Webinar Recording: Commercial Production of Water-Soluble THC and CBD by High-Intensity Ultrasound

This is a recording of an Industrial Sonomechanics (ISM)’ live webinar event from May 13th, 2020. The presentation was made by ISM’s president and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Alexey Peshkovsky.

Key Takeaways:

1. Achieving efficient, reproducible and predictable absorption of cannabinoids into the bloodstream has been and continues to be a major obstacle in the industry.
2.Traditional and historical methods of introducing cannabis into the body have been unpredictable in terms of bioavailability, timely onset of action and safety.
3. Cannabis extracts are NOT soluble in water, therefore, edibles and similar products taken by the mouth are slow and inefficient.
4. Translucent nanoemulsions of cannabinoids solve for these deficiencies, creating a rapid, predictable and reproducible effect.
5. High-intensity ultrasound has proven to be a superior solution for producing translucent nanoemulsions that can be infused into beverages without changing their appearance.


Oral administration of cannabinoids (e.g., as edibles or gel-caps), while safer and more discreet than smoking or vaping, suffers from low bioavailability, delayed onset of action and poor reproducibility. Being insoluble in water, cannabinoids cannot undergo gastrointestinal absorption until they are incorporated into mixed micelles, which are slowly formed in the small intestine during hydrolysis of co-administered triglycerides. While this step is necessary to allow cannabinoids to migrate to the intestinal absorptive cells, it drastically delays and diminishes the efficiency and reproducibility of the absorption process. Pharmaceutical industry’s most successful method for overcoming similar challenges is to formulate hydrophobic bio-actives as oil-in-water nanoemulsions, which are kinetically stable, known to provide exceptional therapeutic effects, and allow bio-actives to be absorbed rapidly and completely. This presentation will demonstrate how the same approach can be applied to the cannabis industry. Commercial-scale production of translucent cannabinoid nanoemulsions (“water-soluble” CBD and THC) requires the use of an optimized formulation and a high-intensity ultrasonic processor, resulting in stable concentrates that are readily infused into and administered as beverages without compromising their appearance (e.g., optical clarity). Since aqueous dispersions of droplets in translucent nanoemulsions closely mimic mixed micelles, they rapidly migrate to the intestinal absorptive cells, avoiding the slow in-situ micelle formation process. Preclinical pharmacokinetic study results will be presented, showing significant onset of action acceleration and bioavailability enhancement of THC administered as a translucent nanoemulsion-infused beverage.



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