“No scientist actually can keep up with the [scientific] literature nowadays,” notes Susan Trapp, Ph.D., who recently joined the institute as an expert in molecular biology, genomics (including research on the Human Genome Project), and computational biology.
The latter is a scientific discipline that uses mathematical models to understand biological systems. AI and computational biology are merging, to the extent that the terms are sometimes used interchangeably when speaking about algorithms that ingest and analyze large datasets.
Take the example of echinacea, a popular dietary supplement that is marketed for a number of health conditions, using various parts of the plants, across a wide variety of formulations. An algorithm trained to sift through the scientific literature and other sources could quickly make predictions about optimal extractions for the kind of product desired.
Does CBD really help prevent or treat a coronavirus infection? What about marijuana? Experts break it down.
The buzz took off last month, when researchers at the University of Chicago published findings from a laboratory experiment on rodents that suggested CBD — a compound in cannabis — may block the coronavirus from replicating in cells. And so came the headlines claiming that weed could prevent or treat COVID.
But scientists who study the ways cannabis interacts with pathogens, our cells and the immune system say understanding the impact cannabis has on SARS-CoV-2 is not so simple.
COVID-19 is a complex disease, and cannabis is a complex plant. Different compounds in the plant — like THC and CBD — have vastly different effects that, for the most part, aren’t well understood. And even though certain compounds derived from cannabis have shown success against SARS-CoV-2 in lab experiments, those findings don’t necessarily translate to humans in the real world. Robust clinical trials haven’t yet been done to clearly understand the dosing and the mechanisms of action in the human body.
Excerpt: Susan Trapp, Ph.D., the CEO, and founder of Terpedia, would like to see the terminology changed, though. “In the cannabis industry, the entourage effect is understood as a theory that all compounds in cannabis work together when taken together,” she says. “This really implies a ‘synergy’ as opposed to ‘entourage.’ Nevertheless, terpenes, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoids our bodies produce all work in concert with each other inside the human body.”
Excerpt from the article link above.
Open your stash and take a sniff. Is it pungent and skunky? Bright and citrusy?
More of a floral scent? What you’re smelling are the terpenes. They give each strain of cannabis a unique aroma.
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons produced in the same glands of the cannabis plant that make the cannabinoids, like THC and CBD (more on those in a bit). Most plants produce these organic, oily compounds to attract pollinators or ward off predators. Their relationship with cannabis, however, is a bit more complex.
While research on the effects of terpenes is lacking, it is believed they offer their own therapeutic benefits, in addition to playing a vital role in elevating the effect of each individual cannabis strain.
Taylor Olson, the retail marketing manager for Verano’s Zen Leaf dispensaries, is devoted to making sure that terpenes play a greater part in the cannabis conversation. “In doing so, this helps cannabis users -connect to the plant and offers a deeper understanding of how various strains and terpene profiles will affect their bodies, and begin to enhance overall wellness,” she says.
HOW TERPENES WORK “Terpenes are one of the many pieces in the chemical equation that make up the truly unique characteristics of cannabis,” says Tessa Adams, chief marketing officer at Moxie Extracts. They are also one of the most overtly distinct identifiers of a cannabis strain. “Yes, they contribute to the aromatic and flavor profiles. They also play a huge role in modulating the uptake by the consumer, depending on the ratio of minor and major cannabinoids.” Terpenes stimulate the olfactory system, which is strongly connected to the part of our brain that processes memories and emotions. Do you know how a whiff of Love’s Baby Soft cologne can take you back to a junior high dance? Terpenes work in a similar manner, soothing or stimulating the body.
TYPES OF TERPS
Taylor Olson, the retail marketing manager for Verano’s Zen Leaf dispensaries, explains how to identify five of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis.
John’s guest is Dr. Susan Trapp, whose vision is to accelerate cannabis and endocannabinoid research, in a challenging federal environment, through education and research. Dr. Trapp’s segway into the cannabis industry is her extensive terpenoid research background. Susan’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral research examined the molecular evolution of the largest class of plant natural products – TERPENOIDS (terpenes)… Enjoy!
Watch the video on YouTube.
