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Exploring Cannabinoids in the Future of Medicine

By Cameron Clarke

Only five years have passed since the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) definitively recognized “Marijuana as Medicine” on its website. Most Americans already knew it was, but this admission marked a pivotal turning point for what was once an avidly anti-cannabis agency. NIDA has funded numerous clinical studies into medical cannabis since the 2017 admission, essentially changing its research stance from roadblocks to roadways, with proper research starting to accelerate. We’ve made a big leap forward in the past five years, but medical cannabis is positioned for significantly more progress by 2027. 

This health and wellness transformation is the topic at hand when I join three other panelists for “Exploring Cannabinoids in the Future of Medicine” at South by Southwest (SXSW) on March 14. 

Cannabinoids are organic compounds found in cannabis plants, and many like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have therapeutic potential in treating conditions like pain, nausea, epilepsy, obesity, wasting disease, addiction, and autoimmune disorders. Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoids and terpenes that vary from strain to strain, so the data collected in these large-scale studies can help identify proper dosage, specific cannabinoid targets, and standard treatment regimes. This represents the immediate future of cannabinoid research, but as the big picture comes into focus, cannabinoid medicine appears on the path to many more significant breakthroughs. 

Take a look at what we’re doing here at Sunderstorm with more efficient delivery systems. In particular, our Nano edibles feature molecular technology that significantly reduces the size of the cannabinoid particles and then coats them in plant-based material that replicates the natural digestive process. The result is faster activation and the greater absorption of cannabinoids and terpenes, which, for medical use, could make a quantifiable difference in overall efficacy for conditions like chronic pain. 

The future also promises more patient-specific cannabinoid medications. Knowing a person’s genetic makeup can inform custom cannabinoid solutions that may produce more positive outcomes. EndoCanna Health, for example, uses its proprietary genotype and endocompatibility test to identify the optimal ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes and then customize the medication accordingly. Len May, the CEO of EndoCanna Health, is another participant on the SXSW panel. 

The future starts with a better understanding of cannabinoids and dosage, but it continues with customized therapeutics, advanced delivery systems, and genetic testing that may have medical applications beyond just cannabinoids. It’s these future-minded innovations that we’ll discuss at SXSW’s Exploring Cannabinoids in the Future of Medicine

If you’re in Austin for SXSW, come join the conversation about the future of medicine. Otherwise, watch this space for more information on the latest breakthroughs in cannabinoid science.

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