Nanotechnology involves manipulating substances on an atomic scale, typically in ranges as small as one thousand times thinner than a sheet of paper. The US Nanotechnology Initiative teaches that elements on the nanoscale have unique properties like heightened electrical conductance, greater strength, and various magnetic, light, and chemical properties.
Nanotechnology applications in medicine present great promise and possibility and many are already in practice, such as in computer technology and pharmaceutical applications. Nanoparticles can generate heat, deliver stem cells, be radioactive, or metallic. At full potential, nanotechnology can revolutionize the way we fight disease – including cannabis compounds.
One of the primary applications of nanomedicine is drug delivery. As nanoparticles deliver substances directly to specific infected or diseased cells, the process limits the capacity of the drug binding with and damaging healthy cells in the process. Scientists at MIT have even successfully combined two nanoparticles in cancer treatment, one which seeks out the tumor (cancerous cells), and another which targets it with medications.
Cannabinoids and Nanotechnology
Our bodies contain endocannabinoid system receptors, and cannabis contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids which connect with these receptors. Scientists are unlocking the potential of treating disease by utilizing nanotechnology and the cannabis plant – diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and serious inflammation. Cannabinoids can be stored inside a nanoparticle and delivered to its intended target without degrading before its controlled release.
Nanotechnology can help locate and isolate a disease as early as the first few damaged cells; then deliver a targeted cannabinoid to amend the cellular behavior before the damage continues. If a nanorobot can zero in on a certain endocannabinoid receptor at the earliest stages of disease, it could conceivably abort the entire inflammatory process. Researchers are also working on a “superclass” of cannabinoid nanoparticles with the ability to provide treatment across a broad spectrum of diseases.
The research surrounding cannabinoid nano-delivery systems is becoming more mainstream, and we are likely to hear more about it in the future. This research is also looking at improving bioavailability as well as strengthening the physical stability of nanoparticles and maximizing administration routes. (injection, pills, or sublingual drops). Other methods may solve potency issues by maximizing absorption and minimizing side effects. Certain cannabis varieties may even offer tailored therapeutic profiles, and cannabinoids could be bioengineered for enhanced benefit.
The Blood-Brain Barrier
The blood-brain barrier is the body’s natural defense mechanism to protect this vital organ, and transporting items across this barrier requires particular substances and methodologies. Researchers are currently engineering lipid nanocapsules with tiny cannabinoids for diseases affecting the central nervous system.
As these studies and therapies progress, both in the research of the endocannabinoid system and nanomedicine, we can expect to see new and innovative ways to treat some of our most stubborn and harmful diseases. Given the far-reaching benefit of medical cannabis as understood even today, we expect the future to reveal many more amazing, effective and safe medical treatments.
Call Neurology of Cannabis today for more information on how medical cannabis can improve the quality of your life.