Who’s Who: CBD and hemp companies shaping the category

BY Nora Caley

The demand most definitely is there. One study, in fact, said that more than 70% of consumers would purchase products infused with CBD or hemp if given the opportunity. Another said that more than half of shoppers simply are shocked that they cannot purchase these products in the store of their choice now, mostly because many retailers still are hesitant to get involved in the category, awaiting more clarification from the Food and Drug Administration.

According to a report from Boulder, Colo.-based BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, U.S. sales of cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD products will increase from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2024, a compound annual growth rate of 49%. Other studies even more are optimistic, pegging the category’s future sales at more than $25 billion annually by 2022, less than three years away.

Yet, with this optimism, excitement and potential growth, there is a concern among many that not every player in the industry is an ideal partner for the mass retail industry. In the words of one industry official attending the FDA’s public hearing on CBD and hemp in Silver Spring, Md. in late May, “This is the wild, Wild West right now. Everything is in a state of chaos, and it is going to take a lot of work to straighten this industry out. But it has to happen and it has to happen extremely fast.”

To offer the mass retail community a look at some of the major players in the CBD industry, Drug Store News put together a list of some of the leading manufacturers. Here is what we compiled:

Abacus Health Products

Abacus Health Products markets the CBDMedic consumer brand. Products include Active Sport Pain Relief Stick and Ointment with camphor and menthol, Back & Neck Pain Relief Ointment, Foot and Ankle Pain Relief Ointment and Solid Stick, Muscle and Joint Pain Relief, Arthritic Pain Relief, and Massage Therapy Pain Relief. The products, which also contain camphor and menthol, are merchandised in the analgesics section of retail stores. “When people have pain, they go straight to that aisle,” Perry Antelman, CEO of the Woonsocket, R.I.-based company, said. “Our products have done extremely well.”

CBDMedic recently launched several skin care products. Advanced Skincare for Acne-Prone Skin, available in medicated cream and foaming facial cleanser, contains tea tree oil and jojoba seed oil. Eczema Therapy Medicated Ointment contains eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil. Itch, Rash & Pain Medicated Ointment contains beeswax, tea tree oil and jojoba seed oil.

CBD Care Garden

The hemp-based wellness and beauty company CBD Care Garden makes body and face products with organic phytoactive-rich hemp oil. The products are used in spas, and the Denver-based company is getting ready to launch the massage oils in retail stores at spas, resorts and destination hotels. “Consumers want that spa experience at home,” Vanessa Marquez, CBD Care Garden’s CEO and co-founder, said. “They are looking at it for overall wellness and relaxation, to relieve anxiety and stress.”


CBDfx offers full-spectrum CBD products in a wide variety of formats. Last year, the Los Angeles-based company introduced CBD Gummies with Turmeric & Spirulina, which are vegan, GMO-free and contain organic ingredients. “Turmeric is huge,” Christian Graversen, senior brand manager, said “People are slowly opening their eyes for natural products that have anti-inflammatory effects. The whole supplement industry is booming.”

New from CBDfx are four broad-spectrum CBD balms. Each of the organically grown CBD balms is blended with botanicals and essential oils to nourish and repair skin. The CBD Calming Balm has lavender and tea tree oil to induce relaxation. The CBD Muscle Balm includes peppermint and camphor oil to soothe aching joints. The CBD Recovery Balm is meant for overnight, long-lasting application. The CBD Shea Butter Citrus Balm centers around bright, fruity aromatherapy. Also new are 20 mg broad-
spectrum CBD face masks available in cucumber, rose, night, aloe vera and charcoal.


The brand cbdMD makes products that include gummies, tinctures, topical, bath bombs, oils and pet products. The comprehensive line of natural, THC-free, hemp-derived CBD oil products are made in the United States. “cbdMD is 100% committed to being at the forefront of CBD research and opportunities in order to be the leaders in maximizing options for all consumers to enhance their quality of life,” Caryn Dunayer, president of cbdMD, said. “It all starts with proper expectations, research and education.”

The newest product from cbdMD is CBD PM, a plant-derived, THC-free sleep solution that combines CBD, melatonin and other such natural ingredients as chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, cascade hops and lemon balm for a restful night’s sleep.

Charlotte’s Web

Last year, Charlotte’s Web launched three gummy CBD options. Charlotte’s Web’s Sleep in raspberry flavor supports restful sleep with 10 mg of CBD and 3 mg of melatonin. Charlotte’s Web Calm lemon lime flavor contains 10 mg of CBD, 50 mg of L-theanine and 75 mg of lemon balm to support everyday stresses, so consumers feel relaxed but not sleepy. Charlotte’s Web Revocery in ginger flavor has 10 mg of CBD, 25 mg of ginger and 50 mg of curcuminoids for exercise and active lifestyles to support healthy inflammatory response and promote joint strength.

