The global market for medicinal use of cannabis is expected to grow to a multi-billion dollar market over the coming years. This is primarily due to the cannabis legislation currently being under review or already changing in many countries around the world. Until now, it has been illegal to develop, produce and sell cannabis-based products in most countries.
In Europe, Denmark is a pioneer country on opening the door for the use of medicinal cannabis. Here, a 4-year medicinal cannabis pilot program was launched in 2018 allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis products to their patients. In parallel, a development trial is running allowing for controlled cultivation of cannabis.
The political focus is to prevent people from feeling compelled to buy cannabis on the black market where there is no quality control. If not grown under controlled conditions, cannabis plants are likely to accumulate substances, such as pesticides or heavy metals, from the environment.
“Thanks to the expertise from NordicCan, we can secure the quality of cannabis-derived products. In Fertin Pharma, we have successfully developed and manufactured nicotine replacement therapy products for many years. Our manufacturing and handling of API is conducted in US FDA and EU GMP approved environments”, says Julie Malbaek, CEO of NordicCan.
The cannabis plant
In many countries, cannabis plant production is actually permitted when using the appropriate cannabis plant strain: the hemp plant. Hemp is used for a variety of commercial products such as clothing and food. The legal distinction relates to the strains’ unique chemical compositions.
“There is preliminary evidence that cannabinoids may be a useful treatment for a number of medical conditions and it is expected that CBD will potentially be legal as a dietary supplement in the near future. According to a report published by WHO in 2018, CBD is well tolerated and has a good safety profile”, Julie Malbaek stated.
The best-known chemical substances from cannabis are the cannabinoids THC (TetraHydroCannabinol) and CBD (CannaBiDiol). The cannabinoids are responsible for many of the pharmacological effects of cannabis. THC is wellknown for its euphoric effects but also responsible for positive medical effects such as being pain relieving, reduce vomiting and nausea. CDB is not intoxicating as THC, but well-known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure effect. Hemp plants typically contain up to 20% CDB and less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, which is another cannabis strain, usually contains up to 30% THC and less than 10% CBD. The usage of a certain strain often depends on the medical condition and the desired effect.
Both plant strains contain more than 120 cannabinoids, 300-400 terpenes and approximately 20 fatty acids. Thus, the cannabis plant holds potential of being used for various disease indications.
Julie Malbaek added, “with the combined know-how of NordicCan and Fertin Pharma’s cGMP manufacturing capabilities, we are strongly positioned for the global cannabis market. We have already come a long way towards our declared goal of developing the best in world cannabis products for buccal absorption, including chewing gum”.
NordicCan, Fertin Pharma’s sister company, develops and produces innovative cannabinoid food supplements and medical products for the B2B market. The product portfolio includes chewing gum, lozenge and other oral delivery formats, and the company owns a wide range of patents. Fertin Pharma and NordicCan jointly have access to and masters the most comprehensive portfolio of Intra-Oral Delivery systems globally covering more than 6 platform technologies, which offer the patient and consumer efficient, pleasurable and convenient delivery formats.
NordicCan headquarter is located in Vejle, Denmark. NordicCan supports Cannabis Denmark, an organization working towards making Denmark a leading country in the development of cannabis products for medical use to benefit the treatment of patients – taking the complete value chain from plant to patient into account. Additionally, NordicCan is a member of Cannabis Trades” Association UK and the European Industrial Hemp association.