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Utilizing Minor Cannabinoids and Terpenes to Create Differentiating Cannabis Beverages

Cannabis Drinks Expo in conversation with Lo Noroña, Director of Business Development at Vertosa

09/10/2021

As a cannabis beverage manufacturer, product differentiation is everything. The market is becoming increasingly saturated, a trend that is showing no signs of stopping soon. So, what are you doing to differentiate your products? Does your infusion technology stand out from your competitors?

In this Q&A with Lo Noroña, Director of Business Development at Vertosa — a leading cannabis infusion technology company — we learn more about the latest in cannabis infusion, the role that cannabinoids and terpenes play in the process, and more. Keep reading to learn what it really takes to differentiate your cannabis beverages. 

Q: What are some important considerations when it comes to formulating with minor cannabinoids and terpenes?

To begin, ask yourself an important question — why? Are you formulating to a specific effect, do you have a strain that you love that you're trying to emulate, or is there a tribute to the plant that you'd like to bring out in your cannabis beverage?

One of the most important things to consider when formulating with minor cannabinoids and terpenes is how much variance you are open to. This can drive the supply chain and ingredients used in your product.

If you want consistency and repeatability, working with isolates will help dial in precision from batch to batch. You can develop products based on specific cannabinoid ratios, like a 5:5 featuring THC and CBD or a more complex incorporating minor cannabinoids, and rest assured you are offering consumers the same, consistent product and experience each time.

If some variance is acceptable, you may opt for a Live Resin which will take a fuller plant extract but may have slight variation in its cannabinoid profile and terpenes from batch to batch. This could help your brand tell a unique sourcing story and connect consumers more deeply with the plant.

After settling on your variance, you can begin asking yourself the how questions. Is your formulator able to work with the ingredients to finish your formulation? 

High-purity distillates are easy to use with a stand-in, like a hemp CBD. But if you're working with cannabis terpenes or full plant extracts, you'll need to be comfortable with a non-license holder not being able to formulate with the specific extract you want to use.

Q: What are the steps to building a proprietary formulation in regards to flavour and efficacy utilizing terpenes and cannabinoids? 

First, you have to know your supply chain and who can handle what. If your formulator is not licensed, how will you do a final sensory test before production? What do your test group and feedback cycles look like? How will you collect this information, and how can these learnings inform the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavours you use?

As part of the research and development phase with our partners, we regularly conduct sensory and taste testing sessions to help them differentiate their products via unique cannabinoid and terpene ratios aimed to deliver specific effects.

Q: What are some of the benefits in regards to bio-availability from encapsulating the cannabis active ingredients versus ingesting in an oil form? 

Any cannabis beverage must encapsulate cannabis activities for dispersion in liquid. Compatibility, stability, and efficacy are all impacted and improved with emulsion technologies. In regards to efficacy, we've seen an 8x increase in bioavailability versus oil alone. Check out our PK Study to learn more about how Vertosa’s emulsions increase bioavailability!

Q: How does Vertosa source extracts?

Vertosa is input agnostic, meaning we are able to take any legal and clean inputs and customize a formulation to our client's needs or specifications. We have great suppliers who help to provide high-quality extracts, from Live Resin to isolates.

While we tend to focus on the delivery mechanism that will get the cannabinoids to the consumer most effectively, Vertosa is also committed to sourcing safe, reliable and consistent inputs for all of the infusion ingredients we produce.

Curious about creating your own cannabis beverage? Meet Vertosa and several of their brand partners at the Cannabis Drinks Expo