Exploring A CBD Certificate of Analysis: Part 3 of a Series
Know What Goes into Your CBD, and Why It’s There
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the key ingredient in our Caliper CBD—but it’s not the only one. In fact, Caliper CBD is a precisely engineered product, made with 5 plant-based ingredients—each working together to make our CBD easy to use, and easier for the body to absorb.
You’ll find our ingredients listed on our labels, as well as in our Certificate of Analysis (COA) that’s provided for every batch. Our Ingredients Listing conforms to the stringent labeling guidelines required by the FDA for food and supplement products—listing our ingredients in descending order by weight. All are GMO-free, certified Kosher, and allergen-free.
Unfortunately, few CBD brands follow these high standards, and many don’t tell you what’s actually inside their products. For example, a label might say a product contains “50 mg hemp oil,” without telling you how much CBD is in that hemp oil. If you see a label that’s vague or confusing, don’t buy the product!
Here are all the ingredients we use to make our Caliper CBD dissolvable powder, and a little background information about each.
What is it? Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid—one of more than 100 compounds unique to the cannabis family of plants. It’s extracted from hemp, one strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that’s grown specifically for industrial use. While its effects on the body are still being studied, CBD’s actions appear to be associated with general wellness, such as relaxation and relief from everyday aches or stresses.
Why do we use it? Well, because CBD is the heart and soul of our Caliper CBD powder and Caliper Swiftsticks! And, it’s why we’re exceedingly careful about where our CBD comes from. All of our CBD is extracted from U.S.-grown, non-GMO hemp, planted and harvested by farmers who follow strict state regulations—and from CBD extractors who operate under the FDA’s guidelines for safe food production.
What is it? Cannabigerol, or CBG, is sometimes referred to as “the mother molecule” of cannabinoids, since CBG-A, its acidic form, breaks down to form CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids when it’s heated. Like CBD, it may have some healthy actions in the body, including anti-inflammatory activity.
Why do we use it? When we formulate our Caliper Swiftsticks, we use a little CBG to complement the activity of its main ingredient, CBD. Although the actions of cannabinoids are not fully understood, some evidence suggests that CBD and CBG might work together in what’s known as an entourage effect.
What is it? Citric acid is a weak acid found naturally in many foods—primarily citrus fruits and berries. Citric acid is widely used in the food industry to provide flavor and preserve freshness. Our citric acid is produced from the fermentation of non-GMO corn-derived glucose syrup.
Why do we use it? In our Lemon Lime and Mixed Berry Swiftsticks, we add a little citric acid to provide a note of tartness that makes their naturally tangy flavors pop even more.
What is it? Malic acid is a weak acid made by all living organisms, and it’s the acid that gives many types of fruits—especially tart apples, grapes and berries—their characteristic tartness. It was first extracted from apple juice, which gave it its name (derived from malum, Latin for “apple”).
Why do we use it? We add a little malic acid to our Lemon Lime and Mixed Berry Swiftsticks to provide a little tartness to boost the vibrancy of their fruit flavor. Along with the milder citric acid, it helps create a pleasing sweet-to-tart balance your tongue will appreciate.
MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride) Oil
What is it? Medium-chain triglycerides are the scientific term for a type of fat found mainly in coconuts, palm fruit, and dairy products. Compared with the more common long-chain triglycerides found in most foods, MCTs are processed slightly differently in the body and are more readily absorbed and converted into energy.
Why do we use it? We use a little coconut-based MCT oil as a carrier oil, which helps to keep our CBD emulsion stable and improves the bioavailability of our powder (ability to be absorbed by the body). All traces of allergens are removed from the final product.
While it’s cheaper to use MCT oil made from palm kernel oil, as some companies do, we don’t want to be a part of the harm palm oil processing has done to rainforests and wildlife in the areas where it’s grown and harvested. We prefer to use coconut-based MCT oil as a much more sustainable choice.
Modified Food Starch
What is it? Modified food starches are plant-based ingredients, usually derived from wheat, potatoes, corn, or tapioca, that are widely used in the food industry. Don’t worry, the word “modified” doesn’t mean the food starches are genetically modified. It simply means they’re processed to alter their physical properties and make them work better in recipes—for example, when a modified starch is used instead of eggs as an emulsifier in vegan mayonnaise, to make it smooth and creamy.
Why do we use it? When our food scientists formulate our products, they use modified food starch derived from non-GMO corn. It binds with the oil that contains our CBD, transforming the CBD into a water-soluble format that’s well absorbed by the body.
What are they? Flavorings derived from botanical extracts, approved for use in foods and supplements by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Why do we use them? Natural flavors are the “secret sauce” in our delicious Caliper Swiftsticks, but we even use a tiny amount in our flavorless Caliper CBD powder, to help mask and counterbalance CBD’s very bitter taste. The amount we use is tiny, so you won’t notice any perceptible taste. Our goal is to create a form of CBD you won’t notice as you add it to anything you’re eating or drinking.
Our flavor experts worked their magic to create Swiftsticks’ amazing taste! Each Swiftstick has flavor components derived from the fruits in its name (i.e., natural strawberry flavor in a Mixed Berry Swiftstick), plus flavorings from other natural sources to enhance their flavors and help them linger on your tongue.
What is it? Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar that’s about half as sweet as your standard table sugar. It’s found in many fruits and vegetables, and has a long history of safe use in sugar-free products like gums and candies.
Why do we use it? We use sorbitol derived from non-GMO corn to help transform our CBD emulsion into a powder. That enables our Swiftsticks to dissolve quickly on your tongue—and our Caliper CBD powder to dissolve smoothly and quickly into any food or drink, hot or cold (including your favorite recipes). And, since sorbitol is slightly sweet, it also helps balance some of the CBD’s natural bitterness.
What is it? When we formulate our Swiftsticks, we use a small amount of finely ground cane sugar (less than 0.5 gram per packet, or 1/56th of an ounce). The amount is so small, we’re able to legally state “zero grams of sugar” on our labels.
Why do we use it? A little natural sweetness “can really go a long way to balance flavors and bring them to life,” says Caliper Senior Scientist Drew Hathaway. “Without it, the fruit flavors wouldn’t taste quite like themselves.”
The Science Behind our Ingredients
It takes a village—or more precisely, a team of highly skilled food scientists, sensory specialists, and quality control experts—to formulate Caliper CBD! With carefully chosen ingredients and precise manufacturing processes, Caliper can bring you consistent quality, and a consistent experience, in every packet.