CBD-based bioplastics could be the environmentally-friendly solution everyone’s looking for

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Hemp and cannabis can offer an array of eco-friendly products and solutions

Since it is now federally legal to grow hemp in the US, the price of cannabidiol (CBD) has been drastically reduced. This has created more room and possibilities for using CBD in other applications. In recent years, bioplastic called poly(lactic acid), or PLA, has become a popular choice for sustainable plastics. All of this has led different researchers to think about whether CBD is capable of working when it comes to making bioplastics.

Gregory Sotzing, Lakshmi Nair and colleagues have set to work to determine how effective CBD is in this equation. The researchers started with the intention of creating cannabinoid polymers and to do so, they carried out a condensation reaction with adipoyl chloride, (used to make nylon) and CBD or the closely related cannabigerol (CBG), creating a polyester.

The experts concluded that the polymeric CBD has sufficient capacity to act as a quality plastic. The researchers poured the fabric into a mold shaped like a hemp leaf. In addition, knowing that plastics of this type are usually used in medical contexts, the specialists also analyzed the bioactive properties of the polymers.

The results indicate that neither CBG nor CBD polyesters were cytotoxic. Unlike conventional bioplastic PLA, CBD polyester had an antioxidant effect, which is not surprising given the properties of the compound. While the CBD polymer version did not have the same therapeutic effects as the oil form, future versions of the plastic may have analgesic and therapeutic properties.

Undoubtedly, the world is experiencing a major environmental crisis that manifests itself in many ways. Using CBD as a tool for the creation of these bioplastics can certainly be a game changer.