Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

There is no doubt that cannabis has a very distinct taste and smell. Most people can identify it as soon as they smell it – but if they have never ingested a CBD drink or edible, they might wonder about the flavor it can impart. When it comes to describing cannabis’ smell and taste, a few of the words we often hear are earthy, skunky, herbaceous, citrusy or piney. It’s important to note that each strain has its own unique sensory qualities, much like a Gravenstein apple tastes and smells different than a Fuji. What gives cannabis and other plants these qualities that humans react to when they smell or taste them? Terpenes!

Terpenes: What They Are and What They Do

In the cannabis plant, terpenes are fragrant oils that are produced and secreted from the same glands that produce cannabinoids, which are called trichomes. Terpenes are the molecules that give the plant its odor and flavor and increase the cannabinoids’ efficacy. As is true with other plants, the qualities that terpenes bring to cannabis are impacted by soil composition, climate, and myriad other factors. Terpenes can help the plant repel insects and other predators, as well as attracting pollinators like bees. They also have antioxidant effects. Scientists have identified over 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, and each strain has its own unique blend of terpenes.

Terpenes also have therapeutic qualities; they can play a role in a plant’s medicinal effects because of the way they interact with cannabinoids and help them enter the bloodstream. Scientists have found that when terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically, their effectiveness in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and infection is enhanced. Interestingly, Terpenes are the basis of aromatherapy, a healing treatment that utilizes a plant’s essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Common Terpenes and Their Qualities

Beta-caryophyllene can be found in black pepper, oregano, cloves and cinnamon and can be described as peppery. It is the only terpene that can act as a cannabinoid and interact directly with our endocannabinoid system and is reported to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene can be found in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary and peppermint. It is reported to provide stress relief. Research has shown Limonene’s potential for stress relief, fighting fungus and bacteria, and relieving heartburn.

Linalool can be found in lavender and birch bark and can be described as floral. It is reported to promote calm and relaxation. It’s also known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to help the immune system fight stress.

Myrcene, one of the most common of the cannabis terpenes, can be found in hops, mango, and lemongrass and can be described as floral or herbal.  It is reported to impart calming qualities and relax muscles. One of its most important qualities is that increases a cell membrane’s permeability, which allows for a larger uptake of cannabinoids and therefore stronger effects.

Pinene, another very common terpene in the plant world, can be found in basil, dill, rosemary and pine needles. The scent and flavor be described as foresty or piney. Because it is a bronchodilator, it can improve airflow to the lungs. It is reported to provide relief for pain and inflammation and aid in memory retention.

Terpinolene can be found in apples, lilac, tea tree, nutmeg and cumin and can be described as fruity. It is reported to have uplifting effects and can help fight off mosquitos. Terpinolene is a common ingredient in cleaning products because of its fresh scent and antibacterial qualities.

ECS and The Entourage Effect

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which is present in all humans and animals is responsible for building and sustaining health. Its primary role is to maintain and balance all of the other bodily systems such as the central nervous system, reproductive system, and immune system.  The ECS is made up of receptors throughout the body and in the brain, which help maintain balance in reaction to change. The ECS is crucial when it comes to regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect us, such as our mood, energy level, and immunity, as well as how we experience stress, pain, and more. Research studies have linked the ECS to the following processes: Appetite/digestion, metabolism, chronic pain, inflammation, mood, learning/memory, motor control, and skin/nerve function, to name a few. After being thrown into imbalance by physical, environmental or emotional stressors, the combination of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and terpenes can bring the body back into balance.

Cannabis researchers S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam introduced the term “Entourage Effect” to explain the process of biological synergy between cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. It represents the idea that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” meaning that the effects created when the three work together are stronger than each would achieve alone. A paper by Ethan Russo titled “Taming THC” in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported evidence that taking cannabinoids and terpenes together may be beneficial for treating conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, infection and cancer. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that the combination of cannabinoids like CBD with terpenes can bring a body back into balance through its work with the ECS.

If you are exploring the idea of creating a CBD beverage or edible or perhaps reformulating a recipe you already have in the works, it’s important to consider the differences between extractions, particularly CBD Isolate and Broad Spectrum. Isolates are CBD in their purest form; they are 99% CBD and impart very little in the way of flavor or odor. Broad Spectrum retains a large complement of plant material without the THC, which allows for the Entourage Effect to occur. Hemp, which contains less than .3% THC, forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts. Broad Spectrum can also be created by either adding terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to CBD isolate or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via distillation. If you want to create a product that is free from any plant smell or flavor, Isolate is your best bet. If you want to give your customers the benefit of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids working together and imparting flavor and smells that can complement the other flavors, then Broad Spectrum is a great choice.

The team here at SōRSE is well-versed in working with cannabinoids and terpenes alike and are always willing to help you create the perfect sensory profile for your product. Book an exploratory call today!

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

In the past few years, consumers’ curiosity and interest in CBD has grown at a rapid rate, and a result of that is an influx of food items and beverages infused with the cannabinoid. From marshmallows to protein bites, from fruit-flavored gummies to popcorn, the array of sweet and savory edible CBD products on the market is ever-expanding. For consumers who are curious about incorporating CBD into their daily routine but don’t love the idea of ingesting a tincture, CBD edibles offer a great alternative. 

If you have a great idea for an edible and are wondering how to turn it into a viable product that will land in the hands of the consumer, here are 5 Steps to Building an Infused CBD Edible from the producers themselves.  

1. GENERATE A CULINARY CONCEPT 

Mainstream vs Unique Concept 

The first thing that you need to know when building a successful infused edible is that a simple, mainstream concept will be easier to execute than a unique concept that is not on the market. That said, if you are determined to create a product that no one has seen before, try to find its mainstream, CBD-free equivalent so that you can understand what it will take to execute production. The process of taking an edible from concept to commercialization typically takes nine to twelve months, so thinking through your timeline from start to finish and being realistic when setting expectations is extremely important. 

Needs & Challenges 

In the early stages of planning, it’s also advisable to identify your needs and potential challenges. Aside from having a great concept, you’ll need ingredients, including CBD; production equipment (like forms or molds); a production facility; packaging; and marketing materials. If you have never created an edible before, some of the challenges you might foresee could include: A key ingredient not being available; a piece of equipment being expensive to purchase; figuring out how your packaging will impact shelf life; or working with a co-manufacturer. 

What’s Important? 

Any product will be more successful when you are excited about the idea and believe the item will add value to a consumer’s life. Your product should reflect what is important to you — clean label, flavor profile, quality of ingredients — and what you can bring to the marketplace. Think about what your niche is, and how you are going to differentiate your product while reaching as many consumers as you can.  

