Cannabis products can fulfill a spectrum of needs from wellness to recreation. Kin Slips sublingual strips cater to a wide swath of that spectrum, from the Signature line to the new hemp-derived Essentials line. Kin Slips COO Josh Kirby and CEO Ron Richards recently told us more about the now-national brand.

The brand started in Washington’s adult-use market before moving to California ahead of the passing of Proposition 64. No matter their location, the team’s goal has always been on providing a product that would be the same every single time a consumer picked it up from the dispensary. Richards mentioned that they’ve been working together for a decade, an endeavor that started with developing a cannabis chewing gum.

While researching modes of ingestion for the gum, Kirby accidentally invented an infused dissolving strip. The strip soon became the focus of the brand. Absorbing the compounds sublingually allows them to bypass the stomach and first-pass metabolism in the liver, avoiding cannabinoid conversions (like the conversion of delta-9-THC to 11-hydroxy-THC) and absorbing the cannabinoids and terpenes directly into the bloodstream. In theory, this provides an ingestible experience that more closely resembles the effects of inhalation. This technology, which was originally invented for another purpose, is now the backbone of a national cannabis brand with four product lines.

Shut Eye, Park Life, Float On, and Cloud Buster round out the Signature line, which caters to experience. They launched the line alongside the California adult-use industry, and the team recognized that new consumers would enter shops and not know the nuances between Runtz and Apple Tartz. The Signature line provides a simple gateway to exploring the experiences cannabis has to offer, and the product name tells consumers what to expect.

The brand soon expanded and now includes the Flowerful line. These strips cater to the consumer who wants to know about the inputs, the farm, and the genetics of every product. “We wanted to create a line of products that would speak to people who were interested in strains but didn’t necessarily want to be inhaling them all the time, they could experience a full strain profile through the strips,” Kirby said. Flowerful products are released one batch at a time using the same run of a single strain which is only available while supplies last. The flavor may return again, but the packaging will indicate that it’s a new batch of that strain. This product line ushered in a new consumer segment for Kin Slips which, like their most recent endeavor, which has spread across the country.

Kin Slips Essentials is a new hemp-derived offering that is available nationwide. “One of the challenges we face is that we are a pretty niche product within the scope of cannabis,” Kirby said. “For us as a business, it’s really key to try to root out as many different people as possible so we can grow our consumer base. We really wanted to get access to the national market, that’s been a key objective of ours for a long time.”

When planning which hemp product to introduce to their nationwide audience first, research showed a high level of interest in getting a good night’s sleep. Thus the company’s first release is a hemp-derived version of Shut Eye from the Signature line containing 5 mg CBD and 5 mg CBN per strip, among other ingredients. The product aims to assist in regulating the body’s production of GABA, an amino acid that, when found in the body in low levels, may cause restlessness and wakeful sleep.

As someone who has struggled with getting a good night’s rest for over a decade, I had to test them out. I took a methodical approach and started a two-week Kin Slips experiment. I took one strip each night for two weeks, keeping a sleep diary during those two weeks and the following two weeks without any cannabis edibles before bed. The results were exciting — for the first time in a long time, I’m having more regular nights of restful slumber.

During the first week of the experiment, I’d go to bed and, as per usual, wake up around 3 am to toss and turn for a few hours until I got up. But something happened in the second week: I started sleeping through the night. On the 14th day, I was so relaxed that I turned off my alarm and went back to bed. In the next two weeks, I didn’t take Shut Eye slips or anything except the usual puffs off of a joint after the baby goes down, and my restful nights continued. When I did have a disruption from daily stress and started sleeping less soundly, I took another Shut Eye, and that restfulness returned. This is just a personal testimony but I am looking forward to seeing what Kin Slips comes up with next.

Kirby wasn’t able to share what their next hemp-derived product would be but he did make it clear they wouldn’t release hemp versions of every strip in the Signature line. The Shut Eye experience could be replicated within the guidelines of the hemp laws but not all of them can, and Kin Slips’ mission is to provide a reliable consumer experience. Expect a new product in the Essentials line at the end of the year, and those in California can find Kin Slips Flowerful and Signature lines in dispensaries throughout the state. No matter where you find them, Kirby makes one promise, “We want it to be the same wherever you go!”


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