The line of extracts, derived from the hemp flower, will come in two liquid potencies based on cannabinoids per serving—10mg/mL and 20 mg/mL. Delivered in dropper bottles, they will sell for the suggested retail prices $44.99 (10mg/mL, 1 ounce), $79.99 (10mg/mL, 2 ounce), $79.99 (20mg/mL, 1 ounce), and $129.99 (20mg/mL, 2 ounce).
Gaia Herbs first announced the line at the Expo West 2019 show in Anaheim, CA in March. Its sale today marks the plunge of one of the industry’s bigger brands into the booming yet controversial hemp space. While the Fam Bill that passed last year lifted industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Federal Controlled Substances Act, CBD, a compound found in hemp, is an approved drug (Epidiolex) and therefore cannot be used in dietary supplements.
“We’re not using any CBD claims, we’re not using an isolate of CBD,” Stacey Gillespie director of product strategy at Gaia Herbs, told us at the show back in March. “We’re not actually testing or making these CBD claims on our packaging. We’re very specific on the hemp’s full spectrum providing a range of cannabinoids. We’re doing that very specifically because CBD is regulated now as a drug and Epidiolex will be coming out next year.”
“We came to market with a full-spectrum hemp extract, we’re well below the 0.3% THC—we are not THC free, we do believe in the full spectrum and benefits of all those cannabinoids working together,” she said.
In a press release announcing the product’s sale, Elena Lécué, EVP of sales and marketing at Gaia Herbs, said that the company saw the passing of the Farm Bill as “an opportunity as industry pioneers to develop and introduce full spectrum Hemp products crafted with the same superior quality and transparency that Gaia Herbs’ products are known for.”
How is Gaia Herbs marketing the line’s health benefits?
One criticism of the CBD and hemp boom is that, because of its immense popularity, many brands are formulating with these ingredients even though it is still unclear what benefits they might confer in doses that are small enough to fit into food, beverages, and supplements.
Many brands have relied on the popularity of CBD and hemp itself, eschewing any structure/function claim. On the opposite side of the spectrum are the companies that make disease claims on products marketed as dietary supplements that contain isolated CBD.
Gaia Herbs is not putting any structure/function claims on the product’s packaging. There also aren’t any clear health claims made on the landing page for the product on its website.
Digging deeper, a post in Gaia Herbs’ blog portion of the website is dedicated to hemp. It talks about what hemp has been traditionally used for as well as a quick primer about the endocannbinoid system discovered in 1988, linked to regulation of homeostasis in mood, sleep, memory, immune function, and pain.