While many are trying to make food their medicine, Ross Hunsinger thinks you may want to consider what you’re drinking as well.
Hunsinger is the mind behind a plethora of projects in the Portland area from sodas to coffee to, of course, beer. He originally studied zymurgy (the science of fermentation) at the Siebel Institute of Brewing and used the acquired biochemistry and techniques while working with a variety of high-end restaurants and culinary experiences. Recently, he has teamed up with True Terpenes to bring a new level of flavor and science into the space.
Terpenes are gaining popularity for their presence in medical cannabis and their ability to modulate mood. What many don’t realize is that these molecules are responsible for the scent and flavors in everything from lavender to your favorite tea. In fact, hops, the primary ingredient in beer, is also the closest relative to the cannabis plant and, furthermore, is a very terpene heavy species.
“I am currently setting off on the discovery process for the integration of our hop technology in the brewing industry as beer is a fantastic language through which to speak terpenes to people who are not cannabis users,” Hunsinger said. “Being a brewer, I’m clearly very excited for this project.”
Hunsinger is working to identify the variety of terpene profiles in the hops plant. The terpenes in hops and beer differ by variety as they do in cannabis, but include things such as: beta caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene and limonene. These terpenes not only make things taste amazing, studies have shown many also kill pain, help produce energy or assist with sleep.
“I think terpenes and other phytochemicals have the potential to be the single largest disruption to modern medicine and self-care that we have seen since the advent of antibiotics,” Hunsinger said. “The research and applications being found within the space are nothing short of extraordinary…”
Hunsinger has also been integral in the True Terpenes program to increase the use of terpene profiles in edible cannabis products due to their health benefits. They are currently working through Hapy Kitchen to offer a variety of unique products in the Oregon cannabis market.
By David Heldreth for True Terpenes