CBD firms are making further advances into the health and wellness subcategory of the market with new product launches, distribution deals, and clinical studies underway.

California-based CBD product manufacturer CV Sciences has announced the launch of a full product line of clinical strength CBD products that are only available through health practitioners in the US.

The company said the products are supported by published investigations, randomised control trials and a post-marketing safety review. It added that they have been created to fit in with existing care plans and come in roll-on, liquid and softgel formulations.

“The use of alternative medicine is becoming increasingly prevalent as consumer preferences continue to shift toward natural, plant-based remedies for a range of medical conditions. We are excited to launch ProCBD and partner with medical professionals seeking science-based, natural alternatives to provide to their patients,” said Joseph Dowling, CEO of CV Sciences.


CBD tablets hit Japanese market


Similarly the Canadian nutraceutical firm NeutriSci International has also been targeting the health and wellness market. It said it is looking to launch its broad-spectrum CBD tablets brand Tabletz in Japan.

It plans to produce and distribute several hundred thousand units of the Tabletz sticks in a number of retail locations in Japan, where NeutriSci says consumers are strong advocates of plant-derived health and wellness products. The company said it had not finalised details of store distribution but previously it had listed 7-Eleven, K.K. Lawson and Biople as potential Japanese retailers.

“We believe we can attain a significant percentage of the CBD market in Japan. Currently, there is no other product like this on the market,” said NeutriSci CEO Glen Rehman.

The product is now awaiting the customs classification (HS code) at the port of entry. It will be sold in three and seven tab sticks and come in three flavours – lemon, berry and mint.

“With product approvals in hand, a pause on new application approvals at the ministry level, combined with the features and benefits of the product itself, as well as a strong distribution network and positive initial consumer feedback, there is a strong confidence that Tabletz can be one of the best-selling CBD brands of its kind in Japan,” said Rehman.

NeutriSci is also working on the upcoming launch of a bulk bottle format (35 14 mg tablets totalling 490 mg of CBD) of Tabletz also available in the same three flavours, which it expects to be part of a second order for the Japanese market.

The company had previously announced it would formally launch the Tabletz brand in the Japanese market in November 2020, but this was delayed for reasons that are unclear at this time. It just closed a round of funding where almost 2.5m shares were sold at $0.15 each to raise $370,050 that will be used for production runs relating to the product launch in Japan.


Distribution deals increase in Europe


And in Europe, the UK’s high street health and wellness chain Holland & Barrett has agreed distribution deals with European CBD and hemp oil products manufacturer Reakiro as well as expanded its ongoing distribution relationship with World High Life’s Love Hemp brand.

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    Reakiro’s range of full-spectrum products includes oils, sprays, a raw hemp extract pen, and gel capsules in a broad range of strengths, and will appear in all 737 UK stores and online.

    “We’re extremely proud to work with Holland & Barrett, the number one retailer in health and wellness,” said Reakiro CEO Stuart McKenzie. “Holland & Barrett and Reakiro have the same values – to bring the highest quality natural health products to people around the world. We look forward to a productive, long-term partnership with them.”

    Love Hemp has launched a further ten products including sprays and capsules in 880 Holland & Barrett stores throughout the UK and Ireland as well as made the products available through the health store’s website. These include a variety of strengths from 600 mg to 3,000 mg CBD.

    Love Hemp and Holland & Barrett have also implemented a consumer education and awareness programme for CBD in 400 of its stores to build consumer knowledge around the benefits of CBD. It is unclear what paid representatives would be able to say that would not violate prohibitions on making marketing health claims.

    “This is a significant relationship not only in its scale, but also because Love Hemp and Holland & Barrett have implemented a ground-breaking education and awareness programme designed to inform consumers around the benefits of CBD,” said Love Hemp CEO Tony Calamita. “It is important to invest with partners such as Holland & Barrett to increase knowledge and confidence for consumers so that they know they’re buying credible products from credible retailers.”


    Clinical studies underway in Australia


    Meanwhile, the Australian firm Avecho Biotechnology has joined a medicinal cannabis study that, if successful, it claims could open up the range of CBD products on the market and increase their therapeutic potential.

    The CA Clinics Observational Study (CACOS) will test the performance of Avecho’s oral CBD formulation on human patients for the first time, in a bid to further previous successful demonstrations of the product’s ability to aid the absorption of CBD medications in animals.

    “This trial is an important step in gathering real-world evidence from patients,” said Avecho’s CEO Paul Gavin. “Entering into an existing trial framework provides Avecho with both cost and speed advantages.”

    If the product’s efficacy is proved on human patients, Avecho believes it could create room for more CBD products on the market at a reduced cost and with greater therapeutic potential.

    “The observational trial design allows the product to be used in a range of indications, which may prioritise specific indications for further development, or eliminate indications where the treatment is less effective,” said Gavin.

    The company will use the study to gather feedback on how the product performs in patients currently using medicinal cannabis to treat a range of indications. Performance will be compared against commonly prescribed CBD formulations.

    The CACOS study aims to recruit 3,000 patients through a network of medicinal cannabis-prescribing clinics and will use questionnaires to examine the side effects, dosage response and treatment satisfaction of medicinal cannabis formulations on patients’ health.

    Data generated will help shape the future development of Avecho’s pharmaceutical CBD products, while also exploring the potential for Australia’s SAS-B prescribing.

    Recruitment for the CACOS study will begin immediately and continue throughout 2021.

    – Lorraine Mullaney CBD-Intel staff

    Photo: Nico H.

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    Lorraine Mullaney

    Senior writer
    Lorraine is responsible for writing news analysis and assisting with copy-editing. Lorraine is a copywriter and editor who has written and edited words for a wide range of audiences, from local community newspapers to consumer magazines and trade websites.