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Medical Cannabis Market | Share | Recent Developments

Medical Cannabis Market Size Envisioned at USD 40.48 Billion by 2032

The report covers Medical Cannabis Market Companies and Segments such as by type, it encompasses Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids, each catering to different therapeutic needs. Applications include chronic pain management, mental health, neurodegenerative disorders, oncology and others. Distribution channels span hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies and online stores, providing accessibility to patients worldwide. Geographically, across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. The report offers the value (in USD Billion) for the above segments.

Medical Cannabis Market Report Highlights:

  • Medical cannabis bloomed to USD 11.60 billion market in 2022.
  • It is projected to become USD 40.48 billion market by 2032.
  • It is set to quadruple by 2032 with a sizzling 13.8% of CAGR.
  • Chronic pain management claimed the top spot, holding a firm 52% share in 2022.
  • North America reigns supreme, boasting a commanding 56% share, thanks to early legalization, established market and booming popularity.

Medical Cannabis Market Size 2023 - 2032

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In 2023, according to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that around 50 million individuals are suffering from Epilepsy and showing a greater risk of premature death due to epilepsy. Medical cannabis hits high notes for Epilepsy, Chronic Pain Management and Rare Diseases.

Medical cannabis is obtained from the Cannabis Sativa plant and has been used for centuries due to its potential therapeutic benefits. Cannabis contains two main active compounds: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is known for its psychoactive properties, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive and has a variety of health benefits. The human body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates various physiological processes. Cannabinoids found in medical cannabis interact with receptors in the ECS, influencing processes such as pain perception, immunity and mood. One of the primary applications of medical cannabis is pain relief and it is used for various symptoms and diseases. THC can help alleviate chronic pain by altering how pain signals are processed in the brain. CBD, on the other hand, may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties without causing the "high" associated with THC. Medical cannabis is also utilized to manage nausea and vomiting, often in patients undergoing chemotherapy. THC can help reduce these symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals undergoing cancer treatments.

In some cases, medical cannabis is prescribed for muscle spasms and spasticity associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis. The cannabinoids' muscle-relaxant properties may provide relief for these symptoms. It's crucial to highlight that the legal status of medical cannabis varies widely around the world and even within different regions of a country. Some places have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, while others still have strict regulations or complete prohibition. Before considering medical cannabis, individuals should consult with healthcare professionals to discuss potential benefits, risks and legal implications based on their specific health conditions and local regulations.

Medical Cannabis Market Analysis Survey, 2022

The DHHS center for medical cannabis surveyed participants in the state's medical cannabis program. The survey aimed to gather feedback on the state's medical cannabis sector regarding product access availability.

The UTAH Cannabis Pharmacies Consistently had the Product(s) that Participants Needed, 2022

Additionally, medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, utilizes either the cannabis plant or its chemical components to address symptoms or medical conditions. While medical marijuana is available in forms similar to recreational use, there are also refined lab-made versions for specific health issues. Historically, cannabis use traces back to Central Asia or Western China, with documented instances dating back to 2800 BC in Emperor Shen Nung's pharmacopeia. The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the primary ones used in medicine. THC induces the characteristic "high", whether through smoking or ingesting cannabis-infused products. As of 2023, medical marijuana products were legally accessible in 38 states, three territories and the District of Columbia despite remaining prohibited under federal law.

The Role of Medical Cannabis in Treating Various Symptoms and Conditions

In states where medical marijuana is sanctioned, its approval extends to a diverse range of medical conditions, such as

  • Severe and Persistent Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer's
  • ALS
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It's imperative to recognize that some endorsed applications lack robust scientific validation. This discrepancy arises, in part, from the challenge researchers face in conducting comprehensive studies on a substance that, despite state-level approval, remains federally prohibited. The intricacies of this legal landscape contribute to limitations in establishing conclusive evidence for certain medicinal uses of Cannabis. More and more folks are realizing the amazing health benefits of medical cannabis, and it's causing a big demand boost in the market. People are getting hip to the therapeutic perks of cannabis-based products and as we all get more comfortable with using cannabis for medical reasons, the demand is shooting up. Ongoing research backing up its effectiveness also plays a role, making these products even more popular. It's like everyone's realizing that cannabis is a legitimate and valuable part of taking care of our health.

