While the cannabidiol (CBD) wellness market seems to be quickly growing in the way of therapeutic topicals and edibles that help with pain and anxiety, the next decade may yield significant advances in medicinal use of CBD. The revenues from cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals are projected to rise over the next several years.
Assuming that the federal prohibition on cannabis ends, the consumer market for cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals in the United States is forecast to grow to $25 billion by 2025 and be worth $50 billion by 2029, according to a report from market analyst Statista.
While to many, cannabis is just another term for marijuana, that’s a simplistic view. Cannabis is actually the genus for both marijuana and hemp. That view also ignores the power of the active cannabinoids, compounds found in the cannabis plant.
The most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But those are merely the most well known. There are more than 200 known cannabinoids, including rare cannabinoids like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and more.
These rare cannabinoids are even more potent in their medical benefits than CBD, without the side effects brought about by THC, the psychotropic ingredient most associated with marijuana. Clinical trials to test the effects of cannabis-based drugs are ongoing, which will help the cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals market to grow.
CBD has already been shown to successfully treat some neurological disorders and other conditions, like epilepsy, anxiety and schizophrenia. Some cannabinoids are being tested for effectiveness in treating pain, inflammation, nausea and other ailments. The FDA has already approved two cannabinoid drugs – dronabinol and nabilone – that treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Research into the benefits of other cannabinoids will only continue.
The pharmaceutical industry publication Drug Topics reported in October that early studies have shown that cannabinoids are proving effective in treating a variety of conditions. For now, to the average consumer and retailer, these new rare cannabinoids will look like spoonfuls of alphabet soup. Some examples: CBC, CBG, CBGA, CBL, CBN, CBNA, THCV, THCA.
As scientists learn more about these rare cannabinoids and what they can do to help consumers with many common and even more severe medical issues, they’ll becom eless rare and more useful. The technology to extract them will improve while the cost of making products that contain them will come down.
And while these products may now be considered to be within the realm of pharmaceuticals, many will migrate into over-the-counter products and onto the shelves of retailers.