Emerald Bioscience Inc EMBI 1.6%, a company that’s part of the Emerald Health Sciences portfolio, has more than doubled in value since the beginning of the year. Interested in learning more about Emerald Health’s portfolio of companies, Benzinga chatted with Jade Beutler, CEO of Emerald Health Bioceuticals.
An Entourage Effect
Emerald Health Bioceuticals is a company focusing on phytocannabinoid science. It claims to be providing the world’s first cannabis- and hemp-free endocannabinoid support supplements.
The company’s “Beyond CBD” line aims to offer a comprehensive and yet condition-specific approach to endocannabinoid health without the stigma, legality or drug testing concerns associated with hemp and cannabis.
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“Until recently it was believed that only hemp and cannabis could activate the endocannabinoid system, a biological system in the body responsible for maintaining homeostasis in every cell, tissue and organ,” Beutler told Benzinga in an email.
“However, scientists have discovered other plants containing phytocannabinoids with the same ability to support this critical system just as effectively, if not more so.”
Driven by the idea that CBD and cannabis are only the tip of the iceberg, the Emerald Health Bioceuticals Scientific Advisory Board said it has managed to identify six powerful cannabis-free phytocannabinoids after conducting a meta-analysis of 4,000 plants.
The PhytoCann Complex — a science-backed, doctor-formulated blend of herbs and botanicals including echinacea, peony, magnolia, clove oil, Szechuan and ginger — is the foundation behind all of Emerald’s supplements.
“While CBD is derived from a single source, our line contains a variety of phytocannabinoids and cannabinoid mimickers — some of which act like CBD — and others with slightly different modes of action,” Beutler said.
“CBD tends to bind weakly to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, while our products directly bind to both receptors and increase the number and sensitivity of those receptors over time.”
This is what makes Emerald Health’s products go “Beyond CBD,” with a broader-spectrum entourage effect on the endocannabinoid system, mind and body, the CEO said.
A Tough Competitor
CBD is one of the hottest wellness trends, making it a big competitor to Emerald Health Bioceuticals’ products.
CBD may not be right for everyone, and it is entirely permissible for some users, Beutler said.
“While we’re big fans of CBD, many consumers simply cannot take the popular supplement due to employment drug testing — trace amounts of cannabis can be found in CBD — the stigma and uncertain legality associated with CBD or the inability to gain desired results from the product.”
Emerald’s Endo line is 100-percent legal in all 50 U.S. states and is compliant with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, Beutler said.
It can be sold nationwide and is already available in retailers like Whole Foods Market.
Benzinga: How do you apply your previous work experience to the cannabis industry in general and to your marijuana business in particular?
Beutler: My background is as a clinician, formulator and natural product executive.
At Emerald Health Bioceuticals, our mission is to evolve cannabis and cannabinoid science to a reliable and predictable form of natural medicine. Given our outcome and my background, I am like a kid in a candy store with the perfect confluence and opportunity to make my neurons fire 24 hours a day!
Benzinga: How would federal legalization change your business?
Beutler: Federal legalization would obviously allow greater opportunity for everyone in the space. However, at Emerald Health Bioceuticals we have overcome issues with legalization with our development of compounds in herbs and botanicals that mimic the activity of THC and CBD, but are absolutely cannabis-, THC- and CBD- free.
These herbs and botanicals fit the same lock-and-key receptor sites as their more notorious cousins. The best part is, the human endocannabinoid system does not know the difference, nor does it care.
The ECS predated cannabis by 500 million years, so it does not rely on cannabis for its day-to-day activity — but uses a broad array of natural activators like extracts from peonia, echinacea, Szechuan pepper and clove, among others.
This is not to mention that we make our very own cannabinoids called “endo,” or inside the body cannabinoids. The innovation of our Endo like of products — Endo Sleep, Endo Brain, Endo Calm, Endo Bliss, Endo Inflame — allows us to sell nationally and internationally with complete transparency and 100-percent legality.
Benzinga: What are the main challenges for your company and the industry in which it operates?
Beutler: As you are aware, lack of regulation or enforcement creates a “wild west” atmosphere, with bad actors poisoning the pool and potentially dragging the industry down with ineffective, misbranded, over- or under-dosed products, and potential contamination from herbicides, pesticides, solvents, mold and mildew.
While a western is fun to watch, eventually somebody goes down in a gunfight. We need to ensure that the responsible companies don’t get caught in the firefight. Regulation will allow the responsible companies to offer safe, effective and reliable products to wanting consumers. Luckily, at Emerald Health Bioceuticals we are already able to do that through a trusted and respected retailer like Whole Foods with our ENDO line of products.
Benzinga: Do you have plans for expansion in other states or internationally?
Beutler: We have a joint venture with Emerald Health Therapeutics, Emerald Health Natural, which will exclusively sell our Endo product line in Canada. Additionally, we are always exploring other international markets.
Benzinga: What is your take on cannabis industry consolidation? Do you have any M&A plans that you could elaborate on? Would you be interested in an opportunity to combine with another company or be absorbed by a larger business?