Cannabis cultivation and consumption date back hundreds—even thousands—of years, and yet the industry only recently began developing and adopting new methods of delivery, paving the way for the next generation of cannabis use. Joints and pot brownies, step aside. The future of cannabis lies in technology.
It’s a tale as old as time: Traditional methods of consumption can bring with them a host of adverse effects. For instance, edibles can take thirty to ninety minutes or more to produce effects, while dosages are often improper or inconsistent. The challenges lead consumers to take too much too quickly, resulting in adverse reactions. What’s more, inhalation is detrimental to the lungs—not to mention many vape products contain harmful chemical additives.
Over the decades, science has made significant advances with cleaner, safer, and more reliable administration methods for most other drugs on the market. Why not cannabis? In part, legal issues played a role; however, this is no longer the case. Problems such as low bioavailability, inconsistent dosing, unpredictability, and lung damage long have plagued cannabis consumers. Fortunately, turning to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors has revealed effective strategies for resolving these common, age-old issues, leading to cleaner, safer, and altogether more trustworthy and desirable products.
Creating unique, sophisticated, and effective products in safer, smoke-free modes of delivery is no longer an option—it is a necessity. One groundbreaking solution lies in nanotechnology, which allows for the nanoencapsulation of a broad range of bioactive compounds in a protective membrane. This mode of delivery allows the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes to be transported rapidly and efficiently into the bloodstream and cells for results that are not only fast-acting, but also highly effective.
Through nanoencapsulation, beneficial agents are made safer and more bioavailable, reducing adverse side effects by delivering extremely precise doses of smart nanoparticles to the desired target sites, resulting in swift uptake that can be felt within mere minutes. Whether used to relieve anxiety, inflammation, chronic pain, or just take the edge off after a long day, nanotechnology is a more intelligent way to carry the vast medical benefits of the plant into the body for systemic healing.
Harnessing the power of nanotechnology lends itself well to product innovation, yielding an array of safe, alternative delivery mechanisms including intraoral, intranasal, and transdermal routes. The variety of delivery methods maximizes individual choice. NanoSphere Health Sciences’ Evolve Formulas Transdermal NanoSerum delivers nano-encapsulated cannabis and extracts in precision-metered doses through the skin. Other companies are developing their own products.
Already progressing by leaps and bounds, the cannabis industry is on a trajectory to make major improvements in its ability to help patients and consumers find effective relief free of undesirable outcomes. There are still many hurdles to overcome, but with massive technological and scientific developments taking place at an exponential rate, we are well on our way to making the plant an accessible and trusted tool for both seasoned and new cannabis consumers.
In addition to his role as co-founder and chief medical director for NanoSphere Health Sciences, Terry Grossman, M.D., is founder and medical director of the Grossman Wellness Center and serves as international medical director for Vitallife Wellness Center, the wellness division of Bumrungrad Hospital. Dr. Grossman specializes in nutritional medicine and antiaging medicine. He is the author of The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Living Forever and coauthor with Ray Kurzweil of the best-sellers Fantastic Voyage and TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever.