Edibles Processor Confident Inconsistent Testing Results Can Be Resolved Through Collaboration with Cannabis Labs

As states across the United States legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use, cannabinoid-infused edibles have quickly become one of the most popular products on dispensary shelves. For many consumers, this is the first impression and experience of the cannabis industry. Edibles, however, have gained a reputation for being variable in their potency. This situation has left edibles processors and analytical laboratories fighting to find and address the sources of variability in edibles potency. Variable results represent a challenge that everyone is very keen to resolve to improve consumer confidence, reduce costs and increase product consistency.

To discuss how processors work with cannabis testing labs and the crucial role this relationship plays we spoke to Kim Rael, CEO of Azuca – a producer of innovative, fast-acting cannabis edibles. Kim was also keen to discuss the importance of collaboration in resolving these variability-related challenges and what her experiences at Azuca have taught her.

Jack Rudd (JR): How does Azuca develop and optimize its formulations to meet customers’ needs?

Kim Rael (KR): Azuca brings to consumers the perfect intersection of culinary quality and innovative technology. We have three patents pending on our technology to make edibles fast-acting, predictable and micro-dosable. Most people experience the onset of our products within 15 minutes, and some as quickly as 2 minutes. We do this by making cannabinoid molecules hydrophilic, or “water friendly.”  (You know, oil and water don’t usually like to hang out together.) Our proprietary process essentially enrobes the cannabis molecule so that your body can absorb it through the soft tissues in the mouth and digestive tract. Traditional cannabis edibles are processed by your liver, which is why the onset time is so long and unpredictable.

Azuca’s purpose is to help people use this powerful, medicinal plant to live better, healthier lives. Our strategy is to revolutionize the cannabis edibles market. First, we offer a line of artisan batch, chef-quality edibles, including delicious chocolates and shortbreads (ginger, chocolate, traditional). In addition, we have a line of infused ingredients that give consumers the freedom to prepare and enjoy cannabis edibles. For example, a customer can use Azuca-infused sugars and syrups in any of their favorite beverages or recipes. In addition to our own line of edibles, we empower other cannabis edibles producers by licensing our “Azuca Inside” technology and ingredients to make their products even better and more fast-acting.

JR: At what points along the development, processing and manufacturing of your products do you use labs to analyze your products?

KR: We use only the highest quality ingredients from reputable suppliers, in the form of distillate and isolate, that have been tested for potency and contamination prior to being used in any of our formulations. After we have incorporated the cannabinoids into our formulas and then into final products, we send them to independent labs for a second round of testing, again, for potency, contamination, and food safety.

JR: What challenges have you faced when handling the analysis results provided by testing labs?

KR: The entire cannabis industry is in its infancy and as a consequence, the lab/analytical infrastructure is evolving rapidly, alongside the core industry. We have seen variability in the lab results when testing the exact same homogenized product at the same time at multiple labs, for example. In one case, the results varied by 30%. Additionally, as the regulatory framework has evolved prescribing what is an acceptable dosing variance, in some cases, it appears that the allowable variance from a regulatory perspective actually exceeds the baseline variability technically available on the analytical side.

My intent in discussing this challenge is not to accuse the labs of foul play, it’s quite the opposite. Working within an industry where the scientific community is still fighting the technical and legal battles necessary to even establish reliable reference-standards for testing means that reduction in variability is something we as an industry must work together on, for the ultimate benefit of our patients. Producers must work closely with our lab teams. It’s one of the most critical partnerships in enabling the rapid, safe growth of the industry.

JR: How do these challenges impact your business?

KR: The time and investment in testing, re-testing and understanding any variances in our lab results obviously takes a great deal of time, and it is a financial investment, ultimately adding to the cost of products for our customers. Clearly, we would like to drive down those costs and time lags, but never, ever at the expense of product safety and reliability. In some cases, I have seen products where the cost of testing exceeded the margin on the batch. Obviously, that is not scalable.

JR: How do you feel the labs can better serve businesses like Azuca and explain the results they provide

KR: As a customer of the labs, we want what every customer wants from any supplier: great service for a great price. We also need a real working partnership with our labs because the rate of change and innovation in our products and technology requires rapid testing turn-around. We also need the labs to fully understand and be fully transparent with us about their own variability and margin of error. Producers like Azuca rely on the labs for technical expertise and independent analysis not available in-house. We have had great support from our labs. For example, early on we were seeing unexpected data in our lab results. Our lab team and our production team worked together in a virtual “task force” to break down all of the results and isolate the potential causes, and then the final source, of the variability we were aiming to eliminate. The lab team was fully engaged as a partner in that process. I would also encourage all producers to tour the labs they work with and understand the analytical tools and process flows in the lab environment. It has to be a partnership, not a “lob over the fence” to the labs and vice versa.

Kim Rael, CEO of Azuca was speaking to Jack Rudd, Managing Editor for Analytical Cannabis.


The Cannabis Holiday Gift Guide 2018-19 Edition

2018/19 Cannabis.net Gift Guide For That Cannabis Smoker In Your Life

 

The most wonderful time of the year is finally here. Not that a reason is needed, but the holidays are the ideal occasion to gift the cannabis enthusiast in your life with awesome products that will make their 2019 (and beyond!) healthier and way more fun.

After all, there’s no better gift than cannabis! We’ve rounded up some of the best products in the market today and found a ton of affordable choices for your loved ones, including those who have been naughty ;)

 

Check these out: Happy shopping!

 

For Him

 

MIQRO Vaporizer: A super innovative portable vaporizer, the DAVINCI MIQRO is 33% smaller than previous models. Sleek, stylish, and simple yet powerful thanks to its fully functional and adjustable oven. The vape-loving man in your life will love this cutting-edge vaporizer that comes equipped with all the trimmings and accessories.

The Nuggy By Nugtools: Indulge the handyman in your life with the newest, super elegant Nuggy models in the market. It’s got more awesome features including a heat resistant Aluminum Oxide shell, a choice of 4 or 6 tools, and high quality springs that ensure safe snapping. You can also opt for the Original Nuggy, which is an insane 10-in-one smoking device made in stainless steel.

