Recently, we have heard the concept of nanotechnology being introduced into the cannabis market. Nano refers to molecules that have been reduced to over one-millionth of its size with the benefit of increasing bioavailability and onset of effect in the body. This occurs with cannabis, a fat-soluble plant that when made into a nano-emulsion is absorbed before it is metabolized by the liver or lost in the process of digestion. A true nano-emulsion is made with a combination of high amplitude mechanical ultrasound and nano stabilizers. This equipment yields CBD nano emulsions below 20 nanometers in size rendering them translucent in water.
We all know that oil and water do not mix. Well cannabis is fat soluble and similarly does not mix with water. With a nano-emulsion, cannabis can be compatible in a beverage. By making CBD for example almost water soluble, it suspends these incredibly small nano CBD molecules to water clusters which keeps CBD in the solution and not sticking to the walls of the beverage or sinking to the bottom of the bottle. Usual oral bioavailability is 10-30% absorption from the mouth, under the tongue and the remainder to the digestive tract.
When we use an oral route of administration to consume Cannabis like an edible, the body creates mixed micelles (which are like nano emulsions). We must emulsify this in our small intestine before it can be digested by using surfactants in the small intestine such as phospholipids and bile salts to consume oil and fat. Once they arrive in the small intestine as big drops, the body cannot absorb them. They must travel to the aqueous layer in the walls of the small intestine. The body has lipases or enzymes that digest oil that allow for travel. Lipases can cleave and make free fatty acids assembled with surfactants into mixed micelles. Mixed micelles are small droplets, water compatible that can travel through water and get to enterocytes (GI cells) and then go to the lymphatics or bloodstream for systemic uptake.
Edibles can take a long time for onset and then have a gradual slow duration. Then, depending if its CBD or THC or we have eaten recently and what we ate all are factors to the onset and bioavailability of the medicine. So as a physician I like consistency and to know the dose and how to manipulate the effects of the medicine for ideal outcome. This is why we are conducting a study at the University of Miami with the primary aim to compare the pharmacokinetic profile of an orally administered nano-emulsified CBD relative to a non-emulsified CBD formulation. We hypothesize that a nano-emulsion formulation of CBD will provide a superior pharmacokinetic profile to an oil-based formulation of CBD. Specifically, we expect to see more rapid absorption and higher relative bioavailability. We also expect the inter-subject variability in plasma CBD exposure will be lower. The bioanalytical laboratory ACS labs, will quantitate the levels of CBD and two if its metabolites (7-OH-CBD and COOH-CBD) using a validated bioanalytical method.
Marketing practices in the cannabis industry are questionable therefore you must have a Certificate of analysis from a reputable company or buy your product in a licensed dispensary that has to go through third party lab testing. Also, not many labs are able to test whether a “nano” product truly are nano. To sum it all up, the benefits of a nano product which could be any fat-soluble product such as cannabis, essential oils, vitamins are to make the product translucent and water-compatible while permanent stability. For a consumer this means enhanced bioavailability and shortened onset of action. For example, nano drops will work faster, and you may need a smaller dose to achieve the same results from an oil tincture. A nano edible may have a faster onset, so you do not have to wait. Our research with the Dr. Denise Vidot at the University of Miami and Industrial Sonomechanics who supplies the nano stabilizer and mechanical ultrasound will soon have these exact pharmacokinetic results to eliminate guessing and continue to use cannabis as precision and personalized medicine. Check out some of our Florida MMTCS for their nano drops, powder or edibles.
Dr. Michelle Weiner, is an Interventional Pain Management Physician board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Miami. Her specialty is focused on prevention, treatment, reversal of health deterioration, increasing function and managing pain. Dr. Weiner focuses on diagnosing and treating spine and musculoskeletal pain as well as chronic migraines.