Marijuana A Promising Treatment, But Research And Development Still Limited
While the long-term effects of smoking marijuana have yet to be thoroughly examined, studies across the U.S. are cropping up claiming that the drug has soothing effects for those suffering from terminal diseases.
With that in mind, many are calling on the federal government to change its Schedule I listing of the drug and allow the industry to grow by conducting further tests.
GW Pharmaceuticals Integrates THC Treatments
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH) has been a pioneer when it comes to the medical marijuana industry. The company is working to develop drugs that treat several illnesses using the cannabinoids THC and CBD.
So far, GW has had promising results from two drugs currently in clinical trials to help treat cancerous brain tumors and has seen a marked improvement in sufferers of two types of childhood epilepsy using the company's drug Epidiolex.
Effect On Alzheimer's
While few studies have been done regarding the effect of THC on Alzheimer's, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease published a study in 2014 showing that the cannabinoid could slow the deterioration of cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients.
Data explaining the relationship between marijuana and Alzheimer's is still limited, but the fact that the disease claims thousands of lives each year and appears to be on the rise means more research on the relationship between the two is likely in the future.
The number of pharmaceutical companies investing in marijuana-related research is slim due to the federal government's Schedule I classification of the drug.
Marijuana has been listed alongside heroin as a drug with no known medical benefits and because of this, companies like GW Pharma that are developing marijuana-based treatments will likely face tougher scrutiny and could even see their drugs banned from use with certain groups of patients.
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