After years of prohibition, legalized medical cannabis markets are bringing the plant into the mainstream once again. “More than 50 countries around the world have legalized some form of medical cannabis, while six countries have legalized cannabis for adult use,” said New Frontier Data Founder and CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer. In its 2019 industry report, New Frontier estimated that 1.2 billion patients worldwide suffer from medical conditions for which cannabis has shown therapeutic value, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, chronic pain and anxiety.
The ability of cannabis to treat multiple symptoms and conditions concurrently has the potential to reduce the risks of polypharmacy burden, including harmful drug reactions and interactions. Medical cannabis may also be a better treatment for pain than opioids, given its high safety profile and relatively low chance of addiction.
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To further achieve legitimacy as medicine and for health practitioners to have confidence in their prescriptions, medical cannabis therapies must have accurate and reliable dosing. Cannabis as a plant-based medicine is more complex than many chemically derived pharmaceuticals, which can contain several different chemicals. Like most plants, cannabis contains hundreds of active chemicals and this biochemical complexity can prove challenging when it comes to producing pharmaceutical-grade drugs with accurate and consistent doses. The wide variations in cannabis strains and their active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) such as THC and CBD can also pose a problem for consistency in dosing, as do differences in the way individuals respond to these APIs.
In today’s medical cannabis industry, there is a definite need for technologies that can improve dosing, delivery and the overall consumer experience, especially as the marketplace for pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products expands its global reach. Some of the companies that are developing medical cannabis dosing and delivery technologies include RYAH Medtech, Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX, OTCQX:LXRP), NanoSphere Health Sciences Inc. (CSE: NSHS) (OTC:NSHSF), and Syqe Medical.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the cannabis researcher credited with discovering the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, has emphasized the importance of knowledge and transparency when it comes to the levels of THC, CBD and other APIs in medical cannabis products. “Otherwise we are not there. We are not in medicine,” said Mechoulam.
Lack of clinical research and physician education
Decades of prohibition have handcuffed medical researchers from studying the effects of cannabis on the human body, leaving medical cannabis research in its infancy. This lack of research has forced physicians to be cautious with medical cannabis. A 2017 US study showed that 89.5 percent of medical professionals surveyed “felt unprepared to prescribe” cannabis while only 35.5 percent “felt ready to answer cannabis questions” and only 9 percent of US medical schools included “clinical cannabis content in their curricula”.
This dearth of research and a “lack of pertinent education have conspired to leave clinicians in the …read more
Source:: Daily times