Editors’ Note: This is the transcript version of the podcast. Please note that due to time and audio constraints, transcription may not be perfect. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, embedded below, if you need any clarification. We hope you enjoy!
In this episode, Bryan Fields (Twitter: @bryanfields24) and Kellan Finney (Twitter: @Kellan_Finney) sit down with Jason Lupoi Editor-in-Chief at Terpenes and Testing and Director of Laboratory operations at Thar Process to discuss:
- What are terpenes?
- How your nose will lead you to toward products that connect with your body
- How to navigate terpene blends
- How in the future, the consumer experience will be simplified
- Cannabis in craft brews and hops
About Thar Process: cGMP Certified and employing people in 3 countries, Pittsburgh-based Thar Process is the global leader in CO2 technology and equipment for the natural products industries.
LinkedIn: Thar Process
[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: [00:00:00] This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents.
[00:00:10] What’s up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Dime as always. I’ve got my right-hand man Kellan sitting here with me and this week we’ve got a very special guest Jason Lupoi director of laboratory operations at Thar and editor and chief of per beans and testing magazine.
[00:00:24] Jason. Thanks for taking the time. How you doing
[00:00:27] Jason Lupoi: [00:00:27] today? I’m doing good. Thank you guys for having me on. Yeah, we
[00:00:30] Bryan Fields: [00:00:30] appreciate you taking the time. We’re looking forward to diving into a bunch of different, fun topics. We think you’re gonna. Really excited to share with our listeners. So before we get started and dive into those, can you tell us a little bit about your background, how you got into the cannabis space?
[00:00:43] Jason Lupoi: [00:00:43] Yeah, for sure. I went to Iowa state university for my PhD and while I was there, I was, you know, working with plants. The kind of work that I was doing because, you know, I was interested in sustainability and environmentally found pathways for [00:01:00] my career and I was working on renewable energy applications of using different plants and how to characterize those with analytical chemistry techniques.
[00:01:09] And that kind of provided the foundation for me that I knew I wanted to work with plants. I did a couple of postdoctoral appointments and I was. Working at the national renewable energy lab in Colorado. Very briefly. And I got an opportunity to kind of dip my toe into the pool of the cannabis industry.
[00:01:27] And really from the moment I was involved with it, I had known about. When I spent time in California, I knew that the industry was medicinally legal. It was prevalent because I was working in a national lab. I was not like going too deeply into the industry very much. But when I got to Colorado, it was recreationally legal, you know, dispensary’s everywhere.
[00:01:51] And I was very interested in kind of, who’s doing the science in this industry. Who’s doing the lab testing. How was it compared to other [00:02:00] industries? And I got that opportunity to in at least in an ancillary role with cannabis businesses. And I’ve got to say that from the outset, it was an industry that was much more aligned with my own personality.
[00:02:15] I felt like it was the kind of industry where you could let your hair down a bit more. You could have tattoos like I do. You didn’t have to be the cookie cutter. An analytical chemists that you might see in another industry. I liked that aspect because I felt like I could be myself a lot more and from a different vantage point, what I liked about the industry was that everything was brand new and that’s been a struggle at times because things are evolving scientifically and t here might be products on shelves already, but maybe the science is still kind of trying to catch up to that huge growth spurt. But I liked the fact that a scientist could come into this industry and make a difference from the outset because we needed everything. And from some of my other experiences or colleagues, experiences in other industries, that’s sometimes not the case where, let’s just say the gas and oil industry.
[00:03:10] For example, there might be methods that have been used for 50, 60 years. Things have been very well established. That science is known or what happens. And I liked the fact that I could evolve my career in parallel with the evolution of the cannabis industry.
Bryan Fields: [00:03:26]. I think that’s a perfect answer.
[00:03:28] And I think it takes a really specific type of mindset to be excited by the challenge like you described. And that’s the beautiful part of this industry is that the science part is catching up and it takes plenty of years like yourself and Kellan and some of the others that we’ve interviewed to kind of really push the ball forward because this industry is moving.
[00:03:46] The train is going faster and faster, and it’s up to everyone else to kind of hop on the train and get up to speed with it. So before we dive into some of these questions, let’s start with typically one of the hardest ones, your go-to meal [00:04:00] after consuming cannabis.
[00:04:02] Jason Lupoi: [00:04:02] My go-to meal. That’s an interesting one.
[00:04:05] I mean, I tend to like spicy food, so, great tacos or like super authentic something from Latin America produces something along the lines of that would be fantastic.
[00:04:18] Bryan Fields: [00:04:18] Fantastic. Let’s dive into terpenes and testing and the extraction magazine. Can you tell us about that? You know, who does that cater to, a little bit about that.
[00:04:27] Jason Lupoi: [00:04:27] Yeah. When I first became editor in chief of the publications, my goals were two fold, really? And they were to really augment the scientific content that we were putting out, but at the same time, not lose any readership. So I wanted to kind of be the style of reading that you might find in scientific American yet cross that with the cannabis culture that you might see in the juicy and something like high times, I wanted to be like a scientific point in [00:05:00] between those.
