Not many things can cause Big Pharma to panic.
They have a strong grip on the U.S. medical industry and their profits seem to grow year on year, no matter what. They have even been known to increase the price of drugs by 5000%.
So why is the CBD Oil movement making them shift nervously in their seats?
CBD Oil is a natural treatment derived from the cannabis plant. There are two main types of cannabinoid in cannabis, CBD & THC. THC is the famous, psychoactive compound that gives users the ‘high’ associated with smoking cannabis; and CBD is the non-psychoactive compound, that has amazing medicinal benefits.
Our bodies have millions of cannabinoid receptors, that react with CBD. In fact, scientists believe that this system of cannabinoid receptors is the most widespread receptor system in the body. Basically our bodies are built to react with cannabis.
Unfortunately, for many years, the government has suppressed the use of cannabis for good. It was made a schedule 1 drug, the same classification as heroin and LSD. Even though research has shown how effective CBD is to treat all sorts of ailments, it hasn’t been widely available.
That has all started to change in the last 10 years.
While research on CBD started way back in the 1940s, events in the last decade have pushed it into public view. Perhaps the most notable thing that has changed public opinion on CBD was the story of Charlotte Figi, who in 2013 was saved from having 300 epileptic seizures a week.
Now that CBD is being taken seriously, Big Pharma are starting to get nervous. Here’s why –
The CBD Oil Market Is Growing Quick
Since 2013 the CBD Oil market has grown very quickly. The Hemp Business Journal estimate that it will grow to $2.1 billion by 2020. This is backed up in a study by the Brightfield Group that says the CBD Oil market is growing by 55% a year.
Matt Karnes of Greenwave Advisors said: “In terms of the CBD market size, I estimate an almost $3 billion market by 2021. Right now there are 15 states that allow CBD only — this is in addition to the 28 states plus DC that have legalized medical marijuana.”
Whichever specific number you choose to believe, the CBD Oil market is set to be huge. It is a safe assumption that many of those sales have been taken away from the pharmaceutical market. For example, a patient taking strong pain-relief medication for chronic pain tries CBD Oil and stops buying their medication.
That means that sales are being taken from massive corporations and instead going to grassroots suppliers, growing the small-business economy.
In the US, the total legal marijuana sales for 2017 were nearly $9 billion. This market is slowly being changed from an illegal market, where the money goes to criminal enterprises, into a legitimate market, where the money goes to small businesses and the wider economy. But none of this money is going to Big Pharma.
Big Pharma Trying To Create A Monopoly
Big Pharma have not ignored this. They’ve reacted in a pretty typical way, in fact.
In April this year, a panel experts – convened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – voted in favour of an ‘experimental’ CBD-based epilepsy drug. The drug is the first of its kind, in that it is the first attempt by Big Pharma to get a CBD-based drug approved by the FDA. This in itself, is good news. FDA approval will legitimize CBD and pave the way for patients to have better access, but that is not where the story ends.
GW Pharmaceuticals – the company that created Epidolex – have tried to make it so CBD is only available through FDA approved CBD drugs. That means that they would have a monopoly on CBD and patients would have to buy their drugs.
If you take into consideration the potential financial gains of monopolizing CBD, it comes as no surprise that the drug industry is pushing for legislation that makes CBD Oil Illegal.
Fortunately, they have not been successful. But you can bet they will keep trying.
Big Pharma Stands To Lose… A Lot!
The things that really scares Big Pharma is patients moving over to CBD Oil from their existing prescriptions. Since 2013, when the story of Charlotte Figi first aired, more and more people have decided to ditch their pharmaceuticals for a more natural solution.
There are a few reasons for this. CBD Oil is often more effective than its pharmaceutical rival. In epilepsy sufferers, around 30% of patients don’t respond to existing drugs at all. So it is no surprise that there is a huge shift over to CBD Oil. This is similar to patients with chronic pain, who are often looking for the solution that offers the most effective pain relief.
Not only that, but CBD Oil can often be cheaper alternative to prescription drugs. Big Pharma companies have built a reputation for skyrocketing the prices of drugs to make them hugely profitable, when there is no alternative. In 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim – a drug that defends aids and cancer sufferers against deadly parasites – from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, just after buying the rights to the drug.
Patients have a right to be worried.
Fortunately, with CBD Oil that is never going to happen. Cannabis is one of the easiest plants to grow and making CBD Oil is actually relatively simple. And because no one company owns the rights to make it, there will be competition in the market that will keep the price low.
Then, you have to look at the side effects that come with pharmaceuticals. For example, NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have the following common side effects –
- Excess gas
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or face
- Muscle cramps, numbness or tingling
- Rapid weight gain
- Black, bloody or tarry stools
- Bloody urine or bloody vomit
- Decreased hearing or ringing in the ears (also called tinnitus)
- Jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Abdominal cramping
Compared to CBD Oil, which has reported side effects of –
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
It is pretty obvious why people are moving over to CBD Oil. The side effects of NSAIDS make for scary reading, and a quick search on Google for reviews will scare you even more. Not only are the common side effects much less severe, CBD Oil is safer in general. While it hasn’t been FDA approved yet, there has never been a reported overdose death from cannabis. In fact, NSAIDS actually report death and coma as possible side effects. Yet patients use these drugs, because they don’t have a better alternative. And this is just one example of a much wider problem, where drugs are created to make money instead of effectively treat patients.
Athletes Are Dropping Ibuprofen for CBD Oil
Some athletes have started to move over from traditional pharmaceuticals to CBD Oil. Andrew Talansky is a cyclist who races for Slipstream Sports. He has recently switched from cycling to triathlon, and because of that his body is often sore all over. In the past he has relied on traditional pain-relief like Ibuprofen, but decided to give CBD Oil a try.
He said: “I took it for a couple of weeks, and there was a noticeable difference immediately. And it wasn’t just that my hip was feeling better. I was less anxious, and I was sleeping better.”
You might be thinking – But why would one cyclist moving from Ibuprofen to CBD Oil cause Big Pharma a problem?
One lost customer isn’t going to make a big difference, but the power of endorsements will. The more athletes and celebrities that endorse CBD Oil, the better people will feel about trying it. This could cause a ripple effect that will cost Big Pharma a lot of money.
Why Big Pharma Hates Natural Remedies
CBD Oil isn’t the first natural remedy that Big Pharma have taken against. For years they have been quietly fighting against people using natural remedies. This all comes down to the fact that – in the western world – medicine is one of the biggest businesses there is. Instead of curing disease, they want to treat it and make patients have a lifelong treatment that they have to keep paying for. Unfortunately this is how they make their money, and it creates a culture where profit is put above patients.
Natural remedies are much harder for them to control. People can often grow them for themselves. Cannabis is an easy plant to cultivate and therefore people don’t need to rely on pharmaceutical companies to create the drug for them. Also because they’re are easy to grow, it means small companies can make products and create competition.
Cannabis is one of the most medically useful plants in existence, and that terrifies Big Pharma.