Category Archives: Product Development

Terpenes and Transdermal Absorption

Terpenes have the potential for enhancing percutaneous dermal absorption of therapeutic proteins which cannot be delivered orally due to their unique pharmacokinetic characteristics and stability issues. 

Transdermal Absorption

Over the years, transdermal delivery has become one of the favored routes of delivering therapeutics. It offers several advantages over conventional delivery methods.

Transdermal delivery bypasses the first-pass effect sustains release of drugs over a period of time, and offers better patient compliance.

Dermal Products 

Transdermal patches containing hormones are being studied by scientists all over the world to exploit these advantages. Transdermal patch containing gestodene and ethinylestradiol is a convenient non-oral contraceptive which showed sustained release. 

Many cosmetic products available in the market contain various proteins, such as keratin and kinetin as the active ingredient.

Skin Barrier 

Due to the barrier functionality of top most layer of the skin, dermal delivery of protein/peptide based therapeutics has been problematic.The stratum corneum is made up of dead cells which mostly consisted of lipids and protein keratin. These cells have the dual ability to absorb water and avoid loss of moisture. A drug has to pass through the continuous layer of intracellular lipids and intercellular proteins to reach the systemic circulation via the skin. 

Permeation Enhancers

Several methods have been used to overcome the barrier property of skin to accelerate the flow of proteins/peptides across the skin.

One technique used to increase permeability through the skin is the use of chemical penetration enhancers. The method involves the reversible and transient perturbation of barrier integrity of stratum corneum by using terpenes 

Various terpenes are used to increase the permeability of drugs through the skin barrier into the blood circulation. These compounds are known as terpene penetration enhancers.

Generally, the smaller terpenes are found to be more active permeation enhancers and are reported to disrupt stratum corneum bilayer lipids. 

relatively large, long chain sesquiterpene such as nerolidol reinforces the bilayers possibly by orienting alongside the stratum corneum 

Hydrocarbon or nonpolar group containing terpenes such as Limonene provide better enhancement for lipophilic drugs than do polar terpenes. 

Conversely, terpenes containing polar groups such as menthol and 1,8-cineole provide better enhancement for hydrophilic drugs. 

Although nonaqueous solvents generally destabilize protein, some with low lipophilicity can have an opposite effect,

Lipophilicity is a desirable property for enhancing percutaneous absorption but may not be a favorable factor for preserving conformational stability and biological activity of a protein. 

Terpene Enhancement 

The percutaneous enhancement capacity of terpenes can be related to their structure and nature of permeation. Generally, terpenes with relatively greater lipophilicity provide better enhancement for lipophilic permeants while those with lower lipophilicity for hydrophilic permeants.

Terpene Data

There is limited data on terpene effect on stability and biological activity of proteins which must be understood to make delivery systems efficient and successful. 

Terpene Research

By researching the effects of nontoxic terpene-based skin penetration enhancers, such as fenchone, carveol, menthol, cymene, terpineol, limonene, eugenol, carvone, farnesol, geraniol, and verbenone, on the conformational stability we can have an understanding of the structural characteristics of terpenes optimal for use in a transdermal formulation of protein.

The future growth of the cannabis industry

The cannabis sector is still figuring out what products will yield its future growth.

Edibles 

Edibles encompasses CBD-infused foods and beverages.

It is unsurprising as edibles have undergone a surge in popularity over the last decade. A growing wave of “recreational” consumers, who are interested in finding ways of ingesting cannabis without smoking. Studies have found that these consumers are typically more conservative than traditional cannabis users, and are likely to gravitate towards CBD products that are presented in familiar formats, such as infused confectionaries or beverages.

In the US, where CBD edibles have been legal and on the shelves for several years. Nevada, California, Colorado and Washington have already demonstrated an appetite for such products. These edibles are increasing popularity with American mainstream .

Experts are already predicting that CBD infused products will be one of the biggest trends to hit the Beverage Market in decades. This new trend is accompanied by rising demand for Water Soluble Terpenes.

Constellation Brands, already owns a third in Canopy Growth for $4 billion. While Molson Coors, teamed up with HEXO Corp to launch a line of CBD-infused beverages. They are are already equipped with the FDA regulation management.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, as the market also carries several risk factors which could potentially impede future growth.

One concern to the market is increased regulations. Regulators in the US have been expressing increasing concerns about the labelling, dosage and packaging of edible CBD products.

Another issue is the complex layers of taxation that can apply to such products.. Although this is not currently a critical issue, mismanagement could push consumers away from legal market.

Extracts

The extracts market is rapidly growing.

The demand for edibles is good for extractors as they provide the formulations needed to produce products.

As we keep researching these cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, the demand for these formulations grow. An increasing adoption of cannabis-based medicine as a treatment option is predicted to increase future growth.

Due to regulations, cannabis companies are operating in the pharmaceutical space have begun focusing their attention to extraction; rather than the traditional cannabis flower.

Patients suffering from numerous chronic diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy can now receive the appropriate dose according to their condition.

As companies evolve the taste of the consumer also changes. An increasing preference for extracts amongst recreational consumers coupled with technological advancements made vaping a popular delivery method.

Derivative products are popular, as they offer much higher margins than the cannabis plant itself.

Oils and tinctures are currently the largest revenue share for the cannabis market; due to their high availability and low price, followed by terpene isolates used to make oils and tinctures.

The most promising sector is full spectrum CBD (CBD with terpenes). As more people discover the potential of the entourage effect which maximises the therapeutic qualities of cannabis.

 Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are a condensed mass containing THC as its main component, and are commonly known as “dabs”. 

Concentrates are often referred to by many different names, such as; shatter, budder, hash, live resin, and hash oil. Concentrates can be consumed in a variety of ways such as joints, blunts, water pipes or edible products. They are most commonly sold in the form of vaporiser cartridges loaded with cannabis oil and terpenes.

concentrate cartridges could be the next gamechanger for the cannabis market.

The concentrates sector is more than twice the size of the edibles sector. Vape pens and pre-filled oil cartridges accounting for more than double the sales of other forms of cannabis concentrate such as shatter, wax and hash oil.

As regulations soften the popularity of cannabis edibles will inevitably be outpaced by the rise of the cannabis concentrates.

Edibles have begun to capture a greater share of the market, they are outperformed by concentrates..

Typical consumers of cannabis concentrate also differ rather significantly from those who prefer edibles. Data has shown that unlike consumers of edibles; who tended to be older and more conservative, cannabis concentrate users were found to be younger and display less risk aversion behaviours.

With new regulations edibles, topicals, concentrates and extracts will all become legal, which is good news for consumers looking for alternative ways to consume cannabis.

Perceived safety of edible will be a big draw for many new cannabis enthusiasts, as they view the products as being safer than smoking the cannabis flower.

Conclusion 

It is important to remember. The cannabis flower, has been at the forefront of the industry.

Edibles, Extracts and Concentrates market get considerably less attention They can still offer a potential to accommodate cannabis investors. 

These sectors are becoming well established, but there are new delivery methods around the corner.

As we navigate the tough regulatory environment, there is no better time to get on the action.