- Technology that improves bioavailability of orally ingested cannabinoids
- Safer approach that mitigates risks from carcinogens
- Generates revenue by out-licensing its technology internationally
Announcement of a new government initiative to reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels is good news for Lexaria Bioscience (CSE: LXX) (OTCQB: LXRP). Less addictive cigarettes mean less dependence on smoking as a delivery system, not only for nicotine but other substances like cannabinoids, which is why the folks at Lexaria are cheering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on. This innovative bioscience company has developed technology that offers a safer and more efficient delivery system for bioactive compounds, including cannabinoids.
The idea of reducing nicotine levels has been knocking around for a while. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1994, Dr. Neal Benowitz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, proposed the idea, according to Scientific American (http://dtn.fm/StK3t). Lower levels of nicotine might make smoking less of a habit and so reduce the toll of the many carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) found in tobacco smoke. Less nicotine would also reduce the risks associated with nicotine itself. The substance is highly addictive, and heavy long-term use may damage arteries, increasing the risk of stroke. Nevertheless, the dangers posed by its use pale in comparison to those caused by the arsenic, benzene, lead and other carcinogens that permeate tobacco smoke.
In 1994, though, the FDA did not have the authority to set nicotine levels for cigarettes. That changed after the passage of the Tobacco Control Act in 2009, which gave the agency power to reduce, but not eliminate altogether, the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. Now, the FDA is exercising its mandate. Its new commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, believes that by making smoking less addictive, more Americans will buck the habit and avoid the peril of developing cancer. In addition, reduced nicotine levels in cigarettes may ultimately cause a divorce from smoking. After all, there are a variety of alternative ways to ingest nicotine, including vaping and chewing gum.
If the smokescreen is removed from cigarettes, they will be seen for what they are: simply, a hazardous delivery system for nicotine, albeit an effective one, no doubt. And for those who must have their nicotine, there are much safer ways to get it, an argument that applies equally well to cannabinoids. Lexaria has proprietary technology for improved delivery of bioactive compounds, which offers a no-smoking safer way to administer cannabinoids.
The company’s lipophilic enhancement technology has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of orally ingested cannabinoids, a decided advantage, since cannabinoids are not absorbed very well by the body’s gastrointestinal tract. The Lexaria process improves bio-absorption of cannabinoids to levels that equal smoking, and onset has been reported as occurring within 15-20 minutes, as opposed to 60-120 minutes for edibles. The company’s technology is patent-protected for cannabidiol (CBD) and all other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, and patent-pending for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), other psychoactive cannabinoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and nicotine.
The Lexaria technology, which also improves taste, has the potential to improve the absorption and potency of a variety of medical products, including vitamins and analgesics. The company plans to generate revenue by out-licensing its technology internationally.
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