Sunderstorm Scientific – Where Science Meets Consciousness
Marijuana edibles and infusions is a rapidly changing field. Changes in extraction and production methods, legislation, and consumer demands all contribute to the excitement around this increasingly popular method of medicating. At M Delivers, we sample dozens of edibles every month (Hard work, we know. You’re welcome!) and recognize that choosing en edible comes down to more than just the THC or CBD content of a candy. We are incredibly pleased to be able to work with Sunderstorm Scientific to bring you some of the most reliable edibles in the industry.
We sat down for some back and forth with the team from Sunderstorm to discuss their infusion and extraction methods, the future of edibles and medicinal marijuana. Their deep knowledge is just as impressive as their edibles. Follow them on Instagram at @sunderstormscientific, and check out their site for more info, or just grab some of their awesome Kanha Candies from our store.
What is Sunderstorm?
Sunderstorm is a California-based manufacturer of Cannabis products. Our tagline is “Where Science Meets Consciousness”. We founded and built our company on the principle that Cannabis can be integral to patients’ and consumers’ lives. The Company currently has over 100 different products across 4 brands (Sunderstorm Scientific, Kanha Candies, Wind vapes, and Radiance vapes). A Sunderstorm is a thunderstorm where the sun shines through the clouds. We built a company dedicated to shining a bright light through an industry often darkened by misinformation and misinterpretation.
Why did you choose to enter the industry?
Our team had a solid background extracting oils in the nutraceutical industry. We also have a strong conviction towards the efficacy and benefit of a variety of plant medicines from indigenous cultures around the globe. As avid consumers and proponents of Cannabis and other natural remedies, we understood how this plant could bring badly needed physical and mental health improvements to our culture. As scientists, engineers and business experts, we knew that we could improve upon existing products offered to the patients. This is why we spend so much time and energy developing consistent and reliable products. We are a team of extremely health conscious folks, and we only want to offer products we are proud to consume ourselves. That’s our mantra and we came to Cannabis to drive that into the industry.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting?
The Cannabis industry is still very gray in California – though that is changing quickly. Unlike normal businesses which work on credit, standard business practices, and without fear of law enforcement, manufacturers in this industry must remain in the shadows with multiple facilities, managing large amounts of cash, shackled by challenging tax laws and competing with black market players. The single biggest challenge for us is running a startup business without many of the tools available to a traditional business, and hampered by an unregulated and gray market landscape, while racing towards a finish line against a massive amount of competition seeking to get a piece of the green revolution. This is an industry which never sleeps and requires an inordinate amount of drive and creativity. It’s exciting, but it’s not for the weak-willed.
How are Sunderstorm’s offerings different from others?
Sunderstorm is determined to bring consciousness and science to this industry. Consumers know that when they go to the grocery store, they have access to consistent, reliable and healthy products offered by trusted brands. We focus a lot on bringing this same trust to the Cannabis industry. Without regulation and oversight, it’s almost impossible for a patient to know what they are getting. Since we only want to develop products which we, ourselves are willing to consume, and therefore, are proud to offer to the market, we are committed to testing for consistency, purity and efficacy of our products. We have in house analytics so we are constantly checking products from other manufacturers and we know that there is a very broad variability in the consistency and accuracy of what’s printed on the label. We strive to eliminate this variability in our products. We constantly get comments from patients, budtenders and shopowners about how our products deliver the same experience and benefit to them, no matter where or when they are purchased. That’s great to hear because this level of consistency is necessary for this industry to grow to its potential and gain the trust of the general populace. We are also very innovative in our product lines. We have products that are unique in the industry such as our sublingual line which includes the best CBD product in the industry called Sunrise. These nano-emulsions are truly amazing in the effectiveness. You can actually feel the effects of our Sunrise CBD within 5-10 minutes of application. And the result is dramatic. This is due to the fact that you get 80-90% bioavailability, meaning that 80-90% of the cannabinoids get in to your bloodstream. This is compared to 50% for smoking and 20% for edibles and tinctures. This means that these sublinguals hit fast and are completely dosable. You can get the exact experience you seek and you know it within minutes – all without having to smoke. We use science as the basis for our product development which stands us apart from other manufacturers. This is the future of the industry.
What is the benefit of infusion versus spraying?
We use a proprietary hybrid approach for our gummies. Combining the two is a great solution for the patients. It’s important to be able to offer patients consistency across packages and batches, while also ensuring competitive prices so that consumers feel they are getting a very high quality product at a fair price. We use science and engineering to solve this challenge. And it’s clearly paying off. Our gummies are the best tasting in the industry and we’re frequently told that by the patients. Other manufacturers in the industry don’t have this same level of commitment to this philosophy and have created distrust. Our approach is clearly winning back some of this trust and patients are rewarding us by asking their local dispensaries and delivery services to carry our products.
