AUG 04, 2020 8:29 AM PDT

Nanotechnology Makes Medicinal Cannabis More Effective

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

It seems that cannabis can treat everything- from chronic pain to acne and maybe even cancer. But as cannabinoids are known to degrade quickly, effective ways to deliver the compounds to where they are needed are limited. This is where nanotechnology may be able to help. 

Nanotechnology is the branch of technology that deals with substances on an atomic scale- under 100 nanometers in size- or one thousand times thinner than a sheet of paper. At this scale, materials tend to have different properties to larger ones- including better electrical conductance, more strength, different chemical reactivity, and different magnetic properties. 

As such, one of the most relevant uses of nanotechnology when looking at cannabis is drug delivery. In this case, nanoparticles can be engineered to deliver substances directly to specific cells like diseased cancer cells, limiting their ability to bind with and damage healthy cells. 

Scientists have already shown that synthetic cannabinoids delivered by nanocarriers are more effective than conventional delivery methods for treating tumor cells both in Petri dishes and in mice. To do so, they developed nanoparticles to work together. One located the tumor and then notified the other to deliver the drug to it. 

Using nanotechnology to deliver drugs- in this case, cannabinoids- seems to provide two specific advantages. One is being able to target problem areas more accurately. The other is by improving the drugs' bioavailability- the rate at which it enters the bloodstream. By creating a protective barrier between the drug and the body- usually by combining two liquids that don't mix like oil and water- scientists can prevent the drug from degrading while moving through the body. This means it's more intact to treat whatever illness it has been engineered to combat. 

Although a promising research avenue, before any treatments become available, clinical trials are needed to confirm whether they work in humans too. Nevertheless, given the efficacy of nanomedicine for other ailments from cancer to asthma and fungal and infections, many say this is just a matter of time.  

 

Sources: Nanomedicine AcademyLeafly

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
How Does Cannabis Affect Male Fertility?
NOV 06, 2020
How Does Cannabis Affect Male Fertility?
While most studies investigating the link between cannabis and male fertility have shown a negative correlation, some su ...
NOV 14, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Half of CBD Users Test Positive for THC in Urine Tests
NOV 14, 2020
Half of CBD Users Test Positive for THC in Urine Tests
Despite the growing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) products, there has been little research directly assessing whether ...
NOV 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
NOV 22, 2020
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have found that two synthetic cannabinoids available on prescri ...
NOV 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Public Believes CBD is Cure-All Despite Lack of Evidence
NOV 22, 2020
Public Believes CBD is Cure-All Despite Lack of Evidence
Many people think that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, can reduce symptoms from various cond ...
JAN 21, 2021
Health & Medicine
Injectable Cannabis Overdose Drug Being Developed
JAN 21, 2021
Injectable Cannabis Overdose Drug Being Developed
It’s estimated that the number of visits to emergency rooms because of cannabis overdose tripled between 2011 and ...
APR 27, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
CBD Doesn't Reduce Pain, but Makes it Less Unpleasant
APR 27, 2021
CBD Doesn't Reduce Pain, but Makes it Less Unpleasant
While anecdotal reports tout cannabidiol’s (CBD) utility for pain relief, up until now, there’s been limited ...
Loading Comments...