2. PINPOINT YOUR TARGET CONSUMER

When developing your culinary concept, you will need to identify your audience — who is going to buy your edible, why they want to buy it, and where they will buy it. The profile you create of your target consumer should be as specific as possible. You should be able to picture what that person is like in your head, from what they do for fun to the clothes they wear. 

To develop an infused edible that will bring your customer back time and again, you have to do a lot of research on consumer behavior to find out what the buyer is looking for in a company and in a product. You’ll need to consider what the consumer will find appealing about your product, what they might be doing when they are eating your edible, and who they might be with. The better you understand what your consumer wants and needs, and how the product will fit into their lives, the more successful you will be. 3.

3. DETERMINE IF YOUR PRODUCT IS GOING TO BE SWEET OR SAVORY, AND WHAT FORMAT IT WILL COME IN

When it comes to edibles, there are a variety of options on the market. In the “Sweet” category, we have gummies, chocolate bars, energy bars and cookies, to name a few. In the “Savory” category, you can find crackers, jerky, chips, amongst others. As you think about where your product will fit in, you need to continue circling back to these key questions – What does my consumer want? Are they looking for a discrete consumption method? How much do they care about the sensory experience? Is this something they will eat on-the-go or in the comfort of their home? How much does the consumer care about a product’s visual appeal? 

When thinking about where your product will fit in in the marketplace, examine other items your consumer might purchase and what the packaging looks like. Packaging and labeling is the first level of engagement a customer has with your product, so visual appeal is key. Is your consumer drawn to natural products? Do they avoid plastic packaging because they are concerned about the environmental impact? Do they like to be able to see the product through the packaging? Your label and packaging should reflect your company’s culture and values and what makes your product unique.  

4. EXPERIMENT WITH FLAVORS AND CHOOSE THE DOSING

The next step is to create your formula, including its flavor profile and CBD dosing. Some of the current trends in the consumer marketplace are: Global flavors like espresso, tropical fruit, and coconut; natural ingredients; earthy flavors like mushroom; sugar alternatives such as agave, maple syrup, honey, and stevia; herbs and spices; and tart and sour tastes. 

When considering your product’s flavor, you also need to think about how the flavor of the CBD will work with the other ingredients, especially if your product is in a small format like a tablet or gummy. An isolate would be a good choice if you want an edible with a clean, specific flavor profile. If your consumer appreciates botanical, herbaceous products, a Broad Spectrum CBD might play well with the other flavors. Some consumers specifically seek out Broad Spectrum products because of the terpenes (aromas and flavors) that accompany the CBD.   

Currently, there are a wide range of CBD dosages in the products available. Here are some of the average dosages currently on the market:   

  • Gummy: 10-25mg 
  • Mint/tablet: 5mg 
  • Chocolate bar (1.7oz-2.11oz): 80-200mg 
  • Cracker or pretzel: 2mg 

 To determine dosage, consider when the consumer will be eating your product, identify the desired effect you want the consumer to have after eating the product, and also think about how many pieces they might be inclined to ingest. For example, some people can eat a whole chocolate bar in one sitting, while others might only want a portion of the bar.  

When adding active cannabinoids to your product, you will also need to know what parts of the process create waste or evaporation, because both need to be factored into dosing. When you’re doing trial batches of your product, you may need to initially overdose the recipe/formula to achieve an accurate final dose.

5. PREPARE FOR SCALE-UP: CHOOSE YOUR CBD SUPPLIER & PRODUCT MANUFACTURER

Once you’ve tested your formula, determined dosing, and chosen packaging, it’s time to prepare for scaling up and production. The key to a successful scaling up is identifying and securing your strategic partners in this process, such as your suppliers and a manufacturer. 

Consumer safety should be your #1 concern when making an infused edible, To ensure the highest quality CBD for your product, make sure the CBD supplier that you work with shares documentation like a Certificate of Analysis, Product Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets. For more information on what to look for when choosing a CBD supplier, please reference Section 4 of our blog entry, “5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage.” 

Next, find a co-manufacturer who understands CBD as an ingredient and has experience producing other CBD edibles will know how to work with it. Being able to do batch testing is critical because it will let you adjust your formula if you need to. It’s also worth noting that the scale-up process may take a few runs over a few months’ time, as at that stage, there can be changes in the equipment that can affect the product. Ideally your producer will allow you to be on-site for the first few runs so that you can feel confident in the process of how your edible is being produced. 

If you want to sell to an audience in a specific state and there is a manufacturing center in that state, you’ll save a lot of money by producing it as close as possible to your target market area. Also, if there is a facility producing a product similar to yours and it’s considered a turnkey process for them, you will be more successful commercializing your product because they already have experience making something similar.   

The journey you will take bringing a CBD-infused edible to market will be an exciting one – especially if you really believe in your concept; just know that the process will require planning, patience, flexibility, out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. As you try to get your product to market, you might be thrown some curveballs along the way, but if you work with a CBD supplier and co-manufacturer who has experience working with cannabinoids, they will be able to partner with you throughout the process. 

At SōRSE, our R&D team of 30+ employees is well-versed in edible production from concept to final product and welcomes the opportunity to help bring your dream to life and your product to market. Schedule an exploratory call today with SōRSE to get started on your infused CBD edibles journey! 

10 Ways to Get Powered by SōRSE This Summer 

rip n sip powered by sorse

June 20th marked an important moment on our calendar – Summer has officially begun! That means the days are longer, the temperatures are rising, and we can spend more time outside doing the things we love – like taking a trip to the beach, hitting the trails, and firing up the grill. Here are some ideas for incorporating CBD into those activities and more! 

XO Marshmallows powered by sorse1. Building a bonfire? Treat yourself to S’mores powered by XO Marshamllows! 

Once the sun has gone down, a great way to end a long summer day is sitting by a bonfire on the beach or firepit in the backyard. Make sure you have all the fixings for S’mores — graham crackers, dark chocolate bars, XO Strawberry hemp marshmallows that feature 10mg CBD per cube, and skewersStrawberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven – and no one can resist a S’more, sticky fingers and all! 

mad tasty powered by sorse2. Taking a trip to the beach? Don’t forget your Mad Tasty! 

