Jamaica’s ‘Good Ganja Sense’ Campaign Aims to Correct Misconceptions About Cannabis
by Bethan Rose
Over the last few decades, the cannabis plant and its many components have been the focal point of research and stiff debate. Despite the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) announcement in May that it would soon start reviewing grower applications for research purposes, cannabis research continues to be tightly restricted. Yet, these restrictions have not deterred scientists from studying and discovering the benefits of medical cannabis.
It is because of the dedication of advocates and scientists that the medical cannabis industry is expected to generate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4% by the year 2027, at which point the market could be worth a staggering $33.2 billion. This is according to recent data from a report published by Market Research Future (MRT) – a pioneer in market analysis.
“(Cannabis is) also used in conjunction with other medicines, either to improve their efficacy or to mitigate negative side effects. Apart from business leaders, many corporate and government institutions are funding the research and development of cannabinoids for medical applications,” reads an excerpt from the report.
Additionally, the report authors noted that medicinal cannabis commercialization, research and development (R&D), and clinical studies are expected to further trigger market growth.
It is no secret that cannabis was historically relied on as a natural tool for pain relief. Ancient records demonstrate the plant’s use in China, Egypt, Greece (Herodotus), and the Roman empire.
Despite its popularity through the ages, a recent study commissioned by cannabis healthcare brand Cannaceutica revealed that many health professionals still lack knowledge of cannabis and its therapeutic benefits.
Nonetheless, we know from research that cannabis’ leaves and buds are used to produce medicinal cannabis products, through utilizing three major active compounds—THC, CBD, and CBN—from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica species.
Interestingly, the 1964 discovery of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam inspired a wave of investigation into the therapeutic properties of cannabis, as well as its derivatives and extracts.
Consequently, the scientific community was astounded to discover that the ground-grown plant may offer relief from widespread medical conditions, including:
Many of these medical conditions are featured on the list of qualifying criteria for medical cannabis programs in the 37 U.S. states that have, so far, legalized cannabis for medical purposes.
MTF’s report into the medical cannabis market offers a glimpse at some of the industry’s top-performing companies. Examples of some big names that got a mention in the report include Aurora Cannabis Inc., Canopy Growth Corporation, Mountain Valley MD Holdings Inc., Sundial Growers Inc., and Tilray, Inc.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating and eye-opening segments of the report focused on the well-known cannabis/hemp compound cannabidiol (CBD). According to MTF analysts, the natural anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective cannabinoid boasts plenty of appeal in the medical sector due to its stress-relieving applications.
This, researchers say, makes CBD a top choice for relieving the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and PTSD. CBD, which is acknowledged for its low toxicity, leads the way in terms of cannabis derivatives. The report authors noted that THC, on the other hand, is touted as a popular option for alleviating the negative effects of AIDS and cancer treatment.
A handful of factors could steer the medicinal cannabis market’s overall value in a northerly direction. For example, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis is being sold across the fast-evolving retail pharmacy landscape. Additionally, oral capsules and solutions constitute a majority of revenue for the market, which is also being fueled by the plant’s adoption as a cancer treatment.
The year 2020 served as a major stepping stone for the North American medical cannabis market which, by that point, was already well-established. Why? Because North America gobbled up the largest market share last year.
MTF analysts pinpoint the root of North America’s market growth to the surging number of enterprises actively engaging in research and development (R&D) efforts, the growing use of medical cannabis products among all age groups, and the inclusion of significant manufacturers, such as Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC), Cronos Group Inc. (CRON), and Tilray Inc. (TLRY).
As of December 2021, medical cannabis legalization has been enacted across 37 U.S. states. Let’s not forget about Canada too. In spite of recreational cannabis legalization, which occurred in October 2018 with the passing of the Cannabis Act, Canadians are still flocking to the medical cannabis sector; registered patients spent CAD$242 million (USD$197 million) in the first half of 2020.
A separate report, published by IMARC Group revealed that the North American medical cannabis market was valued at USD$16 billion last year. The sheer size of the continent’s medical cannabis market serves as encouragement and as a model for other countries around the world with nascent/soon-to-be-launched medical cannabis industries.
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