“Oil and water do not mix,” says Dr. Neha Chavan (pictured above), a scientist who then goes on to describe how, in fact, they can.
Founder, CEO and chief scientist at Oneness Technologies in Tampa, Fla., Dr. Chavan is talking about how cannabis, an oily plant, can be best absorbed by the body — and about the technology she pioneered to make cannabinoids soluble in water.
“If you want your body to absorb anything that you are consuming, it must first be soluble in water to get into your bloodstream,” says Dr. Chavan, who has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical drug development.
At Oneness Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company developing plant-derived therapeutics for FDA approval, Dr. Chavan uses a pharmaceutical-grade medicine delivery technology — called Oneness OS® — to “unlock” the maximum potential of hemp and cannabis by permitting the full solubilization of plants in water.
Dr. Chavan worked at advanced solubility laboratories during her doctoral studies at St. John’s University School of Pharmacy in New York. She then took her expertise into Big Pharma, where she filed five patents on cannabis drug delivery systems — but she quickly realized the pharma approach of dissecting cannabis into single molecules was severely limited. The power of the plant lies in the synergistic effect of the hundreds of unique molecules working together in harmony to achieve maximum well-being in the body. With this knowledge, Dr. Chavan set out to create the world’s first drug delivery platform capable of solubilizing the incredibly complex biochemical composition of whole-plant organic cannabis.
“Even from research already established, everyone knows cannabis has tremendous therapeutic benefits and a powerful benefit to physical, hormonal and mental health,” Dr. Chavan says.’’
However, according to Dr. Chavan, the hemp and cannabis industries today are laden with severely limited water soluble products, creating poor consumer experiences.
“Pharma has had solubility nano-technology for 30 years. What we see in cannabis products are limited adaptations of these old technologies, which strip much of the beneficial value out of the plant due to the severe processing,” she said. “Oneness OS is unique in that we retain the original organic content from the flower 100%, delivering an authentic experience previously only possible through smoking.”
Dr. Chavan’sOneness OS® technology is already making waves. The technology powers LEVIA, the fastest-selling beverage in the U.S. cannabis market. Launched in Massachusetts in 2021, the cannabis-infused seltzer quickly racked up the highest per-capita sales figures for THC drinks in the United States.
Next, Oneness Technologies plans to launch its own direct-to-consumer hemp and cannabis brands in 2022. The Oneness line will start with drink drops and beverages and expand to topicals and vegan gummies, all featuring the solubilized, full-plant spectrum of benefits.
According to Dr. Chavan, the new cannabis audience is not just interested in smoking. Moreover, LEVIA case study showed that many people try cannabis as a replacement for alcohol.
She points out that cannabis, unlike alcohol, is a natural match for healing, as our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids that bind to our endocannabinoid system, which is the largest neurotransmitter network in our body.
Dr. Chavan says modern life can drain the body’s endocannabinoids, which control critical bodily functions, including emotional processing, pain control, and inflammatory and immune responses.
“Most of us are depleted in endocannabinoids in our body,” she says, adding that full-spectrum cannabinoids from cannabis or hemp plants that are easily absorbed “can replenish bliss and optimal health in our system.”
Dr. Chavan hopes her products will bring healing and balance to those who might otherwise turn to alcohol to ease physical and mental pain.
“Why not give them this alternative that does not drag their mental capacity down but will instead uplift it?” asks Dr. Chavan, who says she is particularly motivated to help women, who are exhausted from hormonal changes and caregiving duties.
In 2022, Dr. Chavan and her team were invited to University of Florida Innovate, an umbrella organization that drives the innovation ecosystem at the research institution, to continue its product development and testing at FDA standards. Oneness is the first cannabis-related company ever admitted into the program on the basis of its technology and commercial success. Globally, Oneness OS remains the only technology capable of solubilizing whole-plant cannabis without altering the original plant matter, which means for the first time it is possible to create whole-plant drugs suitable for FDA approval.
Florida, with its large population of retirees, also presents an opportunity to work directly with a demographic that suffers from high degrees of pain.
Insomnia, too, is a target for Dr. Chavan, who says she developed the first water-soluble melatonin, which will be mixed with hemp CBD to create a sleep aid.
“I developed it for myself, and now it’s a product,” she says. “It does change the quality of life when you have a good sleep.”