Gb Sciences’ Nanoparticle Encapsulation Technology Improves the Efficacy of Terpenes for Use in Chronic Pain Formulations

Gb Sciences, Inc. recently announced its sponsored study investigating the effect of nanoparticle encapsulation of three cannabis-based terpenes on their potential efficacy in pain management was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics on March 25. For the Gb Sciences-sponsored study, researchers at the University of Seville in Spain have developed time-released, oral nanoparticles to deliver Gb Sciences’ patent-protected chronic pain formulations, which are based on synergistic mixtures of terpenes. Terpenes are normally highly volatile, highly lipophilic molecules that are difficult to formulate into stable drug products, so Gb Sciences and their colleagues believe that nanocarriers can improve their stability, solubility, and bioavailability.

“This research represents an important advance in the creation of novel terpene-containing pharmaceutical products for chronic pain, which have the potential to deliver relief over time in a safer and more efficient manner through our time-released delivery technology,” said Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, President and Chief Science Officer of Gb Sciences, who co-authored the paper with researchers from the University of Seville in Spain and Chaminade University in Hawai’i. “There was a considerable technological challenge to developing a suitable drug delivery system for terpenes. This study demonstrates how nanomedicines offer an elegant solution for administering these efficacious molecules and opens up new opportunities for their use in chronic pain medicines.”

In the US alone, chronic pain represents an estimated health burden of between $560 and $650 billion dollars, and an estimated 20.4% of US adults suffer from chronic pain that significantly decreases their quality of life. Despite the widespread rates of addiction and death, opioids remain the standard of care treatment for most people with chronic pain. Concerns over those issues have made novel chronic pain treatments such as Gb Sciences’ therapies an important and promising field of research and development.

The Gb Sciences-sponsored study tested the effect of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles containing the three terpenes versus the effect of free terpenes in a cell model with TRPV1 receptors, which are known pain receptors. The study found that the encapsulated terpene nanoparticles produced significantly higher calcium responses alone or in combinations versus the free terpenes alone or in combinations. The elevated calcium responses through the TRPV1 channels indicate greater activation of these pain receptors, which can have an analgesic effect via desensitization of these important pain receptors.

In addition to its potential therapy for chronic pain, Gb Sciences has four other advanced preclinical-stage programs, including a Parkinson’s disease treatment being prepared to enter a first-in-human clinical trial.

Gb Sciences, Inc. is a plant-inspired, biopharmaceutical research and development company creating patented, disease-targeted formulations of cannabis- and other plant-inspired therapeutic mixtures for the prescription drug market through its Canadian subsidiary, GbS Global Biopharma, Inc. The “plant-inspired” active ingredients in its therapeutic mixtures are synthetic homologues identical to the original plant compounds but produced under current Good Manufacturing Practices. Gb Sciences’ intellectual property portfolio contains six issued US and three issued foreign patents, as well as 18 US and 49 foreign patent-pending applications. In its drug development pipeline, Gb Sciences has five preclinical phase product development programs. Gb Sciences’ lead program for Parkinson’s disease is being prepared for a first-in-human clinical trial. Gb Sciences’ formulations for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression are currently in preclinical animal studies with researchers at the National Research Council Canada. The company also recently received positive preclinical proof-of-concept data supporting its complex mixtures for the treatment of Cytokine Release Syndrome related to COVID-19, and its lead candidates will be optimized based on late-stage preclinical studies at Michigan State University. Gb Sciences’ productive research and development network includes distinguished universities, hospitals, and Contract Research Organizations. For more information, visit