Next Frontier Brands, an international consumer packaged goods company with a focus on beverage and wellness products, along with its subsidiary TreeHouse Biosciences, recently announced the launch of a service that offers removal of THC from hemp extracts.
TreeHouse Biosciences claims to have amassed a platform of intellectual property related to accessing cannabinoids, both organic and synthetic, including two methods for removing THC from hemp extracts.
The company has a USDA Organic Certified method that uses heat and oxygen as well as another method that uses chromatography.
Keeping the baby while throwing out the bath water
According to Jake Black, PhD, chief science officer of Next Frontier Brands, when THC is removed in a controlled way, it can still retain the benefits of the other cannabinoids and components in a hemp extract while conforming to strict regulations.
“Other methods of THC removal remove multiple important cannabinoids from the extracts, so the benefits of those cannabinoids are also lost. This results in ‘broad spectrum’ consumer products that only contain CBD instead of a complex extract of many naturally occurring cannabinoids,” explained Black.
The patented technology removes the THC from hemp extracts and distillates without dilution, maintaining high contents of the minor cannabinoids CBG, CBC, and CBN. Black explained that because of a lack of clarity in labelling, testing, and definitions, the consumer likely doesn't know this. Black maintained that is important for CPG companies to protect consumers against deceptive practices such as dilution to ensure that the starting ingredients are efficacious.
Black added that non-compliant THC content in hemp-derived ingredients is a well known issue in the industry for full and broad spectrum CBD products.
“As regulators require lower and lower levels of THC in end consumer products, extractors need solutions that will remove THC from the raw ingredient yet still retain the other cannabinoids to maintain high quality broad spectrum products. This is difficult to do on scale. Consumer packaged goods companies and extraction companies alike seek out TreeHouse Biosciences for our patented technology that retains a wide array of cannabinoids in our hemp extracts while reducing the THC to compliant levels."
No THC? No problem
Chromatography offers a robust extract rich in minor cannabinoids. The process involves separating chemical compounds based on their unique molecular properties. By carefully separating the cannabinoids, TreeHouse Biosciences is able to provide hemp extracts with federally-compliant levels of THC while maintaining the full profile of other cannabinoids.
“Our patented normal phase and reverse phase chromatography technologies create the highest quality broad spectrum distillates. These methods preserve the wide array of cannabinoids found in the hemp plant whereas some competitors discard many of the valuable cannabinoids along with THC in their processes. The unrivaled profiles achieved by our THC-removal technology enables TreeHouse Biosciences and our licensees to stand out in a field of otherwise sub-par ingredients,” said Black.
The other method is mild heat, which Black said is the most viable when looking to produce extracts on an industrial scale. This method is patent-pending.
“Our second method of THC removal is inspired by nature’s gentle transformation of THC to CBN and is geared toward large scale natural product companies and organic extractors. TreeHouse Biosciences utilizes a patent-pending USDA organic certified process that selectively converts THC into CBN using only oxygen and heat. Performed in a highly controlled environment, this method retains not only CBD but the broad spectrum of other cannabinoids present in hemp extracts and distillates,” said Black. “Though we are strong proponents of THC remediation via chromatography, we realize it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and this USDA organic certified method provides a nature-inspired alternative for customers who want to minimize chemical processing.”
Black told us that although CBD has been revolutionary in its effects and transformation of public sentiment towards cannabinoids, he believes this is only the tip of the cannabinoid iceberg.