The answer is "maybe."
When people use marijuana, THC molecules bind to parts of cells known as CB1 receptors found in the brain and other parts of the body. This process mimics the body’s production of anandamide, THC’s naturally occurring twin, and produces the feeling of bliss often associated with getting high (as well as the munchies — and loss of motivation and memory.)
The active ingredient in Carberry’s Undoo, olivetol, is found most concentrated in lichen. On the molecular level, olivetol has a similar structure to THC but is a lot lighter, which means it could get absorbed into the body in much the same way.
Carberry, who has long advocated for cannabis as a medicine as “Glaucoma Jim,” said once the olivetol makes it to the brain, it “bumps” the THC off the CB1 receptors, “flushing” your neurons in a couple hours and prepping your brain for a new dose.
Kari Franson, an associate dean at the University of Colorado’s pharmacy school who has studied cannabis, dismissed talk of "flushing" the brain as "marketing nonsense." But she said that even if Undoo actually can be absorbed into the brain, it would bump THC off the receptors. Still, it would need to be in high enough concentrations to “win the game of musical chairs.”
Another scientist, Hope Jones of C4 Laboratories, said Carberry should conduct experiments like brain imaging and immunofluorescence to test his claims.
So, whether it works is unknown. But it retails for about $11 at local dispensaries.
The idea for Undoo came from Carberry’s business partner and girlfriend, Sarara Corva, who educates professionals and patients about cannabis. Carberry and Corva met in 2013 while giving talks about cannabis to senior citizens in Sun City. Jim followed her suggestion to develop a product that could reverse a high when people felt uncomfortable or needed to come down.
It took Carberry about four months to identify olivetol and about four years to patent the process of releasing it in the body. He jokes about getting the patent number tattooed on his arm.
Since then, Carberry said he’s informally tested his product in more than 3,000 people.
“I went to cannabis cups all over the place,” he said. “I walked through the crowd, and I found somebody who was greened-out, or ‘high af’ as the kids say.”
Carberry said there are three reasons to use Undoo.
First, he said, "granny ate the cookie." That's his code for when beginning users underestimate the concentration in edibles and begin feeling overly anxious as a result.
Second, “granny ate the cookie, went to bed,” and woke up high the next morning, he said.
And finally, “for all those kids that dab all the time or those old-time stoner,” who don’t get high like they used to, an “overnight reset” will leave their brains refreshed in the morning.
“Clear receptors mean clear reception,” Carberry said.
Though only one version of Undoo currently exists, Carberry has plans for other types with different effects.
“First, I want to take Undoo as far as I can,” Carberry said, “which means right now I’m working on the world.”