Avicanna, a biopharmaceutical company focused on cannabinoid medicine, is on a mission to globally improve people's overall quality of life, to help people to feel good. Headquartered in Canada, it operates as a global marketplace focusing on medical, pharmaceutical, and derma cosmetic product lines. Avicanna is differentiated within the cannabis space due to its evidence-based approach and scientific research - through strategic collaborations and partnerships with top-notch research institutions. Avicanna is an established leader in cannabinoid research and development, which it primarily conducts at its R&D headquarters in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre, JLABS and in collaboration with leading medical and academic institutions.
Rho Phyto , is a medical cannabis brand developed by Avicanna which launched in stores in summer of 2020. It has an exclusive partnership with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, and the brand has experienced overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients and consumers with its focus on medical products that have targeted delivery forms including oral delivery and topical applications.
Understanding the Patient's Perspective
VP of Medical Programs at Avicanna, Dr. Karolina Urban, leads research projects for preclinical, clinical, and real-world non-interventional trials. She has a masters in neuroscience and a Ph.D. in rehabilitation science. Her interest in working with Avicanna began when she understood the company's emphasis on understanding the therapeutic potential of various cannabinoids, and focus on developing novel and advanced formulations aimed at ensuring optimal safety and efficacy for patients.
Karolina states that "Our Avicanna products have additional ingredients to help boost the stability of the cannabinoids and to help increase the absorption of the cannabinoids into the body. From a patient’s point of view, we have also focused on accuracy in dosing.
This is particularly important as you want to be getting the same dose with every use. We have oral drops and sublingual sprays with enhanced penetration to increase the cannabinoid absorption across the sublingual membrane. RHO Phyto product line is efficient, better-tasting, discreet, and fast- acting."
From a medical perspective, Avicanna understood that many medical patients may never want to smoke or inhale their medical cannabis from the start. For this reason, the company decided to create either oral or topical products to address the various health conditions of medical patients.
After working with physicians to understand their patient population, Avicanna developed a complementary line of products. According to Karolina, "A person with chronic pain might need something that's more systematic, so he or she may choose to take the RHO Phyto micro drops to start. But with acute bouts of pain periodically throughout the day, this same person may need additional support. The RHO Phyto Rapid Act Spray can be layered over the Micro Drop Cannabis Oil to manage symptoms as they fluctuate throughout the day. For this reason, we see physicians prescribing both products to their patients, as the two products complement each other."
RHO Phyto Rapid Act Spray
The RHO Phyto line through Shoppers Drug Mart includes three hallmark CBD products. The Rapid Act Spray comes in different ratios of CBD to THC and is a fast-acting sublingual with a lemon-mint flavor. RHO Phyto's Rapid Act Sprays are notable due to faster absorption and onset rates when compared to basic MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) sublingual sprays. The Rapid Act Cannabis Oil Spray comes in three ratios, a 10:20 (THC to CBD), a 2:40 (THC to CBD), and a 0:40 (THC to CBD).
Rho Phyto Micro Drops
The RHO Phyto Micro Drop is a medium CBD to low THC product formulated with full spectrum cannabis distillate. An advanced formulation, the micro drops are created to provide higher and faster cannabinoid absorption. This product was designed to ensure the stability of the cannabinoids and is offered in Blood Orange flavour, and comes metered dosing for easy titration. The Micro Drop formulation comes in three ratios, a 5:20 (THC to CBD), a 2:50 (THC to CBD), and a 0:50 (THC to CBD.
Rho Phyto Deep Tissue Gel
Over the last five years, Avicanna formulation scientists within the R&D worked to develop an exceptional topical. Recently, RHO Phyto released the Extra Strength Deep Tissue CBD Gel, found exclusively on Shoppers Drug Mart. Upon the initial release, the Deep Tissue Gel sold out within weeks due to extraordinary demand.
Karolina commented on the topical gel, saying, "I'm a former professional hockey player, and I now experience a lot of hip pain. As a result, I've tried almost every cannabis (and non-cannabis) topical available including rubs, gels, and creams, and by far, the RHO Phyto deep tissue gel has worked best for me.
“ Avicanna is starting studies evaluating the effect of one of its deep tissue gels on pain and inflammation in models of osteoarthritis. In addition, the extra strength deep tissue gel will be available for the Medical Cannabis- Real World Clinical Trial being completed by the University Health Network and Medical Cannabis by Shoppers."
Rho Phyto is focused on medical cannabis, but it is also considered a wellness brand, with nearly five years of research going into making its product line and various formulations to meet patient's and consumers' needs.
Karolina says "One of the benefits of using RHO Phyto is that significant research and development has gone into each product. We have varying levels of cannabinoids in our products based on the data we have collected from patients with various therapeutic conditions. We've understood through our process and clinical observations that different ratios work for different people. In the future we hope to have more clinical evidence around the efficacy of our products for indications like chronic pain , but also for issues such as a better night's sleep."