The same technology that allows you to store a mix drink in powdered form, works for THC as well. “Powdered alcohol,” as it’s called, was first patented in 1972 but didn’t gain approval by the FDA until March 10, 2014.
“Palcohol” takes advantage of a clever class of chemicals known as cyclodextrins. These cyclic structures of sugar molecules are known to absorb other compounds into the center of their rings. Like the Kirby of pharmacology, cyclodextrins absorb other molecules and adopt their power. A cyclodextrin can absorb up to 60% of its weight in alcohol; it maintains itself as a powder but if you dissolve it in water the alcohol gets released making an alcoholic drink.
Just as cyclodextrin can absorb the powers of booze, it can also absorb the powers of THC: experiments with THC-cyclodextrin complexes increase THC water solubility by 1000 times. THC can simply insert itself into the middle of a modified cyclodextrin complex, allowing it to be dissolve in water almost just as well as sugar on its own.
While “powdered alcohol” just facilitates people getting drunk more easily, when “powdered weed” hits the market it will be there to help victims of cancer, AIDS, MS and other debilitating illnesses that benefit from cannabinoids. THC’s poor water solubility makes it difficult to prescribe to patients who need a constant dosage. Stay tuned for the latest research updates on “powdered weed.”
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