A team of researchers at Curtin University have developed technology that improves the delivery of CBD-based drugs into the brains of mice by up to 40 times.

Funded by Zelira Therapeutics, the team created tiny capsules containing cannabinoids which, when taken orally, were absorbed faster by the body and penetrated the brain quicker in mice models with neurological diseases than when delivered in liquid form.

The technology has the potential for cannabinoid-based therapies to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury.

Lead researcher, associate professor Ryu Takechi, said growing interest in the use of CBD to treat neurological diseases had been hampered by its poor absorption and sensitivity to light and stomach acid when consumed orally.

The findings may be helpful in supporting the use of medicinal cannabis to treat neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis

“With this new capsulated form, we were able to improve the brain delivery of CBD by 40 times in animal models and protect the drug from oxidation and degradation by light, which helps extend product shelf-life.”

He added: “The findings may be helpful in supporting the clinical use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of neurological disorders.”

Zelira CEO Dr Oludare Odumosu said: “The new encapsulation technology significantly improves the efficiency with which cannabinoid-based drugs can be delivered into the brain and presents a game-changing platform to improve the effectiveness of cannabinoid therapies for neurological disorders while reducing cost and enhancing safety.”

Takechi and his team are currently using the encapsulation technology to assess the efficacy of CBD to protect from and prevent cognitive decline in a mouse model of diabetes. Results will be reported later in 2021.

Published in peer-reviewed scientific journal Plos One, the full paper can be found here.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...