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article imageFuture growth in the medical marijuana sector

By Tim Sandle     Jan 6, 2016 in Business
The company Cannabis Science, Inc. is one example of a company seeking increased growth in the medical marijuana sector during 2016, tapping into the burgeoning North American medical marijuana market.
In the last few years, the medical marijuana market has grown considerably, fueled by many U.S. states permitting the use of the psychoactive drug or its extracts (at different levels of use.) Medical marijuana products are consequently being developed by start-ups and established pharmaceutical companies. The value of the industry is expected to hit $1.2 trillion globally by 2018.
Cannabis Science, Inc. is one such company and is aiming to accelerate its pharmaceutical drug development programs. The company manufacturers Pure Decarboxylated CO2 Oil (PDCO); CBD; Sativa; and Indica Capsule products (the latter two being drawn from two different types of Cannabis plant.) The capsules were put on show at The Emerald Cup, a cannabis-themed event that was held in December 2015.
With [i]Cannabis [/i]plants, there are three species — sativa, indica, and ruderalis — and seven subspecies. Sativa is the most widespread variety. It is a tall plant found in warm lowland regions. Indica is a shorter, bushier plant, found in cooler regions. Ruderalis is a very short plant that grows in Europe and central Asia. The aromas and psychoactive effects differ between the species.
The longer-term aim is to gain regulatory approval for various cannabis-based formulations. These are currently under the code names: CS-S/BCC-1, CS-TATI-1, and CS-NEURO-1, respectively. The CS-NEURO-1 product is close to beginning phase 1 clinical trials in Europe. The product is designed to treat neurobehavioral disorders, such as those associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and neuro-oncological conditions.
To produce pharmaceutical products, the company must meet Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines. These are not fully defined for marijuana-based products and last year Digital Journal reported on the need for a microbiological standard for medical marijuana in order to safeguard users.
Another requirement that a company like Cannabis Science faces is with growing specific cannabis strains suitable for providing clinical material. Correct testing is important, given the side effects from marijuana use (albeit that this varies according to the form and chemicals extracted from it.) These technical issues are now akin to those faced by manufacturers of more traditional pharmaceutical products, as the Generex Biotechnology Corporation identified in a recent white paper.
In related news, a study involving medical marijuana has identified a compound within the drug that can assist with the reduction of seizures in epilepsy patients.
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