Episode 114 – Gummy Central®: Cannabinoids and Gummies



Joe: On this episode of "CPG & CBD University" podcast, CBD, Delta-8, Delta-9, CBN, CBG, we're talking cannabinoids and gummies on our latest episode as a part of our "Gummy Central Series." This is the "CPG & CBD University" podcast, and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University" podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Don't forget to hit that "Subscribe" button wherever you get your podcast. And you can always catch full video episodes of our podcast on the Global Widget YouTube channel, and the YouTube channel of our brands.

As we discussed on previous episodes, lots of different cannabinoids in the industry. We're talking CBD, CBN, CBG, Delta-8, Delta-9. Who knows what else is out there? But I know a few people who have a good idea. Keeping up with all the news surrounding each one is a challenge, but imagine formulating that perfect gummy with all these different cannabinoids. So we call them the experts from "Gummy Central."

If you're watching on video, you know the man in the middle. He's been on past episodes, quality manager, Nelson Rodriguez. But two members of our formulation in R&D team making their podcast debut, is quality control chemist, Eugene Choi and R&D specialist, Jean Irizarry. Welcome all three of you.

Together: Thank you.

Jean: Thank you for having us.

Joe: So, first, I think I covered just about everything: CBD, CBN, CBG, Delta-8, Delta-9. Nelson, anything I missed?

Nelson: No. You covered basically...well, I don't want to say all of them because there's a bunch of other cannabinoids, but you covered mostly the more trending ones or maybe the ones that you have a lot of experience basically, you know, dealing with formulation-wise and production. But, Choi, do you want to add, like, other stuff you see in the chromatograms?

Eugene: I think it's worth mentioning both THC and CBC. THC, of course, is a derivative of Delta-8. So, when we're working with Delta-8, it is worth mentioning THC. CBC, on the other hand, is a relatively new compound as far as cannabinoids goes. There's a lot of newer research on it for potential medical benefits, but it's not something that we're currently using now. But in the future, it does have a lot of potential.

Jean: Joe, in the R&D lab, we work with all different types of cannabinoids. I mean, we work all the way from full-spec to isolate and broad-spec. And as you know, like, full-spec retains all of the components of the...contain the cannabinoids, the terpenes, and flavonoids. And then you have all those therapeutic and psychoactive effects. And we also add a lot of different active ingredients to help create a quality product.

Joe: And that we'll get more into. It's already like they've been on past episodes, because they know...it's amazing. We'll start off with how it all started first, though CBD and with our in-house brands, we've seen all types of products. But with gummies, is CBD the easiest to work with, Jean?

Jean: It is fairly easy to work with. Yeah. As I mentioned, you just take that CBD and take its benefits like relaxation, and add other ingredients such as L-theanine, and then you make a synergistic effect into it and then create a product that is stronger and better.

Nelson: I agree. And he has a good point that CBD is easier to work with. I mean, to be honest, that's kind of relative, right? For us, it's actually pretty easy because we're already experts in the field. We know how to deal with this compound in its isolate form. But working with other cannabinoids, it's a little bit challenging to make a specific [inaudible 00:03:51] because, for example, let's talk about D-8, for example, right, Choi? In its most isolate form, it's like distillate. So it's, kind of, like a thick rosin. I mean, if you don't heat it, it's very difficult to deal with. I don't know if you want to add more to that.

Eugene: Yeah. I mean, it's technically an oil, but it's so viscous that at room temperature, it's a borderline solid, which is why it has to be heated up to be able to be worked with. But even then, it cools very quickly, so there's a very short window of time where it's actually usable and we can put it into a product. Yeah.

Jean: That's correct. And also, he mentioned it's an oil, so mixing oil and water together, they don't mix well. So, as he mentioned, we have a short amount of time. And when we're in production right there, we get the product out of compounding, then heat it, deposit it fast and try to, you know, make a gummy as fast as possible.

Nelson: Like he said, we're adding oil to something that likes water. So when you do that, you have a very short time to basically mix it and make a homogeneous product. Remember we have 50 count, 25 count, it doesn't matter, but we need to meet label claim on each of those pieces. So it's very difficult to get a homogeneous product when you're mixing oil and water. But we have our secrets.

Joe: And aside from our in-house brands on our contract manufacturing side, which we've highlighted on past episodes, so we've talked a little bit about CBN and CBG. But before we even start the gummy-cooking process, what are you looking for in raw materials when it comes to CBG and CBN, Eugene?

