New Green Gold
Author： Daniela Rodríguez Naranjo
Cannabis usage, primarily for medicinal purposes, has been documented for over 4,000 years. Its main component is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance. Noticeably, its consumption has increased over the past 50 years in some European as well as Asian countries. The United States of America is the biggest customer of cannabis. Unfortunately, nescience of its effectiveness, in medical usage, has branded it as an illegal commodity in most of the countries.
By the mid-twentieth century, an in-depth analysis was started regarding cannabis’ chemical components as well as its medicinal and therapeutic properties. It was established that cannabis contained over 500 chemical substances, along with almost 100 other substances (known as cannabinoids). Subsequently, cannabis (formerly labelled as a narcotic) classified as a substance for medical use and it was approved as a government-controlled and sanctioned substance.
In the 60s, Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist, discovered its two dominant substances with medical relevance, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBC). Furthermore, recent research suggests that these cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids) interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to have amazing medicinal and therapeutic effects. For example:
· It helps in glaucoma treatment and prevention. (as its chemicals help to reduce internal eye pressure and delay illness progression.)
· It reverses the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve pulmonary health
· It helps in the epileptic crisis control.
· CBC can help to prevent cancer spreading, as claimed by Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, USA.
· It reduces anxiety, eases the pain, and suppresses nausea. So, it is also used to treat chemotherapy side effects.
· It slows down Alzheimer’s.
Because of its magical uses, cannabis has sparked the interest of several factions from all around the globe. These factions have acknowledged the benefits and potential breakthrough of this substance. The encouraging sectors include scientific, agricultural, and logistics industries. The pharmaceutical use of cannabis will cause its massive growth, extraction, purification, and manufacturing.
The growing availability of scientific evidence, on the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in treatment for medical conditions, has caused the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis in different countries.
As of right now, over 30 countries have legalized in some way the production and trade of cannabis (even with recreational aims), against only five countries as of 2014, it is expected that many more will follow in the near future. (Global Markets - EY Knowledge, 2018).
Canada is playing the leading role in reshaping its laws. It has encouraged the majority of Cannabis Companies to set up headquarters in Canadian territory. In the USA, 33 states have approved its medicinal use, including 10 states which have permitted its recreational use as well. Some of the other countries, which have permitted cannabis for pharmaceutical use, are Germany, Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Chile, Denmark, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, Luxemburg, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Czech Republic, and Uruguay.
The scientific rediscovery of this plant, society’s shift in perception towards its use, its economic boom, and profitability have earned cannabis the name of “New Green Gold”. This title of Green Gold is worth giving it because of the following reasons.
· It is expected to be a new economic trend for medical industries, with about 75 million legal users. It promises good hiring capacity to geneticists, chemists, logistics managers, accountants, investors, and other professionals.
· Major international corporations in distribution, food, drinks, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, software, biotechnology, and fertilizing are showing their peak of interest in cannabis. These corporations include Coca-Cola, Phillip Morris, and Corona Brewery, as it is estimated to be the market of 50 billion euros by 2025 (according to Spain’s El País).
· At the onset of 2018, some Cannabis Companies started listing themselves at the stock exchange. It has resulted in the striking growth in their value of shares, which reflects the bright prospect of the cannabis business.
· Pharmaceutical companies have conducted their market research in this prospect. It has become more evident that cannabis could represent a hefty portion of drug profits. According to E&N Magazine, Stuart Titus (an analyst and CEO&P at Medical Marijuana, Inc.) estimates that soon 40 % of all drugs could be replaced with cannabis products.
Unluckily, the financial sectors still impose some restrictions over the cultivation and trade of cannabis. But cryptocurrencies (like à la PotCoin) have emerged as a transactional alternative. Likewise, Internet technology and blockchain allow the registry and following up of strains from seed to end product.
In short, we can argue that the future of the cannabis industry is very bright. It is a future business with good economic perspectives with a worldwide potential growth, apart from its contribution to the medical field and wellbeing of mankind.