As the market for orally consumed cannabis products grows, Nu is attracting an increasing amount of attention. It has already developed highly regarded ingestible consumer products such as tinctures and gel caps. Phoenix Tears is a popular product among those battling cancer. Nu is now working to isolate and identify cannabinoids and other, secondary metabolites that have medicinal values. The goal is to develop new products to address various ailments and conditions. A resource centre, where patients can get one-on-one consultations and access to a cannabis library, is also on the horizon. Nu recently answered some questions for Herbal Dispatch:What is the Nu brand currently working on from a scientific standpoint in cannabis product development? Why is this important and how does it benefit the consumer?
The quality of the products Nu develops is dependent on the quality of our plants in production. Tissue culture methodologies that enhance the growth of the plants and maintains the vigor of them as annuals are always being improved upon.
Plants in tissue culture will last indefinitely and are often superior quality to their traditionally grown counterparts. Plants grown in a tissue culture environment are genetically identical to each other, ensuring more consistent results from each harvest. The introduction of this system means customers will never lose a strain they are attached to, nor should they experience a decrease in quality from purchasing older strains.
As far as actual product development, a big focus is on developing various forms of orally consumed cannabis products. We have already developed several orally ingestible products for the consumer market such as gel caps, tinctures and Phoenix Tears. These products were developed specifically for consumers with specific ailments looking for medicinal benefits. All our current products are based on two valuable cannabinoids: THC and CBD.
Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring, medicinally important chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that many believe provide effective relief from an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. They work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies produce naturally, called endocannabinoids, which maintain internal health and stability of the immune and central nervous systems.
Currently, Nu is in the process of developing several orally ingested cannabis products incorporating other medicinally important cannabinoids such as CBN, THCV, and others. By developing cannabinoid-incorporated products for oral consumption, medical patients will be able to easily ingest these natural compounds for health benefits, enabling them to avoid ingesting via combustion or taking synthetic pharmaceuticals.
When it comes to the Nu brand, what are the scientific considerations that go into product development?
Several critical factors are taken into consideration during product development. The process always starts with using superior genetics grown under strict, scientifically based regimes.
All our cannabinoid extracts are obtained using high quality (properly analyzed and cleaned) raw materials. Additionally, we are very careful to ensure that extremely hygienic conditions are maintained during extraction and preparation of concentrates.
“Each batch of concentrates are analyzed for cannabinoid levels and other impurities. Only qualified extracts are used for product formulations.”
Bio-availability is another important factor we consider during formulation. We must determine that there is enough of the necessary material for each product. A tissue culture system helps with this consideration. A tissue culture system that can produce large numbers of plants for a long period of time, without any variation occurring within the genotype, is a prioritized avenue of development for Nu.
Stability of the product and the dosage of appropriate cannabinoids incorporated in the product are other critically evaluated aspects in the product development process. Getting the dosage just right for the medical consumer is a big concern, particularly those who are new to cannabis and unsure as to what they are ingesting and how much to take.
Looking ahead, what do you predict will be the next big breakthrough in cannabis scientific research?
It is well known that cannabinoid extracts are very effective for several health-related problems in humans, sometimes even better than Western medicines. These applications and benefits are highly recognized in traditional folk medicine. One or several cannabinoids and some other important plant secondary metabolites are responsible for these health benefits. However, these compounds (or combinations of compounds) have yet to be clearly defined. Isolation and identification of cannabinoids and other secondary metabolites which have medicinal values will be a main focus of our new research. New findings will then be used to help develop products to potentially address various ailments and conditions.
Additionally, our cannabis research will be increasingly focused on the genetics of the plants. There are groups whose mission is to sequence the whole genome and others who are developing methods for fast DNA finger printing to screen plants and accurately determine the strain. Breakthroughs in the understanding of the genetics of cannabis will improve consistency in production and speed up strain procurement and development. The ability to tailor strains for targeted and optimum cannabinoid production and resistance to diseases using in-depth knowledge of cannabis genetics will continue to be very beneficial to medicinal cannabis users going forward.
What is the most noteworthy aspect of your proposed cannabis processing and research facility that will help further set Nu apart from the competition?
The proposed cannabis processing and research facility for Nu will help further set itself apart from other competitors in three ways:
1) The research facility will be well equipped with state of the art scientific instruments, allowing our scientists to conduct advanced research for the benefit of cannabis consumers. The facility will enable us to continue to lead and be a pioneer in the cannabis industry in Canada, offering premium, natural, effective, safe and consistent cannabis-based medicinal products to patients they can trust.
2) Our business model will continue to focus on connecting our growers, processors and scientific researchers, allowing them to collaborate, coordinate ideas, techniques and knowledge effectively. Our inter-disciplinary organization will continue to facilitate a creative and knowledgeable workforce in the cannabis industry.
3) Our ongoing research initiatives will allow us to continue to expand on our tissue culture methodology. As highlighted above, our work in this area will allow strains to be kept indefinitely, providing a great system to breed plants, and maintain multiple strains in the facility at one time without utilizing significant space and over using resources. Having a reserve of genotypes in tissue culture will allow our plant technicians to transfer a strain in to production whenever it is needed, instead of rotating through a few strains cycling mother plants. Tissue culture allows rotation of many different strains benefitting our producers, consumers, and researchers alike.
As for the future, we are looking to develop a patient resource centre, where patients can come in for a one-on-one consultation, or peruse our library to learn about cannabis in general and about how it can potentially help improve their life.
As NU continues to distinguish itself as brand whose products are developed through sound scientific research, it will help cannabis gain the respect it deserves as a legitimate treatment for various medical conditions.
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