The Boulder, Colo.-based company also expanded its canine line to include 12 new SKUs, featuring two flavors of oils, three types of chews and a balm for dry paws/nose. “The pet CBD category is set to grow exponentially in the next three-plus years,” Courtney Schmidt, director of national accounts, said. “Our new innovation for the canine market mirrors the consistency and quality of our human line. Charlotte’s Web is an effective, premium brand people can trust for their own bodies, as well as their dogs’.”

CV Sciences

The consumer products division of CV Sciences delivers botanical-based cannabidiol products that enhance quality of life. Among them is the topical hemp CBD product PlusCBD Oil. PlusCBD Oil Roll-On, available in 200 mg CBD and extra strength 500 mg formulations, is infused with concentrated CBD from agricultural hemp plant parts, warming camphor and cooling menthol. Made with its gold formula concentrated full-spectrum hemp extract, the roll-ons offer high-intensity support in an easy-to-use application. To meet consumer expectations of clean ingredients, all PlusCBD Oil topical products are free of phthalates, sulfates and parabens, and are made without artificial dyes or scents. The company has offices in Las Vegas and San Diego.


Elevate is continuously looking at innovation options centered around consumer needs, and has a 12-month pipeline of new products currently in development. Officials at the company said they are committed to producing hemp-derived CBD products of the highest quality and purity across categories, forms and benefits that shoppers are looking for. The Telford, Pa.-based company’s newest products are Elevate CBD Cooling Relief Cream and Elevate CBD Heating Relief Cream, topical creams enhanced with menthol and magnesium to help relieve inflammation and pain. Coming soon are additional topical pain relief products, and the brand also will enter the pet category.

Functional Remedies

Functional Remedies produces hand-pressed, lipid-infused hemp oil derived from nutrient-dense hemp plants and formulated using a proprietary whole-plant, lipid-infusion process. The Denver-based company said this results in highly efficacious products that deliver the greatest possible entourage effect ,and are far superior to CBD isolate and concentrate products made with CO2 and chemical extraction processes. Functional Remedies is a vertically integrated company with complete control of all its processes from farm and cultivation to finished goods.

The company, which makes hemp capsules, hemp tincture, nourishing hemp salve and other products, plans to launch several new items. “We are very excited about launching our core lineup of the highest quality and efficacious hemp oil products available,” Matthew Poli, chief revenue officer, said. “Our product extension evolution will expand into many consumer and pet benefit areas, and will follow FDA guidelines and maintain the superior quality standards Functional Remedies holds.”

Green Roads

The newest product from Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Green Roads is CBD-infused Muscle and Joint Heat Relief. It is intended for consumers to use on their wrists, knees, elbows, back and any sore areas. “We listened to people who needed a source of support after long hours spent doing everything from typing to biking,” Laura Fuentes, CEO and co-founder, said. “We are always innovating our product line. Our R&D team is sensitive to feedback from our customers, and we’re excited to see how they respond to the new products that will be coming out soon.”

Harmony Hemp

Harmony Hemp offers products in nerve health, personal care, pet care and supplements. Products include CBD NeuroComfort Relief Gel, CBD NeuroComfort Relief Roll-on and CBD NeuroComfort Relief Lotion, as well as CBD Concentrated Drops, CBD Concentrated Spray and others. Harmony Hemp also owns hemp farms and testing labs. “We grow, process and distribute in house,” Courtney Roundy, founder and director of business development and brand management at the Salt Lake City-based company, said. “We control everything to ensure supply chain reliability and cost efficiencies for the end consumer.”


HempFusion, which changed its name from MetaCan, recently launched Twist, a liquid dietary supplement that can be added to water to make a flavored beverage. Twist contains HempFusion’s proprietary Whole Food Hemp Complex of hemp extract, clove oil extract and black pepper extract, with nutrients that support the endocannabinoid system, including beta-caryophyllene and other terpenes.

Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Mango Peach contains 1,000 mg of omega-3 fish oil concentrate per serving; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Key Lime contains 1,000 mg of omega-3 fish oil concentrate per serving; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Citrus Ginger is vegan and contains omega fatty acid algal oil; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. HempFusion uses HO-PE, or Hemp One-Pass Extraction, which the company said is a process that yields an oil more dense in nutrients, including terpenes; heart-healthy fats like omega-3, 6, and 9, nutritious whole-food proteins; chlorophyll; flavonoids; and fiber.

Leading Edge Pharms

Leading Edge Pharms’ latest product is Cannavera Topical Pain Relief Ointment. This ointment is designed to treat mild to moderate chronic symptomatic pain from arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, bursitis, tendonitis, sciatica, carpel tunnel, trigeminal neuralgia and many peripheral neuropathies. It quickly eases discomfort, providing symptomatic relief from acute and chronic periods of
mild-to-moderate muscle, joint and nerve pain, and inflammatory skin disorders. It also helps dry and chapped skin, insect bites, and surgical and injection site pain, as well as mild-to-moderate burning and itching from many inflammatory skin conditions.

