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  • Writer's pictureZeacann

Zeacann to develop Dry Powder Inhaler as safer alternative to smoking or vaping medical cannabis

Cannabis science startup Zeacann is developing a proprietary alternative to smoking that resembles an asthma inhaler - allowing safer, titrated dosing without the negative consequences of smoking.

Zeacann has developed specifications and production techniques for a novel Dry Powder Inhaler using pure cannabinoid isolates suspended in excipient of consistent granule size and delivered by a non-pressurised Ellipta device. Our technique allows for a variety of cannabinoid ratios and strengths.

"Early research indicates this innovative cannabinoid dose delivery form will allow more rapid dose onset and vastly increased bio-availability," said Zeacann CEO Chris Fowlie.

"That means less is needed to achieve the same therapeutic effect, and patients have told us cost is an important issue for them. Requiring less cannabis could make therapy cheaper for consumers."

"Doctors have told us they need access to a variety of formulations in a format they are comfortable prescribing, and we will deliver that," said Thom Hooker, Zeacann COO who is steering development of our online prescriber portal,

"Dry powders also have better shelf life and stability than liquid dosage forms."

New Zealand's Ministry of Health estimates 1-in-20 Kiwis currently use cannabis therapeutically. The most popular method of consumption is smoking.

A new medicinal cannabis scheme took effect in April 2020 and allows any doctor to prescribe products that meet New Zealand's Minimum Quality Standard for cannabis based products.

Zeacann's founders believe their Dry Powder Inhaler product is ideally suited for the local market and are forming partnerships to complete development and enable production in 2022-23. Manufacturing techniques will utilise spray drying, similar to milk powder production, so there will be synergies with suppliers to New Zealand's dairy sector.

Left: cross-section of generic dry powder inhaler device, showing dose metering.

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