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Patent #1 Cannabinoid containing formulations by Ebbu

Originally published February 24, 2019 by CytochromeP, BNN has covered some updates on the patents since I wrote this article. 

 

Welcome to the first analysis in the series I’m writing going over patents and applications in the cannabis industry. I must start by saying I am not a lawyer, I’m breaking down and interpreting the scientific jargon outlined in these documents. We will see examples of patent with broad or specific claims and evaluate what the claims within cover. Some of the patents discussed will be granted, while others will be at different stages in the application process. It’s important to note patent applications have no guarantee of being granted and I can’t speak to the likelihood of an application being granted.

The patent kicking off the series is an application filed under US20170266153A1 and WO2018160827A1 by Ebbu LLC, it has not been granted to date. This is one asset of several Canopy Growth Corporation has purchased from Ebbu.

The abstract provides a summary of the patent:

“Disclosed herein are new compositions comprising a purified cannabinoid and a purified terpene. In one embodiment, the compositions comprise one or more purified cannabinoids. In one embodiment, the compositions comprise one or more purified cannabinoids in combination with one or more purified terpenes. In one embodiment, the compositions comprise unnaturally occurring ratios. In one embodiment, the compositions comprise unnaturally occurring concentrations. In one embodiment, the compositions comprise unexpected and/or synergistic effects.”

Text in the patent defines the boundaries of the summary, we will break it down piece by piece. The detailed description defines several forms the formulation can take:

Cannabinoid #1 + Terpene #1

Cannabinoid #1 + Cannabinoid #2

Cannabinoid #1 + Cannabinoid #2 + Terpene #1

Cannabinoid #1 + Terpene #1 + Terpene #2

Where Cannabinoid #X is any one of ~71 listed compounds**, and Terpene #X is any one of the ~172 listed compounds. The patent covers a formulation comprised of these compounds in unnatural ratios or concentrations. Unnatural being not found in the cannabis plant or crude plant extract (which the patent defines as ‘natural’). The patent does give examples of these unnatural ratios:

“In one embodiment of this disclosure, the compositions comprise an unnaturally occurring ratio of 10:1-1:1 of a purified cannabinoid to purified terpene.

In one embodiment of this disclosure, the compositions comprise an unnaturally occurring ratio of 10:1-5:1 of a purified cannabinoid to purified terpene.

In one embodiment of this disclosure, the compositions comprise an unnaturally occurring ratio of greater than 10:1 of a purified cannabinoid to purified terpene.”

 

**The patent defines cannabinoid as follows:

“As used herein, the term “cannabinoid” refers to a compound belonging to a class of secondary compounds commonly found in plants of genus cannabis. In one embodiment, the cannabinoid is found in a plant, e.g., a plant of genus cannabis, and is sometimes referred to as a phytocannabinoid. In one embodiment, the cannabinoid is found in a mammal, sometimes called a endocannabinoid. In one embodiment, the cannabinoid is made in a laboratory setting, sometimes called a synthetic cannabinoid.”

And just below: “Examples of cannabinoids include, but are not limited to, Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA), Cannabigerolic Acid….”

Since endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids are not found in the plant or crude extract they would be considered unnaturally occurring in the plant. The list of ~71 cannabinoids in not inclusive of all possible combinations that would be covered in interpretation.

 

The 2nd aspect of the patent involves the use of one of the many possible formulations to induce unexpected and/or synergistic effects. To define effect the metric ‘EC50’ is used, which is half the maximal effective concentration (it can be used as measure of a drugs potency to elicit an effect/response). This is an example they give using EC50:

“For example, in one system, D9-THC activity at cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) has a consistent EC50 of around 1 micromolar, and a 40-50% amplitude of response compared to a known, synthetic full agonist (CP-55,940). The lower response of CB1 to THC relative to a full agonist is why THC is referred to as a “partial agonist” of the CB1 receptor.”

Basically, 1 micromolar is half of the concentration of THC required to induce its maximum response on the CB1 receptor (1 micromolar = 0.3145 mg/L). The response of THC as an agonist produces only 40-50% the response of a compound labeled CP-55,940.

 

The patent lists several possible changes in response, there’s a pattern you’ll notice in this example from the list:

“In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the Amplitude of Response of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while decreasing the Amplitude of Response of a second cannabinoid at CB1.

In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the Amplitude of Response of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while decreasing the Amplitude of Response of a second cannabinoid at CB2.

In one example, the disclosed compositions decrease the Amplitude of Response of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while increasing the Amplitude of Response of a second cannabinoid at CB1.

In one example, the disclosed compositions decrease the Amplitude of Response of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while increasing the Amplitude of Response of a second cannabinoid at CB2.

In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the EC50 of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while increasing the EC50 of a second cannabinoid at CB1.

In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the EC50 of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while increasing the EC50 of a second cannabinoid at CB2.

In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the EC50 of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while decreasing the EC50 of a second cannabinoid at CB1.

In one example, the disclosed compositions increase the EC50 of a first cannabinoid at GPR55 while decreasing the EC50 of a second cannabinoid at CB2.”

How many combinations of increasing and decreasing can they include between any two receptors known to interact with cannabinoids using these two metrics to measure response? Many. The patent application is long and most of the 2nd half is dedicated to examples of possible formulations that can be used to test all these potential interactions. The list is long.

 

The range of formulation combinations and potential alterations to response of neurotransmitters makes this a very broad patent from my perspective. There isn’t a specific unifying focus, which is problematic when trying to outline a specific invention. In my opinion, this broad patent was designed to cast the widest net possible over combination drug therapies found in and related to cannabis.

The author does not hold a position in CGC.