[00:05:01] And I think that we’ve been successful in achieving that. So we definitely, most of the people that, that are our readers are people that are. In the industry, it might be extractors. It might be analytical chemists or business owners or cultivators, but we also wanted to generate the content. New people to the industry, whether as you know, being employed in the industry for the first time or being a consumer for the first time as many people in the industry are consumers, we wanted to make sure that those people that might be working at one of these places, but it might not be super familiar with cannabis science and really the science in general would have a, a place to go to, to seek out some knowledge and, and hopefully read some.
[00:05:47] Bryan Fields: [00:05:47]In its simplest form. Can you just kind of give a little bit of background about what terpenes are and kind of the unique role they play in cannabis?
[00:05:56] Jason Lupoi: [00:05:56] Yeah. So terpenes are molecules that provide the [00:06:00] characteristic sense, fragrance flavors like sensory information, whenever you are smelling or tasting.
[00:06:07] If you like the smell of a rose or you like the taste of a specific hoppy beer, terpenes play a role in that. And so they’re, they’re ubiquitous in nature. They’re really a part of flowering plants in general. There’s the insects that make terpene. And of course, human beings love terpenes for various reasons.
[00:06:26] And in cannabis, this is you cannot smell cannabinoids. I’ve done some expert witness for. Cases where people have thought, they’ve pulled somebody over and they said, I could smell the THC, but you can’t smell cannabinoids. You can smell terpends and that’s what you’re smelling.
[00:06:43] When you smell a cannabis scent from a specific cultivar. If you smell 10 different cultivars, you may get 10 different fragrances. And that’s basically because of the collection of the different terpenes, all kinds of combining into being the [00:07:00] characteristic fragrance of that particular plant, like a Durban poison, or a golden goat, like they’re going to have specific terpene is unique to them that thereby in part different physiological experiences.
[00:07:11] So some terpenes have been associated with couch lock like near scene and some terpenes have been associated with anti-anxiety properties, like with a little. And these terpenes are all kind of imparting their different medicinal benefits in the plant is one whole collection of molecules
[00:07:31] Bryan Fields: [00:07:31] So Kellan, from the skunk smell standpoint.
[00:07:33] When, when someone says I smell skunk, is that the THC there’s really cause men. Jason’s obviously saying that that’s not the case. Do you think it’s the BHC or is it the terpene?
Kellan: It’s definitely the terpene
[00:07:43] Jason Lupoi: [00:07:43] Actually the there’s a company called buyer’s scientific that does odor mitigation strategies for grow houses and they just published there, the article might not even be posted yet.
[00:07:55] So this is a bit of a teaser, I guess that’ll be posted by the time the [00:08:00] things come out. They just feel like they’ve discovered actually in conjunction with my Alma mater Iowa state university they feel that they’ve discovered what molecule causes the skunkiness, and usually skunky things are associated with sulfur containing molecules.
[00:08:16] And they found that to be the case that this is a file or a sulfur containing molecule that causes the skunkiness in cannabis. So I don’t believe it was a terpene. I have not seen any terpene with sulfur in it to date. I don’t know if those exist, but the ones that I’ve seen in cannabis, I’ve not seen that.
[00:08:35] So I think it’s just a standard bio.
[00:08:38] Kellan Finney: [00:08:38] No, you’re correct. The only other atoms incorporated into terpenes are typically oxygens. Correct. I mean, especially in that natural products category, I think that that’s really kind of an unwritten rule.
[00:08:53] Jason Lupoi: [00:08:53] Yeah. I’ve never, you know, there’s a lot of terpenes out there.
[00:08:57] I can’t say I’ve seen, like I started getting [00:09:00] into try terpenoids from you know, functional mushrooms and, and learning about those and, and writing about those. But even, even there, I have not seen any that are any other atoms besides carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
[00:09:14] Kellan Finney: [00:09:14] I’ve got a funny story about a sulfur too.
[00:09:17] A lot of growers use sulfur as an organic pasture remediation. Right. And it turns out that that sulfur carries through the extraction process. And when you heat it up, it turns into hydrogen sulfide, right? H two S and that’s not very good for you at all to breed. So I was talking to some other chemists trying to figure out what to do.
[00:09:35] And they, I talked to this older gentleman and he literally was just like, sulfur is so complex from a chemistry standpoint that there are literally just sulfur, Kenneth. And so there’s no way that sulfur is integrated into any of these kinds of smaller molecules, just from a, the size of the adamant B how complex the chemistry is.
[00:09:54] Once they have access to those details. I know that was a little, a little above your pay grade, Brian, but [00:10:00] I thought it was Sharon.
[00:10:02] Bryan Fields: [00:10:02] I never knew that there was specific chemists that focused solely on sulfur. So that was some breaking news for me. And I’m looking forward to kind of asking chemists if, if that’s their preferred style going forward, let’s continue on the terpene pack and take it back to the selection process.
[00:10:15] Tell them we’re in the dispensary. We’re looking to select a product. How did these consumers understand the various benefits that terpene play? With the flour and even more so to probably take it a little more complicated, the terpene blends, do those influence the effects? Can you kind of shed some light on that?
[00:10:32] Jason Lupoi: Yeah.
[00:10:33] Jason Lupoi: [00:10:33] I think in Pennsylvania where I, where I’m located we’re, we’re fortunate because. Terpene or requirement on product labels. And it’s usually the same search teams that are on the label. Some companies have differentiated their product line by including some of the less abundant terpenes or, you know, ones that might not be as familiar like or something like that.
[00:10:56] But I think like when I go into a dispensary or when I [00:11:00] suggest, you know, unfortunately a lot of places don’t have terpenes on their menu. I have not tended to see that maybe it’s changed. You know, when I was in Colorado, I didn’t really see that on website menus or things like that. And. So I think it becomes a challenge to try to shop by terpene.
[00:11:17] Now you could potentially smell the product in PA you’re not allowed to do that. Everything’s already pre-packaged. So you’re losing that organoleptic aspect of your person. Of your purchasing power by smelling something it resonating with you. And then you choose that product versus something that maybe didn’t resonate as much with you.
[00:11:39] But when I’ve talked to people and I’ve had the opportunity to even teach some senior citizens here in the Pittsburgh area about cannabis science and, you know, I don’t think you necessarily need to know. Every last terpene that’s in the blend and how that’s going to affect you. Because a lot of the studies of course, are going to be on an individual [00:12:00] terpene and not a consortium of terpene.
[00:12:02] And so I even talked with Ethan Russo before, and I asked him like, if you’ve got a terpene that’s anti-anxiety and you’ve got a terpene, it’s known to cause a little bit of anxiety, is that all coming out in the wash, you know, depending on concentrations and things, of course. And, and he basically confirmed that.
[00:12:20] Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s what, that’s what he’s seen in his career, but I think that you just need to know how this collection of molecules cheated you. Did you feel anxious? Did you feel creative? And I think it’s important to understand that the terpenes are kind of the navigators of the experience.
[00:12:37] So the interplay between the terpenes and the cannabinoids in the product, the whole package is what’s causing the experience and not just whatever the THC content is. So I’ve heard people say how they were, you know, new, new people to the industry say how they were just stunned. A vape pen. They could be much more lucid than when they smoked a bowl.
[00:12:59] And [00:13:00] it’s interesting to me because, you know, people seem to report that when terpenes are at their most prominent they, they feel like that the product was a lot more powerful regardless of what the THC content was.
[00:13:13] Kellan Finney: [00:13:13] And I think that that’s an excellent point. And in Colorado, they still are not listing terpenes actively.
[00:13:18] And so. As a consumer going out and purchasing. I think the system that was developed prior to scientists being heavily involved in this space was the kind of three categories system we have right now, just the Sative, hybrid and Indica. And so Jason, how closely is that current system for classification of in, in reality, it’s really a classification of the different terpene profiles for the various cannabis strains.
[00:13:45] And so how closely scientifically is that tied to. Specific terpene profiles and characteristics and your in your expense.
[00:13:53] Jason Lupoi: [00:13:53] Yeah, I definitely don’t adhere to the sativa indigo hybrid [00:14:00] nomenclature. You know, from what I’ve read and heard from others involved in, taxonomic classifications of the plants, there is zero agreement.
[00:14:10] Indica being a separate species, you know, maybe it’s a sub species, but I understand too at the same time that some people that’s how they’ve chosen to market their products. In my opinion, I’ve seen some, some plants like the purple plants all seem to be categorized as indicas. And, and I think like at this point, most plants are, are hybridized pretty extensively.
[00:14:33] I’m not, I’m definitely not a cultivation expert. It seems like over time, you know, with people, tweaking things is there’s a lot more hybridization than what might, what people might think. And I think that when folks have looked at different classifications like that you know, especially some of the work of like an Arno Hayes camper adjusting the Shadek that have used data modeling to kind of tease out relationships.
[00:14:59] Between [00:15:00] different, you know, either previously conceived classifications, like what you’re saying with indica and sativa, they found that really the differentiators between all of these things are terpene and cannabinoid profiles tend to be pretty similar across a lot of like statistically similar, of course, there’s going to be some differences and outliers, but I think that really, from what I’ve seen, the main differences from one cultivar to the next is minor cannabinoids and terpene.
[00:15:28] Bryan Fields: [00:15:28] Kind of asked you a follow up question from your statement before about the post consumer review of a product. Like we were saying that after you consumed the flour and you felt a certain way, understanding that they’re being blind influenced that. But if you don’t want to have that feeling for the people who are kind of curious and looking to try the product for the first time, sometimes off putting experience, it’s very anxiety.
[00:15:50] Inducing is a horrible one. And then one that leads them to stray away from trying to parks again. From an educational level consumer that’s [00:16:00] interested, but really hasn’t had to try these, these anxiety inducing products. How do they get educated on that to avoid making that selection?
