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Cannabis

Creating Next Generation Cannabis Products

Microfluidizer® Technology for Next Generation Cannabis Products

Now that cannabis based products are moving into the mainstream market place, the race is on to develop effective, economical and consistent products. The major challenge is formulating cannabis oil into consumable products that match these criteria.

  • The oil is poorly water soluble, it takes a lot of high intensity mixing to achieve shelf stable preparations.
  • In its natural, extracted form cannabis oil has low bioavailability; typically 6-20%(1) by direct oral administration of raw or un-encapsulated cannabis oil.
  • Cannabis products that are not carefully manufactured show a lot of variability in effectiveness. The onset of the effect can be delayed as much as 60 minutes and it takes hours after digestion to reach peak effect. These deficiencies can make the product seem weak or increase adverse effects(2).

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Low bioavailability has been overcome in the pharmaceutical industry by producing nanoemulsions or other nanoencapsulations such as liposomes. Similar formulations can be created for cannabis edibles or creams and lotions for THC and/or CBD. Nano-formulations have been demonstrated to:

  • Increase bioavailability by as much as 50-75%(1)
  • Reduce response time
  • Lower doses to achieve similar effects - The lower dosage also reduces the potential occurrence of any adverse effects
  • Reduce the amount of active ingredient required to achieve the same physiological effect
  • Mask the taste of the cannabis oil
  • Produce droplet sizes less than 100nm which makes the formulation translucent or even transparent in appearance which has been shown in the medical and beverage market to be a desirable aesthetic quality.
  • Increase stability of the formulation / longer self-life

Cannabis Particle Size Distributions

Application Note: Use of Microfluidizer Technology for Cannabis Products

The Microfluidizer® processor technology is the only technology that can create nano-sized emulsions or encapsulations (liposomes) that meet all of the above requirements. The Microfluidizer processor provides the highest uniform shear rates on the market by utilizing a fixed geometry interaction chamber and extremely high constant processing pressures. The Microfluidizer technology is also guaranteed to scale up so that product processing and results are consistent from development to manufacturing. In addition, CGMP compliant Microfluidizer processors have a proven track record meeting all FDA requirements for food and pharmaceutical production.

Molecular weight reduction of cannabis oil is common practice. This technique reduces the viscosity and makes the oil easier to work with in delivery methods such as vaporizers. Chemical processing to reduce the molecular weight of cannabis oil can modify the chemical structure of cannabinoids. Chemicals also add cost and undesirable contaminants; this increases the requirements for approval, testing and regulation. A Microfluidizer processor is superior to a chemical approach because it does not alter the cannabinoids, and it is clean! Microfluidizer processors are both Clean-in-Place (CIP) and Steam-in-Place (SIP) capable.

For recreational and therapeutic cannabis producers, extractors, and processors who want improved products, the Microfluidizer high shear processors provide a scalable solution with the highest efficiency. The resulting unique formulations will differentiate your products with improved shelf life, stability, and effectiveness, all while allowing the manufacturer to significantly reducing the amount of expensive cannabis oil.

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(1) Goodwin R., Gustafson R.A., Barnes A., Nebro W., Moolchan E.T. $ Huestis M.A.(2006)
∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, 11-hydroxy-∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-nor-9-carboxy-∆ 9-tetrahydrocannavinol in human plasma after controlled oral administration of cannabinoids.
Ther Drug Monit. 24(4): pp 545-51

(2) Lemberger L.,Weiss J.L., Watanabe A.M., Galanter I.M., Wyatt R.J., & Cardon P.V.(1972).
Delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol: temporal correlation of the psychologic effects and blood levels after various routes of administration
N Engl J of Med. 286(13): pp685-88