Canndescent Gift Box: These beautifully-packaged, limited-edition Canndescent Gift Boxes are the ultimate stocking stuffer for cannabis connoisseurs. Choose from a set of two or five, all of which feature premium cannabis strains in elegant glass jars.  That’s not all: they also include hemp wicks, branded matches, and rolling papers.

Veritas Farms Whole Hemp Oil Salve: Good quality personal care products for guys are few and far in between, but Veritas Farms’ essentials should be in every man’s dresser. It’s one of the rare farm-to-table brands in the market, and they make use of broad spectrum hemp oil that’s rich in phytocannabinoids.  The Whole Hemp Oil Salve is a top-notch personal care product that all guys will appreciate – because who says only women moisturize? Let your man’s natural scent shine through with the unscented salve, although we bet he’ll also love Cooling Menthol and Lavender Eucalyptus.

For Her

 

Cannabis Beauty Defined Anti-Aging Serum: CBD products make aging gracefully easy. The Cannabis Beauty Defined Anti-Aging Serum is a top-of-the-line skincare product that is designed to nourish skin and prevent damage caused by free radicals. Hemp-derived CBD is the active ingredient, and when you combine it with other super skin-loving ingredients like white peony and unique East-Asian Bi-Bong herbs, this product will give botox a run for its money. Ideal for the beauty junkie in your life no matter what age, because you can never be too young to start taking care of your skin.

Transdermal NanoSerum CBD with Resveratrol:  Your beauty-loving best friend or forever young-at-heart mom will be thrilled to receive the Transdermal NanoSerum CBD with Resveratrol. It’s got two of the most potent and natural anti-aging ingredients we know of today: resveratrol AND CBD! The patented, state-of-the-art NanoSphere delivery system used in this product enables all these goodies to penetrate the skin quickly and efficiently for ultra-fast healing.

Dr. Robb Mom’s Formula: Whether you’ve got anxiety or not, the holiday season can often be synonymous to stress. This special Mom’s Formula multivitamin contains CBD that is taken orally just like a regular supplement, to give that added calm and support from anxiety while promoting overall well-being. It might be made for moms, but it’s good for just about anyone.

For Foodies and Drink Lovers

 

Azuca CBD Simple Syrup: Making CBD-infused beverages has never been so simple. Azuca’s patent-pending technology makes these CBD-infused syrups blend effortlessly into any beverage or baked goods, so that you can enjoy all its therapeutic benefits with a delicious taste. This is a great gift for your grandparents, avid bakers and cooks, or coffee lovers. Accurate dosing, great taste, and easy to add into just about anything - the Azuca CBD Simple Syrup should be a staple in everyone’s kitchen.

mood33 Sparkling Herbal Beverages: Health junkies will love the mood33 herbal beverages, which only has 33 calories in each 12-ounce bottle. These products were formulated with the goodness of Ayurveda principles in mind. Choose from three blends: Joy, Passion, and Calm; each of which feature delicious and therapeutic ingredients which impart a specific mood. Mood33’s drinks allow you to consume discreetly in public, and make a terrific alternative to booze.

California Dreamin’ Sodas: These low-dose carbonated drinks pack a punch when it comes to refreshment and taste. It’s only made with cannabis, fruit juice, spring water, and carbonation so you get undiluted freshness and a mild buzz with 10mg of THC. Expect the high to set in within just 20 minutes! California Dreamin’ Sodas come in four lip-smacking flavors: Cranberry Apple, Pomegranate, Tangerine, and Grapefruit. These drinks make a great gift for anyone who appreciates a good, tasty buzz.

Goat’s Milk Sweet Quartet Caramel Infusion Kit: Now you can make your very own high-class edibles in the comfort of your own home. The Goat’s Milk Sweet Quartet Caramel Infusion Kit is a lactose-free cannabis infusion that is SO easy to use: just drizzle it over your favorite dessert or fruit. It comes in four flavors: Original Caramel, Spicy Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and Bourbon Salted Caramel. It’s the first of its kind in the market, and eliminates the need to do messy and complicated decarboxylation at home. It doubles as an excellent infusion when paired with a gram of your favorite strain and the Nova Decarboxylator. Either way, this kit gives you elevated desserts in no time. Perfect for the sweet tooth in your life.

For Your Pet

 

(Note: None of these products contain THC, so there’s no need to worry about health risks or accidental pet poisoning.)

 

Rowley’s CBD Peanut Butter Dog Treats: All dogs love peanut butter, but Rowley’s took it one step further by creating a unique line of peanut butter-based treats infused with CBD. The end product is so gooey that your pooch will keep coming back for more! And no guilt here, pet parents: its CBD content means that it’s perfect as a healthy treat, but also beneficial for pups with health problems such as anxiety or arthritic pain.

Bark Bliss Hemp Dog Treats: Pet parents can give their furry kids extra TLC with these Bark Bliss Hemp Dog Treats. Made with only hemp-derived CBD, all doggie snacks in their line are grain-free and poultry-free; high in salmon-derived omega-3, low glycemic, and naturally preserved. Whether your pup is in their young age or in their golden years, Bark Bliss Hemp Dog Treats ensures they get the care and nutrition that they need. Check out their snack line: Hip + Joint Support, Calming, and Immune + Heart Support.

Treatibles Functional Hard Chews: Made with organic full-spectrum hemp oil, these super nutritious hard chews are chock-full of therapeutic properties for your dogs. Pet anxiety is one of the things that it can treat, but they also make good training treats for your pups. Treatibles come in holiday-themed flavors: sweet potato, pumpkin, and turkey.

For Fun

 

Quiver Sensual Pleasure Oil: Ideal for your lover or for your favorite couple this Christmas, the Quiver Sensual Pleasure Oil is one of the best cannabis-based lubricants in the market. Designed to enhance sensations, extend orgasms, and to lubricate, this all-natural oil is made with cannabis, organic coconut oil plus essential oils. A tiny dose of THC helps to relax soft tissue for maximum enjoyment. Quiver Sensual Pleasure Oil is unlike other lubes in the market: it’s been voted “Best Intimacy Product” by the San Francisco Chronicle Green State, and has gotten many other mentions for…. Well, getting the job done.

