The weed business has one major bottleneck that screws up all business that comes before it. Wanna know what it is? It’s this:
The positive effects of cannabis treatment are entirely anecdotal.
That’s it. You can say you know a guy who cured his cancer with weed, you can say doctors see the big improvements that come when it’s used to treat pain and stress and glaucoma and ADHD, and you can parade no end of folks before a judge who say they need it to live good lives.
But all of that is anecdotal, not empirical.
an·ec·do·taladjective: “not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.”
em·pir·i·caladjective: “verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.”
See, when some late night TV infomercial hack (what’s up, Kevin Trudeau) claims you can cure cancer by drinking prune juice or taping pennies to the inside of your wrist or buying a bed with crystals stuffed in the mattress, they’ll generally haul out a handful of people who swear it helped them.
But that’s not good enough to make doctors prescribe it, or have insurance companies cover it. In Canada right now, somewhere between 2% and 5% of doctors actually prescribe weed. Even though way more than that know it works for patients, they work in a system that requires even the surest of knowledge to be first trialed, proved, and peer reviewed.
That way, when Pfizer tosses out a new pain medication, prescribing doctors know what other medications it doesn’t go well with, and they know how much to prescribe to not kill a guy, and how often it should be used, and what the side effects will be.
Even if it would help people to just toss it out early, even if we all know that new treatment will help more than it hurts, we can’t get at it until it’s jumped rope a few times at the FDA.
WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS FRUSTRATING THING?
Because Canabo Medical (CMM.V) just fixed it.
Scratch that. They didn’t fix it completely, there’s still some steps to be taken before the country uses cannapills to replace benzos, but they’ve done the first genuine heavy lifting anyone has ever done to get us to that place where all doctors will prescribe weed.
Research conducted over the past year revealed that 40 per cent of patients who were prescribed medical cannabis to treat pain and anxiety eliminated the use of benzodiazepines within 90 days. That percentage increased to 45 per cent within a year of cannabis treatment. The findings were announced by Dr. Neil Smith during a presentation at the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC) event in Toronto.
Imagine if, tomorrow, Pfizer said they had a pill that would allow you to no longer take opioids for your pain? Imagine how many billions Pfizer stock would jump the next day?
Canabo Medical – not Pfizer, not GW Pharma, not Canopy Growth Corp/Bedrocan, not Veritas Pharma, not InMed – nobody who is concerned with research in the medical space as it pertains to weed has released a study as important as the one Canabo just revealed to the medical world.
Canabo, which operates 15 cannabinoid clinics across Canada under the brand CMClinics, partnered with a consortium of medical research experts to analyze data from more than 1,500 patients with the aim of understanding how cannabis interacts with or lessens the need for pharmaceutical treatments. Preliminary findings in late 2016 indicated a downward trend in benzodiazepine use — a trend that was confirmed after additional investigation and included in the Reduction of Benzodiazepine Use in Patients Prescribed Medical Marijuana report. The team responsible for the peer-reviewed report has shared their findings with several Canadian medical journals and details are expected to soon appear in the Dalhousie Medical Journal.
The study isolated a group of 146 patients from a database of individuals being treated for a wide variety of pain and other disorders for approximately one-year. Each patient was referred by a primary physician or specialist and thoroughly assessed by CMClinic’s own doctors before being prescribed cannabis as supplemental treatment.
Additional patient details include:
- The average age of the sample of patients using benzodiazepines on initial contact with the company is 48 years-old
- Nearly 43 per cent (42.9%) of that group report a work status of either temporarily or permanently disabled
- Nearly 60 per cent (59.9%) of the patients are female
- Those individuals taking benzodiazepines have primary conditions that are representative of all CMClinic patients
- Well more than half (61.3%) are primarily interested in treatment for a pain condition, 27.4 per cent for a psychiatric condition and 11.3 per cent for a neurological condition
Why do we want to limit benzo use? Because side effects include:
- Sleeping difficulties
- Delirium tremens
And because 10% of the population of Canada is on benzos right now.
The company says this is just the first of a series of reports they’re planning on cannabis treatments going forward.
The markets didn’t pop on the news, which is a common thing for Canabo in recent months, despite having opened now 15 clinics across Canada, with 7 more planned in the near future. I continue to hold the stock as I think it’s very undervalued and today demonstrated once again that it is doing serious business.
I expect traditional media to report widely on this story over the coming days (shame it dropped just before a weekend), and next week would be very surprised to not see some market action on CMM.
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: Canabo Medical is an Equity.Guru marketing client