Designing a product that patients and consumers will enjoy takes more than a pleasing the palate to be a success. We research and apply well documented science and our own proprietary methods to make the products we design perform in a powerful and measured manner for the cannabis retail and medical industries.
These are the five core technologies we apply to our formulations*:
A) enQap: Liposomal encapsulation
B) QrossDerm: Transdermal delivery
C) nanoTeQ: Nano-Particle technology
D) eQuiLib: Supports the reduction of THC induced anxiety
E) Qerpene: Terpene-Based Formulations
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.
Protecting the cannabis extract through encapsulation:
The process of encapsulation involves surrounding the cannabis extract elements with a phospholipid creating a liposome protective barrier around these elements.
enQap is the result of this applied research where nutritionally sound liposomal encapsulation meets cannabis.
Delivery of the full medicinal encapsulated cannabis plant spectrum in a perfectly metered and lab tested product line.
By encapsulating the medical cannabis extract we are able to preserve more of the plant’s components and cannabinoids. The spectrum of cannabinoids in a specific cannabis strain is known as its cannabinoid profile. Most of these compounds are not psychoactive, yet they synergize together in complex ways. For example, the psychoactivity of THC is modified by interactions with other cannabinoids such as CBD and THCV. These cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptor sites on cells in the human body, and there may be other receptor sites that we are only now discovering. The CB1 receptor sites are found especially in the nervous system and also in the reproductive system, and the CB2 receptor sites are found mostly in the immune system, especially in the spleen.
THC and other cannabinoids found in cannabis are called phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids from plants. Our bodies also produce their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, also known as AEA, short for N-arachidonoylethanolamine. Another endocannabinoid is 2-AG or 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. 2-AG is present in human mothers’ milk. The endocannabinoids function as intercellular messengers, but their mode of action tends to be more localized, and they are lipid-soluble, unlike neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
In addition, the complex set of interactions between the cannabinoids is further affected by the presence of a wide spectrum of terpenes found in cannabis plants.
Terpenes, also referred to as terpenoids, are a class of chemical compounds that are present in many of the plants we eat, and which contribute to their scent or taste. Large quantities of terpenes are present in cannabis flowering tops. For example, the smells of citrus fruits are from terpenes like limonene, a common terpene in cannabis, which has anti-cancer properties, and is helpful against depression. Pine trees have a piney smell due to terpenes such as alpha-pinene, also present in cannabis. Alpha-pinene helps memory, and acts as a bronchodilator. Mangoes contain beta-myrcene, a terpene also found in cannabis in large quantities, which synergizes with THC and is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.
Flavonoids are polyphenols found in plants and constituents of many foods we eat. “Preliminary research indicates that flavonoids may modify allergens, viruses, and carcinogens, and so may be biological “response modifiers.” In vitro studies show that flavonoids also may have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer activities.”
Flavonoids act as antioxidants in the human body, and they may help in the prevention of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
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.
Since the skin offers an accessible and convenient site for the administration of formulations we researched and developed QrossDerm. This allows us to better deliver our formulations transdermally across the outer protective layer of the skin called the “Stratum Corneum” the passes through the deeper epidermis and dermis without the formulation accumulating in the dermal layer. When formula reaches the dermal layer, it becomes available for systemic absorption via the dermal microcirculation. This allows a safe delivery method of the formula into the blood stream.
The benefits of QrossDerm include:
It is non-toxic and non-irritant in nature.
A painless method of delivering our formulations systemically by applying the topical formulation onto intact and healthy skin.
It can provide a non-invasive alternative to parenteral routes, thus circumventing issues such as needle phobia.
A large surface area of skin and ease of access allows many placement options on the skin for transdermal absorption.
The pharmacokinetic profiles of drugs are more uniform with fewer peaks minimizing the risk of toxic side effects.
The patient or consumer can easily continue a scheduled use timeline due to the reduction of dosing frequencies due to it’s simple application.
Suitable for patients and consumers who are unconscious or nauseous.
nanoTeQ increases the bioavailability of our formulations by creating our stable nanoemulsions with a uniform droplet ranges from 100-400 nm micrometer (μm). As we continue to research and develop this process these sizes will be standardized for each formulation.