Pure Hemp Rolling Papers: Some people say that smoking flower will go out of style, but there’s still an undeniable fulfillment that comes with rolling your own joint. The purist in your life will love these Pure Hemp Rolling Papers, which come in different sizes from the classic 1 ¼ to king size papers at 52mm wide! These rolling papers also make a great gift for beginner smokers. Teach them how to appreciate the old ways of pot!

Cannabis.net Trucker Hat: This awesome cap is versatile enough to go with any outfit, for both men and women. It’s made with 47% cotton, and the rest is nylon and polyester, ensuring a super comfy fit for all occasions. Use it for hiking, at the beach, or even for running errands. Show your love for pot!

Goldleaf Recreational Tasting Journal: This cleverly-designed cannabis tasting journal makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys cannabis or would like to learn more about it. It makes tracking strains, highs, all kinds of cannabis easy, topped off with cool graphics on its pages. This beautiful tasting journal features 24 full-spread template pages, purveyor sections for writing down your favorite dispensaries and growers, terpene and flavor infographics, and elegant cream-colored pages.

There you have it! With these gifts, anyone will be jealous not to be on your list this Christmas.

 

Happy Holidays!


Marijuana-Based CBD Oil Is The Next Big Thing On Jewish Restaurant Menus

A quick foray into the world of Jewish cooking reveals a surprising amount of CBD and marijuana products, from Orthodox Union certified edibles like the ones Mitzvah Herbals offers to Jeff the 420 Chef’s ouvre to kosher-certified industrial hemp producer GenCanna, all created with this trending non-psychoactive form of weed. While the world waits for weed to be legalized, and the restaurant industry plays catch up, it’s all about CBD, or cannabidiol, a form of cannabis that won’t get you high but might keep you calm.

On the legalization of CBD, Catherine Goldberg, who calls herself a cannabis entrepreneur, says “it’s babysteps. Necessary to get it going. And it’s basically free money.” Indeed, the CBD industry is poised to be worth $2 billion by 2022 and Bloomberg is already making lists of companies poised to list their products on the market.

Goldberg created Chai Havdalah, a weed-infused dinner party where Jewish chefs are encouraged to reinvent their great grandmother’s recipes. “Jews are anxious people,” says Goldberg, who uses cannabis instead of Adderall, “and I’ve noticed this trend where lots of Jews don’t like to drink and they like to sit and get high and debate philosophy instead.” Goldberg is one of those alcohol teetotalers, choosing instead to medicate her genetically inherited anxiety with marijuana. And thus her Pot Shabbats, which she’s been privately having since she was sixteen, became her public Chai Havdalahs, which she’s been having for over a year in Oakland, LA, and Denver, Colorado. (Naturally, she’s got her eye on Park Slope, Brooklyn.)

“I think Judaism and cannabis are deeply connected,” says Goldberg. “So it’s nothing new that the chefs are using their grandma’s grandma’s recipes and kind of reinventing it with cannabis.” Goldberg encourages Jewish chefs to explore their heritages in a different way (see Joan Nathan’s weed-infused roast chicken recipe for a prime example) and for Goldberg, CBD is an excellent way to start experimenting with the food of the future.

These parties are hosted in private homes as a way of getting around the fact that THC, the fun, psychoactive part of marijuana, is technically classified as a schedule 1 drug, making it difficult to serve without a selection of permit, both state and local. Selling CBD, or Cannabidiol, which is technically already legal, means buying from federally-approved sellers and using CBD derived from hemp and not cannabis. And while state agencies like the New York City Health Department have recommended legalizing weed, the federal government have proven taciturn even to hemp. But as statutes of marijuana consumption weaken across America, more and more restaurant owners and chefs are privately tweaking their menus and getting ready for the day when people will request a CBD or THC-infused tuna sandwich for lunch.

For Ron Silver, Bubby’s, his 28-year-old Tribeca restaurant was the perfect place to experiment with putting CBD on the menu. These days almost anything drinkable on Bubby’s menu, from an Americano to lemonade, can be infused with Azuca, which is Silver’s personal brand of CBD edibles, oils and sweeteners. “As powerful as penicillin is, as many lives as it has saved, I think CBD and cannabis has the potential to be even greater than that,” he said. Silver takes a daily dose of CBD and is convinced it has lowered his blood pressure. “My uncle has rheumatoid arthritis that just went away,” he said. “Part of that is because of the way CBD affects inflammation in the body.”

Silver is a man with a vision of a world where weed is legalized. He believes with every fiber of his being that cannabis is a human right and every tourist pouring off the High Line and into his restaurant should be given the ability to try it. In his vision of a world where weed is easily accessible, it ceases to be a tool for harassing people of color. “You can walk through any prison and see what that means,” he said. “That alone is a reason to get rid of this insane law.”

“I’d bet good money we’ll be seeing weed legalized within the next two years,” said Silver. He did, in fact, start Azuca, a company dedicated to artisanal edibles, so it looks like he did bet good money on it. And he’s far from the only restaurateur waiting to make money off the burgeoning cannabis industry. The world is waiting.


Holiday Gift? Forget the Jewelry or SmartTV. Instead, Give the Gift of Cannabis.

In 2018, cannabis has become a commercial powerhouse in the entrepreneurial world, as ten states and the District of Columbia all have legalized it for recreational use, thereby removing many of the weed's long-time legal obstacles and enabling cannabis brands to launch everything from luxury-grade prerolled marijuana cones, to skincare and beauty creams, to edibles and at least one high-end (pun intended) rolling tool.

Some of these products contain THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana that gets you high. Others contain cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which contains no THC but is touted for its pain- and stress-relief qualities. CBDs may well soon be legal everywhere, because the new 2018 Farm Bill seeks to legalize the cultivation of hemp nationwide.

