Editorial Team   |   February 04, 2018

Emerging Tech: 3D Printing Comes to Cannabis

The lucrative legal cannabis industry is now utilizing advanced technology solutions such as 3D printing. Integrating 3D printing into the cannabis market is expected to result in improved efficiency in product production.
Our CannabisTech writers come from a wide variety of backgrounds with a passion for cannabis and technology, matched only by their desire to educate the world about the cannabis industry.

Explaining 3D Printing

3D printing technology is a relatively new technology in the scientific, medical and manufacturing communities. In general, 3Dpriniting is a process in which materials are joined together under the guidance of computer software in order to create a 3D object with high precision and accuracy. 

Fortunately, the same 3D printing technology can be applied in the cannabis industry. As the technology continues to evolve, 3D printing and 3D printing of cannabis extracts will improve and gain efficiency.

 

MannaBot One

The MannaBot One (MB1), one of the first 3D printers dedicated to the manufacture of cannabis extracts,  was built by MannaRobotics in close collaboration with MannaMolecular, two MIT engineers, and Dr. Michael Frid. MannaMolecular wrote on their website:

     “The MannaBot One is a wonderful creation stemming from our partner MannaRobotics.”

3D printers, like this one, are integral in the precise manufacturing of transdermal patches. The MB1 consists of three main components, an extruder head, a 3D printer body, and a controller box. Although the 3D process may be slightly customized for the cannabis application, it does not deviate much from the general principles of 3D printing.

The MannaBot One (“MB1”) image is courtesy of Manna Molecular Science, LLC

A transdermal patch is first designed using specialized software, and then the transdermal patch design is connected to the printer where all the “magic” happens. Although the process is relatively complex in practice it can be simplified in theory.

The MB1 prints the transdermal patches layer by layer. The MB1, just like any 3D printer, works by taking a whole object, dividing into thousands of layers, and printing the item layer by layer from the bottom up. Once complete, these layers solidify together to form one cohesive unit.

 

The Benefits of Using MB1

According to MannaMolecular, 3D printing allows them to manufacture quality transdermal patches with a higher degree of precision and accuracy. While the process also makes it easy to reproduce the same patches which adhere to the high standards of the pharmaceutical industry. The benefits of using MB1 include:

  • Ability to print patches on a demand basis – 3D printing is an effective method which allows transdermal patches to be produced on-demand, taking away the need to manufacture excessive patches. Customers are guaranteed a fresh quality product and shelf-life is no longer a concern.
  • Flexibility – the MB1 can be used to print patches which are compatible with a wider range of cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBN, as well as, combinations of the cannabinoids based on particular cannabinoid ratios.
  • Customizable dose – the MB1 allows the manufacture of patches with varying dose levels. People can choose any dose strength that ranges from 10 – 35mg.
  • Borderless – MannaMolecular affiliates spread across the world can produce the same transdermal patches with the same properties irrespective of geographic location.

 

Transdermal Patches

Transdermal patches have been used for quite some time, but they are relatively new in the medical marijuana field. The Manna Molecular transdermal patch is an adhesive patch designed to deliver a controlled amount of cannabis extract over a long period of time.

The patch should be placed on areas such as ankles or wrists where there is a high concentration of veins. Tiny amounts of cannabis extract are deposited on the skin surface, and in time the extract is absorbed into the bloodstream. The main advantage of using this method is that the extract enters the bloodstream directly, delivering a specific dose of cannabinoids. Manna Molecular sees the uses of the MB1 and their transdermal patches as a step in the right direction for the medical marijuana industry.

In addition to driving innovative solutions in the cannabis industry, integrating technologies from other areas of business into the cannabis sector are helping drive technology companies to push the boundaries and expand their horizons in order to cash-in on the lucrative cannabis market. Clearly, Manna Molecular and the MB1 are ahead of the curve.

 

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