The cannabis industry could be worth $35 billion by 2020, according to GreenWave Advisors, and the majority of the revenue is likely coming from early adopters. As existing users of cannabis and cannabinoid extracts, they already know the difference between tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), cannabidiol (“CBD”), and other cannabinoids, as well as the difference between various strains of marijuana, such as Charlotte’s Web.
Surprisingly, many companies don’t seem quite as knowledgeable as their customers when it comes to selling cannabis products. The U.S. FDA released a report in February 2015 warning manufacturers of CBD products to scale back on their marketing, while noting that many products didn’t even contain any CBDs, despite their claims. In fact, nearly half of the products tested were negative for cannabinoids and many had only small concentrations!
Lexaria Corp. (OTCQB: LXRP), a Canada-based developer of hemp oil infused health and wellness products, has developed an infusion technology that increases the bioavailability of CBDs to potentially enhance the effects on the human body. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this approach and why the company’s growing portfolio of products – including CBD-infused teas – aren’t your average CBD-infused products.
Lack of Accountability
The FDA’s scathing report warning CBD manufacturers highlighted the fact that many companies aren’t including very much CBD in their products. (None of the products tested were from Lexaria Corp.)
A product called UltraCBD tested negative for any cannabinoids in one sample and tested for just 0.02% in another, according to the FDA, despite a name suggesting a high concentration of the substance. On its website, the company boasts that the product is “made in a cGMP lab environment to the highest standards and is thoroughly tested and sealed with a high quality glass dropper for exact dosing, the expiration date, and lot # stamped on each bottle”.
Many customers are purchasing hemp oil for the CBD content, since the substance has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. Despite the promises being made by many manufacturers, there’s no process in place to ensure accountability when it comes to the actual concentrations that appear in the products. Customers who believe they’re consuming CBDs may in fact be consuming an oil that doesn’t contain any beneficial compounds.
Importance of Bioavailability
The second key problem with CBDs is the bioavailability to the human body, which varies tremendously between individuals.
According to a NIH study, orally consumed marijuana delivers THC at an average bioavailability rate of just 5% compared to an average rate of 30% when smoking the substance. The same problem is likely occurring with CBDs – which share many characteristics with THCs as a fellow cannabinoid compound. For consumers, this means that orally consumed hemp oil may not be absorbed by the body in any meaningful way, especially when the amounts are low.
Lexaria’s proprietary lipid-infusion technology platform combats these issues by encapsulating CBD compounds in a lipid molecule that’s more readily absorbed into the body. While specific studies are still underway, management has indicated that early results have shown tremendous promise in increasing the absorption (and thereby effectiveness) of CBDs, which means that more effects can be observed with smaller concentrations.
Lexaria’s ViPova teas represent its initial foray into the CBD-infused food and beverage industry, leveraging its proprietary lipid-infusion technology platform.
Many CBD-infused products sell for a premium given the high price associated with extracting CBDs from hemp oil. For instance, many CBD oils listed for sale on Google Shopping are priced at upwards of $50 to $75 per ounce in dropper form and have notoriously bad aftertastes. ViPova is formulated in a great-tasting tea targeted to contain ~10mg of CBD for just $3.00 per serving, with a greater effectiveness relative to competitors that don’t have the infusion technology.
Natural/Organic food sales reached $81.3 billion in 2012, up 13.5% from the year before, according to the Organic Trade Association. This compelling evidence of the demand for healthy foods holds one of the keys to Lexaria’s strategy of combining hemp-derived CBD into other healthy food choices in pursuit of the next superfood craze.
Moving forward, the company is preparing for the imminent launch of a number of other hemp oil infused products across additional food categories, including mostly organic protein energy bars. Customers can purchase the products on the company’s website, www.vipova.com, or through a growing network of physical and online retailers that are carrying the product. The company has also established an affiliate program designed to help support peer-to-peer sales.
Lexaria is uniquely positioned within the cannabis industry as a provider of enhanced CBD-infused products. In contrast to other companies in the space, such as Medical Marijuana Inc.’s (OTCQB: MJNA) focus on cannabinoid research, CannLabs Inc.’s (OTCQB: CANL) focus on testing, or MedBox Inc.’s (OTCQB: MDBX) focus on providing consulting services to the marijuana industry, the company has existing products on the market that are targeting consumers looking for high quality CBD sources.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.lexariaenergy.com.
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