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Nanoemulsion explained

Scientific advancements are doing wonders for the cannabis industry, with nanoemulsion the latest piece of technology promising to transform the user experience. The process breaks THC molecules down into much smaller pieces and turns them into a water-soluble state to increase their bioavailability. Traditionally, THC cannot be dissolved by water, and is only fat-soluble. When you consume THC molecules that have undergone nanoemulsion, the cannabinoids enter your bloodstream much more quickly, skipping the liver to produce a rapid high.

Nanoemulsion has been used in the pharmaceutical industry for several decades to improve the efficaciousness of drugs, but the world of cannabis is just catching onto the fact that cannabinoids are not water soluble in their normal state. However, this won’t be the case much longer for edibles at least, with nanoemulsion likely to be used in the making of your favorite edibles.

Industrial Sonomechanics president and qualified chemist Dr Alexey Peshokovsky likened nanoemulsions to “injections” when interviewed by The Stranger, noting that edibles take just 15 to 30 minutes to fully kick in if they have been nanoemulsified. Industrial Sonomechanics manufactures machines capable of making nanoemulsions.

Washington is one of the first legal marijuana markets to dabble with nanoemulsions, and several companies are using it to make edibles and other products. Discovery Garden develops topicals with nanoemulsions, while Fairwinds Manufacturing makes a tincture utilizing them. Tarukino have also adopted the technology for their ‘Velvet Swing Weed Lube’ and ‘Pearl20’ products.

Travel further down the West Coast and you’ll see nanoemulsions creating a stir in California. Sunderstorm Scientific have come up with an intriguing nanoemulsion that contains THC, CBD and the natural mood-boosting supplement 5-HTP. The ‘Lucidity 3:1 nanoemulsion’ will get you pretty baked, with its 3:1 THC to CBD ratio.

The bioavailability of nano-cannabinoids can reach up to 80 to 90 percent, greatly improving their efficiency – THC bioavailablity levels can be as low as 10 to 20 percent in standard edibles. Therefore, for a product like Sunderstorm Scientific’s, you can get about six times as high as you normally would.

Many opt to orally consume cannabis edibles because it’s neither as messy nor smelly as smoking bud. For non-smokers, it’s also much healthier. However, there are a few drawbacks to having edibles as your primary method of cannabis consumption.

For one, since cannabinoids aren’t water-soluble, they must pass through to the gastrointestinal tract before they can be absorbed. This process takes a lot longer than when cannabinoids are inhaled, with the delayed response leaving users waiting up to two hours for their edibles to get to work.

Hence, it has been tricky to manufacture high-quality weed-infused beverages. The low natural bioavailability of THC would leave users having to consume copious quantities of an infused drink to receive the desired dose. And since many of the cannabinoids in an edible simply cannot be absorbed, such a product would be wasteful, and not to mention very expensive.

Therefore, the arrival of nanoemulsion could not have come at a better time. The cannabis industry is growing at a stunning rate, and with edibles the favorite choice of many novice cannabis users, it’s essential they offer the highest quality and best value experience possible.

The high bioavailablity levels of nano-cannabinoids ensure they are much more potent than traditional cannabinoids – and more potency means a stronger high. As they are water-soluble, nano-cannabinoids can be infused into substances that cannabinoids cannot, the range of cannabis products on the market is sure to expand. And we already know that nano-cannabinoids will be a practical success, with topicals, tinctures and edibles containing them already on sale.

In addition to offering a more powerful high, nanoemulsion enables medicinal users to medicate with much lower dosages and receive the effects in around a quarter of the time.

Ultrasound is used to make nanoemulsions, through a process known as high-shear cavitation. Cannabis extract droplets are broken down to an appropriate size, typically 70 to 90 microns, through micro-jets which are caused by “violently and asymmetrically imploding vacuum bubbles.” However, some companies use slightly different techniques.

Final thoughts

Be in no doubt that nanoemulsion is going to be fully embraced by the cannabis community over the next few years. This tech provides the most efficient cannabis experience yet, and significantly increases what we can do with the plant’s compounds. For recreational users, this will surely translate to a plethora of new weed treats and even higher highs, while medical users are sure to find their cannabis bills get cheaper.

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