Australian biotechnology company CannaPacific is working in partnership with the CSIRO to trial novel encapsulation technologies for medicinal cannabinoids.

The objective of the trial is to find new encapsulation technology that reduces variability and increases bioavailability

CannaPacific has begun a proof-of-concept study of the encapsulation technology, developed in collaboration between CSIRO’s Probing Biosystems Future Science Platform and The University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).

Dr Alison White from the CSIRO

Dr Alison White, inventor of the technology and CSIRO-AIBN postdoctoral research fellow, said mineral-based thin shells were used to completely surround the cannabinoid with a protective barrier to form a microcapsule.

“This barrier is designed to prevent premature release of the drug, and allows a higher level of control over where and when the drug is released. By controlling the dissolution rate of the microcapsules, we anticipate a more consistent delivery of the cannabinoids into the bloodstream,” said White.

The greater control the technology will provide is anticipated to remedy the current inconsistency of oil-based cannabinoid products. When coupled with optimised formulations of specific cannabinoid medicines, this improved delivery should reduce variability and increase efficacy.

CannaPacific chief scientific officer Tim Bowser said: “The initial project will be a proof of concept for CSIRO technology when applied to the delivery of cannabinoid-based medicines.”

It forms one of a suite of research projects being undertaken by CannaPacific.