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Is CBD the new sustainable, green packaging material?

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CBD sustainable packaging material

New research in ACS Applied Material & Interfaces suggests that CBD could have a function as a bioplastic. The research team created a CBD-based bioplastic material that could one day be used in medical implants, food packaging and more.

Since it is now federally legal to grow hemp in the US, the price of CBD has dropped dramatically. This has created more space and possibilities for using cannabidiol in other applications.

Sustainable packaging material from CBD

In recent years, the bioplastic called poly(lactic acid), or PLA, has become a popular option for sustainable plastics because it is made from corn and sugar cane instead of fossil fuels and can be industrially composted. Many consumer goods such as utensils, soda bottles, as well as medical devices such as facial fillers and implants now contain PLA. Just as lactic acid is a good building block for PLA, CBD's chemical structure also has the right material to replicate as a polymer. So Gregory Sotzing, Lakshmi Nair and colleagues wanted to see if CBD could be used to make a new bioplastic.

To make cannabinoid polymers, the researchers performed a condensation reaction with adipoyl chloride — also used to make nylon — and cannabidiol or the closely related cannabigerol (CBG), creating a polyester. Polymeric CBD showed the ability to act as a plastic. The researchers poured the fabric into a mold with the shape of a hemp leaf.

CBD implants

Since bioplastics are often used in medical contexts, they also investigated the bioactive properties of the polymers. Neither CBD nor CBG polyesters were cytotoxic. In contrast to the conventional bioplastic PLA, the CBD polyester had an antioxidant effect. While the polymer version of cannabidiol did not have the same therapeutic effects as oil form, future versions of the plastic may have analgesic and therapeutic properties.

Source: phys.org (EN)

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