Austin-based Socati Corp. is becoming a major player in the innovative and booming CBD, CBG, and other minor cannabinoid industry,  producing broad-spectrum hemp extract that is rich in CBD and other minor cannabinoids. The biotech and pharma company founded in 2018 is quickly gaining traction among investors, having raised $42 million to date from two rounds of funding in an industry projected to reach $20 billion in the U.S. market by 2024. Socati supports the production of CBD-infused products at global manufacturing scale and is constantly testing and researching new methods, using its proprietary genetics, extraction techniques, and chromatographic processes. Socati produces broad-spectrum products, that tout non-detectable THC, to companies seeking high-quality raw materials for food, beverage, cosmetic, pet, and health care products.

Socati’s CBD for CPG

Currently, Socati offers two products for the CPG industry, containing high percentages of CBD and other minor cannabinoids, like cannabigerol (CBG), and non-detectable levels of THC. Socati Water Soluble contains a stable, water-soluble powder boasting a complete entourage of CBD and other cannabinoids to produce consistent and reliable consumer experiences. The company’s other product is Socati Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil – an ultra-high purity CBD product that achieves targeted terpene profiles and minor cannabinoid ratios. This product is perfect for product manufacturers and brands seeking a scalable source of high-end, non-detectable THC, broad-spectrum extract.

Additionally, the company is in a constant state of research and development for new products and intends to roll out additional ingredients in the coming months, including some with customizable levels of other hemp compounds. All of Socati’s products are tested by certified third-party labs that provide verified results of CBD and CBG levels, along with analysis showing THC and other solvents are at non-detectable levels– making Socati’s labels a trustworthy, verified source. The facilities used to process ingredients are SQF-certified for and adhere to GMP standards, and all of Socati’s extracts are food safe, kosher, all natural, and free of preservatives, pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, and GMOs.

Hemp extract and CBD products have recently gained momentum in the market. In fact, 40 percent of consumers reportedly use the product for general health and wellness. Socati ingredients allow CPG companies to add CBD to their food and beverage products. Having products available in both oil and water soluble forms expands applicability to a wide range of products, and their broad-spectrum CBD oil and water soluble CBD powder are already being used in some beverages and foods in the marketplace.

“Consumers are demanding increasingly personalized products, and manufacturers are looking for ways to respond to that demand,” Josh Epstein, Socati’s CEO, said in a statement. “Socati’s proprietary technology creates hemp extracts that behave just like any other ingredient, allowing CPG manufacturers to address these demands.”

Cannabinoids 101

The plant that starts it all is called Cannabis sativa and it has two primary species, hemp and marijuana. While both contain all cannabinoids, there is a much higher percentage of CBD in hemp, which also has very low levels of THC compared to marijuana.

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for the variety of effects that the plant provides. Currently, there are over 110 known cannabinoids, with more likely to be discovered as studies continue to reveal the complex molecular structures of the plant.

In the 1990s, scientists discovered endocannabinoids – cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body – and studies began to prove that cannabis mimics our endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids interact with human physiology through our endocannabinoid system (ECS), the set of receptors that function to regulate health and promote homeostasis throughout the body. The ECS has two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor binds primarily to the brain and nervous system, while the CB2 receptor interacts largely with the immune system. The cannabis plant relies on cannabinoids binding to these receptors to produce an array of potential benefits and effects, and each cannabinoid compound holds unique characteristics, which are being studied for their potential, varying benefits.

Endocannabinoids make up the ECS through a network in the brain, nerves, skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. Functions of endocannabinoids include pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, and immune and reproductive functions – so it’s arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules ever discovered.

More than 100 unique cannabinoids are found in hemp, including the more well-known compounds CBD and THC. As consumers learn more about the properties of each specific cannabinoid, the demand for products and varieties that address individual needs is on the rise. “Hemp-derived cannabinoids show tremendous potential to help consumers in a myriad of ways,” says Epstein. “Producing ingredients that meet the standards for quality, purity, and customization that manufacturers have come to expect from all their ingredient providers will help unleash that potential.”

While CBD has become the best known of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids in recent years, hemp contains a host of other compounds that show strong promise for those looking to promote health and wellness. While Socati’s range of products are rich in CBD, a number of minor cannabinoids are featured as well, including CBDA, CBN, CBG, and CBC.

The Big Six

CBD and CBDA

CBD, cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound in cannabis and the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis, the first being THC. Despite being the chemical cousins to TCH, CBD is quite different on how it effects the human body. The main difference is that THC causes adverse, psychotropic effects on the brain but CBD does not. This is because the major ECS receptor in the brain, CB1, is activated by THC but not CBD.

CBDA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and the acidic precursor to CBD. CBDA can be found in the live or raw form of cannabis, particularly in the hemp plant and strains bred to cultivate higher CBD levels. CBDA converts to CBD when cannabis is exposed to heat or sunlight.

CBG

Cannabis plants produce cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), or the acidic, inactive form of CBG. When the CBGA acids are exposed to ultraviolet light or heat they become THC and CBD. In most strains, CBGA is immediately converted to either THCA or CBDA. CBG is the precursor to CBD, CBC, and THC, often referred to as the stem cell. In other words, as CBGA changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from,” including THC, CBD, and CBC. More THC means less CBG and CBD (and vice versa) by nature of how these compounds are synthesized. To obtain higher yields of CBG, companies like Socati have been experimenting with genetics and cross-breeding of plants. It is also a considered a non-psychotropic compound and is produced in low levels in most strains.

CBC

Cannabichromene, also know as CBC, is typically found in low levels in most cannabis strains and shares molecular similarity to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBC is also a descendant of CBG, which acts a chemical precursor to these three major cannabinoids. Plant enzymes convert CBGA into cannabichrome carboxylic acid (CBCA), and then finally to CBC after exposure to heat or ultraviolet light.

CBN

Cannabinol CBN is a byproduct of THC and is typically found in small amounts in most cannabis strains. It is formed when THC is oxidized, the degradation process converts THC to CBN. In other words, it is created when THC ages. For that reason, it’s usually present in high amounts in older cannabis.

THC

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. The raw plant material contains high quantities of this compound. THC works by binding to cannabinoid receptors concentrated in the brain and central nervous system to produce intoxicating effects, making it well known for creating intoxicating and psychoactive effects when consumed.

THCV

The cannabis plant contains very low quantities of THCV, as its production is limited in cannabis strains. THCV is similar to THC in molecular structure therefore has the potential to produce psychoactive effects when consumed but more research is needed.