A trip to the beach is a summer must activity. As you’re getting ready for your beach day,  make sure to pack some cans of Mad Tasty in your cooler! Mad Tasty comes in three different flavor profiles — Watermelon Kiwi, Grapefruit, and the newly released, highly mysterious Unicorn Tears – and all three are refreshing and thirst-quenching. Each can contains 20mg of CBD and will leave you feelin chill. And for every 12 ounces of Mad Tasty sold, the company donates 12 ounces of clean drinking water to people and places in need through their work with Drop4Drop – so you can feel good about that too! 

rip n sip powered by sorse3. Having cocktails/mocktails on the patio? Enhance them with Rip N Sip. 

It’s 5 PM –– time to head out to the patio and celebrate the end of the day with a beverage! An easy way to add CBD to a Lemonade, MargaritaGin and Tonic, or pretty much whatever is in your refrigerator is by opening a packet of Rip N Sip and pouring it into your beverage. Each 3 ml packet contains 20 mg of flavorless liquid CBD which disperses rapidly. It doesn’t get any easier than that to make your own CBD-infused drink!

Centr powered by sorse4. Hitting the trails for a hike? Bring some cans of CENTR in your daypack! 

After a long week of work, one of the best ways to spend a summer weekend is in the mountains hiking and communing with nature. When you’re packing  for your excursion, don’t forget your water bottle, sunscreen, first aid kit (just in case)trail mix, and a few cans of CENTR, a sparkling CBD beverage. CENTR offers two dosing options – 15mg and 30mg; the gently sweetened, light citrus flavor profile is perfect for warm weather outings and will give you the oomph you need when you’re feeling a little tired at mile five 

revyv powered by sorse5. Just finished a workout? Recover with REVYV. 

The better the weather gets, the more we all want to be outside getting some exercise, be it walking, running, golfing or swimming. After your workout, don’t forget to stretch well and drink a REVYV, a wellness drink for active people. On the flavor front, there will be two options to choose from – Peach Mango and Aćai Berry. A 14 oz bottle of REVYV contains 15mg CBD, electrolytes (key for rehydration and recovery), terpenes, and Ashwagandha, an adaptogen that can boost brain function and lower blood sugar levels.  

Aprch powered by sorse6. Got a camping trip planned? Don’t forget to pack the APRCH. 

Camping is a great summer activity for many reasonsIt gets us out of the house where we can  unplug,  relax, and get in tune with nature. As far as camping beverages go, APRCH is the perfect drink to have in the coolerThis zero-calorie sparkling CBD water comes in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Watermelon, and Mint + Cucumber – with no added sugar. Each 12 oz can contains 30mg of CBDL-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation; Vitamin C; and organic natural flavors. Crack open a can as you’re making dinner on your camp stove, or when your settling into your sleeping bag for a good night’s rest. 

Kleer powered by sorse7. Looking for an alternative to tap water on a sweltering day? Stay hydrated with Kleer. 

On those days where the thermometer reads 90 and it feels even hotter, it’s important to drink at half a gallon (equivalent to 8 8oz glasses) of water a day to stay hydrated. Why not make some of those ounces Kleer sparkling CBD water? If you loved POG as a kid, there’s a Passion Orange Guava option, as well as Berry Blast and Cucumber Lime. Kleer’s sugar-free sparkling waters offer 25mg CBD and 100% natural flavors per 12 oz can. When the heat is getting you down, grab a Kleer to provide some relief. 

CANN powered by sorse8. Not sure what to bring to your friends’ BBQ? CANN is the answer! 

If you’re invited to a friend’s BBQ this summer and wondering what to bring, CANN social tonic is a great alcohol-free option! Each can of CANN is infused with 4mg CBD and 2mg THC, lightly sweetened with agave nectar, and flavored with pure fruit juice. There are three flavor options, each one equally tasty — Lemon Lavender, Blood Orange, and Grapefruit Rosemary; all pair well with chips, dips, salads, and food hot off the grill. 

9. Hosting 4th of July BBQ (socially distanced, of course!)? Whip up some sauces infused with CBD.  

If you are having family or friends over for the 4th but have no idea what to make, here are some links to Chef Stacy’s recipes that are perfect for an Independence Day celebration (and any occasion really!). These recipes are quick and easy and will have your guests saying, “There’s CBD in there?! I couldn’t even tell!” 

10. Want to try some of the products mentioned above? Enter SōRSE’s Summer Giveaway on Instagram! 

Each month, we’ll be hosting a giveaway with products Powered by SōRSE that will make your summer, A BETTER SUMMER. Follow our Instagram account to learn how you can enter our giveaway.  

What You Need to Know About CBD

What you need to know about cbd sorse technology

From tinctures to gummies, sparkling water and bath bombs, consumers can find CBD in many forms. Despite CBD’s presence, many people still don’t know exactly what it is, where it comes from, and what it is used for.

 

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. In the last five years, its popularity with consumers has skyrocketed due to its purported health benefits. Today, more than 3 in 5 adults in the United States believe that CBD has valid medical uses, according to new research from New Frontier Data.

 

The cannabis plant is an ancient one — it can be traced as far back as 4000 BC to Pan-p’o Village in China. From 1200-200BC, cannabis was used medicinally by Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, and from 1400-1000 AD, Arabic scholars declared cannabis an effective treatment for Epilepsy. Fast forward to the 17th century when American colonists were growing hemp for the British empire, and to the 19th century when Napoleon brought cannabis to France from Egypt for medicinal treatments. Until the early 1900’s in the US, you could purchase cannabis for medicinal purposes at apothecaries and pharmacies.

 

In the 20th century, scientists began studying the plant more closely to better understand its therapeutic effects. The first cannabinoid to be discovered in 1940 was Cannabinol (CBN), by British chemist Robert Cahn. Almost two years later, American chemist Roger Adams to successfully isolate Cannabidiol – CBD – which led to the discovery of Tetrahdydrocannabinol – THC. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, known as the godfather of cannabis research, was able to identify the stereochemistry of both CBD and THC, differentiating their characteristics and qualities. The work of these scientists opened the door to the research that is being done today on cannabinoids and development of applications for them.

 

When you are trying a CBD product for the first time, it’s good to know not only what the cannabinoid is, but that scientists and researchers are invested in better understanding its effects on the human body and mind.

 

If you’re new to CBD, here are some frequently asked questions on CBD and its effects:

What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana/Cannabis?

Botanically, Hemp and Cannabis/Marijuana are from the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa L.  They do share similarities, but because of each plant’s biological structure and chemistry, they have several distinct differences that are important to understand.

 

Hemp and industrial hemp refer to the strain of cannabis plant that is grown for agricultural purposes such as oils, food and beverage, body care, paper products, and textiles. Hemp is a plant that can grow as tall as 20 ft. and thrives in many climates. According to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any hemp plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis under federal law and would thus face no legal protection under this legislation.

