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Innovation / 15. March 2023

Steam sterilization of medicinal cannabis

With Biosteril®, the Kündig Group is the first officially approved supplier for Micobioal load reduction of cannabis for medicinal use with steam, offering a valuable alternative to the usual irradiation for the emerging medicinal ingredient.

The transformation from recreational substance to valuable herbal medicinal product

Cannabis for medicinal use has been gaining more and more importance for several years. Thanks to its unique properties, it is used to treat various ailments and diseases. Cannabis has proven to be a very useful medicinal agent. Since the discovery of cannabinoids and their effects on the human body, numerous studies have been conducted to explore the many uses of medicinal cannabis. Cannabis is mainly used as a pain reliever, especially for chronic pain. It can also help with various neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and migraines. Other uses of cannabis include treating inflammation, anxiety, sleep disorders, loss of appetite, ADHD, and even cancer. Cannabis is administered in various forms, including pills, drops, oils, creams, and even inhalable forms. It is also available in various concentrations to suit the needs of the patient. Medicinal cannabis is a promising medicine that can help many people.

Cannabis has long been considered an illegal and dangerous intoxicant that can lead to mental and physical disorders. It was also considered a substance that caused dependence and affected an individual’s control over their ability to act. However, these views changed as scientists began to explore the many medicinal benefits of cannabis. More recently, it has become clear that under certain circumstances, cannabis can be an effective tool in the treatment of a variety of diseases and symptoms. Research has shown that cannabis is a safe, effective, and useful therapeutic option available to people in many countries. As a result, cannabis has widely accepted medicinal uses today and is being legalized in many countries.

Cannabis is not fully legalized in Germany, but only allowed for medicinal purposes as a prescription medicine. In March 2017, the Act Amending Narcotics Law and Other Regulations was passed, allowing access to medicinal cannabis and reimbursement by health insurers.

Gamma Irradiation of Medicinal Cannabis

Cannabis is often treated with gamma rays to destroy viruses, bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms in the plants. This technique is called gamma irradiation. The gamma rays destroy the DNA and RNA structures of the microorganisms in the plants, reducing the risk of contamination, an an effective way to ensure the microbiological safety of cannabis.

In the food sector, gamma irradiation is only permitted under certain conditions in many countries, including the European Union, and is subject to labeling requirements. In some countries, irradiation of foods such as shellfish, eggs, fresh meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables is not permitted. Irradiation is not permitted for organic products. However, even for medicinal products, some people and organizations would prefere a non irradiated produc for various reasons. A major concern is that the radiation potentially affects the chemical structure and efficacy of the drugs. Although studies have shown that gamma irradiation of drugs does not alter most pharmacological properties, there are some doubts and uncertainties about the long-term effects on drug quality and efficacy.

In addition, there are concerns about the effects of gamma radiation on the environment and the health of workers who must deal with the radiation. It is important that strict safety protocols are followed to ensure that radiation does not exceed prescribed limits and that the environment and worker health are protected.

Biosteril® is the first GMP certified and by the Bundesopiumstelle recognized provider for the germ reduction of herbal raw materials for the manufacturing of medicinal products, including cannabis

Yes, it is possible to steam sterilize medicinal cannabis in the form of flowers. Steam treatment is a gentle method that treats the chemical composition of the cannabis product with care, thus preserving its quality and potency as much as possible.

The basis for this is our more than 10 years of experience in the refinement of herbal active ingredients according to GMP. In addition, we have spent the last two years exchanging ideas with cannabis specialists and have adapted our production to the strict requirements of the Federal Opium Agency.

It should be noted that germ reduction with steam of cannabis products containing THC requires careful monitoring of process parameters such as temperature, pressure and exposure time to ensure successful sterilization without damaging or even activating the product (see infobox). Biosteril® has succeeded in finding the optimal parameters in close cooperation with its clients and the competent authorities.

Kündig Group: Our vault facility, with a direct line to the police, complies with the handling requirements of the federal opium agency.