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?
Last month, Industrial Sonomechanics (ISM) had a chance to participate in the Spring 2017 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center near Washington, D.C. With its increased participation (thousands attending and 275 exhibitors on the expo floor), the conference provided a clear indication of the cannabis industry's accelerated growth.
ISM exhibited its laboratory, bench, and industrial-scale ultrasonic processors and additive packages used for the production of nanoemulsions of cannabis extracts, also known as "water-soluble CBD and THC". A wide variety of topics related to ultrasonic emulsification were covered by our presenters:
- Reasons for low and unpredictable bioavailability profiles of traditional cannabis products;
- Challenges of delivering accurate cannabinoid doses by common administration methods, such as smoking, vaping, dabbing, edibles, sublingual, etc.;
- Advantages of turning cannabis extracts into water-compatible nanoemulsions: increased potency, accelerated onset of action, simplified administration and guaranteed dosing accuracy;
- Formulation options: translucent versus milky nanoemulsions, flavour, stability, etc.
We are happy to announce that ISM will participate in the Spring 2017 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Washington DC. The conference will take place on May 16 - 19, 2017 at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. If you are interested in making cannabis oil nanoemulsions, also known as water-soluble CBD and THC, please come by and see our ultrasonic equipment at booth 1223!
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.
The cannabis (marijuana, hemp) plant has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. In addition to terpenes and flavonoids, over 100 types of therapeutically active compounds known as cannabinoids have been identified in these plants . The two most important and well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) . Cannabinoids have the ability to directly and/or indirectly affect receptors in our cells because they mimic endocannabinoids produced by our own bodies endogenously, for example, in response to injury .
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.