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.
John Malanca 0:03
So we are live here. Everybody Welcome back John Malanca United Patients Group Be informed and Be well and have an old friend on the show from Colorado Dr. Susan trap. Hey Susan, how are you?
Susan Trapp 0:16
Good. Thank you.
John Malanca 0:18
Good. I'm glad glad glad you're coming on my show here. Susan is a specialist in and terpenes and so that's why I wanted to have her on but let me read your your impressive bio. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field both at the plant micro molecule molecular biology researcher and beyond the lab bench on here about that. She has held scientific management and early stage development positions within the biotech industry, academia, government and startup community for from algae biofuels to genomes. Dr. Trapp participated directly in the Human Genome Project with Dr. Craig Venter. Early in her scientific career. And in her spare time, she enjoys educating beyond cannabis and the sciences. And she also enjoys teaching biology at her local community college, yoga, swimming, as well as disabled skiing where you go. She's a lover of world travel adventures, music karma, her cat, which I met last time, and she dabbles as a charcoal artist. So what a life. Welcome, welcome. How are you?
Susan Trapp 1:20
I'm good. Thank you, john. I appreciate. So
John Malanca 1:23
yeah. Well get into the story about your your old boyfriend, which I've shared with others, others before and how you got into Canada? Well, I'll just get it. Let's get into this. So I could buy them. And I said, and you said living living in Colorado is where you are right now. And you said, I said, How did you get into this? And you said, Well, I had a boyfriend, who would say, oh, smell the terpenes in this TC and un as a scientist like wait a minute, those are just not the cheap terpenes of the THC is terpenes a plant and that's for you went into that. So we need to give your your ex boyfriend some credit. That's great.
Unknown Speaker 1:57
Yeah. He was like, This smells so great. This THC. And honestly, it was like a light bulb went on in my head at that time, because I had been an academic who had studied terpenes having nothing to do with the cannabis industry. And really not even thinking about terpenes and how ubiquitous I guess you could say they are in the world, right. And all of a sudden, it was like,
John Malanca 2:20
oh my because I study terpenes like I saw a horizontal gene transfer kind of this genomic stuff, which I can come back to. But he was like, I'm like, you know, those that THC doesn't know, what you're smelling are terpenes because terpenes smell right. And I felt light bulb went out in my head. And I ended up going into the cannabis industry a couple years later. And here we are. And so for a lot of our followers who may not know what terpenes are, but I guarantee you, you've all smelled a terpene before, it's like stopping to smell the roses. And that is a terpene smelling the lemons. And limes are terpenes smelling the pine needles in Northern California as well as in the Colorado mountains. Those are all terpenes. And so can you share your scientific definition of what a terpene is? And how it's beneficial? I mean, it's I mean, everywhere you're turning nowadays, essential oils are a big thing. You know, I have one going on right here with some peppermint and. And so I'm a fan. I'm a fan of scent. And so can you talk about,
Unknown Speaker 3:21
I can elaborate. So I'm probably almost every scientific paper I've written has started out or if you read if you get into the world of Derby and use the main senses, usually, you know, terpenes are the largest class of natural products and plants or terpenes are the largest and most diverse class of natural products in plants. And that kind of says it all right there because you know, unless you're a natural product, people get begin to think you can kind of break down this sentence like grammar. And what are natural products. Well, natural products in the chemistry world there are compounds derived from plants or compounds derived from nature, right. So an example I like to give is aspirin. Aspirin is derived from the bark, you know, the willow bark of the willow tree, it is not a terpene. Actually, it's an alkaloid. But nevertheless, there are just a few classes of compounds that plants produce that we call what we call secondary metabolites. So they're not essential for life. As opposed to primary metabolites, for example, sugar, or carbohydrates, or proteins, those are important for all the essential mechanisms that have to go on in a plant or in some kind of living organism. And so, you know, again, like the terpenes are the largest class of natural products in plants or in nature, so you understand something about natural products, but then it's like, well, why are they so large, and why are they so diverse and why are they important? Right? And so then you go back to why are they diverse? I'm giving you the mini lecture. Why are they diverse? Well because they come from this pathway. That produced very small compounds to very large compounds, like we talked about this briefly before. And you can, we can go back to this, I will get into it now, but but right, but that's why people in the cannabis industry have probably heard of monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes, which are c 10 carbon compounds, or C 15 carbon compounds, but terpenes are this large class that build on these building blocks of five carbon compounds, all the way up to C 40 compounds, or C 80. compounds are essentially polymers. So large polymers are rubber, or latex, those are made from this same pathway, actually, in plants. And so, you know, again, terpenes are the largest class of natural products and diverse products in plants. And part of the reason those are so diverse is because the pathway is so big, and it produces all of these interesting metabolites, not only the ones that are of interest right now in the cannabis industry, but they've been of interest for a long time commercially for all kinds of things over the years. And I will stop there, and you can,
John Malanca 6:07
yeah, no, and so, you know, I learned something from you last time that they're more than 12 how many
Unknown Speaker 6:13
1000 over, over in nature, from a paper from 2008 there's like, over 55,000
John Malanca 6:20
houses a Sony 5000 like, okay, man, you say 75 but it but I knew it was 1000s. But But 55,000 terpenes. And, you know, and in here in the cannabis industry, including me before I before you and I met I thought it was just, you know, the 10 1215 that everyone talks about and, and our terpenes use as a defense mechanism for the plants as well to keep you know, I have I have this beautiful, just tree and then you know, and in the springtime and summertime, you know, I'm I'm bathing that thing up the beautiful blossoms are coming on and I wake up in the morning in the the deer have had gone to town, you know, and the same thing with the Agapanthus plants, you know, they come and nail those babies like their little lollipops, and it's like, and everyone says no, deer are not supposed to like citrus plants. I suppose they like my citrus plants, too. So is there a defense mechanism?
