Scientists develop a better way to boost CBD absorption in the brain

Scientists develop a better way to boost CBD absorption in the brain

Researchers from Australia and New Zealand have found a new delivery method for cannabis that improves the absorption rate of beneficial cannabinoids such as cannibidiol (CBD). This discovery could help anyone who consumes CBD orally, but this new delivery method could be especially beneficial when treating neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries, according to a press release from the universities that collaborated on the study.

This new delivery method relies on very small capsules, called microcapsules, which are filled with cannabinoids. However, they contain more than just cannabinoids.

The secret ingredient may already be found in the body

These microcapsules also carry a bile acid called deoxycholic acid (DCA) that is normally found in the gut. Researchers from Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, the Curtin Medical School and the School of Population Health at Curtin University, the University of Newcastle and the University of Otago learned from their shared study conducted on mice that the combination of microcapsules and bile acid caused better absorption in the brain than typical capsules or liquid does.

“In this study, we were able to show for the first time that a bile acid actually increased the uptake and retention of cannabidiol within the brain,” said Associate Professor Ryu Takechi, who is the lead researcher on the project. “This shows that bile acids could be used to enhance the delivery of cannabidiol when taken orally, particularly when treating neurological disorders.”

Oral consumption usually results in low bioavailability

This may prove to be an important discovery because, typically, cannabinoids that are ingested are not efficiently absorbed into the body. This means that someone may not be getting the full benefits from this type of product. Sensitivity to light and stomach acid are also obstacles that reportedly prevent people from receiving the full benefits.

“Cannabidiol is found in medicinal cannabis and is a popular natural remedy for people living with neurological and metabolic diseases. Due to limitations in absorption, we aimed to design and test a new drug delivery method,” Takechi said in a statement.

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

Looking ahead

This study was published in the journal PLOS ONE in June. However, a press release about the study notes that further research is still needed to determine if this delivery method would be just as successful for humans as it was for mice.

“Further research is needed . . . but our findings are very promising,” Takechi said.