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Cannabis Mythbusting

Cannabis Mythbusting with Dr. Callie, Seaman Research Director and Formulation Chemist at AquaLabs.

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On the latest episode of The Cannabis Conversation, we’re joined by Dr. Callie Seaman, Research Director and Formulation Chemist at AquaLabs – nutrient solution provider to the hobby and medical horticultural market, and UK licensed medical cannabis cultivation research facility.

We investigate some of the biggest cannabis myths, including why cannabis should not be seen as a cure, why THC should not be demonised, and why we need to be more realistic about what cannabis can achieve.

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About Dr. Callie Seaman

Dr. Callie Seaman (MRSC, SCImem) is a Cannabis Scientist with a PhD in hydroponic fertilizer biochemistry, and a passion for pharmacology. Callie Seaman describes herself as an epilepsy warrior, first being diagnosed at the age of 15, she went on to help form MedCan support and work closely with licenced cultivators in the UK and internationally. She also sits on the executive board of the Cannabis industry council, chairing the Adult use scoping group.

Episode Summary

  • In 1995, Callie had a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Her forward-thinking father then introduced her to cannabis which helped to control them, along with her sleep.
  • From a young age, Callie was interested in drug development and has dreams of working within the pharmaceutical industry.
  • After working at GlaxoSmithKline, she started working at a hydroponics shop where she helped to develop nutrient ranges and brand development while studying for a PHD in Fertiliser Chemistry.
  • Following the business’ administration, Callie started her own liquid fertiliser business – Aqualabs Ltd, which now also works within the cannabis space.
  • Callie now spends her time researching different cannabis cultivars, their stress responses, and their metabolic processes in order to produce maximum yield.
  • Callie wears many hats within the cannabis space, including running patient access groups, and chairing the subcommittee for adult use scope groups at The Cannabis Industry Council.
  • The cannabis plant can be manipulated through its stress response in order to produce biomass with desired properties. For example, if it feels threatened, it can produce more monoterpenes which have medicinal effects.
  • 90% of pharmaceuticals are derived from a plant-derived molecule, for example, co-codamol comes from opium which comes from a poppy.
  • Callie was a ‘closeted’ cannabis user for over 20 years but was inspired by figures such as Hannah Deacon and Carly Barton to start speaking more openly about her use.
  • We still don’t know enough about cannabis isolates to be able to claim that they are completely harmless isolated CBD, THC or other cannabinoids have only been used since the 1960s so there is not a great deal of long-term data.
  • Another myth is that cannabis ‘works’ for everybody. The truth is that each individual has a unique endocannabinoid system which reacts to cannabinoids on a person by person basis, meaning there is no one size fits all.
  • Callie believes that we need to be more realistic about what can be achieved with CBD use, as it is not a silver bullet cure, but more of an aid for improving quality of life.
  • THC is often demonised because of its intoxicating effects, but Callie believes that we need to look past this and appreciate it for its other use cases (being able to increase appetite etc.)
  • There is a great deal of product claims made within the cannabis industry without data to back them up – this blurs the lines between recreational and medical markets which further complicates things and confuses consumers.
  • The cannabis plant produces terpenes as a defence mechanism which can be due to either biotic or abiotic stress.
  • Abiotic stress comes from the environment and can include drought, whereas biotic stresses include insect attacks, fungal attacks, or herbivore attacks.

Quotables

I still experience stigma, but I think I just respond differently to it now. I stand proud, shoulders back, head up. I will not be ashamed of this plant or not be ashamed of what I do, and I will not be ashamed of what I fight for.

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Resources

Connect with Callie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-callieseaman/

Follow AquaLabs on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aqualabs-ltd/

Visit AquaLabs Website: https://aqualabs-uk.com/

About Anuj

I’m Anuj Desai – a commercial advisor, lawyer and founder of Canverse – a strategic consultancy helping founders, entrepreneurs and businesses navigate the emerging cannabis industry.

Please follow The Cannabis Conversation to keep up to date with news and insights from the industry, and get in touch at [email protected] to discuss how I can help your business move forward in the cannabis sector!

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