Emma Chasen 0:01
There’s so much information about cannabis out there. And as you’re saying, I mean, not all of that is great information. And especially starting, you know, five and a half years ago, I was being trained by people who I really trusted and who, you know, believed that they knew the latest up to date information with information that now is proven to be false or incorrect. And I think that in cannabis, especially because it’s been such an underground culture through prohibition, there’s a lot of blogs and media sites that have this kind of, you know, pseudoscience, and it’s coming from legacy growers or people in the space who have been doing this forever. And that information is absolutely I think, necessary in a way because it’s almost storytelling. It’s like a narrative of the past and I’m kind of like almost the folk adaptation of what’s been going on. However, when we look to explain, you know, concrete, scientific facts, then we have to look at the actual scientific research that’s out there.
You’re listening to To be blunt, be podcast for cannabis marketers. Were your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi.
Shayda Torabi 1:34
Hello, What’s up y’all? Welcome back to another episode of To be blunt. I’m your host Shayda Torabi, and I’m super energized about this episode. In fact, I just recorded this episode, and I’m now recording the intro, which doesn’t always happen in this way. But I’m recording it moments after finishing the interview. And I’m still on the high of our discussion. So I really truly hope you find this episode to be as juicy of information and education as I did. Obviously, y’all know, I love education. And so having him on the show, to talk about her background running eminent consulting is just such a serendipitous conversation for me. I’m going to tell you a little bit about Emma really quick, she has a mission to educate people on the science behind cannabis, so that they may take charge of their own healing. Oh, girl, I relate to that so much. Emma is also a graduate from Brown University, where she had a degree in medicinal plant research, she would go on to coordinate Clinical Oncology trials with the Brown University oncology research group. But when her supervisor refused a cannabis trial in favor of another expensive pharmaceutical drug, Emma quit and headed across the country to Portland, Oregon, where she would find herself in the middle and the beginning of adult use rec cannabis in Portland. So I’m really honestly truly excited because Emma approaches education with a scientific background. And I think that that is such an important foundation to stand upon in this industry. But as you and I know, there’s a lot of nuances, a lot of anecdotal research that’s being done, and there’s so much more to discuss. So hence my excitement for having Emma on the show. Without further ado, let’s welcome Emma and hear what she has to say.
Emma Chasen 3:24
Hi, my name is Emma chasen and I am the co founder of eminent consulting where I focus on cannabis education not only how to implement that on the industry side of things, but also how do we bridge the gap between the industry and the new and old consumers alike of cannabis. I’ve been in the legal cannabis space now for over five years, which is wild cannabis definitely feels like dog years where it could I mean, I feel like I’ve learned enough information to fit into 50 years. But about five years ago, I moved across the country from New England to Portland where I began a job as a budtender in a dispensary. I was coming from academia. So I had just received my degree from Brown and ethnobotany and medicinal plant research. I then was at a position within the cancer industry doing oncology research, nascent nationwide and I just really I just found that it wasn’t for me, I became quite disillusioned with the cancer industry and all that comes with it. I naively thought when I started there that it would be kind of my point of impact to bring in cannabis considering this was 2014. So especially in Rhode Island where I was based at the time, medical cannabis Access Programs had just started to come out and gain traction. We were just starting to see kind of okay, there is huge therapeutic potential to this plant. However, the cancer industry did not respond accordingly. And when a cannabis trial was proposed, my supervisor kind of laughed it out of the office. So I thought here’s here’s the sign that I need to be doing something different. So packed up my car drove across the country to Portland arrived very serendipitously, about a month before early onset of adult use sales. So the entire industry was hiring. And I took a job at pharma, which is now quite a prestigious dispensary in Portland, and I was hired at 1250 an hour, I was like, Okay, I’m just going to take this until I get on my feet, and then find something better. But I really ended up falling in love with that I loved the what came with the role being that person who represents the industry, but also gets to connect with all of these consumers and patients who are asking questions that at times doctors can’t even answer. And so it really kind of pulled on my love of being able to connect with people, but also my love of science and discovery, and uncovering so much of the potential of this plant through the fundamental elements of the research science that we did have at the time. So I did that. But what I noticed as I was by attending and then eventually moved into a general manager role was that there was just such a pervasive lack of education throughout the industry. And to me, especially coming from the academic background that was just so inexcusable to patients, I felt it was such a disservice to patients that these people who were tasked with helping guide them through their cannabis experience, really weren’t given the tools to be able to do that successfully or appropriately in regards to scientific evidence that we did have at the time and that we currently are uncovering and I also thought that it was a liability for the business not to have any staff training, thinking about Oh, my god, these patients are coming in asking questions that doctors can’t even answer and this person, you know, this role is again, tasked with that responsibility of guiding them. And that’s a liability for the business if you haven’t trained somebody on how to do that. So that’s when I I focused on education full time, I stepped down from my role as General Manager petitioned the owners of the dispensary to create this new role of Director of Education for me. And that’s where I really began to focus on optimizing strapped staff training. What does it take for a budtender? To really be able to successfully guide customers through their cannabis experience? How do we create customer retention and customer loyalty through education? How do we widen the demographic of cannabis consumers through education, I did that in the dispensary for about six to seven months before branching out and doing it on my own. I freelanced for a while. And then now about two and a half years ago, I joined forces with my business partner to really further this mission of cannabis education, and adoption of craft ethos, in terms of business models. So I’ve been in consulting, we’ve been doing that now. Like I said, for two and a half years, we work across the country. And we also have the latest iteration of my curriculum. That’s been I mean, market tested now for years, and specifically honing in on those fundamental elements of cannabis science, and designed for the the budtender, but really able to be taken and understood by everyone from lay enthusiastic to industry professionals from all intersections.
