Shanel Lindsay Explains How To Make Cannabis More Potent with the Ardent Decarboxylator

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The Ardent Is the Best Way to Decarb Cannabis

I’m obsessed with this machine. It really does make my medical marijuana last longer. Watch as inventor, Shanel Lindsay explains how the Ardent Decarboxylator works and why perfect decarboxylation makes cannabis more potent.

 

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About Shanel Lindsay

Shanel Lindsay is the Founder and CEO of Ardent Life Inc., based in Boston, MA. Ardent is a cutting-edge technology and education company that has become a global leader in providing high-tech consumer products to the cannabis space. Ardent is poised for explosive growth in both the B2B and B2C cannabis markets, as well as the broader health and wellness space.

 

READ: Medical Marijuana: 15+ Recipes for Potent Weed Edibles

 

Read the Transcript

Jessie Gill, RN: (00:00)
Hi, I’m Jessie, I’m a cannabis nurse and the founder of Marijuana Mommy, and you’re watching patients are the proof where we talk about the real benefits of cannabis. Today I’m talking with Shanel Lindsay. Shanel is the founder and CEO of Ardent Life Inc based in Boston. Massachusetts. Ardentt is a cutting edge technology and education company that has become a global leader in providing high tech consumer products in the cannabis space. Ardent is poised for explosive growth in both the cannabis markets as well as the broader health and wellness space. Hello Shanel. Thank you so much for talking with me this morning. How are you?

Shanel Lindsay: (00:37)
I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Jessie Gill, RN: (00:40)
I am such a huge, huge fan of your product. It’s, it’s really been a game changer for so many patients. And it’s amazing, your videos too and your education and what you’ve done just to create this awareness around decarboxylation. So maybe you could just, for everybody at home, introduce your amazing, incredible product and tell us a little bit about what decarboxylation is and why it’s so important.

Shanel Lindsay: (01:10)
Awesome. I would love to. So decarboxylation is really the fundamental process when you think about cannabis, you don’t know any other chemicals, scientific process related to cannabis, you should know decarboxylation and to simplify it. What it really means is that all of the cannabinoids like THC and CBD that people are looking for, that patients are looking for in their therapy, are actually locked under an acid layer in the raw plant. And what this means for people, and think about it, kind of like a key going into a lock. And if you want THC or CBD bind with your cannabinoid receptors, they need to actually be able to fit into and connect with the receptor. And they’re not able to do this in the acid form. And so you need to activate or decarboxylate your product in order to get the THC or CBD. And that can be kind of a complicated explanation or process. And so what we wanted to do here at Ardent and me, personally, I’ve been a patient for over 20 years now. It was very difficult for me when I first started to make my own medicine. And it was because of this decarboxylation process. Because as simple as it might sound kind of activate, what’s difficult is doing it without destroying the underlying THC and making sure that you activate all your available THC, so you only have to use a little bit when you’re making your different cannabis therapies. That’s why I created the decarboxylator. And what it is is the really small precision heating device that uses a couple of sensors and a thermal blanket. That’s really the most important part of the whole thing that we have this thermal blanket that wraps all the way around and it uses multiple sensors, to heat your cannabis to the exact right time and temperature and environment to activate all of the THC or CBD without losing any of it underneath. And so for patients, what that means is that they can take a very very little amount and make all of the different products they would see on a dispensary shelf for very little money.

Jessie Gill, RN: (03:18)
Yeah, I am amazed. So I’m an avid user of, of the Ardent and I’m amazed at how much more potent my products are when I use the Ardent compared to the old fashion oven method, which I used to use. Why is that? Why…Can you explain about why the Ardent works so much more efficiently than than a stove would?