 

Cannabis, or marijuana, plants are generally shorter than hemp and have more of bush-like appearance. Cultivators carefully monitor the plant’s growth, because cross-pollination can change the THC content. Cannabis grows best in warm, humid areas causing many growers to utilize greenhouses. A cannabis plant will flower, and it is in the flowers that the THC resides. Typically, a cannabis plant contains 15-20% THC content, but some strains contain less.

What are Cannabinoids, and Where Can You Find Them In the Plant?

Cannabinoids are sticky, oily substances that are excreted from resin-producing glands of the cannabis plant known as trichomes. There are more than 100 cannabis-derived ‘cannabinoids’ that can be placed into categories, all stemming from derivatives of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBD and THC are the two cannabinoids people are most familiar with. When consumed, cannabinoids attach to receptors in our brain (CB-1) and in our body (CB-2).

What are Terpenes, and Why Are They Important?

Every plant, including cannabis, has its own unique mix of terpenes. Terpenes (or terpenoids) are a large class of plant secondary products that protect the plant from insects and herbivores. Terpenes are what gives a lime its citrusy smell, or a flower like lavender its unique aroma.

 

The cannabis plant has over 100 terpenes in it; the most well-known ones include Myrcene, Pinene, Terpinolene, Linalool, and Limonene. Like cannabinoids, they are also secreted by the plant’s trichomes. Terpenes are important for two reasons: one, because the protect the plant from predators, and two, because they produce different physiological reactions and therapeutic effects for the person consuming them. For example, Linalool, which is a component of Lavender, is said to have calming and soothing qualities. Pinene, another terpene found in Orange peel, Sage, and Parsley, is said to improve alertness and energy and fight inflammation.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

This term describes the way in which cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a cannabis plant interact with each other and the human body to be more effective than any one of those chemical components acting alone, creating a synergistic effect. The Entourage Effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of CBD by improving efficacy and tolerability.

 

A consumer looking for a product that offers the Entourage Effect should consider a Full Spectrum CBD or Broad Spectrum CBD. Full Spectrum describes extracts that attempt to preserve the maximum number of native phytochemicals, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other volatiles retained during extraction, including THC.  Broad Spectrum describes extractions which aim to retain a large complement of cannabinoids and terpenes, but without the THC. Hemp forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts and reflect the legal definition of the federal U.S. Government. Broad Spectrum can also be created by combining either terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to form custom Broad Spectrum blends, or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via fractional distillation. 

How Are the Cannabinoids and Terpenes Extracted From the Plant?

The initial extract from the dry hemp or cannabis plant material is a crude oil includes that includes all the active ingredients of cannabis, namely the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as the oil-soluble fats and chlorophyll. After that, the crude oil is purified by a number of methods depending on the producer’s preference and safety considerations to remove harmful contaminants.

 

In one method, a solvent is added to dissolve the cannabinoids, then evaporated, leaving a concentrated oil. Solvents, which are chemicals that dissolve solid materials into liquids, can be further divided by polarity.

Non-polar solvents like butane dissolve only non-polar compounds from the plant, in this case the oils and other lipids making up the trichome heads.

Polar solvents like ethanol will extract both non-polar and polar compounds, including water-soluble compounds such as chlorophyll. Many polar compounds are desirable from a therapeutic standpoint, and they bring with them strong, herbaceous flavors.

 

Another method is mechanical, or non-solvent extraction. Using temperature or pressure changes, cannabinoid oils can be separated without the use of a solvent. Distillation uses the variability in boiling points of a plant’s constituent chemicals to yield very pure extracts. Solvent-extracted concentrates are evaporated and then condensed at precise temperatures. The resulting product typically tests at 85%-97% purity.

What Are the Challenges of Developing a Product Featuring CBD, and What is the Solution? 

As we all learned in Science class, oil and water don’t play well together. When you try to mix them, the oil will rise to the top, since it is lighter than water. Because a CBD extraction is an oil, it can be challenging for a beverage or edibles producer to work with for a variety of reasons beyond the separation factor. There is also the sensory experience, dosage control, reliable and repeatable onset and duration, manufacturing, and labeling to take into consideration. A detailed exploration of cannabis-infused products, including challenges and new technologies defining the manufacturing process, market performance by product types, and consumer profiles are detailed in our ‘Cannabis-Infused Products Report Series’, created in partnership with New Frontier Data.

 

Converting CBD extracts into a water-soluble platform such as SōRSE allows for the cannabinoids to be evenly dispersed throughout a product, and both the liquid and powder forms of the emulsion are easy to incorporate into product lines. Not only that, our R&D teams are well versed in production from concept to final product and can help a customer every step of the way. If you have a product that you think would be better #poweredbySōRSE, schedule an exploratory call today!

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler

SoRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler, Chief Science Officer

Meet our Chief Science Officer and Certified Food Scientist, Scott Riefler, who applied his food and beverage knowledge and experience to create SōRSE, our water-soluble emulsion technology for infusing beverages, food items, topicals and nutraceuticals. Before entering the food and beverage world, Scott worked as an advanced materials scientist in the aerospace industry. By nature, Scott is a teacher; he is a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects and is a mentor to many of SōRSE’s employees. When Scott is not at work, you can find him spending time with his wife and daughter, practicing yoga, and making a mean loaf of sourdough bread, which is also a science!

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler

After working in the aerospace industry and at TIC Gums, how did you end up at SōRSE?

Serendipitously. I was at a concert with a friend who had brought a friend, and in chatting, I asked him what he was up to. He said he had left Microsoft and had entered the cannabis space, which I thought sounded pretty interesting. As we continued talking, I let him know that I had recently retired, and I mentioned something about the edibles platform. He then rattled off a whole bunch of reasons why it couldn’t be done. It gets me pretty excited when somebody tells me you can’t do something, so I responded by saying that I had some ideas that might work. That led to lab work, ultimately delivering his version of the impossible. It was revolutionary to the people who were working at the startup, which led to an invitation to join the team.

 

In your time with the company, what are you most proud of?

I am proud of watching a cohesive team form and exploit the value or the potential value this technology brings. I am proud that we have adopted a food business mentality with everything that goes with it in terms of food safety. I am most proud of the progress the team and my colleagues make.

What do you love about your work, and what do you find challenging?

I love that it’s applied technology into new frontiers. It’s new — we are pressing into the not-yet-possible with incredible speed. At times, I do struggle with setting high expectations and then delivering, so what is most challenging for me is outwardly projecting a realistic level of expectations while keeping my internal, unbridled enthusiasm a bit hidden. I often feel I wish I could be a stronger contributor. I do my best to practice that serenity poem.

