CBD Product Formulation and Development
CBD Product Formulation is the first hands-on step to developing a new CBD product. Product Development is developing a new product and bringing it to market.
Once your product has been formulated you can manufacture it in your own facility or have a private label product produced by a CBD contract manufacturing firm. The finished product is then ready for marketing and distribution.
Why Create a New CBD Product Formulation?
Creating a new custom formulation adds significant cost, time and effort to developing a new CBD brand.
With this in mind, why bother to go out of your way to formulate a new CBD product?
It’s worth remembering that there are already hundreds of different CBD oil product available – many of them very similar to each other.
This means that if you launch a new boring, vanilla, CBD brand onto the market that you risk being lost in the crowd.
Starting any new brand or business will cost you time and money, you may as well make an impact.
To do that, you want to make sure your CBD product is specifically developed to solve a problem or address a market need that is currently unmet.
Some of the reasons to develop and formulate a new product include:
- Treat a specific condition or disease with a unique formulation
- To share a specific formula or recipe that has worked well for you or for patients
- Offer a specific dose size, such as small doses (for pets, children or microdosing) or large doses (for patients needing large amounts of cannabinoids such as epileptics)
- Improved delivery mechanism, such as a new vape device, or extra small tablet.
- Modify speed of onset and duration of action
- Target specific areas, such as topical products that aren’t absorbed.
- Develop a THC free product which makes it safe to take at work or while driving
- Develop new flavours or herbal ingredients
- Add additional ingredients which synergise with CBD
- Meet specific regulatory requirements – eg: <0.2% THC rather than <0.3%
- Incorporate specific ingredients such as a non-decarbed extract rich in CBDA and THCA
- Develop strain-specific products with unique flavours and medicinal compounds.
Steps in CBD Product Development and Formulation
1Product Concept and Target Market
Before diving deep into the chemistry it is important to identify, undertand and validate your target market.
Just because you think 40 yo soccer mums will love your new skunk flavored CBD drops doesn’t mean it will work.
Do some early field testing if you can – this can be revisited once you have prototypes.
It is vital to bring in experienced cannabis experts and chemists here who can provide a reality check on the marketing and branding team.
2. Plan formulation, production and process scaleup
Once you have developed your concept, you can start planning on paper how you will formulate, manufacture and scale up production, and how those numbers will look. This will inform a financial analysis of your product – can you make money with this product? What sort of market do you need to reach? What sort of regulations will you need to comply with? Is there anything you can tweak to improve these numbers such as alternative ingredients or more complaints formulation (eg: THC free will allow much greater reach, but may be less effective).
It’s important to plan the whole process on paper before you go to work in the lab.
3. CBD Product Development and Formulation
Once you’re clear on the concept, it’s time to hit the laboratory bench. This is where the ingredients are combined, products evaluated, flavours tested and lab results interpreted.
Product formulas, flavours, potency and packaging are considered together. This adds more detail to our financial modelling and allows early prototype testing and evaluation
4. Product Testing and Evaluation
Once your product has been formulated, it’s time for some feedback. This includes laboratory testing and analysis. If you plan to produce and market your product commercially, there is a clearly defined process for GMP manufacturing and related testing to ensure all product is safe and has consistent potency, purity and composition.
Lab testing must confirm that your product contains what you claim on the label, and is free of common contaminants and adulterants such as microbes, pesticides, heavy metals, aflatoxins and other nasties.
If this is all good, the proof is in the pudding – it must pass the consumer test. Do people like the flavor, delivery mechanism and effect. Does it do what it says it does (proving this can take months or years of clinical trials!)
5. Product Manufacturing
Once your product has been formulated and passed on testing and compliance requirements, it is ready to enter a manufacturing phase.
They will handle a lot of heavy lifting for you, helping you focus on the next step – which will make or break the commercial success of the product.
5. Product Marketing and Distribution
Once you’ve finished developing and manufacturing your product, you can finally bring it to market. This is a major exercise in itself, and as the company/brand owner, this will be your full time job.
Identifying the right market, finding distribution partners, working out logistics, and getting your proudct to patients or consumers is at least 50% of the work in launching a new CBD product.