enQap: Liposomal encapsulation means quicker and consistent absorption using a protected sphere around the cannabis and terpene active profiles.
Encapsulation is the technology of true medical cannabis-extract liposomal encapsulation applied to medicinal cannabis. We are at the forefront of this pharmaceutical research and have applied well-documented research on liposome encapsulation with our own proprietary methods called enQap to potentially increase the bio-availability while protecting the medicinal components of cannabis. enQap based products offer one of the most effective medicinal cannabis ingestible delivery methods in the market.
What are Liposomes?
Liposomes are bilayer (double-layer), liquid-filled bubbles made from phospholipids. Over 50 years ago, researchers discovered that these spheres could be filled with therapeutic agents and used to protect and deliver these agents into the body and even into specific cells of the body.
The bilayer structure of liposomes is nearly identical to the bilayer construction of the cell membranes that surround each of the cells in the human body. This occurs because of the unique composition of phospholipids. We utilize liposome encapsulation technologies to form a double-layered Phospholipid barrier we call enQap. The intent of this application is to increase the bio-availability of the medical grade cannabis extract for the patient when ingesting the encapsulated product.
What are Phospholipids?
Phospholipids are a class of lipids that are a major component of all cell membranes as they can form lipid bilayers. Most phospholipids contain a diglyceride, a phosphate group, and a simple organic molecule such as choline. The first phospholipid identified as such in biological tissues was lecithin, or phosphatidylcholine, in the egg yolk, in 1847. The structure of the phospholipid molecule generally consists of hydrophobic tails and a hydrophilic head. Purified phospholipids are produced commercially and have found applications in nanotechnology and materials science.
Amphipathic character: The 'head' is hydrophilic (attracted to water), while the hydrophobic 'tails' are repelled by water and are forced to aggregate. The hydrophilic head contains the negatively charged phosphate group, and glycerol. The hydrophobic tail usually consists of 2 long fatty acid hydrocarbon chains. When placed in water, phospholipids form a variety of structures depending on the specific properties of the phospholipid. These specific properties allow phospholipids to play an important role in the phospholipid bilayer. In biological systems, the phospholipids often occur with other molecules (e.g., proteins. Glycolipids, sterols) in a bilayer such as a cell membrane. Lipid bilayers occur when hydrophobic tails line up against one another, forming a membrane of hydrophilic heads on both sides facing the water.
Such movement can be described by the fluid mosaic model that describes the membrane as a mosaic of lipid molecules that act as a solvent for all the substances and proteins within it, so proteins and lipid molecules are then free to diffuse laterally through the lipid matrix and migrate over the membrane. Sterols contribute to membrane fluidity by hindering the packing together of phospholipids.
Phospholipids are the primary building blocks of cellular membranes. These membranes are the "containers" that hold the living matter within each cell. They also give definition, shape, and protection to many of the substructures (organelles within the cell like the nucleus and mitochondria) within our cells.
In addition to functioning as a protective barrier this membrane provides protection from chemicals and pathogens that can derail and/or destroy the medicinal elements of the cannabis extract. While performing this function, phospholipid membranes are subject to constant attack from free radicals (oxidants), pathogens, and toxins within the patient’s system.
In order to repair the structural damage caused by the continual barrage of toxic substances and pathogens, the human body requires a constant supply of phospholipids. The body can synthesize some phospholipid compounds but others must be supplied by the diet. Phospholipids that can only be obtained through dietary intake are called "essential phospholipids” such as phosphatidylcholine.
When born, up to 90% of cellular membranes are made up of phosphatidylcholine. As we age this percentage can decrease to about 10%. By applying enQap to the cannabis extract the patient also benefits by the inclusion of some of these essential phospholipids.
Phosphatidylcholine as well as its essential fatty acid and choline components is required for many vital functions in the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. PC and its components are needed for the synthesis of important messenger molecules called prostaglandins which, among other functions, regulate the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Choline is required for the synthesis of intracellular messenger molecules including the neurotransmitters that allow nerve cells to communicate with muscles and each other, and are essential for proper heart and brain function.
What does being Bio-Available mean?
Until the medicinal components of the cannabis extract actually passes from the digestive system into the bloodstream, it has little or no value. Although bioavailability is only a partial measure of the body’s ability to medicinally benefit from the cannabis extract, this number quantifies the amount of a substance that successfully enters the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the extract must cross cellular membranes before it can be of real benefit.
For example when all of a nutrient is absorbed into the bloodstream, as in a direct intravenous injection, the bioavailability is 100%. If only a quarter of an ingested nutrient is absorbed, the bioavailability is 25%.
The process of uptake from the digestive system varies greatly depending on the extract and nutrient. When internally ingested, medicinal cannabis extract may be absorbed in different phases of digestion. The preservation of the extract during these phases is one component of enQap.
What happens to all non-absorbed medical cannabis extract? It moves into the colon where it is excreted. Once medical cannabis extract enters the bloodstream, an active transport process is needed for the nutrient to move across any cellular membrane. This process can be just as restrictive as the one that initially limited the extract’s entrance into the bloodstream. Much of the medical cannabis extract that is not actively transported into the cells will be filtered out by the kidneys and passed in the urine.
Liposome encapsulation overcomes all these bioavailability and cellular uptake restrictions because liposomes do not rely on any other carrier transport system. Instead, due to their size and composition, they are able to passively absorb through the intestinal wall and through cellular membranes. As a result, liposome-encapsulated medical cannabis extracts provide a greatly enhanced bioavailability (delivery into the bloodstream) and greatly improved delivery into individual cells and Cannabinoid receptors.