Pharmacokinetic investigation of synthetic cannabidiol oral formulations in healthy volunteers

Dvora Izgelov, Elyad Davidson, Dinorah Barasch, Aviva Regev, Abraham J. Domb, Amnon Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Recent advances in the research of medicinal cannabis has placed the non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) at the front of scientific research. The reasons behind this popularity is the compound's therapeutic properties, alongside a safe profile of administration lacking addictive properties such as euphoric state of mind and a wide dosing range. Oral administration of CBD is challenging due to poor solubility in the gastro-intestinal system and susceptibility to extensive first pass metabolism. As a result, the practice in clinic and investigational trials is to administer cannabinoids in edible oils or oil-based solutions. Nonetheless, reported pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids and CBD in particular are not uniform among research groups and are affected by the vehicle of administration. The purpose of the work presented here is to investigate oral absorption processes of synthetic CBD when given in different oral formulations in healthy volunteers. The study design was a three way, blind, cross-over single administration study of 12 healthy male volunteers. CBD was administered in powder form, dissolved in sesame oil and in self-nano-emulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS). Administration of CBD in lipid-based vehicles resulted in a significant increase in Cmax and AUC of CBD, as compared to powder form. Overall plasma exposure of CBD did not differ between sesame oil vehicle and the SNEDDS formulation. However, administration of CBD in pure oil resulted in two absorption behaviors of early and delayed absorption among subjects, as opposed to SNEDDS platform that resulted in a uniform early absorption profile. Results of this trial demonstrate the importance of solubilization process of lipophilic drugs such as CBD and demonstrated the ability of the nano formulation to achieve a reliable, predictable PK profile of the drug. These findings offer a standardized oral formulation for the delivery of cannabinoids and contribute data for the growing field of cannabinoid pharmacokinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


This paper is a part of Dvora Izgelov's Ph.D. dissertation. Prof. Amnon Hoffman and Prof. Abraham J. Domb are affiliated with the David R. Bloom Center for Pharmacy and the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research. This research was supported by PureForm Global, Inc. LA California US. Dr. Alina Nemirovski from the Mass Spectrometry Unit of the Institute for Drug Research, HUJI, contributed to the analytical analysis. This research was supported by PureForm Global, Inc. LA California US.

FundersFunder number
Mass Spectrometry Unit of the Institute for Drug Research
PureForm Global, Inc.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem


    • Cannabidiol
    • Clinical trial
    • Oral bioavailability
    • Pharmacokinetic study
    • SNEDDS
    • Sesame oil


    Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacokinetic investigation of synthetic cannabidiol oral formulations in healthy volunteers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this