Shanel Lindsay: (03:42)
Yeah. This is also something that was a surprise to me back when I created this device. I was using oven, toaster oven. The crock pot was one of my favorite methods cause right, you get that even heating from the water boiling. But what I didn’t realize is that decarboxylation is very, very sensitive process. So you need to have, a really, really tight temperature profile, but you also have that incredibly even heating all around, right? And so when you’re looking at a crockpot or something that’s using a water method, the problem with that is that the temperature is never going to get hot enough to actually fully decarb in a good manner, right? With sous vide methods or water methods, you’re only getting about 70% of decarboxylation before you’re starting to destroy some of the underlying THC. And that’s something that people see a lot online as a myth of decarboyxlation, that you like, can’t get more than 70% decarab or you start to destroy THC. Well that’s based on certain methods. And one of them is the water method. The problem with the oven is a little bit different. The oven can get to higher temperatures, but its creating that very, very tight even heating, that’s very difficult to achieve in an oven. Think about when you’re cooking in an oven, the heating elements are above and below and you’re actually that when you cook a bread, right? It’s like crispy on the outside, but then it’s, you know, soft on the inside. Well, unfortunately an oven doesn’t have sensors and the ability to really, really hone in and create this lab grade heating. And that’s what we discovered when we went to the laboratory. And basically what I did was I tested all of the different forms and methods, trying to get a predictable, reliable result with decarboxylation. And it was nearly impossible, even with a convection oven because of the fluctuation in temperature, they’re really, really not honed into really being incredibly, incredibly precise in a very small area. And so that’s the difference that you see. It’s really kind of the elite nature of the electronics and this thermal blanket that wraps completely around and is able to give that very, very even eating, even if you’re not breaking up in grinding the buds, which you don’t have to do when you’re using the Ardent.

Jessie Gill, RN: (05:56)
Wow. And so I, I’m always amazed at how many people, and it’s not surprising, when they first entered the cannabis, you know, first walk into a dispensary and they go to buy their product and they get their product and then they look in it’s THCA and not THC. And so many people don’t understand, like you explained that it has to be activated. The THC has, the THCA has to be converted into THC in order to be active, the active form, and by smoking or vaping, it does that naturally. But if you’re making edibles at home, that’s when you really have to decarboxylate.

Shanel Lindsay: (06:33)
Yeah. And just to just a point on that you know, when you’re smoking and vaping, you’re definitely decarbing, but you’re also destroying a lot of THC and CBD, right? Because the head of the flame is so intense that you’re destroying a lot of it. And people often decarboxylat and then smoke or vaporize if number one, they want to get a much stronger experience because they will get more THC pulled up in the smoke And they’ll also get more CDN. We have a lot of people that have trouble sleeping or have PTSD, that decarb and then smoke the cannabis. And then you could also decarb and vape and it allows you to be very, very low temperatures because the THC is already active and you’re just pulling it up into the stream rather than having to decarboxylate and vaporizing it at the same time. So that’s an option for folks. Like I said, especially if people have trouble sleeping or they need something that is really going to, you know, calm them. Using those options can be a really interesting way. And that’s the beauty of cananbis is that you can really augment the plant to get the results that you’re looking for individually and the results that will help your family.

Jessie Gill, RN: (07:47)
That’s it. Yeah, that’s a great point. And so if you’re watching at home, you can decarboxylate your cannabis first. In the Ardent and then smoke it or vaporize it and it does create a different experience. And that something that, you know, I really encourage, you know, we have so many patients who are looking to move away from smoking, but transitioning from smoking to dry herb vaping is often very, very difficult for people. So some patients have found success if they decarboxylate first and then vape it. You get more of like you mentioned the CBN, you get more of those activated cannabinoids that have been activated with the heat already. So that can be a great solution for a lot of people.

Shanel Lindsay: (08:28)
Absolutely. It’s going to give you a profile that’s closer to smoking. As far as the cannabinoid intake, while vaporizing and like you mentioned it is very, very difficult for some people to move from smoking to vaporizing because it just kinda doesn’t feel the same to them. There are better options for folks even though the majority of people are using the decarboxylator to activate, to make edibles or topicals or suppositories. And what are the things that always amazed at is still when I see online and they’re using like an ounce of cannabis to make a couple of sticks of butter, you know, it’s crazy when you think about the, the cost of that, right? One thing that we found over here is when people realize you can get the same result, literally using like 3.5 grams, if you’re activating and doing it correctly. Then they’re able to not just use cannabis and infuse edibles or topicals or things that they’re using for their medical purposes. They start to be able to play with it and use it in other ways for beauty or you know, to keep your skin clear or a lot of these other kinds of more over the counter type of possibilities for cannabis that I think people sometimes don’t even explore because their current therapies are so expensive. And so that’s one of our main goals. To show people, you know, even how to one gram, right? If you have 20% THCA it’s a 21% TCA, you’re getting 200 milligrams out of every gram. When it comes out, you know, think about that. What would that cost potentially at a dispensary or especially in states like Massachusetts where you have like real regulations around how much can be in one serving size for example. And there are a lot of patients that really need heavy, strong doses and they realize that they can achieve that with flower when they thought maybe it was only possible with concentrates before. It’s really about kind of educating people and giving them all the different options and choices that they can see what works best for them.

