December 28, 2021 08:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Over the last few decades, the cannabis plant and its many componentshave 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.
“(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.
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:
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
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.
Highlights of Market Research Future’s Medical Cannabis Industry Report
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.
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.
North America Ruled the Global Medical Cannabis Market Last Year
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 theinclusion 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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