Cresco Labs, one of the largest multistate operators (MSOs) in the country, announced the acquisition of Bluma Wellness Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Florida.
Cresco Labs, with roots in Chicago, Illinois, operate 29 licenses in 6 states across the United States. With this new acquisition, Cresco Labs solidifies their ubiquitous brand presence in the most populous markets and cements their position in Florida, a new market for them.
According to the press release, the two companies entered an agreement where Cresco will buy all of Bluma’s issued and outstanding shares for an equity value of $213 million. They expect the transaction to be completed by the second quarter of this year.
Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, says their expansion strategy is based largely on population. “Our strategy at Cresco Labs is to build the most strategic geographic footprint possible and achieve material market positions in each of our states,” says Bachtell. “With Florida, we will have a meaningful presence in all 7 of the 10 most populated states in the country with cannabis programs – an incredibly strategic and valuable footprint by any definition. We recognize the importance of the Florida market and the importance of entering Florida in a thoughtful way – we identified Bluma as having the right tools and key advantages for growth.”
Bluma Wellness operates through its subsidiary, One Plant Florida, which has 7 dispensaries across the state and ranks second in sales in the state. They also have an impressive delivery arm of their retail business, deriving 15% of their revenue from it.
CBD is becoming one of the most progressive health and wellness products available today. As the industry booms, more and more ways to take CBD become available, but which ones are the best? Let’s look at the four best ways to consume CBD.
Sublingual consumption refers to letting the product absorb under the tongue. Sublingual application of CDB is simple and highly effective. All you must do is hold the CBD oil under your tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing. Sublingual application bypasses the need to digest the product and applies the product to the bloodstream much quicker so you can feel the effects in just a few moments.
Vaping or Smoking
Vaping and smoking CBD is another highly sought-out option. While the vape cartridge must be at the right temperature for the best results, inhalation also sends the CBD directly to the bloodstream to feel nearly instant effects.
Capsules or Gummies
CBD capsules and gummies are not the quickest way to consume CBD, but it is a simple way for beginner users. If you’re not a fan of smoking or the taste of CBD, capsules will be a tasteless alternative. Additionally, CBD gummies are an even tastier option for users. Although, it will take longer to reap the benefits of a capsule or gummy product, so you’ll need to prepare for a delay in effects.
If you’re simply looking to relieve aches and pains, then applying CBD directly to the area is your best bet. CBD topical creams and lotions work just like any other lotion—simply apply it to the area and let the pain relief set in!
If you’re a beginner looking to enter the world of CBD usage, consider trying one of these four best ways to consume CBD. And remember—no matter what route you take, there is no wrong answer. Each CBD user will find they have their own personal preferences after some trial and error.
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This article was republished on CBDNewsFeed.com from the original article, The Four Best Ways To Consume CBD, which was originally published on 2021-01-20 12:15:00 (based on the date that was listed on the original article at the time it was republished). We shared this article on CBDNewsFeed.com because our editorial staff believed that its context was useful and helpful to our readers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please email us at info@CBDNewsFeed.com.
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According to a press release published today, a number of businesses in the cannabis cultivation market have announced they are launching the Sustainable Cannabis Coalition (SCC). The group’s purpose is to “measure, document and improve sustainable cannabis cultivation and manufacturing through education and proliferation of best practices.”
The SCC founding members include: Cohn Reznick, Anderson Porter Design, Valiant, Wholly H2O, Cloud Farming, Argus Controls, Conviron, Gro iQ, Trulieve, Byers Scientific, 365 Cannabis, GMP Collective, Omega Equipment and Supply, Simplifya, PathogenDx, Grow Generation and Outlaw Technology.
The press release says that the SCC will work with industry stakeholders to promote environmental sustainability best practices that can be implemented at scale. “The SCC will be a trusted resource providing foundational best practices to further promote economic benefits of sustainability as the industry continues to grow.”
The SCC will begin its campaign by publishing informative blog posts and podcast interviews on a biweekly basis, with plans to address each vertical in the cultivation and manufacturing supply chain, highlighting environmental sustainability best practices.
According to Peter Dougherty, CEO of Gro IQ and co-founder of the SCC, their mission is to get leaders in the industry to collaborate on promoting the best ways for businesses to become more sustainable. “We will accomplish this by having our founding members companies, which
represent every major link in the cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution supply chain, provide data driven business cases for sustainability based on their area of expertise and then amplifying that content through each other’s websites and social media channels,” says Dougherty.
