A Korean pharmaceutical maker said it will partner with a Japanese company to complete development of a CBD “film” for oral intake.
CTC Bio, Gyeonggi-do province in Korea, said Japan’s Evolution Network LLC (CoNet LLC), Tokyo, will also distribute the products in Japan and other international markets under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed this week.
The technology, called an “oral dissolving film” (ODF), releases the healing agent within a few seconds due to water-soluble polymers which are quickly dissolved by saliva. The film also allows for the administering of more accurate doses, CTC Bio said.
CTC Bio claims it is the first CBD-laden ODF. The company said it has applied for patents on the oral delivery technology in Korea and internationally.
“We will be the only global company that has secured film-type CBD research technology and expect this MOU to be the cornerstone for expanding CBD business overseas,” CTC Bio CEO Kim Young-deok said.
Potential in Japan
Japan’s strict hemp laws do not allow production of products from cannabis flowers, leaving CTC Bio in position to take up a large piece of the Japanese market in the future, the company said.
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in October recommended allowing imports of cannabis for medical use, opening a crack for medical grade CBD imports. That change came a year after the ministry first indicated its intention to lift the country’s ban on cannabis-based medicines.
Meanwhile, over-the-counter sales of CBD food and cosmetics products, while illegal, are widely available in retail shops in Japan as producers anxious to reach consumers have sparked a gray market and enforcement agencies have turned a blind eye.
Japan’s over-the-counter CBD sector had an estimated market value of $59 million in 2019, according to Tokyo-based research firm Visiongraph.
CTC Bio has been conducting CBD research and development since 2017 at the Gyeongbuk Industrial Hemp Regulatory Free Zone located in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province.