As more studies are published on cannabinoids and their potential medical properties, we are naturally going to see a demand for more effective products. This is especially important, as cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) have very low bioavailability, meaning that not all of the dose you take will end up in the bloodstream.
Nanotechnology has the potential to solve this challenge and create a more targeted effect.
Simply put, nanotechnology can take a cannabinoid like CBD and break it down into extremely tiny particles. Proponents of nano CBD products say this miniscule size makes CBD more easily absorbed into the bloodstream when consumed.
Nanotechnology refers to substances that are the size of 1-100 nanometers, i.e. very, very small. At this size, substances can possess contrasting properties to their larger counterparts. These can include:
- Improved electrical conductance
- Higher degree of strength
- Varying chemical reactivity
- Varying magnetic properties
While this technology is promising, researchers wonder whether or not it can be applied to harder-to-reach illnesses. For example, some have questioned if nano formulations can be can effective for cancer cells.
One study found that when synthetic cannabinoids were administered as nanocarriers, they were more successful in treating triple-negative breast cancer compared to a standard formulation in cellular and pre-clinical experiments. In addition, this nanoformulation was able to boost anti-cancer effects in concert with a chemotherapy agent. While preliminary, this evidence is encouraging for potential medical use.
Many believe that nanotechnology can be used to shape the future of how we look at medicinal cannabinoids. However, it’s important to note that come companies advertising nano CBD are using the claim to attract consumers and may not actually be using this technique; as always, be a vigilant consumer and do your research before purchasing new products.
Beyond allowing for greater bioavailability, nanotechnology may provide more targeted effects on the body. However, with a lack of research concerning nano CBD in humans, it will be some time before we see these advances in science become available for various ailments.
- Griesh, K, et al. Synthetic cannabinoids nano-micelles for the management of triple negative breast cancer. Journal of Controlled Release. 2018;291:184-195.
Image Credit: Raphaël Biscaldi
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