 

At SōRSE and outside of SōRSE, you are a teacher – you mentor scientists, and you give presentations to people inside and outside of the cannabis industry. Why is sharing your knowledge with others important to you?

There are several levels to this. I follow the teachings and philosophies of a few people. In the world of systems, I am a W. Edward Deming disciple. I believe very strongly in his principles. In selling cycles, I believe in spin selling completely — so there are several facets to this answer.

 

First of all, everybody sells and everybody should be selling 100% of the time. One of the cornerstones for successful selling is first building trust. If you don’t first build trust, it is going to be very hard to get someone to give you their money. Sharing knowledge and educating is fundamental to building trust. For example, if I go to buy a car, and I find out early in the game that I know more about the car than the salesperson does, that person is never going to sell me a car. If the sales manager doesn’t listen to my request to talk to someone more knowledgeable than me, then they have lost my trust. We absolutely need to listen to the customer and hear what they are saying.

 

I also believe that I practice the idea of leaving it better than I found it. Something that we all inherently have is knowledge we share, particularly knowledge on topics other people may not have. If you can figure that part out, then leaving it better than you found it is become easy…paying it forward, if you will.

 

Back to selling — we are attempting to build a brand; we are attempting to get our phone to ring. One of the ways to build that brand and earn trust is to have our brand recognized as an authority in our space. Being invited to speak at industry symposiums, trade shows, attendance at our webinars, or even conversations with major customers is an indication that the marketplace sees us and our brand as an authority figure in our space. This is critical, it’s bedrock, it’s the foundation for us to be able to sell our product. Thus, it is incumbent for every one of us to be a teacher.

 

Then of course there is the burning platform theory — as a company, we need to continually grow and educate our employees, and acknowledge how important it is that employees are always training and learning. You can’t learn through osmosis.  Personally, I am constantly reading and attending seminars; I make a personal effort to constantly upgrade my training and then pass that knowledge on to others. I want to help people become “dangerous” and turn them into dangerous players in their space, and for me, that is almost always about knowledge and experience.

 

If you were to give a piece of advice to someone entering this industry, what would it be?

The first thing I would say is that nothing is special about this industry. Anyone who says that it is, is wrong; they are likely smoking the product.  Work hard, never substitute knowledge for familiarity, make sure it is your passion, and have fun.

 

To end, this is one of my favorite quotes: “If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Albert Einstein

 

 

What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 2

SoRSE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD FOR PETS

This is the second part of What You Should Know About CBD For Pets.

 

Once a pet owner understands what CBD is and how it works with an animal’s ECS, they can have an informed conversation with their veterinarian about giving their animal CBD. Although vets can’t prescribe CBD, they can speak to the potential benefits and make suggestions on dosing. From there, the consumer can begin to research CBD companies and make informed decisions on what products will be best for the companion. 

 TALKING TO YOUR VET ABOUT CBD

Animal owners rely heavily on their vets to help with various injuries and ailments and to educate them on their animals’ health. With CBD products becoming more available, people are increasingly asking their vets if they are safe, effective and legal to give to their pets. In a survey conducted in 2019 by the Veterinary Information Network, almost two-thirds of the respondents said that their patients asked them about CBD at least once a month. 

In most states, if you want to talk to your vet about CBD, you will need to initiate that conversation, because most state laws around cannabis do not address this type of use. Vets in most states can only discuss CBD if their clients bring it up. In California, legislation (State bill AB-2215) was passed in 2018, allowing vets the ability to  discuss cannabis for pets without fear of being punished by state officials or state veterinary boards, but they can’t prescribe it or use it in treatments.  

When asked about how she manages questions about CBD from her clients, a holistic vet in North California commented, “ In terms of how I counsel humans and their animal companions, I feel I cannot do what I feel is best for my patients when our hands are tied recommending CBD. FDA approval would allow us to make sure our clients have guidelines for dosage and someone to consult with, as well as brands that have been confirmed as safe. I have found that CBD helps control anxiety and pain and seems to help dogs be more comfortable as they age. I tend to avoid recommending THC because dogs reach toxic levels at a much lower level than people. ”  

Last summer, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Janet D. Donlin, wrote a letter on behalf of the 93,000 members of the organization to the commissioner of Food and Drugs requesting the FDA engage in further research of cannabinoids, given their clients’ level of interest in CBD: “The AVMA is a scientific organization that relies on evidence-based medicine. We support additional research on cannabis-derived and cannabis-related products, so that veterinary practitioners may be better informed about their potential therapeutic uses and potential counterindications. Should this research result in FDA approval of such products, this would provide the assurance we need that products made available for use in veterinary patients are efficacious and safe.” 

TINCTURES, TREATS, AND TOPICALS: PET PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET

The best selling products on the market for pets are oils or tinctures. They are easy for a pet owner to use since they can be given directly to pets using a dropper or spray or added to food or treats. 

The second best selling products are edibles such as biscuits, treats, or chews. They too are easy to use because the format is recognizable (what animal doesn’t love a treat!), and are priced relatively reasonably. For a consumer who is new to pet CBD products, treats are a great way to start incorporating it into the pet’s routine. 

Some companies are producing capsules and powders, which you can either mix into the pet’s food or insert into a treat. 

For skin issues, there are topicals such as balms, sprays and lotions, as well as CBD-infused shampoos.  

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PET CBD PRODUCT

For humans and animals alike, not all CBD products are created equally. It’s important to do your homework when you are trying to find the right product for Lenny the Labrador or Tina the Tabby.

Tip 1: If you are considering adding CBD to your companion animal’s daily routine, the best piece of advice we can offer is to consult with your veterinarian before doing so. How might CBD interact with other drugs or supplements your animal is taking? What do they recommend in terms of format and dosage? Most product packaging will recommend a dose based on the animal’s body weight. Your vet may suggest a slightly higher dose if your pet appears to be particularly stiff, stressed, or in pain.  If you want to be able to easily adjust the dosage you are giving your animal, it makes the most sense to purchase an oil or tincture that is easily measurable. 

Tip 2: If you are new to CBD, it can be dizzying trying to figure out what the difference between all of the products on the market is. Talk to your local pet store owner or employee about the CBD brands they carry and why they carry them. 

Tip 3: After talking with the pet store owner or employee and getting their opinions, do some research on the products they carry. 

  • Are the products made with organic ingredients? 
  • Are the products pesticide, fungicide and solvent-free?
  • Does the product have a Certificate of Analysis (COA)? This is a document provided by the manufacturer that tells you how much CBD is in that product. You want to get the CBD you pay for, and the COA will verify that. 

