How to Manufacture Cannabis Oil Softgel Capsule

Cannabis is increasingly being accepted by people and governments around the world. Medical marijuana, CBD, and other relevant substances are getting popular as people are indulging in them for treatment or recreational purposes. If you want to benefit from this growing market, you can manufacture Cannabis oil softgel capsules.

Cannabis oil softgel capsules are soft gelatin capsules that are filled with cannabis oil. In this article, we’ll go through the main processes involved in making them in an encapsulator – the capsule-making machine – and what packaging elements you need to track. 

Softgel Capsule Production

Why Are Cannabis Oil Softgels Popular?

There are two main reasons behind the popularity of cannabis oil softgel capsules: 

    1. Dosing Accuracy: It’s easy for people to track their dosage accurately when they take filled capsules, as compared to using a dropper. 
  • Tastelessness: As softgels are coated with gelatin, they are tasteless and allow users to take their cannabinoids without tasting them. 
  • Discreteness: As compared to vaping, taking softgels is discreet and much less likely to be discovered by others. 

Preparing the Ingredients for Cannabis Oil Softgel Capsules

You mainly need to prepare two substances to manufacture cannabis oil softgel capsules: the gelatin encapsulation material and the cannabis filling. Here’s how the preparation process goes. 

1. Preparing the Outer Soft Gelatin Shell 

First, you need to prepare the outer soft gelatin shell that will hold and enclose the cannabis oil. 

The encapsulation machine comes with a melting tank. Here, you first mix the required gelatin, plasticizer, and water solution and heat. Let the gelatin melt until it is of the consistency to be passed through rollers. 

2. Preparing the Cannabis Filling Material

This step depends on the cannabis oil blend you add to your capsules. You can add your preferred extracts, like THC or CBD oil, and mix them with MCT oil, terpenes, and other essential oils to alter the flavor and properties of your mix. 

In our experience, it’s best to process the fluid in a way that increases its density to allow for faster encapsulation. 

How Capsule-Making Machines Encapsulate and Process Cannabis Oil Gelatin Capsules

encapsulating machine

Here’s how the capsule-making machine performs the encapsulation and drying processes:

The Encapsulation Technology

The encapsulation machine produces two ribbons of gelatin and sends them to a pair of rotating dies. These dies help in shaping the capsules per your size and shape preferences. The machine then brings the gelatin ribbons together. While it seals their edges, a nozzle fills them with cannabis oil. At the same time, the gelatin strips are exposed to heat, which causes them to expand and take a 3D capsule shape that’s filled from the inside with oil. 

The Drying Process

Once the capsules leave the capsule filling machine’s chute, they are tacky due to the lubrication fluids of the machine or any traces of filling on the outside surface. So, softgel machines come with tumble dryers that ensure the gelatin capsule’s outer surface has no liquid left on it. These rotate continuously while they’re pumped with warm air to facilitate the evaporation of any left-over liquid from the capsules. 

Once the capsules leave the tumble dryers, it’s best to keep them in drying trays where they can dry at room temperature. 

If you notice that your capsules are not drying well or retain a sticky residue, return to your gelatin formulation development recipe. It’s possible that you added the wrong proportions of ingredients. Factors like temperature, the moisture content in the air, and faulty machines can also cause manufacturing and drying problems.

Quality Control in Cannabis Oil Softgel Manufacturing Process

Like any other manufacturing process in the food or pharmaceutical industry, your work should prioritize Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) throughout.  

The encapsulation machine produces cannabis softgel capsules in bulk. So it’s essential that you inspect all items for any discrepancies and non-uniformity before proceeding toward packaging. Remember the following before beginning to package your capsules:

  1. Make sure your cannabis capsules are filled correctly and evenly.
  2. Check for residual stickiness on the capsules; they should not stick to one another. 
  3. Press your softgel capsules slightly to ensure the gelatin coat isn’t fragile.
  4. Go over their appearance and make sure there isn’t excess gelation that requires trimming. 
  5. Make sure all your products are even in size, shape, and color.

Consistently occurring quality problems can indicate a problem in either your encapsulation machine or the ingredient preparation method. Maintain your machine and clean it regularly to avoid such issues.

soft gelatin capsules

Packaging and Labeling Regulations for Cannabis Oil Softgel Capsule

Multiple countries are removing restrictions on the sale and use of cannabis products. However, manufacturers are often strictly warned not to mislabel their products or hide their composition. 

Keep the following points in mind when designing the packaging for your cannabis oil softgel capsules

  1. Clearly Mention Your Product’s Identity

It’s essential for you to clarify whether your product is medicinal, supplemental, additive, or recreational. Also, mention if it is a full spectrum one or very specific in its nature. 

Do not make any claims or give health/medicine-related guarantees on your packaging. 

  1. Specify All Ingredients and Components and Their Percentages

Be clear about your ingredients, especially the ones related to cannabis. If your product has THC content, you must specify its percentage to comply with your area’s laws and regulations. CBD, THCA, and CBDA percentages are necessary to mention as well.

Alongside specific ingredients, it’s best to let consumers know the percentages of sugars, fats, proteins, etc., involved in your item. Gelatin is considered non-vegetarian, so you must clarify if your product is plant-based to get relevant customers. 

  1. Mention the Recommended Dosage 

As you’re aware of the potency of the oils used in your, you must research to find out the recommended dosage for an average person. Make sure to adjust the dosage or add warnings for pregnant and lactating women if necessary. 

  1. Warn Individuals of Potential Dangers

If your product has side effects or catastrophic consequences for long-term users, you must print it out on your packaging in a sufficiently large font. 

  1. Print Your Company’s and the Batch’s Details

Your product should have your brand’s name, name, address, and email address mentioned. Make sure to add the product’s manufacturing date, expiration date, and shelf life. You can also include a QR code that leads users directly to the page mentioning batch number, production date, units, etc. 

  1. Do Not Market to Minors 

Do not use cartoons, young individuals, etc., on your packaging that can appear enticing to minor users. This can get you sued. 

Endnote 

Cannabis capsules are gaining much popularity due to their ease of administration. If you want to start manufacturing your own softgel capsules, make sure you have high-quality extracts from hemp or marijuana, and that your gelatin recipe is well-proportioned. Follow GMP standards and use strict testing and labeling practices to keep yourself safe against legal liabilities. 

You can find some other references for further reading below.

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