What is an Excipient? 3 Uses for Fillers in Cannabis Capsules
“What is an excipient?” It’s one of the most common questions we receive in hard capsule manufacturing, and luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to answer.
An excipient is a filler agent used to increase the volume of a drug that a patient consumes when taking a medicine. Cannabis manufacturers looking to create professional quality capsules can use a brief lesson on the roles of excipients in drug development, and channel this information towards producing safe, well-branded cannabis capsules. Essentially, an excipient in a cannabis capsule can serve three purposes:
Creating A Professional Capsule Product
At Cannabis Capsules, our smallest capsule is a Size 5, which can hold 100 microliters, or roughly 80 to 100 milligrams of material depending on a formulation’s density. If you want to produce a 5-milligram cannabis capsule with no excipient filler, that means you’re filling the smallest possible capsule with less than a drop of oil. If the capsule is clear, patients might feel like they are being cheated out of the full dosage. To avoid the consumer stigma against a seemingly empty capsule, excipients are added to a formulation to achieve a full capsule, without altering its efficacy.
Achieving Accurate Dosages
Active Ingredients found in medications are typically very concentrated. Since humans cannot consume a standard dose in nanoparticles, we dissolve the active ingredient into a consumable and dissolvable excipient. Drugs are sometimes even better off dissolved into an excipient, as is the case with cannabis, where we want the active THC molecules to attach themselves to the chain of fatty acids found in many excipient oils. The excipient also brings much-needed standardization and scalability to cannabis capsule manufacturing by introducing specific formulations based on purity concentration.
Using Excipients to Create Synergistic Effects
Lastly, an excipient can be used to enhance the synergistic effects of a medicine. In a cannabis capsule, an indica strain of cannabis might be encapsulated with chamomile or melatonin powders as excipients in order to increase the synergistic effects of sleepiness.
Excipients are a necessary part of proper cannabis encapsulation. Not only do they add a professional look to a capsule, they can be used to increase desired active effects, creating a superior capsule product for you and your customers