Unknown Speaker 7:14
Yes, absolutely. So terpenes again, back to that idea of secondary or primary metabolites most, most not all, but most terpenes are in this class of compounds that are not essential for life are secondary metabolites. So years ago, when I first got into the I was about to say cannabis is the, when I was young, we young last, you know, getting my PhD and reading all the the literature was like terpenes were considered waste products of the plant. They had no idea what they were doing. And so to answer your question, yes, absolutely. That What are they doing? They're doing a variety of things, because there are these very interesting small molecules that can do all kinds of things. But to answer your question, so they are, what they're doing is, they're projects, they're doing a number of things, but plant defense and protection and attraction. In a way, I like to think of them as the immune system of the plant. Right? Because they're doing all of these things to keep that plant healthy and alive by attracting, you know, pot being pollinated or defense by getting keeping predators, you know, I don't taste good to a deer. So keep them away that kind of thing. Right? And then you leave these deer like the taste so so you're not supposed
John Malanca 8:32
to talk to them?
Unknown Speaker 8:35
Well, you're experiencing evolution, right in the making is that I'm joking, but not but
Unknown Speaker 8:42
yeah. Yeah. So
John Malanca 8:43
why are we here? I mean, what you're talking about? health for nature, but what about health for human beings, because, you know, bringing, bringing our immune systems up, and you hear a lot about this with some doctors and scientists that I have in the show who work with families and, and, and, and children. And what they've done. They've had, you know, all the different varieties, I'll say, I won't say strain, but varieties and cultivars, and they'll smell and they'll have their patients smell, go, you know, I like number two better than number four. Let me go with number two. And does that have a lot to say? Or is that just kind of folklore?
Unknown Speaker 9:23
I'm sad, you know, the hardcore sciences. I got to play the middle ground. Yeah. But so let me take a step back. So again, so these are these secondary metabolites of plants, right. And so they have this protection for the plant. So think about that, because they're protecting the plant from pathogens from microbes from bacteria, right from bugs feel like the work. And so when you think about that, and then you apply it to human health, it's really the same thing. You've got these compounds that are, I've started calling the Auntie's like right. So anti microbial antibacterial. antifungal, you know, anti inflammation. And so those same compounds that are helping the plant are also sometimes helping humans, right? Because when we get a bacterial infection, you want something that's antibacterial. So I like this kind of, in a way start there with, you know, understanding what terpenes are doing. So yes, of course, they're helping the plant, but we have essentially a synergistic relationship with plants. And they're also helping us just because those compounds are in the plants. And that's kind of the place to start. But to answer your question, you know, that that's more of what I my understanding of kind of like muscle testing and natural paths, right. And there's definitely some truth to that even scientifically for sure. Right, but we can, we can go a little deeper. So if we're talking just about a cannabis strain, that cannabis stream probably has 30 to 40 terpenes in it and so then you have your major and your minor terpenes so we're become quite familiar with the major ones. We don't know the minor ones that well, but those major ones like pioneer lemony mirrolure can you go down for our listeners? I
John Malanca 11:13
know you and I both know this but I think your listeners have some of the the main you know name five, you know, little Lou pinene myrcene
Unknown Speaker 11:23
Yeah, carry off lean and lean. Yeah. Those are the top six. Right. And I think the majority of them so and there is scientific evidence that they benefit us medically for sure. But a lot of that evidence scientifically it we're constrained or you know, strange in the same way the cannabis industry is although it's not necessarily illegal to study Canada are terpenes per se terpenes have a long history. They're very well understood chemically. And they've been around a long time but we've actually primarily utilized terpenes for household goods and commercial purposes like mint that you know miss your toothpaste. Pine saw I
John Malanca 12:09
saw that Yeah, that was smelling that.
Unknown Speaker 12:13
Yeah, Pine Sol. So that pine cleaning smell so that you know it's it's caustic by God, or flowers or perfume or cosmetic So, linalool right is the one of the main terpenes that makes lavender smell the way lavender smell right and so that's used in perfumeries and in cosmetics and it has more benefits than just its aroma and smell has a lot of benefit for right our body in mind. I think you gave me that quote. Oh really? Okay
John Malanca 12:46
good. But But if your little known lavender as well as roses bring me back to you know, my grandmother's and threes a common feeling to me when I smell I mean every time I smell lavender, my grandmother's every time I walk by i mean i if you follow me with a hidden camera and I walked by rose garden, I will always stop to smell the roses. And it's for that reason it just brings me back to the place where the memory read you know has a reaction in my memory and so why since we've been using these for they've been in our medicine cabinets for centuries you know the indigenous people have been using this forever our answers have been using forever. Why are we seeing such an upstart right now again with with terpenes and since you know of course I'm certainly essential oil market is a multi million dollar market right now. And then cannabis I made a lot for a while there I was we go to conference. I haven't been to a conference now one because of COVID. But there would always be these new terpene companies that are popping up that you would smell the oils I'm assuming like the essential oils that they were mixing in with other tinctures Are they still doing that?