“With investors across the industry incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process, the creation of a coalition to address sustainability in this space is critical,” Dougherty says. “The SCC is uniquely poised to impact the industry as it continues to rapidly evolve. As leaders in this space, it is our responsibility to provide data driven sustainability guidance to the industry while protecting both consumers and the environment.”
Their content will be available for free to anyone on their website. Dougherty says they have already received a tremendous amount of interest prior to the launch, so he expects their sphere of influence to expand rapidly.
As of now, the SCC serves as an informal coalition among businesses with no plans to expand too much beyond their current size. The primary goal is dissemination of educational content to start. However, they do encourage folks to check out their website and sign up.
The Global Cannabidiol (CBD) Market research report delivers valuable insights into the existing and prospective trends observed in the industry, to give the readers a holistic view of market offerings, helping them recognize promising investment opportunities and other factors driving the revenue generation and overall profitability. The Cannabidiol (CBD) Market report offers an extensive investigation of all the relevant market features affecting its progress on both regional and global scales, while evaluating market drivers, restraints, hurdles, obstacles, and industry-centric trends. The report further deduces key trends observed in the historical data, along with upstream and downstream evaluation of major participants.
The Cannabidiol (CBD) Industry research focuses on the market structure along with various factors (positive and negative) that influence the market growth. The study contains a precise evaluation of the Cannabidiol (CBD) market, including growth rate, current market scenario, and volume inflation prospects, on the basis of DROT and Porter’s Five Forces analyses.
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Key questions answered in this research study • What is the global (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, China, Japan) production, production value, consumption, consumption value, import and export of Cannabidiol (CBD)? • Who are the global key manufacturers of Cannabidiol (CBD) industry? How are their operating situation (capacity, production, price, cost, gross and revenue)? • What are the types and applications of Cannabidiol (CBD)? What is the market share of each type and application? • What are the upstream raw materials and manufacturing equipment of Cannabidiol (CBD)? What is the manufacturing process of Cannabidiol (CBD)? • Economic impact on Cannabidiol (CBD) industry and development trend of Cannabidiol (CBD) industry. • What will the Cannabidiol (CBD) market size and the growth rate be in 2026? • What are the key factors driving the global Cannabidiol (CBD) industry? • What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the Cannabidiol (CBD) market? • What are the Cannabidiol (CBD) market challenges to market growth? • What are the Cannabidiol (CBD) market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in the global Cannabidiol (CBD) market?
Major regions covered in the report: • North America [U.S., Canada, Mexico] • Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Rest of Europe] • Asia-Pacific [China, India, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, Rest of Asia Pacific] • South America [Brazil, Argentina, Rest of Latin America] • Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa, Rest of Middle East and Africa]
Detailed TOC of Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market: 1 Market Overview 1.1Cannabidiol (CBD) market Introduction 1.2 Market Analysis by Type 1.2.1 Type 1 1.2.2 Type 2 1.3 Market Analysis by Application 1.3.1 Application 1 1.3.2 Application 2 1.4 Market Analysis by Region 1.4.1 United States Market States and Outlook (2014-2026F) 1.4.2 Europe Market States and Outlook (2014-2026F) 1.4.3 China Market States and Outlook (2014-2026F) 1.4.4 Japan Market States and Outlook (2014-2026F) 1.4.5 Southeast Asia Market States and Outlook (2014-2026F) 1.5 Market Dynamics and Development 1.5.1 Merger, Acquisition and New Investment 1.5.2 Market SWOT Analysis 1.5.3 Drivers 1.5.4 Limitations 1.5.5 Opportunities and Development Trends 1.6 Global Market Size Analysis from 2014 to 2026 1.6.1 Global Market Size Analysis from 2014 to 2026 by Consumption Volume 1.6.2 Global Market Size Analysis from 2014 to 2026 by Value 1.6.3 Global Price Trends Analysis from 2014 to 2026 2 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Competition by Types, Applications, and Top Regions and Countries 2.1 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market(Volume and Value) by Type 2.1.1 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Consumption and Market Share by Type (2014-2020) 2.1.2 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Revenue and Market Share by Type (2014-2020) 2.2 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market(Volume and Value) by Application 2.2.1 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Consumption and Market Share by Application (2014-2020) 2.2.2 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Revenue and Market Share by Application (2014-2020) 2.3 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market(Volume and Value) by Region 2.3.1 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Consumption and Market Share by Region (2014-2020) 2.3.2 Global Cannabidiol (CBD) market Revenue and Market Share by Region (2014-2020) Continued….
