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Nano-Emulsion

Le Herbe makes the best THC nano-emulsions on the planet. They contain high purity cannabis extracts that are dispersed in an aqueous medium. The oil-in-water (O/W) droplets are coated by a hydrophilic emulsifier to form a nano sized emulsion with THC molecules. Nanotechnology, carrier oils, and the nature of the emulsifier play a critical role in determining functional attributes of cannabinoids. The emulsifier should be carefully selected for each product that contains nano-emulsions like THC infused beverages, vegan gummies, and nano edibles.

Nano-emulsions have been researched and developed by Le Herbe for their ability to:

  • Encapsulate, protect, and release cannabinoids like THC
  • Modify rheological, optical, and stability properties
  • Alter the gastrointestinal fate of cannabinoids like THC

Nano-emulsions with THC contain the smallest particles of all colloidal delivery systems. They are thermodynamically stable so their structure should not change during storage unless there is an alteration to conditions such as packaging, temperature, or composition. Structurally, the particles in nano-emulsions have a hydrophobic core and a hydrophilic shell. The core is formed from the non-polar tails of the surfactants, whereas the shell is formed by their polar head groups. Non-polar bioactives, such as cannabinoids like THC, can be solubilized within the hydrophobic cores, provided they are not too large. Keep in mind that nano-emulsions have limited loading capacity due to the small size of their hydrophobic cores.

Various processing methods are available for nano-emulsion production, which can be divided into high or low energy methods. High energy methods employ specially designed homogenizers that subject the oil and water phases to intense disruptive forces to break them up and create small droplets, including high-shear mixers, colloid mills, high-pressure valve homogenizers, microfluidizers, and sonicators. A hydrophilic emulsifier is usually added to the water phase prior to homogenization at a level high enough to cover all the droplets created. Careful selection of the emulsifier is critical for the formation of emulsions with the required performance. Emulsions can also be produced using low energy methods, which utilize the fact that tiny oil droplets can be spontaneously formed from certain types of surfactant, oil, and water phases when the system composition or temperature is altered in a specific fashion. Two of the most widely employed low energy methods for this purpose are the spontaneous emulsification (SE) and phase inversion temperature (PIT) approaches.

The physicochemical properties and functional attributes of a nano-emulsion are largely determined by particle properties, such as composition, size, electric charge, aggregation state, physical state, and interfacial composition. A researcher or manufacturer can therefore tailor the properties of the particles in a nano-emulsion so as to obtain the physicochemical or physiological properties required for a specific application. Typically, nano-emulsions contain a range of different droplet sizes, and therefore, their dimensions are characterized in terms of a particle size distribution. In many cases, it is more convenient to report the particle dimensions in terms of a mean droplet diameter and polydispersity index. The mean droplet diameter can be defined in a number of different ways, with the most common being the number, surface, and volume weighted values. However, other values are sometimes used such as the intensity-weighted (Z-average) diameter that is determined by dynamic light scattering. It is always important to specify the type of mean diameter that is used when reporting particle size data on nano-emulsions since their values can be very different depending on the width of the distribution.

There are many advantages of using nano-emulsions as drug delivery systems. Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions, which consist of small oil droplets dispersed in water, are the most versatile for incorporating hydrophobic cannabinoids into the majority of foods and beverages. Le Herbe recommends using natural surfactants, such as caseins or saponins, to formulate nano-emulsions. This type of colloidal dispersion can be categorized in terms of the mean particle diameter as either a nano-emulsion < 100 nm or conventional emulsion > 100 nm. O/W nano-emulsions, as opposed to water-in-oil (W/O), are often used as templates to form other types of structures like amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs). These non-crystalline particles encapsulate nano-emulsions via spray drying and are converted into a dried powder. The amorphous particles can be used dry or redispersed in an aqueous medium to form a nano-emulsion. Le Herbe has shown that cannabinoids can be successfully encapsulated within nano-emulsions and is the gold standard for THC infused beverages, vegan gummies, and nano edibles.

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