We hear a ton about CO2 extraction, what is the benefit versus other extraction methods?
This is an important question. Supercritical CO2 extraction is extremely common in the food industry. It’s how coffee and tea are decaffeinated, Omega 3’s and other nutraceuticals are extracted from algae, and essential oils such as lavender are purified from plants. CO2 is a wonderful solvent because it’s completely inert and makes up most of the air we breathe. As a solvent for extraction, it is completely eliminated from the oil once the process is complete. This is not the case with Butane, Hexane, Ethanol and other compounds which leave residual amounts of these compounds in the Cannabis oil. These remnants can be toxic to humans and need to be removed before infusion in to products. That’s not generally happening, so for patients and consumers who seek pure, clean and healthy products, CO2 is definitely the way to go. It’s important to note that these other compounds are commonly used because they are cheaper solutions for manufacturers. We prefer not to cut corners.
What is MCT Oil, and why does it matter?
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. These are a form of saturated fat which is more easily processed by the human body and therefore has the benefits of “good fats” without the detriment of other saturated fats. Consumers commonly use MCT from Coconut oil as an additive in their diets as a supplement. We use Coconut MCT in or vapes because we believe that it doesn’t have the toxicity that other cutting agents such as PEG (polyethylene glycol, PG (propylene glycol), and VG (vegetable glycerin) do. We triple filter our vape oil to remove the harsher compounds, then add small amounts of MCT to improve the flow inside the vape cartridge. This ensures that the Cannabinoids don’t stick to the sides or end of the glass and also creates a very smooth tasting experience for the patient. We get many comments about how smooth our cartridges are. In addition, since we test every batch of oil, we can eliminate inconsistencies in potency by adding small amounts of MCT. This means that consumers get the same feeling from the first or last hit from a cartridge as well as 3 months down the road from a new cartridge. This consistency is very important for us as I have indicated. And the patients are beginning to understand this importance.
You are one of the only edible providers that offer tinctures with 5HTP, what are the benefits of 5htp?
I’m glad you are asking this question. 5HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the human brain and is precursor to in the biosynthesis of serotonin, the neurotransmitter which makes us feel happy or in a good mood. 5HTP is commonly sold at Natural Health Food stores and grocery stores as a nutraceutical because it has profound effects on mood elevation. People use it as a supplement to help them get through tough times.
We use 5HTP in our Sunderstorm Scientific sublinguals as well as Wind vape cartridges because we have discovered that when combined with Cannabinoids, it smooths out the psychoactive effects of THC and promotes mood elevation in the patients. This is particularly important for patients seeking to manage depression from serious medical conditions while gaining the benefits of Cannabis. Together these compounds have a powerful synergistic affect with great benefits to the patient. We are excited to be first company in California offering these products.
Where do you see for the future of cannabis consumption?
I’m more optimistic today than ever about the future of Cannabis. With an improved regulatory framework, the entrance of more sophisticated manufacturers like ourselves, and help from scientists and engineers around the globe, there’s new level of product development in the industry. The most exciting part of the industry is the rapid adoption of Cannabis by the average consumer and medical patient. Every day I meet folks seeking to curb their alcohol consumption, or opiate usage, in order to find better alternatives. Many want to get off the pharmaceutical gravy train. Cannabis provides a good option for them. Cleaner, healthier, and novel products with sophisticated delivery systems are the future of Cannabis. The market for consumers who seek Cannabis through smoking is limited. However, the market for others who wish to consume through subilnguals, beverages, topicals and edibles is almost unlimited. The future of Cannabis is an evolution from the traditional smoking consumer to patients seeking standardized potency, dosages, and experiences. We will continue to see Cannabinoids introduced into every type of consumable you can imagine.
We have two tag lines: Dose with Confidence and Where Science Meets Consciousness. Both of these lines represent the future of the industry. Consumers don’t want surprises. They want trusted brands which can deliver their medicines conveniently to improve daily lives. They want to know that the products are made well and are safe, and they want to know how these products will make them feel. Cannabis can be well integrated into our daily lives without risk to society. This will be done with lighter dosages and an understanding about how to dose integrally into your day to day. The industry will shift from the belief that stronger is better, to efficacy is better. In other words, how can I use Cannabis to help me live a better life? Finally, micro-dosing of Cannabis is going to grow dramatically. Patients are beginning to understand that timely and smaller doses can be a very effective way to integrate the medicine into our lives, whether to improve your condition, help you solve an engineering problem, relax from a difficult day, or get a good night’s sleep. And science will begin to prove what many of us have known for a long time. Cannabis is real medicine with broad application across the health spectrum. I can’t wait to see how this all develops!
Neither can we!