Shayda Torabi 8:21
You’re literally my spirit sister, everything you’re saying, I’m vibing I’m right there with you. I think education is such an integral piece in this cannabis puzzle that we exist in. And it is severely lacking. So totally vibing with you on making education, such an important aspect of not only just like, educating the staff so they can educate the consumers, but really creating it as a best practice for the industry. Right. And I think that it’s something that, especially from my perspective, I know I was kind of sharing with you a little bit before the show started. And my followers definitely have heard me talk about you know, my brand restart before, but when we launched in Texas, there was no one doing CBD, there was nobody dispensing. I was a cannabis consumer. So I knew a little bit from my own personal experience, but when it came towards, okay, now I’m in control of setting up an environment where people are going to want to come to me to get educated on this product. What does that even look like? And so we kind of blindly created our own curriculum, essentially. But kind of the question I have most pressing to you is, how do you determine and kind of start picking apart what is the truth? And I think for my perspective, I started realizing, not that there isn’t, you know, end all be all ultimate truth out there. But with science and more and more research being done, I think there are things that we can confidently say one way or another, whether we’re describing the actual plant itself or the effects of the plant. And so how do you like wrap that up and communicate it to someone with confidence? Knowing that what you are saying to someone is some version of the truth. so
Emma Chasen 10:06
crazy. It is. I mean, if there’s so much information about cannabis out there, and as you’re saying, I mean, not all of that is great information. And especially starting, you know, five and a half years ago, I was being trained by people who I really trusted and who, you know, believed that they knew the latest up to date information with information that now is proven to be false or incorrect. And I think that in cannabis, especially because it’s been such an underground culture through prohibition, there’s a lot of blogs and media sites that have this kind of, you know, pseudoscience, and it’s coming from legacy growers, or people in the space who have been doing this forever. And that information is absolutely I think, necessary in a way because it’s almost storytelling, it’s like a narrative of, of the past and, and kind of like almost the folk adaptation of what’s been going on. However, when we look to explain, you know, concrete, scientific facts, then we have to look at the actual scientific research that’s out there. And one of the tropes that I often get told that I’m sure you’ve been told a million times is that well, there’s not enough research on cannabis to be able to talk about it in a scientific modality. And to that I kind of call bs I mean, one THC is the most researched anolyte on the planet. And yes, a lot of the research that was put towards looking at THC was to elucidate negative side effects. There aren’t that many while there are some negative or uncomfortable side effects associated with especially high dose and high consumption of THC. I mean, it’s not going to kill you, right, there’s nothing that is so dramatic that it would cause this kind of fall out of being able to adopt cannabis legalization. And so especially during Prohibition, a lot of that research was buried when the specific intent of the study was to find and deduce negative side effects of THC. And they really couldn’t, well, then that research kind of doesn’t get published or doesn’t get promoted, per se. Also, I really think that it is important to look at the white papers that are being published, whether out of the United States now, or Israel, or Czech Republic, and Italy, New Zealand. I mean, there are so many countries now that are allowing for broader regulations in regards to cannabis research. And there are papers out there, it just takes somebody who has had that training to be able to digest that scientific information to really read that, pull out the necessary facts, and then kind of translate it into language that is within our vernacular and lexicon where everybody can understand that. I think that there are polarizing places of cannabis education, one being this scientific research papers that may not be accessible to everyone. On the opposite end, there are, you know, blog sites and media sites that I think there are some that are more reputable than others, and some that do a lot better job at really, you know, researching themselves and pulling out information. But when you look at a media site, you always have to be wary of the kind of inflammatory headline that’s being pushed, you always have to be wary on who’s putting the money towards this project, if there’s a business that’s sponsoring this post, and maybe they have, you know, a certain kind of lens with which they want to portray this kind of research. So that’s all to say that, I think that the best way to understand what’s happening in regards to cannabis science is to go to the source, look at those white papers. Look at that scientific research. And if it’s inaccessible to you, whether I mean it’s, you know, behind the kind of closed library doors of academic institutions, or it’s just not something that is put into language that’s easily understood, then making sure that you reach out to people who you trust, who you know, you know, do a good job of looking at research and digesting that even reaching out to media institutions, if they do publish something, and asking them for the paper that they’re referencing, or asking them kind of, you know, their process for engaging with this research, I think is is really important. Ultimately, I always say for anybody in the cannabis industry, especially if you’re working in the industry, it’s so important to have this intellectual curiosity where you are investigative, you are, you know, conducting the research for yourself in the way that you are reaching out to companies, you’re asking them questions, you’re, you know, you’re investigating beyond what’s just on the paper, because that’s so important when we just look at the amount of information that’s been published about cannabis and, and really start to pick out the pieces that are actually really rooted in truths.
