DSM takes on CBD

Top ingredient supplier offering turnkey condition-specific formulations using the hemp cannabinoid.

Todd Runestad, Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com

June 15, 2021

3 Min Read
DSM PR image.jpg

In an announcement signaling that hemp CBD is ready for the world’s biggest CPG companies, the largest nutritional ingredient supplier for U.S. supplements, DSM, has jumped in the hemp CBD business.

That such a large supplier of dietary supplement nutritional ingredients has gotten into CBD underscores that the market is ready to be taken to the next level—especially if the FDA or Congress regulates a more open market into segments like food and beverage.

DSM had been apparently considering the CBD market for three years before it decided to officially make it a go.

“There is a strong consumer pull in the CBD space for high-quality, health-benefit driven solutions, but as yet the market is still to arrive at recognized science or quality standard,” said Frederic Boned, Vice President, Human Nutrition & Health at DSM North America. “Our science-backed solutions will deliver the purity, reliability and traceability that are currently lacking and enable our customers to truly differentiate themselves.”

The Dutch multinational behemoth is partnering with Colorado-based Mile High Labs, which itself is a leading pharma-grade supplier of hemp CBD from its 400,000 square foot facility based outside Boulder.

DSM plans to supply to manufacturers around the world with turnkey, “purpose-led CBD market-ready solutions” that blend hemp CBD with evidence-based nutritional ingredients for brands looking to create sophisticated, targeted, custom products for specific evidence-based conditions like stress, mood and sleep.

Related:Promising growth areas for CBD and other phytocannabinoids

Premixes as well as custom formulations are all on offer. There is not currently a set portfolio of premixes, but  stress, mood and sleep will be particular focus areas.

“DSM has the core competencies,” said Boned, “combined with a deep understanding of consumer and customer needs, to help brands enter the cannabinoid market early and build a leading position.”

DSM said that longer-term ambitions leverage the company’s clinical, regulatory and applications expertise to explore the potential benefits of other minor cannabinoids besides CBD and THC.

The European Union ruled in December 2020 that hemp-derived CBD is not a narcotic drug and so qualifies as a Novel Food. Thus far across the pond in America, the FDA has taken a dim view of food and beverage applications—indeed, the FDA hasn’t been exactly keen in CBD’s use in supplements for that matter.

Whether that’s because it is protecting the U.S. pharmaceutical industry or it’s the lingering vestiges of drug warrior stance—or maybe it really just wants ironclad safety data before it allows the cannabinoids to proliferate—the agency is slow-walking its approval process. That the European Union is allowing CBD, and that DSM has arrived to supply quality raw materials, can only help hemp’s fortunes as a global commodity.

Related:Senators introduce CBD bill for food, dietary supplements

“The potential of CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids hasn’t yet been fully realized, so we’re investing in the future of the category,” said Boned. “This is just the beginning for DSM. Our partnership with MHL will be a key enabler for us as we take our first steps in this burgeoning market. As regulatory frameworks are defined, DSM’s end-to-end capabilities and unrivalled portfolio make us ideally positioned to lead and shape the market. This category is full of promise, and we’re excited to partner with MHL and play an integral role in tapping into the potential and enabling customers to create products with real purpose.”

Mile High Labs has quality manufacturing certifications such as cGMP and ISO 9001 and distribution centers in Colorado as well as Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a London office as well. The company is well-schooled in the emerging Novel Foods regulations in Europe.

Mile High Labs is a contract manufacturer that creates tinctures, gummies, tablets, mints, and softgels on the ingestible side. It also produces creams, salves, balms and serums.

It lists on its website clients from Herbalife Nutrition and Ocean Spray to Nature’s Way and Nisa. It has third-party fulfillment services in more than 35 countries. 


About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for NaturalProductsInsider.com and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for NewHope.com, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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