Water-Soluble Cannabinoids Change the Cannabis Delivery Game
August 14th, 2018
Exclusive, News, Top Story
Cannabis is a plant with over 100 currently known active compounds, known as cannabinoids. These compounds interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system to moderate a number of bodily functions. Since cannabis has been illegal for so long, scientists and researchers are just now discovering how many of these compounds work. But one thing has been pretty much settled – cannabinoids are lipophilic and hydrophobic. They ride along with fats but won’t jump in the car with water. This presents all sorts of issues with the delivery of cannabinoids in the human body, and there are many researchers and companies trying to improve that problematic delivery.
Sproutly Canada, Inc. (CSE: SPR) is here to change all of that. Sproutly recently finalized its acquisition of Infusion Biosciences Canada and its water-soluble cannabinoid technology. The company has discovered naturally occurring versions of cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant, that get along just fine with water. The discovery, and accompanying patent-pending technology, reverses decades of scientific understanding of cannabis chemistry and opens the door to a whole new world of cannabis product development.
Technology and Applications
As a result of the discovery, Infusion Biosciences developed its proprietary Aqueous Phytorecovery Process (APP) technology. The process is considerably more gentle than current methods for cannabis oil extraction like butane or CO2 systems. The resulting extract carries all of the qualities of the original strain, delivering natural cannabinoids much more efficiently that oil-based solutions.
A common issue with oil extracts, and the edible and consumable products created from them, is the delayed onset and prolonged duration of the effects of the active ingredients. For recreational users, chomping on a couple of delicious pot brownies can turn into a bad trip. For medicinal users, relief from symptoms can be delayed and precise dosing hard to determine.
APP technology mitigates those problems, delivering precise doses of active ingredients that take effect in less than 5 minutes and wear off in 60-90 minutes. The experience is akin to smoking cannabis, without any of the negative health effects, inconvenience, or social stigma attached to smoking.
Sproutly has developed two products to this point. Infuz2O is the cannabinoid-infused water-based concentrate that forms the basis for beverage applications, with many other product possibilities in the pipeline. The company is capable of adjusting dosages and mixing active ingredients precisely to achieve the desired effect. Think of alcoholic beverages that run the gamut from low- or non-alcoholic beer to the stiffest shot of hard liquor. Utilizing Infuz2O formulation, cannabis beverages can provide the same range of options. Need to gently take the edge off a long day to get to sleep? Have your stress levels reached a seeming point of no return, calling for more drastic measures? No problem, Infuz2O can provide just what you need.
The other product is Bio-Natural Oils, which deliver the water-soluble, strain-specific cannabinoids in an oil carrier that lends itself to edibles, topicals, tinctures and the like. It’s a novel concept, carrying water around in oil, that Sproutly believes will have application across a wide variety of cannabis-derived product types.
Both platforms, the oil and the water infusions, have the potential to turn the biopharmaceutical cannabis industry on its head. With the precise dosing and all natural cannabinoids afforded by APP technology, many of the problems encountered in cannabis drug development can be overcome. Formulators and researchers are constantly striving to find the right compounds, extract them from the plant without harming them, and deliver them effectively in a controlled manner. Sproutly’s infusions contain the solutions to these ongoing struggles.
Medical marijuana is disrupting the pharmaceutical industry. A recent study in the United States found that, in states with medical cannabis laws, Medicare prescriptions fell on average 11% for conditions commonly treated with cannabis. These figures mostly reflect those willing to smoke cannabis. Is it hard to imagine that this rate would likely increase if better dosing and delivery regimens were developed, like Sproutly’s APP offering? To give you an idea of the potential, the global market for pain management (currently the most common indication treated by cannabis) is expected to grow from $62 billion in 2016 to $88 billion in 2025.
A major trend in the cannabis industry is initiatives to develop cannabinoid-infused beverages. HEXO, a licensed producer in Quebec, recently announced a joint venture with Molson Coors Canada to develop non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages. Constellation Brands bought 10% of Canopy Growth, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers, in 2017 with a similar goal. The maker of Corona and many other alcohol brands recently upped its commitment to the Canopy deal by taking $200 million in convertible notes, fully one-third of the total offering. Constellation is also investigating possibilities in the United States market. Major players see a huge opportunity, and Sproutly technology fundamentally changes and improves the possibilities for cannabis beverage development.
Consumers are moving away from smoking and looking for healthier alternatives. Oil sales are skyrocketing, companies are developing oral and dermal delivery methods, and cannabis flower sales are relatively flat compared to other product categories. The future market will look nothing like the early days of legal cannabis consumption, and Sproutly is in a prime position to shape that market.
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