Jessie Gill, RN: (10:28)
Yeah, I, you know, as you pointed out here in New Jersey too, it’s so expensive. It’s exorbitant, it’s ridiculous. And we also have limitations on how much we can access. We can only access three ounces a month, which is plenty for many people. But for a lot of people it’s not enough. And the, the Ardent truly does, you know, increase the efficiency and the potency and that really, really makes your flower stretch longer. So it is a great money saving option for so many people. You know what else I love about the Ardent? And you can actually infuse small amounts of oils and butters and, and different substances.

Shanel Lindsay: (11:09)
Yeah, absolutely. That was something I’m folks who had the device for awhile after it came out with testing results. And that’s something that we’re really proud of too, just a lot of testing because there, there’s so much conjecture online about all of this stuff. Really the science doesn’t lie. And what, what doesn’t really work is when people try to use kind of, you know, logic and other testing results predict what’s going to happen in other places. No, you’re actually really just have to have the underlying data to show what’s happening. And you know, we were really proud to show that after you decarboxylate you can put your cananbis back in with the with your oil or your butter and you can use our infusions sleeve, but you can also use a glass jar or a…

Jessie Gill, RN: (12:00)
Shot glass I’ve used a shot glass before. It fits perfectly.

Shanel Lindsay: (12:00)
That is perfect. And you can actually get very, very potent oils. We’ve used up to four grams in one ounce. It kind of becomes impractical after that. We were able to get over 700 milligrams into an ounce right in the unit. And we’ve shown really high infusion rates of over 90% for almost all of the oils we tested. It started going down into the lower eighties when we started, you know, cranking up the dose. But yeah, we’d really be able to show people that yeah, you can make, and if you go on our website, that’s often how we do the test. One ounce of of oil or butter to one gram of cannabis. It’s really to open people’s minds that like, wow, look what you can get out of just one single gram that’s enough to make you know, enough edibles for an entire dinner party, you know, that is really exciting to people and really want to kind of change folks minds about what is possible with just a little bit.

Jessie Gill, RN: (13:16)
So that’s amazing. Shanel, I know you’re an attorney, right? So how on earth did you get involved in this? When did you, where did this product come from? How did you get involved in the cannabis industry to even start with.

