Nanotechnology in drug product presentation

Judging from different market analytics reports and forecasts, the CBD industry’s valuation is exploding annually in impressive vertical rates that guarantee excellent returns for investors in the industry. An obvious indicator of these booms is the presentation varieties in which CBD and CBD-derived products are readily available. 

Licensed labs and manufacturers now produce the non-psychoactive constituents of the cannabis plant as tinctures, edibles, gelatin capsules, vape oils, and cream. The use of CBD by Scientists, researchers, and medical professionals has called for the production of concentrated forms of this product. To satisfy this demand, new presentation forms like extracts, aerosol sprays, and solvent isolates are now available just as a gel, transdermal patch, chewing gum, and suppository forms are also available for geriatrics. 

Nanotechnology is an innovative approach to product presentation that cuts across nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Not limited to drug product presentation, the operational idea of nanotechnology generally involves imagining, measuring, modeling, and manipulation of matter at the Nano length scale. Products on the scale have a dimensional length between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers—about 0.000000010 meters. Manipulation of matter at the atomic, molecular and supramolecular level creates finished products that are entirely different in magnetic properties, solubility profile, reactivity, color shade, and other physicochemical properties when compared with regular-sized forms of the same material (Paula et al., 2017)    

In nano CBD, different proprietary processes are engaged to break the cannabidiol lipid chain several times until the molecular size is achieved. Regardless of the process used, a premium quality nano CBD is presented in extremely fine-sized particles with an exponentially increased surface area. In essence, experts have described this product presentation form as an isolate from which the characteristic terpene constituent has been removed during the extraction process. It is commonplace to see many consumers describe this product as water-soluble CBD; however, this is not entirely accurate as nano CBD only appears to be seemingly water-soluble at the macro scale. 


Safety profile of nano CBD

Product characterization and reviews are conducted on any drug presentation approved for use in humans. With the increasing use of nano CBD fueled by campaigns from different cannabis product brands, there have been controversies and questions as to the safe use of nano CBD in humans. Currently, CBD products are sold as supplements and not whole drug products. The safety of supplements is generally not regulated, making definite safety information unavailable. However, there are many research reports supporting the use of CBD products in the management of Parkinsonism, sleep disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and psychosis (Martin et al., 2020). 

Research inquiries into the safety profile of CBD products, including nano CBD in humans, are ongoing. The safety of nano CBD can also be a function of contaminant levels in a production batch. Several analytical methods have been designed to evaluate trace levels of pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and production stages contaminants in a retailed CBD and sample used in the production of its nano form. In all, it is generally believed that at optimal recommended doses under medical supervision, nano CBD is safe for use in humans.  


Benefits of nano CBD

  • Increased bioavailability profile

Bioavailability is a physicochemical parameter that describes the rate at which the bioactive form of a drug enters the systemic circulation and reaches the target site to effect the desired action. CBD products explored in human medicine are expected to reach a level of concentration in the bloodstream. The bioavailability of the different forms of this product depends on the presentation form. In humans, the first pass effect increases the extra-hepatic metabolism of drug products and decreases its bioavailability. Nano CBD is presented in a microscopic size to ensure effective absorption by the human cells. This increases the efficacy of the product and improves disease prognosis. 

In 2012, the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics published a reported efficiency of the nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) system in the delivery of drug products. This study was focused on comparing the different examining the different commercially available NLC preparations and examining their advantages over other colloidal carriers. Research results suggest that nanostructures carriers enhance drug loading capacity, prevent drug explosion, and ensures more flexible modulation of drug release (Asif Iqbal et al., 2012).  


  • Increased water solubility

In the pristine condition, cannabidiol is negligibly soluble in water but is highly soluble in lipids and subsequently accumulates in the body’s fatty tissues. This can be a g problem in the medical use of CBD by patients with dysfunctional metabolic systems. Studies exploring the properties of cannabidiol might also involve the dissolution of this production water and other solvents for analytical procedures. The nanostructured CBD is made of extremely fine particles that are primary products of a nanotechnology disintegration process. These particles mix with water readily and are considered to the water-soluble when observed on the macroscopic scale.

In 2016, a report published by the Journal of Chemical Physics detailed the results of an experimental procedure focused on examining the dependence of water solubility and hydration behavior of nanoparticles on their surface polarity. Research results suggest that in a polar medium, the hydration structure of nonpolar nanoparticles is rearranged, leading to high water solubility when compared with regular-sized particles of the same material (Jianzhou Zhu et al., 2016). 


  • Improved ratio of quantity and efficacy

With nanostructured CBD, it is safe to conclude that little can be equally effective. This simply means that a limited quantity of this presentation form is needed in human medicine to trigger the same pharmacological effects as more quantities of the regular-sized presentation. This property is particularly crucial in toxicity studies and in patients who cannot tolerate many quantities of cannabidiol in a treatment regimen. The nano-sized form is absorbed faster into the body system, escaping the first-pass metabolism, and triggering the needed biochemical effect. Since a little quantity is required, the rate of CBD accumulation in the fatty tissue is reduced, the safety profile improves significantly, and intestinal absorption also improves (Nakano et al., 2019). 

Nanostructured CBD is an innovation in material science and CBD delivery. The potentials it offers are far-reaching and cannot be overemphasized. 



Ian Parkes

Ian has been writing for a number of high growth industries for the past decade. Having plied his trade in the craft beer industry, Ian drew parallels between that and the world of CBD and soon became fascinated. Ian enjoys writing about innovation in the industry, particularly as it relates to the development of the leading brands.

See all posts by Ian Parkes

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