Shayda Torabi 14:50
Now, that totally resonates because I think that’s the approach that I’ve taken and hopefully the listeners can agree that’s what the point of this podcast is. It’s that I never want to Admit or you know, act that I’m the smartest person in the room. But I want people to understand, I am the most curious and I want to be educated. And so I selfishly want to have these conversations. It’s why I’m happier on the show to help further, you know, dive into some of these aspects of how specifically from an education perspective, we can start to educate ourselves and obviously, ultimately educate the consumers. And so I guess another angle for that question that I want to pose to you, especially coming from academia, background, science, research, everything you just kind of stated, I’m right there with you. I try to read, you know, the professional reports, the white papers as much as possible. But what I’m also confronted with, and it’s maybe there’s not, you know, again, an end all be all answer to it, but anecdotal research, right? customer research. So for us, we have a retail location, I am a marketer, by trade, I love asking the consumer directly from their mouths, you know, what is your experience been? How is this product working for you? What do you know about it? And then for me, I do try to incorporate that information back into my marketing, my training, whether that’s highlighting that customers testimonial through our website, or taking that story and sharing it with my staff so that they have another reference point for a particular conversation, whether it’s the cannabinoid or a terpene, or an application. But knowing that there’s obviously I hear you on THC being, you know, this really heavily researched, cannabinoid. But the contrast to that is, I think the cannabinoids hit everybody differently. And so when you get into dosing and ratios, those are words that consumers want to know the answers to, but they don’t really know how to navigate it. And I find as a brand in the space, again, as a very curious brand owner in the space, and I have to make up some of that lack of substantial, practical, truthful scientific evidence with, well, 90% of my customers say when they consume this product, this is how it makes them feel. Obviously, it’s not always factual, but then you do have the customers come in who they want that explicity and and I have to try to tell the narrative in between. I don’t have anything to say specifically toward that anecdotal side.
Emma Chasen 17:11
Yeah, definitely. Oh, I think you bring up such a good point of Yes, we have this scientific evidence, but cannabis is a medicinal plant, and any botanical medicine will give a personalized experience. And I mean, specifically in regards to cannabis, that kind of thought is, is even, you know, more blown up in the sense that cannabis has a ton of compounds, we don’t even know how many compounds we haven’t identified all the compounds in the cannabis matrix. We know that it interacts with our Endocannabinoid receptor system, which is incredibly unique to each one of us. So I have a different receptor density than you then somebody else and somebody else. And on top of that, that system is always in flux dependent on my mental or emotional state, depending on what I’ve eaten, how much water I’ve had. And then you combine that with the high variability of cannabis compounds and cultivation and manufacturing methodology as well as high variability in dose. And it’s just like, Oh, my God, you know, consumers look at you like, how am I? How can I even start, and I think that anecdotal evidence is an incredible way to gain Community Trust. And we see that especially with widening demographics, and how we can kind of implement education to make people who have historically not consumed cannabis feel way more comfortable with that. And a good example of that is, you know, like a middle aged woman, if she is consuming CBD, and she’s having a really good experience with a brand and a particular dose, she’s going to tell her friends, and then they’re going to feel way more comfortable to go seek that out. And so I think that it is really, really important that we start to map consumer trends to be able to see, okay, this is where most people lie in terms of dose range. This is where most people lie in terms of efficacy in regards to specific compound ratios for a specific therapeutic application. Right. And I think that that is an important piece to this whole thing. And I’m actually been really excited to see research come out in regards to kind of aggregate anecdotal evidence. There are these apps now where you can track your experience with cannabis. And they’ve been partnering with research institutions to kind of publish this data that says, okay, 10,000 people have logged for pain relief, and most of them consumed this percentage of THC, this percentage of CBD at this frequency and that allows us to say, okay, you know, at least this is an area where we can point especially the novice consumers towards to make them feel more comfortable with experimentation, because that is always my goal. When I talk to somebody about cannabis, especially somebody who’s a novice is to kind of allow them to feel safe in the transit from allopathic pharmaceutical medicine, which if we’ve grown up in the Western world, we’ve all become accustomed to right you take ibuprofen, you know exactly what’s going to happen to you with cannabis, that’s just we don’t have that kind of comfort and we don’t have that predictability or consistency. And I mean, that’s because it follows more of that nutraceutical approach more of the plant medicine approach that is highly personalized, where you, the consumer will provide yourself you know, with the the best kind of trends of experience. And that’s why I also always encourage the consumer to keep their own kind of journal to keep their own record of their consumption habits to begin to collect their own anecdotal evidence of themselves, you know, to map what’s going to work best for them. And, and again, that’s really always my goal. That’s the goal in mind when educating a novice consumer is to help them feel safe and comfortable, and really empower them to start experimenting with cannabis in that way. And I think that anecdotal evidence is such a great way to help them just like step through the door of that,
Shayda Torabi 21:01
well, like you said to I find, especially again, having a retail, I’m visibly seeing it. If I can empower that friend that comes into my store with proper information, make them feel comfortable, make them feel, you know, open minded to the curiosity of it’s not going to be explicit, you take one pill, you take the two pills, it’s going to do this X, Y, or Z, it’s, you might feel this way, you might feel that way. But empowering that one friend, I’ve seen that friend, tell their friends, and then those friends come in, and then they feel more comfortable, because then they’ve got that experience that education from my staff and my team, and then you just see the ripple effect of, Hey, I felt empowered to have control of what I was putting in my body. I know it’s not this transaction of I took this dose. And this is explicitly what it’s doing. To me, it’s much more broader than that. So I’m vibing with you right there, I’m gonna throw something interesting at you. So we, we sell a lot of delta eight here in Texas. Delta eight is a THC. For those listening who might not be as familiar with it. I know that it is not federally legal. And I know that every state has kind of their own laws around it. So Texas is law, to call us out politely. I don’t think it’ll be legal for long. I think it’s a little bit of a loophole that we’ve experienced here in Texas. However, with that said, again, kind of putting on that lens knowing you work with a lot of dispensary’s.