More innovation is on the horizon. “Leading Edge Pharms is leveraging its proprietary cannabinoid technology by partnering with established market leaders with regional and national commercial presence to expand into veterinary medicine, cosmeceuticals, women’s personal health care, and oral health and dental care,” David Chadwick, CEO of the Henderson, Nev.-based company, said.


The hemp and CBD category is new, but it already is getting crowded. Manufacturers offering a plethora of products are all competing for retail shelf space. MarketHub, which calls itself “The Hemp Retail Category Leader,” works with manufacturers and retailers to set up Hemp Health Zones in any class of trade. “Getting it right matters, whether that’s through product decisions or category decisions,” Blake Patterson, CEO of the Denver-based company, said. “All those things that are consumer facing, they mean something to the consumer, and retail has got to get a hold of that because there is a proliferation of manufacturers.” The company offers expertise in legal, category management, product mix optimization, full-service distribution, customer engagement and merchandising display.

Mile High Labs

Mile High Labs is an industrial-scale CBD ingredient manufacturer that offers delivery of bulk CBD and co-packing services to consumer brands. It has an end-to-end GMP-certified extraction facility and extensive network of contracted cultivators. The Denver-based company recently got a $65 million loan from MGG Investment Group. Mile High Labs said it is using the capital to secure millions of pounds of hemp so it can meet the increasing demand of CBD from its customers who are looking for more ways to provide CBD to consumers. “We are seeing huge interest in the beverage space,” Mile High Labs founder and CTO Stephen Mueller said. “We see a move from easier-to-manufacture products like tinctures to more convenient products for the consumer, such as beverages, capsules or pills.”

New Leaf Pharmaceutical

New Leaf Pharmaceutical recently reformulated its nasal spray, Rhinodol. The new version is water soluble and uses nanoemulsion for better absorption. The nasal spray has better bioavailability than swallowed CBD due to the digestive processes that occur with capsules, pills or drinks. Rhinodol contains organic, pharmaceutical-grade CBD. The new formula is easier for the consumer. “It’s pleasant. It’s not oil, so it’s not sticky,” Rod Deraney, a managing partner at the Newtown, Conn.-based company, said. “There is a lot of movement in the industry around utilizing nanoemulsion, and particle size has a lot to do with that. Reducing the particle size improves absorption.” The company plans to launch several other topical products.

Prana Principle

The latest product from Prana Principle CBD, a brand of The Apax Group, is Extra Strength Cold Therapy Relief Cream. It has 500 mg of active CBD and 15% menthol and 11% camphor. The formulation is designed to appeal to everyone from athletes to seniors. The Castle Rock, Colo.-based company’s corporate parent is Apax Nutrition Europe, so it has much experience selling hemp-derived products on an international level. “We have a good grasp on which CBD products consumers will demand next,” Sebastien Hebbelinck, CEO and president of The APAX Group, said. “We have a world-class R&D team that stays informed with the latest trends and keeps us ahead of the pack with fantastic formulas and product concepts. We maintain a grassroots approach to innovation and listen to what our customers’ needs are.”

Quicksilver Scientific

Quicksilver Scientific’s new Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract provide a proprietary nanoemulsion technology that dramatically enhances absorption and delivery of the full range of phytocannabinoids, enabling much more CBD to be absorbed by the body per dose. “That’s both more efficient and more cost-effective,” Chris Shade, founder and CEO of the Lafayette, Colo.-based company, said. “There are plenty of broad- and full-spectrum CBD products on the market, but none with Quicksilver Scientific’s proprietary nanoemulsion technology. By encasing the active ingredients within a nano-sized, stabilized oil droplet, Quicksilver’s nutraceuticals, including its CBD products, feature high and rapid absorption.”

Uleva Products

Uleva Products manufactures full-spectrum hemp supplements that contain all the cannabinoids found in the whole plant, including CBD. The company, based in Denver, manufactures and tests the products in Contract Pharmacal Corp’s, or CPC, 750,000-sq.-ft. facility in Hauppauge, N.Y. The six formulas are Digest with ginger, Flex with glucosamine and chondroitin, Fuel with green tea, Relax with Ashwagandha, Relieve with turmeric, and Sleep with melatonin.

“Our CBD is not an isolate, but rather is part of a full-spectrum extract, which naturally contains CBD, along with the naturally occurring gamut of other cannabinoids in the hemp plant,” Matt Wolf, CEO of Uleva and CPC, said. “There is no isolation or fortification of CBD or any other cannabinoid in our extract.” CPC and Uleva plan to launch full-spectrum hemp extract capsules, softgels, topicals, tinctures, liquids and beauty products.


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