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What’s driving growth in the endocannabinoid therapeutics sector?

A range of factors are coming together to the sector's benefit.

The medical and pharmaceutical cannabis sector has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, driven by a variety of factors. This article will discuss some of the main drivers of growth within the industry.

Increasing legalisation is the primary growth driver. As more countries legalise medical cannabis, the market for medical cannabis products continues to grow. In many cases, this growth has been driven by patient demand for alternative treatments to legacy medicines and a growing awareness of the potential medical benefits of cannabinoids. As more research is conducted on the potential medical benefits of cannabinoids, and as more patients have positive experiences with medical cannabis treatments, there is a growing acceptance of medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option. This has helped to reduce the stigma surrounding cannabinoids and has helped to increase patient demand.

Innovation and product development is another extremely important driver of demand within the sector. The medical cannabis sector is characterised by a high level of innovation and product development; companies are constantly developing new genetic strains, as well as new delivery methods such as oils, tinctures, edibles and last but definitely not least, synthetics. 

Synthetic biology is an emerging field that involves the design and construction of new biological systems, including the creation of novel cannabinoids. Synthetic biology techniques can be used to create cannabinoids that are not found in nature or to produce cannabinoids more efficiently and cost-effectively. This has helped to create a more diverse and sophisticated market for medical cannabis products. Importantly, these molecules also are extremely compatible with standard pharmaceutical processes due to their consistency and the potential for imporvemnt to their pharmacological properties. Therefore, they can command highly attractive valuations. Whilst there will likely continue to be a market for plant based cannabinoids, synthetics are likely going to dominate the pharmaceutical markets. 

Another very important factor is the prevalence of investment within the medical cannabis sector; it has attracted significant investment from both traditional pharmaceutical companies and from investors looking for opportunities in a rapidly growing market. This investment has helped to drive consolidation within the industry, with larger companies acquiring smaller companies and consolidating their market share.

As more patients begin to use medical and pharmaceutical cannabinoids, there is a growing need for patient education and support. This has created opportunities for companies to develop patient education programs, as well as for healthcare providers to learn more about the potential benefits and risks of medical cannabis. This also feeds into the previously mentioned driver of acceptance; the more education that patients have about the sector, the more widely treatments will be socially accepted due to reduced stigma.

Overall, the medical and pharmaceutical cannabis sector is a rapidly growing industry, driven by a variety of factors including increasing legalisation, growing acceptance, innovation and product development, investment and consolidation, and patient education. As the market for medical cannabis continues to expand, it is likely that these drivers of growth will continue to shape the industry in the years to come.