By / October 24, 2020

Industry experts debate the future of CBD and cannabis extracts

Before he became a wholehearted advocate of full spectrum cannabinoid products, the industry expert Tim Gordon admits that he was fascinated with the potential of the CBD extract. The isolated molecule has a number of varied and important properties which have enthused medical and commercial industry leaders for years.

“My passion was just for CBD and understanding this Swiss Army Knife of molecules,” said Gordon to Hemp Industry Journal editor Kristen Nichols during a recent webinar.

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The experts disagree on the virtues of whole cannabis extracts

Gordon is the founder and full-spectrum scientific director of the product manufacturer Functional Remedies. He ultimately became an advocate of the whole plant’s extracts and the “entourage” effects that the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant provides.

If the whole spectrum of extracts is likened to orange juice, Gordon said, then isolates like pure CBD are akin to the orange drink mix Tang, devoid of any real nectar, or even fruit content.

On the other side of debate we have Cazador de la Tierra, the director of CBD research at the Canopy Growth Corporation. The expert objected to Gordon characterization of CBD against a full spectrum of cannabis extracts, saying countless active compounds of the cannabis plant needed further research.

“It’s very important to be very specific about what we’re talking about,”  de la Tierra said. “I think we have to systematically dissect what molecules are present” and get away from the “brilliant generalities that really mean nothing.” His biting criticisms of Mr Gordon’s approach did not go undefended however, as he explained the complex questions surrounding cannabis extract use and industry.

The core questions surrounding cannabis extracts

De la Tierra also brought up the risks of ‘broad spectrum’ compounds, especially when compared to the single isolated molecule. The fundamental problem comes down to knowledge, he said: “We don’t know enough. I don’t think we can say that the ‘mysterious cocktail’ plus CBD is better than the CBD alone – because we don’t know what’s in the mysterious cocktail!”

In a wide-ranging debate moderated by Kristen Nichols, Gordon and de la Tierra’s debate ranged far and wide overall several topics on a number of contentious issues in the field.  Despite the disagreements the two experts contributed to a friendly and informative atmosphere of productive discussion, testament to their mutual passion for the product and its potential.

Their discussion covered a number of topical and important questions facing the cannabis extract industry at the moment. The first order of business of course being the fall in wholesale prices which many commercial actors such as Canapy Growth corp are worried about. They discussed possible explanations for the phenomenon as well as how it is likely to impact the industry as a whole.

CBD extract experts dive into the details of the cannabis industry

The discussion also touched on important adjacent topics, all of which will play a role in the near future of the CBD extract industry. These ranged from questions about how best to communicate THC risks to consumers, to trends in QR code labeling for packaging, and the latest developments in FDA regulations.

The US FDA’s inflexibility on CBD products has been a thorn in the side of all connected industries, and the experts commiserated on their shortsightedness. They hoped instead that future regulations would both clarify and compartmentalize the various products of cannabis extraction. Such a step would open many doors for major growth in the sector which for now remains in relative infancy.

Finally they also brought up interesting questions on the cutting edge of cannabis extract research. Among them the growing interest from industry insiders in the THC delta 8 molecule, which differs only slightly from the more common Delta 9, but might offer intriguing possibilities.

Overall, the discussion was productive and potent, a prime example of why the CBD and cannabis industries more broadly are a prime sector for growth and interest across multiple fields. The debates no doubt will continue as the sector continues to grow and pit different paradigms against one another, to the benefit of consumers everywhere.

Featured image by CBD-Infos-com via pixabay.


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