The future of delivery methods of cannabis-based medications

The analysis of the Concinto clinical trial database

Most of the registered clinical trials on cannabinoids have investigated the oral delivery method. The oral route of administration is the most popular way to deliver the medication because most of the marketed products are oil, tincture, or capsules. Consequently, more clinical trials have been designed to investigate oral products. The analysis of the registered clinical trials in the past five years shows that this trend will be continued, and the oral products will constitute the majority of registered clinical trials.

However, there are signs of increasing interest in other delivery methods such as topical and transdermal. In recent years more non-oral formulations have been developed by public and private entities resulting in an increasing the share of non-oral delivery methods from the total number of registered trials. 

This shift is necessary for increasing the acceptance of cannabinoid-based medications among clinicians and patients. Clinicians can choose from various delivery methods based on the patient’s needs and preferences in their daily practice. Moreover, more diverse product forms mean that more patients may benefit from cannabis-based medications and help the acceptance by the public.

Our analysis shows that the interest in investigating inhalable products is declining, and we will not see many clinical trials on this delivery method. Although the oromucosal delivery method still constitutes a considerable share of clinical trials; the number of trials on topical and transdermal products will increase in the next two years. The favourable safety profile and controlled use of cannabinoids are the main reasons behind the interest in these delivery methods.

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