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Years in the making, Asterra labs launched, and continues to launch, their new portfolio of CBD products over the holiday season. According to the company’s website, their initial offerings include immediate release tablets and extended release tablets, with CBD Body Cream most recently launched in December.
Asterra Labs is currently formulating additional potencies and varieties of Cannabinoid products, which will launch in the near future.
You can view a comprehensive list of new and ready-to-launch products below:
Immediate-release tablets, available in 10 and 30 ct cartons. Customers can buy these in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg strengths, packaged in unit dose blister cards for convenience and ease of use.
Extended-release tablets, available in 10 and 30 ct cartons with 100 mg of CBD, packaged in unit dose blister cards for convenience and ease of use. A 200 mg version will launch shortly, as well. Notably, Asterra Labs will soon offer a combination CBD/CBG Immediate Release Tablet, 50mg/50mg, packaged in bottles and cartons with unit dose blister cards.
To provide customers with the products they desire, Asterra Labs will be launching 25 mg and 50 mg Citrus Melts (Orally Disintegrating Tablets) in 10 ct & 30 ct and a 1500mg Full Spectrum Peppermint tincture, for those who prefer sublingual options. Additionally, assorted flavors of fruit chews will be launching in early 2021, for those who prefer gummies.
By launching their first topical in December 2020, Asterra Labs aims to provide CBD topical products that are in line with their quality and safety standards applied to their ingestible products. In addition to the body cream, a CBD Muscle Balm with 400mg of CBD, a CBD Cooling Cream with 800mg of CBD and finally a CBD Eye Cream with 25mg of CBD are planned for launch in early 2021.
Lastly, in the pipeline, customers can expect a new veterinary line of CBD products formulated for pets to launch in 2021. “Pet’s deserve the same high quality CBD that we do,” an Asterra Labs representative said.
To hold the pharmaceutical-grade claim that this company does, they’ve had to maintain stringent standards to which other CBD companies may not adhere. From a cleanliness regimen to the materials used to build their facilities, Asterra Labs follows the same guidelines as prescription and dietary supplement companies do.
They also source their materials only from cGMP-compliant suppliers. This means each supplier is subjected to a stringent qualification and auditing process to ensure their facilities and processes deliver high quality, safe and pure materials. In fact, Asterra Labs works with many of the same suppliers serving the prescription pharmaceutical industry.
You can learn more about Asterra Labs and their products at asterralabs.com.
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This article was republished on CBDNewsFeed.com from the original article, Asterra Labs launches portfolio of quality CBD products, which was originally published on 2021-01-17 13:00:00 (based on the date that was listed on the original article at the time it was republished). We shared this article on CBDNewsFeed.com because our editorial staff believed that its context was useful and helpful to our readers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please email us at info@CBDNewsFeed.com.
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As an emergency physician in inner cities such as Detroit and Baltimore for the last 25 years I am, unfortunately, very familiar with caring for patients with addiction. Over the years, I have seen the nomenclature change from drug abuse to substance abuse to now substance use disorder. I became interested and started my cannabis medical practice because of the opioid crisis and my dismay at my unwitting participation in it, while trying to help my patients. I feel our federal agencies that are supposed to protect our patients were asleep at the wheel when pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue, who like the tobacco companies, hid the addictive nature of their products.
Addiction specialists describe a general model of addiction as a chronic relapsing disorder that is characterized by a compulsive desire and use of a substance, with an inability to control it, despite all the negative consequences. They talk about three circular phases, described by a cycle of behaviors modified by the central nervous system circuitry. A brief general overview describes the reward centers in the nucleus accumbens part of the basal ganglia that drives the intoxication and binge use, while the withdrawal and negative effects are driven by the changes in the amygdala, leading to the preoccupation and anticipation of the substance driven by the prefrontal cortex starting the cycle again.
All drugs of abuse increase dopamine release, the neurotransmitter associated with our pleasure and reward systems that drives and reinforces use. While the two main cannabinoids in cannabis, THC and CBD, can both affect dopamine responses, it is believed that THC, which is the psychoactive component, is responsible for cannabis’ addictive potential and abuse liability.
Additionally, over the last two decades there has been a marked increase in the potency of cannabis with ever increasing levels of THC. The DEA reports rises from 1-2% THC found in confiscated marijuana from years ago to upwards of 20% THC today. With respect to THC, animal models have shown that THC does have characteristics of an abuse liability with drug dependence, associated increased dopaminergic activity, withdrawal syndrome and it does induce animals to self-administer the drug.
