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Bioavailability of CBD for Therapeutic Opportunities

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Welcome to Cannabis Conclusions, a unique educational series from Higher Learning LV that is targeted at hemp and cannabis industry professionals. This series provides readers with the conclusion section from important modern peer-reviewed research studies.


A September 2022 study entitled "Promising Nanocarriers to Enhance Solubility and Bioavailability of Cannabidiol for a Plethora of Therapeutic Opportunities" that as published in the journal Molecules explored the bioavailability of cannabidiol (CBD).

The study reported that CBD "is the first isolated cannabinoid that dates back to the late 1800s, and it was obtained as a crystalline molecule by acetylation from a crude narcotic red oil distilled from the resin of Indian hemp." It explained that more than 500 chemical compounds have been identified that are produced by cannabis, including "about 130 cannabinoids, 120 terpenoids, 42 noncannabinoid phenolics, and 34 flavonoids."


Study Conclusions

"This review outlines some current CBD biopharmaceutical issues, and how nanocarriers can affect its solubility, release properties, stability, and bioavailability.


"Seventeen CBD nanoformulations were included in this review, including nanosuspensions, polymeric micelles and polymeric nanoparticles, inorganic nanoparticles jelled in cross-linked chitosan-based patches, and numerous nanosized lipid formulations.


"Seventeen CBD nanoformulations were included in this review."

"Among the lipophilic nanocarriers, nanostructured lipid carriers, vesicles, SNEEDS, nanoemulsions, and microemulsions, the latter in the form of a microemulgel using Sepigel 305 has been developed. The investigated polymers were PLGA, PLGA plus chitosan to impart mucoadhesion, and zein/whey protein. Among the lipids used to formulate the lipid nanoparticles, lecithin, diverse natural and synthetic oils, vitamin E acetate, Solutol, Transcutol, isopropyl myristate, and numerous surfactants have been used.

CBD molecular structure


"The basic characterisation of nanoparticles includes at least the size and PDI obtained by dynamic light scattering, morphology, architecture obtained by scanning or transmission microscopy, encapsulation efficiency (EE%), and loading capacity. Table 1 summarises the developed nanocarriers loaded with CBD and their compositions, CBD contents, CBD encapsulation efficiencies, and stability studies.


"Concerning the nanosuspensions, the drug loading was only calculated for one publication, while the EE% was not reported because the formulations were not properly nanocarriers. For nanomicelles, the EE% was not reported but the drug loading was calculated. For nanoparticles, both the EE% and drug loading were reported, or the data were simply limited to the EE%.


For nanoemulsions, microemulsions, and SMEEDS, the EE% is almost 100% because of the selection of the excipients for CBD solubility, and the drug loading is always reported in the range of 1–73% w/w. For vesicles, only the drug loading or drug loading plus EE% were reported. For hybrid nanoparticles, no data on either the drug loading or EE% are reported."


View the original study.


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