Medical cannabis, also known as Medical marijuana, is used either to treat disease or improve symptoms. Cannabis has been considered to be a major source of drug addiction. Extract from the dried flower bud part of the plant called as Marijuana has certain medicinal properties. The two cannabinoids - delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are being used in treatment of certain disease or health conditions such as pain, blood pressure, memory, concentration, appetite, sensory stimulus, muscular problems, and seizures.
Medical Cannabis Market Dynamics
However, the debate still continues regarding the approval, safety and usage of cannabis (marijuana) for medicinal purpose, due to differences in the laws pertaining to this smoked drug. Hence, studies are conducted extensively to establish the safety aspect of this drug. Various states in the U.S. have already legalized cannabis (marijuana) for medicinal purposes. Scientific research of chemicals in the cannabis plant for its potential medicinal use has led to a shift in its demand purpose. Regulatory clearance has played a major role in the growth of Medical cannabis market.
Other names of Cannabis - grass, pot, dope, Mary Jane, hooch, weed, hash, joints, brew, reefers, cones, smoke, mull, buddha, ganga, hydro, yarndi, heads, and green.
The U.S. FDA has approved two medications, Marinol and Syndros, which contain dronabinol in pill form. However, the FDA has not approved the marijuana plant as a medicine. The medicinal cannabis (marijuana) is administered in either of the ways – liquid extract, vaporized form, smoked or solid form.
Prevalent Scenario in the Medical Cannabis Market
According to the Medical Marijuana, Inc., the estimated size of the legal marijuana industry in the U.S. is US$ 7.1 billion in 2016. This is an increase of 25% Y-o-Y. As of 2016, 28 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medicinal purpose with some more gearing up for votes on the recreational use of marijuana. California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts states in November 2016, voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The accelerated pace of legalization of cannabis (marijuana) in the U.S. has attracted the attention of global investors in the medical cannabis market. However, lack of formulation of a comprehensive law pertaining to medical marijuana in some states inhibits patient access to the drug.
Important role of Regulatory Authorities in the Medical Cannabis Market Trends
According to the United Nations, marijuana was the most widely used drug globally in 2014, with around 183 million users. Such a large user base makes it highly lucrative taxable opportunity, which is influencing various governments worldwide to initiate studies regarding legalization of the drug for medicinal use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is still conducting research on cannabis (marijuana) to treat numerous diseases and conditions such as autoimmune disease, pain, inflammation, seizures, mental disorders, and substance abuse disorders. Regulatory compliance is a key factor that influences cost, quality, and safety of cannabis (marijuana) medicines, as well as the capacity for the manufacturers in the medical cannabis market to be responsive, scalable, and innovative.
Medical Cannabis Market Future Outlook
Potential medical cannabis markets other than the U.S., include Canada, Israel, Australia, and Spain. Mexico is also in process to consider the legalization of cannabis. Other countries are expected to consider legalization of the drug, once conclusive evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of cannabis are obtained through extensive research. According to Arcview Group—a cannabis industry investment and research firm—around 200 investors met companies to capitalize on lucrative opportunities from commercialization of medical cannabis. This implies that there is a huge potential in the medical cannabis industry and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies need to focus on increasing awareness about the drug emerging economies.
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