Recent industry research showing that a CBD-Infused mouthwash performed better than conventional products, has illustrated the growing diversity within the CBD market when it comes to product innovation and the increasing number of innovative form and consumption opportunities that are now available to CBD consumers.
As the market continues to mature, and the consumer CBD market expands, the need for product innovation, novel form factors, new methods of consumption, and branding innovation are all becoming increasingly important for success in the industry.
At present the majority of consumers perceive CBD intake in a similar manner to the supplement market, with tinctures, drops, lotions and gummies established as the predominant methods of consumption. As CBD becomes increasingly mainstream consumers are looking for innovative methods to consume CBD that fit more closely with their other consumption habits.
Simply developing a product because it is possible does not necessarily mean that it is meeting a clearly identified market need. As CBD isolate and other refined forms can be applied to so many applications, or combined with such a vast array of existing products, there has been a tendency in the marketplace to develop a product simply because it can be done, rather than because it should be done.
CBD manufacturers need to ensure that they have clearly identified a market need before looking to introduce novel methods of consumption, or new applications. It is also necessary to align CBD product innovation with market innovation that balances consumer aspirations alongside clearly defined benefits. By balancing the two, companies can produce CBD innovation and products that will not only advance their commercial success but also move forward the industry as a whole.
Companies should also look to the intellectual property that they can create around CBD product innovation. New form factors and novel delivery design ideas have the potential to be protectable and as a result can be licenced to other manufacturers, thereby diversifying revenue opportunity.
Here we discuss a range of recent product innovations that have recognised niche consumer requirements, and led to the development of innovative products that fit closely with customer lifestyles and market needs.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles-based Evielab launched and patented the industry’s first CBD/CBG solid sublingual pearl. Originally developed in France, Evie pearls measure just .15 inches and deliver 5 mg of the highest quality CBD and CBG.
The innovative patent-pending micropearl technology, that followed 2-years of development by the company, dissolves quickly under the tongue and is as discreet as a breath mint. Each pearl consists of purified CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) combined with natural terpenes and come in effect-based profiles that may provide energy for sports performance, pain relief, relaxation, sexual drive, sleep, immunity and brain focus. Evie pearls are all natural with no additives, sugar, GMOs, or THC.
Each Evie pearl delivers 5 mg of hemp extract with superior bioavailability to ensure that more CBD/CBG reaches the body’s neurotransmitters. The patented production process delivers particles for a quick onset, and as a sublingual, they dissolve in your mucus and bypass the liver for more effective bioavailability and absorption.
The unique dispenser for Evie pearls delivers an exact dose of 5 mg in each pearl which takes the guesswork out of dosing. Users can mix and match pearls depending on the desired effect such as a Sport pearl before a workout, Focus while at work, a Relax pearl after work, and Sleep at night-time. This individual dosing gives the user much more control over their CBD experience.
Evielab has patents pending on the processing of the micropearls, the dispenser and the custom-designed machines that produce them. The pharmaceutical-grade plastic capsule, injected at the highest level to meet stringent clean standards measures out a single pearl dosage which can be popped into the user’s mouth and eliminates the need for hands to touch the product. The dispenser is designed to “pop” the pearl into the mouth without any cross-contamination as users have with sharing a vape pen or tincture dropper.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to consume hemp-based products with an immediate effect is through oral consumption.
Blue Ribbon has developed a range of Hemp Menthol CBD Strips made of an incredibly thin layer of “paper,” that is water soluble. As a result the CBD is absorbed sublingually to the bloodstream. Instead of eating something and waiting for it to pass the digestive system, oral strips instantly dissolve upon contact with water or saliva, with the active ingredients being absorbed so quickly the beneficial effects can be felt almost right away.
Not only do oral strips offer fast acting relief, they deliver a measurable dose of CBD, with each strip containing 15mg of cannabidiol isolate, and zero THC.
The drive for new product form factors is also being directed by the requirements of specific niches. International healthcare manufacturer AXIM® Biotechnologies through its nutraceutical division AXIM® Wellness has developed a cannabinoid-based chewing gum product aimed primarily at professional and amateur golfers.
The company’s Hole-In-One Gum is specially formulated to help golfers improve their athletic endurance. Each piece offers 30 mg of magnesium citrate to relieve fatigue and promote muscle growth, 25 mg each of ginseng and caffeine for an energy boost, 20 mg of sage extract to improve focus, 25 mg of wild green oat extract to enhance cognitive function and 25 mg of full-spectrum hemp oil containing 5 mg of cannabidiol (CBD).
Given the growing popularity of CBD use among the golfing community, the product innovation is likely to perform well in the US and there will likely be considerable interest from other regions, due to the international reach of the golfing community.
Chewing gum represents a different consumption pattern, to other products. The act of chewing is used by many sports professionals to improve focus and reduce stress, so the application of CBD, along with its many perceived benefits, becomes a natural extension of this product’s use.
