U.S. cannabis company Vireo Health announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for its patent application titled, “Tobacco Products with Cannabinoid Additives and Methods for Reducing the Harm Associated with Tobacco Use.”
“This patent is a component of our strategy to disrupt the tobacco industry and help save lives,” said Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Kingsley, M.D. “As a physician, I am passionate about finding ways to use cannabis to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco. We look forward to collaborating with research institutions and tobacco companies committed to developing less harmful tobacco products.”
Vireo’s allowed patent application covers cannabis-based additives that can be formulated into tobacco products to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use. This novel application of cannabis covers the use of one or more carefully formulated cannabinoids as harm reducing agents in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco products.
Potential benefits associated with cannabinoid additives in tobacco products include the reduction of irritation, inflammation, and carcinogenicity. According to a 2016 study, scientific evidence supports that cannabinoids may have substantial anti-cancer effects.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that the use of tobacco is not only the leading cause of preventable disease in the U.S., but also imposes significant economic costs. Specifically, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults. In 2017, an estimated 14.0% (34.3 million) of U.S. adults were cigarette smokers.