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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.
For years, cannabinoids, the chemicals found in the cannabis plant, have been widely known for their therapeutic and medicinal abilities.
Scientists have identified at least 113 different chemicals in the plant — with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — known for treating epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, HIV complications, and a variety of other chronic disease states.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids may be beneficial in fighting cancer, while chemicals found in the cannabis plant are also under investigation as possible treatments for immune system diseases, including HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), and lupus.
Considering the potential benefits that can be derived from cannabinoids, experts have called for more research to harness its full potential. However, there certainly have been roadblocks to this.
Apart from the lack of available funds and pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids to support high-quality research, another barrier is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision to categorize marijuana as a Schedule I drug — the same as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.
Due to this classification by the DEA, researchers and institutions need a special license to study, develop, and harness the possibly enormous untapped benefits of cannabinoids.
Fortune Business Insights™ projects the global cannabis market to be worth $97.35 billion by 2026 with increased medical and therapeutic use purposes to fuel this growth. This means that there seems to be a lot of potential for cannabinoids and the future of their medicinal use may be bright.
Project Change Lives
To help advance research and also help tap into the full benefits of cannabinoids, Clever Leaves (NASDAQ: CLVR), a multinational cannabis company, has launched Project Change Lives to make that dream a reality. The company, which emphasizes on ecologically sustainable, large-scale cultivation and pharmaceutical-grade processing as the cornerstones of its global cannabis business, is hoping to leverage the Project Change Lives initiative to cause a paradigm shift and advance domestic research into cannabinoids.
With operations and investments in the United States, Canada, Colombia, Germany, and Portugal, Clever Leaves has created an effective distribution network and global footprint, with a foundation built upon capital efficiency and rapid growth.
Through Project Change Lives, Clever Leaves is providing up to $25 million retail value in cannabis to eligible U.S. investigators at no cost. This pledge translates into about 250,000 bottles of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oils or approximately 5 tons of medical cannabis flower. Project Change Lives is meant to support research institutions in the U.S in the development of new therapies and treatments and to broadly advance our understanding of the potential medical benefits of the cannabis plant.
In collaboration with a scientific review panel of clinicians and Biopharmaceutical Research Company, a federally licensed research facility and importer of medical cannabis, Clever Leaves has launched a nationwide call for proposals from researchers seeking medical cannabis to conduct their studies.
Clever Leaves CEO, Kyle Detwiler, explained that the United States has been very slow in cannabinoid drug development over the past 100 years. “Part of that is because cannabis itself has been illegal for the last century, and there are not many sources of legal, high-quality pharmaceutical-grade cannabis ingredients. Clever Leaves intends on breaking this supply chain logjam by providing the high-quality cannabinoids that domestic investigators need to conduct their studies.”
Clever Leaves hopes that by supporting research with product grants, the company can help advance the science around cannabis. With Project Change Lives, at least one of the two key challenges to cannabinoid research is eliminated, that is, access to the product. Research institutions have then only to find research budgets to begin their medical studies and projects.
Medical Cannabis Could Change Many Lives
The company hopes to see a meaningful increase in high-quality studies into cannabis by institutions and intends to ultimately enable FDA clinical trials through the project.
Detwiler observed that cannabis for the last 5 to 10 years has only been a story about legalization to eliminate the war on drugs, generate tax revenue, and create jobs. “We want to evolve the cannabis narrative and make it about really helping people dealing with medical problems. I want to see if the power of cannabis can address some of those things. I think if society is just focused on recreational dispensaries and new gummies, we’re not going to get the full potential of this plant, and hopefully, companies in the future will rely on Clever Leaves for the products for medical research,” Detwiler said.
Detwiler also explained that the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex and Sativex brought many to the realization that there’s something more to cannabis than just for recreational purposes. “We want to leave the world a better place, and as part of our mission, we want to cultivate mojo, create value and, ultimately, change lives.”
Project Change Lives is already working with the University of California, Davis, and the University of Missouri to support their research goals with cannabinoids for scientific purposes.
The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.
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