Piperine-pro-nanolipospheres as a novel oral delivery system of cannabinoids: Pharmacokinetic evaluation in healthy volunteers in comparison to buccal spray administration

Irina Cherniakov, Dvora Izgelov, Dinorah Barasch, Elyad Davidson, Abraham J. Domb, Amnon Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nowadays, therapeutic indications for cannabinoids, specifically Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are widening. However, the oral consumption of the molecules is very limited due to their highly lipophilic nature that leads to poor solubility at the aqueous environment. Additionally, THC and CBD are prone to extensive first pass mechanisms. These absorption obstacles render the molecules with low and variable oral bioavailability. To overcome these limitations we designed and developed the advanced pro-nanolipospheres (PNL) formulation. The PNL delivery system is comprised of a medium chain triglyceride, surfactants, a co-solvent and the unique addition of a natural absorption enhancer: piperine. Piperine was selected due to its distinctive inhibitory properties affecting both Phase I and Phase II metabolism. This constellation self emulsifies into nano particles that entrap the cannabinoids and the piperine in their core and thus improve their solubility while piperine and the other PNL excipients inhibit their intestinal metabolism. Another clear advantage of the formulation is that its composition of materials is approved for human consumption. The safe nature of the excipients enabled their direct evaluation in humans. In order to evaluate the pharmacokinetic profile of the THC-CBD-piperine-PNL formulation, a two-way crossover, single administration clinical study was conducted. The trial comprised of 9 healthy volunteers under fasted conditions. Each subject received a THC-CBD (10.8 mg, 10 mg respectively) piperine (20 mg)-PNL filled capsule and an equivalent dose of the oromucosal spray Sativex® with a washout period in between treatments. Single oral administration of the piperine-PNL formulation resulted in a 3-fold increase in Cmax and a 1.5-fold increase in AUC for THC when compared to Sativex®. For CBD, a 4-fold increase in Cmax and a 2.2-fold increase in AUC was observed. These findings demonstrate the potential this formulation has in serving as a standardized oral cannabinoid formulation. Moreover, the concept of improving oral bioavailability described here, can pave the way for other potential lipophilic active compounds requiring enhancement of their oral bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Volume266
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Funding

This research was partially supported by the “NOFAR” program of the Israel Ministry of Economy, Research and Development (Grant number 48346 , 2012) A. Hoffman and A. Domb are affiliate with the David R. Bloom center for pharmacy at The Hebrew University. They are also affiliated with the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research.

FundersFunder number
Israel Ministry of Economy, Research and Development48346
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    Keywords

    • Bioavailability
    • Cannabinoids
    • Lipid based drug delivery
    • Metabolism
    • Piperine
    • SNEDDS

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