Dr. Susan Trapp’s vision is to accelerate cannabis and endocannabinoid research, in a challenging federal environment, through education and research. Dr. Trapp’s segway into the cannabis industry is her extensive terpenoid research background. Susan’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral research examined the molecular evolution of the largest class of plant natural products – TERPENOIDS (terpenes). Susan has been consulting in the cannabis industry for the past several years and in 2018, co-founded an ancillary database cannabis company –TreatmentX – with the mission to advance scientific understanding of cannabis and treatment legitimization through the collation of patient outcomes and cannabis consumption DATA.
Susan has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field both as a plant-microbe molecular biology researcher and “beyond the lab bench”. She has held scientific, management, and early-stage development positions within the biotech industry, academia, government, and start-up community, from algae biofuels to genomes. Dr. Trapp participated directly on the human genome project with Dr. Craig Venter early in her scientific career.
While terpenes are known for flavor, scents, and aromas in cannabis and other plants, their therapeutic benefits are less well-defined. Terpenes in the form of herbal remedies and essential oils have been utilized for centuries in traditional medicine practices, and yet there are still so many questions left unresolved within the scientific community. However, due to the increased interest in cannabinoids and terpenes, more research is being investigated, such as the way in which cannabis and all of the plant’s phytochemicals interact with our immune system. This is laying the groundwork allowing us to understand the mechanisms of action (MOA) at biochemical levels.
A recent study showing promise in the lab is the potential for cannabinoids and terpenes to act as an adjunctive treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Known as the queen of terpenes, Dr. Susan Trapp is one of the foremost experts on terpene science, and she’s bringing her expertise to the hemp and cannabis world.
In this episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast, Matt talks about quarantine hemp cooking and cocktailing, featuring our recipe for hemp-infused bacon fat peanut butter cookies. Then Matt has a Conversation with Susan Trapp, terpene researcher and co-founder of terpedia.com.
This episode is part of our Women in Hemp series.
Terpenes are some of the most prevalent and diverse organic compounds. They create the familiar scent of many plants but serve many purposes in nature, even self-defense.
Susan has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field both as a plant-microbe molecular biology researcher and “beyond the lab bench.” She has held scientific, management, and early-stage development positions within the biotech industry, academia, government, and start-up community, from algae biofuels to genomes. Dr. Trapp participated directly in the human genome project with Dr. Craig Venter early in her scientific career.
It was a real honor to get such a terpene expert on our show, so get ready for a deep, fascinating dive into terpene science.
Here are some ideas for pairing cannabis strains with beer and other ways to consume on St. Patrick’s Day
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Squeeze into your kilt and dust off your Irish jiggin’ shoes because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. While most party-goers tend to lean towards the hops side of things around this holiday, let’s not forget another member of the same Cannabaceae plant family. That’s right, cannabis!
According to the Terpene Queen, Dr. Susan Trapp, both cannabis and beer contain a variety of terpene profiles that often complement each other. “Beers have a ton of terpenes in them which, much like cannabis strains, often shape the flavor profile and your overall experience after consuming it,” says Trapp.
The plants that typically come to mind around this time are four-leaf clovers, but they aren’t the only lucky plants worth celebrating in March. So if green beer isn’t your style, there are a few other ways to eloquently pair the green you really like with a selection of craft beers.
IPAs or Pale Ales and Sour Deisel
Strains like Sour Deisel that are peppery with citrus undertones pair well with any IPA or Pale Ale. Oskar Blues has a Hazey India Pale Ale called One-y that goes down particularly easy while passing around a Sour Deisel-filled joint.
Belgium Beers and Gorilla Glue
The complexity of Belgium style beers call for a more modern and light Indica strain. If you’re drinking New Belgium’s Fat Tire, we’d recommend a Gorilla Glue that takes the edge off without making you super groggy.
Light Beers and Headband
No craft beer in sight? No worries, you can still have some fun pairing a Miller Light with the creamy smoke of Headband that’s accented by flavors of lemons and diesel for an easygoing citrusy afternoon.
Sour Beers and Tangie
A sour beer, like O’Dell’s Sippin’ Pretty Fruited Sour Ale naturally blends well with a Sativa Tangie strain. The citrusy and uplifting vibe combined with the açai, guava, and elderberry flavors provides a terpene combination like no other.