Shanel Lindsay: (13:45)
So when I first got involved with cannabis, it really had nothing to do with my profession. I was a, my son was born and I had one him when I was in college and I started using cannabis to treat an ovarian cyst that I had. And that required me to start doing things with decarboxylation. Right. Not just smoking it, which is what I had done before. I started researching and making topicals and edibles and obviously you come across this concept decarboxylation and it was very frustrating in the beginning because I was using tons of cannabis to start with, and is very, very smelly. It was not discreet. And this was back in the day when there, it was very, very illegal. And this was not, this was something that would eventually jeopardize my legal career. about five or six years into using cannabis, I was growing my own medicine at home because as you know, it’s very difficult to find quality medicine when you don’t have any control over it and when there’s no legal access to cannabis. And so I was growing my own medicine and honestly, it’s something we still fight for now to make sure people can grow their own, I think it’s so, so important. But at that time, again, it was really illegal. I got pulled over and I had my cannabis with me and I got arrested, instead of just getting a ticket, which at that time, cannabis was technically decriminalized in Massachusetts. But it really showed me that, you know, there were still many, many people and patients that were, you know, going to be marginalized and disproportionately impacted by the fact that it wasn’t fully legal. And so that was really a wake up call to me that, you know, something needed to be done there and that there’s still so much stigma around cannabis use. Right. Even though I had been an accomplished attorney and you know, professionally succeeding, the fact that I use cannabis was almost put all of that you know, almost edwash all of that down the drain. And so for a couple more years I still was a lawyer. And then I saw the opportunity when medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts to go and to start to pursue teaching and educating people about the process. And that’s when I started going and testing my medicine at the laboratory and got those really surprising results because you know, at first I was just going to teach people the method that I had done the crockpot and I thought, hey I was going to go in and test my medicine and it was going to be perfect. And then I was really surprised to see how much I was wasting 30 to 40% based on all the different methods. And I thought, wow, this is going to keep a lot of people from using this right? Or understanding. Because at that point I had been doing this for 10 years and so I was doing it for 10 years and I was still frustrated with the process and I still wasn’t getting like the best medicine at the end of the day. What real chance did people who were just starting to learn about this? That had serious health conditions. Who didn’t want to be a cannabis nerd like I was, and do all the science and do all the experiments and still, if they did, they would still end up with an inferior product. And so that’s kind of when the light bulb, you know happened for me. And I said, Hey, if I can create a device that can replicate the conditions that we found worked well in the laboratory, then I could you know, make this happen. And you know, I’ve always liked to build and tinker with things and you know, figure things out on my own. And so I went and sketched it out. And I knew that even heating… I knew I needed to have that wrap all the way around there. That was something that was, you know, really clear to me that yeah, it was a problem with like the current methods, right? Think of anything in your kitchen. There’s always a heating element underneath or somewhere and that’s why you always have to stir, you know, or it’s getting burned somewhere. And so having that heating element and sensors where they were, and I really just went around and found different, suppliers that could make these different pieces and I put them all together, you know, prayed that when I pressed the button that it worked, you know, it took a couple time of pressing it and reworking it , then finally it did. And that allowed us to bring data markets and then go into full production and now you know, become a real company,

Speaker 2: (17:57)
It’s amazing and it’s being used by so many people who really, really need it. And you mentioned one of my favorite features about it too, which we didn’t even touch on yet. The smell, because the smell is a huge, huge, huge issue for so many patients and so many cannabis consumers can still get people, you know, arrested and can, you know, cooking cannabis in the oven smells intensely. Your whole house is going to smell like cannabis. But I was amazed the first time I used my Ardent and my house did not smell like cannabis. And I only smelled a little bit like right around the machine and you know, when I opened it. And that was, you know, huge and amazing. Do you get a lot of a lot of comments about that?

Shanel Lindsay: (18:40)
Yes, definitely. And like I said, when, when I was making this, when I was a young mom, you know, I had my own house and the family on the next acre could smell it when I was making it in my crockpot. That was definitely a big Problems. So we created this silicone seal here. And its really, really encapsulated and like you said, you’re smelling nothing or very little when you’re like right on top of the machine. And what we tell people is when you open it, one thing you can do to reduce the smell is let it cool down before you open it. Because it is cannabis and when you do open it, you will definitely get a whiff of whats inside. But yes, the discretion part, the fact you on the other side of the room and people like don’t know what it is or what’s going on is huge for people. And we get a lot of comments, especially for people that live in apartments or roommates especially because you know, they want to be respectful. Part of what you want to do is good. You know, cannabis ambassadors, make sure that you are being you know, a conscious consumer and, and bringing people into the fold. And sometimes that means not being super smelly. Especially if you’re making products in your home over and over and on a regular basis. That is something that, you know, people reach out and say a lot to us that they appreciate that discretion, especially when it comes to the fact that, you know, people are still facing discrimination in in, in their housing from their landlords. Yeah. And it can be very difficult for both the folks who are, you know, in, in graduate school or you know, in, in living situations where there are rules around this. It really makes it a possibility where it wasn’t before.

Jessie Gill, RN: (20:28)
It’s amazing. And I, I admire you so much, not only for this incredible device, but you’ve done so much work out in Massachusetts with, with the laws and, and bringing legalization. Yes. Thank you. Thank you so much for your work, for all of us. And, you know, gosh, I know it’s just a matter of time before we get federal legalization, but it’s, it’s coming. It’s so, you know, feel so far away still.

