Int J Pharm. 2022 Mar 1:121627. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.121627. Online ahead of print.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid that has a great clinical therapeutic potential. Few studies have been published on its efficacy in ocular inflammations while its impact on intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for glaucoma, remains unclear. Moreover, due to its lability and high lipophilicity, its formulation within a prolonged stable topical ophthalmic solution or emulsion able to penetrate the highly selective corneal barrier is challenging. Therefore, various CBD nanoemulsions (NEs) were designed and evaluated for stability in accelerated conditions. Further, the optimal formulation was tested on a murine LPS-induced keratitis inflammation model. Lastly, increasing CBD concentrations were topically applied, for two weeks, on mice eyes, for IOP measurement. CBD NEs exhibited optimal physicochemical characteristics for ocular delivery. A specific antioxidant was required to obtain the stable, final, formulation. In vivo, 0.4 to 1.6% CBD w/v reduced the levels of key inflammatory cytokines, depending on the concentration applied. These concentrations decreased or did not affect the IOP. Our results showed that a well-designed CBD ocular dosage form can be stabilized for an extended shelf life. Furthermore, the significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines levels could be exploited, provided that an adequate therapeutic dosage regimen is identified in humans.