In recent years, cannabis has changed the course of therapeutics in the healthcare sector. This once-stigmatized plant has undergone a significant transformation in public perception, with the growing recognition of its potential medical benefits. In 2013, Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize cannabis production, sales, and recreational use. Some other countries across the world joined Uruguay by legalizing the use of cannabis for medical use. These countries are Albania, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico,

    Cannabis is used for medical treatment through its various compounds, primarily cannabinoids like THC and CBD which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Some of the common medical uses of cannabis include:

    1. Pain Management 

    Cannabis can be effective in treating chronic pain conditions such as neuropathy, arthritis, and migraines. It can be effective in pain management due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain perception, inflammation, and immune response. 

    The human body has cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) throughout the body and in the central nervous system. When cannabinoids from cannabis are consumed, they can bind to these receptors. Cannabis cannabinoids, especially THC, can activate CB1 receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This activation can modulate pain signals, reducing the pain. Both Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) have anti-inflammatory properties and inflammation often accompanies pain, so reducing inflammation can alleviate pain symptoms.

    1. Nausea and Vomiting

    Cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting, especially for cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. The psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC primarily interacts with the CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Activation of these receptors can help regulate nausea and vomiting as THC can reduce the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting in various conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) or motion sickness.

    1. Appetite Stimulation

    Cannabis can increase appetite, which is beneficial for individuals with conditions like eating disorders. THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain’s appetite-regulating centers. This binding triggers the release of certain neurotransmitters and hormones associated with hunger and food intake. THC may stimulate the release of ghrelin, often referred to as the “hunger hormone.” Ghrelin signals the body to eat, leading to an increase in appetite.

    Market Opportunities for Cannabis

    Patients are increasingly turning to cannabis-based therapies to alleviate their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Cannabis has shown some promise with effective treatment for some ailments such as chronic pain, anxiety, and multiple sclerosis. As the US government legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, the demand and potential opportunities for the use of cannabis are rapidly growing in the region, capturing 52.5% of the global cannabis market.

    The Marijuana Policy Project estimated that, as of 2021, 5.4 million people were seeking cannabis cures with or without their doctors’ advice. Researchers and governments across the globe have recognized the potential of cannabis in the field of medicine and almost all countries across the globe legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. This opens up new opportunities for legal cannabis producers and pharmaceutical companies for new innovations and drug discoveries in the new medicinal era.

    1. Epilepsy

    Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by repeated seizures.

    1. Chronic Pain

    In adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, oral cannabinoids are effective antiemetics.

    In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.

    In adults with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related spasticity, short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient-reported spasticity symptoms.

    For these conditions the effects of cannabinoids are modest; for all other conditions evaluated, there is inadequate information to assess their effects.