Some cannabis products come from the marijuana plant; some come from a variety of Cannabis sativa: hemp. Whatever the source of the products you're buying and their legal status where you live -- which you should check -- cannabis products are being marketed not only for the nontraditional products listed above but also for clothing, shoes, even -- would you believe -- building products and auto parts.

The common denominator to all these new commercial uses is the fading of cannabis's "stoner" stigma: Marijuana is no longer something to be consumed in the shadows. It may even be becoming, dare it be said? fashionable.

So, in that spirit, if you're one of those people "high" on the holiday festivities surrounding Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, consider putting a cannabis gift under the tree, or beside the menorah or kinara, for that special someone. In that context, this cannabis gift guide starts off with a kiss ...

Mistletoke, from Zoma Cannabis.com, offers both a cannabis and a philanthropic twist. This (very) limited edition item intertwines boughs of mistletoe with three trimmed stems of (smokable) Zoma Envirocann organic cannabis. It's available, free, to the first 50 Los Angeles residents who contact info@zomacannabis.com.

No purchase is necessary but customers are invited to donate to One Tree Planted, a charity dedicated to reforestation after the California widefires. Zoma Cannabis will match those donations.

Next ...

Recommended by the creators of "The Marijuana Show"

The Marijuana Show, on Amazon Prime, has been dubbed "The 'Shark Tank' of Cannabis" and is headed by the dynamic duo of entrepreneurs Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins. "We receive thousands of auditions a year and typically have only ten [cannabis entrepreneurs] appear each season," Paull explained by email. "So, by the time we film, we are already a fan of the cast members, their companies and/or their products."

In that light, zeroing-in on the beauty/relaxation categories, Paull and Robbins offer this curated list of suggested products, some of them offered by Club Hemp, which Robbins and Paull co-own (the "Sephora for the cannabis industry," Paull dubs it):

The Club Hemp Power Pack: Paull calls this a "first aid kit for superheroes." The pack contains CBD oil-infused drops to put into your favorite beverage to boost energy and focus and a pain remedy. "Chill" helps you relax and sleep better. "Power" is an anti-pain spray for external maladies. "Energy" is an energy booster and substitute for coffee. $69.95, offered for the holidays at $49.95.

Restored Balance Spa Package. Five products in this skincare system cleanse, tone and moisturize while delivering collagen and micronutrients to your skin. Price, regularly $249.95, on sale at $199. 

Annabís handbags"The first 'high fashion' for women that we had seen," Paull quips about these bags. What makes them relevant to this list is that their secret pockets use something called Aroma-Block technology to cover up the cannabis odor their owners may be carrying.  Prices, $35 to $245, depending on the bag chosen.

My Bud Vase offers beautiful designer flower vases designed by the artist Doreen Sullivan. The vases double as "hide in plain sight" bongs. Prices, $60 to $269.

Stonedware Co., out of Portland, offers beautiful porcelain pipes finished with a food-safe glaze (some with 22K gold trim); ergonomically designed for ease of use. Prices, $55 to $170.

More from the topicals market

Papa & Barkley make whole-plant, terpene-rich topicals that can be used for all sorts of beauty, self-care and pain relief. Deck your halls with boughs of balm. $80.

Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics is offering a holiday gift bundle containing a natural skin cream, a cream to counter PMS, an overall skin cream and an anti-pain cream. Regular price, $263. Holiday price, $199.

Lazarus Naturals is offering tinctures, $32 up to $200, even including one for pets, and the following CBD-infused product bundles:

Edibles

Azuca offers CBD-infused edibles. One product category is its simple syrups, suitable for coffee, tea and cocktails, available in different size bottles, $10.95 to $113.85 (on sale for the holidays at $75.90), and sold online. Sold at the Boston dispensary Mayflower are goodies like Azuca's shortbread cookies, $30 a container; chocolate "coins," $30 a container; Azuca's version of Pâte de Fruit candies, $25 a container; and infused sugar for baking, $60 a container.

La Vida Verde offers cookies, made with coconut nectar, lemon zest and Himalayan crystal salt. Cookies, $20 (Tinctures also sold, $35 to $40).

Mr. Moxey's Mints are discreet, micro-dosed treats that are also a breath of fresh air. $40

Clothing

22Red: Offers unisex tees, $20, and hoodies, $50; the clothing line plans to expand to hats, sunglasses and other apparel (the site also offers vapes and pre-rolls)

Tools

OTTO, by Banana Bros, is an AI-powered "smart grinder and cone-maker; if you choose it, it's probably one of the more unusual stocking stuffers out there. This grinder uses proprietary artificial intellgence to automatically grind weed and fill a pre-rolled premium cone (a fancier kind of joint, for smoking). $129.99.

Jane West Beaker, designed by glass producer GRAV labs, is striking to look at as well as functional; it makes for an attractive alternative to the traditional tabletop water pipe. The beaker is made from hand-finished borosilicate glass and is available in the colors cobalt blue, cloud white and mint green. Available here. Price, $225. 

Blends

State Flower: offers prerolls and flowers, sold in California dispensaries. Prices not listed.

Zoma cannabis: offers prerolls, sold in California dispensaries only. A box of six, $45.

Higgs: offers cannabis prerolls, sold only at 11 California dispensaries. Prices not listed.

Eden Extracts offers cartridges and batteries for vaping, sold at Garden of Eden in Hayward, Calif. and various other California retailers. Prices not listed.

Happily holidays, everyone!


Holiday Gift? Forget the Jewelry or SmartTV. Instead, Give the Gift of Cannabis.

In 2018, cannabis has become a commercial powerhouse in the entrepreneurial world,as ten states and the District of Columbia all have legalized it for recreational use, thereby removing many of the weed's long-time legal obstacles and enabling cannabis brands to launch everything from luxury-grade prerolled marijuana cones, to skincare and beauty creams, to edibles and at least one high-end (pun intended) rolling tool.

Some of these products contain THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana that gets you high. Others contain cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which contains no THC but is touted for its pain- and stress-relief qualities. CBDs may well soon be legal everywhere, because the new 2018 Farm Bill seeks to legalize the cultivation of hemp nationwide.

