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These Compostable Cannabis-Infused Coffee Pods Are All About Social Impact

Photo by Javier Hasse

If you Google (or, even better, search within High Times’ site) “weed coffee” or “cannabis coffee,” you’ll come across dozens of articles explaining how to make your own marijuana-infused drinks. In fact, Google Trends confirms there is considerable search volume around these terms and other related recipes—like how to make weed-infused hot chocolate or tea.

But, as demand for canna-coffees grew and states across the U.S. legalized pot for both medical and recreational use, a few brands offering pre-blended options emerged. One of the best known is Jane’s Brew line by House of Jane, which includes coffees, teas, iced teas, hot chocolate and more.

The thing is, like most other products out there, Jane’s Brew line uses high-grade CO2 cannabis oil to infuse its products. And, some believe that the CO2 extraction process changes the quality of cannabis flowers.

This is where BrewBudz comes in—with a completely different approach to infusing cannabis flowers into edibles, while maintaining a commitment to the environment and people in need.

“The issue that currently faces the cannabis market is that most edibles don’t have what we call ‘the entourage effect,’ which implies that all the compounds (all the cannabinoids and terpenes) are working in synchrony with one another,” Kevin Love, strategic accounts director of Cannabiniers, BrewBudz’s parent company, told Benzinga. “CO2 and butane extraction used to make oils burns off a lot of cannabinoids and terpenes in the process. So, the end output isn’t the same as the starting input. And, from a medicinal standpoint, you are not getting a full spectrum of these compounds working together, which ultimately enhance or deliver the results studied by scientists.”

The conversation with Kevin Love started with a story about social impact initiatives in Africa. The chat was pretty long, but here’s the conclusion:

Some of BrewBudz’s coffee is being sourced from Ethiopia. So, the company decided to give something back to a beautiful country that often struggles with access to drinkable water. They essentially picked a village where only about 40 percent of inhabitants have potable water sources and started a program to expand access. Once the plan is completed, the company expects to see 90 percent of the people have access to clean drinking water.

“This industry is paved with a lot of adverse opinions. And, I think through giving back to the world, starting right and staying right—being that we are in an infancy market and we have the ability to shape our future—we can inspire people to make great decisions and be cognizant of the decisions they make every day,” Love said. “Let’s not be like businesses of the 1950s and ’60s, where the output of their manufacturing processes was pollution, and it took many years for us to get to a net neutral, taking back all the bad that they did.”

So, in an attempt to step up and change the way people do things, BrewBudz came up with compostable (non-contaminating) single-brew cannabis-infused coffee, tea and hot cocoa pods that fit Keurig’s home brewing machines. In order to retain all of the properties in cannabis flowers, they invented a way to “powderize” flowers, instead of extracting the oils.

In addition, BrewBudz reassessed normal dosing in edibles and decided to bring it down a notch.

Its products range between 10 and 50 milligrams of THC each, with the highest dosing aimed at medical consumers and the lower ones aimed at recreational users. The idea is to avoid getting you “stoned” or “high,” while still delivering the more positive effects of cannabis.

BrewBudz in now available in dispensaries throughout the recently-recreational Nevada market. According to Love, orders for this $7-a-piece product are already booming. As per back-of-the-envelope calculations, they expect to sell about 450,000 pods over the next 150 days.

Now, let’s move on to the business side of the issue.

Cannabineers is a brand management company, and BrewBudz is its first market product. The parent company’s objective is to create a “normalization of cannabis consumption” to help patients that could medicate with marijuana but are not doing it because they don’t want to smoke it.

Consequently, the company fashioned a product line that both provides the “entourage effect” of marijuana and is lifestyle-integrated—meaning that consumers won’t have to change their routines to use them. It’s all about not disrupting people’s rituals, about getting cannabis properties in your coffee, while still being able to enjoy a full cup of hot joe, as if it didn’t have weed in it.

The definition of cannabis, and the industry around it, is changing fast. It’s no longer about tired stoner stereotypes.

“It’s about the war hero that comes back and is suffering from PTSD, your neighbor who went through chemotherapy, your mother who’s dealing with extreme arthritis, your best friend who suffers from sleep apnea, and their right to medicate without facing social stigma,” Love concluded.

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