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Natural Or Synthetic CBD? That Is The Question – Join The Debate Today

TRADE groups representing over 1,000 hemp and CBD businesses in the UK are asking the public to participate in the ‘Great British CBD Consumer Survey 2021 – Synthetic v Plant’.

Over the Easter weekend the numbers of votes on the survey’s Typeform portal had reached several hundred with 20% saying they are comfortable with synthetic CBD being on sale in the UK.

However, an overwhelming majority of those participating – over 95% – were in favour of the products being labelled distinctively as either Natural or Synthetic CBD.

In a press release accompanying the survey UK trade groups – The Cannabis Trades Association, The British Hemp Alliance, the Scottish Hemp Association and Northern Ireland Hemp outlined their position on the Synthetic versus Natural debate.

Choose Natural CBD

Novel foods licensing for CBD products will see synthetic cannabinoids entering the food supply for the first time in the UK with no labelling requirement to differentiate from natural plant produced. 

“We believe consumers deserve to be informed of what they are putting into their bodies. We understand that Novel Foods products will be licensed based on their safety evaluation, but just as a consumer has the right to choose organic produce over conventionally grown, the same should apply to natural plant-based, verses synthetically produced cannabinoid containing products. 

“The initial feedback from our related businesses consumer base/members, is a strong preference to have ‘synthetic’ stated on the label to allow for an ethical choice. Many consumers are not aware that synthetic CBD is about to enter the food supply and assume all CBD is derived from the hemp plant.”

‘Why We Favour Synthetic’

Synthetic CBD company Pureis CBD launched its products into the UK market in 2020 and in a recent interview with BusinessCann their co-founders Caroline Glynn and Chanelle Lady McCoy said that while they were supporters of natural plant CBD products they felt synthetics were the right choice for their business due to its ‘batch-to batch reproducibility and purity’.

With a pharmaceutical background they also identified it as the pathway to scalability in food supplements and medicines.

Synthetic CBD company Cellular Goods launched on the London Stock Exchange recently securing a valuation of £100m within days, before falling back

Chanelle Lady McCoy and Caroline Glynn.

In a recent on-line discussion its CEO Alexis Abraham was quizzed on why it is taking the synthetic, and not the natural CBD route. 

He said: “There is for sure a place for both but because of batch consistency, lack of issues around pesticides etc and the scalability and substantial ecological advantage we are committed to bio-synthetically sourced cannabinoids.”

Simon Lapthorn, Head of European Sales at US synthetic CBD firm Pureform, believes synthetic CBD will be the trigger that entices the main consumer brands into the market.

The Cannabis Genome

He told BusinessCann: “Their reach and clout will completely revolutionise the CBD marketplace, bringing the assurance  of big brands to consumers and turbo-charging an already fast growing market.

“If you buy Vitamin C it is almost certainly synthetic and we see CBD going the same way.”

While synthetic CBD at $15,000 a kilo can be three or four times the price of plant CBD he highlights how there is no intra-batch variability, and a lack of THC means there are significant savings to be made in the testing and manufacturing processes. 

Over the last two decades scientists have been able to map the cannabis genome and by identifying those genes responsible for producing cannabinoids are able to transplant a CBD gene in to a yeast, and grown in a laboratory in a process known as bio-synthesis

The creators of the Survey say they will present the results to the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland and recently presented the findings to the Home Office in an online discussion regarding the UK CBD market.

To participate in the survey click here.

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