Some cannabis products come from the marijuana plant; some come from a variety of Cannabis sativa: hemp. Whatever the source of the products you're buying and their legal status where you live -- which you should check -- cannabis products are being marketed not only for the nontraditional products listed above but also for clothing, shoes, even -- would you believe -- building products and auto parts.

The common denominator to all these new commercial uses is the fading of cannabis's "stoner" stigma: Marijuana is no longer something to be consumed in the shadows. It may even be becoming, dare it be said? fashionable.

So, in that spirit, if you're one of those people "high" on the holiday festivities surrounding Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, consider putting a cannabis gift under the tree, or beside the menorah or kinara, for that special someone. In that context, this cannabis gift guide starts off with a kiss ...

Mistletoke, from Zoma Cannabis.com, offers both a cannabis and a philanthropic twist. This (very) limited edition item intertwines boughs of mistletoe with three trimmed stems of (smokable) Zoma Envirocann organic cannabis. It's available, free, to the first 50 Los Angeles residents who contact info@zomacannabis.com.

No purchase is necessary but customers are invited to donate to One Tree Planted, a charity dedicated to reforestation after the California widefires. Zoma Cannabis will match those donations.

Next ...

Recommended by the creators of "The Marijuana Show"

The Marijuana Show, on Amazon Prime, has been dubbed "The 'Shark Tank' of Cannabis" and is headed by the dynamic duo of entrepreneurs Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins. "We receive thousands of auditions a year and typically have only ten [cannabis entrepreneurs] appear each season," Paull explained by email. "So, by the time we film, we are already a fan of the cast members, their companies and/or their products."

In that light, zeroing-in on the beauty/relaxation categories, Paull and Robbins offer this curated list of suggested products, some of them offered by Club Hemp, which Robbins and Paull co-own (the "Sephora for the cannabis industry," Paull dubs it):

The Club Hemp Power Pack: Paull calls this a "first aid kit for superheroes." The pack contains CBD oil-infused drops to put into your favorite beverage to boost energy and focus and a pain remedy. "Chill" helps you relax and sleep better. "Power" is an anti-pain spray for external maladies. "Energy" is an energy booster and substitute for coffee. $69.95, offered for the holidays at $49.95.

Restored Balance Spa Package. Five products in this skincare system cleanse, tone and moisturize while delivering collagen and micronutrients to your skin. Price, regularly $249.95, on sale at $199. 

Annabís handbags"The first 'high fashion' for women that we had seen," Paull quips about these bags. What makes them relevant to this list is that their secret pockets use something called Aroma-Block technology to cover up the cannabis odor their owners may be carrying.  Prices, $35 to $245, depending on the bag chosen.

My Bud Vase offers beautiful designer flower vases designed by the artist Doreen Sullivan. The vases double as "hide in plain sight" bongs. Prices, $60 to $269.

Stonedware Co., out of Portland, offers beautiful porcelain pipes finished with a food-safe glaze (some with 22K gold trim); ergonomically designed for ease of use.Prices, $55 to $170.

More from the topicals market

Papa & Barkley make whole-plant, terpene-rich topicals that can be used for all sorts of beauty, self-care and pain relief. Deck your halls with boughs of balm. $80.

Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics is offering a holiday gift bundle containing a natural skin cream, a cream to counter PMS, an overall skin cream and an anti-pain cream. Regular price, $263. Holiday price, $199.

Lazarus Naturals is offering tinctures, $32 up to $200, even including one for pets, and the following CBD-infused product bundles:

Edibles

Azuca offers CBD-infused edibles. One product category is its simple syrups, suitable for coffee, tea and cocktails, available in different size bottles, $10.95 to $113.85 (on sale for the holidays at $75.90), and sold online. Sold at the Boston dispensary Mayflower are goodies like Azuca's shortbread cookies, $30 a container; chocolate "coins," $30 a container; Azuca's version of Pâte de Fruit candies, $25 a container; and infused sugar for baking, $60 a container.

La Vida Verde offers cookies, made with coconut nectar, lemon zest and Himalayan crystal salt. Cookies, $20 (Tinctures also sold, $35 to $40).

Mr. Moxey's Mints are discreet, micro-dosed treats that are also a breath of fresh air. $40

Clothing

22Red: Offers unisex tees, $20, and hoodies, $50; the clothing line plans to expand to hats, sunglasses and other apparel (the site also offers vapes and pre-rolls)

Tools

OTTO, by Banana Bros, is an AI-powered "smart grinder and cone-maker; if you choose it, it's probably one of the more unusual stocking stuffers out there. This grinder uses proprietary artificial intellgence to automatically grind weed and fill a pre-rolled premium cone (a fancier kind of joint, for smoking). $129.99.

Jane West Beaker, designed by glass producer GRAV labs, is striking to look at as well as functional; it makes for an attractive alternative to the traditional tabletop water pipe. The beaker is made from hand-finished borosilicate glass and is available in the colors cobalt blue, cloud white and mint green. Available here. Price, $225. 

Blends

State Flower: offers prerolls and flowers, sold in California dispensaries. Prices not listed. Prices: $15 for single prerolls; 3.5-gram jars of flower, $55; 5 packs of pre-rolls, $45.

Zoma cannabis: offers prerolls, sold in California dispensaries only. A box of six, $45.

Higgs: offers cannabis prerolls, sold only at 11 California dispensaries. $45 for six pre-rolls.

Eden Extracts offers cartridges and batteries for vaping, sold at Garden of Eden in Hayward, Calif. and various other California retailers. Prices not listed.

Happily holidays, everyone!


Ingredient Spotlight: CBDs

You may have seen a new acronym popping up on restaurant and bar menus: CBD. It's short for cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis and hemp. Though CBDs lack the psychoactive properties of THC—in other words, they won't get you stoned—they are purported to have myriad health benefits, such as pain relief, inflammation mitigation, anxiety alleviation and acne reduction. However, there have not been many mainstream studies on CBDs, they have not been approved by the FDA for medical purposes, and they can have negative side effects, such as dizziness and depression, so talk to your doctor before trying them out.