I am educated, you know, I have these conversations a lot. I’m constantly doing research on my own, I spend a substantial amount of my personal time invested in educating myself and my team in this industry. I did not learn about Delta eight as a product through my education. I learned about Delta eight through a customer walking through my door and asking if I sold Delta eight products. And I said, What What is this delta eight? And how did you hear about it? And he said, you know, oh, a friend. Then a couple of days later, I had another person come in asking about Delta eight, I said, Where did where this is weird. I’ve recently been hearing about Delta eight a lot, and have not heard about it in my industry circles. But here I’m hearing about this in my retail scenario, multiple people would keep coming in, I heard about Delta eight on Reddit, a friend told me about it. I was just googling, you know, all these kind of anecdotal kind of, you know, consumer experiences getting familiar with Delta eight. So that’s how I got put on my radar. So there’s one that kind of rift of weight, I didn’t even know this was the thing that I needed to be knowing about that is a product that I need to help educate, not just source. So there was that one aspect as well. People are asking, I would like to have delta eight. And is it legal? And how do I bring those products to my, my consumers, but what is it and so now we’re about five months in Texas as a very large Delta eight market, I would say it’s a significant conversation that I’m constantly having to have in our store that, again, further education has been done on our parts. I’ve started to see more YouTube videos pop up about Delta eight. Now I’m learning about Delta 10 and delta seven. And you know, like you said, there’s so many compounds to this plant that we just don’t fully know about. And so for us, that was a weird cannabinoid that kind of I didn’t hear about from the industry, but consumers were asking about it, I was then put in a position of understanding it. And then even further so because I think you have a market like Texas where there is that stigmatization with cannabis people either very much want to be psychrotrophic Lehigh, or they’re not looking for that experience at all. And here you have delta eight, where anecdotally when I and my team consume these products, they will hit us all different. Some of us, myself included when I eat Delta eight, I’ve heard Delta eight metabolizes like a Delta nine and you would have similar effects. However for me, it was very seductive and I consume a lot of high THC. However, when I smoke Delta eight through vape cartridges, I do feel a very comparable buzz. And to kind of layer on another narrative to this whole wormhole of delta, age and education around these new cannabinoids, we have a customer walk in the other night, he has never shopped with us before he shopped with a another CBD brand in town. They sold him Delta eight, they did not educate him on what it was, he ate the edible, he went to a function where he was going to present and had an episode where he was in, for all intensive purposes high in public. Now had I think he’d been properly educated, perhaps maybe he would have enjoyed that experience at a different scenario, had he been properly educated, maybe he would have eaten less of the edible in that scenario. You know, there’s multiple scenarios that we could have. That just shook me so much, because it broke my heart because there are people out there who are not education forward. And they are selling products to consumers. And so especially in the CBD world, especially in Texas, it is it’s unregulated at a high level, but it’s very unregulated at a state level here. And so delta eights been one of those interesting ones where it’s caught me a little off guard, I can comfortably now say I’ve done enough substantial research to feel confident to one, source it from people that I trust, sell it, and educate consumers and then ultimately bring their influence and research back into our discussions. But it was just such a clusterfuck of Whoa, I didn’t know this was the thing that I was supposed to know about. There’s no real truth out there. How do I even begin to address and so I think, again, I have the mentality like you probably can observe, we’re similar in that sense of curiosity. Not everybody listening, I think, has that approach. And so I just am curious, your thoughts kind of breaking down that scenario I painted?
