NEW YORK, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical cannabis has been a controversial subject of matter among various national governments and healthcare facilities around the world. The big debate over the plant centers around its safety, its decriminalized status, its addictive properties and if it's even effective. While multiple studies have set out to learn more about cannabis and its components, some researchers have already validated it. Now, consumers are primarily using cannabis to treat medical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, seizures, and even muscle spasms. Medical cannabis is also increasingly being adopted by medical facilities as an alternative to traditional drugs such as opioids, which often pose high side effect risks. As of now, studies have suggested that cannabis is not addictive when compared to opioids and requires a much smaller dosage while providing similarly effective results. Advancements in clinical trials will also further accelerate the growth of the medical cannabis sector, as more positive results flow in and countries begin to adopt medical cannabis as a registered treatment for certain maladies. According to data compiled by Global Market Insights, the U.S. medical marijuana market was valued at USD 7.0 Billion in 2017 and is expected to witness a CAGR of more than 36% from 2018 to 2024. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST), Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CURLF) (CSE: CURA)
While the U.S. cannabis marketplace accounts for the largest share in the world, other emerging countries are also doing their part in propelling the industry growth. Countries such as Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have all legalized cannabis on a medical level in the past. According to ArcView Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics, regions like Australia are expected to account for USD 1.2 Billion worth of legal cannabis spending by 2027, while Germany is projected to drive in sales of USD 3.1 Billion. Even though cannabis is linked to having effective and efficient results in the medical aspect, the concern over its psychoactive effects still remains. Due to the various regulatory laws that pertain to cannabis, certain nations are implementing more lenient CBD, or cannabidiol, laws. CBD is much less controversial due to its non-psychoactive effects. And despite the major chemical difference between CBD and marijuana, CBD still offers consumers a beneficial therapeutic effect. "Least controversial is the extract from the hemp plant known as CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) because this component of marijuana has little, if any, intoxicating properties. CBD-dominant strains have little or no THC, so patients report very little if any alteration in consciousness," said Peter Grinspoon, M.D., a physician in Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital, "Many patients find themselves in the situation of wanting to learn more about medical marijuana, but feel embarrassed to bring this up with their doctor. My advice for doctors is that whether you are pro, neutral, or against medical marijuana, patients are embracing it, and although we don't have rigorous studies and "gold standard" proof of the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, we need to learn about it, be open-minded, and above all, be non-judgmental."
Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) announced earlier last month that, "analytical testing on hemp-derived CBD oil processed via PBI's Ultra Shear Technology™ (UST™) platform has confirmed that UST processing uniquely achieves the challenging criteria for creating highly-effective "nanoemulsions" of CBD oil in water, without loss or modification of CBD throughout the entire UST process (> 99% recovery).
The ultimate goal in mixing oil-based nutritional and therapeutic products like CBD oil into water, for effective oral or topical delivery and absorption, is to reduce the size of the oil drops to such a level that they seemingly 'vanish' into the water (become "water soluble"). These exceedingly small, nanometer-scale droplets are so tiny that it becomes very easy for the human (or other animal) body to absorb the oil-based nutrients or drugs (like CBD) directly from the inner surface of the oil droplet. Traditional processing methods struggle mightily with this challenge, but PBI's proprietary UST platform uses ultra-high pressure to create extreme shearing forces to make nanometer-scale droplets of fluids that become highly-stable, homogenized "nanoemulsions" of materials that normally do not mix (e.g., CBD oil and water).
Dr. Vera Gross, Director of Applications Development at PBI, explained: 'We asked an independent, university-affiliated laboratory to determine the size of oil droplets achieved in UST-processed CBD oil, using a universally-accepted sizing method called DLS. Their analytical results revealed that the UST- processed oil drops were reduced to approximately 65 nm in size, well into the 20-200 nm range targeted for truly effective nanoemulsion delivery and absorption of nutrients and therapeutics, such as CBD (Nano- and Microscale Drug Delivery Systems, 2017).'
Dr. Gross continued: 'It was critically important to also demonstrate that CBD from hemp-derived CBD oil was not lost or modified during UST processing. For this we enlisted the help of scientists at NutraFuels, Inc. (OTCQB: NTFU), which has an FDA-inspected, highly-qualified analytical testing laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment and well-trained chemists with years of experience in laboratory testing.'
Mr. Cooper Dodd, R&D Scientist at NTFU, said: 'Using a powerful laboratory method called HPLC to measure the concentrations of CBD and potential impurities, we determined that no appreciable amount of CBD was lost during the UST process. These results compare well to our standard processing method of ultrasonication, which can carry a risk of measurable loss of CBD, and sometimes creates the appearance of impurities if not performed properly. While there is more work to be done, as a nutraceutical manufacturer with products already on the market, we see these results as a robust leap towards better optimization of our CBD-enhanced products.'
Dr. Keith Warriner, Professor of Food Science at the University of Guelph (Toronto), and a recognized expert in the cannabis industry, commented: 'The data released today on UST-generated nanoemulsions of CBD oil are very impressive. Creating nanoemulsions of CBD oil with full preservation of CBD throughout the process, while not generating impurities, remains a significant challenge in the industry. These data indicate that UST can achieve that goal, thereby offering great promise to the future.'
