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How can nanomedicine be applied to cannabis?

by druginc

How can nanomedicine be applied to cannabis?

Imagine a world where a tiny nanbot could deliver a specific cannabinoid directly to your endocannabinoid (ECS) receptors. The nanorobot would be thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and could transport its tiny charge in a single drop of liquid to deliver it directly to a target cell such as a cancer cell.

Sound far-fetched? It may be closer than you think, as researchers are making great strides in the fascinating field of nano medicine.

The cannabis plant contains an amazing group of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, and scientists are just beginning to discover the complex pharmacology and potential of these compounds. In combination with nanomedicine, cannabis has even greater potential to treat disease and provide general health benefits to humans.

What is Nanomedicine?

Scientists can manipulate substances on an atomic scale, in the range of 1-100 nanometers, or a thousand times thinner than a sheet of paper. According to it US Nanotechnology Initiative substances on the nanoscale have very different properties than bulk materials: unique properties such as better electrical conductivity, higher strength and other magnetic properties, light reflection or chemical reactivity. Nanotechnology can be applied to solids, liquids or gases to unlock these unique phenomena.

For this reason, nanotechnology applications in medicine offer exciting promise and possibilities, especially when applied to cannabis compounds. Many nanotechnology applications are already in use - computer circuits made from carbon nanotubes provide much greater computing power, and nanoparticles are already being used in pharmaceuticals to improve absorption.

Researchers are working on many aspects of nanotechnology, such as finding the best nanoparticle substance, the best nanoparticle shape for a specific delivery, and the best transfer mechanisms for specific drugs. Nanoparticles can generate heat, release stem cells, be radioactive or metallic and much more.

While many applications are still only thought of by scientists, nanotechnology could at its fullest potential be the next medical revolution that will revolutionize the way diseases are detected and treated.

The drug delivery through the use of nanomedicine

One of the best applications of nanomedicine is in drug delivery, where nanoparticles deliver substances directly to specific cells, such as diseased cancer cells. Researchers can construct nanoparticles in such a way that they are attracted to a diseased cell and limit the ability to bind to healthy cells, thereby reducing their damage.

Scientists of MIT and other institutions have successfully used specific nanoparticles to deliver drugs to tumors. More interestingly, nanoparticles are designed to work together - while one locates a tumor, another can use the former's signal to effectively deliver the drug to its intended target.

In an interesting application, scientists have created a nanoparticle that searches for hydrogen peroxide present in it inflamed tissue, to then deliver a drug to that environment to treat heart disease.

Cannabinoids and Nanotechnology

There is great potential that nanotechnology and cannabinoids can have an impact on diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, diabetes and a wide variety of serious inflammatory diseases.

Nanotechnology can help identify a disease at an early stage, perhaps even when a single cell has gone wrong, and then deliver a targeted cannabinoid to correct a cell's behavior and thus ward off the disease. It may even be possible for a nanorobot to target a specific endocannabinoid receptor to stop the entire inflammatory process for the benefit of a patient's improvement.

Cannabinoid nano delivery systems are now very common for further research, which scientists are working on biologically manipulated cannabinoids and other nanoparticles that are transported to cells, and by also making nanocarriers that transport transport materials from metallics or other substances.

Delivery system research also involves improving bioavailability - the rate at which a drug's active ingredient enters the bloodstream - as well as improving the physical stability of nanoparticles and optimizing routes of administration, including injection, pills or sublingual drops. .

A nanotechnology-based targeted drug delivery system can be formulated to deliver cannabinoids directly to endocannabinoid receptors, where the magic takes place. Cannabinoids can be packaged in a nanoparticle and transported to their intended purpose without degradation and with controlled release.

For example, nanoemulsions are already used in the food industry to deliver probiotics or other bioactive ingredients in a highly controlled release. These nanoemulsions use a combination of two liquids that are not normally combined - such as oil and water - to act as a barrier to chemical breakdown of the cannabinoid as it travels through the body.

Other encapsulation methods can help with potency problems by increasing absorption, they can help reduce side effects, and they can help cover up the bitter taste of a substance.

Specific cannabis strains may even have tailored therapeutic profiles, and cannabinoids may be bio-engineered to produce enhanced effects.

Scientists envision a superclass of cannabinoid nanocarriers that have the potential to treat a wide variety of endocannabinoid insufficiency problems and thus a wide variety of diseases.

In one example, researchers are looking at new ways to get substances through the difficult blood-brain barrier. This barrier is the body's built-in defense mechanism to protect the brain, so its ability to transport substances through it directly affects the effectiveness of a treatment.

To that end scientists develop lipid nanocapsules adorned with tiny cannabinoids like CBD as new therapies for central nervous system diseases.

What does the future of the nanomedicine for cannabis hold?

Nanotechnology has already profoundly transformed drug delivery, and cannabinoid delivery is part of this exciting future. There are of course challenges. Cannabinoids break down quickly in water and are prone to other types of breakdown, and that delivers delivery problems us.

More recent discoveries, including the decoding of the cannabis genome, the discovery of the major CB1R and CB2R receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), and the discovery of other receptors, are also fundamental advances contributing to cannabinoid nanotechnology.

The latest research shows great progress in the formulation of targeted delivery systems of cannabinoid nanocarriers, and as such may provide important therapies, especially for central nervous system disorders. As scientists continue to improve both bio-efficacy and bio-availability, cannabis nanotechnology represents an exciting and brave new world.

Sources including Cannabistical (EN), Lab Roots (EN), Leafly (EN)

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