Emma Chasen 27:01
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that it really points to I mean, so many things, one that we in cannabis and the CBD industry, we are a consumer driven market. And so when consumers kind of come with their own intellectual curiosity that maybe they saw on him, you know, a Reddit thread or a Facebook group, or even just heard murmurs up within their community, they will come and ask for it in the shop. And I think that that is a power that consumers hold, you know, to be able to really drive the market in that way. They did it with CBD, right? That’s why CBD exploded as much as it did, because people started talking about this new compound that yes, comes from cannabis. But it’s not the scary kind of cannabis. And it just caught on, you know, like wildfire, in that sense, because of consumer curiosity. So I think that that’s something that’s really special about the cannabis and CBD industry, especially as we evolve, that consumers can, you know, clue us on the industry side into what we should be learning about or looking at or researching. I also think that it’s really interesting when we look at, you know, a place like Texas where there are these kinds of gray loopholes in legislature where you are able to sell Delta eight THC in a CBD store. But that I think, requires so much more education because like you’re saying it can deliver a psychotropic response. Yes, the research tells us that it will be less psychotropic than delta nine THC, it may have more therapeutic potential. However, you know, that can mean so many different experiences for so many different people just that like little less than, well, how much less than or what does that look like? Or what is the actual experience and so in, in that example, that you gave us, a person who purchased Delta eight THC without that kind of education around, okay, you’ll want to maybe microdose for your first time, especially if you’re eating it because it does get processed in the liver in a similar way to delta nine, or you’ll want to make sure to eat it at home for the first time and not have anywhere else to go for the evening. So just in case you have a psychotropic experience, you could feel comfortable and safe. I mean, all of these things should be kind of a no brainer things that the person on the other side of the counter is communicating to the consumer, even if they are a novice consumer in terms of, you know, smoking CBD per se, if they’re going to try and edible, it still should be led with that. Okay, if this is your first time trying an edible, you’re going to want to start with a microdose you’re going to want to make sure that you’re at home, consuming comfortably with people who you trust. And that’s really what what I mean, when I when I first said that it’s a disservice to patients if we don’t have that kind of education on the other side because at this point, the cannabis and CBD industry can’t really afford to lose consumers. We’re at about a 14 to 20% consumption rate per state’s population. So each state that has legalized, we’re seeing, like I said, around 14 to 20% of that population are cannabis consumers and they do purchase cannabis, however, that number isn’t really going up. And so in an industry that is especially crowded in markets that don’t limit that free market kind of capitalism, well, the industry will struggle if we do not implement that education, which will allow for retention of consumers because I think as you said, it is heartbreaking for that person who had that awful experience. It’s also really sad for the industry that if that person you know, had that horrible experience, and they were like, Whoa, not for me, I’m never trying this ever again, which is all too common for people and at this point, we just can’t afford that.
Shayda Torabi 30:55
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast, restart. CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin, Texas, we operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store. And you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm. Again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt, I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. No, that’s literally the same wavelength. Because I see especially in a state like Texas, where my Yes, obviously I want to run a business, I would like the business to be successful, I want to make sure that I can you know, financially support myself and my family. With that said, I completely embrace the ownership of working in cannabis in particular, because it is such a stigmatized plant, but it is such a beautiful plant with a lot of beneficial applications. With proper education. You and I both know not every medicine is horribly wrong for you. I’m saying that was kind of a tongue because I did watch a commercial where they were talking about a medication that had all these crazy side effects. I was like, why would anybody take medication? side effects? That’s a separate tangent for another day. But I want to kind of clarify, you know, because I do think that medication gets a bad reputation. Medication has its place in the world. But I think like you stated earlier, people viewing cannabis through that same lens is a disservice to them, because it isn’t a one size fits all. And and further. I think you mentioned it to kind of looking into the quality of thing, where’s it sourced? Who’s manufacturing it? I think those are aspects that consumers don’t really think through. And you highlighted, you know, the commoditization of it. I mean, I totally realize especially selling CBD, you know, I sell CBD, the guy or gal on the street sell CBD, what’s the difference. And that’s where we’ve really tried to focus in on this education piece. Because for me, at the end of the day, as a Texan, I want that consumer to have the best possible experience, so that they can not only find relief with the plant for themselves, but be an advocate of the plant and their community, as well as hopefully be in favor of voting more favorably for this plant to get to more degrees of legality, because I’m right there with you. If this guy did not come into my shop and get re educated on Delta eight, because I gave him a full on our discussion on all the things I know about Delta eight. And he was super pleased with that. He’s like, yeah, these people did not tell me any of that. I was like, let me write that wrong. But if he had just gone there, and had that experience, and hated it and walked away, that would have sucked. Truly, that would have been a loss for a voter who might have potentially voted in favor of it that influence a customer like you name it, you know, plant based medicine for this guy, so many areas that he could miss out on the potential for had he just been properly educated. I don’t know why certain brands don’t want to educate properly. I think another area that’s really gray that I’m curious to get your thoughts on that I know that we dance very delicately around and I will caveat this with. I have a lawyer who is a cannabis lawyer, so I have someone who is helping tell me you can’t say that. But you could maybe say this and so I know that the legality from an education perspective too I think especially getting into
talking to someone and making them feel more comfortable at something you know, there is the anecdotal there are the white papers that you could point them to but at the end of the day, am I potentially saying something that could position my brand myself this product in a bad light and I just think not enough brands? Care not only just to be curious for themselves of what’s proper education, but what am I actually putting them on my labels? What am I packaging in my marketing materials? What content am I creating? What was coming out of my mouth when someone asks my opinion. And so I think that’s an interesting area too, especially going from an education focus to, like you said, We need some of that kind of like cultural kind of history, that folklore to kind of lay the foundation, I absolutely believe that the culture of cannabis is the foundation that we can stand upon now. But so much of it is misinformation. And so you know, you get caught putting the wrong thing because you trusted the wrong person, or you read the wrong report. And then as you know, the industry moves so fast, using Delta eight kind of agnostically As another example, just because it’s legal in Texas, I ship nationwide, it’s not legal in all these states. So now you have to deal with this. If you’re in CBD, or hemp, you can play across state lines. Obviously, if you’re in cannabis, you are a little bit more. I don’t wanna say sheltered or restricted, but you’re at least playing within a state that you may be more or less no versus sometimes I’m like, people DM me, and they’re like, Illinois, Illinois, delta eight. And I’m like, I have to now know Delta eight and Illinois laws. And it just you obviously got to be educated, but you also want to legally be doing things the right way.