Unknown Speaker 14:09
way I'm not sure I'm gonna go
John Malanca 14:11
shop for you and I could go now by just terpenes
Unknown Speaker 14:15
Kirby Oh, yeah,
John Malanca 14:16
you know, okay, and you would smell these things like, Oh my gosh, this really smells like that are really smells like this. And then what they're doing they were they were selling the terpenes as a side thing, and almost being compound pharmacist and make mixing them into the into the products. Is that still Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 14:33
So yeah, absolutely. So, um, again, the industry has been around for a while, like commercially and like the cosmetic industry has known about terpenes for a long time. Right and because they they, you know, they're looking for the perfect you know, perfume smell. Yeah, perfume. Yes. perfect sense. And so this isn't a new thing. But But yes, in regards to the React because cannabis is Because such a big industry, right and initially it was, you know, recreation and you know, higher THC then we began to realize that there are other compounds in there other cannabinoids that are of interest and also have benefit, you know, I I aka CBD or cannabidiol, right? And then they were like, well, there's these other compounds in there, and they're actually also having an effect on you. So that's sort of I guess, I don't know if I want to say a resurgence, but that's where I personally think the spike in what I like to call terpenes have sort of gotten into the limelight. Right in the news is, is definitely cannabis plays a role. But the hops industry, for example, or brewing beer, hops is essentially a cousin to candidate and also full of terpenes. And you know, you know, oh, today, is that what I should say? odor? You know, praise today? Yeah. Today. Today, microbrew industry
John Malanca 16:07
beer, beer, guys, because I have you have you smelled too hot for you do that? You know? Yeah, I mean, that
Unknown Speaker 16:15
John Malanca 16:15
love the terpenes I'm big into cooking as well, and rosemary and the sage, and garlic, you know, I mean, just to smell a sprig of rosemary. I mean, it's just, it just takes you back. And so how are these beneficial on the on the body? And then what does it do to the mind to to, I guess bring the body back to balance and it just another part is just another part of it the entourage effect.
Unknown Speaker 16:41
Yeah, and so I I like to think of it more I like to talk about it as in concert or synergy. But so so if we're talking about cannabis and everything it brings to the table. So right you have cannabis, you have THC, CBD, you have the cannabinoids, so THC and CBD fall under that category of compounds, but then you have these terpenes, right? However, when we talk about the entourage effect and all of the benefits, but it medically benefits, then you start to think about also our body, right? And so that's where this idea of the endocannabinoid or the ECS system, so we have we have these receptors that like back in the 60s without going into details, right? We discovered we there is a scientist, you know, who was like, Well, you know, since we have this endocannabinoid system, we have these receptors and we know that the pop, you know, the cannabinoids bind to this, what are they? And that's essentially how he began to discover the endocannabinoid system and discover that it's one of the largest systems in our body, and that we have receptors, both, you know, all over in our brain and our body that bind to these compounds. But what that also means is we actually have internal compound, like and you know, so we also produce cash and we also produce I know, I'm blinking.
John Malanca 18:12
It's your birthday in a couple of days. You have that in your mind,
Unknown Speaker 18:15
birthday and Christmas. But yeah, so we produce endocannabinoids ourselves, right? And so you've got it becomes a very interesting complex system of what's going on. It's not as simple as an entourage effect. But there's definitely you get cannabinoids bind to these receptors, then you have actually other systems in your body terpenes probably there's at least one terpene that we know of that binds to the CBD tube receptor and that's curiosity. But there's lots of terpenes and they're small molecules and they there's a lot of science behind how they're working or the chemical system that they're working with the chemical messengers system. I will stop there and let you
John Malanca 19:02
know that it's not the THC that I'm smelling right?
Unknown Speaker 19:05
Exactly. It's not but it's the THC you're feeling.
John Malanca 19:10
It is a weird feeling. And so with with so terpenes alone could do have healing benefits is what I'm hearing as well.
Unknown Speaker 19:18
Yes. Yes. So on their own and in cannabis. So some of the effects when you pick your whatever string you choose, if we go back to cannabis and you you like a strain that makes you feel energized, or example, right, some of that energetic feeling or that uplifting feeling that is not probably the THC or the CBD, that where terpenes play a role in cannabis and cannabis, you know, strains, some of the effects that you're getting back to the rosemary and the lavender tea right so when you know when you have those compounds in your cannabis the little little or the limonene right. These Or the geraniol for the rows. And that's what's making you feel potentially uplifted or calm or less ancient. Right. And another one that everybody talks about, like his couch lock when you have a stream, you know that you smoke and I'm not a big smoker. So I don't know my strange very well. I don't know, I'm guessing you're Gorilla Glue, maybe that's a couch. Loctite right. But the bottom line is some of the effects that you're getting from that.
Unknown Speaker 20:28
John Malanca 20:29
a strain train wreck, train wreck a wreck. I mean, somebody that's a whole other story on I, you know, we did an article about changing the names of the strings and from cat piss to the ship the killed Elvis to earwax. Green Crack to, you know, all these things. Anyway, we did an article on this. And I had, I've had one hate hate letter hate mail letter. And it was from a major publication. Yeah. And I said, Oh, my, I mean, first, I was excited that that this major publication found us is about 2011. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, is my time magazine that I've been falling since a, you know, a bit in high school in college, wrote to me, and it was, you know, they blasted me for this and I said, Listen, I'm not saying anything's wrong with the with the marketing names, or the recreational market versus medicinal market. But who our demographic is, they they're looking at this and for the doctors that we work with, it's kind of hard, just recommend. Okay, Mrs. Trapp, I want you to go down and get go down your local dispensary and get cat piss. It's like, you know, yeah, I think there's a market for everything. So I'm not I would not, I'm not bad mouthing the market. But I just think sometimes the names that they come up with, and a lot of times the strange I've been into dispensaries, where I'm like, that's not that, or I've been in been in friends who are growers, and they said, he'd like to show you this, it's product day, and they say, Oh, we already have product A and it's like, well, it's not like this and they smell it. They said, Ooh, okay, we'll take it, we're just going to rename it. And so that's the thing that frustrates me with this industry. And hopefully, it'll get to the point where it'll, it'll be a little more legitimize for all, you know,
Unknown Speaker 22:26
that brings up I mean, that that's a great point or, and, you know, my background is genomic. So genetics, right. And so, the genomic geneticists who are in the cannabis industry, I think, we all kind of agree that down down the road, you know, we're going to be using more scientific terminology, right, because it's going to, it's going to help with exactly that, you know, you have no idea really what you're getting. And part of the reason you don't know is the environmental conditions that they're grown under, right, you can't necessarily unless you really do indoor grow all the time under the exact same specific conditions are you going to actually get the same thing every time and then plants themselves. As you breed them, you know, you're expressing different genes. And so for now, it's okay, but down the road, I suspect that will get a little bit more scientific, at least the scientific community will get more scientific about these strains that are being used in the cannabis industry. So
John Malanca 23:32
sorry, you're not gonna have the same seed I can grow out here in California grown in Colorado, we can have a friend over in Florida do the same. And they with the same seed, and they all come out different. Right. And hopefully, it'll be that way. Like you said, like, if you're getting a prescription from your doctor or pharmaceutical, you know, it's the same here or Colorado or Florida or up in New York. And they then I worked with a science actually a doctor in in Florida, and they did a study down I think University of Florida or Florida State, where they took out clones up the mother plant, and they grew them in different, you know, environment environment, you know, different different pH of the water different, you know, my technique is different than your technique, you might put a little secret sauce, I might do something else. And the same clone that came off the mother plant had different terpene levels, cannabinoid levels and testing levels and so just hopefully one day it'll be that way you have cancer, take this, you have diabetes, take this you have sleep issues, take that and, you know, it's not a one size fits all yet. And so, you know, I learn every day and you know, learning about these terpenes I didn't know there 55,000 terpenes you know, and then when you and I first met Yeah, this past year, in in, you know, so so thank you for sharing on all you do. What did you tell your folks When you said you're gonna get in the cannabis industry, I know that you're they're both retired, are they?