The benefits of nanoTeQ include:
It is non-toxic and non-irritant in nature.
improved formulation stability.
The nano sized droplets, having greater surface area, provide greater absorption.
It helps to solubilize lipophilic formulations such as cannabis oil.
Because of the small uniform size, nanoparticles are taken in by cells where larger particles would be rejected and cleared from the body
If desired, it allows certain elements of our formulation’s molecules to cross the Blood Brain Barrier ("BBB”).
People experience THC in a variety of ways from the common "euphoric feeling" to its anxiety induced counterpart. The effects of THC are connected to the glutamate levels and receptors in various part of the brain*. For example, THC reduces glutamate levels in the PFC at low doses and raises glutamate levels at high doses.These opposite effects on glutamate may be due to THC inhibiting glutamate-releasing neurons at low doses, but inhibiting GABA-releasing neurons at higher doses.
eQuiLib supports the natural response to anxiety by focusing on the GABA-b receptor. Activation and support of the GABA-b receptor inhibits glutamate release, without sufficient GABA levels glutamate release can be enhanced resulting in anxiety.
The benefits of eQuiLib include:
Utilizes safe and natural ingredients
- Utilizes plantrica's enQap and nanoTeQ formulations/technologies to increase bioavailability
- Based on well documented research, ingredients and processes
* There are at least 3 distinct brain areas where THC activation of the CB1 receptor can affect anxiety:
Amygdala: An evolutionarily old part of the brain which processes sensory information and senses danger. These signals are sent to other parts of the brain for further processing. In the amygdala THC causes anxiety at any dose.
Hippocampus: The hippocampus gives context to fear and anxiety signals. In the hippocampus, THC reduces anxiety at low doses, but increases anxiety at higher doses.
Prefrontal cortex (PFC): The PFC is a newer area of the brain which exerts “executive control” over emotions and behavior. When functioning properly, it can dampen anxiety signals sent by the amygdala. In the PFC and THC reduces anxiety at low doses, but increases anxiety at higher doses.
Terpenes offer some of the greatest benefits for a formulation due to research showing their sedative* energetic properties. While some terpene profiles are formulated for topical use we focus primarily on ingested terpene formulations supported by our proprietary processes and products.
One example is a class of sedatives called benzodiazepines work through the GABA-a receptors. They can bind to a distinct receptor site and act as positive allosteric modulators of GABA (increases activation of the receptor by GABA. There is a variety of evidence that some terpenes exert their effect through the same benzodiazepine binding site of GABA-a receptors.
We openly admit that much research and human studies are needed to truly understand and properly administer terpenes for medical use. Given the depth of data still needed when combining ingestible cannabinoids and terpenes profiles for a wide variety of medical uses we will continue to explore and research this emerging sector of the market through our own efforts and other terpene specific experts while responsibly formulating for our Qerpene profiles.
Much like our eQuiLib formulation where we utilize the GABA receptors for terpene formulations we focus on the GABA-a and GABA-b receptors by increasing or suppressing their activity through the plantrica proprietary terpene profiles.
Qerpene supports the GABA-a receptor by supporting its activity increasing the sedative properties this creates.
The benefits of Qerpene include:
Natural plant based terpene formulations
Utilizes safe and natural ingredients
- Utilizes plantrica's enQap and nanoTeQ formulations/technologies to increase bioavailability
Reduced physical activity: This is the most classic sedative effect, akin to the “couch-lock” described for some cannabis strains.
Hypnotic: This is the ability to induce sleep. Sedatives may both reduce the time to fall asleep as well as induce a longer period of sleep.
Anxiolytic: Many sedatives will reduce anxiety.
Anticonvulsant: Due to inhibiting neuronal activity, sedatives can reduce the frequency or intensity of seizures.
enQap, QrossDerm nanoTeQ, Qerpene and eQuiLib proprietary processes and/or formulations by plantrica
enQap, QrossDerm, nanoTeQ, eQiuLib and Qerpene are trademarks of plantrica
Why the "Q"? We obsessively Question and breakdown the components of our processes and formulations in the endless pursuit of Quality. The Q is our nod towards this initiative.
*The statements made regarding these formulations and processes have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The efficacy of these formulations and processes has not been confirmed by the FDA or any medical research. These formulations and processes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.