CBDs are legal or quasi-legal in a number of states, so chefs and bartenders are beginning to work them into dishes and drinks. They usually take the form of powders or oils, making them easy to incorporate. To make them even simpler to use in culinary applications, chef Ron Silver created a line of CBD-infused sweeteners, including simple syrup and demerara sugar. Silver founded Azuca to make them and he began highlighting them this spring at Bubby's, his New York City restaurant. Guests have the option of adding a 25 milligram dose to any beverage.

However, since the laws concerning cannabis and hemp are in flux in many states—and the latter is still illegal on the federal level—he did have some worries about offering CBDs. "I was concerned about how they were going to be perceived," he says, "and that the laws were going to quickly change and then I was going to be doing something wrong by having them on the menu."

Though it took Silver some time to convince his own staff that selling CBDs would be a positive for the business, the public was more than ready. CBD-amped drinks have been a strong seller and Silver says they've received no complaints about them, though people constantly ask if they will get high or taste the hemp (they won't do either). He's planning to add more CBD-boosted sweeteners to his lineup at the restaurant and through his company, including flavored syrups, maple sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar, stevia and agave syrup.

New York bars have been equally quick to jump on the CBD bandwagon. Late this summer at Saxon + Parole, bar director Maxime Belfand began offering a trio of zero-proof cocktails specifically designed to highlight the purported benefits of CBDs: a ginger and mint swizzle, a spritz with non-alcoholic vermouth and grapefruit and the booze-less Seedlip spirit with tonic. "The idea was to make them more health-minded," he says. "Though now we let people add CBDs to whatever they want—tea, coffee or [alcoholic] cocktails."

In addition, The Lobby Bar in Manhattan's Ace Hotel offers a pommeau-fortified, CBD-enhanced Rosebud cocktail; Brooklyn's Grand Republic Cocktail Club has the Last Dance with Mary Jane featuring hemp CBD, as well as mezcal, absinthe and Singani 63; Tijuana Picnic in the Lower East Side has the CBD-laced Salad Daze forged from mezcal, tequila and Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur; and at JIMMY at the James in SoHo, the Jeff Spicoli special cocktail comes garnished with CBD infused gummy candies.

For sweet tooths who want a CBD fix, Monarch & the Milkweed in Burlington, Vermont offers chocolate truffles boosted with them, while Baltimore, Maryland's Full Circle Artisan Palacespecializes in CBD doughnuts.

Expect to see more CBD-infused edibles and potables in the coming months, as further states relax or retract their cannabis laws. To keep you chill while you wait for them to show up at your favorite eatery or taproom, you can always order a six-pack of Recess, a newly launched La Croix-style sparkling water infused with CBDs.


Da Capo To Serve Cannabis Cocktails

Da Capo, located at 322 Columbus Avenue (between 75th and 76th Streets), operates as an espresso bar by day, serving Italian espresso, specialty drinks, pastries and paninis. At 5PM, Da Capo transforms into a specialty cocktail bar with tons of cool drinks on their menu. 

And now included in that list of cool drinks are CBD (Cannabidiol) cocktails, Patch.com first announced.

Da Capo has partnered with weed edibles company Azuca to offer cannabis-infused sweeteners which customers can add to their drinks (or you can get a special CBD cocktail).

The company states that CBD can help relieve pain and anxiety, and Da Capo is the second NYC establishment to partner with them.

So, will these drinks get you stoned? 

Well, here’s the product description on Azuca’s website …

Made to mix effortlessly into drinks and recipes, our hand-crafted syrups never contain more than 7 ingredients. Compared to the average flavored syrup on the market, you’ll find Azuca Syrups to be quite a bit more wholesome and incredibly delicious.  And because Azuca Syrups are faster-acting, you can serve them socially and they’ll take effect in a few minutes, instead of hours later.  

So you’ll feel something, most likely. But I don’t think we’re talking Half Baked, Big Lebowski stoned.

Since Da Capo opened their west side location they’ve become really popular. So these new products will either increase their customer loyalty and / or expand their customer base.

For those seeking more unique and adventurous ingredients, they also have an absinthe cocktail (their Sazerac, made with absinthe, rye, demerrara and bitters).

Their cocktail menu has gotten a ton of positive reviews for its depth and inventiveness.

Da Capo has also collected lots of praise for their coffee, service and food. And they frequently host events including wine, booze and coffee tastings, food workshops and live music.

People have really grown to like this place since they opened (which was October of 2017). Their original location is on the UES, at 1392 Madison Ave.


10 Eateries Serving CBD Food and Drinks in 2018

As CBD proves to be a versatile ingredient in everything from beauty products to coffee grounds, this cannabis extract shows no signs of slowing down. CBD has now started to pop-up on dinner and drink menus at some restaurants, as interest in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties continues to increase. Coffee shops, diners, and even hotels are picking up on the CBD trend and creating cannabis-infused foods for their customers.

We looked at restaurants from across the country to find the most innovative uses of CBD in different dishes, drinks, and desserts. It was no easy feat to curate this list, but the ten eateries listed here impressed us with their CBD-infused food and drink options, and are worth adding to your culinary bucket list.

The James New York—NoMad Hotel

It may not fall into the restaurant or coffee shop category, but The James NoMad Hotel is a popular destination where guests have the opportunity to order room service from a CBD menu. On this menu, guests can choose CBD-infused dishes that range from spicy meatballs and butter salad, to ice cream sundaes and gummies—even CBD dog treats can be delivered to your room. It’s rare to find a full menu dedicated to CBD-infused food and treats, which is definitely an added bonus for visitors staying at this hotel.

Where: New York, NY

Bubby’s

Best known for its traditional American eats and an “off the commercial food grid” philosophy, Bubby’s is embracing this mindset by introducing CBD-infused drinks to their customers. On Bubby’s menu, there is a section dedicated to beverages that incorporate CBD into coffee, tea, and lemonade. Bubby’s makes note to only serve these drinks to customers who are 21 or older, and they use CBD-infused Azuca sugars and syrups that are absent of any other cannabinoids.

