How Avicanna is Filling the Medical Cannabis Gap with RHO Phyto

By Selena Romero

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This article is brought to you in paid partnership with Avicanna

Canadian biopharmaceutical company, Avicanna, is pushing the medical cannabis industry forward with the new RHO Phyto line. 

Created with patients who would prefer to administer their medication through oral and topical routes rather than inhalation in mind, RHO Phyto products include various dosage forms such as oils, sprays, capsules, creams and gels.

Avicanna CEO and co-founder, Aras Azadian, believes that by dedicating themselves to filling this gap in the market, their products can not only satisfy the needs of patients, but do it in a more efficient and effective way.

“Because there’s a lack of product stability requirements for cannabis products, many products on the market have poor dose accuracy and consistency, which ultimately affects its efficacy,” said Azadian. “Furthermore, with limited delivery forms on the market, most patients take their medications either by oil drops or inhalation.”

The new offerings were developed by applying the recently amended Health Canada regulations in the Cannabis Act. With products ranging in cannabinoid ratios, the RHO Phyto line has the potential to become the go-to treatment for a number of clinical conditions and symptom management. 

What sets RHO Phyto apart

Justin Grant, Executive Vice President, Scientific Affairs of Avicanna, adds that the innovative forms of medical cannabis can also be safer.

“We believe these products have more consistent accuracy of dosing and are safer than inhalation methods,” said Grant. “These new regulations [of the Cannabis Act] also allowed RHO Phyto to utilize advanced formulations for higher stability and absorption, flavouring and increased quality controls.”

The Avicanna lab

First developed in Johnson and Johnson’s Innovation Centre, known as JLABS in Toronto’s medical discovery district (MaRS), the RHO Phyto products have gone through numerous steps to ensure the best quality product: Preclinical testing and optimization in collaboration with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Pharmacy; partnering with Ontario-based industry leaders including Medipharm Labs, a GMP (good manufacturing practices) certified manufacturing partner to ensure high quality standards and batch to batch consistency; Sigma Analytical, a GMP analytical laboratory for testing and TruTrace Blockchain Technologies for tracking.

Now, Avicanna’s latest partnership with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ will ensure that RHO Phyto products reach people across Canada. In regard to who could benefit RHO Phyto products, Grant said that many patients could benefit from the therapeutic properties of medical cannabis. 

“Patients whose primary medical conditions are refractory to standard drugs and are seeking natural alternatives should consider discussing these products with their healthcare practitioner,” said Grant. “In addition, many patients with several primary medical conditions also suffer from comorbidities such as anxiety, depression, sleep dysregulation and appetite disorders.”

The future of medical cannabis

While there may still be a stigma surrounding the cannabinoid industry, Grant hopes that people learn about advanced cannabis products, such as the RHO Phyto line, are produced with high quality standards and undergo rigorous testing. Additionally, he hopes that there will be a clear division between medical and recreational cannabis in the future.

As for Azadian, he says that Canada has the chance to continue being a leader for the legalization of cannabis globally. 

“I believe the potential of cannabinoid-based medicine is immense, the opportunity in the global market is boundless once we evolve through these current growing pains,” said Azadian.

One way to evolve through the current growing pains? Establish a global leadership position from an intellectual property perspective and capitalize on Canada’s early mover advantage at a federal level to build a real biotech industry—just like Avicanna.


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