While their colours span the rainbow and the flavour options can be tropical, floral or downright imaginative (Blaspberry, anyone?), the cannabis soft chews sold at OCS are backed by precise manufacturing methods, testing and research. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain at Foray from Dosecann’s manufacturing plant in Prince Edward Island to see how they produce their Raspberry Vanilla (THC), Peach Mango (1:1) and Pineapple Orange (CBD) soft chews.
Although each licensed producer has its own secret recipes — Foray’s are developed by Peter Crooks, the former head of Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, the country’s leading food-development lab — the basic process for making soft chews is pretty much the same as it is for typical soft candies, the obvious difference being the addition of cannabis.
Step 1: Mixing the Ingredients
Following a carefully formulated recipe, sugar, water and a thickening agent are cooked in customized equipment to produce a watery solution that has the desired “brix,” or sugar content.
This is where it all begins. Every product contains its own unique ingredients: Foray’s all-natural soft chews, for example, use pectin as the thickening agent rather than gelatin and have a softer, cleaner bite with less stickiness. They also contain intense fruity flavours — suggested by customers through the company’s research — to minimize the taste of the cannabis.
Next, the cannabis is stirred in until it’s completely blended to make a uniform mixture. While any kind of cannabis extract, like wax, shatter or resin, can be incorporated into cannabis edibles, Foray chooses distillate (containing CBD or THC, or a mix of both) because the liquid is easy to blend. Distillate is also nearly flavourless, so the finished product doesn’t have much of an aftertaste.
Step 2: Taking Shape
From here, the soft chews are formed into their unique shape. The liquid mixture is injected into moulds and left to cool and solidify. Once hardened, the pieces are turned out. Foray goes a step further, tumbling them in sugar to add a sweet kick — and to prevent them from sticking together.
What Is Distillate?
An extremely concentrated form of cannabis oil, distillate is produced from the cannabis plant using a process of boiling and condensation. Read more here.
Step 3: Quality Testing
The soft chews are ready, but the next two steps are just as important: ensuring they’re fit for sale and safe for adults to consume. Every batch is tested in-house by a team of analytical chemists using state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that what’s in the product, including the THC and CBD content, matches the labels on the packaging.
Did You Know?
Unlike regular candy companies, legal cannabis producers such as Dosecann require a special Canada Research License from Health Canada that permits them to sample the products for taste, aroma, texture and mouthfeel throughout the production process. A big benefit of having the licence is that the products can be sampled after the cannabis is added — ensuring the soft chews will appeal to consumers.
Step 4: Packing and Shipping
Once tested, the soft chews undergo federally required labelling and packaging, which adds the cannabis symbol, brand name, THC and CBD content, health warning message, lot number, “packaged on” date, bar code, nutrition facts table and list of ingredients. Phew! It’s a lot to cram on a label but so important for the customer to know. The excise stamp must also be present to show the product is certified legal (not counterfeit) and the manufacturer has paid the duty on it. After these necessary but decidedly unmagical checks and balances, the finished soft chews are ready for their journey to stores from coast to coast to coast.
With all the innovation happening in the world of cannabis, many more exciting products are on the horizon. Look out for Foray to debut its maple hard caramels in the coming months — another sweet addition to the edibles product class in 2020.