Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus
Trust and transparency put centre stage for doctor's CBD startup
Ian Craggs and Dr Peter Naylor have co-founded a startup selling a range of flavoured CBD oils direct to consumers through their newly launched website CBDDIRECT2U.
The range was developed by Dr Naylor, the company’s Medical Director and a former GP with over 20 years experience in the health industry, who discovered CBD through his own personal search for a natural pain remedy.
“Unfortunately I suffered a neck injury and I ended up developing other health complications as a result of the medications I had to take. Some of the medication was causing cognitive changes and I also developed colitis. And this combinaton of issues took me out of all clinical work.
“I then came across CBD and tried it as a supplement in order to tailor down my medication and I was really quite impressed with the results.
“However, I found there really is a lot of rubbish out there and I became quite disappointed with the lack of regulation. I would spend £30-60 on a bottle and it would literally taste rancid.”
It was around this time that Dr Naylor met successful businessman Ian Craggs, through a mutual friend, and they discussed their shared disappointment with the market. So they decided to take matters into their own hands.
“We wanted to make products that people could trust what they read on the pack was what they were actually getting and we also wanted to create something they could actually look forward to using," explains Dr Naylor. "I was told by many people in the industry you just can’t flavour CBD and make it taste nice, it doesn’t work, so I decided ‘I’m going to do this’.
“After numerous attempts, we’ve now created something that we are really proud of. Both in terms of flavour and the science behind it.”
The six-strong range of CBD oils includes: Pure Chocolate, Mixed Berry, Peppermint, Lemon & Lime and Orange plus a Natural CBD oil and a Lavender Night Oil.
All the CBD oils are made in the UK, come with a guaranteed CBD concentration, are independently tested and THC free.
CBDDIRECT2U manufactures its oils in the UK using a luxury MCT (medium chain triglyceride) coconut oil for maximum flavour and a broad-spectrum hemp extract oil with naturally occurring CBD. It gets its oils from Oregon in the United States.
Dr Naylor said he is pleased regulations are becoming stricter in order to create a more level playing field for market players.
“We work really hard to ensure we offer legitimate products. We are a member of The Cannabis Trades Association UK and we are passionate about offering high quality products people can trust.
"It becomes really difficult when you are working so hard to meet standards and you are competing against others who are bending the rules.
“Increased regulations should help to build consumer confidence and trust.
“We are confident in our submission to Novel Foods, which is well underway. We have a really good and well trusted plant supply through Oregon and everything else is done in Britain so we can keep a close eye on everything.
“We have a solid supply chain with a unique manufacturer that uses a delicate distillation method which is not as damaging to the plant.”
The other element that Dr Naylor believes sets the company apart from others, is the oils contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids, not just than CBD.
“There’s a growing interest in using cannabinoids now rather than just CBD. If you look on the consumer forums and see what people are increasingly interested in discussing, I think we need to watch this space.”
The 'other' cannabinoids
The main way in which the cannabinoids - the compounds found in cannabis - are differentiated is based on their degree of psychoactivity.
For example, CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to be psychologically active agents whereas THC, CBN and CBDL along with some other cannabinoids are known to have varying degrees of psychoactivity.
The most abundant of the cannabinoids is CBD, which is thought to have anti-anxiety effects, possibly counteracting the psychoactive effects of THC.
The fledgling entrepreneurs already plan to launch a second brand, VITAMINSDIRECT2U, in the spring with other ranges of wellness products to follow over the coming months, all of which will follow the same regulation-abiding ethos as the CBD range.
NutraIngredients' sister title FoodNavigator is co-hosting a two day CBD Global Summit in London, 16-17 March 2020. The event will bring together the science, business and regulation governing CBD to look at how businesses can unlock this important market opportunity.
For more details, to check out the advanced programme, and view confirmed speakers, visit the CBD Global Summit website.