Competition for Sativex
Those that know about cannabis also know that it is a highly effective medicine. Here at Dutch Passion we hear from medi-users all over the world who have known for decades that pot is a valuable medication. During that time we have seen people with all kinds of medical ailments benefit from the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
In California a new cannabis extract in tablet form has been created called Idrasil. At the moment it can’t be exported but in time that may change. Results are already promising. Sativex has some competition at last; as we expected the medical world is starting to develop a range of cannabis medicines.
Idrasil has also been used with good feedback in people suffering from AIDS, cancer, fibromyalgia, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's, glaucoma, chronic pain, MS, Parkinson's disease, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. The mainstream media are beginning to pick up on stories like this and marijuana’s credibility as a medicine simply gets better and better
But the rest of society is only just beginning to wake up medical marijuana. This is a special moment in cannabis history as the first few ‘official’ cannabis extracts begin to get attention. The medical marijuana community have been frustrated with the slow pace of marijuana recognition, but at last things are starting to change.
When UK pharmaceutical company GW Pharma introduced Sativex there was a wide range of responses. Some people maintain that GW Pharma have an unethical monopoly of whole-plant cannabis extract medicines. GW can charge inflated prices for a marijuana extract which is still illegal for many other EU citizens to make themselves. Others argue that whilst GW may be ripping everyone off with their medical marijuana prices at least they have helped take down the legal and medical barriers to cannabis. If nothing else GW have helped cut through the legal red-tape that has prevented cannabis being taken seriously as a medicine.
But whatever your viewpoint on Sativex we all knew that eventually other people would come along with their own competitive offering. And that is exactly what is starting to happen. Idrasil is proving extremely popular in California and more similar products will start appearing. If the major pharmaceutical companies don’t start developing products then the local medical marijuana collectives will. One way or the other medical usage of cannabis will increase dramatically in the coming decade. The plant itself is easy to grow and simple to make extracts from.
The next few years will see an explosion of medical marijuana extracts, oils, tablets, creams and sprays as various regulatory obstacles are removed. This will happen all over the world, though we believe you will see most progress made in Europe and North America initially. At the same time we expect the lower cost Indian and Chinese pharmaceutical companies will start making big plans as well. This is one medicine where there are no patents to avoid, anyone can make it with little investment. There are no hidden side effects to worry about; cannabis is a 100% natural and organic medicine which has been used safely for thousands of years. Unlike opiate medicines cannabis does not cause users to become dependent on it. Medical cannabis will prove to be the darling of the pharmaceutical world – safe, cheap, natural and easy to produce.
Medical research continues at universities and industrial laboratories all across the world. Numerous studies are already underway and many others are set to begin this year. Sativex may have started out as an anti-spasm medicine for MS sufferers but it is half-way through a major study as a pain reliever for cancer patients. In a year or two you can guarantee that cannabis will be getting clinical trials in completely new areas. Right now there seems no end to the possibilities for medical marijuana.
The medical community is steadily reinforcing the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine, a pain killer and a treatment for numerous conditions. And of course there will be rapid ‘word of mouth’ approval using unofficial lines of communication between medical marijuana users around the world. The use of medical marijuana will soon start to transition from being a ‘well kept secret’ used by a relatively small minority into a more conventional medicine used by the wider public.
In 10 years or so people will look back and wonder how a medicine as important as cannabis took so long to be accepted. Soon we will see medical marijuana firmly established as a proven, effective, natural and low cost solution for many medical problems.
In the future cannabis will be farmed as a traditional crop and that will see prices collapse rapidly. In theory an acre of cannabis ought to be roughly the same farming cost as any other crop. Pharmaceutical companies will make money from medical marijuana but it will be based on a business model where volumes are much higher than today. Revenues will be higher, due to mainstream usage but individual prices charged per bottle/tablet will be very low as competition cuts profit margins. Cannabis medicines will have a diverse range of applications, they will be cheap to produce and we believe that cannabis will allow countries to massively reduce their healthcare costs. These are exciting times for the medical marijuana movement.
Idrasil may only be a Californian initiative today but I can’t see anything stopping more and more ‘whole-plant extracts’ of marijuana becoming available. Dutch Passion wish them all good luck.