Gems: An Introduction to Sublingual Science
By Noel Palmer, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Evolab & CBx Sciences
We’ve spoken in the past about how cannabis can be administered in many different forms. Traditionally, pulmonary ingestion (smoking or vaporizing – via the lungs) is what most people associate with cannabis. At Evolab we have spent most of the last decade developing cannabis specific vaporization products that many of you are probably already familiar with.
However, there are numerous reasons for someone to consider other administration forms for either therapeutic and/or recreational use. For example, someone might want to consider a topical cannabis product (like Intensive Salve) for localized muscle or joint pain, and someone else might want to consider an internally ingestible product for prolonged effects (traditionally, this would be a brownie or gummy bear).
A few key phrases one might want to consider with cannabis therapeutics are ‘systemic’ and ‘localized’ – and the type of administration will dictate whether a product is systemic or localized in its effects. Systemic delivery requires blood-drug interactions in which the blood transports a drug throughout a body in a systemic fashion. The systemic form of administration can be achieved when a drug diffuses directly via blood vessels (such as in the lungs) or when a drug is eaten and diffuses into the blood via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The main difference between systemic delivery via pulmonary vs GI is the rate of effect onset – whereas the effects of cannabis are noticed rapidly with pulmonary ingestion (minutes or seconds) whereas the effects of cannabis are noticed within hours when GI tract is the mode of delivery.
Generally speaking, products that are systemic by nature would be flower, concentrates, distillates, edibles, and sublinguals. In contrast, products that would be considered ‘localized’ by nature would be topical products such as infused oils and salves.
Today we are going to be addressing systemic sublingual delivery in the context of our newest product - CBx Gems.
What is sublingual delivery? From the latin ‘under the tongue,’ sublingual administration refers to the delivery of an active substance into the bloodstream through diffusion in the oral mucosa.
The oral mucosa is the thin layer of tissue inside the mouth that is composed of various layers of cells that are designed to protect, give sensation, allow secretion and thermal regulation. While the oral cavity is rich in blood vessels – it can be difficult for compounds such as cannabinoids to diffuse through the oral mucosa into these blood vessels – allowing for systemic delivery. The oral mucosa is a good candidate for systemic delivery in contrast to the epidermis – where the blood vessels are better protected. Thus – systemic delivery of cannabinoids via the oral mucosa is something for cannabis patients and recreational users to consider, as the precedent has been set with other sublingual drugs such as nitroglycerin, loratadine and mirtazapine.
Gems were developed as a sublingual product that’s designed for rapid onset systemic delivery through the oral mucosa membrane. This product is designed for those looking for an alternative to pulmonary or GI ingestion – but want a rapid onset.
Currently, we are producing Gems with complementary ingredients that are designed to enhance the experience. With the Meditate Gem – we include the unique cannabinoid combination of CBN, THC and CBD all at 2.5 mg each per Gem, alongside a low therapeutic dose of Melatonin and GABA. With the Amplify Gem, we include the cannabinoid combination of CBD and THC each at 2.5mg per Gem – and in this product we add caffeine to enhance the Amplify experience.
As we develop new cutting edge products, we will continue to leverage proven pharmaceutical delivery techniques to ensure that consumers can enjoy the most effective and reliable dosing possible.