Emma Chasen 36:11
Yes, definitely. I mean, I think, again, you bring up such a good point of compliance, and how we talk about cannabis, and also the expectations that we’re setting up for people. And I kind of think of, you know, the naysayers of the cannabis movement, people who have been, you know, just say no to drugs, Cannabis, as bad as heroin, whatever, as the opposite end of the spectrum, as the people who have been such advocates for cannabis, but the ones who say, Well, everybody will have a great time with cannabis, there’s nothing wrong with cannabis. It’s amazing, you know, just really generalizing the experience on both ends one demonizing it, but one, you know, putting it on this pedestal, which, at times may not resonate as true for people. And I think that there’s a really happy middle, the rational approach that we take and looking to science, right to be able to substantiate some of these, you know, suggestions as far as experience, but in terms of compounds, and I think that that’s a really important kind of distinguishing factor that cannabis is not one thing. And so often, especially through the programming that we received through prohibition, we were taught that cannabis was one thing, it got you high, and it was bad for you. Right, and made you lazy, whatever. That is, of course, not true. But I think that we can take a step beyond that and say, well, cannabis is not just one thing, cannabis is so many things. And it can be so many things for so many different people because of the compound diversity. So we can talk about THC and talk about what the research suggests in regards to the therapeutic potential and uncomfortable side effects. But when it comes to working with patients and consumers, we have to be really careful with what expectations we set up for them. And I think that’s where laying the groundwork to say, first and foremost that this is personal, like, I want you, the consumer to feel empowered to kind of take on this journey for yourself, and I am here to act as that guide, I’m here to kind of point you in a direction that I think might work best for you to start. And that will include kind of a full rundown of what compounds we’ve gotten here. The quality of the material that we’re working with, where was it sourced? How is it processed? Are there terpenes? included? What did those look like? And then we’re really going to focus more so on the experience itself. So how we consume microdosing. I mean, we know that dose is so important, so talking to people about how to find their optimal therapeutic dose for them. So talking about a microdose with a regimented dose increase until they get to that sweet spot, talking about you know, where to consume, how to consume what that looks like. And then really setting up again, the expectations that there may be something for everyone in cannabis, cannabis has high therapeutic potential. However, it’s not a cure all. As you said, it’s not a one size fits all. And it will take some time to arrive at something that really works for you. I often kind of use the example or analogy and it’s not a perfect one. But it does allow people to really think about, you know, their experience with something like an SSRI, for example, where it takes six weeks for you to really feel the effects. And so when I talk to people about cannabis, especially CBD, I’m like, okay, you took it one time, and it didn’t really work for you. Well, it’s gonna take a little while to begin to see again, what dose if we need to transition to a different brand. If you need a little bit more of this compound versus this compound. It’s not just a quick fix. And I think that in our culture in our Western culture, especially that it’s really an important reprogramming for people that this is a botanical medicine. This is more so in line with preventative medicine. It has high therapeutic potential. However, it’s not something that’s going to work necessarily immediately for you. And if you’re, you know, committed to really experimenting with yourself and finding something that might work for you through this avenue, then it will just take a little bit of time.
