Talking Terpenes: The “Inhale, Exhale, Elevate” Podcast Talk with Kalon Baird of Co-Founder and CTO Green Rush Alliance
CFO and Co-Owner of Autumn Brands, Autumn Shelton, sat down with Kalon Baird of Co-Found and CTO of Green Rush Alliances and Splash Nano for the “Inhale, Exhale, Elevate” podcast to talk about “Innovating Cannabis Formulations.”
Kalon is passionate about plant science and goes above and beyond to formulate incredible consumer products in the cannabis world. His favorite formulation? Autumn Brands Muscle and Joint Salve – which Autumn and Kalon agree they are proud of because it helps the most people. They often get comments from consumers about how it has positively impacted their lives. This fan-favorite salve has the highest concentration of calming, all-natural transdermal magnesium available on the market.
Kalon is a master at what he does, with a desire to produce cannabis products more efficiently (with faster onset) – and pioneering nanoemulsions for a delivery system for cannabis that does just that. His formations have infused all kinds of products – like he says, “from end to end – suppositories to tea bags,” including chocolate, gummies, drinks, drink additives, and anything you can think of in the infused product space. Kalon is skilled in formulating with nanotechnology, which means delivering a psychoactive compound orally. It can transport the compound to the cells and beyond and bypass the liver, and is used widely in pharmaceuticals. Nanotechnology homogenizes cannabis oils in water-based formulations – it helps cannabis be more water soluble, making it more viable, consistent, and accurate. And it works faster. In pre-clinical trials, cannabis delivered with nanotechnology has over twice the absorption rate of MCT oil, getting more into the bloodstream (which is bioavailability) with increased speed and intensity of the cannabis. This also means the cannabis is dissolved in a batch so that every bite and sip has the same amount.
Talk led to terpenes and Kalon’s view on the importance of terpenes. If you are really looking for a quality cannabis experience, Kalon says to pay attention to the terpenes on the packaging, which is more important than the THC. Here’s why: Terpenes are aromatic fatty molecules that don’t dissolve in water. They are found in not just cannabis but many other plants like lavender, rosemary, mango, hops, and more. Cannabis naturally has hundreds of terpenes.
What is the evolutionary reason for these aromatic molecules? To defend the plant against the environment for survival – repel insects and attract pollinators. Terpenes have a broad spectrum binding ability to the receptors in the body, creating a lot of biological activity. Activation in the body is similar to what happens if you eat something spicy, and your body tells your brain that it is hot. The activation of many receptors creates a multidimensional experience.
To understand terpenes is to understand the Endocannabinoid System:
We all have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that regulates many body functions, like immunity. The endocannabinoids are molecules our bodies make bind receptors to signal that the ECS needs to take action. CBD and THC are similar in structure to these – they mimic our body’s endocannabinoids. They bind to that same receptor system, affecting results and helping regulate body systems. One way to equate it is to the opioid system in the body that regulates pain, for example, in our bodies. Our body has this system to manage these effects, but you can also take pain pills and other things to affect the system. In the ECS, cannabinoids (plant-produced) CBD and THC work synergistically with your body’s own system and can have different effects. For example, CBD binds well to the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system – which is why CBD helps with inflammation when the immune system is activated. Everyone’s systems are different and make different levels of them – some people benefit from supplementation to cannabinoids more than others. To create homeostasis in the body, cannabinoids can work synergistically with your system to provide a balanced state.
Terpenes and Your Cannabis Choices
There are hundreds of terpenes to dive into. Cannabis users have a more quality experience when trying to appreciate the volatile aromatic compounds of specific cannabis, not concentrating on the THC content. Kalon says a quality experience means focusing on the elements and bigger pictures rather than the THC level, like drinking wine – you aren’t talking about the alcohol by volume. You are talking about the notes and tannins, how it was aged, etc. This affects your wine choices, and the same can be done by focusing on the terpenes in your cannabis choices. Kalon’s philosophy: Adding value and modulating the cannabis experience is about keeping it as similar to the plant as it’s made naturally. Appreciation of cannabis is not the THC percentage; a higher terpene and lower THC can bring a greater high for people.
According to Kalon, If you are looking for a quality cannabis experience, look for this:
Terpenes are a marker on a package for quality. If the product has retained a high number terpenes, there is a good chance the flower was grown correctly, harvested, dried correctly, and packaged correctly.
For more detailed info and a deeper dive into terpenes, flower potency, standardization, and more, listen to the full podcast HERE.