CV Sciences launches CBD gummy, marketed as functional food

September 18, 2018

CV Sciences launched a hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) gummy product from its PlusCBD Oil brand.

CV Sciences launched a hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) gummy product from its PlusCBD Oil brand at Natural Product Expo East 2018. Like most gummy products on the market currently, this product is positioned for an adult audience, which is particularly important because it is a phytocannabinoid product.

“We wanted to be very clear that we are not marketing this product or any of our products to children,” Stuart Tomc, vice president of human nutrition for CV Sciences (San Diego, CA), creator of the PlusCBD brand, told Nutritional Outlook. “It really does look like it’s a line extension of our PlusCBD Oil Gold products, so that was a big decision.”

The gummy product has 5 mg of CBD per gummy and a sugar content of 1.5 g per gummy. It comes in two flavors: Cherry Mango and Citrus Punch. Prior to releasing the gummy, CV Sciences established self-affirmed GRAS status for PlusCBD's Gold Formula, the company announced in June. The company says this is the industry’s first GRAS self-affirmation for a hemp extract.

Tomc explained that the company insisted on securing the GRAS designation before it released the gummy. “We waited this long to come out with a gummy because we didn’t have evidentiary support of [its safety], especially if people are going to be using it more as a food,” he said. “I don’t think that not having GRAS would prevent someone from making a gummy; we felt like it was critical for us to wait, to be able to have that before we brought the gummy out.”

In terms of notable challenges formulating CBD into a gummy, typical hurdles included taste-especially when working with a full-spectrum product like PlusCBD, which utilizes the whole hemp plant and therefore inevitably has the notable flavor and odor of hemp. “Because we use the seed, the stem, and the stalk, we do get this noted taste we believe is coming from the hemp seeds and the shells themselves and even the waxes and longer-chain saturated fats that are in the stem and stock,” explains Tomc. By using its Gold line of hemp-derived CBD, however, CV Sciences started with the most distilled and concentrated version of its product, compared to its Red and Green lines, which are rawer.

In order to make an appetizing gummy, PlusCBD turned to Foodarom (Saint-Hubert, QC, Canada) to optimize the flavor and Danisco (Copenhagen, Denmark), a subsidiary of DuPont, to achieve the natural colors.

“We had to really work for months and months, going back and forth to perfect the formula, to make sure we had enough [CBD] in there. We also wanted to work with really good partners with some of the raw material,” said Tomc. “We didn’t want something that tasted like candy because we didn’t want the product to be misunderstood [as a children’s product]. We also didn’t want something that tasted like the pure form of Gold extract. I think we’ve hit the perfect balance between something that is effective and something that is a more exciting delivery system.”

PlusCBD’s efforts to launch a gummy product are more than just jumping onto a trend. It’s a push toward changing the optics of CBD as a supplement ingredient only and making it more accessible and accepted in food.

“We believe hemp-derived CBD has equally as big a future in the functional food category as it does in the dietary supplement category, and we see how these functional foods have blurred the lines in every single way between the food and nutrition and dietary supplements. We see CBD as the perfect adjunct or hero ingredient to be included in a litany of food products,” said Tomc.

Correction made 9/19/18 at 9:00 AM EST: A previous version of this article stated that all PlusCBD Oil products had GRAS self affirmation. This has been revised to say only the Gold Formula is self-affirmed GRAS.