Straight Hemp is a company formed in 2014 and based in Arvada, CO. The company launched products to teh consumer market in 2017.
CEO Devin Alvarez has a background in hemp cultivation and formerly worked in the medical marijuana industry. He said he has noticed quality problems in the hemp industry.
“We are focused on delivering the highest quality, most effective products,” Alvarez told NutraIngredients-USA.
The quality issues in the hemp space have been apparent for some time now. In 2016 FDA pulled 22 products from the shelves and tested them. A number of the products did not meet label claim.
Certification as differentiator
Alvarez said the certification was an important step in helping to differentiate his company’s products along quality lines.
“The US Hemp Authority certification has been around for about two years. It was expensive and complex to do and required a lot of our time,” he said.
“We had our quality director working behind the scenes for some months to get that done. It allows us to create some distinction for ourselves in that we are going above board to meet quality control standards. There was a need for the consumer to understand that there are brands out there holding themselves to a higher standard,” Alvarez added.
A key part of the certification process is focused on the supply chain, Alvarez said. That was easier for his company, he said, because it partners closely with farmers in Colorado.
“You have to certify that you are doing certain kinds of testing on your raw material and you have to show that you have a chain of custody and traceability,” he said.
Straight Hemp joins more than 60 companies that have sought certification from the hemp group.
Alvarez said his company uses what he calls a ‘biphasic’ extraction process, in which the volatile terpene fractions are captured and reintroduced into the finished product.
“We use a decarboxylation heat process, where you turn CBD A into CBD, the more bioactive form. That drives off the volatiles, but we capture those,” he said.
Straight Hemp produces a full spectrum CBD oil, a CBD balm based on beeswax and a vaping product. Alvarez said the plan is to introduce a capsule delivery form in the coming year.