In humans it is believed that chronic cannabis use, especially in adolescents, leads to addiction or addictive behaviors. Approximately 9% of all users in the US, one-fifth of whom began using as adolescents, have cannabis use disorder. It is defined by the DMS-5 problematic use with significant impairment occurring within a 12-month period.
CBD is the other major cannabinoid in cannabis; however, it is non intoxicating. In part this may be related to the fact that it does not have affinity for the CB1 receptors, and it may actually be a negative allosteric modulator for the CB1 receptor weakening the binding of THC and thus making THC’s psychoactive effects much less, depending on the CBD concentration and ratio compared to THC.
CBD has some anxiolytic properties which are proposed to be due to its 5HT 1A (serotonin) agonist activity but it is not considered hedonic on its own in human or animal studies, which is why it is proposed to not have an abuse liability. Additionally, while not fully understood, it is proposed that CBD’s influence on both opioid and dopamine receptors, which play a role in our brain’s motivation and reward system, may lessen drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms in addiction of other substances. Human studies  have shown it may actually help with addiction and withdrawal symptoms even in cannabis use disorder. And animal studies have shown that topical CBD can attenuate the self-administration of cocaine and alcohol in relapsed-stressed rats.
When thinking about which component of cannabis has an abuse potential/liability, in my opinion it is THC not CBD. But having practiced for so many years treating addicted patients of all kinds, my opinion is that the majority of those who have dangerous addictions are not those with cannabis use disorder. In fact, this disorder was only recently added to the DSM-5 which, combined from DSM-4 the two separate entities of substance abuse (with its negative social context) and substance dependence (with it physiological and psychological context).
Additionally, as a physician it was always difficult to even assess much of the available research because as a schedule 1 drug, the federal government and NIDA are biased and have historically only funded research for cannabis that showed harm, therefore you have to take much of their research with the proverbial grain of salt.
When comparing withdrawal symptoms of cannabis use disorder most agree that opioid and cocaine withdrawal is much worse than cannabis and are a bigger issue with regards to relapse, while alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal if not properly treated. Cannabis use disorder is not associated with deaths from overdoses like we have seen, every day with the opioid crisis. Yes of course, we need to keep cannabis out of the hands of minors and adolescents, and we need to make sure that just like with alcohol no one is driving while under the influence. And while using cannabinoids for addiction treatment is intriguing, we do need more research, as there is some conflicting evidence on whether it is actually reducing opioids deaths in states that have legalized it.
In my medical cannabis practice today, while long-term use may cause some dependence and we always have to be vigilant of those who may have signs of cannabis use disorder, I am not seeing lives ruined as they have been with opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines, or alcohol, nor have I seen the physical carnage that tobacco addiction has caused. And my colleagues in states where recreational cannabis is also legal have said the same things to me too.
 ElSohly M., Mehmedic Z., Foster S., Gon C., Chandra S., Church J., Changes in Cannabis Potency Over the Last 2 Decades (1995-2014): Analysis of Current Data in the US. Biological Psychiatry. 2016; 79(7): 613-619
 Prud’homme M., Cata R., Justras-aswad D., Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of Evidence. Substance Abuse. 2015; 9: 33-38.
Gonzalez-CuevasG., Weiss F., et. al. Unique Treatment Potential of Cannabidiol for the Prevention of Relapse to Drug Use: Preclinical Proof of Principle. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018; 43(10): 2036-2045.
 Hasin D., Grant B., et. al. DSM-5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorder: Recommendations and Rationale. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 170(8): 834-851.
 Bachhuber M., Saloner B., CunninghamC., Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Overdose Mortality in United States, 1999-2010. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2014; 174(10): 1668-1673.
 Shover C., Gordon S., Humphreys K., Association Between Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Overdose Mortality Has reversed Over Time. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019; 116(26): 12624-12626.
Dr. Leigh Vinocur is a board certified emergency physician, who also has a cannabis consulting practice for patients and industry. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. And in the inaugural class for the first Masters of Science in the country in Cannabis Science and Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.
In a little over two months, ChaplainWatch is already reducing drunk and disorderly behaviour in the Bundaberg CBD on weekends.
Watching out for when good times go bad in the Bundaberg CBD in the late hours on Friday and Saturday nights, and the following mornings, chaplain Andrew Steel and nurse Sandi Blair are there to help those who have overindulged with alcohol or to intervene when they see trouble brewing.
This can include problem solving to ensure intoxicated people make it home safely, providing first-aid for members of the public who are intoxicated or have been injured in accidents or assaults, de-escalating aggression and tension, deterring predatory behaviour, and providing mental health care and support.
