While THC and CBD product sales continue to grow as more states legalize cannabis, some infused-product manufacturers are already looking ahead. Thanks to improved research on other, lesser-known cannabinoids, new medical and recreational products will soon hit the market — and Evolab wants to be one of the first to take advantage of the opportunity.
The Denver-based cannabinoid extractor has announced a new line of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) products. The body oil, skin-repair lotion and healing salve will incorporate the three cannabinoids and THC to engage a user's endocannabinoid system, according to the company.
"This is an area we’ve been looking at as long as we’ve been in this industry," says Dr. Noel Palmer, Evolab chief scientist and lead developer of the new CBx Sciences line. "The challenge is that most traditional strains don’t produce enough CBN or CBG to commercialize, so the last couple years we’ve been working with other breeders and growers to find ways to increase that."
CBD has become increasingly popular for its non-psychoactive effects; since it can be derived from hemp, it can have a much wider market presence than federally illegal THC products. Although Evolab's new lotion, oil and salve will only be sold at dispensaries because THC is present in each product, none of them will get users high, because the THC is absorbed through the skin.
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The salve is currently the only product containing CBG, while CBN products will debut in early December, according to Evolab. Although it has similar anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects to those of CBD, CBG is more easily absorbed by the endocannabinoid system, according to Palmer. "Science still needs to catch up with CBG. One of the anomalies we found in CBD is that it doesn't respond to our cannabinoid receptors as THC," he explains. "CBG is more like THC in that regard. It's going to work on the endocannabinoid system more directly than CBD will."
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As with CBD-heavy cannabis strains, selective breeding and genetic manipulation can help produce qualities that generate more CBG than traditional strains, Palmer adds. The cannabinoid has similar medical qualities to CBD, and its anti-bacterial properties make it an ideal ingredient for skin-care products. CBN, a cannabinoid known for its sleep-inducing qualities, is also hard to increase in strains, he says, but unlike other cannabinoids, CBN can be made from aging, degrading THC. The upcoming CBN products will be made from converted THC that is rapidly accelerated in the lab, according to Palmer.
The new CBx Sciences line will be available in the hundred-plus dispensaries where Evolab products are sold. Both medical patients and recreational customers will be able to purchase them.