Talk of legalizing marijuana throughout North America has been growing like a weed. Up to 88% of Americans favor its medicinal use, thanks to a growing body of research supporting marijuana’s use for medical purposes. Some studies even suggest it can be used for a variety of medical issues including pain, nausea, loss of appetite, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis and even traumatic brain injuries – the list goes on. Several legitimate players in the medical marijuana sector include Scythian Biosciences Corporation (TSX-V: SCYB) (OTC: SCCYF), GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (TSX-V: OGI) (OTC: OGRMF), Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP) and Aphria Inc. (OTC: APHQF) (TSX: APH).
As more than 29 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. have approved its medicinal use, and as eight states have approved its recreational use, it’s clear that legal marijuana stocks are here to stay. On top of that, 61% of Americans now believe marijuana use should be legal.
Whether it be Scythian Biosciences Corporation‘s cannabis-based treatment for traumatic brain injury or GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidolex drug currently under review for childhood epilepsy, investors are seeing promising steps forward for the medical marijuana industry.
Medical Marijuana Sweeping the Continent
Twenty years after California legalized medical marijuana, it’s become a multi-billion dollar business, says USA Today. “Millions of Americans believe that marijuana helps them. They say it relieves pain, improves their appetite and eases the side effects of chemotherapy. Others swear by it for helping with PTSD or anxiety or seizures. Millions use it just to sleep better.”
Aside from PTSD and anxiety, GW Pharmaceuticals has been picking up momentum on indications the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may approve its cannabis-derived drug Epidolex for treatment of seizure symptoms of Lennon-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravnet syndrome. Peak sales are estimated to be $500 million if approved.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is working on treatments for Fragile X Syndrome (a genetic condition that causes developmental issues), developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, adult refractory seizures, and Tourette syndrome.
Corbus Pharmaceuticals is working on Lenabasum (formerly known as anabasum), a synthetic, oral, small-molecule, selective cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) agonist that preferentially binds to CB2 expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts for the treatment of systemic sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Scythian Biosciences Corporation (TSX.V: SCYB) (OTC: SCCYF) also is just beginning to gain momentum, advancing its treatment efforts for concussions and traumatic brain injury with its proprietary cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy.
The Cannabis Commitment to Brain Trauma Remedies
Scythian Biosciences is committed to advancing prevention and treatment efforts for concussion and traumatic brain injury with its proprietary cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy. Recently, the company teamed up with Isodiol International Inc., an industry leader in pharmaceutical grade phytochemical compounds production, as well as CBD consumer products development. This partnership will allow Scythian to tap into Isodiol’s experienced, top tier team of chemists, technicians, and professors that yield the purest government-approved CBD available.
Particularly, the way Scythian accomplishes its top-tier brain-trauma medication is through a combination of drug molecules called CB2 receptor agonists and NMDA receptor antagonists.
CB2 receptor agonists, principally a compound known as cannabidiol (CBD), is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound naturally found in the marijuana plant that is known to resolve inflammation without the associated high, quickly, effectively, and systemically shutting the inflammatory response down.
NMDA antagonists inhibit white blood cell activity within injured brain tissue, stopping cytokine release and further brain damage. CB2 agonists modulate the inflammatory response itself, easing the initial swelling and the resulting pressure of injured brain tissue against the skull.
Scythian’s ambitions doesn’t stop there. The company has recently announced its letter of intent to acquire MMJ International Investments Inc., sole holder of an Argentina-based pharmaceutical import and distribution company. This move, along with Isodol’s ability to export the pure, natural CBD anywhere in the world, including Argentina, Colombia, and Jamaica, could exponentially expedite Scythian’s international footprint and industry advancements.
The Need for Medical Marijuana
The medical community believes they’ve found an alternative treatment to help patients – medical marijuana. Medical researchers have already found that it can slow the progress of protein deposits in the brain, which may be part of what causes Alzheimer’s. Animal studies have shown that it can also kill certain cancer cells. Some animal and small human studies show that cannabinoids can have a “substantial analgesic effect,” notes CNN. It may even help lessen dependency on opioids.
The medical community has even looked at its impact on glaucoma patients, finding that it can help lower eye pressure and blood pressure.
Researchers have even found that some cannabis chemicals may help prevent muscle spasms, pain, tremors, and stiffness in cases of multiple sclerosis.
Right now, there is a clear need for medical marijuana. Since 2014, more than $1 billion has been raised by marijuana businesses. The values of these businesses have gone on an upward trajectory consistently thanks to high investments and product demand. For example, prominent marijuana producers like Aphria saw their stock skyrocket from around $5.00 this time last year to as high as $24.75 in early 2018, close to a 400% gain. Companies like Scythian Biosciences Corp. are on the right path.
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH)
GW has established a world leading position in the development of plant-derived cannabinoid therapeutics through its proven drug discovery and development processes, intellectual property portfolio and regulatory and manufacturing expertise. Its lead product candidate is Epidiolex, developed for certain rare and severe early-onset, drug-resistant epilepsy syndromes.
OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (TSX-V: OGI) (OTCQB: OGRMF)
Organigram Inc. is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada. The company is focused on producing the highest-quality, condition-specific medical marijuana for patients in Canada. Its portfolio includes dry cannabis and cannabis oil, along with accessories like vaporizers.
Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP)
CRBP focuses on the development and commercialization of various therapeutic products to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. The company’s lead product candidate is lenabasum, a synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of systemic sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, dermatomyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus diseases.
Aphria Inc. (OTCQB: APHQF) (TSX:APH)
Aphria is one of Canada’s lowest-cost medical cannabis producers. The company sells its products through both retail and wholesale channels. It’s also engaged in the research and development and commercial production of cannabis oil.
For more information on Scythian Biosciences Corp. (TSX.V: SCYB) (OTC: SCCYF), please visit marijuanastox.com for a free research report.
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