Where: New York, NY

The Butcher’s Daughter

With restaurant locations in New York and California, The Butcher’s Daughter is a growing juice bar and cafe that gives their patrons the option to add CBD to their smoothies, coffee, or lattes. The additional charge to add CBD is only $3 in New York, and $4 at the California location. The Butcher’s Daughter sources their CBD from the brand Plant People, and it may also be possible to add CBD to their food dishes or pastries upon request.

Where: Brooklyn, NY
New York, NY
Venice, CA

by CHLOE

A vegan-based eatery with locations in the U.S. and Europe, by CHLOE has an extensive menu that features a section dedicated to CBD-infused treats. Titled “FEELZ,” this portion of by CHLOE’s menu incorporates CBD into cookies, rice crispy treats, cupcakes, and brownies, which are baked fresh, in-house each day. The restaurant chain has locations in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Providence, but these CBD desserts are only available in their New York stores.

Where: New York, NY

Chillhouse

Also featured as one of the best spas offering CBD treatments in 2018, the Chillhouse doubles as an eatery and earns its place among the most buzzworthy. A trendy location for many, this cafe offers lattes and beverages enhanced with CBD tinctures, on top of their nail care services and CBD-infused massage treatments. Designed as a destination for self care, Chillhouse excels in creating a relaxing environment with multiple ways to experience CBD.

Where: New York, NY

Monarch & the Milkweed

A self-serving restaurant based out of Vermont, Monarch & the Milkweed specializes in serving cocktails, pastries, and cannabis confections. Some of their treats, like bon bons, strawberry blondes, or white chocolate truffles include CBD, and they also offer some THC options since marijuana is legal in the state of Vermont. Monarch & the Milkweed also impresses with their labelling, which lets customers know how many milligrams of CBD (and possibly THC) are present in the cannabis confections they are buying.

Where: Burlington, VT

Caffeine Underground

A modern coffee shop with creativity in mind, Caffeine Underground is a cool place to get a cup of CBD-infused coffee. Customers can also enjoy CBD caramels, or opt to add CBD jam to their bagel or toast for an extra $2. In addition to their CBD-infused food and drinks, Caffeine Underground hosts fun events each week, from live music to film showings and open mic nights, this coffee shop has it all.

Where: Brooklyn, NY

Moon Juice

Based in plant-sourced ingredients and natural remedies, Moon Juice aims to represent a holistic lifestyle that extends beyond basic juices and milks. This shop only serves organic foods and drinks, with patrons having the option to add CBD into their choice of milk, latte, juice, tea, or other beverages. Listed under the “mood booster” portion of Moon Juice’s menu, it only costs $3.50 to upgrade any drink with CBD mint chocolate or olive oil hemp extract.

Where: Los Angeles, CA
Venice, CA

Original Hemp Cafe

Situated at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, the Original Hemp Cafe aims to incorporate hemp into all of their products, including teas, coffees, pastries, and more. This cafe and lounge uses full-spectrum CBD oil sourced from reputable Colorado hemp growers, and no THC is used in their brewing or infusion processes.​ They also have seed to table policies in place to ensure that their customers are getting the best experience possible, while still offering a wide variety of CBD food and beverage options.

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

Koku

Focused on creating delicious and healthy plant-based food options for its customers, Koku offers soft-serve with superfood ingredients and various toppings—including CBD cacao. This cannabis-infused cacao is used in Koku’s Zen bowl with fresh blueberries, coconut chips, and black sesame granola on raw cacao flavored soft serve. CBD is incorporated into this dish for its antioxidant benefits, with the intention to support the body and its many systems.

Where: New York, NY

 


CBD’s Popularity Boom: Four Edible Directions

As CBD bursts into consumer consciousness – thanks in part to the commercialisation of cannabis – savvy restaurants are welcoming this wellness-enhancing compound, incorporating it into everything from mocktails to tasting menus.

As highlighted in A Budding Opportunity, CBD (the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis) is believed to alleviate anxiety, pain and other ailments– although scientists still know relatively little about its effects. CBD’s legality varies, and many US states haven’t addressed specifics. Surprisingly, California allows recreational cannabis, but banned CBD from restaurant menus in July 2018.

  • High Dining: Cannabis-infused fine dining, as explored in our American Food Influencer Round-Up, is being reinterpreted for mainstream menus with CBD. New York restaurant Lalito partners with cannabis lifestyle magazine Gossamer to host dinners showcasing CBD’s distinct grassy, vegetal flavour. Upscale vegan restaurant Farmacy Kitchen in London offers afternoon tea with hemp tea, alongside CBD-infused cocktails and chocolates.
  • Add-On Benefits: NYC fast-casual restaurant Inday provides CBD-infused ghee for its Indian-inspired meals, nodding to cannabis’s wellness appeal, as outlined in 10 Wellbeing Trends to Watch. Meanwhile, American vegan fast-casual brand By Chloe tempts Instagram foodies with CBD-boosted desserts laden with sprinkles and edible glitter (see Sweet Treats: Dessert & Chocolate Trends).
  • Comfort Inn: Several hotels are touting CBD’s relaxation benefits as an amenity for travellers. US chain The James Hotel offers a room-service menu with CBD-infused comfort foods such as meatballs and tater tots (for more on The James’s wellness initiatives, see The Brief). Meanwhile, hotel group The Standard stocks its US minibars with CBD gummies from Californian cannabis brand Lord Jones.
  • Soothing Sips: At New York restaurant Bubby’s, diners can order coffee, tea and lemonade with CBD-infused granulated sugar from the owner’s brand, Azuca. Also in New York, restaurant Adriaen Block offers CBD-tinged mocktails and low-ABV cocktails for a healthier night out.For more on infused drinks, see Fresh & Functional Formulations in Fluid Flavours and Coca-Cola Considers Cannabis.

The New Consumer Guide to Cannabis: Breaking Down the Basics

We get it. Cannabis can be confusing, and questions abound when you dive into the nitty gritty details.

But as the popularity and awareness of cannabis increases—specifically surrounding two of its most talked about components, called cannabinoids, CBD and THC—so do misconceptions about what cannabis is, what it does and what all of the hype is about (well worth it, if you ask us!).

