Top Trends in Cannabis Formulation Right Now
The cannabis industry is ever-changing. Trends move fast, and if you blink, you might miss them.
To help you stay on top of things, we sat down for a conversation with our Director of Product Development, Jeff, to dig into the top trends we’re seeing right now in cannabis formulation.
Before cannabis, Jeff came from a background in the food industry and loves experimenting with new flavours and inputs. Here’s what he has observed are the most popular trends in cannabis formulation right now.
It’s no secret that terpenes play a role in the cannabis experience. From taste to smell to effect, there’s a growing awareness of terpenes’ role in cannabis formulation.
Terpene technology is quickly evolving. They allow a skilled formulator to control the blend of flavourings in a cannabis extract, beverage or vape cartridge. According to Jeff, we’re seeing some great, naturally derived terpenes becoming available either as isolated flavourings or as part of a blend. There are terpenes as simple as limonene that can incorporate a refreshing citrus note, or you can combine humulene (which tastes like hops) with camphene and citral to create an extract that tastes like a Galaxy Hops IPA.
Ever cooler, blending terpenes allows us to recreate classic cannabis flavour profiles like Blue Dream or Sour Tangerine. The potential is endless. There’s something out there for everyone’s tastes.
Nano emulsions are proving that bigger isn’t always better
A nano emulsion is an emulsion that is mixed until the particle size is extremely small, typically under 200 nanometers (hence the name). These super small particles are absorbed by the body much more rapidly than larger particles, resulting in a much faster and more intense cannabis experience.
Gone are the days of drinking a can of an infused beverage and waiting for the effect to hit an hour later. When used in solutions, nano emulsions can speed up the uptake time of edibles and beverages, allowing cannabinoids to begin acting on the body in under 10 to 15 minutes. We’ll take a six-pack, please.
There are new cannabinoids on the block
Don’t worry – THC and CBD aren’t going anywhere just yet. But there are some interesting new cannabinoids coming onto the scene.
Canada is just starting to see commercial production of CBG and CBN, which are being looked at as potential sleep aids. There’s also THC-A, which Jeff notes is particularly fascinating. THC-A is the non-activated precursor for THC (it converts into THC when heated), but THC-A on its own has been said to have pain-relieving qualities with almost none of the psychoactive effects that you get from THC. This means it could have great potential as a pain reliever, particularly for more medicinal consumers.
Sweet like sugar… or not
Jeff is a confectioner by training, meaning he’s no stranger to sugar. It’s an important component in a lot of formulations. Not only does it create sweetness, but it also creates texture, mouthfeel, and stability for cannabis products. It’s also a flavour-enhancer – things always taste better, and flavours are stronger when they’re mixed with sugar.
Lately there’s been an increased mindfulness among consumers of eating too much sugar. A lot of Jeff’s work in the past several years has centered around sugar reduction and how to create amazing tasting products without loading them up with sugar. This has led him to some interesting work with natural sweeteners like fruit concentrates, stevia, and monk fruit, as well as other flavour enhancers that make things taste better without sugar. He’s excited to be able to bring that technology to Token and our partners.