Socati has been ramping up its scale and production of broad spectrum hemp extract over the past year with more than $40m in funding and its acquisition of Blue Marble Biomaterials, a global manufacturer of specialty compounds for consumer goods.
While hemp was removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the FDA does not permit hemp-derived CBD as food or supplement ingredient since it was first investigated as a drug for the treatment of seizures in children. Several states also explicitly allow the sale of products containing hemp-derived CBD creating a confusing regulatory landscape.
Despite this murky climate, market interest in CBD continues to increase and many industry stakeholders believe the market floodgates will open once the FDA provides updated guidance on hemp-derived CBD for use as a dietary ingredient giving manufacturers and suppliers the confidence to launch more CBD products into the market.
'Hemp extracts that behave just like any other food ingredient'
Socati's two new products are an oil ingredient called Socati CBG NDT and a water-soluble version called Socati Soluble, which were designed for consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers. In the coming months, the company will offer additional ingredient products featuring customizable levels of other minor cannabinoids including cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC).
“Consumers are demanding increasingly personalized products, and manufacturers are looking for ways to respond to that demand,” said Socati CEO, Josh Epstein.
“Socati’s proprietary technology creates hemp extracts that behave just like any other food ingredient, allowing CPG manufacturers to address these demands.”
THC-free is key
Socati chief revenue officer Mark Elfenbein previously told this publication that Socati's patented chromatographic-based technology allows for full extraction of the THC component on a large scale from the hemp plant ensuring a product that contains non-detectable levels of THC -- far lower than the industry standard of 0.3%, said the company.
And because of this technology, Socati is able to create custom blends that can match a manufacturer’s exact specifications for the levels of each cannabinoid, the company said.
"THC-free is a key point. It’s probably what gets you from a $1bn dollar industry to a $20bn industry because we feel that the likes of Target, CVS, and Walgreens want to carry a THC-free product. Now they actually have a reliable partner that can ensure that," Elfenbein told us.
Socati's Montana-based processing facility complies with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-recognized benchmarking requirements and adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards for manufacturing.
What is known about CBG?
According to the company, the new ingredients contain high levels of CBD and CBG, two of the more than 100+ cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
"Though most people are familiar with major cannabinoids like CBD and THC, many of these compounds – including CBG – appear in far lower levels in the plant. As consumers learn more about the properties of specific cannabinoids, they are asking for products and varieties that address their individual needs," stated Socati.
“Hemp-derived cannabinoids show tremendous potential to help consumers in myriad ways,” claimed Epstein.
While research is limited on the health effects of CBG in particular, there are some studies that have linked it to specific health benefits, such as a 2014 study on CBG's potential in slowing colon cancer progression and another study showing how CBG was effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease (in mice).
"Like CBD, CBG is a compound that shows exciting potential to benefit health," said Socati.