[00:16:07] Jason Lupoi: [00:16:07] Well, I think part of it’s their own, you know, playing scientist and trial and error and just seeing what works for them.
[00:16:13] But I think that, you know, come to terpenes and testings website and read, read about the different terpene. We’ve got a terpene you know, reference. A bar there that talks about different terpenes. And we had the opportunity to write a book called the cannabis terpene experience that dives into the, the science behind different turbines.
[00:16:33] But I think like, you know, again, those are all like individual terrapins. What might Lin a little do for you versus, you know, some other terpene. I think that when we’re looking at cannabis, it’s really the collection of those drinks. And how they make you feel. So you can always look at like other people’s anecdotal reports, you know, how, how did this plant make them feel?
[00:16:54] One of the things that I’m pretty excited about is Mark Lewis out of Nate pro research has recently done [00:17:00] something called keto facts, where when you get a certificate of analysis from the lab, And they do a terpene profile. There’s these really cool plots that show all of these different attributes that people might use to describe how they felt or how they will feel, you know, creative, energetic, anxious, calming, sedated, whatever the case may be.
[00:17:23] But. Play-Doh facts is actually based in modeling of data and profiles. And there’s a lot of science that went into that. So it’s not necessarily just like reading your, if, if a bud tender tells you that this is going to make you feel, you know, energetic because it made them feel energetic. There there’s a lot of science that actually went into it and it’s trying to help people understand how this collection of molecules.
[00:17:50] May make them feel. And I think that’s looking at it as a group is, is really important. That’s
[00:17:56] Bryan Fields: [00:17:56] really strong because I think in my opinion, right now, the dispensary [00:18:00] experience can sometimes be overwhelming for the new consumer. There’s a million products, I think Kellen and I went to one in Seattle. I walked in and must’ve been one of my first 10 that I walked in.
[00:18:09] I was blown away. There was a hundred choices of flour. There was 50 different choices of edibles. They were just products everywhere. And I just kind of stood there. Just overwhelmed. Where do I start? Like where, like, how do I even navigate the, the experiences that for me, who has a specific pallet, because I’ve had some off putting experiences with my anxiety, it was one of those where I was kind of like shell shock that I needed someone like telling to be like, all right, Brian, like, you should just take a step to the left.
[00:18:34] And like, here are the products you should start with. And without kind of understanding like the, the details you just shared, Jason, it could be really intimidating for some people. So. I think the idea of explaining it from a creative and energetic standpoint is a tremendous start in helping the consumer feel comfortable with their purchasing selection, because it is an intimidating experience.
[00:18:54] Now, do you want to dive in from your experience of all the dispensaries? Because obviously you’ve been through a ton and you’ve [00:19:00] seen many consumers including myself kind of walk in. So how do you navigate that and kind of helping a first time buyer make a selection where recommendation there? Yeah. I
[00:19:10] Kellan Finney: [00:19:10] mean, honestly, it’s not cut and dry.
[00:19:12] Because every single state is different, right? Like in Colorado you can go in, they have the cannabis and, or the flower in a really large jar, kind of like back in the day, if you went to your buddy’s house and were picking up. An eighth, right. Or something like that. So like they have all the cannabis in a big jar.
[00:19:31] You can smell it, they’ll pick it up. You can look at it so you can get a lot more kind of personal with that, that choice process. And when I’m with someone in Colorado, who’s never touched it. And they’re interested in kind of purchase some flour, the smell, and those are organic lactic senses that Jason mentioned earlier, that smell is, is huge.
[00:19:49] If someone doesn’t enjoy it, that initial smell of the plant, then they’re probably not going to enjoy the. Associated with it. Right. And so that’s one thing that in Colorado, we lean on [00:20:00] heavily as far as decision-making processes go. But like, like in Washington, you’re not allowed to smell it. They have, they have sample jars out.
[00:20:07] Right. Which is just a glass sealed jar with some buds in it that you can look at and be like, you can turn it up and look at the blood structure, but that doesn’t really tell you a lot, as far as the terpene profile goes. And so at that point, you’re kind of at the mercy of the bud tender. And so if you go out.
[00:20:23] I say, educate yourself a little, right. And kind of play scientist yourself, go out, read a bunch of stuff. Kind of see what kind of aroma therapies you kind of tend to favor. Right? If you’re a big lavender fan, you might be a fan of Intercos because from my experience, indicas tend to typically have a little more linalool in them, hopefully.
[00:20:43] And then there are some brands out there that do. Terpene testing and make an effort to put those analysis on their labels. And so then you can at least kind of fall back on that and then having an open discussion with the budtender. Don’t just take everything they say as like the [00:21:00] word of God. Right.
[00:21:01] Kind of giving them pushback and being able to have an open-ended discussion with. Will really help you navigate that. But right now it’s just tough because it’s, it’s a state by state situation. Some states let you look at it. Some states won’t even let you look at it. You know what I mean? And so it’s really challenging.
