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Cannabinoids and future market opportunities – podcast

Audio-Cannabinoids and future market opportunities – podcast

While consumers have been increasingly interested in CBD, regulatory concerns may have producers taking different paths to market or exploring alternative ingredients.

Consumers are seeking more natural ways to address health challenges such as increased stress levels, sleep concerns, inflammation and much more. In recent years, this has seen a boom of products introduced containing hemp extracts, isolated cannabinoids, and related ingredients that can impact the body’s endocannabinoid system. This month, Vitafoods Insights focuses on cannabinoids and CBD, including whitespace, regulatory challenges, and research on efficacy.

Tune in to hear more about:

  • How the endocannabinoid system regulates body functions from cognition to inflammation
  • Concerns around the evolving regulatory market for cannabinoids
  • Why palmitoylethaolamide (PEA), an endocannabinoid-like lipid mediator, may offer a different route to market
  • Product quality and research as a cornerstone to delivering efficacious products
  • Harvard Health Blog
  • Grand View Research


Mariko hill podcast photo.png Mariko Hill, global innovation manager, Gencor Pacific
matteo delbruck podcast photo.png Matteo Delbruck, CEO, Swiss Organic Partners


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Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Vitafoods Insights 00:05
Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights Monthly Thematic Podcast, where each month we highlight a different topic within the nutraceutical industry. Join us as we explore this month's theme, cannabinoids. Today's host is Heather Granato. Vice President of content.

Heather 00:26
The human body is an endless source of mystery. When we think we know how it functions, we discover entirely new connections. Think of the work in recent years on the microbiome, or the channels it impacts in the gut-brain axis. Even more surprising are insights around the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which regulates and controls many body functions from cognition to inflammation, immune response to emotional health. A piece by Doctor Peter Grinspoon for the Harvard Health Blog noted the ECS network encompasses chemical signals and cellular receptors. The body produces molecules called endocannabinoids—which have a structural similarity to outside cannabinoids, such as those found in the hemp plant. As researchers have investigated the role of the ECS, we have also seen a huge rise in the use of myriad compounds from hemp or cannabis—from its psychoactive THC to the cannabinoids including CBD. Grand View Research put the global CBD market at 2.8 billion USD in 2020, with projected growth to 13.4 billion USD by 2028. Companies are developing products to address health issues such as sleep, pain and mental health—all of which appear tied to the ECS. As 2021, came to a close, we reached out to Nate Erskine, head of market data at CBD-Intel, for some thoughts on the state of the cannabinoids market. He commented:

Nate 01:53
In 2022, I'll be watching how CBD establishes its position among different consumers. Medical formats will remain in a strong position, whereas competition from established non CBD wellness and nutraceutical products may provide growth barriers to emerging CBD only brands as CBD becomes more of a commodity component.

Heather 02:10
Perhaps the biggest challenge for cannabinoids is the regulatory environment. In Europe, more than 70 Novel Food applications for cannabidiol have been submitted, including for CBD isolate and full spectrum products. While CBD products are widely available for sale in many countries, regulatory uncertainty can be chilling when it comes to new product development. Cannabinoids and CBD is the Vitafoods Insights thematic topic for March, and is being sponsored by Gencor Pacific and Swiss Organic Partners. We reached out to our sponsors for their take on the market and opportunities for product development. First off, Mariko Hill, global innovation manager with Gencor Pacific, talks about concerns about the efficacy and regulatory status of CBD, and why the firm has positioned its Levagen Plus PEA as a powerful alternative.

Mariko 03:02
Well, the awareness and hype of CBD is growing every year. So is consumer understanding of the risks associated with CBD, such as its toxicity, legality and potential for doping. Now a potential reason for the peak interest in CBD may also be due to the wide range of benefits is purported to have whether for immunity, recovery, pain or sleep - all of which are of course need states that gain significance ever since the pandemic started. That said, all of these benefits are based on anecdotes and most studies published on CBD are done on only disease populations, specifically epilepsy and Dravet Syndrome. So despite the popularity of CBD being at an all time high, its efficacy on a healthy human population is lacking. So for that reason, Lavegen Plus came into the limelight, which is Gencos bioavailable. punzal ethanol amide or PEA for short. It's a fatty acid amide produced the body in response to pain, inflammation and stress and has a similar mechanism of action to CBD by influencing the endocannabinoid system. And what PEA has over CBD is the fact that it's legal worldwide, has huge amounts of safety data and has published studies on a healthy human population on areas related to pain, recovery, immunity and sleep. What makes Levagen plus unique is the fact that it's powered by LipiSperse® which is a patented technology that increases absorption of PEA and also allows it to be cold water dispersible. So what this means for formulators is the ability to use PEA at lower dosages, include it into convenient formats such as effervescence, powders, and gummies. And also to be able to finally develop unique innovative solutions for consumers. And of course, last but not least, Levagen Plus also has informed ingredients certification by LGC, ensuring that every single batch is tested for all the prohibited substances. And also Levagen Plus has multiple awards to its name proving it to be the industry best and most trusted pa brands.

Heather 05:03
As companies look to develop products that address health needs, they are seeking solid research to ground products that are efficacious and compliant.  We also heard from Matteo Delbruck, CEO of Swiss Organic Partners. He called out the potential for CBD products to serve the growing European well-being market, and positive shifts in the regulatory environment.

Matteo 05:26
We at Swiss Organic Partners are convinced that now is the perfect timing for companies in Europe to bring new and unique products with CBD to the market. Products such as food, food supplements, oils, cosmetics and pet food containing CBD and other hemp derived cannabinoids are booming in Europe, mainly due to the versatile effects and therapeutic potential of the cannabis plant. The European well being market for CBD is already a 10 billion euro market, and it's growing very quickly. On the one hand, liberalisation of cannabis across Europe is speeding up and many governments are legalising cannabinoid products for well being and medicinal purposes. Simultaneously the experienced a global trend towards natural health care product, people aim for a more balanced life and look for alternatives to traditional pharmaceuticals. And that's why consumer love naturally derived products such as CBD. The market is still in its infancy and quality standards have yet to be established. As a Swiss and organic producer and supplier of cannabinoid products, we hope to take a pioneering and leading role in the market, and set new quality standards for cannabinoid products.

Heather 06:41
Quality is certainly the name of the game when it comes to developing products that meet consumer needs and deliver health benefits. Thank you to Mariko and Matteo for taking the time to share their insights on the category, and Gencor Pacific and Swiss Organic Partners for their sponsorship. You’ll find much more on the topic of the ECS, CBD and cannabinoids throughout March 2022 at

Vitafoods Insights 07:09
Thank you for tuning in. And don't forget to check the show notes that will allow you to link to the information discussed in today's podcast, as well as any sponsorship opportunities. Our monthly thematic episodes are published on the second Thursday of each month. So be sure to stay tuned, subscribe and even suggest to a friend. You can listen to all our episodes in your favourite platform, or you can also check our episodes as well as other editorial content at