Cultivation – Processing – Distribution The Medical Cannabis Industry
The medical cannabis industry is evolving at a rapid pace. With a rise in the volume of clinical trials and scientific studies, research is confirming repeatedly that there is indeed significant medicinal advantage to using cannabis.
Among many other ailments, CBD can be utilized for neurological conditions, psychiatric problems, and as a replacement for traditional non-inflammatory medication. It is also a safer than opioids for pain relief as it is impossible to overdose and far less addictive. Recognizing the medical advantages, several countries have already legalized cannabis, (or are in the process), and it is no surprise that Europe is currently leading the impetus towards this new attitude. From a business perspective this change is rapidly transitioning the cannabis industry out of the black market and turning it into a mainstream economic force. Of course, like many revolutionary advances, supply has yet to catch up with market demand and as a result much of the innovation is occurring with poor attention to compliance, provenance and quality control. The market is flooded with low quality, poorly regulated product as it transitions and so far, this has led to a massive worldwide shortage of legal GMP certified cannabis and CBD oil. As a result, according to the Ackrell Capital 2018 Investor Report, the demand for quality medical grade cannabis will continue to grow from $10 Billion in 2018 to $50 Billion globally by 2029.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that contains biologically active substances in its leaves, flowers, and buds and their extracts (for example, oil and concentrates). The two most biologically active chemicals in cannabis are THC and CBD. When ingested, or absorbed, THC affects how you think, act, and feel and it can make you feel intoxicated and CBD may lessen pain and other symptoms. There are many types, or strains, of cannabis and each plant has specific THC-to-CBD ratios. As a result, some strains have different kinds of effects than others.
What is Medical Cannabis?
In simple terms, when used for medical purposes, the cannabis plant is harvested and used as the raw material in a unique process that converts it into a specialized active pharmaceutical ingredient, (API). This API is then used to make an array of medicinal products, (directly or indirectly, usually in combination with other API’s or ingredients).
Can any type of cannabis become an API?
Not all cannabis plants can be used to make an API as pharmaceutical companies only use high purity ingredients as a standard for medicinal use. As a result, the raw material itself must be of a superior grade and the conditions within which it is cultivated must also adhere to strict compliance, provenance and quality control. In addition, to add to the criteria, the manufacturing process must also ensure constant API consistency through careful and meticulous chemical profiling, testing and engineering.
What medical conditions does cannabis treat?
Medicine derived from cannabis helps treat symptoms like pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who have conditions like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis and helpful for many health conditions. These may include:
- Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy (chemo) for cancer
- Low appetite and weight loss for people who have AIDS
- Muscle stiffness for some multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury patients
- Chronic pain, nerve (neuropathic), or pain at the end of life