Cannabidiol (CBD) is a red-hot new trend in the convenience store segment. Consumers have been interested in it for a while now, but it’s crossing over to convenience and becoming much easier to find in stores all over. CBD consumers, according to Technomic’s January 2019 C-Store MarketBrief, intend to use it for wellness purposes—the top reasons people use CBD are better sleep (58%), relaxation (56%) and chronic pain (55%). For some retailers, though, this trend may seem like a flash in the pan, and therefore not worth investing time and money into.
But that’s not the case. One signal that this trend has staying power comes in the form of a new partnership between Lil’ Drug Store Products, a leading supplier to the convenience store channel, and Precision Botanical, a CBD manufacturer that strives for purity in its ingredients.
The partnership with a trusted name like Lil’ Drug lends credibility to its CBD line, says Sean Callan, PhD, senior vice president of innovation and operations for Ellipse Analytics, the parent company of Precision Botanical.
“We are excited to partner with a leader in the space like Lil’ Drug,” he says.
Precision Botanical’s portfolio of CBD items includes drops, tinctures (taken under the tongue), capsules and gummies, and is unique among its competitors because of the rigorous testing that its products undergo.
CBD products aren’t yet heavily regulated, so consumers want to know they’re getting what’s being advertised—and what they’re paying for. But when retailers choose Precision Botanicals products to sell on their shelves, they can be confident they’re selling great products to their customers.
Because the CBD industry is so new, many products fail to live up to their marketing statements, according to Callan. This is apparent in such claims as the amount of CBD a product has.
“We tested about 240 CBD-containing products,” Callan says. “We decided there was a substantial issue in the space—45% of the products were mislabeled.”
Precision Botanical is committed to accuracy in its labeling, Callan notes. Precision Botanical, an accredited chemistry lab that has been in existence for six years, produces both broad spectrum and isolate products. As part of its testing, the company works to ensure that its products do not contain THC. “A decent proportion of products contain THC,” says Callan, noting that the company applies analytical chemistry to test its products. “It’s a problem because some people are subject to drug tests…We see products with enough THC that you could fail a drug test. With that in mind, you have to have peace of mind with consumers. About 20% of the time, when the product promotes to be THC-free, it’s not true.”
The company also tests for unhealthy chemicals. “What we found when we tested the THC category, we realized that relative to other spaces, like infant formula, there were pesticides, heavy metals, solvents and other things you don’t want [in the products],” Callan notes. “A lot of it has to do with where you are buying and processing raw materials.”
To prove that its products live up to their claims, Precision Botanical has teamed up with a nonprofit, the Clean Label Project, that certifies that the ingredients are what the company claims they are.
Precision Botanicals’ science-driven approach is why it has been able to set itself apart from the rest of the CBD pack. “We decided to have a good CBD product, you need to use chemistry techniques,” Callan says. “You need to use scientific expertise to do it well. We’ve been able to give peace of mind to consumers.