Tip 4: If you can buy a product online or from a store that is not a cannabis dispensary, the product is hemp-based CBD. If you live in a state where cannabis is medicinally and/or recreationally legal, you may be able to find CBD pet products that are cannabis-based at a dispensary. 

THE FUTURE OF CBD PET PRODUCTS

Given the growing number of consumers who are interested in CBD products for their pets, established pet companies may look to incorporate CBD into their existing product lines, and new companies may emerge with their own innovative products. SōRSE’s water-soluble emulsion in both liquid and powder forms are easy to incorporate into product lines, and our R&D teams are well versed in production from concept to final product. If you have an idea for a CBD product for our four-legged friends or a product you would like to have #poweredbySōRSE, schedule an exploratory call today to get started on your infused pet product journey!

 

What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 1

SoRSE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD FOR PETS

According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), in 2019, American consumers spent a staggering $95 billion on their pets, up $5 billion from the year before. What are we spending all that money on? Food and treats primarily ($37 billion), vet care ($29 billion), and supplies like beds, toys, and over the counter medicines ($19 billion). What else are we buying for Fifi the cat and Fido the dog? CBD!

If you have visited a pet store recently, you may have noticed numerous CBD products on their shelves, from tinctures to treats to topical sprays to shampoos. Over the past five years, people have become more curious about CBD and what it can do for our well-being — and with that comes interest in how CBD can impact the well-being of our pets. If taking CBD can leave someone feeling less anxious, does that mean it will work for an anxious animal as well?

PUPPY, MEET PLANT: HOW THE ECS AND CBD INTERACT IN ANIMALS

Similar to humans, animals have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system in the body is responsible for building and sustaining health. Its primary role is to maintain and balance all of the other systems in the body such as the endocrine system, reproductive system, and immune system.  The system consists of receptors throughout the body and in the brain, which helps maintain biological balance in reaction to environmental changes. The ECS plays a critical role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience, such as our energy level, mood, and immunity, as well as how we experience stress, pain, and more.

The ECS involves three core components: Endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.  Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body which help keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces them as needed, making it difficult to know what typical levels are for each. They’re similar to the phytocannabinoids like CBD produced by the cannabis plants. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the ECS needs to take action. The two main receptors are: CB1 which are mostly found in the central nervous system and CB2, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. Lastly, enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function. 

Phytocannabinoids are the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with a human or animal’s body’s endocannabinoid receptors. CBD is one of over 85 different cannabinoids that reside in the flowers of the cannabis plant. CBD is purported to possess useful medicinal properties, which is why humans are taking it themselves and giving it to their pets. 

WHY PEOPLE ARE GIVING CBD TO PETS

In January 2020, CBD researchers, Brightfield Group, conducted a survey on the pet CBD marketplace, and some of the results were jaw-dropping. First, in 2019, the sales of CBD pet products in the United States reached $321 million, an increase of 946% from the $31 million spent in 2018. Second, 48% of pet CBD buyers reported that they stop using prescriptions for their pets once they try CBD. 74% of current pet CBD consumers have discussed CBD with their veterinarian, and 80% received an enthusiastic response during the conversation with their vet. That said, a vet’s cannot legally prescribe CBD because it has not yet been approved by the FDA. 64% of consumers buy pet CBD to reduce overall levels of anxiety or stress for their pet.  

So what explains this growth in interest in CBD for pets? Over the past 30 or so years, pet owners’ awareness of their animals’ health and well-being has changed significantly compared to their parents’ or grandparents’ generations. The 21st century pet parent is looking more carefully at what their animals consume — from the food they eat to the medications they take. Because most consumers are more cognizant of some of the negative side effects of pharmaceutical medications, they are not afraid to turn to natural remedies to treat their pets’ ailments. 30 years ago, Baby Boomers likely wouldn’t have taken their dog to a naturopathic vet for acupuncture treatment, a chiropractic adjustment, or hydrotherapy, but in 2020, these treatments are available. Now more than ever, people see their pets as integral members of their family, and they will do whatever they can to keep them healthy and happy. 

A holistic vet in Northern California reported that her clients are typically interested in using CBD for their animals’ general wellness as well as some of the following conditions: Cancer; epilepsy and seizures; stress and anxiety; digestion and nausea; pain and inflammation due to joint problems; aging and degenerative diseases; and skin inflammation and allergies. 

 

Continue reading What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 2.

What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 2

SoRSE What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD

This is the second part to What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 1.

When professional athletes speak publicly about their use of CBD, it generates curiosity and interest among their peers, their teammates, their fans, and other athletes. For those athletes who are new to CBD have questions about what it is, we have the answers for you.

Is CBD legal in every state? 

Purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. In Virginia, for example, people can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription.  

What’s the difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD? 

Hemp and marijuana come from the same family of plants, Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD contain different levels of THC. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC content, while marijuana plants contain higher levels of THC.  

Are all CBD products THC-free? 

No. Most CBD products are likely to have trace amounts of THC, particularly if the CBD was sourced from marijuana plants as opposed to hemp plants. Most CBD products contain non-detectable THC; products featuring CBD isolate have 0% THC in it. 

The industry and legal standard for THC concentration in CBD products derived from hemp is less than 0.3% THC by weight. This means that a CBD product may legally contain up to three parts of THC for every 1000 parts of oil by weight. 

In order to determine if a product is within this legal limit, reputable CBD manufacturers have their products tested by third-party labs to obtain a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The letters “ND” indicate this “non-detect” level of THC in a product. The THC amount in said product is too small to be detected by the instruments used in third-party testing. 

For more information, check out our blog: Hemp-Derived CBD Vs Cannabis-Derived CBD 

 Will CBD show up on a drug test? 

CBD shouldn’t show up on a drug test, but there have been cases of people using CBD products testing positive for THC. It depends on the quality and composition of the product the person is taking, as many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. Hemp-derived CBD products are less likely to contain THC because they are legally required to have less than 0.3% THC content. Athletes who want to use CBD products but are afraid of failing a drug test should look for products featuring CBD isolate. 

What are the benefits of taking CBD? 

While much of the evidence of the benefits of CBD is anecdotal, studies have shown that CBD may help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, promote sleep, and reduce performance-related anxiety.  

Are there any side effects after ingesting CBD? 

Peter Grinspoon, a doctor at Harvard Medical School, states that side effects of CBD can include “nausea, fatigue and irritability.” CBD can also “increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.” If you decide to try CBD and take other medications, consult with your doctor about possible interactions.  

How long does CBD stay in your system after ingestion?  

