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Trait Biosciences in Los Alamos invents new CBD process for solid food, liquid

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Trait Biosciences, a spinoff of Pebble Labs, has invented a process that makes blending cannabidiol (CBD) into solid food, liquid and medicines easier.

The company considers the new process, which transforms oil-based CBD cannabinoids into water-soluble ones, a breakthrough that will allow for more commercial development of products that use CBD for medicine, nutraceuticals, liquids and food.

The innovation is just one exciting bit of news coming from the Pebble Labs group.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to host a media event at the Pebble Lab facilities 2 p.m. today to share news about jobs and growth, and Pebble Labs will announce a major breakthough concerning food safety and disease control, according to a press release.

While another cannabinoid, tretrahydrocannabinol, or THC, produces a “high” when smoked or digested, CBD’s effect is non psychoactive. It produces relaxation and calmness, according to some companies that use CBD in their products. CBD is now being blended into topical solutions, foods, and other products.

According to Ronan Levy, chief strategy officer for Trait Biosciences, the company that developed the process, Trait has found a way to make CBD water-soluble, which makes it easier to mix into products without it separating, as an oil-based CBD would, a problem when it comes to food storage and manufacturing.

“What our technologies do is convert those fat-soluble cannaniboids from a fat-soluble molecule into a water-soluble molecule. When you convert a fat soluble into a water soluble, it doesn’t separate like salad dressing. It becomes easier to work with as an ingredient," Levy said.

He also said since it is not fat based, it is absorbed more readily into the bloodstream, allowing patients and consumers to more accurately administer the right amount of CBD through the right amount of food, drink or medicine they are ingesting. “One of the big problems with most cannabis and hemp edibles is that it’s a very unpredictable experience. With water soluble cannabinoids the experience will be very predictable," Levy said.

The company does not work with THC because it is still illegal on a federal level, Levy said. Trait Biosciences future plan is to provide the technology platform to companies on an industrial scale.

"We are not going to be selling our own products, we will be providing the technology platform to people that can use the technology, and people will pay us a royalty or a fee for that," Levy said. "We hope to have scaled-up models hopefully by September or October of this year."

Trait Biosciences has a license to work and grow hemp from the state of New Mexico. The company is also authorized to work with hemp and CBD through the “Farm Bill” Congress passed in 2018.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates what company’s claims CBD can do for consumers of the cannanaboid. Levy emphasized Trait Biosciences sells companies the technology. They said they are not responsible for what type of claims they can make by using it. Pebble Labs founder Richard Sayre and his company had been working on the water-soluble process for two years.

"It's essential that when people ingest a CBD or THC-based product that they know exactly how much they are taking, and what the onset time will be, not dissimilar to predicting the effect of alcohol when you have a glass of wine," Sayre said. "Until now, nobody could promise that. Our Trait science team has now made this possible with this breakthrough in making water-soluble cannabinoids that are approximately one million times more water-soluble than cannabinoids now being used. This will revolutionize how cannabinoids are used in consumer products."