ASX pot stocks have run hot in recent months but eight in particular have been particularly rewarding for shareholders.

Many pot stocks ran cold prior to COVID-19 as regulatory progress stalled and global markets didn’t take off.

Australia was a particular laggard and faced the further impediment of being reliant on imports – something that meant COVID-19 hit it more than most other industries’ cannabis industries.

But the gradual emerging of local cultivators and deregulation both globally and locally (most prominantly the TGA’s de-scheduling of certain CBD products last year) has resulted in many pot stocks gaining ground.

Eight in particular have more than tripled in the last 12 months.

Here are the cannabis companies on the ASX that are up over 200 per cent in 12 months…

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The hot pot stocks

The “hottest pot stock” is up over 600 per cent but it actually isn’t a pure-play cannabis stock. It is tracing tech stock Dotz Nano (ASX:DTZ) which has been testing in cannabis plants – among other things.

In 2019 it showed its markers could be detected in cannabis leaves and flowers even days after being added.

Arguably investors have been more interested in its COVID-19 efforts, in signing on face mask manufacturers as clients for its authentication solution and producing a saliva-based COVID-19 test which last month was approved in Europe.

Taking silver spot is another diversified play in Wide Open Agriculture (ASX:WOA) which has made forays into the hemp space, and has an industrial hemp licence, but also dabbles in plant-based foods.

Next is biotech Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHLwhich has a CBD-based drug which it has been testing against various diseases including asthma, constructive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)inflammatory bowel disease, bronchitis and sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome, a leading cause of death from COVID-19.

Another biotech on the list is Neurotech International (ASX:NTI) which, as its name implies, is a specialist in neurological conditions. It has a unique strains of cannabis which it believes could assist with the treatment of autism.

While many of the ASX’s hot pot stocks are biotechs or if consumer-focused are targeting foreign markets, Australian Primary Hemp (ASX:APH) is one of the few exemptions. It specialises in hemp-based foods and has signed a handful of retail distribution deals in the last six months including with 7-Eleven and Woolworths (ASX:WOW).

Another company on the list that has gained off the back of COVID-19 news is pharmaceutical manufacturer IDT Australia (ASX:IDT). It produces medical cannabis among other pharmaceuticals including for fellow pot stock Cann Group (ASX:CAN).

It told investors in February a low dose cannabidiol product was developed, manufacturered and ready to be launched after the TGA’s recent decision.

But IDT won far more attention from the market last month when it said it was starting a feasibility assessment to see if its manufacturing facility could help in the COVID-19 vaccine program. Shares surged from 19 cents to 49 cents in just a handful of days but have now come back to 40 cents.

Rounding out the list is Lifespot Health (ASX:LSH), which is developing a medical cannabis inhaler device, and CBD product maker Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH).

In recent weeks Creso has made moves into the psychedelics medicines space by acquiring Canada-based Halucenex Life Sciences. This makes it the first ASX stocks to be in that space.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Incannex Healthcare, Neurotech and Creso Pharma are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.