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The Importance of Uniform Cannabinoid Distribution in CBD Products

The manufacture and sale of products featuring cannabidiol (CBD) has exploded in recent years. The wildly popular non-psychoactive compound, derived from hemp, is highly popular with eager consumers.

However, there’s a potential proverbial fly in the ointment. CBD products are presently unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And independent analyses have shown that numerous readily available products suffer from an alarming lack of labeling fidelity or consistency. In short, consumers are often getting far less — or sometimes more — than they paid for. The solution is simple: Invest in high shear homogenizer equipment that ensures uniform distribution of CBD throughout your inactive ingredient matrix, whatever that may be.

CBD products run the gamut from beverages to gummies, to tinctures, and even vape cartridges. All of these formats pose particular manufacturing challenges. For instance, gummies feature highly viscous substances that necessitate the use of high-speed, high-shear homogenizer equipment for proper processing. The goal is to achieve proper particle size reductions and uniform distribution of CBD and its associated terpenes, regardless of the viscosity of the medium you’re working with. A laboratory overhead stirrer might suffice for producing well-blended beverages, but will probably fall short when working with more viscous substances. And home appliances are simply inadequate.

This point is crucial. Ordinary home-based mixing equipment, such as kitchen blenders, are not appropriate for this task. While they may appear to blend small amounts of substances into a smooth mixture, they are not designed to achieve the level of uniform particle distribution that can readily be achieved using a rotor-stator homogenizer. Only by achieving this uniformity can you be sure that a gummy extracted from the middle of a batch, for example, will contain exactly the same amount of CBD as a gummy taken from, say, the bottom or sides of the mixing container.

Self-Regulation is Crucial

There’s no evidence that manufacturers are deliberately selling misleadingly labeled products.  But that’s often what occurs. For example, Penn Medicine published a study in late 2017, in the prestigious medical journal, JAMA, showing that 70% of all products sold online contained CBD in amounts that either exceeded stated concentrations, or more often, fell far short of stated amounts.

In some instances, products contained no CBD at all. Some products also contained significant amounts of THC. This is also problematic. THC is psychoactive, and could cause impairment when taken inadvertently. The FDA does not inspect or regulate these products, so consumers are on their own. In Penn’s study of 84 products from 31 different purveyors, only 30% of products contained CBD in concentrations falling within 10% of the stated amount.

As a manufacturer, your reputation is on the line when you sell products featuring CBD. In addition to possibly eroding consumers’ confidence in all CBD products, you risk causing an overdose among your customers if your products do not contain stated amounts of CBD. Alternatively, they might pay for something they will not actually receive.

Get It Right With Proper Homogenization

The best way to foster consumer confidence and ensure your products feature exactly what your label declares is to use appropriate manufacturing equipment. And that means investing in a laboratory-grade homogenizer. At CAT Scientific, we offer a wide variety of rotor-stator homogenizers that ensure thorough, uniform mixing of extracted CBD throughout a given carrier oil, gel, or other substance.

Incomplete or inadequate mixing could cause some doses of your packaged products to contain too much CBD, while others might contain too little — or none at all. Our homogenizers and magnetic hotplate stirrers are perfectly suited for a wide range of cannabis post-processing tasks. Dissolve, blend, emulsify and mix various ingredients and easily achieve uniform distribution of cannabinoids and entourage terpenes throughout your solution. The goal is consistency. The solution is professional-grade mixing equipment from CAT Scientific.

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