eSense is making choccies that smell like pot but won’t get you high
Health & Biotech
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eSense Lab is making cannabis-infused chocolate — but it won’t get you high and it’s not actually made from cannabis.
eSense (ASX:ESE) has just finished testing a chocolate-flavoured “terpene” formulation as part of a joint venture with Healthy Chocolate Florida set up in June.
Terpenes are fragrant oils found in plants that carry flavour and aroma. They carry the pungent odour of cannabis and offer some medicinal properties — but they don’t contain THC, the compound that gets you stoned, or CBD which is the restricted bit used in medicinal products.
That means eSense’s chocolate will have the flavour and smell of cannabis — but not the high — because eSense has extracted the same terpenes found in cannabis from different plants.
Chairman Brendan de Kauwe says it’s cheaper and gets around the tricky issue of regulatory restrictions.
What the terpenated chocolate will certainly do is give eSense a foothold in the $US4.5 billion ($5.9 billion) US retail cannabis product market.
eSense expects a consumer product will be ready by June next year, and are working to develop and market other “chocolate based controlled dietary supplements”.
“eSense-Lab products … will importantly preserve the key properties of its terpenes’ quality and integrity (integral for the health and medical benefits achieved from terpenes), for the company’s proprietary medical cannabis strains; as well as ensuring the highest quality aromas, taste and feel of the strains,” the company told investors.
The nutraceuticals industry however isn’t held to the same standards as pharmaceuticals and therefore doesn’t do clinical trials, so Stockhead asked Mr de Kauwe how they can tell the medical benefits from the chocolates will actually work.
He says they will make chocolates that include each of their 10 terpene strains that are said to help with everything from pain to PTSD.
“We can’t actually test from a patient point of view in terms of their response,” he said, although they have ambitions to go down the clinical route to create pharmaceutical products.
What they can do is provide is provide an analysis of which terpenes are in the product, and users can refer to it as a guide for their purchasing decisions.
Ultimately, it’s a natural remedy with some chemistry behind it, but no medical trials.
Chief executive Haim Cohen says terpenes can be used in the same way as food additives.
Today’s news — as well as a $500,000 investment from grower MMJ Phytotech (ASX:MMJ) — pushed eSense’s shares up 13 per cent to a high of 44.5c on Thursday.
The shares were trading at 40.5c in Thursday lunchtime trade.
eSense reported $30,000 sales revenue in the September quarter and spent $560,000, leaving about $1.4 million in the kitty.