A multinational manufacturer of consumer products, including e-cigarettes (ENDS).


The client requested the production of a series of urgent toxicity profiles for more than a dozen different cannabinoids, to support and inform their Research & Development (R&D) of new inhalable (non‑nicotine) consumer products (including their possible incorporation as ingredients into e‑liquids). The e-liquids are intended to be used in vaping products, which could potentially expose the lungs of consumers to these cannabinoids on a daily basis for many years.

The cannabinoids included:

  • cannabidiol (CBD) – the major non-psychoactive component of cannabis
  • (-)-trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) – the main psychoactive component of cannabis
  • cannabinol (CBN)
  • cannabidivarin (CBDV)

Project goals

To review the toxic potential of the target cannabinoids, primarily focusing on, where available, good-quality in vivo data and the inhalation route of exposure. These profiles were to make-use of existing Expert Group opinions and relevant reviews, where available. Key areas of interest were any concerning toxicological data (e.g. genotoxicity or respiratory sensitisation potential) relevant to the inhaled chemicals, as well as their specific effects on mental health, psychoactivity and/or on the central nervous system (CNS).

Approach and outcome

Bibra conducted wide-ranging searches for substance-specific toxicity data. Sources included our in-house toxicity database, TRACE, which identified Expert Group reports including those from the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (WHO ECDD) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The key data, derived primarily from high-quality studies with the most relevance to repeated and prolonged exposure by inhalation, were identified and summarised for an array of toxicological endpoints.

Bibra was able to provide the client with a toxicity review for each of the requested cannabinoids, within a short timeframe. Any potential toxicological concerns were highlighted in each report. These reviews enabled the client to decide which cannabinoids may be suitable for inclusion in inhalable consumer products, and those that were not, and identified those that lacked suitable information. Future opportunities for further investigation were also suggested.

Bibra project team

Anne Edwards

Anne Edwards

Director and Principal Toxicologist

RSB/BTS and European Registered Toxicologist
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Beth O Connell

Beth O’Connell

Principal Toxicologist

RSB/BTS and European Registered Toxicologist
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Richard young 2023

Richard Young

Managing Director and Principal Toxicologist

RSB/BTS European Registered Toxicologist
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