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It’s fair to say that the future of the CBD market largely depends on its introduction into healthcare systems as a form of medicine or medical alternative. While cannabidiol’s (CBD) success as a wellness supplement has been promising, one of the many obstacles facing the industry is its lack of clinical trials. In recent years, many international health organizations have conducted more in-depth research with regard to the health effects of CBD. But without a concrete answer, people are still unsure as to whether cultural preconceptions will limit the financial growth of CBD manufacturers in Europe. 

With all that in mind, the future is still extremely bright for CBD extractors and distributors. As CBD’s EU regulations start to relax and the research surrounding medical CBD continues to develop, cannabidiol may become a multi-billion dollar industry before the decade is over. And that may be due to its adoption as a legitimate medical marvel. 

A Brief History of CBD in Medicine

Arguably, CBD’s greatest obstacle is its relationship with the law and how that has manipulated public opinion. While CBD’s EU regulation changes may have you think CBD is a relatively new wellness phenomenon, you would be wrong. In fact, cannabis-derived products have been a part of medical practices for a long time. 

Though cannabis-related treatments can be traced back to ancient times, it wasn’t until 1839 that scientific studies were conducted to investigate the plant’s therapeutic effects. During this period, physician and medical researcher Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy found that cannabis extracts could actually relieve some of the symptoms of cholera. These symptoms mostly involved nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. By the latter half of the 19th century, pharmacies and doctor’s offices were selling cannabis extracts all over Europe to treat stomach related ailments and other minor afflictions. But this early success would not last long.

The Legalization of Cannabis-Derived Products

The modern prohibition of cannabis comes from a place of discrimination and politics. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Great Depression had hit the United States particularly badly. During this time, there was a huge wave of Mexican immigration following Mexico’s recent revolution. Many Americans began to resent the presence of Mexican immigrants for a slew of irrational reasons. This hate then crept its way into politics and government legislation, particularly the legalization of cannabis. 

The popular marijuana plant that many Mexicans smoked and consumed became an easily targetable habit for resentful American diplomats. By 1931, the United States had completed outlawed cannabis and began exercising these new laws in the persecution of racialized Americans. This ideology spread to Europe through the League of Nations. 

In 1925, cannabis was placed under international control via the League of Nations. The following convention went so far as to ban the export of cannabis resin to nations that prohibited its use, particularly Europe. This required countries to implement domestic controls that punished groups and individuals in unauthorized possession of these cannabis-derived products. The penalties for possession also extended to cannabis extract and tincture, which was the predecessor to CBD oils. Unfortunately, these laws have continued well into the 21st Century, and are a big proponent of CBD’s current EU regulation, which have historically limited the capabilities of CBD manufacturers in Europe. This obsessive worry around cannabis and its effects on the human body led to the isolation of certain cannabinoids within the plant.

The Introduction of CBD

Once scientists got word of cannabis’ ‘state-altering’ effects, they decided to put them to the test. This resulted in some monumental innovations in cannabis extraction and cannabinoid isolation. Roger Adams was the first person to successfully extract CBD from the cannabis sativa plant back in 1940 at Harvard University. From then on, scientists began to test whether this particular chemical had the same state-altering effects as THC. This led to Professor Raphael Mechoulam’s historic discovery of cannabidiol and its potential as a medical product. 

CBD’s Transition into the Pharmaceuticals Industry

Cannabis-derived products have been used throughout history to treat certain physical and mental ailments. Now, there may be scientific evidence that they can, in fact, be used as a safe form of medicine. Professor Raphael Mechoulam, also known as the father of cannabis research, has dedicated his life to bridging the gap between cannabis and the pharmaceutical industries. He was also the first person to discover the human endocannabinoid system back in the 1960s. His latest patented compound, EPM301, could be a solution for lessening the physical and mental symptoms of various diseases and conditions.

The 2020 discovery utilizes the potent acids that contribute to the development of CBD and THC in cannabis plants to create an ailment nullifier for several medical conditions. EPM301 stabilizes these cannabidiolic acids through esterification to create a compound that suppresses certain medical afflictions. Mechoulam recently stated that this compound reduces the effects of anxiety and nausea. He noted that this could be incredibly beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or individuals diagnosed with psoriasis. But if Mechoulam has been studying CBD and its effects for over 30 years, why hasn’t there been earlier medical applications?

Current Medical Applications

Mechoulam blames the late adoption of medical CBD on the legal boundaries and socially-perceived problems that had been instilled by governments for decades. At the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, Mechoulam went on to acknowledge the current uses of medical CBD in European healthcare. Not only does he note the clinical history of CBD’s positive impact on those with epilepsy he also details the works his colleagues are doing with cannabidiol as an anti-cancer treatment.

The most prominent, if not only, example of a government-approved application of medical cannabidiol is Epidiolex. Through convincing test results, Epidiolex became the first FDA-approved drug with an active cannabis ingredient. This drug has been able to reduce the intensity and frequency of seizures in patients with extreme epilepsy. 

As more and more trials get underway, CBD is looking to become a significant compound in many new pharmaceutical endeavours. The general outlook from doctors is cautiously optimistic as the EU and United Nations begin to lift archaic legislative boundaries on what many scientists believe to be a generally safe compound. 
Cannabidiol’s potential as a big player in the pharmaceutical industry could mean a serious growth opportunity for current CBD manufacturers in Europe and beyond. To stay up-to-date on current CBD legislation and the state of the market, visit the CanX website. As a trusted, government-approved, GMP-certified wholesale manufacturer of CBD, we can provide you with the insight and product you need to be successful in a rapidly evolving industry.

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