Shayda Torabi 40:13
Yeah, I think on that note, too, knowing that there’s so much more discovery of this plant, I can imagine, from your perspective, educating it’s such, creating your consulting agency around the educational piece, I’m sure, you know, there’s an end point it’s not okay, this is all the education that we’ve learned like this is the course it’s, like I said, you know, we just learned about Delta eight. And then I was having this conversation, I learned about Delta 10 and delta seven, like what the hell like, I don’t know what these frickin cannabinoids are, what they do to the extent of actually being able to understand it, when you consume it, market it, you know, source it correctly. And so I just think, you know, getting people, especially y’all who are listening, comfortable, like you said early on with that curiosity, going to resources like yourself, like the programs that you’re creating, to really help empower these businesses and the space to have someone that they can trust, it’s obviously very clear that you are very passionate, but educated, and not pretentious, right? Like not trying to be like, this is the truth. This is what this science thing that I, you know, learned said it’s, yeah, this is what this white paper I read said, but also, here’s my personal experience. And also, here’s the experience I’ve you know, aggregated from all these other businesses that I’ve worked with in this space now come to this conclusion. Yeah, this is probably relevant information for someone to digest. Now, is this again, the end all be all truth? No, because maybe next week we discover a new compound or a new application for that cannabinoid? I mean, it’s so wild, the amount of you said it earlier, right? I think the consumers really drove the CBD market, which is wild to me, because we did go from people ask me all the time, you know, what’s your favorite marijuana strain? And I’m the girl who grew up in Texas, like, I don’t have a favorite, I’m lucky, whatever my dealer sends me, you know, I don’t have choice. I don’t know what options are, you know, and now you have a market, especially in Texas, where it’s, you want an edible, you want to smoke it, you want an oil, these are different, you know, full spectrum versus isolate. Oh, now, here’s CBG. Oh, here’s the CELTA aid and, and so to operate in a position of non good like, I know some stuff, or I think I know everything, or what I often unfortunately see a lot, especially here in Texas, you’ve a lot of brands who were like, this is the truth? And I’m like, I’m not sure it is. And the fact that you think it is shows that you’re limiting your potential for actually learning about it. I feel like I keep talking about Delta eight. But it’s the most present thing in my mind when we first were learning about it. There are certain characteristics to delta eight, that could put it in a synthetic category. And so understanding how it’s derived, what is the color of the distillate actually supposed to be? Those were nuances that if you asked five people who were selling or manufacturing delta A, we all have different answers. Because who was the truth? We didn’t know who the truth was. It’s a new, a new product that we’re trying to understand collectively. But I think together, we’re open enough to learn. Okay, well, maybe this is actually not the right way to be extracting or creating Delta eight, okay, maybe this is a better way. And just trying to have some humility, I think in this industry can go a long way. And I think consumers recognize that of like, hey, especially when they shop with our store, like I will literally tell my customers, everything I’m about to say is my personal opinion and belief. I do a lot of research, you are welcome to pick my brain, I will send you the links myself, you can dig it up yourself. But I will happily have a conversation with you and be open to being corrected. Because I think that’s the only way that we can truly get to some sort of truth in the industry. So I’m sure you deal with it all the time of just new things coming up and you’re like, oh, that thing that we were teaching or wrote in the curriculum is changing. So I don’t know how you feel about that. Or if you have anything to add to that specific aspect of it’s so popular. I think customers don’t realize when I tell them, and you kind of call it out but I’ll say I do tell people I’m like, we just don’t have enough research. And people are like, wait, what how do you not have research on this? I’m like, so you don’t realize that link? weed is not federally legal, but hemp is but hemp is still treated like this demonized plant, and there’s confusion, whether it’s the regulation or the you know, consumption. It’s like, yeah, people just they assume because they can come to a store and buy it from me that it’s like Signed, Sealed delivered by the FDA. Everything is Gucci, you know, this must be something safe for consumption. It’s not going to mess me up totally. And then you’re like, yeah, we just we don’t know enough about this stuff. So kind of take it at your own risk. Here’s the information I know about it. I’m happy to be a resource if you need a phone a friend because you ate too much of the Delta eight brownie But here’s the disclaimer, you know, consuming your own risk essentially, is where we end up punctuating things. But
Emma Chasen 45:07
yeah, I mean, totally one. This is why I love talking to women in the industry, because I attribute a lot of that, like, I know everything to the like, the masculine kind of ego that’s been quite pervasive in the cannabis space throughout prohibition of like, men largely dominated that they like thought that they knew shit all the shit, because, you know, they’ve been doing it for a while. And as we’ve said, like that folklore, important, I don’t want to knock it, but at the same time, it’s just like, how limiting to think that you know, everything about anything, right? Like, then there’s no opportunity for growth. And the reason personally, why I’m in cannabis, especially as somebody with a like a scientific background is because it kind of reminds me of like, the space age where it’s like, there is limitless potential for discovery. And I love to be like, Oh, hey, I was actually wrong. And this is what we found out instead, like, that’s cool. And, and I think that that is something that is really important to kind of honor and, and hold as especially an educator in the space where I am only beholden to the science. That’s it. So I’m not beholden to my own ego around Oh, well, what I say is the way you know, and so if there is information that gets published that’s in conflict to what I’ve already taught or said, then I am more than happy to, you know, present that as something that’s exciting, because it just means that we are learning more about this plant. And, again, I think that that piece of it is really important, especially as we are charged with communicating to the consumer around what they might expect to be really comfortable with saying I don’t know, or to get really comfortable with saying, Thank you for that information. I was actually wrong. here’s here’s now what I’m thinking about this is I often when I train business professionals and bud tenders, I really focus on you know, getting comfortable with saying, I don’t know, if you’re asked a question and you do not know, do not make up an answer. That’s the worst thing that you can do, you know, and on top of that, an even worse thing that you could do is knowledge, shame. I think that knowledge shaming is so creepy. And just like so weirdly elitist. And a lot of what I teach is debunking the indicus ativa. Math. So talking about how inexpensive TiVo, they don’t actually correlate to consistent experience as industry professionals, it’s not something that we can use to predict experience for consumers. And there’s, I won’t get into it, but there’s a whole kind of, you know,
Shayda Torabi 47:50
reach the girl, right there with you.
