The synthetic and biosynthetic CBD revolution

What if I told you that your morning vitamin C tablet does not come from an orange or an apple, or any other fruit? What if I told you it was made synthetically, like most other supplements on today’s market?

Unknown to most consumers, ‘natural’ supplements are often not natural at all, but instead produced in a laboratory to be chemically identical to their natural counterparts.

In many cases, these products can be created more efficiently and at a lower price point than organic products on the market and are also absorbed by the body in the very same way as naturally occurring nutrients.

With synthetics taking the vitamin industry by storm, it is no surprise that ambitious businesses, pharmaceuticals and investors are now looking towards the newly emerging synthetic CBD market, which is set to take centre stage in the broader application of CBD.  As quality and safety regulations for the CBD industry are designed and implemented, synthetic CBD is starting to be an appealing alternative for the market.

Synthetic CBD or chemically synthesized CBD is an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) that is considered to be chemically identical to naturally produced hemp-derived CBD, and is produced from base materials using chemistry, rather than being extracted from the cannabis plant. The CBD is free of other cannabinoids such as THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the ‘high’ sensation. The manufacturing of chemically synthesized CBD occurs in regulatory-approved API facilities much like other pharmaceutical drugs.

Whilst some argue this is less natural than ‘plant extracted CBD’, synthetic producers believe it is the best approach for ensuring a high quality, pure, and consistent product. The process uses less chemicals than solvent and gas extraction and there is no risk of residue from fertilizers or herbicides. This means each batch is identical, traceable, free from pesticides and impurities. In a nutshell, synthetic CBD is claimed to be a cleaner and greener way to manufacture the substance

Here, we look at 5 companies leading the synthetic CBD revolution:

PureForm Global

Headquartered in Los Angeles, PureForm is the leading manufacturer of cannabinoids for consumer brands and human therapeutics.

Founded in 2016, PureForm spent two years developing methods to reliably produce pure, unadulterated, bioidentical CBD. Today, the company has developed the global capacity to produce CBD in commercial quantities at near perfect purity and they are one of few companies globally to successfully synthesize CBD without producing a THC chemical by-product.

With no residue or solvents, the company brings the promise of natural compounds to market without the shortfalls and limitations of processing ‘natural plant extracts’.

PureForm is now looking to produce other cannabinoids such as CBG which could potentially have health benefits beyond CBD but does not exist in large enough quantities to be extracted and consumed from plant extracts.

This U.S. cannabinoid biotech company has launched its first synthesized CBD products for athletes in the UK through its partnership with Biosportart, a sports-focused CBD start-up based in London, which offers a High Concentration CBD gel that is compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations.


Lady McCoy and Caroline Glynn both worked together for eleven years in a global pharmaceutical company, where they developed the medical business, penetrating across 96 markets and achieving multiple medicines licences. The pair shared a passion for the innovation of CBD products. Having spent five years researching and testing and investing millions, McCoy and Glynn developed Pureis Ultra Pure CBD – the first CBD food supplement clinically proven to be safe.

As a dedicated pharmaceutical R&D-led company, Pureis has completed a full suite of clinical studies necessary to meet and satisfy regulatory frameworks and recently became the first CBD product in the world to receive dual validation from both the European Food Safety Authority and the UK Food Standards Agency. Pureis Ultra Pure CBD, is synthetically produced to contain only CBD with no intra batch variability, 0% THC and no other plant derived components.

The brand wants to be the ‘grown-ups in the CBD food supplement space’ and offer customers legitimate, certifiably safe and quality synthetic products backed by clinical studies.

Available as drops, capsules, oils and sprays, Pureis is currently stocked in Boots and Holland & Barrett.

Nalu Bio

Biopharmaceutical firm Nalu Bio is focused on using chemistries and existing materials to produce high-quality, low-cost products that are consistently pure and safe. The company endeavours to learn from nature and deliver through chemistry. It is creating a new category of cannabinoids and cognitive wellness ingredients which will offer great therapeutic promise for the treatment of pain, opioid action and mental health issues.


Labocan shares a collective belief in the incredible potential benefits and possibilities of cannabinoids. With a culture based on quality, compliance, transparency and consistency, the company strives to be the most reliable cannabinoid producer in Europe and boasts that it can produce 100% compliant, completely pure synthesized CBD.

Cellular Goods

Also emerging on the market are CBD companies specializing in biosynthetic cannabinoids. This is an enzyme-catalysed process whereby simple compounds are converted into more complex products. It’s a process that’s been used since the 1970’s to produce over 400 pharmaceutical products, and it’s  now being adopted by ambitious CBD company – Cellular Goods.

Providing cannabinoid solutions for skin, movement and daily living, Cellular Goods harmonises nature with science to produce cannabinoids that require no pesticides and are meaningly clearer than those derived from plants. On a cellular level, they are bio-identical to plant-based cannabinoids and far more sustainable too because the company’s supply chain is clean, green, short and traceable. The company is working with partners both in the US “where all the intellectual property resides”, and Europe, home to fermentation, to perfect stable CBD formulations.

Cellular Goods is currently focusing on two product lines. The first being high-end skincare (set to hit the market in Sept/Oct and the second is athletic recovery products. It is also developing a movement range aimed at muscle relief for people of ages 18-80+, due to launch next year, before expanding into pet health.

Last month the company, which is backed by David Beckham’s DB Ventures firm, made its debut on the London Stock Exchange.

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