This depends on the way you ingest CBD. Also take into consideration that each person processes cannabinoids differently based on our unique body compositions.  

The different methods of ingestion are:   

Oral — swallowed — types of products include tinctures, oils, edibles, beverages, capsules. 

When CBD is swallowed, it moves through the digestive tract, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. This method is the slowest route for CBD to move throughout the body, taking one to two hours, but also the longest amount of time that it is active. CBD may stay in your bloodstream one to six hours when ingested orally.   

Oral — sublingual (under the tongue) — types of products include oils and tinctures.  

The areas under your tongue, along your gums and in your cheeks are filled with capillaries that will absorb the CBD and deliver it directly to your bloodstream, thereby bypassing the digestive tract altogether. This method is faster than swallowing CBD, with the onset taking 15 minutes to an hour. When taken sublingually, CBD may stay in your bloodstream for six to eight hours.   

Inhalation — types of products include vape pens, dabs, high CBD cannabis. 

When CBD is inhaled, it moves to the lungs where it quickly passes into the bloodstream. This is the fastest way to get CBD into your system with an onset of seconds to minutes, but the CBD is only effective for a short amount of time. It may stay in your bloodstream for no more than two to three hours.  

Topical — applied to skin — types of products include creams and lotions.  

When you apply a CBD lotion or cream, the CBD is dispersed across the skin and absorbed into it, reaching muscles, cells, and nerves. Very little CBD will enter the bloodstream, if any.   

Transdermal — applied to skin — types of products include patches. 

Like topicals, transdermal are applied to the skin, but they do not behave the same way as a lotion or cream. A patch is placed in a venous area of the body, like the wrist, allowing the CBD to enter the bloodstream through the skin. They are designed to slowly release CBD through the skin at a constant rate. 

Resources 

https://www.wada-ama.org/en 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476 

https://www.projectcbd.org/ 

https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/ 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 1

rob gronkowski - what you need to know about sports and CBD

On March 24, 2019, 29-year-old New England Patriots’ tight-end Rob Gronkowski (aka Gronk) announced his retirement from the NFL after nine years in the league. As most people know, football is incredibly hard on the body; during his career, Gronkowski suffered injuries to his forearm, back and knees, which is what informed his decision to retire and “focus on my health.” Five months later, Gronk made another big announcement about his future — he would be partnering with a CBD company to create a line of topical pain treatments. When he shared this news with the press, he said he was “blown away with how well it (CBD) worked. I am pain free, and that is a big deal.” 

rob gronkowski - what you need to know about sports and CBD

Fast forward to April 22 of this year when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they had traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Patriots in exchange for Gronkowski and a seventh-round selection. When commenting on his decision to come out of retirement, Gronkowski commented, “I’ve always said, I wouldn’t come back unless I’m feeling it, unless I’m feeling good, feeling healthy and I’m feeling like I’m ready to go. Now this is the case, this is the time…. It definitely wasn’t last year, my body 100 percent needed a rest….I was in some pain at some serious times even while playing the game — but that’s why I did the last year. I took care of myself, I let my body heal, I let my body rest, I let my body get the treatments that it needed.”

Gronkowski is one of many professional athletes promoting CBD after trying it out themselves. Tony Hawk (skateboarding), Megan Rapinoe (soccer) and Riley Cote (hockey) have spoken openly about using CBD, and some have started their own companies selling CBD products directed towards athletes. In an interview last year, Megan Rapinoe stated, “CBD is a natural alternative that has helped me stay at the top of my game for several years now, whether that be regulating my sleep, relaxing on long flights, helping with inflammation, or recovering after hard trainings and games. Bottom line, it’s natural, and I don’t want to be filling my body with chemicals.”  

Having current and retired professional athletes speak about their experiences using CBD is not only sparking huge fan interest, but it’s also influencing professional sports leagues to reconsider their stance on cannabis as a controlled substance. Last December, Major League Baseball became the first professional sports league in the US to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances. In January of this year, the NFL’s Pain Management Committee and the NFL Players Association held a fact-finding forum with manufacturers of products that use CBD in sports medicine to update the committee on CBD products, available research, and evidence of how CBD products could benefit patients, especially athletes.  

If you are an athlete who is curious about using CBD but don’t know where to start or what to look for, here are some frequently asked questions and answers. 

What is WADA, and how does it interface with international and national sports governing bodies in terms of determining anti-doping and drug policy? 

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, was formed in 1999 as an international, independent agency to coordinate the fight against doping in athletics. In 2004, it introduced “The World Anti-Doping Code,” the core document that aligns anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world. It works in conjunction with six International Standards which aim to foster consistency among anti-doping organizations in various areas: Testing; laboratories; Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs); the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; the protection of privacy and personal information; and Code Compliance by Signatories. This unified approach addresses problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated anti-doping efforts. 

One of the largest international governing bodies is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They recognize other federations for individual sports: The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), and the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF). The IOC has an Olympic Charter which sets rules and expectations for Olympic athletes (https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/ioc_anti-doping_rules_tokyo2020.pdf). IOC defines doping as the occurrence of one or more of the antidoping rule violations as laid out in the charter. The rule topics include: Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample; use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method; evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection; tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control, and possession of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.  

In 2018, WADA declared CBD an acceptable substance. It is the first major agency to acknowledge CBD as a compound separate from marijuana (THC). That said, the organization does caution athletes using CBD to be aware of the THC levels in the CBD products they are using. Their guiding document states, “Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.” 

This is the current list of Sports Organizations that have accepted the code:  

https://www.wada-ama.org/en/code-signatories  

What is each major athletic association/league’s stance on CBD and cannabis?  

Each has their own stance on cannabinoid use, and they vary drastically.  

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association): Following WADA guidelines (see above), use of CBD is allowed, but THC is not. 

NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association): Cannabinoids are listed on the 2019-20 Banned Drugs List, specifically, “marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073).” CBD is not listed as a banned cannabinoid; however, the document also states, “Any substance that is chemically related to one of the above classes, even if it is not listed as an example, is also banned!” One can infer from this statement that CBD would also be banned, as it is chemically related to the marijuana plant. That said, the only cannabinoid they test for is THC.   

MLB (Major League Baseball): In December of 2019, MLB became the first professional sports league in the US to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances. In a press release, MLB in association with the Players League commented, “Natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD, and Marijuana) will be removed from the Program’s list of Drugs of Abuse. Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties’ Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player’s Club or the Commissioner’s Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids.”  

MLS (Major League Soccer): If a substance is banned by the US Anti-Doping Agency or FIFA, it is banned by the league. Following WADA guidelines, use of CBD is allowed, but THC is not.    

