Why it’s hard to tame cannabis and make reliable medical treatments
Health & Biotech
Link copied to
Medicinal cannabis may be developed in a laboratory, but the nature of the plant makes it hard to tame.
Most drugs are based on chemicals, whereas the variability of plant medicines like cannabis add an extra layer of complexity for scientists.
The key for medical cannabis developers is proving standardisation of products, says natural medicine expert and Bod Australia advisory board chairman Nick Burgess.
“The issue with all plant medicines is that they are products of nature and they tend to vary according to the various conditions like the climate or soil,” Mr Burgess told Stockhead.
“The challenge to use a plant as a medicine is that you have to make the same thing consistently year in year out so that doctors can prescribe a medicine and know what it is.”
Medicinal cannabis standardisation is made difficult by pollen levels, which means scientists must focus on the initial reproduction of the plant.
Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) has partnered with European cannabis cloner Linnea to make sure each bud of cannabis is consistent, Mr Burgess says.
“It’s a matter of having a tight quality control over each and every step from reproduction of a plant to its harvest, processing and extraction into a drug product.”
BOos’S chief Jo Patterson says: “You don’t want to have any variability. Once you get to the patient-doctor stage you want to know that it’s going to be used the same way every time.”
Bod Australia closed steady at 44c on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the medical cannabis play announced it would stock its natural medicines range in Priceline chains and Pharmacy 4 Less stores nationally.
News sent the stock up 17 per cent on the day.