Canadian company Organa Labs filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for its newly patented cannabis-based prebiotic supplement. The prebiotic which is said to be made from waste material from one of Canada’s largest licensed medical marijuana producers has been shown in studies to have health benefits when consumed by humans.

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Tetra Bio-Pharma claims that research on cannabis plant residue has shown that what was previously thought to be “waste material” may boost the development of healthy gut bacteria.

If granted, the patent would protect the use of cannabis plant residue material containing cannabinoids within a specified profile range as a “oral prebiotic component alone or in combination with other pro, post, para, or prebiotics as a dietary supplement for gastrointestinal health,” according to the patent application. GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO PHOTO

Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc., a cannabinoid-based medicine research and development firm, has submitted a patent application for a potential new prebiotic supplement produced from cannabis waste.

If granted, the patent would protect the use of cannabis plant residue material containing cannabinoids within a specified profile range as a “oral prebiotic component alone or in combination with other pro, post, para, or prebiotics as a dietary supplement for gastrointestinal health,” according to the patent application.

According to Tetra, research on cannabis plant residue has shown that what was previously thought to be “waste material” may boost the development of healthy gut bacteria like as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium longum.

The Ottawa-based firm is collaborating with Thorne HealthTech of South Carolina to get Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation from the US Food and Drug Administration, which may enable the new component to be used in foods and nutritional supplements.

Cannabis has long been related to gut health and has been proven to help people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as other gastrointestinal diseases.

“Cannabis use is common amongst patients with IBD for symptom relief, particularly amongst those with a history of abdominal surgery, chronic abdominal pain and/or a low quality of life index,” researchers concluded in a 2011 study published in European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Cannabis “exercises biological activities on the gastrointestinal system by activating two kinds of cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1 receptor) and cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2 receptor),” according to a study published in The Journal of Endocrinological Investigation.

Researchers found that “the endocannabinoid system may offer a novel prospective therapeutic target against many GI (gastrointestinal) illnesses, including inflammatory bowel diseases, functional bowel diseases, and secretion- and motility-related disorders.”

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