Emma Chasen 47:54
But I follow up in that course, with bud tenders, especially to say if somebody comes in and asks you for an indika do not immediately be like, well, indicas incorrect. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s like you know what they’re talking about, they want to sleep experience, instead of correcting them. Use your knowledge that you’ve learned to pull out strains that are high in mere scene and maybe have some CBN and maybe have some little wall and then talk to that person about why you’re pulling out that variety for that particular experience. Maybe you’ll have the opportunity to plant little seeds of knowledge in regards to Oh, hey, well there actually some terpenes in here mere seen is also found in hops think about when you drink a bunch of beers, you get really sleepy. So that’s kind of why I’m pulling out this for you. Right? And maybe next time the person comes in, they’ll ask for an indika with mere scene, you know, so it’s it’s a process for people I’m so not in the business of like being weirdly classist about education. It’s just stupid. I think that education should be accessible for all i think that we should be putting out information that everybody can digest and be able to understand. And I also think that we have to honor that every single person, including, you know, us as almost amateurs that have now been deemed as experts because it’s a new industry. We’re also learning constantly and like I said, if you are done learning, then you’re limiting yourself and how, honestly boring is that?
Shayda Torabi 49:27
Like you said, it’s the space age we are embarking on such a beautiful discovery opportunity, and I’m genuinely energized. I mean, sometimes I do pooped my pants when someone’s like, what is this thing and I’m like shit, I should know that I’m with you. I’ll always admit I don’t actually know I don’t want to miss inform you or miss educate you. But let me help steer you in the right direction. And then it’s absolutely a jumping off point for me. So hopefully people listening take that encouragement of it’s okay to not know something but absolutely take The challenge of trying to then understand it, you might not get the most accurate answer, it might take you a while to fully understand it because it is something so new, but I think are approaching it with what a cool opportunity, we have to be on the forefront of something like this plant that’s been around for so long. It’s just, we just had such a limited view of it. And so I do think I think it’s really cool. I geek out every time I learned something new. I’m currently doing a cannabis education course through someone else. So I’m excited to check yours out and see what else I can further learn. I know the listeners are probably going to go check your courses out to and follow you on social media. But I genuinely enjoy this conversation thoroughly because it It literally just I feel like we’re spirit sisters, because we have the same intention with this plan. And that’s to better understand it. And I think that’s the best place to exist in this industry. So I don’t know if there’s anything else you want to add how people can find you, on the internet connect with you more, but please let us know.
Sure. Yeah, I
Emma Chasen 51:03
mean, definitely spirit plants, sisters all the way. Thank you for having me on. This has been amazing. For anybody who wants to find me My website is eminent consulting firm.com. And then really easy to find on social media, you know, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, whatever is your flavor. It’s just me, Jason.
Shayda Torabi 51:25
Could you guys feel it? Could you feel the energy of that discussion? It brings me joy I just truly does when I get to talk to someone who is just as passionate about education, as I am, I mean, whether we’re trying to educate ourselves, educate our industry, or educate our consumers. I hope you get how important education is for the cannabis industry. Obviously, you’re listening to my podcast, so checkbox, because you’re getting, in my opinion, one of the best ways to educate yourself through my podcasts and through my resources. But with that said, I hope that this created some energy for you to feel inspired and curious to further educate yourself. To always have an open mind to education and to just be a good steward of this plant and never operating like you know the truth or that there is no truth but that you are sharing what you know, in an effort, an opportunity to help someone else better understand this plant. That’s really what it’s about. It’s just a position to better help the person that you’re talking to on the other end of the product of social media, on the packaging, on the phone, on the podcast, whatever the medium is, I want person listening to whatever it is that I’m saying, to walk away more knowledgeable. That’s my hope always in forever. So I hope that that is what y’all got with this episode, some more knowledge, and a really good conversation for your ears. But thanks again for listening all the way to the end. I appreciate you. And if you enjoy this episode, it would mean so much to me. If you come hang out on social media, give the podcast a follow at To be blunt pod. Give me a follow at the Shayda Torabi, you can go to iTunes, leave us a review. Really I just want to engage with you. So please just engage back with me. That’s all I ask and hope you guys have a really good rest of your day. Until the next episode. Bye.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai