US Government Has Patent for Saliva
This is 100% serious. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the assignee on Patent 6630507. What is it for?
Saliva. Cannabis Saliva, in fact.
What on earth is Cannabis Saliva? Well, when someone ingests cannabis, the terpenes, flavinoids and phytocannabinoids trigger a robust flavor that makes you salivate for more. Just kidding.
But, jokes aside…
The U.S. Government really is the assignee on Patent 6630507, a patent that states that cannabinoids are “antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” This patent is detailed, well-researched and articulated scientific proof of the benefits of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant; however, the humorous thing about the patent is a very horrible typo within the definitions.
The patent defines cannabinoids as “a chemical compound (such as cannabinol, THC or cannabidiol) that is found in the plant species Cannabis saliva (marijuana)…”
The definition is supposed to reference Cannabis sativa, the plant species associated with Cannabis sub-species like hemp, marijuana and hashish. Clearly sativa and saliva look very similar so it’s understandable how this may have happened, but given the erroneous legal battles that this plant has faced over the last 80 years of prohibition, a LONG HARD LAUGH is 110% necessary. Thanks autocorrect.
This patent has been a topic of heated discussion among the cannabis world, particularly considering the hypocritical nature of one Government agency (basically the FDA) holding clear evidence of the medical and therapeutic potential of cannabis, while another Government agency (the DEA) retains their stern belief that cannabis has no medical or therapeutic benefit.
The patent, which will hit its 20 year filing anniversary in 2019, creates pressure and concern among cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) businesses as they fight to retain rights to sell cannabinoid products, especially once Big Pharma companies like GW Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Pharmaceuticals enter the space.
What is Patent 6630507?
In 2017 a Reddit storm unleashed on Patent 6630507, which states that cannabinoids are “antioxidants and neuroprotectants” ” Everyone on Reddit was asking, if the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) claims cannabis to have no medical value as per the Controlled Substances Act, then why does the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hold a patent on cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the floral cannabis plant material, stating the medical benefit?
So what’s the deal?
The US Department of Health and Human Services is actually the assignee on the patent. This means they assign the patent to companies that license the patent, usually for pharmaceutical purposes. The US Department of Health and Human Services does not “own” Patent 6630507, rather they permit ownership to companies to license the intellectual property.
This decision was determined in the early days of the establishment of Big Pharma, by a Committee within the National Research Council called the Committee on Drug Addiction. You can learn more about this Committee in Episode 4 of my podcast series Anslinger: The untold cannabis conspiracy, and in episodes to come.
The Committee on Drug Addiction felt that having the US Government become the assignee on medical intellectual property was in the best interest of the public, and normally, this is the case, as to avoid monopolizing drugs and purposefully increasing the price on essential pharmaceuticals.
What does the Cannabis patent include?
Well, a lot.
The Cannabis patent unlocks key understanding for the way our world views cannabinoids. Similar to when Roger Adams discovered CBD around 1942 and Raphael Mechoulam isolated and synthesized CBD and THC in 1965, Patent 6630507 was a major breakthrough in modern cannabis science.
For one, the cannabis patent publicly states the benefits of cannabinoids. So while the DEA might suggest cannabis has no medical value, the patent says otherwise. And like many companies have used, the patent is an excellent avenue for providing clear evidence for support.
The patent is very robust and I won’t go into all the details, frankly, because that would be very time consuming to do.
But here is some more information on the cannabis patent…
Patent 6630507 provides great detail as to the actual benefits, based on scientific modeling, of various cannabinoids, most specifically CBD and THC.
The patent claims various “methods”, including treating diseases caused by oxidative stress. In fact the patent specifically says, “it is an object of this invention to provide a new class of antioxidant drugs, that have particular application as neuroprotectants, although they are generally useful in the treatment of many oxidation associated diseases.”
The patent also includes that “no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to health volunteers, even in large acute doses of 700mg/day.”
We must keep in mind that the patent itself was issued in 2003, so a lot of what is in the patent is not necessarily outdated, but A LOT more research has surfaced since this was issued and assigned. Documents like the World Health Organization’s recent pre-review on cannabidiol and other more recent published research on these cannabinoids can provide further evidence and support for the attributes of various cannabinoids.
Does the Cannabis Patent Cause Concern for Hemp and Marijuana Markets?
To some extent, yes, the cannabis patent does cause some concern for hemp and marijuana, mostly because of the use of the international nonproprietary names like CBD and THC. These will likely be considered part of pharmaceutical terminology, but that doesn’t mean that hemp and marijuana markets won’t get to keep their share of the market.
However, similar to the Red Yeast Rice supplement market, it may be the case that the cannabis supplement industry will not be allowed to use the terminology referencing the compounds as what they are, like CBD. Instead, unless the cannabis industry works together to counteract Big Pharma and FDA demands, the industry may have to start referring to cannabinoids as a whole, describing them as cannabis extracts or hemp extracts.
So while cannabis drug laws are loosening with the DEA, an even larger and more powerful industry is awaiting…….