The skyrocketing demand for cannabis products – particularly THC and CBD tinctures – and the continued steady growth of essential oils are good news for sellers who specialize in these products, but these potent, valuable liquids require special care. The tips below can help you select packaging that keeps you compliant with your state’s regulations, protects the quality of your product, and attracts customers to your brand.
A Booming Industry
These substances are powerful and useful. Tinctures are distilled plant extracts which can be used on the skin or taken orally, sometimes alone and sometimes with other substances. Essential oils are so concentrated that – with a few exceptions – they should not be applied to the skin unless diluted in another carrier. They also shouldn’t be consumed except as an ingredient in a carefully regulated food and beverage process. Customers are responding enthusiastically to the therapeutic and recreational potential of these concentrated substances, with the CBD market estimated to reach $2.1 billion by the year 2020, and the essential oil industry valued at $6.63 billion in 2016, with strong growth in its forecast.
Know the Regulations
With such strong business potential in these industries, it makes sense to know the rules to avoid needless setbacks. For example, a cannabis brand in Colorado recently had to pull one of their THC-infused drinks off the shelves because they used the wrong type of caps on their bottles.
In the case of CBD and THC tinctures, check the medical marijuana laws in your state
to make certain that your products are legal to sell. All herbal products are also regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the category of Dietary Supplements, and therefore must follow the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Review current resources to learn the laws for cannabis labeling and packaging by state, or essential oil regulations, depending on your products.
Choose the Right Container
Essential oils require glass containers; many of the oils are strong enough to quickly degrade plastics. THC and CBD oils are sometimes sold in plastic vials. However, their shelf life will be longer if they are stored in glass. The bottles should also be durable enough for shipping and frequent handling. The glass should be a dark color (like amber) to protect the contents from UV-degradation.
Essential oils are often sold in 5 ml, 10 ml or 15 ml bottles. If you sell to other manufacturers who use the oils as ingredients for their own products though, they may want much larger sizes. Popular sizes for medical marijuana tinctures range from one to four drams. Balance the needs of your market with the shelf life of your product to make your best choice.
Many essential oils are sold with a reducer inserted into the neck of the bottle which allows users to release one drop at a time. These are very practical for everyday use. However, they can be frustrating if you only need to add one drop to a mixture and a small stream comes out instead. For medical dosing, your customers will likely appreciate a dropper with a controlled quantity per bulb draw. Follow all regulations for adding a tamper-resistant seal to your bottle.
These potent contents need to be measured precisely when you are filling your bottles. In some cases, the tincture may be medically prescribed, and the patient needs the reassurance that they will be able to take every full dose that they need. In many other cases, the liquid is very expensive (sometimes hundreds of dollars per ounce), and any mistakes in quantity will result in either lost revenue through waste or unhappy customers. Piston fillers are ideal for this work, as they dispense contents in accurate fill volumes, can handle different degrees of viscosity, and are appropriate for food or medical-grade operations.
Consider Eye Appeal
The way your product looks on the shelf or in an online image will affect the way people connect with your brand. Create a profile of your ideal customer, and then imagine what kind of packaging design will appeal to them (while still adhering to labeling regulations). Create a prototype and show it to people in your target market for feedback.
Let Apex Help You
Apex offers all of our clients customized solutions to their filling needs. Call us at 219-575-7493 or visit our page here to learn about our commitment to quality and customer service.