The New Frontier in Cannabis Production

Nano vs High Shear Emulsion Techniques

During the past several years, as cannabis legalization and decriminalization began flowering throughout the United States, there grew a malformation in this newly created industry. Up until recently, cannabis production and innovation remained behind closed doors. The threat of serious legal complications hindered our collective knowledge from intertwining. Unlike parallel industries which deal with such a versatile and potentially life-saving compound, the cannabis industry is stunted.

As cannabis product manufacturers, developers and researchers uncover new applications for this complex herb, consumers are at a particular risk. Those who rely on cannabis for medicinal treatments or recreational enjoyment stand along the edge of a precarious cliff. While manufacturers make bold statements regarding product “purity” and “quality,” the actual experience derived from these products leave much to be desired.

The root of this problem boils down into a single term: distribution. Perhaps the largest issue encasing the edible, or non-combustible, cannabis industry is cannabinoid distribution. The misrepresentation of cannabinoid concentration, either THC or CBD, is based in multiple factors. Most noteworthy is a lack of standardized regulation within the cannabis industry. Secondly, cannabis has only partially moved away from its black-market past.

The preconceived notions held onto by many consumers sets the stage for misleading advertising and lackluster standardization. The misrepresentation of cannabis products is so rampant, the American Chemical Society sites multiple studies in which only 17 percent of all edibles accurately depicted its THC concentration (1). To rectify this issue, manufacturers are seeking out new and innovative ways to process cannabis extract. Among the latest trends the use of ultrasonic homogenizers, or more commonly known as Nanoemulsion.

Cannabis Nanoemulsion | Perceived Potency

Cannabis extract Nanoemulsions, also known as Nano-Cannabinoids, is based upon techniques utilized by a variety of industries; most notably, the pharmaceutical industry. In its most simplistic definition, this is the process of combining two immiscible compounds, such as oil and water (2). This combination is designed to enhance the delivery of therapeutic compounds, such as those in cancer treatments, while simultaneously minimizing negative side effects and maximizing its bioavailability (3).

Several manufacturers have taken this concept and adopted it for use with cannabis extract. Because cannabinoids are fat-soluble, it requires solubilization via a carrier oil. When the theory of Nano emulsion is applied, it seems natural this process would be an effective option; especially when creating a water-based product. Unfortunately, these manufacturers are touting the wonders of Nanoemulsions without fully understanding its efficiency with cannabinoid distribution. However, there is no solidified body of evidence suggesting Nanoemulsions enhance cannabinoid disbursement.

Disabling Deviation | High-Shear Homogenizer for Even Cannabinoid Distribution

While it’s theoretically impossible to ensure 100% of all cannabinoid solutions retain uniform potency, it’s not impossible to minimize potency deviation. Instead of hypothesizing an outcome by claiming unrelated clinical research, the only way to establish an even cannabinoid distribution is through a proven emulsion technique.

The operation of a high-shear homogenizer is designed to combine two ingredients which are typically immiscible. High-shear devices work by creating a velocity difference within the fluid solution. For example, the fluid along the outer diameter of the rotor, or impeller, moves at a faster velocity than the fluid at the center of the rotor. The differentiating velocities create shear and this is how cannabinoids may be evenly distributed throughout an entire solution (4).

Evidence of high-shear homogenizer efficiency comes from both laboratory solution testing and real-world applications. A recent examination by CAT Scientific found overall cannabinoid potency deviation was well-within reasonable measures, at only 2 percent. When compared to other emulsion techniques, which featured up to a 50 percent potency deviation, evidence clearly demonstrates why the cannabis industry is currently plagued by inconsistencies among edible product lines. However, the most notable piece of evidence derives from real-life experiences.

A client of ours, a CBD e-juice manufacturer created to provide parents with viable cannabis-based supplements for children with specific medical needs, began using one of our high-shear homogenizer units. Prior to utilizing our equipment, their daughter would suffer a seizure every five days. However, after processing the solution via high-shear methodology, her seizure’s retreated to once every 15 days. Read our post The Effects of Cannabis on Epilepsy and Seizures to see how cannabinoids are revolutionizing the lives of epilepsy sufferers.

The New Era of Cannabis Products – High-Shear Homogenizer

CAT Scientific believes there’s no room for sub-par cannabis products. Our primary goal is to spread the information found within this article to not only boost the profitability of cannabis businesses, but enhance product viability for the safety and enjoyment of all consumers.

Contact Us today and see how we can work together to create a sustainable cannabis industry!

 

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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft.

Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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