Learning the ABCs of CBD

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Most retailers by now now probably know the difference between THC and CBD, but the universe of cannabinoids is actually much more complex and nuanced.

Among the 100-plus cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant, THC—the compound that gets people “high”—and CBD, which is purported to have a calming effect and other benefits, have been getting the most headlines.

THC is primarily available in the form of marijuana through licensed dispensaries in states that have legalized it. CBD, on the other hand, is increasingly appearing on the shelves of convenience stores in various forms and formulations.

CBD can often be found in various products as a CBD “isolate,” which, as the name implies, has been separated from other cannabinoids. Otherwise, CBD can be incorporated as either “full spectrum” CBD or as “broad spectrum” CBD when used as an ingredient.

Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all of the compounds found naturally occurring in cannabis plants, including THC. These compounds also include terpenes (aromatic essential oils that impart flavor), flavonoids (compounds found ubiquitously in plants that are believed to have health benefits for humans) and other cannabinoids.

Broad spectrum CBD, meanwhile, contains most of the terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD, but does not contain THC—thus providing many of the potential benefits of full spectrum CBD without the intoxicating effects.

Optimizing CBD quality

Alec Rochford, chief operating officer at Tribe CBD, said many manufacturers of CBD products are using CBD isolate because it is relatively easy to produce and available at a lower cost. At Tribe CBD, however, which supplies a line of drinkable CBD shots to convenience stores, the company uses broad spectrum CBD, which undergoes multiple phases of extraction and is therefore more expensive.

“We rip out the THC, while still preserving a lot of the terpenes and cannabinoids and flavonoids, so you get a lot of extra bang for your buck as a consumer,” he said.

The company sources its plants from the nation’s largest grower of organic hemp, and uses a nano emulsion technology that creates small particles and facilitates faster absorption. That means the effects can be felt in as little as five to 10 minutes, Rochford explained.

Tribe CBD shots are available in three varieties—CBD sleep shots, CBD energy shots and plain CBD shots—all of which use broad spectrum CBD. The line was developed in partnership with beverage architects who ensured that the shots have a taste profile suited to the high quality of the products’ sourcing and production.

“It is an on-the-go, single-serving product that consumers can feel almost immediately,” said Rochford. “In the grand scheme of things, this type of product could be the winner in terms of how consumers are buying CBD from a c-store.”

Next up for Tribe CBD is line of broad spectrum CBD gummies, which Rochford said have been developed with the same focus on quality and healthfulness as the company’s other products. They are made using fruit and vegetable juice and agave syrup, rather than processed sugars.

“It is more like a vitamin gummy than a candy gummy bear,” said Rochford.

The CBD gummies will be available in c-stores beginning in July.

This post is sponsored by Tribe CBD

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