Special Report: Creso Pharma is embracing the ‘whole plant’ concept of medicinal cannabis, a field that is proving increasingly exciting to researchers looking at issues such as complementary medicine.

Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has embraced the whole plant approach for medicinal cannabis, putting it among the majority of Australian marijuana companies.

Pot stocks in Australia are split between those using a purified isolates of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and those using the whole plant and promoting the ‘entourage effect’.

Creso scientific industry advisor Stephane Redey says the benefits of using the whole cannabis plant are just beginning to be better recognised.

“Medicinal cannabis is a paradigm shift. In modern medicine, the idea is to hit one or a few drug target(s) as hard and as specifically as possible with one or a few purified compound(s),” he told Stockhead.

“In the case of cannabis, it’s a very complex plant in its composition and botanical properties. It might seem crazy to embrace a full plant extract with hundreds of different compounds, but research is indicating it can be highly effective, with an attractive risk/benefit profile.”

>> Learn more about Creso Pharma

CBD hemp oil products adopt the ‘entourage effect’

The ‘entourage effect’ is the idea that all of the components of a plant — such as the fragrant terpenes, the cannabinoids and the fatty acids — work together to produce a stronger effect than any one of those components could by itself.

Redey describes it like not only using a key to open one lock, but also influencing the environment in which this happens.

“Imagine the concept of the lock and key, the lock is the receptor (drug target) and the active molecule is the key.

“Traditionally, in modern medicine you want to stimulate this target, this lock, as much and as specifically as possible with a given active molecule.”

“By using the whole plant we have more than one active molecule active and they work together rather than one in isolation,” he said. “Other targets than the main drug target(s) may also be hit, while other molecules of the entourage may be involved in different but complementary roles, such as enhancing absorption, minimising interferences or reducing side-effects”.

Creso is tapping this effect through its human products cannaQIX® 10 and cannaQIX® 50, and its animal supplement anibidiol®, hemp-based CBD products that contain full spectrum CBD hemp oil.

The animal feed supplement in particular is designed to complement existing food and medications and have a positive effect on issues such as stress and chronic pain.

cannaQIX® 10 is aiming at reducing stress and supporting psychological and nervous functions.

cannaQIX® 50 is designed to relieve stress, chronic pain and sleep, three areas where cannabis is proving to be useful in reducing the dose of other drugs. The indication a medicinal cannabis product may be used for is the decision of the prescribing doctor and it is patient-specific.

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Getting off the opioids

Redey says these complementary effects are behind one of the major fields of study around medicinal cannabis today: using marijuana to lower the use of other medications.

“For example, with pain. A patient may take medicinal cannabis as well as other medications including opioids, and in turn the cannabis may allow them to reduce the dose of the other medications used,” he said.

Studies are already proving the synergistic effects of medical cannabis are effective in reducing opioid use by lowering the doses people need to reach the desired effect.

Redey pointed to a series of studies, such as this Springer article and a Medical Research Council of the UK study highlighting the anxiolytic properties of CBD.

Furthermore, studies are showing that it can also reduce use of the sedative benzodiazepine among people with neurological conditions.

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This story was developed in collaboration with Creso Pharma, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
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