We sat down (virtually, of course) with Sam Davidson, COO of Geocann, an industry leader in natural and innovative product formulations, to discuss the benefits and science behind our Relax Softgels’ fast-acting technology, VESIsorb®.
Sam, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into this industry.
In 2005, I began my natural products career in SourceOne Global Partners’ marketing department. As SourceOne quickly became a global leader in applying patent drug delivery system technologies to science-backed ingredients, I gained a tremendous amount of experience forming partnerships with leading lifestyle and medical brands around the world. As SourceOne began getting involved in the hemp and cannabis industry, the decision was made to launch a new company, Geocann, where I now serve as the Chief Operating Officer since its inception in 2018.
Tell us a bit about Geocann and what you all offer for this industry.
Being an industry leader in natural product formulations for the past 20 years, SourceOne Global Partners recognized a massive opportunity to utilize our patented drug delivery system technologies to overcome many of the formulation obstacles that hemp and cannabis brands were experiencing. Simply put, the science is clear that cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) are poorly absorbed in the human body, leaving much of these important ingredients wasted after consumption as well as the long delay in onset.
Our delivery system, called VESIsorb®, quickly became the leading solution for these common obstacles as we are able to dramatically improve the bioavailability and absorption of these ingredients. As an example, cannabinoids formulated with VESIsorb® are generally four times “faster acting” than standard formulas. Since 2005, more than 250 million consumers in all six major continents have safely and effectively used one of the 75+ VESIsorb® formulas. This history of safe and effective use of VESIsorb® has brought a whole new level of credibility when it comes to products claiming better bioavailability and/or faster acting.
Where we go the extra mile is the body of supporting scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of these formulations. From stability data, multiple toxicology studies, and a peer-reviewed published pharmacokinetic study, we continue to lead the industry from a science and innovation standpoint, allowing brands like trupura to bring the best performing products to the consumers they serve.
How does the VESIsorb® delivery system work?
The VESIsorb® technology is a lipid-based formulation that self-assembles into a colloidal delivery system when it comes in contact with an aqueous solution, such as the gastrointestinal tract. It was designed to address the major issue of poor bioavailability of drugs and natural bioactives, such as cannabinoids, that exhibit poor water solubility but high membrane permeability. Due to it’s self-assembling nature, the colloidal solubilization improves the transport of nutrients into the bloodstream and thus dramatically improves their bioavailability. Simply put, products utilizing VESIsorb® are faster, stronger, and work longer.
How does this technology compare to other absorption technologies in this industry? What makes it different?
The issue of poor bioavailability is not a new concept, and needless to say, there are various methods that attempt to address it. Unfortunately, too often, companies make claims that they have water soluble cannabinoids but offer little evidence to validate their claims. The popular misconception is that some degree of water solubility will consistently translate to improved bioavailability. This is clearly not accurate.
We know scientifically that pharmacokinetic performance is highly variable. A review paper comparing water soluble delivery system formulation types illustrated this fact. There was greater than an eight-fold difference in bioavailability amongst the various water soluble formulations with the review paper highlighting VESIsorb® as the most effective system.
Were there clinical trials conducted on this technology? What was discovered?
Yes, we have a very successful track record of proving the safety and efficacy of VESIsorb® formulations. We were the first to have stability data with creating our formulation in a softgel capsule with CBD. We recently submitted to the European market for novel food application. We invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in proprietary safety studies that are required to achieve novel food status in Europe and FDA GRAS in the U.S.
We have proprietary stability data as well as proprietary toxicology data from multiple self-funded clinical studies. We have our own peer-reviewed, published study which compared our VESIsorb®-CBD formulation to the industry standard MCT Oil-CBD formulation in a crossover design where we were able to demonstrate how we could dramatically improve the bioavailability of CBD.
What does fast-acting technology do for a consumer and why should they choose a product with VESIsorb® versus one without it?
Our published study demonstrates that a consumer will consistently receive significantly higher CBD concentrations in a much faster time period compared to standard formulations. Whether a consumer is taking a CBD product for pain or relaxation, they want to have confidence that they are getting the most out of the product they paid for and they want it to work quickly. Utilizing VESIsorb® achieves both of these consumer benefits. It’s as simple as saying that a consumer would need four to six standard CBD capsules to achieve the same therapeutic blood levels as just one VESIsorb® formulated CBD capsule. While the marketplace is full of misinformation about CBD and lacking in much needed credible supporting science, Geocann and its partners like trupura have a commitment to product safety, quality, and performance to ensure we meet the needs of consumers.
As people become more educated on technology such as VESIsorb®, do you see consumer buying habits changing based on the demand for better bioavailability and absorption in their CBD products?
Innovation can absolutely impact consumer trends in the natural products industry. Consumers want products that work and they will begin demanding scientific evidence, like peer-reviewed published studies, from companies to back up the claims. As more sophisticated consumers begin trying CBD products, they will ask the same questions they ask prior to purchasing their other health and wellness products;
- Where’s the peer-reviewed published evidence showing that this product works as it says it does?
- Has this delivery system been used with other natural products that I take, like CoQ10, omega-3, curcumin, resveratrol, vitamin D, etc.?
- Has this delivery system been proven in a range of product applications – from capsules and tinctures to foods (edibles), beverages, and topicals?
- Are there ongoing studies regarding this technology?
Companies that aren’t prepared to answer these questions (and more) will be left behind. The leadership team at Geocann has been pioneering bioavailability and absorption for two decades and we will continue to lead this sector in the hemp and cannabis industry. We value our partnership with trupura and are excited about the new Relax Softgels and more formulations to come.