Cannabis poised to disrupt lucrative painkiller industry

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As cannabis rapidly gains ground, painkiller manufacturers will rapidly see their market share lose

Cannabis is growing. Literally and figuratively. As the industry continues to gain recognition and adoption due to the positive healing powers provided by the plant, lab-manufactured painkillers are going to lose. Cannabis is now reportedly the largest potential disruptor to the multibillion-dollar prescription painkiller market.

In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that approximately 37.8% of all adults int he US were prescribed opioids that year. The number has only increased since then and the market is expected to be worth $34,96 billion globally by 2025. However, the research didn’t necessarily take into account the explosive growth seen by the cannabis industry.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MMI) President and CEO Dr. Stuart Titus predicts that the opioid market is about to be disrupted. MMI is the first publicly traded US cannabis company.

Cannabis is gaining not only because it has been proven to be a natural and viable alternative to chemicals, but also because it doesn’t have the nasty side effects or overdosing potential associated with opioids. In an interview with Real Money, Titus pointed out, “Opioid receptor sites are very close to the parts of the brain that control your breathing reflex. In overdoses this causes a number of individuals to asphyxiate.”

Since cannabinoid (CBD) receptors are located in the center of the brain and pose zero threat to the brain stem. As a result, Titus expects more physicians to make the switch to cannabis prescriptions over lab-generated alternatives.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray, Inc., which recently saw its stocks skyrocket over a deal that will see its products exported to the US to be used in research, said, “Cannabis is a substitute for prescription painkillers, prescription opioids. So, if you’re an investor in a pharmaceutical company or you’re a pharmaceutical company, you have to hedge the offset from cannabis substitution.”

The disruption has already begun. How far it goes, and how much big pharma loses, remains to be seen, but the safe money is on huge losses, unless they embrace the cannabis movement.

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