Eugene: Yeah. So, CBN and CBG are pretty closely related to CBD. All three of them come in the form of an isolate powder, so physically it looks like a white fine powder. Where they differ is that CBG and CBD are more closely related to each other than CBN. CBG and CBD both have very similar effects, and because of that, they have a lot of synergistic benefits as far as recreational and, you know, medical benefits goes.

CBN differs because it's a derivative of THC, and so chemically it looks a lot similar to THC and the benefits also are kind of in line with each other. However, CBN lacks the psychoactive component that THC is often linked with. So, you know, THC does have a lot of benefits, but it has that kind of stipulation where it has that psychoactive effect to it. So CBN is beneficial because it has those benefits, but now you're taking off that potentially dangerous component of it.

Jean: Yeah. Like he mentioned, CBN does not have those psychoactive effects of THC, and that's where the great benefit of it comes right now because you could add other active ingredients alongside CBN, well, example, CBD or L-theanine, and then have all those effects of the THC without those psychoactive effects. You wouldn't want that.

Eugene: Good point.

Joe: Yeah. And leads into my next question. You guys are experts already. CBN, CBG interacting with the gummy-cooking process. And how do you add both CBD and one or the other?

Nelson: Well, every time you change something in a gummy, the gummy is going to react left or right. It really doesn't matter. So, let's say we have a gummy and we have a CBD gummy, and let's say, hey, now we want to add CBN, you change everything, basically. You change the cooking process, you change basically Brix value, you change how long we need to mix, you change basically everything. So, when you mix cannabinoids, basically you go back to square one.

Of course, you know, we're very used to this because we do this in the lab almost every day. So when we're mixing stuff like CBN, let's say, even Delta-8, we know where to go to make a gummy. And it's not like a trial-and-error type of thing. We already know how it's gonna react with the gummy since we have so much experience dealing with these things from lab and production. And I don't know if you guys want to add. Like, it's very difficult to deal with D-8 on a bigger scale versus the lab. Even with CBN and CBD, you still have losses when you're weighing stuff when you go into production.

Joe: And that's how I was gonna get into next, is, you know, from C to D, literally, and I'm talking about some of the newest products from our in-house brands, Mystic Labs and Hemp Bombs, and then obviously with the contract manufacturing side, Delta-8, Delta-9, what are the factors there when dealing with gummies, and formulating and cooking?

Eugene: Yeah. So, like you said, Nelson, like, with Delta-8 and Delta-9, because they're distillates, they're, you know, technically an oil like we mentioned. They have a lot higher accountability for loss because, you know, with CBD, CBN, and CBG, those are all powders. Those are a physical solid that you can work with. It's a lot easier to account for weight and potential weight loss. But when you're dealing with an oil or a liquid, there's a huge room for error. And because of that, when we're adding those to the cooking process, like you guys said, mixing an oil and a water is not really gonna work that well, so we have to try to figure out exactly what's the most perfect way to do that.

Nelson: Not only that, like, even in production and formulation, is that...but in, like, the chromatograms, for example. Even from a testing standpoint, when we test the gummy in-house to check specifically how much milligrams per gummy it has, it's a challenge to have a good resolution on...and when I'm saying resolution, it's basically you have a chromatogram, and you got peaks. And those peaks, the more separate they are, you got better resolution. It's a challenge to separate d a from D-8 from D-9 since they're so similar, so I don't know if you want to add into that example. He sees chromatograms all day.

Joe: Okay. So we've heard the word a few times now. So, for those of us who are not in the lab every day, just host the podcast, what are we talking about when you mention that?

Nelson: So, a chromatogram...go ahead, Choi.

Joe: Go ahead, Eugene.

Eugene: Yeah. So, it's literally just like you said. So, a chromatogram is a graphical representation of the chemical compounds in a substance. You know, it's an X-axis, a Y-axis, and then all the compounds that are in it are represented by these sharp peaks. And then those peaks will tell you the potency of each compound within a sample. The issue is that CBD and CBG are similar, and then Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar, so they appear literally right next to each other on the chromatogram. And when that happens is that you see often a discrepancy between those two peaks. They're not fully separated, which is what we want, because if they're separated, we know exactly what the potency is of each of those compounds.

Nelson: So, basically, a chromatogram is testing for identity, "This is the compound that I have," and it's testing for how much it has depending on the weight.

Joe: Do any of the different cannabinoids have any effect, like, on flavors, texture, or any of that, or is that all on the...

Nelson: They do have a very different...I mean, Jean can pitch on that.