Andrew said the response to the ChaplainWatch program since its introduction to Bundaberg on November 6 at the request of the State Government had been encouraging.
“A lot of people thank us for what we’re doing,” Andrew said.
“People appreciate that we’re there to help, especially the younger ones who’ve had too much to drink and need us to help them out.
“Because they know I’m a chaplain they have a different outlook. They know we’re not the police and that we’re there to help them, not to arrest them.
“We’re not seeing brawls in areas where people congregate in the early hours after being at the clubs.”
All members of the ChaplainWatch program, conducted in designated Safe Night Precincts throughout Queensland, are trained in CPR, first-aid, mental health and managing aggression, and hold a blue card in order to work with people under the age of 18.
Andrew said since starting the program, a pattern in the congregation behaviour of late-night revellers had become apparent, helping he and Sandi to prevent tense situations escalating into violence.
“You do notice a pattern of people going from one club to another, gathering at certain times and certain places and we now know where we need to be to deal with any situations of aggression or tension,” Andrew said.
“Unfortunately, we see a lot of people who are drinking until they are so intoxicated that they can’t stand, and the concern is that they will fall and hit their head.
“We use aggression diversion measures and are constantly on the lookout for people who might cause trouble and deter them from doing things that may harm themselves or others.”
Andrew said ChaplainWatch was in the process of establishing a rest and recovery centre that would serve as a holding venue for people too intoxicated to be sent home.
“There are people who want to get a taxi but are too drunk to walk, so we help them walk to the ranks,” he said.
“But then, sometimes, they also get sick at the taxi rank, so we hang with them for a while until they recover. Generally, once they’ve been sick, they get better 15 minuntes later and start to come good.
“However, for those who are still beyond being able to go home, once we have a rest and recovery centre, we will be able to keep them there until they feel better and we can send them safely on their way home.”
This article was republished on CBDNewsFeed.com from the original article, ChaplainWatch improves safety in Bundaberg CBD – Bundaberg Now, which was originally published on 2021-01-15 16:00:00 (based on the date that was listed on the original article at the time it was republished). We shared this article on CBDNewsFeed.com because our editorial staff believed that its context was useful and helpful to our readers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please email us at info@CBDNewsFeed.com.
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This article was republished on CBDNewsFeed.com from the original article, Rebalance CBD Oil Reviews-Does Rebalance CBD Work-Complete, which was originally published on 2021-01-14 22:45:00 (based on the date that was listed on the original article at the time it was republished). We shared this article on CBDNewsFeed.com because our editorial staff believed that its context was useful and helpful to our readers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please email us at info@CBDNewsFeed.com.
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The COVID-19 Outbreak:Global CBD-Infused Drinks Market study covers current status, % share, future patterns, development rate, SWOT examination, sales channels, to anticipate growth scenarios for years 2021-2026. It aims to recommend analysis of the market with regards to growth trends, prospects, and player’s contribution in the market development.
Product Type Segmentation:CBDTHCIndustry Segmentation:Mass MerchandiserSpecialty StoresOnline Retail
Global CBD-Infused Drinks Market by Geography:
• Asia-Pacific (Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Australia)• Europe (Turkey, Germany, Russia UK, Italy, France, etc.)• North America (the United States, Mexico, and Canada.)• South America (Brazil etc.)• The Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries and Egypt.)
Years Considered to Estimate the Market Size:History Year: 2015-2021Base Year: 2021Estimated Year: 2021Forecast Year: 2021-2026
Customization of the Report:Glob Market Reports provides customization of reports as per your need. This report can be personalized to meet your requirements. Get in touch with our sales team, who will guarantee you to get a report that suits your necessities.
Natural cannabinoid distillates and isolates are hydrophobic oils and solids, meaning that they do not mix well with water. By formulating these ingredients using various technologies, companies like Caliper and Ripple have learned how to change the solubility properties of the cannabinoids. In addition, formulations can improve bioavailability and onset time of the cannabinoids.
Stillwater Brands is a cannabis formulation company based out of Denver, Colorado, leveraging proprietary technologies for solubilizing cannabinoids in water. Stillwater has a partnership with the Canadian company Green Organic Dutchman and will soon expand their THC line of products, Ripple, into Michigan. Their CBD product line, Caliper, is already sold nationally.
We spoke with Drew Hathaway, senior food scientist at Stillwater, about the Stillwater technology and aspirations for growth. Hathaway joined Stillwater in 2018 after engaging with them as a technical sales representative in his previous role at a food ingredients supplier.
