The doctors behind the revolutionary CanChew products offered some very enlightening responses to questions posed about the unique delivery methods and benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD). Medical Marijuana, Inc’s (MJNA.PK), PhytoSPHERE Systems and its intellectual property holder, CannaVest Corp (OTC: CANV) offer numerous products that contain CBD and the synergies of these companies allow for their collaboration to benefit customer across all product lines.
This unedited transcript is provided as information reflecting the doctor’s opinions and observations in a discussion format. Enjoy!
Why is gum the up-and-coming delivery system for nutraceuticals and medicine?
[Philip] I’m an oral and maxillofacial surgeon; I used to be a oral and cranio-maxillofacial surgeon, very involved with the teeth, the jaw—the maxilla and the mandible. It’s known that chewing is very good to stimulate brain activity. The first impulse when you’re born is to start sucking—you look for the nipple for food. Oral behavior is induced by the brain and is inducing brain activity in reverse. Putting things in a chewing gum—because chewing gum is a pleasant thing to enjoy by chewing, the taste, the feeling of it—incorporating nutraceutexaminericals or medication is an idea which is not brand new, but in relation to cannabinoids we are introducing to chewing gum…it’s completely new.
[Lekhram] You get the fastest absorption, and faster uptake of the active ingredient which, in our case is cannabidiol, by the oral mucosal membrane. So a fast release on the indication you are targeting on.
[George] If I can add, also, the regular path of medication—if you take medication through the oral route—much of it will be disintegrated and destroyed by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and also by liver metabolism, so you will lose quite a bit of the active ingredient. As you know, if somebody has a heart attack, the first thing they tell you when you call 911 is put an aspirin under your tongue. This is because, as Lekhram mentioned, the capillary bed is quite well developed in the oral mucosa and the medication can enter immediately into the systemic circulation without passing through liver metabolism, going through the stomach, and thus, degradation. That’s why the oral mucosal route of introduction of medications…as far as the cannabinoids are concerned is superior. We’re not the first ones to consider the oral/ transmucosal form. There is also a spray on the market produced by GW Pharmaceuticals and is FDA approved, which contains 27mg THC and 25mg CBD per ml. But the problem with this medication is that the delivery method… the pharmaceutical ingredients are dissolved in alcohol, and alcohol can be quite irritating to the oral mucosa. Many patients who are on chemotherapy or undergoing external radiation, especially radiation within the area of the head and neck, they end up with xerostomia which is “dry mouth syndrome”. So if you’re putting alcohol on the burning mucosa, it’s not the most pleasant experience they’ll have. Also, by chewing gum you’re actually inducing salivary production in patients who are on chemotherapy and these are most of the people who are taking cannabinoids.
[L] The teeth and mouth by chewing the production of saliva and cleaning in itself.
For people with head/neck/face pain, will the act of chewing the gum aggravate their conditions?
[P] It will probably have the opposite effect. Chewing motion is an exercise, so people who have some pain within the head and neck—if it’s related to occlusal problems…meaning chewing problems—it’s not related directly to chewing, but to bruxing—which is squeezing their teeth at night when it’s beyond their conscious control. If anything, by chewing the gum you will offload these areas of pressure—such as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)—and you will exercise the muscles of facial expression, which are involved in these syndromes. Again, the act of chewing, if anything…that’s rehab. That’s an exercise, and it should improve things—not make them worse.
How did you determine the percentage of CBD for CanChew?
[L] According to the literature, you will get a type of accumulation of CBD concentration in your blood when we compare to other products on the market. One of them is GW Pharmaceuticals, they have 27mg of THC and 25mg of CBD per ml into their product. But you will need, during the day between six to ten dosages. When we look at tablets that are out on the market in the United States of America, there are concentrations between 5mg and 10mg. So, we have decided to formulate the chewing gum which is now on the market with 10mg of CBD and use between, I would say, between two to six of these chewing gums during the day in order to get that accumulation of CBD concentration into your blood level. What will happen to the CBD? We have two pain receptors in the brain: CB1 and CB2 receptors. They are all, I would say, interacting with CBD. So, you will need one or maybe two chewing gums that you have to chew during the week every day. Due to the accumulation of the CBD into your blood level, you will get the concentration and you will not experience anymore the pain feeling for which indication you are going to use the product.
[G] Another benefit of CBD and cannabinoids in general is that they’re not only centrally acting. As Lekhram just mentioned, they act on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are totally different from the mu-receptors, which the opioids like morphine and its derivatives work on. So, it acts on totally different receptors than the ones the opioids are acting on, but it also has peripheral analgesic properties, so they don’t act only centrally, but also peripherally… In a way, [CanChew] will compete with products that are a combination of opioids and NSAIDs like Vicodin and so on, because we know they have two active ingredients; one active ingredient is the centrally-acting thing for pain, for mu- receptors in the brain, and the other one is peripherally-acting, which is the anti-inflammatory compound. Here we have both of these in our product, without the side-effects of the NSAIDs and the opioids.
Is it true that CBD works in tandem with a variety of prescription drugs—especially pain-related drugs?
