Creso Pharma looks to establish early stake in reawakened medical cannabis industry

Creso Pharma ASX CPH cannadol cannabis arthritis sport injury

Barely a month after announcing its imminent launch of CannaQIX, biotech company Creso Pharma (ASX: CPH) is back in the headlines this week with the launch of cannaDOL, a nutraceutical product range aimed at treating arthritis symptoms and sports-related muscle injuries.

According to Creso “cannaDOL addresses the need for organic and efficient support for the management of pain associated with sports injuries and age-related symptoms such as stiffness and arthritis,” and is likely to be made ready for launch in early 2019, with the help of FRIKE Technologies, a full service contract manufacturer based in Switzerland.

CannaDOL range

CannaDOL is an orally consumed cannabidiol-based food supplement utilising a “proprietary delivery technology with high bioavailability and absorption.”

Creso says that the combined CBD, vitamins and minerals formula in the food supplement aims to enhance collagen synthesis, fights fatigue and tiredness and stimulates the metabolism.

CannaDOL’s effectiveness comes from its reliance on “cooling and heating” to activate the body’s metabolism and promote natural healing.

Creso says that the cooling effect is generated by “menthol whilst the proprietary combination of essential oils heats the targeted area to open up capillaries”, which then penetrate into the tissue, stimulate blood circulation in the affected area and thereby accelerating the healing process significantly.

Creso intends to roll-out a multitude of cosmetics products as part of a concerted suite of products within the topic analgesics market, starting in 2019, and says that cannaDOL will be marketed in “two different strengths”.

Broader medicinal cannabis industry

Medical cannabis as a substance and the commercial industry that is rapidly forming around it are both in the media spotlight.

Having been consigned to restricted research laboratories as an illicit substance for several decades, it is now re-surfacing into global markets.

Creso Pharma’s move into cannabis-based cosmetics reflects a broader acceptance of cannabis within the pharmaceutical industry. Cosmetics are considered non-invasive and therefore do not require multi-phased large-scale clinical trials to become marketable.

Many of the health concerns that led to cannabis being criminalised have now been allayed, while the comparatively-more harmful effects of alcohol and artificial diets have encouraged many people to re-evaluate the merits of draconian bans.

Judging by the relaxed cannabis laws in both the US and Canada, it would seem cannabis is making an albeit slow legal comeback.

“People’s perceptions of cannabis consumption have changed. Cannabis is no longer something to get high on. In the scientific community, CBD advocacy is on the rise, and evidence of its effectiveness across various health issues is growing. As cannabis legalisation spreads around the globe, a unique market, based on the health appeals of CBD, is emerging,” said Dr Miri Halperin Wernli, CEO and co-founder of Creso Pharma.

“With our innovative CBD-based oral nutraceuticals and functional cosmetics for muscle and joint pain relief in sports and for the ageing population, Creso will continue to build our leading position in the global cannabis industry,” said Dr Wernli.

After decades of restrictions, the medical cannabis market is currently in the embryonic stage of development.

Latest figures indicate the North American medical cannabis industry grew by 30% in 2016, was estimated to be worth around US$9.7 billion in 2017, and forecast to grow to around $25 billion by 2021, according to data from ArcView, a leading market research agency specialising in the cannabis market. One of the standout comments made in its latest report is that “prohibition is crumbling”.

Crumbling legislation sowing a ripe commercial market

In the US, the use of medical cannabis has been made legal in 23 states, of which California is the largest. In addition, 12 more states have passed CBD-only medical cannabis regulations.

These numbers are expected to rise upwards of 40 states by 2020 as legislation is mimicked across the country, backed by strong precedents and a domino-effect of decriminalisation.

More legislative easing is still pending in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe as a truly global acceptance of medical cannabis seems evermore likely over the next few years.

After many years in the wilderness, medical cannabis is undergoing a renaissance for the benefit of patients, pharmaceutical developers, growers and even budget-conscious government treasury officials; who tend to opt for a small slice of something rather than a big slice of nothing, when given the chance.

George is an award-winning market analyst who has authored articles and editorial opinion pieces for multiple publications around the world. He has written about a wide variety of topics including financial markets, stocks, trading, politics and economics.