Companies Scramble for CBD Patents, Igniting Fear of Corporate Cannabis
Something of a corporate scramble is underway to secure patents for the various curative properties of CBD, and the associated products and procedures. Pharmaceutical firms anticipate a windfall, but some activists raise concerns about the creeping privatization of cannabinoids that should belong to the genetic and intellectual commons of the human race.
Things are moving fast in the international pharmaceutical industry’s push to turn the chemicals behind the remarkable properties of the cannabis plant into trademarked products. Unsurprisingly, a special emphasis is on cannabidiol, or CBD—a compound with wide-ranging medical potentials still being uncovered. This May alone, several patents and intellectual property agreements were sought or secured for CBD’s applications.
The Race for Cannabis Patents Heats Up
First, Peak Health of San Francisco announced it had filed a patent application for testing the “bioactivity” of the CBD molecule. According to the company’s press release, “bioactivity” is the complex interplay between a drug and its corresponding receptor in the human body, enabling its ability to produce a biological response. This testing method could be key in the development of effective drug products from CBD.
“All research papers published about CBD, from plant sources, have not accounted for variations in their bioactivity,” said Dr. Sharma Kristipati, director of the company’s new lab to measure CBD bioactivity.
Next up was Kalytera Therapeutics of Marin County, which was issued a U.S. patent for the use of CBD for the prevention and treatment of “graft versus host disease” (GVHD), a complication that can follow transplants of tissue from a donor to a patient.
“We now have very strong intellectual property protection that will provide us with market exclusivity for the use of CBD in GVHD through early 2034,” said Kalytera CEO Robert Farrell in the press release.
Callitas Therapeutics of Vancouver, meanwhile, announced an “intellectual property agreement” for development of CannaMint Strips, a method for oral delivery of cannabinoids. An intellectual property agreement is a contract between a business and its partners in the development of a product that is still patent-pending, recognizing the company’s claim to the product.
“Our patented and patent-pending technologies have the potential to be game-changers as delivery mechanisms for CBD and THC,” said Callitas CEO James Thompson in a press release.
Then, there are licenses to develop a patent held by another entity. Kannalife Sciences of Pennsylvania boasted in a press release that it currently holds two licenses with the National Institutes of Health for the commercialization of US Patent #6630507, for “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.” Specifically, the firm will research the efficacy of CBD in combating hepatic encephalopathy, which is the decline of brain function due to the failure of the liver to remove toxins from the blood. As Cannabis Now has reported, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH parent agency, secured a patent in 2003 for the use of cannabinoids in these functions.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Bill Weinberg on Cannabis Now
Published: June 2, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News