Aaron Green: What trends are you following in the industry?
Drew Hathaway: I can mainly speak to the science side of the business since that’s where I operate, but I do have some insight into the marketing approach and some of the things we look at. We’re looking at traditional food and beverage trends, whether it’s beverage formats, with its unique ingredients that are going to be general flavor trends, which can definitely be very region-specific. One of the things we definitely look at, especially on the THC side, is dosage differences. What are people putting their dosages at? Are they doing a combination of cannabinoids or terpenes? Are they really using individual ingredients? I think that’s something that’s been fairly well established in the THC market, especially since you have the regulatory mandate of 10 milligrams THC being your max single dose.
When Stillwater first launched in 2016, our company started with lower dose products to provide microdose options. We focus all of our products on functional foods for consumers. It’s why we have three different options for every single one of our products. We have what we call the Pure 10 which is 10 milligrams of THC per serving. We have what we call the Balanced 5. That’s 5 milligrams THC, 5 milligrams of CBD. Then as well as our Ripple Relief, which is a 40 to one ratio of CBD to THC at 20 milligrams CBD and 0.5 milligrams THC. We provide a variety of options for people looking for different dosage levels. We have to look at all of those trends. Packaging trends are also high on our radar.
Aaron: How about flavors?
Drew: We recently launched additional SKUs for our Ripple gummies here in Colorado. We have four different options. We have a sour variety pack that contains sour watermelon, sour apple and sour peach. We also just launched peach cherry, kiwi apple and sour watermelon by itself — and all of those are at the five milligram THC per gummy dose. That aligns with the Pure 10 line as well. We also have been working on some new flavors for the 10 milligram THC quicksticks, which we’re looking to launch early next year. Then, like I mentioned earlier, we’re expanding into Michigan with the THC business, which has been a big goal for us and something that’s gotten a lot of effort behind the scenes.
Aaron: So Drew, how did you get involved at Stillwater?
Drew: I like to describe myself as a traditionally educated food scientist. I went to college and got my bachelor’s and master’s in food science and technology at Ohio State. And then I ended up at a really cool company that was a very large food ingredient supplier. I was technical support to sales for their team. Through that position, I covered the Colorado territory as well as California and I got to cover Stillwater as one of my customers providing technical advice on different products and ingredients that they were looking at. I got involved with Stillwater through that position, back in the early days when they were still trying to develop and figure things out. That would have probably been about four years ago. I was able to see from the sidelines and I was dealing with some other cannabis companies in the space here in Colorado at the time too.
I recognized very early on what they were trying to do by making cannabinoids water soluble and water compatible. It was not only extremely challenging, but also had a ton of potential if they were able to pull it off. At that point, they were still trying to figure out how this is going to work. How do we produce it? How do we sell it? How do we make sure that things are stable? Things of that nature. I got an inside look at Stillwater from the very start, back when there were really only a few people at the company. I would check in with them regularly as they needed help.
I always joked that they were my least important, most interesting customer and I mean that only because they were buying extremely small amounts of ingredients from us. From a sales perspective, naturally, my manager didn’t necessarily want me spending a ton of time working with them. From a personal interest perspective, I was like, “these guys are doing something really intriguing and if they can pull this off this has a ton of potential, so I want to help them however I can.”
I dealt with them in that sales capacity for about two years before they talked about expanding into the CBD space with the Farm Bill passing at the end of 2018. I recognized at that point that I think they had two scientists including Keith, our head of R&D, and I said “alright, that’s really ambitious. You probably need some help! I think it’s time for me to take the leap and see if you guys are interested in having me come on board.” Fortunately, they were and so I’ve been with the company a little over two years now.
Aaron: Can you explain at a high level what the Stillwater products do?
Drew: The base technology behind all of our products for Ripple and Caliper is essentially converting your fat-soluble cannabinoids, whether it’s CBD or THC, into a water compatible product in a process referred to as emulsification. What you’re essentially doing is taking CBD and THC containing oils, whether it’s a distillate or isolate, and you’re essentially breaking those fat droplets into extremely small droplets and then stabilizing them at that size. We make our own emulsion — the fat droplets are extremely small — then when you draw that down into a powder format and redissolve it into water, you are dispersing billions upon millions of fat droplets into your glass. Those droplets are evenly dispersed through the beverage so that you get the same amount of THC or CBD in your first sip that you get in the last sip. That’s really the core technology behind everything that we do.
