Nanotechnology, which is science and engineering on an extremely small scale, has long been heralded as the next big thing in a host of fields, including medicine. Of particular interest to medical science is the field of nanomaterials, which are materials whose atomic or molecular-scale dimensions result in them having unique properties.
Researchers at the University if Seville in Spain have now patented the technology necessary to create a time release capsule for medication from a matrix made of polymer nanoparticles. Further research into using this technology to deliver cannabinoids suggests that a single dose taken orally may be effective in relieving neuropathic pain for many days. Accordingly, it should be possible to significantly extend the painkilling effect of the drug while at the same time reducing the dose required.
With this delivery method providing a steady release of the active ingredients over a longer period of time, the technology particularly lends itself to chronic conditions. For cannabinoids, it has certainly proved significantly more effective than inhaling or ingesting them.
Another advantage to delivering cannabinoids in this way is that the psychoactive ingredient, THC, cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, removing any psychotropic effect, which many find unwelcome.
The licence to use this technology has been obtained by Nevada-based GB Sciences Inc. They have been quick to identify the importance of this development and are now actively working with the researchers in Spain to further develop and ultimately market the technology for use in the treatment of chronic pain.