Imagine a world in which a tiny nanorobot could deliver a specific cannabinoid directly to your endocannabinoid (ECS) receptors. The nanorobot would be thousands of times smaller than the breadth of a human hair and could carry its small cargo inside a single droplet of liquid to deliver it directly to a target cell such as a cancer cell.
Sound far-fetched? It may be closer than you think, because researchers are making great strides in the fascinating field of nanomedicine.
The cannabis plant contains an amazing group of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and scientists are only beginning to unlock the complex pharmacology and potential of these compounds. Combined with nanomedicine, cannabis has even more potential to treat disease and provide overall health benefits for people.
What is nanomedicine?
Scientists can manipulate substances on an atomic scale, in the range of 1-100 nanometers, or one thousand times thinner than a sheet of paper. According to the US Nanotechnology Initiative, substances on the nanoscale have very different properties than bulk substances do—unique properties like better electrical conductance, higher strength, and different magnetic properties, light reflection, or chemical reactivity. Nanotechnology can be performed on solids, liquids, or gases to unlock these unique phenomena.
For these reason, nanotechnology applications in medicine offer exciting promise and possibilities, especially when applied to cannabis compounds. Many nanotechnology applications are already in use—computer circuits made from carbon nanotubes allow for far greater computing power, and nanoparticles are already being used in pharmaceuticals to improve absorption.