Taking cannabinoids and making them water soluble is the base technology necessary in order to make something like a shelf-stable infused beverage. There’s no way that you’re going to take traditional distillates or cannabinoids and be able to make a beverage that is shelf-stable otherwise. It’s been really cool since joining Stillwater to learn and understand how that process changes the way that those cannabinoids are absorbed by your body. Emulsification changes things like the onset time, as well as the total amount of cannabinoids your body’s absorbing and using. That’s been something that’s super interesting to see through the clinical research that we’ve done with human participants through Colorado State University.
Aaron: Let’s say if you just take THC oil and put it into an infused product. What’s the difference between that and Ripple?
Drew: Some products formats, such as beverages, just aren’t possible with THC oil without an emulsification technology. As the old saying goes in science, water and oil just don’t mix. So, if you were to take a traditional THC distillate and try to add it to a beverage, that would just float on top as a big oil slick. When you took your first sip, you would essentially get all of the cannabinoids in your first gulp which not only makes precise or partial dosing impossible, but also would taste absolutely terrible. Emulsification makes those infused beverage products possible and stable over a normal one-year shelf life or potentially longer.
Emulsification also changes the way that your body absorbs those cannabinoids, which is something that we’ve definitely put a heavy emphasis on and have really been able to validate with clinical research. I think that’s one of our biggest differentiators versus our competitors. We’re definitely not the only ones in the water-soluble cannabinoid space, but from my understanding, I think we’re one of the few companies that have actually executed human-based clinical trials (vs rodents) through a third-party university and been able to prove that these cannabinoids are detected in your bloodstream as fast as 10 minutes after consumption. We measured those results directly against an oil-based control, where you’re not going to get a peak absorption until maybe 60 to 90 minutes after consumption. What this research found was that not only was our product absorbed much faster, but it also enabled a significantly higher amount of the cannabinoids to actually make it into the participants’ blood stream where it can be used by their bodies. We also found the type of food emulsifier makes a significant difference in absorption – not just emulsion size, counter to common belief.
We use the analogy, “It’s getting a better bang for your buck.” The main purchasing consideration for a lot of edibles consumers when you go to a dispensary is “what is my cost per 10 milligram dose of THC?” That’s one of their key purchasing parameters, especially for your lower budget customer. What’s great with Ripple is one milligram of THC consumed through our Ripple technology is not really equivalent to one milligram of an oil-based product and that your body is actually going to absorb a higher percentage of it. And therefore, you’re going to get more of an effect, whether you’re looking for a medical effect or whether you’re looking for more of a recreational therapeutic effect. It also improves the consistency of that experience. So, with oil-based products, you could have the same products multiple different times and based on what you recently ate, you might get a higher or lower absorption rate or a faster or slower absorption rate. It’s also in the consistency of the experience and I know that from our market research of our consumers of Ripple products here in Colorado since that’s been in the market for a few years now. That’s the number one reason why people really trust our brand is because they can count on getting a consistent experience every time for the same dose.
As we all know, with the THC market and edibles market being newer in general, that’s most people’s biggest fear, especially if you’re a new consumer of THC — you obviously don’t want to consume more than what you can handle as far as getting higher than you want to be or anything like that — So consistency is a really, really key aspect for us and something that I’m definitely proud that we can provide that for our consumers.
Aaron: What does your product look like when you dissolve it into a liquid – let’s say something clear? Is the resulting mixture clear or cloudy?
Drew: We do have liquid concentrates, especially in the Caliper side of things, but with our powders, it kind of billows in as a cloud when you add it to a clear liquid. You can almost think of it like when we pour creamer into coffee: you see the cloud expand and then slowly fill out the cup and then be fully mixed in. Whereas with our products if you pour it into clear water, and you’ll see this white cloud form and then disperse. The final solution is generally a little bit cloudy depending on how much water you add it to.“I’ve been fortunate to be the lead developer for those products for Caliper and for Ripple, and flavor work is definitely something that never gets old.”
Aaron: How are customers using your products?
Drew: For a long time, we’ve had a variety of products in the market, some of which are still in the market, and some of which we’ve pulled since then. The key product for us has always been the Ripple dissolvable powder. It’s an unflavored, unsweetened powder that comes in a little sachet packet that you can tear open just like you would any other product and add to really anything. With its water compatibility, there’s really not a single product that you can’t add it to. It’s been really cool to see through social media, and in general, consumer engagement is electric and is kind of viewed as a novelty. The initial reaction is “Oh, I can take this little powder, put it in my eggs and now I have infused eggs!” It’s been great to see the creativity that our consumers have. We’ve seen it put in such a wide variety of products that literally you can make anything into an edible. I think that’s one of the coolest aspects of that product and why it’s been so successful.
