As the cannabis industry continues to take the world by storm, scientists are discovering more and more ways that cannabis can be consumed in order to better cater to medical patients with varying needs.
Last year, a revolutionary breakthrough was discovered by the University of Queensland in Australia together with the PreveCeutical Medical Inc. company in Canada. Called Sol-Gel technology, this process was developed by a team of researchers under the supervision of Dr. Harendra Parekh of the University of Queensland School of Pharmacy. Sol-Gel enables liquid cannabis solutions to be transformed into a gel form once it reaches “internal membranes of the human body, such as the nose.”
Developing new treatments
“We have been developing the cannabinoid Sol-Gel delivery system with U.Q. through UniQuest since 2017, with a focus on nasal delivery,” explains Stephen Van Deventer, PreveCeutical CEO and Chairman, in a statement. “Having this license agreement in place, we can now work with partners to commercialize products for the cannabinoid Sol-Gel formulation products in the form of a nasal spray,” he says. “We are very pleased with the speed in which we were able to procure the appropriate cannabis product delivered, which was made through our relationships in Australia. Having the appropriate cannabis product in hand will allow us to develop and test the cannabinoid sol-gel formulation leading to pre-clinical trials, clinical trials, and possible commercialization of the cannabinoid sol-gel formulation.”
“This deal is a great testament to the strength and willingness of U.Q. researchers to engage with industry and work together to create impact through the development of potential new treatments,” said Dr. Dean Moss, UniQuest CEO, in a statement. The researchers also added that cannabinoids “are seen as suitable candidates for advanced nanosized drug delivery systems, which can be applied via a range of routes.”
“Through the strength of our working relationship with UniQuest, we are delighted to finalize the terms of the license allowing PreveCeutical to use the cannabinoid Sol-Gel formulation technology to develop other formats, such as the transdermal delivery of cannabinoids.” The Sol-Gel formula includes non-addictive analgesic peptides that seek to replace the widely available analgesics which are notorious for its addictive and other harmful side effects such as fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone. Athletes who suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions can also benefit from their nasal sprays.
PreveCeutical is a renowned company in the health sciences field, who are working to continue the development of innovative ways to cure and prevent conditions with products that are nature-identical. With a goal of becoming a pioneer in preventive health, they are also working with numerous projects that seek to treat and prevent obesity and diabetes.
Why Sol-Gel was developed
Though nasal cannabinoid medications are available today, such as sprays and drops, many of them still lack the technology required to reach far into the nasal cavity. In addition, the human nose has its own mechanisms that automatically self-clean, which then greatly reduces the efficacy of the drug.
With Sol-Gel, the new formulations seek to fix these problems so that patients can optimize nose-to-brain cannabinoid delivery. This is essential for individuals most especially patients who need to treat medical conditions related to the central nervous system, including neurological disorders, seizures, inflammation, and pain – but quickly.
Nasal cannabinoid delivery provides hope for medical cannabis patients
The development of CBD and THC-infused nasal sprays are a new, welcome addition in the cannabis industry. It’s renowned for effectively delivering a specific dose of cannabinoids straight into the bloodstream with significantly greater bioavailability of cannabinoids compared to other consumption methods including edibles, smoking, vaping, and other forms.
Conventional products that are currently out in the market are usually made with pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids combined with saline solutions, offering relief from serious medical conditions as well as acute conditions like stuffed noses and sinus issues. Users can expect fast relief, but Sol-Gel technology seems to be promising in terms of even quicker delivery with better bioavailability.
There are many kinds of medications out there which are produced in nasal spray form because it’s effective in transporting through the blood-brain barrier. There are thin nasal skins within the nose that allow drugs to cross through the blood flow, getting to the brain much quicker. Another benefit for cannabinoids is that nasal delivery does a better job at preventing the degradation of active components; in this case, that would be the CBD and THC.
Many medical cannabis patients prefer not to smoke cannabis, or are physically unable to because of respiratory or oral conditions that make it difficult. On top of that, not everyone is willing to medicate with edibles because they take significantly longer to provide relief. This is why cannabis nasal sprays are seen as a fantastic breakthrough, and they are also discreet.
However, it seems that Canadians may be the first to enjoy the benefits of Sol-Gel technology since regulators in North America have taken long to audit its safety. Despite that, there’s no doubt that it is gaining popularity and is still widely available. After all, spray bottles are not usually associated with marijuana and can be purchased online. There is much to look forward to in the future when it comes to nasal sprays, though it’s a less-studied area of cannabis delivery compared to others. We hope that it will become widely available soon especially for those who need it the most.