Conversations with Terpene Science Enthusiasts (1/4)
Hear directly from those in the cannabis industry about this important and complex topic of terpene science.
This series of interviews encompasses a diverse group of terpene enthusiasts from all areas of the cannabis industry. These experts include Spiritleaf staff, community influencers and high-level executives. Learn how each developed an interest in the subject of terpenes, about common misconceptions, possible new innovations and more.
This first interview is with an individual who is well known in the industry, he is someone who is considered to be both knowledgeable and humble, learn more below.
- Please start by telling our readers your first name and a brief intro about yourself.
My name is Basil and I have been in involved in the legal cannabis industry in Canada nearly as long as it has existed. In the early days of the MMAR I would hang around a local compassion club, helping out and rolling joints for patients who were physically unable to. When we transitioned to the MMPR I put my experience to work as an educator within one of the early cannabis focused clinics. Now, my core aim is still cannabis focused education, however I am coming at it from a slightly different angle by trying to support those people who are talking to cannabis consumers every day, our retailers.
- How did you first become interested in terpene science and how has this passion influencing your career?
During the days of sitting around the table at the compassion club we were having a basic version of the same cannabis conversations we are having today; “this type of weed smells, tastes and looks different than that one and makes me feels this way as opposed to how that one makes me feel”. As our industry evolved, the conversation started to evolve, and as an educator I saw it as my duty to evolve my understanding of the plant as well. I dove headfirst into the science of terpenes looking to individuals like Curt Robbins, then known by the pen name Gooey Rabinski, who were already working to amplify the conversation around terpenes being the driver of cannabis effects. What started as an obligation to our country’s patients rapidly become a passion of mine and in local circles as well as around the clinic scene I was being recognized as somewhat of a counselor on utilizing the terpenes in our cannabis to our advantage. From hosting shows and podcasts to judging cannabis cups, this recognition provided countless opportunities that ended up contributing to and advancing my career in the industry.
- You have already been working in the cannabis industry for some time, in both the medical and recreational sectors. You also had a very popular YouTube program, for which you won a Canadian Cannabis Award. Tell us what, so far, has been the highlight of your career?
There have certainly been many exciting milestones in the last 9 years of working in cannabis. From the shows, podcasts and onstage appearances, to travelling coast to coast and having the opportunity to visit and tour more than 25 Licensed Producer facilities, it has been quite a ride. I even had the opportunity to hang out and stroll the Vegas strip with that same author, Curt Robbins, who initially hooked me on Terp Science. However, nothing holds a candle to helping patients directly with their health and wellness.
- What is the most common terpene related question you get asked?
“What’s the name of that one terpene I really like?” – My Mom (usually about once a month) It’s Caryophyllene by the way Mom.
- What terpene related product innovations would you like to see or are excited for in the near future?
More and more we are seeing high quality, terpene forward concentrates which is definitely something that excites me. Everyone knows I like a fairly potent product from time to time but what I truly enjoy consuming is something complex, with depth regardless of what a percentage point tells me.
Variable temperature control has become fairly commonplace with vape hardware, but I would love to see manufacturers align pre-set temps with the proper boiling points of common and abundant terpenes. It is my opinion we would create far more terp chasers out of cannabis consumers if they were more properly equipped to utilize the separate parts of the plant more efficiently and effectively.
- When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I have two boys who are 7 and 4 and are blossoming bibliophiles so we tend to do quite a bit of reading, day and night. My oldest is also borderline obsessed with Zelda so when he is not buried in a book about Link and his adventures we are wrapping and re-wrapping The Ocarina of Time. We live on an acreage with horses and plenty to do so it is never hard to find an excuse to be out back fixing a fence or plowing some snow. We have also recently started renovating our house which has revealed a hidden fondness for cabinet making.
Thanks, Basil, for sharing your knowledge and experiences with our audience! Due to government regulations, we are unable to show images of any person(s) and encourage you to check out these personal links for more. Connect with Basil here.
Discover more by taking the Spiritleaf Terpene Tour, by following this link. Learn more about the recreational cannabis retail experience by visiting a Spiritleaf location nearest you, click here. *Must be of legal age.