One of the things we did realize pretty fast is that for a lot of people, the convenience and the consistency of the experience was a main driver for why they were purchasing our products. A lot of our real consumers just take that packet apart, ripping it open and pouring it straight in their mouth. It’s the fastest and most convenient way to consume the products, pretty much anywhere. We dug into that with our more recent launch of Ripple Quicksticks. And then we added some flavor, we added a little bit of sugar and sweeteners to make it a consumer-friendly experience where you get a really enjoyable flavor. It’s still just as convenient to consume by just ripping the packet straight open and pouring it in your mouth.
Aaron: It sounds like there must have been some interesting internal product development testing!
Drew: Yeah, definitely. That’s a fun one. I’ve been fortunate to be the lead developer for those products for Caliper and for Ripple, and flavor work is definitely something that never gets old. It can be frustrating at times, it’s definitely not the easiest thing to do. We’ve looked at traditional berry flavors, citrus flavors, as well as weird, kind of out-there flavors, to see what we like and what we think will work with our consumers.
Aaron: What states do you operate in?
Drew: Currently, our Stillwater THC business only operates in Colorado. That’s essentially the genesis of all the companies (Ripple, Caliper) is Stillwater being here in Colorado. We’re excited to announce that we’re expanding to Michigan next year. That’s something that we’ve all been working pretty heavily on developing and getting ready to go. That will be our first expansion of the THC brand to a different state.
We do have a licensing and distribution agreement with The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD) in Canada. They produce our products using the same technology up there and license also under the Ripple brand name. So, it’s great to see the presence that we’ve been able to expand up there.
Then with Caliper on the CBD side of things with Caliper Ingredients and Caliper Consumer. We operate nationwide for that based on the more recent rules with the 2018 Farm Bill. For me, especially working across all of those business units, it’s really interesting to see the different business approach between your target CBD consumers and your target THC consumers because they’re really different markets. There’s definitely some overlap, but you’re targeting a different demographic to a certain degree. We keep those decisions in mind when we’re choosing how to market and what flavors to use and what products to make. So that’s been really interesting for me to see the behind-the-scenes discussions.
Aaron: I saw on your website, you’ve got consumer options via the dispensaries. Do you work with any infused product manufacturers on a licensing basis or partnership basis?“I’m super excited to continue to see how the medical research will continue to evolve.”
Drew: I’d say the majority of them are definitely on the CBD side for Caliper, partly because the regulatory environment of CBD just is a little bit easier to kind of engage other customers and to sell products across state lines and things of that nature. We do have some partnerships with some of the companies here in Colorado. I’d say the main one that we’ve promoted externally is with Oh Hi infused Seltzers based out of Durango, Colorado. It’s been a great agreement where we provide our base technology via liquid Ripple formulation that they can then infuse into their seltzers. They’ve done a great job with those products and it’s definitely a partnership that’s been mutually beneficial.
Aaron: What are you personally interested in learning more about?
Drew: For me, the whole appeal of joining the industry was research. With prohibition and decades of those restrictions preventing true research there are so many unknown questions that still need to be investigated. I’m super excited to continue to see how the medical research will continue to evolve. I think we’ll get better clarity on the efficacy of individual cannabinoids versus different combinations and ratios of cannabinoids. The entourage effect is something that’s pretty heavily talked about in the industry. I do think there’s some research to support that. I also think there’s still way more unknowns than things that we actually know. So, I’m super interested in seeing how our understanding of everything will continue to improve over time.
I’d love to see the medical research eventually expand into what synergistic benefits exist between cannabinoids and other bioactive ingredients such as turmeric, catechins, antioxidants and other plant-based ingredients that have gotten a lot more interest through the medical research in the last decade.
Then one of the things I’m always excited about being on the science side of things is we’re still investigating the general compatibility of cannabinoids with various types of food and beverage products. That goes not only for ingredient interactions, but also factors like pH, water activity and moisture content. Even packaging definitely plays a role in cannabinoid stability for a variety of products. There’s also a variety of production processing technologies that still need additional investigation, whether you’re talking pasteurization, for beverages, or retort for canned products or newer technologies like high pressure processing (HPP). So, I think the most exciting thing for me, and the reason I was really willing and interested in joining the industry, is there’s so much to learn. I don’t think we’ll ever run out of things to explore. I think as an industry the better we conduct this research, the better off we’ll all be.
Aaron: That’s the end of the interview! Thanks Drew.