[G] Well, they act on different receptors as I just mentioned. The pain meds, analgesics that are available on the world market right now, they are single API or multi-combination drugs. They are either NSAIDs or opioids or a combination between NSAIDs and opioids. But the problem with these drugs is that they all have severe side-effects. We all know the story with Celebrex and then Vioxx, for example, and most recently Vicodin. And we know that Vicodin extra strength used to contain 750mg of acetaminophen, and now it’s reduced to 350mg because it is a known fact now that if you consume more than 1,000mg of acetaminophen, you can actually have some pretty detrimental effects on one’s liver. We know that the patients with chronic pain are consuming medication continuously, so they’re taking not one pill per day, but five, six, ten—and so on. They can then potentially end up with liver damage, gastro-intestinal or cerebro-vascular bleeding, etc. So, all of these problems are totally avoided in the medication we have invented.
Could you talk about the “entourage effect,” by which the use of opioids and NSAIDs can be reduced when combined with CBD?
[G] Yes, well, it’s interesting you mentioned it because probably you’re aware that we’ve done market research where we sent our products to the first couple hundred people with chronic pain who subscribed. And many of these patients were chronic users of analgesics and actually wrote that their experiences were such that they have weaned themselves [off] the opiates they were taking before, which is , I think, a major achievement because if you’re working on Wall Street or you’re driving a bus or whatever, and you have taken opioids, obviously your mind is clouded and you’re prone to mistakes. We have avoided all of these effects; we have even avoided the “high”, if you will, that is caused by THC by not having THC in this particular formulation. And as far as the cumulative effect with other medications, yes of course, because they work on different receptors. So if you have other medications which work on different receptors, and you are also taking our product, which works on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, of course you have a cumulative effect. But the fact that it is possible to wean patients completely from opiates and NSAIDs, that is our ultimate goal in formulating such medications now and in the future.
That’s very impressive. What is the status on MedChewRX that and how does it differ from CanChew?
[L] The MedChewRx product is in stage of clinical development. We have several partners here in Europe; amongst others, a factory that has FDA approval to produce chewing gum under GMP requirements, which amounts as a drug. So that’s continuing. We have different development partners. We have the Free University [Vrije Universiteit] in Amsterdam with whom we already have had meetings… they are open and excited to start with studies on multiple sclerosis patients who are suffering from chronic pain. We have also identified one center in Boston in the United States of America who will join the program. The objective is to start with administration of the GMP produced chewing gum on patients according to FDA/EMA regulations and subsequently apply for registration of MedChewRx as a drug. So the preparation work has already been started for three months now and continuing, and hopefully by Q4 this year, we will start producing the first pharmaceutical samples which could be used for the clinical study in patients with multiple sclerosis.
There has been research done on CBD that indicates it works well against MRSA. Is there any chance that there would be a resistance—like with traditional antibiotics?
[G] Well, it is totally different avenue—antibiotics—from the drugs which we’re really concentrating at this point. It is known that CBD has multiple positive effects from epilepsy to non-estrogen receptor breast cancer. So, there are a lot of indications for CBD, and perhaps that’s why our initial product is for general well-being—it’s not necessarily involved with only pain or only multiple sclerosis, etc. I mean, the effects of CBD are well known and, actually, every day we read something new because there is quite extensive research going on - on the effects of CBD on multitude of diseases—for skin cancers, for seizure disorders, and so on and so forth. We think there will be much more data coming about effects of CBD, and that’s why we have produced CanChew as a general wellness product rather than specifically designed to combat specific diseases. So, that’s why I think that the public should be aware of the positive effects of CBD known as of today, and also to realize that there will probably be many more discovered in the near future.
Is there any additional information that we haven’t covered that you’d like to communicate today?
[L] We can make a comparison with other medications containing THC on the market already like Marinol and Dronabinol, Sativex… they’re running multiple diverse studies, and you can look into the internet to see what is going on with them. To answer your question dosage… about how much CBD is in the chewing gum… this is based on literature and concepts that are also based on experimental studies that are going on.
Why would a healthy person chew CanChew?
[L] In general, there are multiple effects attributed to cannibidiol (CBD) that is against cancer in general, and fighting inflammation…it’s written [all over] the internet. Cannabidiol is helpful against development of any cancer, especially the breast cancer and in general against pain.
[G] Speaking about general well-being, CBD possesses excellent antioxidant properties. Cannabinoids contain terpenes, they contain essential amino acids, and so on. It is very important for the general well being. It’s just like if you’re taking multi-vitamins—not for any particular reason, but for general well-being, the same applies to CanChew. It has CBD in its purest possible form. It’s not synthetic, it’s organic, and as I mentioned before there are multiple, multiple benefits from its use. Also, we know that the lifestyle of the contemporary man or woman is quite active, and active lifestyle leads to aches and pains and stress and fatigue and general burnout. In all of these processes, CBD has positive effects. That’s why this chewing gum is recommended for everybody not only to treat the particular symptoms, but also to improve the general well-being.
This information was presented in context to provide insight into the minds of those on the forefront of medical cannabis development.