Shanel Lindsay: (20:52)
Well, yeah. And it was a huge community effort here. I think that one, then we did right in this, this was putting the spotlight on equity and the need to make sure that you know, that people have been disproportionately impacted. People have been arrested, small business people, that this should be a craft industry, right? That this is built on the backs of, of people of color. That this was an industry that was pushed forward by caregivers and people cared about patients and cared about making good medicine. And that is not something that we can move away from as cannabis being commercialized and brought into kind of the mainstream, you know, that those are ideals that we can hold on to, that we can protect. And I think that in Massachusetts, the community really came together around that. And I see that also happening, you know, in the Tristate area. And I know that N has had such a difficult time, you know, especially under Christie, you know, even the program. Yeah. Patients, I mean, that was so terrible, but it’s really exciting to see the movement now. And in all of the surrounding state, especially on the East Coast. Oh, so, you know, I’m a Boston native and so I am so excited to see kind of what we’ve done in Massachusetts, slow down there and be improved, right. There’s so much that we could’ve done better. And I’m really hoping that we see that, you know, trickle all the way down into the South as well because that really is uncharted territory. And we see kind of corporate interests moving in where sometimes you see the most vulnerable population, right. So I think there’s still a lot of work to be done and I would just encourage everybody to get involved because one thing I’ve seen is just how powerful the individual. Voice can be. Even if people are not known in the space, their story is powerful. And especially people who have, you know, stories about how cannabis has helped them as a medicine. Stories about how their lives have been impacted and how this needs to really remain something that is true, you know, to, to the community.

Jessie Gill, RN: (22:59)
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I mean, if you’re at home watching, please speak up, share your story, if it’s safe, if it’s safe for you to do so because it can really, really make a big impact on on everybody and on the actual process of legalization. I think that’s a great place to wrap up. Is there anything else you want to add?

Shanel Lindsay: (23:19)
No, this is really fantastic and I really love the fact that more women are getting involved in and I think that’s something that we need to push forward as well. About two years ago you would see that women were in really strong leadership positions in Canada and over the last couple of years, believe it or not, that has actually been diluted a little bit because the large business coming in and kind of traditional corporate values starting to come into play. So I would just really encourage women to continue to get involved, continuing to learn about this plants. And there are really a lot of opportunities for whatever your professional background is to get involved in this space and to use it, even if it’s not getting involved in the professional side, and understanding this plant and getting the knowledge on your own so that you can you can make these products, you can understand how it will help your family and friends and that they can replace really kind of harmful things like, you know, alcohol in large amounts or you know benzos or other, you know, things.

Jessie Gill, RN: (24:28)
Opiates.

Shanel Lindsay: (24:28)
Yeah. Opiates, especially. Things that women tend to you know, bear the brunt of in some respects, right. Because we are responsible for the household, responsible for you know, making things work. And that can be a huge responsibility. I think cannabis can help in so many different ways from from medical to wellness, to just redirect, reaching a higher consciousness.

Jessie Gill, RN: (24:53)
Spiritual effects are amazing. Definitely.

Shanel Lindsay: (24:55)
Absolutely. So I applaud what you’re doing and and thank you again for having me today.

Jessie Gill, RN: (25:01)
Thank you. And where can people purchase their own Ardent?

Shanel Lindsay: (25:06)
Yeah. So take a look on our website, ardentcannabis.com, a R, D, E N T and, Jessie I know you have discounts to share with your audience as well and we’re really excited to continue to you know, hear feedback because what we are doing, and you’ll see that we have more of our edibles kits and medical kits coming out, but our goal is to make it so that anybody, wherever they are, can use and have the benefits of the best products on the marketplace. And so we’d love to hear the feedback about, you know, what people and what the audiences is looking for and what things would help folks get to their goals when it comes to cannabis so we’d love to hear more, and I’d love to come back one day as well.

Speaker 2: (25:50)
I love it. Thank you so much. Thank you for creating a device that has changed my life and so many other people’s, and thank you for your work. Truly, truly appreciate it.

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