Jean: With experience, I've noticed that, depending on the quality of the oils that we're working with, that would definitely affect the flavor. Like, the higher the quality is, the better flavor it has, at least in my opinion. I mean, flavor is a lot, to be fair. But other than that, we usually add our own flavors, because we want a really good-tasting gummy. A lot of the ingredients that actually have the flavor are the other active ingredients. Like, if you start adding L-theanine and other active ingredients, that will carry most of the flavor.

Nelson: And maskers.

Jean: And we also use maskers. Yeah. So that would tone down the...

Nelson: The bitterness maybe. I mean, maskers can be used for anything. But for CBDs, is it bitter? It's kind of like a tea taste, so it's very bitter. Or, kind of, like caffeine, it's very bitter. So we have maskers that actually helps with that. I mean, Jean knows a lot about maskers.

Joe: So, what's next out there? I mean, how do we stay ahead of the trends with cannabinoids and gummies? And what are we looking at? You guys are the R&D guys. You tell me.

Jean: I mean, so you know we already have nine products with CBD in Hemp Bombs line. And we're always looking to add different products to it. Right now in current roadmap, I know that we are currently working with CBD and CBN. A lot of customers want that. But as more cannabinoids are discovered, and different cannabinoids start trending, we always go there, first try to do some research, try to look at different active ingredients that have synergistic effects. With the different cannabinoids, and, for example, right now we have CBN. You could add melatonin, and CBD, and have a...

Nelson: Sleep gum.

Jean: ...sleep aid. Yeah, sleep gummy, or have a CBD and CBG gummy and add turmeric, and then you would have a gummy that would be really good for inflammation purposes. So we always try to stay ahead of the curve by looking at what's trending, and basically going head first and start researching.

Nelson: Yeah. No. I mean, it's a challenge. The more stuff we put in a gummy, the more we make it difficult for Choi to test, because then, you know, he sees the chromatogram [inaudible 00:13:03] again. And you see all these peaks. And he's like, "Oh, what is this gummy supposed to have?" So, when we get samples from R&D, we really don't ask what specific is in there, because we don't want to be biased.

So, when we see the chromatogram, and then up here, Choi's looking at all these peaks and he's like, "Wow. There's, like, six cannabinoids in here." Which takes me back to what you said about the full spectrum, broad spectrum. You know, you have other cannabinoids in there because it's not really in isolate form, so it's an oil that has other cannabinoids. But, I mean, Choi, how many cannabinoids do you see in the chromatogram?

Eugene: Too many. Yeah. The issue is that, you know, we have isolate powders that are just purely CBD, CBN. Maybe they have a tiny bit of anything else. But when we're working with the actual finished product, like a gummy, for example, we'll often see other byproducts of CBD or whatever it is in there. So CBGA is an example that's often, we see a minute amount within the chromatogram of that gummy.

Another really important one that I mentioned earlier in the podcast is CBC, cannabichromene. That has a lot of potential use in the future for medical benefits. There's a lot of research behind it for cancer benefits, actually. So, you know, like you said before, with CBD, CBN, you've got something akin to a sleep gummy. CBN, CBG, you've got something for inflammatory pain. If we can find a way to get CBC into a pure isolate form like with the other cannabinoid products, that could be potentially something we use in the future, or just as a whole in the industry for a true medical product.

Nelson: We're always looking, Joe. We're always looking how to make our gummies, you know, stand...

Eugene: Stand out.

Nelson: Stand out. And not only that, we're making a really quality product that we're proud of. So we're always looking to stay ahead from an R&D standpoint, from a quality standpoint, from a testing standpoint. So we're always looking, always.

Joe: It's why we win awards, because of you guys. That's how it all starts. So, Nelson, Eugene, Jean, great job. Lots of great information. Thanks guys for taking time to join me on this episode of the podcast.

Jean: Thank you for having us here.

Joe: And don't forget, you can go behind the scenes of "Gummy Central" at gwgummies.com, and on the Global Widget YouTube channel. Lots of great videos and information out there to go behind the scenes of "Gummy Central" to learn more about the formulation, the R&D, quality, and everything that goes into making award-winning gummies on a daily basis.

And don't forget to hit that "Subscribe" button wherever you get your podcast to get notifications of new episodes of the "CPG & CBD University" podcast each week. You can also catch full video episodes on the Global Widget YouTube channel, and the YouTube channels of our brands. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University" podcast. Thanks for tuning in. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat you or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or condition. Consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.