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
MAY 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Hemp Oil Lessens Neuropathic Pain by 10 Times
MAY 21, 2020
Hemp Oil Lessens Neuropathic Pain by 10 Times
Researchers from The University of New Mexico have found that legal hemp oil derived from cannabis can reduce pain sensi ...
JUN 07, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Should You Smoke Cannabis Seeds and Stems?
JUN 07, 2020
Should You Smoke Cannabis Seeds and Stems?
When smoking cannabis, people typically use either the flower, buds, or leaves. But what about the seeds and stems? Can ...
JUL 08, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
CBD Helps Dogs With Osteoarthritis Stay More Active
JUL 08, 2020
CBD Helps Dogs With Osteoarthritis Stay More Active
It’s estimated that up to a fifth of dogs above the age of one are afflicted with osteoarthritis, which causes inf ...
JUL 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Teenage Cannabis Use Affects Girls More than Boys
JUL 21, 2020
Teenage Cannabis Use Affects Girls More than Boys
Researchers from the University of Montreal, Canada, have found that cannabis affects the working memory of girls at hig ...
JUL 23, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
JUL 23, 2020
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
To be federally legal in all states CBD (cannabidiol) oil must contain less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive ingredi ...
SEP 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
SEP 20, 2020
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
Currently, the consensus on whether cannabis may be used to treat autism is mixed. While some papers show signs of its p ...
Loading Comments...