4 Canadian marijuana stocks with a clinical trials research edge

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Cannabis plants contain an estimated 113 cannabinoids (THC & CBD are the two that are most well known), each of which may have some medical purposes.

Companies that are spending money on clinical trials could be winners in the long run as there is potential for cannabinoids to be used as an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), as seen by the FDA approval of GW Pharmaceuticals Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures.

However, much research still needs to be done to determine the efficacy and safety of cannabis as a medical ingredient. It typically takes a pharmaceutical company 10 years to bring a new drug onto the market.

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Today, we have identified four Canadian marijuana stocks that are allocating substantial resources to clinical studies to determine the potential medical benefits of cannabis.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST) – $11.64
Cannabis

CannTrust Holdings is a distributor and producer of medical cannabis. With the help of healthcare practitioners, the Company sells dried cannabis and oil extracts to clients. The Company has a 60,000 sq. ft facility, producing 3,600 kg of cannabis annually. The Company received approval in January 2019 from Health Canada to build a 450,000 sq. ft. facility in the Niagara Region of Ontario. CannTrust is funding studies on the effects of cannabis for the treatment of pain, cannabinoid pharmacology, therapy in gut disorders, and the effects on cannabis on breast cancer. In addition, the Company is funding studies on the effects of cannabis and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Market Cap: $1,229.6 Million
  • YTD Return: 81.4%
  • 90-Day Average Volume: 1,656,000

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) – $11.92
Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis is a licensed distributor and producer of medical marijuana. The Company expects to have approximately 1,000,000 sq. ft. of licensed production space and produce 270,000 kg of cannabis annually. The Company has signed supply agreements with 12 provinces and territories. Aurora also has over 40 clinical studies and trials that generate data and research papers that will support evidence-based decisions by doctors, prescribers, reimbursement agencies, and government policymakers. Aurora’s subsidiary Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. is donating cannabis oil products to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, being conducted by BC Cancer to determine whether cannabis properties reduce cancer-related symptoms, including pain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and nausea.

  • Market Cap: $12,066.2 Million
  • YTD Return: 88.3%
  • 90-Day Average Volume: 17,500

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) – $96.31
Cannabis

Tilray is focused on medical cannabis research, cultivation, and distribution. The Company operates internationally through its subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, and Germany. Tilray obtained regulatory approval to export oil-based products to Germany. Additionally, Tilray is currently funding two clinical studies in Canada, and three studies in Australia. The first Canadian study is in partnership with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of cannabinoids in children with Dravet Syndrome. The second study, in conjunction with the University of British Columbia, is on the safety and tolerability in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for Canadian military veterans, law enforcement officers, and sexual assault survivors. The Australian studies include two at the University of Sydney on the efficacy of cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and the effects of medical cannabinoid use on driving safety. The third study is in partnership with the Government of Victoria on the efficacy of cannabinoids in children with severe epilepsy.

  • Market Cap: $9,230.3 Million
  • YTD Return: 2.4%
  • 90-Day Average Volume: 2,796,000

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) – $60.59
Cannabis

Canopy Growth is the largest cannabis company listed by market cap on the TSX and NYSE. The Company has the largest licensed production platform in Canada, with over 600,000 sq. ft. of production space. The Company has also secured the necessary agreements to export medicinal cannabis to Australia, Brazil, and Germany. On June 12, 2018, the Company announced that its subsidiary Canopy Health has received approval from Health Canada to proceed with Phase IIb “in-human” clinical trials to evaluate the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of insomnia. On August 8, 2018, the Company announced that its subsidiary Canopy Animal Health has received approval from the Veterinary Drug Directorate of Health Canada to research the effectiveness of cannabidiol to treat anxiety in certain animals. Canopy Animal Health has a total of 15 clinical trials underway or planned. The Company believes that these studies have the potential to announce cannabis-based animal products by H1/19. In addition, the Company has filed 43 U.S. provisional patent applications, across a range of cannabis and cannabinoid uses, compositions, formulations, indications, methods of delivery, and dosing regimens.

  • Market Cap: $20,825.4 Million
  • YTD Return: 65.5%
  • 90-Day Average Volume: 3,327,000

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