Some of the most common questions we hear:

Do all cannabis products get you high? (short answer: no)
What is it used for? (the list keeps on growing)
How does it taste? (Azuca was founded by a chef—you can trust us on this one)
Why should I try it out? (how much time do you have?)

Like all good stories, we think it’s best to start at the beginning to help you nail down the basics. For the sake of brevity, we’ll hone in on THC and CBD only—though bear in mind, the cannabis plant contains more than one hundred unique cannabinoids.

Do all cannabis products get you high?

Nope. A cannabis-infused product’s ability to provide a high is dependent on whether the product contains THC or is CBD only. Not sure what THC and CBD are? Read on.

THC and CBD—what’s the difference?

CBD and THC, shorthand for cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, respectively, are cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. More simply, they are two of the most abundant active ingredients found in cannabis.

A common difference cited between the two is that THC can get you high and CBD doesn’t. But it’s a little more sophisticated than that. Both THC and CBD are psychoactive—by definition, any substance that has an effect on the mind is psychoactive—but only THC is intoxicating, meaning that it can provide you with a euphoric high while CBD cannot.

Why? It all has to do with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors, which naturally occur within your body’s endocannabinoid system. Since THC is an ‘agonist’, it stimulates CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD on the other hand, is an ‘antagonist’ and inhibits activation of CB1 receptors. A 2001 study1 demonstrated that when an antagonist blocks the CB1 receptors, an individual cannot get high, therefore when the CB1 receptors are open to being stimulated by an agonist, an individual can get high.

What is cannabis used for?

A growing body of literature indicates that cannabis has a variety of health benefits that can aid in the treatment and recovery of a range of ailments. Since the research on its medicinal applications is still in a nascent stage, its complete capabilities are not fully known. That being said, studies 2,3  have shown that cannabinoids can be an effective and well-tolerated pain reliever, with evidence suggesting that they are also helpful in the treatment of cancer,4, 5 fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis,6 muscle spasticity,7 Tourette Syndrome,8 schizophrenia,9  Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease.2

Cannabis is also frequently used to treat the symptoms that accompany drug therapy for HIV infections,10 and synthetic cannabinoids have proven to be effective in relieving the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, like nausea and vomiting.11

CBD in particular is highly regarded for its calming effects, with individuals reporting that it relieves insomnia and anxiety, and can also help manage epilepsy.

What does it taste like?

Historically, cannabis has gotten a bad rep for tasting ‘grassy’ and smelling ‘skunky’. But that doesn’t have to be the reality—today’s edibles have advanced to the point where the “weed” flavor that many find undesirable is virtually undetectable. Our mantra? You can have your cannabis, and enjoy it too! Our products range from CBD simple syrup to THC-infused chocolate coins, shortbread cookies, Pâte de Fruits (Azuca’s Head of Kitchen Crew, Quino, dubbed this as his favorite product) and more.

We’re constantly coming up with new flavors—think Root Beer Pâte de Fruit and pomegranate simple syrup—and are expanding rapidly, so make sure to follow us on social (@azuca.co) to stay up-to-date! Warning: mouthwatering is a frequent side effect of looking at our Instagram page.

How much should I consume?

For novice consumers, it’s recommended to begin with a very small amount of cannabis—also known as a microdose—and gradually work your way up to the point when the desired effect is reached. For instance, with Azuca, this might mean using a half teaspoon of sugar or syrup in your drink. Fortunately, our products take effect within 30 minutes, so you won’t be waiting and wondering for hours as you would with many other edible products on the market.

The bottom line: every person is different, so starting low and going slow is the key to finding the correct dose for your unique biology and needs—in fact, many people prefer to microdose because it allows them to benefit from the plant’s vast medical potential on a daily basis, without experiencing any unwanted lethargy or euphoria.

Alright, all of that sounds great. How can I get in on the action?

Whether you’re looking to discover your Zen through CBD-only products or are desirous of finding balanced, THC-infused edibles and ingredients to incorporate into your lifestyle, Azuca promises to deliver fast-acting, precise and delicious edibles that you can count on.

Our CBD products can be bought online here, and our THC-infused edibles are available at Mayflower Medicinals in Massachusetts.

Sources

  1. Huestis MA., Gorelick DA., Heishman SJ., Preston KL., Nelson RA., Moolchan ET., Frank RA. Blockade of effects of smoked marijuana by the CB1-selective cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58:322–328. [PubMed]
  2. Natalya M. Kogan, Raphael Mechoulam. Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2007;9:413–430. [PMC]
  3. Mary Barna Bridgeman, Daniel T. Abazia. Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting. P T. 2017;42:180–188. [PMC]
  4. Kogan NM. Cannabinoids and cancer. Mini Rev Med Chem.2005;5:941–952. [PubMed]
  5. Bifulco M., Laezza C., Gazzerro P., Pentimalli F. Endocannabinoids as emerging suppressors of angiogenesis and tumor invasion (review). Oncol Rep. 2007;17:813–816. [PubMed]
  6. Cabranes A., Pryce G., Baker D., Fernandez-Ruiz J. Changes in CB1 receptors in motor-related brain structures of chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis mice. Brain Res.2006;1107:199–205. [PubMed]
  7. Brenneisen R., Egli A., Elsohly MA., Henn V., Spiess Y. The effect of orally and rectally administered delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on spasticity: a pilot study with 2 patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996;34:446–452. [PubMed]
  8. MulIer-Vahl KR. Cannabinoids reduce symptoms of Tourette's syndrome. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003;4:1717–1725.[PubMed]
  9. Zuardi AW., Crippa JA., Hallak JE., Moreira FA., Guimaraes FS. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006;39:421–429. [PubMed]
  10. Woolridge E., Barton S., Samuel J., Osorio J., Dougherty A., Holdcroft A. Cannabis use in HIV for pain and other medical symptoms. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005;29:358–67. [PubMed]
  11. Berlach DM., Shir Y., Ware MA. Experience with the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone in chronic noncancer pain. Pain Med. 2006;7:25–29. [PubMed]