[00:21:16] I mean, Jason, is there a method that you kind of came up with when your friends came and visited you when you were living out in Colorado to kind of help them navigate that, that same kind of
[00:21:24] Jason Lupoi: [00:21:24] obstacle. I think that you brought up a good point there about testing out some aroma therapy things and things like that.
[00:21:31] Because what I was working on researching for the cannabis terpene experience, I started to understand like, okay, what is the full realm of plants that a specific terpene is prominent in? You know, I knew that linalool was in lavender and of course pineys and pine and all those sorts of things. But beyond that, What plants are these other, you know, I tried to give maybe five to 10 examples of the different plants, you know, and there’s, there’s [00:22:00] one I think it’s the terpene near a light, all that’s in corn and tomatoes and things that you, you know, you really wouldn’t be expecting, especially when you know about cannabis.
[00:22:09] Terpenes I think it’s interesting that you can look throughout nature and it started identifying really that there are definitely, I migrate towards specifically. I came to the understanding that these plants that I migrate to very diverse, you know, flowers or teas or cannabis or hops, they all tend to have some of the same dominant terpene.
[00:22:32] And so it’s like, my nose is telling me, Hey, you need. And so I found that that’s what works for me in that, like, I just kind of took stock of what other plants am I really into and what are the terpenes that are in those plans? And at the backend of, of our book, we put an appendix that kind of dived into the scientific literature.
[00:22:54] A lot of gas chromatography results to look at here is a specific essential oil, [00:23:00] lavender essential oil or rose essential oil, whatever the essential oil might. What are the dominant molecules in those essential oils. And then I was able to kind of understand, okay, so these are the molecules that I kind of want to look for whenever I’m seeking out cannabis products.
[00:23:17] And plus I also, you know, I started to understand some of the medicinal properties of different terpene. And so there are definitely ones that I look out for personally. When I have access to the information, like I said in Pennsylvania, I think that I’m not sure if this has changed, but at one time it was just Pennsylvania and Nevada that had required terpene to be on product labels.
[00:23:41]I would hope that other companies have taken it upon themselves to kind of lead by example and put terpenes on their, on their product labels, because I really do believe that it’s what changes have one product from the. Especially if you’re talking about flour or, or, you know, eight, 10 or something like that.
[00:23:58] So I think that’s kind of, what’s [00:24:00] worked for me is to just brainstorm of what plants do. Am I, am I into, and then seek out plants cannabis plants or cannabis products that tend to have higher terpenes and linalool is definitely one that I migrate to across various plants is Jasmine or other types of teas to lavender, to different hops.
[00:24:20] It’s very prevalent and what I, what I tend to migrate to. So I think like that kind of coincides with what you were saying there, and with the aroma therapy understanding, I like this type of, of aroma therapy oil. It does the job for me, and then understanding what terpenes are in that essential oil. And then looking for those.
[00:24:39]Where possible in the cannabis industry that’s really
[00:24:42] Bryan Fields: [00:24:42] well said. Is there any sort of cross knowledge between, let’s say in like the beer industry, towards the cannabis industry, with the terpene, where if you are looking for a certain type of mal and paste with the beer and that work with the cannabis side as well?
[00:24:57] Jason Lupoi: [00:24:57] I mean, I’m not sure if I understand.
[00:24:59] Bryan Fields: [00:24:59] So, [00:25:00] for example, you were describing how there are certain terpenes you look for in the experience and then use that as kind of a barometer. I’m making a selection in the cannabis process. Does that work with the. Your industry towards the cannabis industry? Yeah.
[00:25:13] Jason Lupoi: [00:25:13] Well, that’s a good question. Cause I, you know, I, I tend to migrate to hazy hoppy beers and I haven’t really met one. I haven’t liked. So you know, I’m not like I’m not feeling like anxious from one and, and I don’t really know what levels of terpenes are in these different beers. I just know that people that are doing a lot of dry hopping you know, Pittsburgh is becoming amazing.
[00:25:35] For super hoppy hazy IPA. And unfortunately there’s nobody like testing that, you know, getting a certificate of analysis on a website for a beer. I’d personally love to see that being kind of a data nerd. It very well could be. Like, I know that some people have different. Like my, my wife, for example there’s different hops that tend to invoke an allergic [00:26:00] reaction.
[00:26:00] As a matter of fact, we were growing hops on our property and you know, if you touch it, like some people will, will show like a red line on their skin. So there’s definitely some skin irritation, some kind of allergy. And then other hops don’t seem to invoke that same response. So I would say there’s gotta be a physiological you know, outcome from drinking one type of, of ACI IPA to a different based on the ingredients that are coming out of the hops into the beer.
[00:26:30] You know, so I think there’s probably some justification there, but I just, I don’t have any data that I could point out.
[00:26:37] Kellan Finney: [00:26:37] No, and I have that same experience, but with canvas, because I remember walking through the field and there were certain, certain cannabis plants I’d touch and my entire skin would break out red and be super allergic and other strains, nothing would happen.
[00:26:51] And I mean, I know that Cannabis and hops. And a lot of these plants produce the terpenes as a means of natural pest mitigation, right. To kind of help [00:27:00] them survive in nature. And so there’s gotta be the reason would most likely be to deter creditors from eating their flowers. Yeah.