However, if your palette isn’t quite developed enough to appreciate these suggestions, don’t fret. There are a few other ways you enjoy cannabis or alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, including beer that tastes like weed but doesn’t get you high, or a THC infused beverage that tastes like beer but doesn’t make you feel tipsy. Confused yet?
For retired stoners and active drinkers, try these 420-forward brews from sweetWater
Beer aficionados claim that combining some of the all-stars in hops with the “dank” weed aroma we all know and love, is really heating up in the craft beer space. SweetWater Brewing Company has a history of concocting 420 forward beers and truly taking beer to a higher level by only utilizing hops from the Cannabaceae family. While their 420 Strain G13 IPA won’t actually get you high, it mimics the taste and aroma of an Indica strain that’s a subject of many urban legends. Allegedly, G13 (Government Indica Strain 13) was one of the powerful strains gathered by the CIA and FBI, that was later stolen from a secret breeding installation of super hybrids in the ’60s.
Newly launched this month, SweetWater’s Insane OG Mexican-Style Craft Lager is also worth a try, especially since it’s got the ‘Greenthumb’s’ up from World Famous Cypress Hill rapper, B-Real. After launching Dr. Greenthumb Dispensary in 2018, the rapper collaborated with SweetWater to launch this epic beer, enriched by the dank hit on the nose when you crack it open. The strain-specific terpenes, a proprietary hemp flavor blend, and hops emulate one of our favorite cannabis strains- Insane OG.
Aint’ No Laws When You’re Drinkin’ ‘Weed Claws’
Actually, there might be a few laws, because these sparkling seltzers, unlike the popular White Claw hard seltzers are non-alcoholic. In 2019, Oh Hi launched four flavors of seltzers infused with 5-10 milligrams of THC. As the brand lovechild of the owners of Ska Brewing, Ska Fabricating, and Colorado dispensary/grower Durango Organics, Oh Hi is sold in about 100 dispensaries across Colorado. They come in four flavors: Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, Ginger Basil Limeade, and Pomegranate.
For the “I’m Not Drinking But I AM Stoned and Trying to be Social” Moments
If you’re a social cannabis consumer who avoids alcohol, attending a St. Patrick’s Day party that often involves lots of beer drinking might seem unappealing. However, walking around with a CERIA’s Grainwave Belgian White Ale in your hand could be the answer you’re looking for. From the brewers at Blue Moon, CERIA’s alcohol-free Grainwave Belgian White Ale is brewed with blood orange peel and coriander, infused with five milligrams of glorious THC.
So, no matter if you spend your holiday jiggin’ like Michael Flatley after a few G13 IPAs, or puffing on some of your favorite green, St. Patrick’s Day has something in store for all stoners over the rainbow looking for a good time. Just remember to consume responsibly!
Kim Ring is a master storyteller when it comes to all things green, leafy, and aromatic. She enjoys dad jokes and silent discos. Ring’s content often recognizes unique startup companies, empowers female leaders in the industry, or at the very least, makes you laugh.
Click to listen to the Blue Bird Botanicals Podcast Episode 58 interview with Dr. Susan C. Trapp
Dr. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field as a plant-microbe molecular biology researcher and “beyond the lab bench.” In this episode, Susan talks to us about her work creating a digital terpene encyclopedia, Terpedia, and how genomics and data can influence personalized medicine and product development of the future.
She has held scientific, management, and early-stage development positions within the biotech industry, academia, government, and start-up community, from algae biofuels to genomes. Dr. Trapp participated directly in the human genome project with Dr. Craig Venter early in her scientific career.
Susan’s vision is to accelerate cannabis and endocannabinoid research in a challenging federal environment through education and research. Dr. Trapp’s segway into the cannabis industry is her extensive terpenoid research background. Susan’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral research examined the molecular evolution of the largest class of natural plant products – TERPENOIDS (terpenes). Susan has been consulting in the cannabis industry for the past several years and, in 2018, co-founded an ancillary database cannabis company –TreatmentX – with the mission to advance scientific understanding of cannabis and treatment legitimization through the collation of patient outcomes and cannabis consumption DATA.
In her spare time, Susan enjoys educating beyond cannabis and the sciences. She also enjoys teaching biology at her local community college, yoga, swimming, and disabled skiing. She is a lover of world travel adventures, music, Karma, her cat, and dabbles as a charcoal artist.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you are in need of medical care, and before making any changes to your health routine.