Active Medical Cannabis Cardholders

A cannabis patient cardholder is someone whose state's regulatory body has issued a medical marijuana card or license. This card verifies that the holder has a qualifying medical condition that makes them eligible to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Prescription Drugs Based on Cannabis Compounds

The FDA hasn't endorsed marijuana for health issues, but it has given the thumbs up to two prescription medications featuring synthetic cannabinoids.

FDA-Approved Medical Cannabis Drugs:

  • Dronabinol, also known as Marinol, comes into play for managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and addressing appetite and weight loss in individuals with HIV/AIDS.
  • Nabilone, marketed as Cesamet, steps in to alleviate nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy when other remedies fall short.

What sets these drugs apart from medical marijuana is the ability to regulate the active ingredient precisely, ensuring a consistent and known dosage each time. This level of control contributes to a more reliable and predictable therapeutic experience.

Cannabis has Potential Benefits in Managing Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a persistent neurological condition affecting individuals across all age groups. Globally, approximately 50 million people grapple with epilepsy, marking it as one of the most prevalent neurological disorders. Alarmingly, around 80% of those affected reside in low and middle income nations. With proper diagnosis and treatment, up to 70% of individuals living with epilepsy could potentially lead seizure-free lives. Unfortunately, the risk of premature death is three times higher in people with epilepsy compared to the general population. Regrettably, a significant number of individuals in low-income countries, around three-quarters, lack access to the necessary treatment. Beyond the medical challenges, many regions worldwide witness people with epilepsy and their families enduring the burden of societal stigma and discrimination. Addressing these issues requires a concerted effort to enhance accessibility to proper care and eliminate misconceptions surrounding epilepsy. Research suggests that certain compounds in cannabis, such as Cannabidiol (CBD), may have anticonvulsant properties and could potentially help manage epilepsy. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, influencing neural activity. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before considering any cannabis-related treatment for epilepsy, as the effectiveness and safety can vary and individual responses may differ.

Global Impact of Epilepsy: Greater Risk Found in Neonatal

While some studies suggest that certain compounds in cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), may have anticonvulsant properties, the overall evidence supporting cannabis as a primary treatment for epilepsy is not yet conclusive.

For Instance,

  • Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific types of seizures associated with epilepsy. Cannabis is gaining recognition for its role in epilepsy treatment, with an increasing demand for its medicinal use.
  • In 2023, according to the World Health Organization, around 50 million individuals in the United States are affected by epilepsy, comprising 3 million adults and 470,000 children. Notably, epilepsy stands out as one of the leading causes of hospital inpatient stays among children aged 0 to 17 in the U.S.

Many individuals are finding relief through cannabis-based therapies, and as awareness grows, so does the demand for these medicinal products. This positive shift reflects a changing perspective on the potential benefits of cannabis in managing epilepsy, providing hope for those seeking alternative, effective treatments and increasing demand for medical cannabis in the market.

The challenge of legal and regulatory issues in the medical cannabis market is like facing a tricky obstacle course. Imagine each country having its own set of rules – some straightforward, others complex. The first hurdle is the patchwork of regulations globally; what's legal in one place might be strictly prohibited in another. The clash of rules between regions adds complexity, creating a regulatory puzzle. It's like trying to follow a map with conflicting instructions, making the journey more challenging. Concerns about misuse and safety act as barriers. Some fear that opening the doors to medical cannabis could lead to problems. This concern adds an extra layer of difficulty, making the regulatory landscape akin to a tricky obstacle course that needs careful navigation.

Additionally, varying legal statuses across jurisdictions create complexities for companies operating in multiple markets. Despite its growing acceptance, navigating the evolving regulatory landscape remains a key factor influencing the expansion of the Medical cannabis industry.

Geographical Landscape

In North America, the geographical landscape for the medical cannabis market has seen significant changes in recent years. Canada has a well-established legal framework for both medical and recreational cannabis, allowing for cultivation, distribution and use. Several U.S. states, including California, Colorado and Florida, have developed robust medical cannabis markets. Mexico has also undergone legislative changes, decriminalizing cannabis for personal use and exploring avenues for medical cannabis legalization. The North American medical cannabis market exhibits a patchwork of regulations, with ongoing developments and shifting attitudes contributing to a dynamic landscape. As more regions and states embrace medical cannabis, the market is likely to continue evolving across the continent.