Unknown Speaker 25:06
So my dad said don't bring any cannabis home.
John Malanca 25:19
I could stretch them. No, but I was. It's funny, because,
Unknown Speaker 25:23
but the reality is I wouldn't, because I didn't get into the cannabis industry, per se to be smoking and getting high. I got into the cannabis industry, because I have this specialty that, you know, that's very, somewhat rare. And, you know, and that is an understanding for terpenes and terpenes. We're we're a very small community of scientists, in general, I think until the cannabis industry. So you know,
John Malanca 25:49
I have a friend who's been on the show and his family's, you know, very strict. And he went some major Ivy League University, he and his sister and he went the cannabis route. I said, What did your parents think? When because of his background? And he said, Oh, it took me while I had to talk with my dad. And when I started talking to my dad, who was entrepreneur as well, dad, he said, Mom, Dad, just stay there. Don't say anything. I'm going to share my side, then we can talk. And when they started sharing in his passion and the numbers of potential with his father says, well, son, how can I help you? That's, you know, that's what I mean, my biggest fear. My dad passed a couple years before credit, I started united patients group, I'm thinking, How do I tell my mom, you know, how do I tell my mom, you know, it's like, you know, Hi, Mom, you know, I've gotten out of this and and I'm in the cannabis industry now, but shared and she, you know, to get that stamp of approval, you know, of your dad to be so proud of you, you know, it's like, Okay, good. To get anyone to get personal with your parents.
Unknown Speaker 26:59
Yeah. You know, my dad's a scientist as well. And so it's, it's been, it's been great, honestly, because you have someone who has different kind of, he's a psychiatrist, but he's done a lot of research. He's done a lot of clinical studies, a lot of clinical trials. And, and so it's been fantastic. Because it's a nascent young industry. And my background is genomic, you know, I worked on the Human Genome Project. It's not clinical science, and there's an art to every kind of science, I think people in general think if you're a scientist, you know everything, and you do not. Right. And so I it's been great having him because it's like, what do you think of this, and I get a very strong review on like, this science or this trial was poorly done. And it was biased. It was x it was I, it's v. and but also, I also have to say, over the last couple of years, he has become warm. To to the industry. Right? And, and then I can further say like, well, I'm agnostic anyway, because I'm passionate about terpenes. So, you know, terpenes are everywhere, and they aren't necessarily, you know, like, my big thing is like, the cannabis industry thinks they invented terpenes and they didn't they've been in your medicine cabinet and your spice cabinet for centuries. centuries. As a matter of fact, yes. terpene turpentine. terpene, trippin teen is like the one of the first terpenes that was chemically characterized the the term the terpenes that were in serpentina. And then Sunday, I looked up not too long ago for another interview and Turpin, teen or turpentine was like this elixir 100 years ago that we we the doctors were using and giving everybody to drink. turpentine
Unknown Speaker 28:50
clean clean you out, huh?
Unknown Speaker 28:51
Yeah, yeah, a variety it had. It had a number of uses. For sure. I didn't, I did not know that. And the doctors of the time, at least a little article I read said they know it had pretty toxic effects. Like but I guess it you know, some of it did have some benefits for certain things. And so it was used for certain kinds of, you know, medical indications and it was also used, that that thing compounds like which is identified from pine trees or pine resin, pine resin has have these type of turpentine compounds in it paintings and some other ones and that they use that back in the Greek and Roman history as well as a medical elixir of sorts. So terpenes have been around a long time.
John Malanca 29:40
It was good to see a lot of these things are coming back that have been in the closet for centuries and centuries and they're being used again today. I mean, cannabis being one not I mean, yeah, centuries, but since 1937 being banned and hopefully, you know, it will be looked at looked at upon as a another form. Have healing. You know, I'm a fan of, you know, it doesn't, I'll never say the word here. And I never want to give anybody false hope. But I've seen the benefits of this plan, I've seen it work, I've seen it not work. But if you can use it as a as an arsenal, or another tool in your tool belt and tacking ailment or whatever you're trying to, to conquer, you know, I'm a fan of that as well. I was an ask you a question that I didn't want to interrupt you there. Shoot, it'll come back to me. It's like you watch it, celebrate your
Unknown Speaker 30:35
while it's coming back. I just gonna put my my disclaimer out there that I'm telling people to go and drink. I want to make sure we know this. Right.
