Cannabis has recently become one of the hottest investment sectors on world markets and despite Australia’s legal restrictions, the ASX has seen a flurry of pot stocks float in the last couple of years.
Although, it was not that long ago that the very idea of investing in the flowering herb meant dropping your money into an illegal “stash.”
The very fact that recreational cannabis use has been illegal in most Western countries since the 1930s has meant it has been significantly under-researched by modern pharmacology.
As clinical research on its medical benefits ramp up, and its commercial uses are explored, this could mean an opportune time to invest – or will it just be a flash in the pan?
What is cannabis?
For those a little out of the loop, cannabis has been more commonly referred to as ‘marijuana’ and informally named ‘weed or pot.’
The two main properties of the cannabis plant species are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to impact the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. These neurotransmitters relay messages between cells about pain, stress, sleep and many other functions.
Each compound interacts differently to produce different effects on the body.
CBD vs THC
Reports vary on how many other compounds are present in the plant, with some only detected at very low levels, but the figure has been up around the 500 mark.
THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient, notorious for its ability to generate a euphoric ‘high’.
Alongside its recreational purposes, it has been used medically for its relaxing and pain-relieving effects.
It is also considered to help with conditions including insomnia, low appetite, nausea, anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that can serve to balance or dampen the effects of THC.
It is considered preferable as a medicine because it lacks the psychoactive side effect and has many other medical benefits.
In addition to pain and nausea management, it is mainly used to treat seizures, inflammation, migraines, depression, psychosis or mental disorders.
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