[00:27:09] Jason Lupoi: [00:27:09] Yeah. I mean, that’s actually one of my favorite.
[00:27:12] Things about the terpene is that it has this, I think it was a guy named Jim hole that had coined this, this he had written an article for terpenes and testing and he called it the strange Jekyll and Hyde world of the terpene. And I love that because, you know, we’re looking at the, the terpene throughout this conversation.
[00:27:33] And just often in general, from the perspective of the human being, but from the herbivore that’s, you know, chewing on it. What I find amazing is that the plant can produce terpines in response to that. And those responses can be either maybe just the, the bug doesn’t like the taste of the terpines And so it just flies to a different plant. But I think the even cooler aspect is that the terpene almost serves as like a, [00:28:00] a modern day smartphone or a means of communication because the plant can sense that it’s being eaten. And it can release these terpines and somewhere out there, you know, the terpene is floating along the breeze and there’s a predator out there that gets that phone call and comes to the plant’s rescue and eats the herbivore.
[00:28:20] And this has happened with spider, my predatory mites, and I, I think that’s like an amazing poetry in nature that know this can serve as kind of a communication line for the destruction of a specific type of predator to the plant. I find that to be really amazing.
[00:28:37] Bryan Fields: [00:28:37] I need that Netflix documentary now, because that is, that’s an incredible story on how you just described it.
[00:28:44] So let’s, let’s take one more step forward, Jason. Obviously we can add an audio industry has got a ton of misconceptions in your opinion, what is the biggest misconception in the cannabinoid
[00:28:54] Jason Lupoi: [00:28:54] industry? That’s a great question. It’s one. I always ask everybody. So you’re putting me on the spot here. [00:29:00] You know, I think that, that the biggest misconception, and this is probably maybe cliche, but unfortunately it’s still prevalent.
[00:29:10] Is that the more THC, the better you know, when you. Pharmacological responses. You often see this like bell-shaped dose response curve where low doses of something and high doses of something, you know, may have very similar effects, but it’s often those middle doses that are much, much more efficacious.
[00:29:29] It’s like this with certain vitamins, you know, you don’t. Eating stockpiles of, of a specific vitamin, because in some, after you get to a certain concentration, it’s not going to be beneficial. And in some cases, maybe it’s harmful and definitely not trying to imply the THC at 95% would be harmful, but I’m just saying.
[00:29:50] Products become a bit one dimensional. And I think that understanding that driving the potency through the roof isn’t [00:30:00] necessarily going to be the most effective. If you’re taking the product or ingesting the product specifically for a medicinal attribute like anti-anxiety or, you know, pain relief, things like that.
[00:30:13] You’re not necessarily going to get a better. Benefit just because you’re doing a dab versus, you know, something that might be a little lower and yeah,
[00:30:22] Bryan Fields: [00:30:22] perfectly said. And I think as the consumer educates themselves, when they walk into a dispensary, I think the overwhelming experience, they just kind of mean towards, if you want to get really high, you’d grab the one with the highest THC and that’s the easiest way to make a selection.
[00:30:35] And I think dispensary’s are really smart and they raise the prices of that. Everyone kind of makes money on there, but I definitely agree, Jason, I think as the industry evolves, I think that’s going to be a really big misconception that gets kind of revealed. We’re going to ask two questions before we dive into the prediction, you could sum up your experience in the cannabinoid space into one main takeaway or lesson learned to pass [00:31:00] on to the next generation.
[00:31:02] When would that be?
[00:31:02]Jason Lupoi: [00:31:02] Well, I, I think that I would have to go a bit political and say that, you know, the fact that cannabis is still a schedule, one drug, in my opinion, is a crime against humanity. In addition to some other schedule, one drugs like psilocybin, but we’ll focus on cannabis right now. I think that’s the one main takeaway that I, that I would impart to somebody that what you have heard for 80 plus years.
[00:31:28] Reefer madness and, and, you know, go back and watch some of the old films like reefer madness or marijuana. And understand that those were meant to be serious and not fun. Like, you know, cannabis culture, movies that they turned into. Like that was actually the status quo. And the fact that media could be so, you know, damaging to a very benign plant, I find to be really something that exemplifies absurdity you know, in our, in our history.
[00:31:58] So I think that’s, [00:32:00] that would be the main thing. The last
[00:32:02] Bryan Fields: [00:32:02] time you consumed any cannabinoids.
[00:32:05] Jason Lupoi: [00:32:05] Wow. Thanks. You have taught on after this too. So last night for sure. You know, medicine is meant, you know, often when you go to the doctor you’re told to take something daily. So, you know, that’s, that’s essentially how I feel.
[00:32:25] Bryan Fields: [00:32:25] Prediction time, five years from now. Will her paints be a popular selection, characteristic of users walking into a dispensary who select a product? It, yes.
[00:32:38] Jason Lupoi: [00:32:38] How will
[00:32:39] Bryan Fields: [00:32:39] users understand which communicate, which feeling about it?
