Having Problems with the Stability of your Cannabis Capsules?
If we want to legitimize the medical cannabis industry, the future lies in encapsulation. Why? Because capsules, which have been the standard method of medicine consumption for over 50 years, are a smokeless option that allow for very specific dosage control. Capsules can take matters from “smoke some cannabis and hope for the best” to “take 10 mg of this particular strain twice a day for relief from your particular symptoms.”
But a vital part of legitimizing the cannabis industry is product integrity. If we’re going to move towards encapsulation, an important part of product integrity is ensuring the stability of the capsule itself.
Lack of capsule stability is a widespread problem
We’ve attended several shows and events, where we’ve heard from numerous producers who all tell us that they have a common issue. They’ve tried encapsulation for their liquid concentrates, but they’ve found that the capsules often break or leak.
We funded a study to determine the cause
One of our overriding goals is to help advance the medical cannabis field, therefore CannabisCapsules hired an independent lab to help us determine exactly what causes this instability problem.
For this study, we took the dirtiest cannabis concentration sample we could find (i.e. a sample with a very high percentage of residual solvents). This sample was compared with three other samples that each had different levels of purity: a “3 hour purge” sample, a “6 hour purge” sample, and one with “0 ppm” of residual solvents.
The samples were encapsulated in three different capsule types (vegetable-based, gelatin-based and flavored capsules) and then stored in three different temperature environments for three months. This included some very harsh environments that you’re not likely to see outside of the test lab. Once a week the researchers examined each of the samples and noted their weight, appearance and any changes that had taken place.
The findings from our study were surprising
Our starting hypothesis was that the dirty samples would all be a disaster, and the clean samples would all be fine. Our reasoning was that because the chemicals that make these samples “dirty” – such as butane, propane and hexane – react to heat, these impurities were the cause of capsule breakage and leakage. Knowing how widespread the problem of “dirty” product is, this hypothesis made sense.
What we found, though, was that the answers are more nuanced than this.
Yes, the dirty samples were quite a bit more prone to problems than the clean samples were. However, regardless of the amount of impurities found in the cannabis sample, the study showed that some capsule types are more prone to leakage than others, and some temperatures cause more problems than others.
Of course, we were very happy to see that, as expected, our high-quality capsules held up extremely well overall. In fact, it took prolonged exposure to an extremely harsh environment to compromise our capsule’s integrity, even with the dirtiest samples.
CannabisCapsules can help ensure product stability for your capsules
Thanks to this study, CannabisCapsules now understands the science behind cannabis capsule stability, and we know how to combat potential problems. For help with properly encapsulating, packaging and storing your products in order to create the longest possible shelf life, please give us a call at 1(800) 852-9238. As a full-service consultancy serving the cannabis industry, we’re here for you.
With over 30 years of experience in the hard capsule market, CannabisCapsules is a reliable resource for cannabis providers that want to encapsulate their product. In addition to bringing clients some very unique capsule products, such as Enteric Coated Capsules and flavored capsules, we also offer assistance with formulation, facility design, capsule machine sourcing, staff training, and more.