Author: Lindsey Horton

Cross-breeding various cannabis strains agriculturally to produce a desired plant is an arduous and lengthy process. There is undoubted beauty in manipulating genetic composition in nature over the course of several generations. However, there also exists the inevitable delay of crucial scientific research around the applications of cannabinoids and viable methods of mass production. 

Consequently, medical professionals, geneticists, and scientists alike are exploring the possibilities of genetic engineering to produce cannabinoids more efficiently and reliably than traditional cultivation methods. 

One of the areas with the most application research to date is the potential pharmaceutical uses of isolated cannabinoids. 

Potential Pharmaceutical Uses of Cannabinoids 

Excitingly, there is preliminary scientific research that suggests that CBD may help with various types of pain and inflammation in the human body. A group of doctors based in Italy authored an in-depth report titled, Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment, which included the following findings: 

“Data from clinical trials on synthetic and plant-derived cannabis-based medicines have suggested that they are a promising approach for the management of chronic neuropathic pain of different origins. It is also hypothesised that cannabis reduces the alterations in cognitive and autonomic processing that are present in chronic pain states. 

The frontal-limbic distribution of CB receptors in the brain suggests that cannabis may preferentially target the affective qualities of pain. Furthermore, cannabis may improve neuropathic pain reducing the low-grade inflammation consistent in the pathology. 

Considering as a whole the problems of chronic neuropathic pain syndromes, which has a poorly understood pathogenesis, a complexity of symptoms and the lack of an optimal treatment, the potential of a therapeutic strategy centered on cannabinoid system appears really quite attractive.”

Indisputably, more research is necessary before any concrete statements can be made about the uses, efficacy and risks associated with currently known cannabinoids, as well as newly discovered cannabinoids. 

Cannabinoid Delivery Methods

While exploring the different wellness issues cannabinoids may be able to address, scientists and medical researchers are also conducting cost-benefit analysis pertaining to the methods in which the substance is delivered. 

Most Common Forms of Cannabis Consumption

  • Orally: oils, pills or capsules
  • Inhalation: vaporization of raw plant materials or extracts 

Alternative Consumption Methods Being Explored

  • Oromucosal: meant to be absorbed through the cheek tissue of the mouth
  • Topical-transdermal: application on top of the skin for absorption as well as targeting the deeper tissues beneath the skin’s layers

The most recognized CBD products on the market today are generally oils, topical balms, and raw plant materials. What these research-backed studies are attempting to identify is which delivery method is most effective to target specific issues in the body. Once this can be determined definitively, it will directly impact the types of products high in demand. 

Coming Up: Newly discovered cannabinoids of 2020 and what to look out for in the future. 

Sources: 

Bruni, N., Pepa C. D., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., Dosio, F. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2478; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102478