Across the United States, medical cannabis is enjoying all-time high support. It is not a wonder that the first ever prescription drug based on marijuana will soon be on the shelves; this is after it wins FDA approval. The drug can cure 2 rare types of epilepsy.
Following the completion of a recent survey, it is clear that are using cannabis for vastly different reasons. Marijuana-based drugs will certainly benefit millions of Americans, meaning that aligned biotechs have an opportunity to invest.
Initial results indicate that cannabinoids can alleviate conditions affecting approximately 40 million citizens.
The Elder Generation and Medical Cannabis
According to a survey conducted by AARP, while only 6% of older Americans have used marijuana, 80% of them support its medical use. This study was conducted even in states where medical marijuana hasn’t been legalized yet.
However, the acceptance levels and use in states where medical cannabis is legal are higher. After studying data from 11,600 adults across 26 states, BDA Analytics discovered that 41% of adults over 50 are thinking of trying out marijuana. 12% are already using it.
Most importantly, older Americans are not using cannabis merely to get high. Most of them are after the pain relieving benefits synonymous with the use of medical cannabis. They cannot wait to get rid of their many pills and use what truly works for them.
Treating Pain is A Big Deal
Studies published as early as 2014 affirm that using medical marijuana drastically relieves pain, if not eliminating it altogether. States which had legalized medical cannabis back then experienced drastically lower numbers of opioid overdose fatalities.
In June 2016, a study by the University of Michigan found out that 50% of the participants were able to kick their opioid habits for pain relief. A more detailed study in Israel later that year saw 44% of opioid users shift to marijuana for pain relief in only 7 months.
Without a doubt, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine gave the strongest medical marijuana endorsement last year. Their published health effects of cannabinoids and cannabis gained huge traction in addressing chronic pain.
Data from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) indicate that 25 million U.S citizens suffer from severe pain. Already, Biopharmaceutical companies are working relentlessly at developing effective marijuana pain medicines without opioid side effects.
How Cannabinoid-Focused Biotechs Will Benefit
Quite frankly, biotechs aren’t doing much to explore their full potential and make the most out of cannabinoids. If they were to fully investigate the powers of pain management through medical cannabis, there’s no telling the number of chronic pain conditions which can be eliminated.
Concentrated forms of CBD, such as the soon to be released Epidolex, will be a big hit in 2018 and beyond. Some of the establishments expanding their biotech programs rapidly include Cara Therapeutics, Insys Pharmaceuticals, and GW Pharmaceuticals.
While some focus on using cannabinoids to treat chronic and neuropathic pain, others are weighing cannabis-infused chewing gums for spasticity and MS pain. For medical cannabis pain relief, biotechs are certainly missing out on many opportunities.
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