Anecdotally, it is well known that cannabis has the potential to kill cancer cells. It is also well known that no two people have the same genetic makeup. Finding the best possible match became the challenge for Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CNBX). By introducing Cannabinoids to Modern Precision Medicine through personalized assessment tools, Cannabics is helping to move cannabinoids into the future of cancer therapy. Bringing the promises of the healing power of cannabis to cancer patients today.
This amazing work is being undertaken by a dedicated group of experts at the Cannabics Pharmaceuticals U.S. Head Office in Bethesda, Maryland, and Israeli locations in Tel-Aviv (Corporate Offices) and Rehovot (Lab). Green View recently asked the Cannabics team about the company’s operations, biggest challenges, and how they plan to achieve their passionate mission to advance cancer treatment options. The following is an edited transcript of their responses:
GVM: Could you give us some background on your company and an overview of your niche in the U.S. and global cannabis industries?
CNBX: “Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a U.S. public company developing a platform that leverages novel drug-screening tools and artificial intelligence to create cannabinoid-based therapies for cancer that are more precise to a patient’s profile. By developing tools to assess effectiveness on a personalized basis, Cannabics is helping to provide physicians with the insight they need to more effectively prescribe cannabis. Because cannabis remains illegal and classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, there is an alarming lack of medical research in cannabis treatments. As such, doctors are prescribing blind when it comes to medical marijuana. Doctors have little to no data on what dosages are appropriate for specific conditions or what the contraindications are with other medications or health conditions.
“While more research and clinical trials are needed, we are years away from the amount of research that we need. In the meantime, we can do a much better job of using the data we have to better inform and guide doctors on how and when to prescribe medical marijuana. In the application of medical cannabis treatments, it is imperative that these treatments do not interfere with a patient’s current medication regimen. Cannabics’ database can offer guidance to help ensure that medications do not hamper existing treatments. The company’s research and development is based in Israel, where it is licensed by the Ministry of Health to conduct scientific and clinical research on cannabinoid formulations and cancer.”
GVM: The quest for cancer treatments is a universal goal. However, the cannabis industry is not always well received, with many countries and US states still declaring it illegal. How is Israel unique from the U.S. – from government regulations to security to social responsibility and what do you find are the biggest challenges in today’s business environment?
CNBX: “Due to the Schedule 1 nature of cannabis in the United States, it is exceptionally difficult for companies to get medical grade cannabis to conduct research into potential medical applications. For this reason, many companies, such as Cannabics, have turned to Israel to conduct their research. Cannabis research has a relatively long history in Israel, dating back to the 1960s, when Raphael Mechoulam, an organic chemist and professor, was able to isolate both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana.
“From this initial study, Israel has expanded its research to find potential areas of application for cannabis. While other European countries are making strides into the research of cannabis, Israel is considered by many experts to be the furthest ahead. This research includes exploring the potential of cannabis in the following areas: Cancer; Pain; Inflammation and stress management; Immunity; Metabolism; Drug delivery and nanotechnology; Pharmaceutical chemistry; Neuroscience; Plant science and genetics.”
GVM: How do you market the Cannabics solutions to investors?
CNBX: “We place an emphasis on the importance of the mission we have set out to accomplish, which is to match the right cannabinoid composition to the right person. To achieve this, we approach investors by laying out the current issues and problems that cancer patients are faced with today, and how our solutions may help. Our investors come from a plethora of countries and territories, not necessarily from countries where medical cannabis is accessible and regulated. The promises that the plant holds are fascinating for anyone – for a variety of industries.”
GVM: Are you involved in educating medical professionals about the benefits of cannabis?
CNBX: “There continues to be a growing demand for cannabis in the medical landscape, especially on the palliative side of care. Those battling cancer – both patients and their physicians – are turning to cannabis in an effort to ease symptoms associated with the disease, as well as side effects from treatment, such as chemotherapy-nausea. However, because of the severe lack of medical research in cannabis treatments, doctors are forced to prescribe blind, as they have little-to-no data on appropriate dosages for specific conditions or what the contraindications are with other medications or health conditions.
“A recent study found that 89.5 percent of residents and fellows feel ill-equipped to make a recommendation around cannabis and 84.9% reported receiving no education in medical school or residency on medical marijuana. Cannabics is working to increase available data and enable doctors in the more targeted prescribing of medical cannabis.”
BVM: Your work has life-changing potential… 5 years down the road, how do you see the cannabis industry evolving, and what are your company’s priorities and objectives for the future?
CNBX: “We believe that the cannabis industry will become much less restrictive in terms of the research that is allowed to occur in the next five years. As more studies are conducted to understand the medical benefits and effects of cannabis, more countries will hopefully be open to changing their laws surrounding cannabis prohibition. This will allow companies to research all aspects of the plant, and also enable us to complete one of our main objectives, which is providing doctors with more guidance when prescribing cannabis. Our database will allow doctors to have access to a comprehensive collection of all known cannabinoids and interactions within the human body and with other drugs, so that doctors can make better decisions for their patients
“It is extremely important that patients are paired with the correct types of cannabis as it relates to their condition, their current medications, and any other interactions that may occur between a patient and the cannabis treatment. Currently, Cannabics is working to develop a database that will provide important prescribing information about different strains of cannabis to provide insight into which combinations and strains of cannabis should be used in certain situations. This is part of a larger initiative to personalize cancer treatments for patients.”
AT A GLANCE
Who: Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc.
What: U.S. public company developing cannabinoid-based therapies for cancer
Where: Bethesda, Maryland; Tel-Aviv and Rehovot, Israel