ICCI is dedicated to being of service to the cannabis industry in all facets, whether this be medical development, hemp nutrition or industrial applications:
Cannabis as Medicine and Health support:
We see broad applicability for cannabis-based medicines following distinct development models:
Following the formal pharmaceutical track for botanical products (as previously pursued by GW Pharmaceuticals for Sativex® and Epidiolex®. This approach requires the most rigorous application of Good Agricultural, Laboratory, and Manufacturing Practice (GAP, GLP, GMP) throughout the process, which entails the performance of Phase I-III randomized controlled trials to demonstrate safety, efficacy, and consistency of novel preparations. ICCI and its partners have the personnel and experience to aid in every aspect of the process, whether it be consulting on chemovar selection to match target clinical indications, aiding the cultivation and extraction procedures, contract research organization (CRO) assistance in performance of clinical trials, or helping to negotiate the maze of international drug laws and regulations.
The laws of various countries allow for the development of cannabis-based health supporting products as supplements and cosmetics. This approach still requires a rigorous application of quality and standardization but is less stringent in the area of required levels of proof of efficacy, since such products cannot claim to cure or treat specific diseases. Many companies are engaged in the development of products in this category but would benefit from a consultation with ICCI to support their development programs and suggest designs for observational trials of their products and quality monitoring of production and distribution process that can distinguish them in the marketplace with safe, efficient and consistent products.
Despite international prohibitions on cannabis, extensive R&D includes breeding of plans with low THC has continued. The utilization of hemp plant has different purposes - seeds and their products (protein or oil) have been introduced as a superfood and are used in the cosmetics industry. Fiber is been used for decades for making clothing and paper production and shives (wooden part of stalk) are used for new building materials as HempCrete™, also biodegradable plastic and even as a base material for superconducting batteries. Hemp flowers with low THC content are used for applications as herbal tea, spa extracts, beer production and in the growing hemp industry when they used for extraction the cannabinoids and introduced in the food supplement market. We see great potential in this area for greater application of this sustainable crop that additionally has the ability to provide phytoremediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants and increasing quality of soil worldwide.
Hemp Seed Nutrition:
Hemp seed is quite possibly the single most complete nutritional source on the planet, presenting a combination of edestin, a high-quality complete protein, with a salutary profile of essential fatty acids. Hemp seed and its husbandry may represent an attractive alternative crop for both developing countries as well as the more well-to-do. ICCI is devoted to assisting our clients in both additional research on the health benefits of hemp seed nutrition, as well as the development of dedicated cultivars to produce better crops.
ICCI Innovations: In-House Research
Beyond providing R&D assistance to our clients and partners, ICCI is dedicated to the pursuit of our own original ideas. These include the following broad categories:
Clinical trials in established and novel diagnoses.
Examples would include investigation of the utility of cannabis-based medicines in specific chronic pain syndromes, demonstration of opioid-sparing, treatment of drug addiction, anti-microbial effects, and primary treatment of cancer.
Development of diagnostic tests related to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) dysfunction.
ICCI is investigating how certain clinical syndromes might be more easily and/or better identified by relevant diagnostic of endocannabinoid system status and subsequently treated with cannabis-based medicines.
Cannabis and the microbiome.
The bacteria of the human gut (microbiome) play a vital role in the difference between health and disease. Recent investigations point to an integral relationship between the ECS and these bacteria. Similarly, the microbiome of the soil is a vital factor in cannabis husbandry, and this is an area that requires much novel research.
Cannabis genomics and rediscovery of landraces.
The genetic endowment of a given cannabis plant is the key factor in its attributes, whether it be best applied as medicine, fiber or nutrient. We are investigating how the plant’s genetics influence its biosynthetic pathways for cannabinoid and terpenoid production and how this knowledge can be applied toward more advantageous selective breeding of cannabis chemovars. This research can be supplemented by searching out cannabis landraces around the world, that is, cannabis that has been grown in a particular environment for many generations and which demonstrates the genetic attributes to thrive in challenging conditions with proper resistance to diseases and pests. Many landraces may express novel biochemistry that will be important to future biomedical research.
Industrial Application of Cannabis Products.
Cannabis retains the potential for further development of products as diverse as antiseptics and biodegradable cleaning agents.