By / September 4, 2023

Pharmaceutical Cannabis Players and Technological Innovation: 3rd Edition of the Prohibition Partners Report

The slow but steady march of pharmaceutical companies toward the cannabis industry has triggered a new era of technological innovation, bringing new techniques and technologies to every part of the cannabis value chain.

To maximize opportunities and mitigate risks, the focus has been on the research and development of targeted technologies upstream, downstream, and in the middle of the chain.

According to the Pharmaceutical Cannabis Report: 3rd Edition by Prohibition Partners, available today, new advancements are being made in the development of technologies focusing on the production of high-yield and consistent, profitable, and high-quality cannabis, as well as extraction methods and administration formats.

For more news like this, download our free cannabis news app.

Upstream Pharmaceutical Cannabis Technologies

Genetic Engineering and Crop Protection

In the pharmaceutical cannabis industry, upstream technologies mainly focus on the technologies used for the genetic engineering of cannabis varieties, seed and plant protection, and the cultivation process.

This agritech sector, expected to be worth $46.4 billion by 2030, covers a wide range of industries, but the “massive growth in innovation and technology” is being adopted by the cannabis industry in several key areas.

The first of these areas is genetic modification, which has seen a “significant development” in recent years by those in the cannabis industry dedicated to “providing pharmaceutical cannabis,” maximizing production efficiency, and reducing labor costs.

One advancement in this sector is the production of “F1 hybrid seeds.” While these seeds, which represent the first generation of a new variety from the selection of two different varieties, are not new in the agricultural sector, they have only appeared in the cannabis sector in recent years.

In 2022, a study conducted by Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands revealed that F1 hybrid seeds from F1 SeedTech were able to produce stable and uniform results that could be 15% more profitable than cloning due to the reduction in personnel needs and the time and space costs associated with the cloning process.

Automation and Robotics in Cannabis Cultivation

Automation and robotics also have a significant impact on personnel costs in the food and agriculture industry, and new systems are being developed for the cannabis industry.

American company Bloom Automation, specializing in cannabis agriculture, has developed 3D vision cameras that allow growers to monitor the entire plant in real-time, using a proprietary algorithm to provide real-time data on plant health, growth stage, and flower quality.

The company has also developed a robotic cutting system capable of distinguishing flowers from leaves with 97% accuracy. This is not only a level of accuracy far superior to its human counterpart but also twice as fast.

Midstream Technologies

Focus on Extraction and Purification

These technologies primarily focus on the extraction, purification, separation, and preservation of cannabis plants, areas that have always been slow, costly, and waste-generating.

This area has received particular attention in terms of patents for many companies aiming to get ahead in the pharmaceutical cannabis market, leading to “significant growth in the extraction sector.”

One such development is static vapor extraction, a patented technology developed by Maratek and Boulder Creek Technologies.

This process vaporizes cannabis biomass, then cools it through thermal shock to turn it into mist, allowing the elimination of water-soluble liquids and lipids and converting the vapor into a cannabinoid-rich crude oil distillate.

Unlike ethanol or CO2 extraction, this method does not require solvents, uses less energy and space, and does not produce hazardous waste, making it both sustainable and profitable.

Downstream Pharmaceutical Cannabis Technologies

Innovations in Drug Formulation and Delivery

Significant developments are also occurring in the way cannabis-based products are composed, formulated, and delivered to treat specific medical conditions.

Many of these products and innovations are undergoing clinical trials for patents. In this area, pharmaceutical cannabis companies have significant opportunities to develop more effective administration methods, more bioavailable formulations, and more uniform dosages.

Patients and prescribers of cannabis-based medications tend to favor oral administration, which has fewer side effects than inhalation, but for many conditions, such as acute pain, the absorption rate of these products is often too low to be effective.

That’s why the industry is currently testing a number of new administration methods, including transdermal formulations, which are administered through the skin to treat underlying tissues.

Due to the high bioavailability and non-invasive nature of these formats, companies like Zynerba Pharmaceuticals have invested heavily in this space, currently holding 18 patents for transdermal cannabis-based pharmaceutical products aimed at treating conditions such as osteoarthritis and epilepsy.

Nanotechnology in Cannabis Formulations

New technologies have also enabled significant advancements in cannabis-based pharmaceutical formulations in recent years, largely thanks to the advancements in nanoparticle technology.

Cannabinoids are inherently difficult for the body to absorb, so the emergence of the use of “nanocarriers” for targeted cannabis formulations enables improvements in drug administration, solubilization, bioavailability, and the efficiency of encapsulation, while allowing for the timed release of cannabinoid APIs.

(Featured image by Richard T via Unsplash)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third-party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of, its management, staff, or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.

First published in Newsweed, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Comments are closed for this post.