CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: The opioid crisis in North America has drawn attention to the urgent need for alternative medicines, and hemp CBD products offer a viable plant-based option.
- An active ingredient in industrial hemp, Cannabidiol (CBD) can be extracted to be used in a number of different products such as topicals, tinctures, and capsules.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has found CBD to be nonpsychoactive, nonaddictive, and to have a positive effect on patients’ health.
- Scientific studies have shown CBD to be effective in pain relief and, therefore, it may be a healthier alternative to addictive opioids.
Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTC: MCOA) (MCOA Profile) is actively engaged in producing all-natural products containing CBD, including a recently released pain cream that can be applied topically to relieve discomfort. Cronos Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) has recently received a boost in funds and a license to produce cannabis products in Australia, allowing the company to grow its operations. Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC), which produces oils containing CBD, is expanding into Lesotho and Colombia, exploring a global pain-relief market. Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (OTCQX: ACBFF), which already produces a wide range of medical marijuana strains, is in the process of acquiring an R&D company to strengthen its offerings. And Organigram Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: OGRMF) produces medical strains that include a CBD option for patients and care providers eager to benefit from this ingredient.
The Opioid Epidemic
The United States is facing one of its greatest medical crises in decades — the opioid epidemic. During 2016 alone, 42,249 people died of opioid overdoses, 115 deaths every day. Despite the attention being turned onto this problem, most states are seeing further increases rather than declines in opioid abuse and its consequences. As the problem grows, physicians, emergency rooms and other healthcare providers are feeling pressure to find effective treatments for pain management, one of the largest causes of the growing problem.
Though illegal drugs such as heroin play their part, this crisis is fuelled by prescription drugs. The prescription painkiller problem began in the 1990s, when pharmaceutical companies persuaded healthcare providers that they could prescribe opioid painkillers without risk of addiction. This proved to be untrue, as large numbers of patients began misusing the drugs. Today, an estimated 21–29 percent of patients prescribed opioids misuse them, with 8–12 percent developing a disorder. And while misuse of legal drugs is a huge problem in its own right, it is also the gateway to illegal opioids. However, by the time the problem was recognized, the medical sector had become reliant on opioids. Pain relief is a critical part of modern medicine, which helps patients manage chronic conditions as well as cope with recovery from shorter-term illnesses, accidents and operations. Simply abandoning opioids was not an option.
An Alternative to Opioids
One option gaining increased attention may be the use of all-natural cannabidiol (CBD) products, as a plant-derived option to the use of synthetic prescription painkillers. These products do not contain THC, the ingredient that gets cannabis users high, and so can be used to provide relief without impairing a user’s normal mental activities. Products containing CBD, which have recently been developed by companies such as Marijuana Company of America (MCOA Profile), may offer a viable alternative to synthetic medicines.
CBD applications and uses have benefitted from changes surrounding that industry. Licenses to grow industrial hemp have allowed companies to combine agriculture, R&D and product development with those seeking medical uses for hemp. MCOA’s recently established cultivation in Oregon is a prime example of this work, with researchers developing better growing techniques and improved plant strains that will allow them to extract higher yields of CBD oil.
A Healthier Option?
Scientific research into the effectiveness of CBD supports its potential in pain relief. A review of recent studies found that it was generally effective in helping patients manage their pain. Not only can it provide a viable alternative to opioid painkillers.
The advantage of CBD over opioids appear to be that it may provide a safer, healthier treatment option. CBD appears to be far less physically and mentally addictive than many prescribed pain medications. Patients can use it without experiencing the high risks of addiction that accompany many prescription painkillers.
The World Health Organization released a scientific research report conducted on CBD, which found the compound to be nonpsychoactive and nonaddictive; the report also noted that it has multiple health benefits. CBD oils provide patients with access to the relief that medical marijuana would bring but without many of the side effects.
By providing alternatives for relief, companies working with CBD are providing a pathway out of the opioid epidemic. One example of a CBD pain-management product is MCOA’s recently released hempSMART Pain Cream.
HempSMART Pain Cream is a topical treatment developed to reduce discomfort, support joint mobility, and relax muscles. Each bottle contains 300mg of full-spectrum CBD derived from industrial hemp, combined with other natural plant-based extracts. The cream contains the company’s own formulation of Ayurvedic herbs along with menthol, cayenne pepper extract, rosemary oil, aloe gel, white willow bark, arnica, wintergreen extract and tea tree oil. Together, these ingredients appear to provide an immediate cooling and soothing sensation, while the CBD helps to ease discomfort.
“We will continue to expand our health and wellness lines in 2018 to include more products,” said MCOA CEO Donald Steinberg. “Pain Cream has been enthusiastically received by our affiliates and customers.”
Pain Cream is just one of many hempSMART products already developed by MCOA. As more is learned about the potential uses of CBD in wellness products, the company will likely develop new products and treatments. From hempSMART Brain, a brain-enhancing formulation, to hempSMART Face, a CBD-infused cosmetic, the company is finding new ways to deliver the benefits of this chemical compound.
Cannabis Companies Explore Potential of CBD
Meanwhile, patients looking for pain relief have the chance to move away from prescription drugs and into treatments without the same risks of addiction. A number of other companies are also exploring the potential of CBD treatments.
One of the most prominent is Cronos Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), the first Nasdaq-traded company purely focused on cannabis. Though based in North America, the company has recently started branching out, obtaining a manufacturing license to produce products based on medical cannabis in Australia. Boosted by funds raised through a recent public offering, the company is set to become a global player in the field of cannabis-derived treatments, including pain medication.
Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) is also looking to bring cannabis and CBD treatments to a wider market. Having previously acquired a cannabis company in Lesotho, giving it access to the African market, the company is now expanding into Latin America through the acquisition of a Colombian company. Canopy Growth produces oils with varying levels of CBD to meet the varying needs of customers.
One of the world’s largest cannabis companies, Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (OTCQX: ACBFF) is heavily involved in pain relief through its wide selection of medical cannabis strains. The company recently took a step toward improving its research into cannabis-derived medicine, thanks to the Canadian Competition Bureau’s approval of a proposed takeover of MedReleaf. By acquiring another R&D-driven cannabis company, Aurora hopes to expand its own research into CBD-based medicines.
Medical cannabis company Organigram Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: OGRMF) has produced a range of different strains, including CBD-rich options. It has recently been licensed to expand its production facilities, allowing the company to better meet the needs of a growing market.
With companies developing hemp-derived, CBD-based wellness products, a new alternative to synthetic opioid-based medications is emerging. CBD-based options may also provide access to the benefits of medical cannabis without that product’s mind-altering properties and other worrisome side effects.
For more information on Marijuana Company of America, visit Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA)
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