Lexaria Bioscience Corp, developers of the revolutionary DehydraTECH™ drug delivery technology, is in the news again this week. On October 13th, the British Columbia-based pharmaceutical company released study results on THC-A21-1, a THC oral format.
The study revealed that Lexaria's DehydraTECH™ THC delivers THC levels to blood-plasma at a rate that is roughly three times faster than standard MCT-based THC. Oral ingestion required just fifteen minutes to reach comparable levels that the "coconut-oil" formulations took forty-five minutes to achieve. By the six-hour mark, as THC was leaving the system, the levels were equal and demonstrated the fast-on, fast-off performance.
One of the key goals of this trial was to advance DehydraTECH™ THC as a medicinal solution, but CEO Chris Bunka is looking at a broader market. "THC consumers today include… medicinal and pharmaceutical users. Our objective is to provide them rapid onset and high bioavailability without harmful delivery mechanisms like smoking."
MORE Act Passes Another Congressional Hurdle
The DehydraTECH™ THC test results are timely because the House Judiciary Committee passed the MORE Act with a 26-15 majority vote just last week. There are still several hurdles to overcome, including final Senate approval, but the movement for federal legalization of cannabis in the United States appears to be gathering momentum again.
Canada (2018) and Mexico (2021) already have legalized cannabis on a national level. That includes medical marijuana. Eighteen US states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have also passed laws decriminalizing the use of cannabis and THC. The legal market for DehydraTECH™ THC in the US is estimated at 145 million Americans, based on US Census Bureau data.
With an increasing market size and a slim Senate majority in favor of national legalization, Lexaria's work in this area is critical. "The cannabis industry continues to use outdated formulations and processes," Chris Bunka said. "Our study demonstrated the rapid, safe THC delivery that is consistent with the wants and needs of today's THC consumers."
Medicinal Uses for THC Should Push Legislation Forward
The stigma of recreational THC use remains a stumbling block for Congressional action, but the documented benefits of using THC as a medical solution for pain relief should push legislation forward. According to the CDC, 93,331 people died from drug overdoses during the 2020 pandemic, many of them from pharmaceutical and synthetic opioids.
In recent years, the FDA has approved THC-based dronabinol (Marinol®) and nabilone (Cesamet®) as anti-nausea drugs for patients undergoing chemo treatments or suffering from AIDS-related wasting syndrome. The UK and Canada, along with several other European countries, are using THC/CBD formulations to treat neuropathic pain.
Lexaria is already well down the path to NDA filing for DehydraTECH™ CBD as an anti-hypertensive solution. That market is estimated at $30 billion. According to Grand View Research, the global legal cannabis market, which includes medicinal and recreational THC, was at $9.1 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at the rate of 26.7% from 2021 to 2028.
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