John Malanca 30:45
And that and that's where I was going. historical information. Yes. Okay. So so that's exactly where I was going. I didn't want to cut you off on that. And so I wasn't asked you about there are are there terpenes? Because when before Curran was was ill, and then while she was ill, you know, we use Frankincense. You know, there's some article, I mean, when you get diagnosis, something as severe as cancer, you will try anything and everything. And that kind of makes sense. You know, I know when my father in law became ill, I came across a study that showed canned asparagus, not Whole Foods, not farmer's market, not, you know, whatever, but can disappear. So I said, you like asparagus? Yeah, why you're gonna eat it. And I think we came across studies that show strawberries, you like strawberries? Yeah, why you're gonna eat it. And so the same thing when it came to cancer. You know, we saw some studies with with with Frankincense. And so it's funny, Chris. Chris was like, Oh my gosh, she doesn't taste like turpentine is what she would say. And jelly. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 31:54
that's a that's a hidden right there. Just like the question you asked about 20 minutes ago of like, smiling and yes, so right. So probably, you know, I don't know much about Frankincense. I haven't had the, I need to go look, look it up. Um, but but, I mean, if it does smell low, but like turpentine, I'm sure it's got the same compounds in it. Yeah. And
John Malanca 32:15
right now take a spoonful, you know, do it. I would do it every day. Did everything by your side. Let's do it. Let's do it. And so are they safe? That's my next question. So when you're talking about turpentine, I was like, I'll be damned. That's exactly what how Kern described the Frankincense that we were taking a teaspoon a day. You know? Can you take the the the peppermint? Can you put it in food? Or is it just better in the in the diffuser?
Unknown Speaker 32:39
Yeah, great. That's a great question. And in general, so those people were in the cannabis industry, like one of the I would say forefathers or Fathers of the cannabis industry is Dr. Russo. He's written a lot of articles have been around for a while. So in general, terpenes are considered safe, like they're grass, right, they're generally recognized as safe. However, nothing is always safe. It depends on your dose. And I think that's where we have to be very careful. You know, salt water, if you drink too much salt water could be dehydrating and not safe. Right. And so my point is, is that, in general, these are considered safe, but you have to be careful. So like what's happening right now is because people have started to learn about terpenes, they just think terpenes have these effects. more is better and more is not always necessarily better. It depends on what it is that you're trying to treat. So back to the story of cancer and cannabis or cancer and frankincense or cancer in terpenes, right. And so I'm going to talk about Taxol, or taxall is a drug that's used in for cancer and it's been around for a good 2025 years already, I think taxall is made it's a derivative of a C 20 terpene a diterpene. So c 20 diterpene. compound called again, text a dime. I am I like Christmas is almost here and my brain I think it's almost done. I think we're all though.
Unknown Speaker 34:19
John Malanca 34:20
I think we're all there especially thinking, you know, we've all been inside for COVID and now we're on I mean, I've my friends, all my friends kids, like we're at a school for two weeks a parent's like oh my gosh,
Unknown Speaker 34:33
like I know you've already been at home now. What are we going to do?
John Malanca 34:36
But yeah, exactly. You can't go out running around there too. So don't go on but but so one of the most successful
Unknown Speaker 34:43
stories or successful terpene drug stories right is this compounds called taxa dine which is derived from Pacific yew tree, the Pacific view tree is a type of evergreen. It's more of a shrub than it is like a tall pine tree but you Nevertheless, they discovered that that had potent anti cancer effects. And so the derivatives of that that had been synthesized in the lab are packs of tax all packs all those are the drug names for this compound. And my point is, is that it's a chemo therapeutic. And although I'm not, I'm the PhD, not the MD like treating people with for cancer, I'm fairly certain that you're taking that chemotherapeutic that Taxol that packs the packs all in high amounts, just like you would for, you know, chemotherapy. And so, in that case, right is doing the same thing that any other chemotherapeutic would do is killing cells, I believe, you know, how it kills them. We won't go into that right now. And so, you know, high is better because you're trying to kill cells, but you're also killing good cells as well. bad though. Yeah. Right.
John Malanca 35:54
So with the natural terpenes, just like, because I know chemotherapy, goes after all cells, good and bad. THC. Cannabis goes out the study show that it's going after just the bad cells. And so with this terpene that you're talking about, is it is it mimicking and mirroring a a chemotherapy type of approach? killing it? You know,
Unknown Speaker 36:16
I'm, I'm making that assumption. So okay, not gonna, I'm not gonna go there. I need to research that more to I made that assumption that that's the case. Yeah, no, that's right. But my point, my point is, is that in general, they're considered safe if you're taking in the amounts that they're naturally provided to you. Like for example, your favorite herbs, rosemary, right, Rosemary is a blend of terpenes in it, right? And it and think about it your spices, you don't put much spice in your food, if you over spice, it doesn't taste good. Right. So those are still those terpenes so the My point is, is that most of the time they're generally recognized safe and you know, basic dosing, you know, whatever is natural for the herb or a little bit more but it's not like where the cannabis industry is with for example of THC more is better, let's get really high and i and i get it that the cannabis industry has gone from kind of that point of view and we're starting to really hone in on the medical benefits of of cannabis and THC and CBD. So tea or terpenes are no different. And I don't know if I'm looking at your face, I'm not sure that I confuse you. Because if I
Unknown Speaker 37:29
No, no, no, because I'm
John Malanca 37:30
