NEW YORK, USA — Cannabis is steadily being adopted as a medical alternative for various applications. Primarily, consumers are using cannabis to treat a wide range of conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Tourette’s. In most cases, patients suffering from medical conditions are normally prescribed a drug that has serious side effects.
Cannabis, on the other hand, is a much safer option and has less severe side effects in comparison, while also promoting therapeutic effects. For instance, cannabis helps patients suffering from cancer manage pain while stimulating their appetite as well. Similarly, it is also used as an alternative to opioids, which helps patients lower their dosage and use opiates less often, and also provides therapeutic benefits.
Furthermore, the versatile use of cannabis in the medical industry has led to many other countries looking to adopt it. Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom have all moved to legalize cannabis for medical use. As countries continue to legalize cannabis for medicinal use, it will encourage others to join the movement, further accelerating the overall cannabis industry growth.
According to data compiled by IMARC Group, the global medical cannabis market was estimated to amount to more than US$11 billion in 2017. By 2023, the data suggests that the medical segment will reach US$37 billion.
As the medical cannabis industry continues to evolve, an influx of new products are being introduced into the marketplace. Products such as oils and flowers are most common among consumers. However, as the market advances, products such as edibles and beverages are becoming popular. Cannabis-based edibles can be seen in many forms like candies, mints, and baked goods.
While the emergence of new products is helping the industry grow, the market is still hindered by the lack of research in the field. Increasing R&D activities, clinical trials, and commercialization of cannabis-based indications are helping advance research on medical cannabis. The combination of new products and ongoing research are expected to be major catalysts for the development of the cannabis industry.
“We know, anecdotally, that medical cannabis has many potential benefits in treating a variety of ailments. But anecdotes aren’t good enough for doctors, patients and the US Food and Drug Administration. We need hard scientific research proving the benefits of medical cannabis, with detailed findings on dosage, for example,” said Dr Jonathan Rothbard, PhD, Stanford University.