Johannesburg - Black-owned company Cape Sativa, a subsidiary of 3Sixty Global Solutions Group, has announced a scientific breakthrough by becoming the first company in the world to produce 100% water soluble and 100% bioavailable cannabidiol (CBD) water using its patented nanotechnology platform.
This CBD water will be marketed under the brand name Equivex Aqua. CBD is a compound extracted from cannabis sativa plant that does not have psychotropic effect but has good recorded medicinal properties.
This pioneering invention will ensure that the full benefits of CBD can be realised and the potential of the cannabis economy, which is projected to reach global sales of $102 billion (about R1.93 trillion) by 2026, according to the African Cannabis Report, are realised.
CBD is extracted in the form of oil and, therefore, is not easily absorbed into the body, making the benefits realised minimally, inconsistently or not at all. Our process of nano-encapsulation is achieved by using certain polymers that are added to the CBD to create an emulsion, which is added to water. These polymers take molecules of CBD and enclose them, thereby rendering the CBD compound completely soluble in water and, therefore, easily absorbed by the human body. The potential application of this emulsion goes beyond water but can also be applied in other pharmaceutical and neutricutical innovations. The application of CBD nanoencapsulation in alcoholic beverages will be tantalising.
Khandani Msibi, Chairperson of Cape Sativa, explains that this pioneering invention was made possible through collaboration between Cape Sativa, Balaton Beverages, led by Martin Magwaza, who is an innovative Biotech Scientist and other scientific partner.
Msibi explains that despite the general acknowledgement of the medicinal properties of CBD in the medical fraternity, its potential is yet to be fully realised as the poor solubility of this compound limited its absorption. “For example, if you administer 10 milligrams of CBD in an oil form, your body will absorb less than 10% of the dosage,” says Msibi.
Msibi says CBD has been found to help with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, hangover and addiction. The ability to deliver the primary benefits of CBD through Equivex Aqua will open acceptance of the application of CBD in a range of areas in healthcare and general wellbeing.
“Cape Sativa has a pipeline of products with varying levels of dosage and delivery. Nanotechnology has enabled us to develop CBD products that can be delivered orally, through an inhaler directly into the lungs and into the blood stream through an injection. Water is not the only oral applications. We have nanospraydried capsules that we have produced in Switzerland, and sterile CBD will soon be produced for injectables,” says Msibi.
He says that nanotechnology will help to deliver the unfulfilled promise of cannabis. The cannabis industry has grown exponentially over the past few years in the United States, Canada, and some parts of Europe. Companies that were the first to enter the industry have seen their equity increase markedly and then later crash on the back of unmet expectations.
“We are not inventing the use of CBD. We just gave it the ability to deliver its utility through a patented nanotechnology platform. The promise is there – we have just made the promise more bioavailable, apparent and easily accessible,” he says.
Msibi says Equivex Aqua will be launched to market in October this year, and it will be available for purchase at health shops, online retailer Takealot.com, the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology (CDE) and other mainstream retailers. We are ramping up production, and stock will start trickling into the trade from the last week of September.
After the launch, the company will embark on a roadshow to the United States and several countries in Europe to meet with prospective investors and partners we have been engaging with throughout the journey of product development. Although 100% South African owned for now, Cape Sativa is incorporated in the USA because the cannabis industry is developed over there, and the USA financial markets appreciates and reward innovations. SA money managers prefer safe investments; they would rather fund the building of yet another shopping mall than support innovative products.
“We expect to deliver R100 million in revenue in the first two years of launch. Equivex has to rank amongst the fastest R100M revenue brands. The appetite for CBD has been established in the market, but what was lacking was the product that delivered the promise of CBD, and that’s what we have solved. The production of Equivex Aqua comes at a time when international beverage companies are under pressure to deliver healthy beverages, as opposed to sweetened drinks that cause health problems like obesity, though not sweet. We have hit a sweet spot with Equivex Aqua providing a general health and wellbeing beverage. Equivex Aqua is not an energy or sports drink, but a health and utility drink that is manufactured in a Current Good Manufacturing Practise facility (CGMP) that is a strictly controlled pharmaceutical company operating under license from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).” Msibi adds.
Equivex Aqua will be available in four fruit flavours and one original flavour in a 500ml bottle, which will be infused with 10 milligrams of nanoCBD. This will be followed by the introduction of the 20 milligram, which is the maximum allowed for over the counter sales.