a fan of less is more and I and I share that all the time because even too much water could can be bad for you. I mean, I've had it where I've remember came off. years ago, I came off a big bike ride and I when I got back, I had been drinking so much water that I sweat all my electrolytes out and I was shaking and I was with a buddy of mine who was a doctor, we pulled up to this restaurant, and he pulled a salt shaker off of the table, opened it up, put it in my hands just start looking at like a cow you need to bring that back and that was the first time I thought that I found out like oh my gosh, too much water can also be bad. So the same thing with with cannabis. You know, you and people that I talked to, you know, my loved one has cancer, we want to blast as much and I said please know, you know, and I'm not a doctor, but common sense. More is not always better. So you and I were both athletes, you know, I could run I write every day everything else I get but am I ready for a marathon? No, I'd have to go train so I'm not going to just walk out my front door and go run a full marathon right now. Yeah, I need to get my body you know in the movement you know, say okay, here's five K's let's do 10 K, and then get to get to the long distance I wouldn't just come out of the gate and do that. I hope that made sense. Now the question I was asked is are there Can you talk about the healing benefits at some terpenes possess like for stress anxiety, a lot of people go to the little loo which is lavender and you just go to get down and get lavender plant and do it yourself. You know that you know some of these nice hotels will bring you a little squirt, squirt squirt squirt to put on your on your pillow say here here's a little lavender and then so you know they want you to have a nice calming, calming evening it you know during your stay and so are there proven terpenes Can you talk about Yeah. is behind some of these terpenes and and the stet the sense that are being put off
Unknown Speaker 39:30
yeah so I absolutely so they have an effect so like again back to the cannabis use when you smoke a strain or take a strain and that the terpenes And then third you know not only do that THC and the CBD but you're getting a specific effect. So for example like you asked, like if you want kind of feel uplifted, I have not experienced this but I'm unique when it comes to cannabis but I know that people like smoked cannabis and it makes them energized and they want to go ski or I hear you vacuum. Right? I would imagine that Yeah, I want to, you know, which is probably energizing, as well as focus, right? And so that energizing is most likely, I mean, it's a blend of terpenes but the one that is getting in the limelight is is lemony, it's uplifting, it makes you feel happy, up moon, uplift your mood. And I have done a little bit of research on that, in regards to the literature, the scientific literature and Is that really true? And one example that I came up with the called the journal retailing, so it's well known in the, in the retail industry, that when you smell something like citrus or grapefruit, or just, you know, oranges, right, and and you probably, you know, have done that yourself, you do you feel energized, uplifted, you know, I, you want to buy things, apparently So, and they did a study, this is in the Journal of retailing 2014 there was a study done on over 400 participants, right, and they they compared us just a basic citrus scent, I think it had limonene and some other things in it, I don't think they got specific to just limonene itself, but a basic citrus scent to it. It was a I think it was a citrus basil, a more complex smell a more complex citrusy smell. And they saw an effect of like more more buying, like 20% more buying with the basic citrus went over the complex that your sense, right. And there's there are other studies, and I'm just getting into, like really beginning to understand the medical benefits, like going to the literature. And so another example, and it was a study that was done in Japan on on I think specifically I believe that one was specifically vitamin D. And I believe the delivery was aroma therapy or aromatic? I, I can't think of it, there's a scientific term for it. And, and they were able to demonstrate it with a very small study. I don't know if there's been that many since then. But they were able to demonstrate that the people or the participants again, who had the limonene aroma therapy actually, that their improved their mood. And this was a depression study, they so it's literally just distress and depression. And so there is basic research there. And this is a kind of a great question to ask, because, but we still need the clinical trials as well. Right? So and then it gets complicated whether you want to just focus on terpenes, or a specific strain and strain that you know, cannabis strains that has terpenes in it. So lemonade is a great example of that. Little Lulu is another great one, I honestly haven't read that many studies on it like basic research. But there is a lot of in regards to so the essential oil, lavender essential oil, one of the main compounds that is making you feel and less stressed and calm is little. And I think there are some other compounds in there as well that I will go into. But right so that is definitely has a calming effect. And that I'm hesitating because I there's more basic research that needs needs to be done. But there's there's studies out there and another one with terpenes would be the immune system. So I've been recently looking into this and starting to do research on the immune system in terpenes. And there is definitely some basic research there. And there's actually some, some really sound science on what these terpenes are doing, and how they're interacting with like, essentially the cytokine storm that I will go into so so there is science there. It's not at the level of clinical, you know, trials, you know, and I think,
Unknown Speaker 44:09
yeah, I would say it's kind of the difference between the sound science being in the science community versus, you know, you hear like little lutie good for, you know, little a trinket and, you know, they all feel calm, there's science to it, but we still have to kind of tease that information out. And again, some of that basic research is there from the years of commercial benefit, like the perfumery industry knows this. The retail industry to some extent knows this, but they're you know, they have their own interest in what they're interested in looking at. If that, if that makes sense. It makes sense.
John Malanca 44:41
And back to the retail I was laughing you're telling us to remember my brother and I we were in a store. There's guys from the 90s and it was summertime. And I walked out of there with wetter and I'm like what the hell do I need a sweater for the middle of July and you know what is in that section of the store where the sweaters are, it was they cranked on their condition, we're in shorts and T shirts, and I was freezing my butt off. And I walked out with a sweater. And I said, Oh my gosh, they got me It works. It works. Yeah. You know? And is there so for our listeners that wonder maybe into essential oils, which I'm a fan of essential oils? Are there certain things to look at? Do they look for like a USDA certification? Because I know like, the CBD market, there's probably a lot of crap out there that that's not safe, one to smell or even ingest? And, and, you know, again, what Susan and I are talking about here is not to replace a one on one. This is for informational purposes only some I don't put any words in your mouth. Oh, Susan said, I can ingest this. And next thing you know, they're sick. And so but are there things because I know when we we Chris and I were going to her element? I would look for everything that was organic USDA certified organic, over something that I would you know, buy from overseas? Is that something that you would agree upon? Or not? Or what are there any warnings you have out there for terpenes?