In the Asia Pacific, the geographical landscape for the medical cannabis market is marked by a mix of regulatory approaches. While many countries maintain strict regulations or even criminalize cannabis, some are exploring or implementing changes. Australia has made strides in medical cannabis legalization, establishing a framework for cultivation and distribution. In contrast, countries like Thailand and South Korea have taken steps toward cannabis decriminalization for medical purposes. However, the overall landscape in Asia Pacific remains diverse, with varying levels of acceptance and regulatory frameworks.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape in the medical cannabis market is dynamic and evolving. Numerous companies worldwide are actively engaged in the cultivation, processing and distribution of medical cannabis products. The entrance of established pharmaceutical and biotech companies into the medical cannabis space is noteworthy. These companies are often involved in the research and development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, aiming to meet regulatory standards for broader acceptance. Regulatory environments, research advancements and strategic partnerships influence the competitive landscape. As the industry continues to expand globally, the competitive dynamics within the medical cannabis market are expected to undergo further transformation.

The Fast-Evolving Landscape of Medical Cannabis

  • In January 2023, Celadon Pharmaceuticals Pic shared the exciting news that the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) has officially registered its cannabis active pharmaceutical ingredient at its Midlands facility, UK, ensuring compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • In February 2023, Aurora Cannabis Inc. joined forces with MedReleaf Australia, introducing an innovative medical cannabis brand called CraftPlant to the Australian market. CraftPlant brings three new products – Greendale, Navana and HiVolt – all derived from carefully cultivated strains, boasting THC dominance and enriched with high terpene content. This collaboration aims to provide doctors in Australia with various prescription options for their patients.
  • In June 2023, Avicanna Inc., a pioneer in cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, partnered with the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids. Together, they developed an educational course customized for the medical community in Canada, fostering a deeper understanding of cannabinoids.
  • In August 2023, Avicanna Inc. expanded its footprint by acquiring Medical Cannabis by Shopper's Business from Shoppers Drug Mart. To add to the celebration, they proudly launched, an innovative medical cannabis care platform, offering a comprehensive and user-friendly experience for individuals seeking medical cannabis solutions.

Medical Cannabis Market Companies

  • Ilray Inc.
  • Canopy Growth Corporation
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc.
  • Endoca
  • Curaleaf Holding Inc.
  • Medical Marijuana Inc.
  • Green Thumb Industry
  • Acreage Holdings
  • GW Pharmaceutical Plc.
  • Folium Europe B.V.

Medical Cannabis Market Segments

By Type

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Other Cannabinoids

By Application

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Mental Health and Neurodegenerative Disorder
  • Oncology
  • Others

By Distribution Channel

  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Online Stores

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • The Middle East and Africa

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About The Author

Deepa has certified the degree of Master’s in Pharmacy in the Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance department from Dr D.Y. Patil College of Pharmacy. Her research is focused on the healthcare industry. She is the author or co-author of four Review Articles, which include Solid dispersion a strategic method for poorly soluble drugs and solubility improvement techniques for poorly soluble drugs, Herbal Drugs Used In Treatment Of Cataracts, Nano sponges And Their Application in Cancer Prevention and Ayurvedic Remedies of Peptic ulcer. She has also published a Research Article on the Formulation and Evaluation of Mucoadhesive Tablets of Miconazole cocrystal which was published in GIS Science Journal Volume 9 Issue 8. Her passion for secondary research and desire to take on the challenge of solving unresolved issues is making her flourish is the in the research sector.


Cannabis dispensaries across the country sell products derived from a variety of cannabis strains. While users frequently report varying effects on their symptoms from different strains, research in this area is limited.

Medical cannabis is legal in 38 states. More than two-thirds of US states and the District of Columbia have legalized Medical cannabis in various forms for medical purposes. More bills that would do the same thing are being considered. Some of those states also allow adults to use cannabis recreationally. Medical cannabis laws vary by state, with some prohibiting smoked forms or limiting THC doses.

Medical cannabis can be used to relieve pain. This includes a variety of chronic pain conditions, such as nerve damage, prevent nausea and vomiting, increase appetite.

World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Health, Department of Cannabis Control,,, GOV.UK.