Medical Cannabis Market Size is set to register commendable growth over 2022-2028, on account of the rising R&D efforts and approvals for cannabis-based medical products. Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, refers to derivatives of the plant Cannabis sativa, which are used mainly to ease symptoms arising due to certain medical ailments. There are many active compounds in the cannabis sativa plant, including CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol).
The escalating prevalence of cancer across the globe is a major factor propelling medical cannabis market growth over 2022-2028. Cancer is considered a major cause of death globally, representing almost 10 million fatalities in 2020. Since medical marijuana plays a key role in easing symptoms associated with chemotherapy like vomiting and nausea, this rising cancer rate may enhance industry penetration. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer patients who make use of cannabis rely less on pain medication. There are also early clinical trials being introduced to examine the efficacy of cannabinoids in cancer treatment among humans. For instance, in August 2021, The University of Birmingham announced its plan to coordinate a new phase II trial with funding from The Brain Tumour Charity. The aim of this trial was to assess whether the addition of Sativex, an orally-administered spray with CBD and THC content, to the chemotherapy regimen could help extend life among patients diagnosed with recurrent glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer with an average survival of fewer than 10 months.
CBD will emerge as a prominent compound segment for the medical cannabis market by 2028, given its low toxicity levels and non-psychoactive impact. CBD is found predominantly in oil formulation but is also available in the form of a vaporized liquid, extract, or oil-based capsules. The emergence of CBD-infused products, from cosmetics to food & beverages is a key factor driving the medical cannabis industry expansion from the segment. To illustrate, in June 2021, Colgate-Palmolive introduced a new antiperspirant formula infused with cannabidiol, for use as an anti-irritant for the skin.
Regionally, Europe is expected to emerge as a major revenue source for the medical cannabis market by 2028, given the increasing authorization of cannabis as a medical product, and approvals for new facilities in the region. In March 2021, the first clinic approved by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) for operation in England, Sapphire Medical, received HIS (Healthcare Improvement Scotland) registration, making it the first clinic in Scotland to be authorized for providing patients safe access to medical marijuana.
Major players operating in the medical cannabis market include Aphria, Inc. (Tilray), Organigrams Holding, Inc., Canopy Growth Corporation, Cannabis Science, Inc (Weedmaps)., Tilray, Inc, Aurora Cannabis, Inc., Medical Marijuana, Inc., Vivo Cannabis Inc., Hexo, and Medmen. These entities are undertaking partnerships, collaborations, and other strategies to expand their reach across the global business landscape.
In February 2021, Tilray Inc., an industry leader in the cultivation, production, distribution, and research of cannabis announced an agreement with Grow Pharma, for the import and distribution of its medical marijuana products in the UK. The objective behind the deal was to establish a local supply of cannabis-based medical solutions for authorized patients in need. In November 2021, VIVO Cannabis Inc. introduced a high dose cannabidiol (CBD) oil, its latest medical marijuana product under the Beacon Medica brand, to aid patients in meeting their health objectives.
Despite wreaking havoc across nearly every industrial vertical over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has also created significant opportunities for medical cannabis industry growth. This is attributed mainly to the increasing usage of cannabis-based medical products for the management of mild symptoms in patients diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Medicinal marijuana has shown considerable potential as a COVID response, owing to its anti-inflammatory attributes and other benefits. Studies like recent research published in the Aging journal have also revealed that cannabis can improve the condition of COVID-19 patients substantially, by mitigating the risk of cytokine storm and safeguarding lung tissue against inflammatory damage.
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