Unknown Speaker 46:15
Again, in general, they're recognized safe, but right, this graph, but there are some terpenes that are there are a few that that are not considered safe. And I don't know, those off the top of my head are not better. They're not ones that are super common. That it least that come to the limelight in the cannabis industry. So they exist in regards to like, organic terpenes? That is a great question. Because I don't think the field has gotten that sophisticated yet. And what I want to say here, so when you're talking about something like isolating terpenes, right, I think what you're more what we're, as a scientist, where you're more concerned about is how they're extracted and what's in the extraction. So there are various ways to extract terpenes. And some are going to have less solvents than other and I you know, I guess the cannabis industry is the same way. So that's probably more important than whether it's organic or not. And another whole area, this is a bit of a sidetrack. But in organic chemistry, you have a stereo chemical molecule. So you have molecules that look exactly the same, but they're essentially mirror images of each other, you know, which I won't get into, but like, you know, so you could have almost alignment ease, you know, right handed and Alemany left handed. And so
Unknown Speaker 47:49
Unknown Speaker 47:50
Well, yeah, so they're not the same. Right? Like, right, so this would be the ring, but you've got some kind of our group off that ring. Okay, so you, you can't they aren't super imposable. Right, they're actually different compounds. And what that means is so that compounds, if you you know, this is the idea of a ligand and the receptor or compound in a receptor, and that binds, like we've all heard about CB one, cb two, well, it's only one version of that compound, typically, you know, can fit into that that receptor. So that's this idea of the chemical, the locking key, right? So you have, I'm going to get these backwards because I have dyslexia, but yeah, so you have the lock, right? That that is the enzyme and the key. So the compound whether it's CBD, THC, or a terpene, or whatever fits into this, this is the classic thing is basic biology that everybody learns. And so terpenes because they're small molecules, and you sometimes have stereochemistry so one will fit and one won't. And so that becomes important. So, you know, maybe so there's a lot of side questions around answering that question is what I'm getting at am I getting the classic scientist you know? Yeah, it's not I'm not giving you the direct answer you want but but more importantly is understanding that kind of stuff is how it was extracted you know, where the solvent slept in it you know? I you know, is this synthetically produced because then you may have what we call oversee make a mixture of both right handed and left handed only one of those are going to be active, the other one isn't. So then you have less than you think you do. Right. Those are the kinds of things that are actually important. And, and granite so I I'm the kind of person I think if I have cancer knocking Yeah, I don't talk
John Malanca 49:51
like that. I'm superstitious like that. So I whenever I talk,
Unknown Speaker 49:57
well, I'm like, we're all organic. Well, but you know, really what you under, you want to understand what's in that compound and how it was made, it's not as simple as organic is better. So even even in the cannabis industry, it's, it might be organic, or not organic, but it may be like what's in the soil? Because the plant actually can absorb compounds from the soil. Right? So sometimes it's not the matter. I mean, a compound is a compound is a compound in organic chemistry. But when it's been extracted from a plant, and you know, you may, there are other things that are in that plant, right, that may or may not be that healthy for you. But in my opinion, and this is just my opinion, genetically modified crops, for example, right, because you end up with a soil, that's not really super rich. Right? And so is it the Is it the GMO? Yeah, right? Or is it just a plant that doesn't, it's not really nutrient rich, and so it doesn't produce really a nutrient rich product
John Malanca 51:05
product. You know, I talked about that all the time that I if, especially with the hemp industry now and hemp be known as mop weed, where they suck up all the toxins and pesticides and metals for you know, from from the ground. Yeah, like the companies that whenever I share about what to look out for, is look for the companies that do soil seed to say, Oh, and I, they test the soil first to make sure it doesn't have any of the toxins and then they use, then they plant with the seed. And then the sale is even the final product for the for the consumer to put into their body. Is there. We kind of talked about this, but and is it are there unsafe amounts of terpenes that we can put in our body.
Unknown Speaker 51:52
Yeah, you're asking me difficult questions. Okay. Never mind without? I'm sure there are. Yeah, I mean, I don't know what those are. But you know, so but I'm sure there are. And again, back to the key about your spices. Yeah, rosemary, basil. Even lavender and the smell terpenes are very, they're very small amount, I think it's like two or 3% of like the cannabis plant, they're meant to be there in small amounts, or they're in small amounts, you don't need a lot of it to have an effect. So more, more is not always better. So I don't I don't know what that range is. And actually, I think very few people do, it's there. It's parts per million, and it's very dependent. It's dependent on like, if you're isolating a terpene Is it a blend of terpenes Is it an essential oil? Because then you have a number of terpenes and you have a you know, a specific blend that may be interacting or working in concert together. Right? Or? Or are you like you had asked earlier in the in the in the talk on you know, you can now go to a terpene company, right and get a blend that mimics the taste of Lemon Haze or lemon head right. Yeah, well, right. And so, I am 100% certain that there is a toxic dose that you do not want to have, but I don't know what that is. And this is, this is a you know, I this is where I praise the true pharmacologist, right? This is what they study dose response. And there there is a dose response. And so that's what makes us I think it's, as a scientist, it's fascinating, but it's difficult because you're no longer working with one compound, one indication, right? You're working with a number of compounds, how they interact, and how they're interacting with that indication, and then back to the endocannabinoid system, your personal endocannabinoid system, like, you know, like, there is some variability, maybe you have more receptors or less receptors, depending on what you're working, you know, this indication, this condition, you know, so it can get it gets, it's really it can get complicated, right? And I just learned a
John Malanca 54:10
new term complicated that was that was one of one of my, I think, if I went back to college now, you know, I would I would take different courses, you know, and I was on er with it with a doctor this this this morning. And he went back and got his PhD, you know, 1012 years ago, and, you know, and I should got, it's never too late. It's never too late. You being a molecular biology research, and at the beginning of your bio, you said something about beyond the lab bench, and I shall let me get back that so is that field field research outside getting out of labs that your definition
Unknown Speaker 54:51
is so wet lab scientists are people like me, you spent their lab with a pipettor and no looking looking in a test tube and doing doing lots of things down on a bench. And so when I say beyond the bench, I say, and getting beyond being at the bench doing the actual research of, you know, in the latter years of my life, I've, I've done some computational biology, and which is the field of kind of bioinformatics and looking at whole genomes or utilizing scripting and programming actually to be able to pull down large amounts of data to answer your question. And so when I say beyond the bench, I say beyond the bench like computational biology, I say beyond the bench, because there have been certain positions where I've been directing the group, and I'm no longer at the bench, right? And then the startup world where I've also been beyond the bench in that I've founded a number of terpene, as well as non terpene. startups.
