Pharmacokinetics of different cannabidiol oil formulations in Sprague Dawley rats

Erin Berthold
University of Florida

Objectives: With the changing legal status of cannabis and an increase in availability and use of products derived from the plant, it is important to explore assertions related to these products. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major cannabinoid found in hemp-type cannabis and the number of CBD products on the market, and the claims made regarding these products, continues to grow with little supporting research. A phenomenon known as the “entourage effect” is commonly referred to in the CBD industry and asserts that products formulated from whole-plant extracts will have better bioavailability and overall effect than those formulated from CBD isolate as they contain terpenes and flavonoids and additional cannabinoids. The goal of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in the pharmacokinetics of CBD, in male and female rats, when delivered as isolate, broad-spectrum (whole plant extract with Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC) extracted out), or full-spectrum (whole plant extract with < 0.3% Δ-9-THC) product.

Methods: Male and female Sprague Dawley rats were dosed orally with high (150 mg/kg) and low (50 mg/kg) dose CBD in three different oil formulations. Blood samples were drawn at different time points up to 48 hours and analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

Results: The results of this study found that there was a statistically significant difference between the bioavailability of the full spectrum product and the broad and isolate product. This may indicate that the processes of isolation of CBD and/or removal of Δ-9-THC may cause changes to the product that affect its bioavailability. Another major finding from this study was that there is a shift in the time to maximum concentration of about 8 hours between low and high doses indicating a nonlinear pharmacokinetic process. To determine if this process is occurring during the absorption or elimination phase, in vitro permeability experiments will be performed.

Conclusions: This research will inform further study into which compounds may increase the bioavailability of CBD. Additionally, in silico modeling using this data will be performed to translate this data to across species.

Co-authors: Abhisheak Sharma1, Shyam Kamble1, Michelle Kuntz1, Raju Kanumuri1, Christopher McCurdy1
1University of Florida

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