[00:32:44] Jason Lupoi: [00:32:44] Yeah, I think most definitely that’s the case. And I think that color coding will be one of the more popular options to do that.
[00:32:51] Some brands have already started to do that. I don’t know when I’ve seen the color coding, like in some of the brands here in Pennsylvania. I don’t know if they’re color [00:33:00] coding based on terpene profiles. If I was doing it and that’s what I would do. You know, there’s, there’s ways that you could, like I talked about, you know Nate pro researches, phyto facts, something like that, where you can take this, all of this information and make a graph like that, that shows all of these different categories.
[00:33:20] You can then know I’ve got the. 300 different plants I’m growing, or maybe that’s crazy. You mean 30 plants that you’re growing? How do they all compare chemically as a whole, not just in cannabinoid profiles, not just in terpene profiles, but that full chemo VAR. How does that compare from plant a to plant B?
[00:33:39] And I think what’s important for the consumer is, you know, I found a product here in Pennsylvania that I really love, but I can’t get it anymore. This hasn’t been on the show. For a long time. So what product is there that I can actually take that will be. Will resemble that same experience. Like I tend to look at different [00:34:00] cannabis.
[00:34:00] Plants is they are different products. Is what type of music do I want to hear? Some plants definitely drive me to want to listen to specific types of music and Austin. I’m looking for the plant that I’m cool with. Whatever’s on. And if I feel that. And I feel like very content by that product. I want to be content all the time.
[00:34:20] Right? Like that’s a great, good stress relief. So that’s where I feel like if, you know, I’ve migrated to this brand, you know, specific color, I, I like the purple blends. Not, not purple having to do with like cannabis purple, but just how they color coded. I think that that’s going to be kind of something that helps consumers have reproducible experiences, you know, as a scientist, like the lack of reproducibility in the experience isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, you know, because it is part of the experience, it is part of the trial and error and you get that.
[00:34:56] It’s kind of cool to try different things and experiment in [00:35:00] different ways. I mean, that’s like the, the lore of the scientist, but for somebody new to the industry, if they have a bad experience, the first time around this plant could significantly benefits their quality of life. And yet they may not come back to it.
[00:35:13] And I think that’s what we need to prevent is responsible product manufacturers is making sure that people really understand what they’re ingesting besides just a cooler or, or funky cultivation.
[00:35:26] Bryan Fields: [00:35:26] It’s gonna be tough to follow that up. Do you want to take a swing?
[00:35:29] Kellan Finney: [00:35:29] I mean, I agree with exactly what Jason said.
[00:35:32]I know that for an example the company I worked for in Washington, it was called leaf works. And we went with a different variation of the Endeca sativa hybrid kind of model. And it was kind of playing on the feeling aspect and how the user or the consumer. Feels after ingesting the product and we call color, coordinate it.
[00:35:51] We called it the mood dudes. Right. And so it was like chilling, which was more of the IndyCars that had higher linalool concentrations. Right. And, and [00:36:00] then there was like, go get ’em, which was like a yellow color and the, in the. Chillin was blue more of like a relaxing color from an aesthetic perspective.
[00:36:09] And the sativas were, were a yellow kind of more of an active color. Right. And then the hybrids were like an orange, right? And so we were implementing that colored coordinating system to try to differentiate the products on the shelf. And I mean, it was really well received and I know that there’s going to be a lot more work that needs to be done on that front, but you can see the.
[00:36:32] Smarter brands out there are starting to move that way because it’s really, really challenging to communicate the magnitude of information associated with. These chemical terpene profiles on different plants. I mean, there’s probably over a hundred different terpenes that are ubiquitous to cannabis. I know that some labs right now are only testing for 60 or 70.
[00:36:57] And even then it’s, it’s kind of [00:37:00] overwhelming, just even as a, as a, as a scientist, when I go through some of those CLA is it’s like, okay, like, what am I even looking at here? There’s 10 terpenes I’ve never even heard of. And they, they literally are in less than one point, 1% concentrations. And so. That type of information is so hard to digest and internalize in a decision-making process.
[00:37:19] So infographics are going to be the way to go. And I think color is probably the easiest way. I’m really curious to see, see how many kinds of categories it ends up breaking down into if, if it is just going to be the three categories, there’s going to be a lot of, kind of Room for air within those, I guess I would probably, I would bet that it turns into maybe five or six different categories and you kind of see different ones evolve over time.
[00:37:43] I would, I would kind of compare it to maybe the, the wine industry with kind of Appalachians and, and that whole aspect. You can have a from California and you can have Kianta from, from Italy. And there’s going to be subtle differences between those two different wines. And that’s [00:38:00] really has to do with, with the grape and where it was grown and the different chemical profile within that grape.
[00:38:05] So I could see the cannabis industry kind of following something like that, right. Where you have your Keon tase and you have your Chardonnays and you have all these different kinds of systems to categorize those states. Types of cannabis plants. And so that’s where I see it going similar to exactly what Jason said.