John Malanca 56:03
So let's talk about that. That was one of my questions. Were How do they find you? Where do they learn to go about terpenes? I mean, clearly, you know, this is Yeah, you're the passion for his turf, are terpenes considered elements? Or would they consider being
Unknown Speaker 56:20
their compound? molecules? So they're, so they're the size? They're actually, I mean, so. So there's some terpenes, because, again, they're this big, large class, right? So on there the size of a caffeine molecule, kind of right, that small monoterpenes and stuff. So my other drink coffee,
John Malanca 56:39
I had a cup of coffee today, and it was delicious.
Unknown Speaker 56:43
I know I I've given this talk before, but I've started training, I'm trying to, you know, if I have another scientist here, they're not exactly exactly the same. But it gives you an idea if you would call it that caffeine molecule. And they're just like a big ring with something on it, right? So monoterpene is the size of a caffeine molecule. And then if you have a sesquiterpene, so things like carry off lean or humilis. They're the C 15. carbon compounds, they get a little bit bigger. Vitamin A is a terpene. That is a C 20 compounds. Right? So they're the size of if you go look at vitamin A, it's the size of essentially a diterpene type compound, and then we can keep getting larger. But in general, those are considered small molecules in a lot of drug discovery. Yeah, it's based on you know, what we call a small molecule.
John Malanca 57:38
No wonder your dad loves having these conversations with you. Were you on the pecking order with you and your you have three siblings? Right? The four of you?
Unknown Speaker 57:48
Yeah, there's three. There's four of us. I'm number three, our four? Yeah, four. Gotcha. I am the only one that has a you know, a doctor's degree.
John Malanca 57:59
And I bet you remind them that every to every
Unknown Speaker 58:01
one, but most My parents are doctors, so it's got jacker and not your trap at this point. A third Doctor, doctor and doctor trap.
John Malanca 58:10
Um, so where do they find you? Where can people find you? Okay, and you've written it when you've written papers, and you're getting ready to hopefully cross our fingers doing a TED talk as well. And so Susan's busy everyone. So Susan is busy. And so that's why I went to, you know, I love I love sharing. It was spotlighting some great people, and you're definitely one of them. So go on.
Unknown Speaker 58:34
Thank Thanks. Thank you, john. I'm, so I have two websites. One is for forgiving speaking engagements, that type of thing, CCC trap, got calm, you can go to that website. And if you want me to come and give a talk for your dispensary, or conference, that's the place to do it. But I've also founded a company called True PDI calm, and we are developing a premier knowledge base of terpenes information. So sound science, what we're trying to do is curate the terpene data, some of what we're talking about today. Again, so the cannabis industry is nascent. It's young, it's heard about terpenes. And what we're trying to do is actually have one place where if you're so in creating a product formulation, you want to add terpenes to it, you want to make sure that you're you know, you've got sound science data behind you not necessarily a clinical trial. But then we can start to go back to the scientific literature understand for that specific indication, for example, maybe pain or inflammation, a gel and adding terpenes to it, we'll be able to really dial in the dosing, which is what everybody wants to know.
John Malanca 59:52
Yeah, I was getting earlier about different elements, the benefits of caffeine, half of them and so I know there are a lot of that you were just mentioning on your site to and maybe there's another ad side business you put on there? Will you sell? terpenes? Are you basically just education? And this is what it is?
Unknown Speaker 1:00:10
Yeah, that's a good question. I, I think it's too early for me to talk. Yeah. Okay. We are hoping to potentially, what we want to do is do precise terpenes. So we want to be able to dial in the dosing and as a scientist, you have to start with the literature, read what's there what with us what was using the animal model, and then, you know, people are already using it, right. terpenes and, and cannabis for all kinds of things. So it's a little bit of backwards, you know, back back validation, like going back, see what what, you know, the chemo profiles, that Europeans and adding a little more to create, you know, I don't want to say an ideal formula, but or improved formula for whatever, whatever conditions that they're, they're focused on. So we're trying to bring the sound science to the terpene industry, within cannabis.
John Malanca 1:01:09
But we need you. And I and, you know, because, you know, I've learned a lot here today, but I learned a lot from you. When when we, when I interviewed you a few months back, again, not knowing the over 55,000 different terpenes I mean, that that alone, I guess,
Unknown Speaker 1:01:26
in nature, just say in nature, not in the cannabis. plants in general. But yeah, there's one of the largest class of natural products in nature.
John Malanca 1:01:38
So writing it down in my notes, and I'll put all your links on the site here as well. And but Susan, always a pleasure. I can't thank you enough.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:47
Thank you, john.
John Malanca 1:01:48
And you want to hold up your paper to that people can find you ready? No chatter? Not yet?
Unknown Speaker 1:01:55
Um, well, I I am I
John Malanca 1:01:57
was, well, you tell me I don't I don't want to put you on the spot.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:02
I have an article coming out in terpene testing magazine, that's going to be focused on terpenes and cytokine. Storm. So that'll be January, February issue left.
John Malanca 1:02:13
So when that when that comes out, send me the link. And I'll put it out there for our viewers as well. And I'll put all your links on our podcast as well. But, Susan, I appreciate it and stay healthy. I know. Susan is an athlete and she just had one of her knees worked on and so
Unknown Speaker 1:02:33
yeah, keep moving. Keep moving. That's right. Thank you.
John Malanca 1:02:37
Blessings you and and we will see you again and everyone. John Malanca. With the United patient group being formed in be well, and as I say, stop and smell the roses. Mm hmm.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:49