Azuca Brings Fast-Acting Formulations That Will Reinvent How Cannabis Edibles are Consumed

Cannabis edibles are an increasingly popular category among consumers, but one major drawback to this form of consumption is its onset time. Effects can vary so widely from person to person, and that unpredictability has kept a lot of people away from the edible sector entirely.  

Azuca serves edibles and beverage manufacturers with fast-acting delivery systems and advanced formulations that directly combat this stigma, allowing consumers to have a stronger grasp on how much they’re consuming and when it will take effect. With chef-created, science-forward products powered by its patent-pending TiME INFUSION® process, Azuca’s products encapsulate individual cannabinoid molecules, making them “water-friendly,” for a predictable and controllable experience every time. 

We sat down with Azuca CEO and co-founder Kim Sanchez Rael to discuss the details of the company and the unique innovation they bring to cannabis edibles throughout the nation. 

Leafwire: How was Azuca first formed?

Kim Sanchez Rael: NYC-based Bubby’s Chef and Owner Ron Silver and I started working together in 2017 and launched Azuca in 2018. Prior to the opening, Ron realized the industry’s biggest issue was the lack of controllable, fast-acting and reliable edibles. As a chef and culinary innovator, Ron leveraged his love of both food and cannabis to solve the challenges of cannabis edibles, and he spent several years developing what is now our TiME INFUSION® process. Our solution has been revolutionary, filling a void in the industry, and we continue to transform the category with our groundbreaking delivery systems.


KSR: TiME is a science-forward, chef-created encapsulation process that enables cannabinoids to be absorbed in the soft tissues of the digestive tract. This process preempts the first-pass liver metabolism and delivers Delta-9 THC directly to the body. This is very different, both in terms of onset time and in effect from the 11-Hydroxy-THC experience of traditional edibles that are metabolized by the liver. 

LW: What sector of the industry does the company service?

KSR: We help edibles brands and manufacturers make their products the very best in the industry. We do this by licensing our cutting-edge advanced formulations for beverages, edibles, and topical cannabis products, setting new standards for excellence in quality and efficacy. Our formulations transform high-maintenance cannabinoids into chef-ready ingredients for edible and beverage manufacturers and brands, creating products that are both fast-acting and delicious. Our partnership model is completely scalable and empowers our brand partners to control their production process.  

LW: What are the main benefits of your infusions for edible consumers?

KSR: For consumers, Azuca’s TiME INFUSION® delivers great-tasting edibles that act fast. There is no guessing game as first effects are felt in 5-15 minutes. Our process encapsulates cannabis oil molecules, transforming them into hydrophilic (water-friendly) cannabinoids that can be absorbed in the soft tissues of the mouth, esophagus and digestive system. By preempting the first pass metabolism, TiME INFUSION® allows for greater Delta-9 THC absorption – providing a more euphoric high – typically associated with inhalation, instead of the heavy, couch-lock high from traditional edibles. (Read more on the difference between Delta-9 THC and 11-Hydroxy-THC here.) There is also no bitter, medicinal, grassy/hemp after-taste. These effects are attractive to both existing cannabis consumers looking for an alternative to smoking, as well as new cannabis consumers who may have heard stories about unpleasant or unpredictable edibles experiences

LW: What about for edible manufacturers?

KSR: For manufacturers, our process is simple, stable and completely scalable for companies of any size. The solution helps companies save money—it is easy to use, easy to store, and easy to implement, so our partners can quickly bring best-in-class solutions to their customers. Azuca can be incorporated into existing manufacturing processes, doesn’t require moving product or equipment across state lines and helps reduce active ingredient waste up to 65 percent (more here).

Also, of note for cultivators and manufacturers is our newest innovation: Whole-Plant ACTiVATOR®, which allows for edibles without extracts. This entirely new category of edibles and beverages uses whole cannabis flower as infusion material and delivers the true inflorescence of unique strains including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. A first in the industry, Azuca’s process doesn’t require traditional extraction and the only solvent used is water, offering a significant reduction in processing costs and a natural approach to ingestible infusions. In addition to fast-onset, products can be made without any additional flavoring, highlighting each strain’s unique sensory effects and flavor. 

LW: Any upcoming news for Azuca?

KSR: We’re launching our “pay-it-forward” social equity initiative. We recently named Azuca’s first Social Equity Fellow—rising star Matha Figaro, CEO of ButACake. We’ve already worked with ButACake to bring their Hibiscus Elixir to Delaware’s medical market, utilizing Azuca’s new RTD ACTiVATOR® (“Ready to Drink”.)  They’ve since launched a Peach Elixir, and fast-acting baked goods. We’ll be formally announcing our partnership and plans for 2024 with CannPowerment so even more licensed minority and women-owned businesses can benefit from TiME INFUSION®, giving them a competitive edge in the market and the opportunity to scale sustainability.

We will continue to innovate in the ingestibles category and expand globally.  We’re already in over 100 SKUs, including whole-plant edibles and ready-to-drink beverages, in over 20 states plus Puerto Rico, across the US, Canada, and soon Australia.

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