Professor Warriner continued: 'Not only does the UST process appear capable of achieving stability of emulsions, but the controlled heating that also occurs may offer a valid alternative to thermal and non-thermal pasteurization methods to reduce the risk of harmful microbes in products such as edibles and topicals. I believe that CBD-infused topicals and similar products will prove more popular with users than edibles. However, to be successful, it is imperative that topicals be highly stable, safe, bioavailable, and readily absorbent nanoemulsions. After consideration of the data released today, the UST process appears to be a leading candidate to fill that important need.'
Dr. Bradford A. Young, Chief Commercial Officer of PBI, summarized: 'We were delighted to release a short video last week showing the ability of our new UST platform to make visually clear and stable mixtures of CBD oil and water. The scientific data released today have further validated the achievement of creating high quality, nanoemulsion mixtures of oil and water using our UST platform. In particular, these data specifically show that CBD levels are preserved all the way through UST processing to the finished product. We are very excited by these results and believe our proprietary Ultra Shear Technology can help a diverse variety of customers to develop a vast array of new and beneficial products spanning multiple large markets, including CBD and nutraceuticals, cosmetics and topicals, food and beverages, drug delivery and more.'"
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CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (TSX: TRST), a federally regulated licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis, is leading the Canadian and global market in producing standardized cannabis products. CannTrust Holdings Inc. recently announced that it had shipped its standardized CBD oil capsules to Australia's Gold Coast University Hospital. The capsules will be used in a study to determine the efficacy of CannTrust CBD oil capsules in slowing the disease progression in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Motor Neuron Disease (MND), which was first announced by the Company in July 2018. The capsules will be imported, stored and distributed by PharmaCann Pty Ltd. The shipment will include all investigational products that are required for the study. "With our medicinal cannabis experience and over 50,000 patients enrolled over the past five years, we continue to see the medical potential of the cannabis plant. We are committed to being international leaders in the generation of scientific evidence proving the medical benefits in treating a variety of indications. With hundreds of thousands of people living with ALS in Canada and globally, we continue to focus on improving peoples' lives around the world," says Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer of CannTrust. "We also thank PharmaCann for its expertise and assistance in importing our products to Australia, to make this study possible."
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) develops and markets high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that help meet consumer demand for a healthier diet. Building on last week's launch of Arcadia Specialty Genomics™, a new cannabis-dedicated division of the agricultural food ingredient company, Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. recently announced that it has been granted an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program License by Hawaii's Department of Agriculture. The license allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaii for the purposes of agricultural and academic research. Hemp and hemp products produced under the program may be commercially sold. With this license, Hawaii becomes the first state where Arcadia Specialty Genomics will commence its research and cultivation of hemp, planting on ten acres of recently-leased land next month. "Industrial hemp, along with all strains of cannabis, are decades behind other agricultural crops in terms of improved plant genetics. With the explosive market growth projected in the industrial hemp and derivative markets, growers will need the very best hemp strains to meet demand, minimize waste, and ensure consistent quality. As the only company working in the cannabis industry with proven track record of improving plants and commercializing food ingredients from agricultural products using non-GM techniques, we're ideally positioned to help hemp growers and end-users benefit from better hemp strains." said Matt Plavan, Chief Financial Officer of Arcadia Biosciences and President of Arcadia Specialty Genomics. "Being licensed by the State of Hawaii to participate in this highly selective program gives us an important head start and we're moving quickly to establish our Hawaii research program immediately as we pursue expansion through licenses in other states.
Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) is a research & development company licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations to cultivate medical cannabis. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. recently announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of privately-held HemPoland in an immediately accretive cash and share transaction. HemPoland is a leading European manufacturer and marketer of premium organic CBD oils led by Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Maciej Kowalski, one of Europe's most widely recognized CBD experts. This strategic acquisition provides access to HemPoland's vast distribution network, premium Cannabigold brand, state-of-the-art hemp oil extraction technologies, and provides a strategic pathway into the European market for TGOD's medical & recreational products and licensing deals. "HemPoland is a key component to a number of strategic acquisitions and planned partnerships focused on expanding our global distribution network. This acquisition will significantly add to the Company's top and bottom line," said Brian Athaide, Chief Executive Officer of TGOD. "Gaining market share with CBD products now, in the EU, with over 700 locations allows TGOD to establish immediate brand awareness across all verticals including infused beverages. This is an accretive acquisition and gateway to Europe's 750 million people accelerating our plan of becoming the world's largest organic cannabis brand," continued Athaide.
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) (CSE: CURA), a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States. Headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts, Curaleaf has a presence in 12 states. Curaleaf, Inc. recently announced the launch of Curaleaf Hemp, a line of premium hemp-based CBD products. Curaleaf Hemp was developed by an experienced team of scientists and product experts. The natural, non-intoxicating products meet the strictest quality standards and are derived from hemp farmed in the United States. Curaleaf Hemp's products are made with simple, natural ingredients and are infused with essential oils such as lavender, lemon, jasmine, ginger and vanilla to add an additional layer of benefits for overall wellness. "Expanding our presence within the industry and entering the consumer goods marketplace with Curaleaf Hemp is an exciting step for the company," said Joe Lusardi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. "Patients already trust and rely on Curaleaf for the highest-quality medical cannabis products and we have taken that same care with the development of Curaleaf Hemp. Supporting overall wellness, Curaleaf Hemp is a consistent and reliable line of hemp-based CBD products that consumers can trust. We expect this to become a significant economic contributor to our business in the years to come."
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