[00:38:23] I mean, as a non-scientist Brian what would be the easiest. Way for you to kind of make that decision processes, color coordination, easiest. Do you like the wine system? Where’s your head at
[00:38:37] Bryan Fields: [00:38:37] coordination is definitely the easiest, but it has to be introduced universally, right? Like it has to be one where I walked into dispensary here in New York and I can see the same colored graph as I do in Colorado, because we want to make the experience exciting and enjoyable and handing someone like myself, a binder.
[00:38:54] When I walk into a dispenser. For the first time in Colorado, I don’t have times review the [00:39:00] 7,000 products. I want to know, you know, roughly the type of experience and like you were saying Kaelin, it doesn’t have to be pinpoint exact because it’s unlikely that they can do that. Just has to be in the ballpark.
[00:39:10] And I just have to know personally that when I pick up a certain type of flower that going to have an anxiety attack, because I’m using the flower to help calm myself and to calm these nerves, not to excite them and to put me into the corner where I had to go to sleep in the night. I think kind of adopting a universal standard is the best way for, you know, the average person who’s interested in kind of learning about the product that doesn’t have the chance to go onto the websites to educate themselves pretty intensely, but it’s age roughly than learning about these possibilities.
[00:39:39] Like you were saying, Jason, the only way people are going to really learn is to experience it. And if they have that off-putting experience, especially that first time it’s so critical. Cause they’re, they’re likely unlikely to go back anytime soon if they have such a negative first-time experience.
[00:39:54] Jason Lupoi: [00:39:54] Yeah.
[00:39:54] And I think ultimately like, you know, when I look back over history and those 80 years that we’ve [00:40:00] been said a lot of misinformation, you know, I wonder how many people could have benefited from the plant. Taking modern day people that aren’t being necessarily subjected to that style of, of disinformation.
[00:40:14] And there’s now they’re getting an abundance of information in the other direction. I think. It’s critical that every person who can benefit from cannabis try it and see if it helps them in a way that maybe more traditional, modern pharmaceutical medications may not have. And I feel like that first experience, or maybe the first several experience, if they’re buying multiple products is a dispensary their first time out.
[00:40:43] I think it’s it’s. That they, they have as good of an experience as possible, and it’s not always going to happen, but I think that being able to you know, and I think that’s where some of the apps have come into play too, you know, there’s, there’s an app for everything. And, and I think there’s been some apps [00:41:00] out there, like relief app that allow consumers to kind of keep a, a phone.
[00:41:05] Diary of how they felt on different products. Like I’m old school. Like I like to have an Excel file with all of the cannabinoid and terpene information from different products that I’ve had and put different classifiers there about how I felt and try to go back to some of that in the future. But I think that for a brand that’s looking to You know ensure that their consumers have a reproducible experience.
[00:41:29] There’s definitely some options out there. I think about a paper that was published, where some researchers in Nevada measured the, the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of something like 396 differently names. Cannabis plants and that all boil down to three basic chemistry. So people were taking three basic chemistries and labeling it with 400 different names.
[00:41:55] And that becomes a real challenge to a consumer to try to digest it. And then you end [00:42:00] up just buying by the plant name. Cause it sounds. Versus knowing something about how the chemistry is going to treat you. And I think that’s, that’s the real important part of purchasing a product, especially for new timers.
[00:42:13] And it’s, it’s kind of a struggle sometimes when I go into dispensary’s and I see how they’re portraying things and they’ll ask you questions and some of them have really started to list out the top four or five. Terpene here in the Pittsburgh area, at least I think that’s a great way to go because it’s at least providing that extra information.
[00:42:33] But again, like for somebody that’s a lay person that doesn’t understand what they’re looking at. Like, you know, I really feel like the color coding could be a way to go to really simplify it and make it visual and give people the best opportunity to have a great first cannabis.
[00:42:49] Bryan Fields: [00:42:49] Perfectly said. So Jason, for our listeners that want to get in touch to learn more about you and the magazine, where can they connect with you and get some information?
[00:42:58] I’ve got a
[00:42:58] Jason Lupoi: [00:42:58] simple email [00:43:00] address, [email protected] or [email protected] You know, you can visit our websites. We’ve got a bunch of stuff there. You know, we have all those standard social media platforms, including LinkedIn. So I’m on LinkedIn as well. I’d be happy to answer any other questions.
[00:43:16] Somebody might have to the best of my ability or if I don’t know the answer it sounds like great fodder for a new blog topic. So if. As I like when people saying questions because it gives us some real-world consumer or reader insight into what we should be covering next. So I’d be happy to happy to chat.
[00:43:35] Bryan Fields: [00:43:35] Awesome. So I’ll link those off in the show notes. Thanks for
[00:43:38] Jason Lupoi: [00:43:38] taking the time. Thank you guys. It was great to talk with you. I’d love to do it again sometime. [00:44:00]
Thanks so much for listening to The Dime . Subscribe or follow us on Seeking Alpha, Libsyn, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play or Stitcher. And we’d really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. It helps others find our show
Subscribe to The Dime