SEATTLE, Jan. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- CFN Media Group (“CFN Media”), the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry, announces publication of an article discussing how cannabis legalization could play an important role in addressing opioid addiction, as well as explore some companies that are well-positioned in the space, including FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE:HUGE) (FSDDF) (0K9.F).
Chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans at an annual cost of $600 billion, according to the Institute of Medicine. The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that roughly 21 to 29 percent of chronic pain patients misuse opioid drugs and 8 to 12 percent go on to develop an opioid addiction. More than 60 Americans ultimately die every day from opioid overdoses, making it a leading cause of non-disease death after suicide.
A Better Alternative
Cannabinoids and opioids are both known for their analgesic and pain-relieving effects. While opioids bind to opioid receptors, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to CB1/2 receptors to block pain signals. The parallel mechanisms of action even suggest that opioids and cannabinoids can be used together. Other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), could lessen the side-effects of THC and reduce the drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms of opioids.
Cannabinoids appear to work best with neuropathic and centralized pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, while opioids seem most effective for peripheral inflammation or damage. Despite the growing body of evidence supporting cannabinoids, physicians greatly favor opioids when it comes to prescribing chronic pain treatments. Most physicians are stuck in the Reefer Madness era of cannabinoid knowledge and clinical trials are scant.
That said, there is already evidence that cannabis is being used as a substitute for opioids among patients. Medicare prescription drug spending fell by $165 million after the implementation of state medical cannabis laws. Data from self-reported studies has also shown that the most common reported cannabinoid drug substitution was opioids, which accounted for 32 to 36 percent of total substitutions.
Investing in a Solution
FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE:HUGE) (FSDDF) (0K9.F) made a strategic investment in SciCann, a Canadian-Israeli specialty pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize novel and disruptive pharmaceutical products targeting the endocannabinoid system. In particular, the company is focused on central nervous system disorders, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) where cannabinoids show the greatest potential.
Last year, SciCann launched a pilot clinical study in Pittsburgh, PA to test the safety and efficacy of its CBD-based combination product for the treatment of IBS. The study followed previously reported efficacy results from a preclinical rodent study demonstrating a three-fold increase in efficacy in lowering abdominal inflammation levels. The results could pave the way for future clinical trials in other chronic pain areas.
In addition to SciCann, the company partnered with CannTab Therapeutics Ltd. (CSE:PILL) to develop solid oral-dose delivery systems for cannabinoids, including extended release tablets, flash melts, immediate release, modified release, and bi-layered tablets. These products provide physicians with a more palatable prescription option for patients, as compared to smoked cannabis or common cannabis extracts.
FSD Pharma is well positioned to advance cannabinoid science while simultaneously becoming a leader in cannabinoid production. The company’s flagship facility—formerly a Kraft facility—hosts over 3.8 million square feet of cultivation and processing area. The facility is also strategically located just one hour east of Toronto and is fully-equipped with an on-site electric substation, natural gas lines, water intakes, and rail lines with 26 loading docks.
Cannabinoids could play a very important role in replacing many prescription drugs, including opioids for chronic pain relief. Through its partnerships with SciCann and CannTab, the company is uniquely positioned to play a role in the transition, while simultaneously becoming a leading supplier to the industry. Investors may want to take a look at the company as these partnerships unfold and the market begins to embrace cannabinoids.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.fsdpharma.com.
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