NBA (National Basketball League): Cannabis (CBD and THC) is one of many substances banned by the NBA/NBPA Anti-drug Program.  If a player tests positive for THC, he must comply with subsequent testing and may be required to seek treatment. What is not clear is whether hemp-derived CBD would trigger a suspension. Players are randomly tested four times a year and must not exceed the THC threshold of 15ng/ml. If a player consumed hemp-derived CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC and less than 15ng/ml of THC, it is not clear whether they might be suspended or not.  

NFL (National Football League): Under the new collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the NFL and the NFL Players Association in early 2020, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana needed to trigger a positive test, will be raised fourfold.

NHL (National Hockey League):  The NHL essentially has two drug policies. The first is the performance enhancing drug policy which bans drugs such as stimulants, growth hormones, anabolic agents and drugs that are considered to give players an advantage. The second is the SABH program (Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health). This program was designed for the specific purpose of dealing with issues of substance abuse for players in a confidential manner. If they determine a player’s drug test features “abnormally high levels” of THC, they will contact the player, recommend they enter the SABH, in which they’ll develop an individualized treatment plan, but they are not forced to go. 

NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League): The women’s premier soccer league’s stance on cannabis and its derivative products is quite liberal, allowing players to use cannabinoids like CBD for pain management. 

WNBA (Women’s National Basketball League): Cannabis and its byproducts are listed as prohibited substances in the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The WNBA has a specific marijuana program in the anti-drug section of the CBA. 

USA Triathlon: Under USADA and WADA, CBD is an acceptable substance for triathletes to use. In fact, they have created a partnership with a company producing CBD products.  

 

Continue reading Part 2 of What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD.

 

Resources 

https://www.wada-ama.org/en 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476 

https://www.projectcbd.org/ 

https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/ 

 

 

 

COVID-19 & CBD: A Look Back at March

COVID-19 & Medical Cannabis Patients: What You Need to Know

We can all agree that March has been a hard month for so many reasons — reasons we can’t explain to our friends, family, coworkers, or clients. 

While it’s easy to focus on all the negatives that have come with the COVID-19 crisis, we need to focus on the positives to help us get through it. People are making a point to connect with one another, whether it’s over the phone, via Facetime or through Zoom. Teachers are getting creative as they teach their students remotely, many restaurants have shifted to their menus to take-out, people are making masks for healthcare workers, musicians are livestreaming performances and DJs are hosting virtual dance parties. 

In many ways, the virus that has pushed people physically apart has brought us closer together.  

Cannabis as an Essential Business 

COIVD-19 has also forced government officials to think about what businesses are essential, and which aren’t. Something that is essential is “absolutely necessary” or “extremely important.” Grocery store – essential. Hair salon – non-essential. Gas station – essential. Clothing store – non-essential. Cannabis dispensary – essential. 
 

When San Francisco Mayor London Breed first announced the city would begin its shelter in place order on March 16 that would begin the next day at 12AM, the city had designated cannabis dispensaries as non-essential businesses, and they would have to close that evening until the order was lifted. 24 hours later, her position had changed; the Department of Public Health announced the decision had been reversed, acknowledging that cannabis dispensaries are essential. 

In a tweet on March 17th, the Department of Public Health stated, Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents. Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time, while practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations.” 

 

In all of the states where cannabis is recreationally legal, dispensaries remain open. Many have had to shift the way they do business – such as offering online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery services, or limiting the number of people who can enter a dispensary at one time. Most states where cannabis is medicinally legal have made allowances as well – ensuring that medical card holders will have continued access to what they need. 

  

The fact that cannabis dispensaries, which carry many different types of products – CBD, THC, CBN and alike – have been granted this designation of “essential business” is an indicator of how public interest in cannabinoids has grown in the past few years and how people are more accepting of the cannabis plant in general. Last year we saw public interest in CBD explode, followed by huge growth in the CBD marketplace, which led to oversaturation. Currently, there has been a spike in e-commerce CBD sales. After conducting a survey recently, the Brightfield Group reported that 4 in 10 CBD users planned to use CBD more frequently because of the virus. They also stated that 49% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers plan on using more CBD in the weeks and months to come. During a health crisis such as this one, people are more inclined to practice self-care for their mental and physical wellbeing – and for many, CBD and other cannabinoids are part of their daily healthcare routines.  

Increased Demand and Increased Safety Protocols 

There is no doubt that in the past two weeks, we’ve seen an increase in demand for cannabis products – both CBD and THC. Dispensaries in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver have had a steady stream of customers in their businesses – while also being extremely diligent about people keeping a safe distance apart and only letting in a certain number of customers at a time. Dispensaries have also been creative in how best to serve their customers, including offering curbside delivery to cars pulling up outside their businesses. This not only means that sales are up in dispensaries, but for the growers and product producers supplying the dispensaries. One of our THC partnersGreenMedLabs in Washington State, which produces cannabis beverages, has seen their orders triple in the past two weeks, while online orders for Mad Tasty, a CBD sparkling beverage powered by SōRSE, are up 40% since March 7th. 

Cannabis dispensaries being deemed essential businesses was and still is big news, especially for those who have been using cannabis for years and understand the benefits the plant has to offer. Those people have not been afraid to express themselves to government officials over the past few weeks, to say, “I need this. It is essential for my health, for my well-being. And my well-being matters.” 

SōRSE — Here to Help 

At SōRSE, the quality and safety of our products has always been our highest priority. As we continue essential operations through the COIVD crisis, we can confidently rely on the measures we established to ensure product safety. The processes, practices, and protocols in our Quality Management System are all the more relevant now, and we are confident that they meet or exceed all current published guidelines. Nonetheless, we added additional steps to ensure the safety of our employees and products.  

 

When news of the virus first broke, the management team asked that all personnel not directly involved in production work from home and take all CDC recommended precautions to stay safe. We instituted additional cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces, and our co-mans have done the same.  If any employee or their family member shows symptoms of COIVD-19 or any other illness, we require them to self-quarantine for 14 days. We are relieved to report that at this time, our team remains healthy and symptom-free. 

 

It appears that we are in for another month of social distancing to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus. While we know that this situation is difficult on many levels for so many people, we want to remain positive, continue to help our customers, and keep each other’s spirits up. Next month, April, is just around the bend. It’s a time when we can make all 30 days a literal 4/20. We’ll still celebrate the cannabis plant, our essential need, and all it has to offer. We will just have to do it inside and from afar. 

 

We know that this situation is impacting our partners in different ways. If you have questions that need answers, we’re here to help.