Trying to bring these products to market is an endeavor complicated by FDA's position that CBD is not a legal dietary ingredient, a decision based mostly on the research conducted by English company GW Pharmaceuticals into drugs based on the molecule. Endoca, a Danish company, and US-based Hemplify are taking different approaches, Endoca with an oil product and Hemplify with a liquid supplement. In Endoca’s case, the company is relying on hemp’s status as a food to blaze a path to market that the company can follow without raising the ire of regulators.
Henry Vincenty, founder and CEO of in a Endoca, a Danish company, is bring a CBD rich hemp oil to market in the US. Vincenty spoke with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo West trade show about the company’s strategy.
“Hemp is already a natural food that is sold in health food stores. We know for sure that this is not a supplement; we are aimed at a positioning as a functional food,” Vincenty said.
Endoca grows its raw material in Scandinavia. Vincenty said the company has developed ways to standardize hemp extracts not only with cannabinoids but also with the terpenes that are in the plant, emphasizing the full spectrum aspect of the oil that extents beyond its CBD content. The company is also working on ways to increase yields through organic farming methods and to naturally increase the cannabinoid concentration of its extracts.
“We are working with a lot of naturopaths and Ayurvedic doctors to not only understand the activity of the molecule but also the history of how the plant has been used. It is one of the world’s oldest medicines,” Vincenty said. “There is a stigma surrounding the plant that we have to break through.”
Emphasizing whole extract positioning
Hemplify is taking that full spectrum idea a step further and its calling the main ingredient in its eponymous liquid supplement product as “Hemp Extract Oil (Stalk)”. On the front of the bottle the product is called a “hemp extract infusion” while on the back it is labeled as a dietary supplement with a supplement facts panel. Rather than talking about specific molecules that might be found in the plant, Hemplify CEO Jeff Maser said the goal is to connect consumers to the benefits they seek from hemp extracts.
“There are no FDA approved claims connected to hemp products,” Maser said. “In our view our product provides general vitality benefits. It’s got the full range of nutrients that come in hemp.”
The Hemplify liquid supplement contains an extensive suite of vitamins and minerals and also has 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from flax seed oil and algal oil. The product uses an emulsification technology originally employed to allow fish oils to be put into beverages, Maser said.
The technology also allows the hemp oil’s pungent taste and aroma to be masked, Maser said. While consumers might sit still for a bad tasting oil taken from a dropper, or might even be willing to choke down a less-than-pleasant 2 ounce shot, taste is key in the 10-oz size of the Hemplify product, Maser said. A sample of the tropic punch flavor did show that the company seemed to have achieved its taste targets.