Under Zen Buddhism, a koan, pronounced “koe-ahn,” is a paradox designed to provoke enlightenment. Sian Seligman, head of marketing for Koan Cordials and Resonate Blends, points to the paradoxical way in which consumers view cannabis.
“People really saw cannabis as a way to sort of escape from reality,” she says. “We designed a wellness product that gives people an opportunity to engage with reality and to really enhance what they're doing in their everyday lives. So our product isn't about checking out, it's about checking in and really leaning into the things that you're already doing.”
First introduced in May at the 2021 WEEDCon, Koan Cordials are 30-ml, single-dose beverage enhancers that can be consumed on their own or mixed into mocktails. Featuring graphics from California-based artist Real Fun, Wow!, Koan Cordials are offered in six cannabinoid and terpene blends at Southern California dispensaries.They include:
- Calm: 1 mg THC, 15 mg CBD, Linalool, B-Caryophyllene, A-Bisabolol, D-Limonene
- Wonder: 9 mg THC, 2 mg CBD, A-Pinene, B-Myrcene, A-Bisabolol, TB-Ocimene, Linalool
- Delight: 8 mg THC, 4 mg CBD, A-Pinene, D-Limonene, B-Caryophyllene, B-Myrcene, Ocimene
- Balance: 2.5 mg THC, 10 mg CBD, A-Bisabolol, B-Caryophyllene, D-Limonene
- Create: 6 mg THC, 6 mg CBD, Eucalyptol, D-Limonene, TB-Ocimene, A-Bisabolol, B-Myrcene
- Play: 9 mg THC, 3 mg CBD, A-Pinene, D-Limonene, TB-Ocimene, B-Myrcene, Linalool
Seligman says these specific, precise blends are ideal for consumers who are completely new to cannabis or coming back to it after a hiatus. She also points to parents who want to relax and unwind without the effects of alcohol.
“We wanted to lower the barriers to entry,” she says. “When you go into a dispensary, it can be a really overwhelming experience ... we wanted to just make it super simple. We really wanted to craft an experience that was quite precise and reliable.”
Flexibility was also a key consideration in developing Koan Cordials, Seligman says.
“Our cordials allow people to decide when and how they're going to consume it,” she says. “You can pour it directly into your mouth, or you can pour it into a beverage. And we think that really allows flexibility and convenience because you can pop it into your purse or your pocket. You don't necessarily have to have joints that are going to crumble inside your pocket or any kind of paraphernalia. This just really makes it really easy.”
Koan Cordials uses Vertosa’s emulsion technology to incorporate cannabinoids and terpenes into the blends. Seligman says the botanical flavor profiles not only complement the cannabis terpenes but also interest their target consumers.
“We were targeting a more mature target, somebody who isn't necessarily just entering the market age-wise but may be entering the market later in life and looking for wellness benefits,” she says. “Because of that, we wanted to ensure it was going to keep with a more mature and nuanced palette.”
While Resonate Blends offers the six core blends now, the company has plans to introduce six others to support other occasions throughout the day. Seligman notes Resonate Blends is also considering bringing Koan Cordials to other markets.
“We are constantly evolving,” Seligman says. “We’re constantly trying to iterate and innovate.”