The global golf market is expected to reach $6.85 million in 2020, meaning that the opportunity for growth in this type of product is extensive.
When considering CBD topicals, one of the most significant benefits is the ability to target specific pain relief, particularly muscle and joint pains. For the majority of CBD companies topicals are firmly rooted in salves and lotions, however a number of innovators are now using form factors like transdermal patches that until recently have been associated with more traditional pain relief products.
CBD is lipophilic, meaning it is attracted to oils and fats, and for this reason, CBD applied on the skin tends to stay on the outer layers and doesn’t cross into the bloodstream. The idea behind transdermal patches is that it can help compounds enter the skin in a more effective manner.
Go Green Hemp’s broad spectrum patches, Pure Ratio’s 96-hour pain patch, and Palmetto Harmony’s organic transdermal patch all claim to help withstand inflammation and fight against aches and strains.
As it stands, there is currently a lack of clinical evidence to demonstrate that any topical CBD product can be effective as a tool for managing pain. Definite conclusions on these products will require more clinical trial. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that for many the topical application of CBD does provide relief from aches and pains. There is also a growing community of sports professionals who advocate the benefits they have experienced by using these types of products.
Given that transdermal patches have been shown to improve absorption of other pain relief compounds there is understandably a segment of the market that would prefer a transdermal patch to a lotion or salve.
As mentioned previously, a recent study, in Belgium, found that cannabinoid-infused mouthwash was just as effective at killing certain plaque-related oral bacteria as chlorhexidine, an active ingredient in many prescription mouthwashes. The cannabinoid mouthwash was also more effective at killing bacteria than two popular over-the-counter products.
The researchers described the efficacy of the mouthwashes, which separately contained CBD and cannabigerol (CBG), as demonstrating the potential of cannabinoids in developing efficient and safer mouthwash products and next generation oral care products.
The study, published late last month in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cannabis Research, evaluated mouthwashes made by CannIBite, a Belgium-based company that develops cannabinoid-based dental products. The company designed and funded by the study, and Veronica Stahl, a dental practitioner and the founder of CannIBite, was one of the two co-authors.
In the study, oral bacteria from plaque samples of 72 adults were grown in a lab and then treated with five different mouthwashes: a solution of 0.2 percent chlorhexidine, a solution with CBD and spearmint oil, a solution with CBG and spearmint oil, and two common over-the-counter products—one with essential oils and alcohol as well as an alcohol-free mouthwash with fluoride. After periods of either 24 or 36 hours, the samples were measured to see how the mouthwashes affected bacterial growth.
Results of the experiment indicated that the two cannabinoid-infused mouthwashes significantly inhibited the growth of bacteria—on par with the chlorhexidine. The two over-the-counter mouthwashes, meanwhile, had little to no detectable effect.
With the global mouthwash market predicted to be worth nearly $3billion US dollars by 2026 it represents a strong sector for CBD and CBG growth. Currently the global market is served by a small number of players, meaning that there is substantial scope to disrupt this sector, particularly with a product designed to be more natural than existing offerings.
US-based tobacco company TAAT is preparing to launch a new brand of hemp cigarettes, as a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional tobacco. According to the company, the hemp cigarettes are flavoured with naturally-occurring terpenes as well as a proprietary blend of tobacco flavouring which contributes to a user experience emulating that of a traditional cigarette.
Taat hemp cigarettes also contain a minimum of 50mg of cannabidiol, which has been shown in studies to impart numerous benefits to tobacco users who wish to quit, including the alleviation of tobacco withdrawals and the overall reduction of tobacco dependency.
The Company anticipates that Taat hemp cigarettes will officially be launched in fall 2020. With worldwide tobacco-related deaths now topping eight million fatalities per year, it is clear that the time has come to introduce attractive alternatives to traditional cigarettes to encourage and facilitate positive long-term change for tobacco users.
Data from the CDC indicates that 68% of adult smokers said in 2015 that they wanted to quit smoking, and 55.1% of adult smokers said in 2018 that they had attempted to quit in the past year, though only 7.5% successfully quit smoking in that timeframe.
A common approach to quitting smoking is the use of nicotine replacement therapy (“NRT”) which has been shown to double a smoker’s chances of quitting; however NRT does not mitigate withdrawal symptoms or cravings. To address this, the user experience of Taat hemp cigarettes has been meticulously engineered to replicate each and every aspect of the experience of smoking traditional cigarettes. This includes an identical packaging format, a scent that matches natural tobacco with no trace odours of hemp, and an enhanced volume of exhaled smoke that resembles smoke exhaled from smoking a tobacco cigarette.
By duplicating these seemingly minor attributes as well as satisfying the “hand to mouth” habit, anecdotal responses from users in informal trials of Taat hemp cigarettes have indicated that there are no significant experiential differences between Taat hemp cigarettes and legacy tobacco products.
Author: Matthew Driver, Senior Consultant