Sterile filtration is an important post-processing step of ultrasonic nano-emulsification - a process that converts cannabis extracts and/or other hydrophobic bioactives into a water-compatible form. In this article, I will summarize the steps of the nano-emulsification process carried out with BHUT-based ultrasonic equipment and NanoStabilizer®, list the main advantages of the resulting water-compatible nanoemulsions, and explain why sterile filtration is always necessary at the end. Answers to several FAQs will also be provided.
We are frequently asked how to minimize the bitter taste of products made with cannabis extract nanoemulsions (a.k.a., water-soluble CBD and THC). Infusing beverages with CBD and/or THC-containing translucent nanoemulsions (ideally, averaging ~20 nanometers in droplet size diameter) offers a very convenient, discrete and effective consumption method. The infusion does not change the original appearance of the beverages while instantly enabling them to provide a very rapid onset of action and high bioavailability of cannabinoids as well as of any other incorporated active ingredients. With this pharmacokinetic profile, the experience a lot more similar to consuming an alcoholic beverage than a typical cannabis-containing edible, which provides a myriad of attractive options for the vendors and consumers. In many cases, however, the infusion results in a bitter taste, which can range in intensity from virtually undetectable to quite unpleasant and makes it important to understand and manage.
You do not have to be a scientist to make high-quality water-soluble CBD and THC! Industrial Sonomechanics' customers no longer need to develop their own formulations and production protocols for cannabis extract nanoemulsions. We are pleased to announce the launch of a new product: all-in-one NanoStabilizer®. This convenient product can tremendously simplify the ultrasonic production of high-quality, translucent nanoemulsions of bio-active ingredients such as cannabis extracts. This product is designed to work in conjunction with our laboratory, bench and industrial ultrasonic processors, and comes with detailed, easy-to-follow instructions.
There are many ways to administer medical and recreational cannabis, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. One common feature, however, is that only a certain (generally small) percentage of the consumed cannabinoid content, defined as "bioavailability", can be absorbed into the bloodstream with each method. This stems from the fact that cannabinoids are not water-soluble and, therefore, not readily compatible with the predominantly water-based human body. Water-soluble compounds such as ethanol, on the other hand, can be quickly and efficiently delivered to the bloodstream via a variety of alcoholic beverages, eliminating the need for other delivery methods. Wouldn't it be great if the same could be done with cannabis?
This is a second article in the series on the principles of formulating water-compatible cannabis extracts and isolates, also known as water-soluble CBD and THC. The first article showed multiple advantages of nanoemulsions over the other two water-compatible formulation classes: microemulsions and liposomes. Here I will demonstrate the importance of using a carrier oil in your cannabis extract or isolate nanoemulsion. I will also explain how to select the proper carrier oil among the available choices.
Industrial Sonomechanics is launching a series of blog posts dedicated to describing the main principles of developing water-compatible cannabis extract formulations, also known as water-soluble CBD and THC. As explained in our earlier blog post, since medical marijuana extracts are oils and, as such, not soluble in water, they have to be specially formulated in order to become water-compatible and acquire the appearance of being water-soluble. There are three formulation classes that can provide this property: microemulsions, liposomes and nanoemulsions.
For centuries, candles have been utilized for light, decoration, religious ceremonies and much more. The production of modern candles is a complex process, susceptible to several hurdles. Their main constituent, paraffin wax — which is desirable for its relatively low melting point of ~60°C  — experiences volatile changes in cost as it is a by-product of crude oil production . Additionally, during cooling, different parts of the jar candle solidify at different rates due to low heat conduction throughout the wax. This leads to uneven settling (referred to as surface undulation), which forms a cavity in the center of the candle and requires a post-process void-filling operation (see Figure 1).
Cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) are hydrophobic (water-hating) oily substances and, as such, not water-soluble. They can, however, be formulated to be water-compatible and appear water-soluble.
The term "water-soluble CBD" has lately been extensively used throughout the medical cannabis industry. "Water-soluble" means able to homogeneously incorporate into water by separating into molecules or ions (dissolve like sugar, alcohol or salt). Oily substances, however, are repelled by water, which forces them to stay separate from it.
Medicinal uses of the cannabis plant (e.g., medical marijuana, hemp) have now been legalized in most US states. In addition to terpenoids and flavonoids, the plant may contain over 85 different types of therapeutically active compounds known as cannabinoids, the main two of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In recent years, medications based on concentrated cannabis extracts have become popular because they allow many routes of administration that are preferable to smoking the plant itself.
Oil-in-water emulsions with nano-sized droplets (nanoemulsions) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, as an intravenous source of fatty acids when oral nutrition is disadvantageous or as bioactive compound carriers (e.g. drugs, vaccines). Pharmaceutical nanoemulsions can be administered by almost all available routes including parenteral, ocular, nasal, oral, topical, and even aerosolization to the lungs. There are currently over a dozen commercially available drugs encapsulated into nanoemulsions. Small oil droplet sizes and the associated stability of these products are critically important.