A new industry report highlights huge potential for new cannabis-based drugs aimed at treating a wide range of medical conditions.
The report, released on Thursday 2 September by global cannabis industry consultants Prohibition Partners, highlights how the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of medical conditions, from pain and spasticity to PTSD and epileptic seizures, offers major opportunities.
The current global spend on non-cannabinoid-based pain medications worldwide is estimated to be at US$63-85 billion each year.
But to date, no single cannabinoid-based drug has received widespread approval for the treatment of pain, despite the fact that this is by far the most common condition for which medical cannabis is used.
Around 200 million people are thought to be using cannabis globally each year, while insights from Prohibition Partners’ 2020 global surveys of cannabis users, indicated that around 40 percent of consumers did so for some medical reason.
The understanding of what cannabinoids can be used for in the medical setting has largely been patient-led to date, with research often following in lieu of common consumption of cannabis for a given condition.
Prohibition Partners’ The Pharmaceutical Cannabis Report: 2nd Edition report identifies at least 30 late-stage clinical trials using cannabinoids therapeutics, any of which could have a large impact on the medical cannabis space.
According to its findings, products with new routes of administration are making their way through the approval process, whereas research and development on minor cannabinoids with a lot of therapeutic promise is just beginning.
In the medium-to-long term, the report suggests that a range of new cannabinoid therapeutics will be approved across the globe. Operators in the space can expect to see these products take up market share at the expense of unapproved flower and oils in the next decade.
Conor O’Brien, author of the report and analyst at Prohibition Partners, commented: “Many operators in the medical cannabis space are blind to the risks and opportunities arising from cutting edge developments in clinical trials of cannabinoid medicines, the synthetic cannabinoid space, and the innovations in delivery formats and devices. This report details the state of play for medical cannabis technologies and treatments which will inevitably occupy a large share of the medical cannabis market moving forward, with implications for all patients, regulators and operators in the space.”
The Pharmaceutical Cannabis Report: 2nd Edition summary can be downloaded here.
Rapper Lil’ Kim announces new cannabis brand ‘aphrodisiac’
The New York rapper becomes the latest celebrity to launch their own cannabis collection which is due in 2022.
The singer has announced the launch of her own cannabis brand, Aphrodisiac which is being produced in partnership with Superbad inc.
Lil Kim’s new products will be available across California in 2022, although there is no official launch date announced.
The brand is being produced in collaboration with the innovative cannabis brand, Superbad inc. Superbad was established in 2020 combining cutting edge technology and sleek design for cannabis consumers. They currently have seven acres of indoor grow and a “state-of-the-art facility” employing over 200 people.
Kimberly Denise Jones who goes by her stage name, Lil’ Kim has been working on the brand for two years. She has also partnered with the brand CampNova, which offer vertically integrated marketing and a distribution platform.
The rapper wants the cannabis line to reflect her personal style and says she has personally tested her own products. The collection is tailored to Lil’ Kim’s own preference in genetics and strains.
Lil’ Kim collection
There are plans to expand the range to other legal states such as Michigan, New Jersey and New York. Originally from New York, Lil’ Kim hopes to be able to release the collection in her home state.
In an interview with Forbes magazine, she said: “I’ve actually been working on this for about two and a half to three years. This is something that didn’t just come overnight. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Lil’ Kim is the latest celebrity to enter the cannabis space with her own collection. Earlier this year, Justin Bieber announced he would be releasing a collection of pre-rolls called Peaches with premium brand Palms. The products are currently available in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Florida.
In a press release, he stated: “I’m a fan of Palms and what they are doing by making cannabis approachable and helping to destigmatise it — especially for the many people who find it helpful for their mental health.”
Always Pure Organics: A day in the life with Chikako Yoshida
Regional Director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida, gives us a glimpse of her typical workday and discusses working in cannabis.
Chikako Yoshida, regional director of Asia for Always Pure Organics shares her experience of working in the cannabis industry.
Always Pure Organics is excited to give you a glimpse behind the curtain once again.
Join us for our latest episode of a Day in the Life, in which regional director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida discusses her experience working for Always Pure Organics and in the cannabis industry.
In this episode, we follow our Regional Director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida, as she takes us through her typical workday. Having previously worked in counterterrorism for the United Nations, Chikako joined the APO team in May 2020. Chikako has such an interesting story to tell, we’re honoured to have her on the team as she embodies our mission to cultivate cannabis acceptance and accessibility worldwide.
Chikako Yoshida said: “Upon learning about the power of cannabis and seeing the high potential growth of Always Pure Organics, I decided to change career from preventing illicit drugs to promoting cannabis to help people in need. I feel that by joining APO, I can help fulfil my life’s mission to support children and their families who fight against illness and sickness by providing them with cannabis products.”
CBGA may be ‘more potent’ than CBD against seizures in Dravet syndrome
Dr Lyndsey Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.
Scientists say they have found the ‘Mother of all cannabinoids’ which may help to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome.
A new study on mice from the University of Sydney found that three acidic cannabinoids found in cannabis reduced seizures in Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of childhood epilepsy.
The three cannabinoids are cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA). All three but CBGA in particular “may contribute to the effects of cannabis-based products in childhood epilepsy” noted the researchers and were found to potentially have ‘anticonvulsant properties.”
The study marks the first time that three acidic cannabinoids were found to potentially help reduce seizures for Dravet syndrome.
Speaking with Cannabis Health News, the lead author of the study, Dr Lyndsey Anderson, said: “We found that CBGA exhibited both anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects. CBGA was more potent than CBD against febrile seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We also found that a combination of CBGA and clobazam was more effective than either treatment alone. Additionally, we found that CBGA was anticonvulsant in the maximal electroshock acute seizure model, a model for generalized tonic-clonic seizures.”
She added: “CBGA did, however, present some proconvulsant effects. The frequency of spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome was increased with a high dose of CBGA. Also, CBGA was proconvulsant in the 6-Hz acute seizure model, a model of focal, psychomotor seizures.”
Although CBGA shows promise, Dr Anderson also stressed that it needs more research before it can replace CBD. She cautioned that Dravet syndrome patients may still need to proceed with caution.
“Artisanal cannabis-based products are believed to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome patients,” she said. “As these oils contain rare cannabinoids like CBGA, it is possible CBGA then contributes to the anticonvulsant effects of these artisanal cannabis oils. However, there were proconvulsant effects observed with CBGA, suggesting that Dravet syndrome patients may need to proceed with caution. The proconvulsant liability of CBGA would need to be addressed before it replaced CBD as an anticonvulsant.”
What is CBGA?
Sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids,’ CBGA is the precursor molecule to many different cannabinioids including CBD and THC. It is thought to help some diseases such as colon cancer, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid much like CBD.
Dr Anderson explains that more research is needed to explain how the three cannabinoids work together.
“We don’t know how they work together yet,” she said. “We found that CBGA, CBDVA and CBGVA were all individually anticonvulsant against thermally induced seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We did not investigate whether a combination of these three cannabinoids would result in a greater anticonvulsant effect than either cannabinoid alone. Future work will definitely explore this possibility.”
CBGA future research
This isn’t the end of the research into CBGA for Dravet Syndrome. Dr Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.
She said: “Next on the horizon for this research is to explore whether the anticonvulsant properties of CBDVA and CBGVA translate to other seizure types including spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Additionally, we have extensively interrogated the anticonvulsant potential of individual cannabinoids and identified ten with anticonvulsant properties.”
“We are now interested in investigating what happens when we combine these anticonvulsant properties. It remains an open possibility that greater anticonvulsant effects are achieved when the cannabinoids are administered in combination.”
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