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The humanity behind the science

The humanity behind the science

pole Maria Ribeiro da Luz

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Arup Sen, a microbiologist and PhD biochemist, who since 2016 has been involved in the research and development of innovative beverage extraction and formulation technologies, with a focus on hemp and hemp. Its goal is to preserve the natural properties of the plant and, at the same time, improve its bioavailability, fully and innovatively transfer cannabis compounds in a water-based infusion.

The beginning of his career was in cancer research, and a few years later he replaced academic research with a career in the biopharma industry, where he spent 25 years, still dedicated to diagnosing cancer, but also to osteoporosis. His first contact with cannabinoids came in 1977, when he worked with the chemically formulated THC Delta 9, with the goal of targeting cancer cells in the brain.

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Around 2005, her philosophy changed, and since then she has prioritized studies focused on preventing disease, rather than treating it. That’s when he got involved in nutraceuticals (beneficial compounds containing biologically active ingredients), where he developed two technology platforms, primarily aimed at extracting vitamins, minerals and natural products from plants.

Around 2016, Dr. Sen decided to include cannabis and cannabis in his research, which has become a particular challenge because over the past decade, he has been focusing on natural plant molecules that were water-soluble, while in the case of cannabis, its main activity was active. Compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes are oil molecules. With its history, we realize that challenges can be the catalyst for great achievements.

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Water solubility has always been one of the central issues in his research, as molecules in water solutions have much higher bioavailability. Formulas such as nanoencapsulation and emulsification were not an option, as the product would consequently lose its natural foundation. Dr. Sen advocates another very important principle: the need to extract the compounds from the cannabis entirely, allowing the interaction between cannabis and terpenes, since they are naturally present in the plant.

Although part of his career was working in the pharmaceutical industry, currently Dr. Sen is devoted primarily to hemp, but also to vitamins and minerals extracted from plants. We need to understand that the cannabis industry is independent and completely different from the pharmaceutical industry.

The pharmaceutical industry is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and profitable industries in the world, with practices of isolating ingredients, creating patents and selling medicines, whether they are effective or not. Based on the devastating opioid epidemic in the United States, we know that it is an industry that is more interested in profits than treatment.

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As for hemp, its therapeutic benefits are intensified precisely by the interaction of its compounds, and each plant has its own phytochemical profile. For this reason, consistency and dosage are fundamental issues that must be addressed individually, being specific and different for each organism. Here we are dealing with a plant of millennial use, with countless traditions, culture and lifestyle attached to it. If today we enjoy cannabis and its products, in its current “form”, it is thanks to decades of illegal cultivation, in the midst of the disastrous war on drugs. Even today, in Brazil, we have a huge stigma around the plant, almost a century of bans to demystify, and a complex regulatory system that has to be created, especially for the cannabis industry.

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The exchange with Dr. Sen was very inspiring to me. Not only for her immense knowledge and generous participation, but for the gigantic humanity that prevails in the face of scientific craft.

Respect for plants and nature in general shows humility but also a great awareness of our place in the ecosystem. We can make use of science and nature, realizing that it is humanity that needs nature, and that in this case the opposite is not true.

Dr. Arup Sen is co-founder of Infusion Biosciences Inc. and Solution Technology Inc. , to develop specialty drink formulations such as Sproutly and Kalo. The interview, which can be seen in full below, was supported by the publication of the Sechat portal.

The opinions expressed in this article are personal and rest with their authors.

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