Who are BOD Australia?
Around 15,000 people are being added to the list of Australians who have been prescribed medical cannabis in the last 12 months. Analysts believe that the number of Australians in the medical market alone could be as much as 500,000. Source.
Medical Cannabis is going to be big business. In just the last 12 months in Australia, around 15,000 people were prescribed Medical Cannabis. In total, however, analysts believe that as many as 500,000 could benefit from Medical Cannabis products.
It’s no free ride, however. Those aiming to derive something financially advantageous from Cannabis have hit hurdles along the way in differentiating their products, and that’s true of Medical applications as well.
This is true despite the fact that the science on the efficacy of Cannabis is actually extremely clear for a set of applications, including chronic pain, arthritis, and cancer nausea, according to the British Medical Journal’s review of 20,000 peer reviewed scientific studies on the subject. BOD are determined to increase the range of Medical products available by adding their own Medical Trials to the list.
Historically though, Medical Cannabis tests have suffered variances in growing conditions. Inconsistent manufacturing processes have led to circumstances in which a cannabis treatment undergoing research works one day and not the next.
What exactly is BOD’s Product Range & Goal ?
BOD sell a Medicinal Cannabis Product that’s delivered as an oil to patients under medical supervision. Their product, called MediCablis, is part way through extensive medical testing, and has already been prescribed to a patient.
MediCablis is undergoing parallel following a ‘Stage 1’ study regarding its effects in dealing with a number of maladies, including anxiety and epilepsy. Data from the trials they are involved in will be used in ‘Phase 2’ with a view to secure an ‘indication’ as to the effectiveness of the treatment as a medical recommendation that authorised prescribers can use.
Ultimately, BOD want their oil product to be ‘indicated’ in the therapeutic treatment of at least one particular condition. ‘Indicated’ in this context could mean that Cannabis is ‘indicated’ as an appropriate way to deal with anxiety or epilepsy, for example. Given the 250,000 sufferers of epilepsy in Australia, a Cannabis product that’s indicated as a treatment for epilepsy could help a lot of people.
A small University of Colorado School of Medicine study by Dr. Margaret Gedde suggests a reduction in seizures in highly refractive pedriatic epilepsy patients exposed to a cannabis treatment. Source.
As of now, the only licensed Cannabis-derived product in Australia is ‘Sativex’, a Cannabis-based mouth spray that’s ‘indicated’ as an appropriate treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, amongst other things.
What makes BOD unique?
It became clear early in the discussion that BOD had a keen view of the regulatory environment, supply and demand for their product, and how the three tie together to progress the delivery of what they’re selling in Australia.
To eliminate as many possibilities for variance (and the resulting intermittence in the effectiveness of treatments) in the medicines they’re testing, BOD’s growing processes are designed to provide consistency in the dosage and treatment they deliver, they told me.
To further this goal, BOD have worked with their supplier to target every aspect of the agricultural and manufacturing processes. They use a cloned plant as the basis of their operation, as well as the same UV and processes in an effort to get it the same each time. The result is ‘Terpenes’ ECS315, their specific varietal.
Oil is what is available now -- a controlled way of delivering a known dose with its own therapeutic effect. Their particular strain, ECS315, is a specific sub component of the plant, not actually CBD itself. By design, everything about ECS315 is unique.
Delivering the Oil using Terpenes
Terpenes are aromatic oils -- one element or component of Cannabis. They’re secreted in the same glands that give Cannabis THC and CBD. These particular aromatic oils happen to give Cannabis plants their distinctive smell as well as their unique combination of effects.
Importantly, from the BOD point of view, Terpenes play ‘a key role in differentiating the effects of various strains’ of Cannabis, as well as in being a reliable way to provide a known dose of a treatment.
That means terpenes provide a reliable tool to deliver a known quantity of a unique type of Cannabis oil to a patient. The result? The extracted terpenes gives BOD a ‘product’ to develop and sell.
Recreational Cannabis – What needs to happen to make it legal in Australia?
Later in the interview, I broached the question of recreational Cannabis. They may have found it amusing that I was writing on this subject from the point of view of legalizing Cannabis for recreational purposes. Of course, I may only have imagined they felt that way when in reality they did not. They said they felt the following factors would impact if and when Australia legalized Cannabis for recreational use:
- Drunk drivers & other community impacts:
There needs to be a way to reliably identify people driving under the influence of Cannabis before it will get community support. By the way, this website agrees with that sentiment. It’s a subject we’ve explored before.
- The WHO (The World Health Organization) is reviewing the classification of Cannabis before the end of the year:
A review of the Narcotic Drug ACT which could reduce the red tape in place and possibly allow export – something that could help their business. We have also covered the UN’s classification of Cannabis before on this page.
In Summary: Simplifying the regulations would help BOD and others like them
BOD are a great example of the challenges facing Australian Businesses involved in commercializing Cannabis. The current medical legislation is problematically complicated (although, to be clear, BOD clearly understood how to operate effectively within the rules). The very illegality of the product says it’s not easy to get hold of the drug to do tests on it.
BOD’s approach is also a warning to other businesses seeking to establish themselves in the area: Cannabis Business Plans need to be more than ‘I’ll grow and sell Cannabis’.
BOD are using their knowledge of the regulatory environment to build a defensible, medically endorsed product which is legal to sell in a fast-growing market, driven by the obvious lure that the Australian Cannabis market is currently growing at a 100% rate every year, and will do so for some time.
In the short term, they believe there may be more opportunity in regions in which CBD is legal, such as the UK, Germany, and other parts of Europe. Longer term, it’s possible the regulatory framework will be relaxed to the same levels as Europe to give Australia’s burgeoning Medical Cannabis industry an easier time.
I left grateful for their time, and perhaps slightly humored. I also left reasonably sure that ‘progress’ on Cannabis in Australia, be it in medicinal or recreational form, will benefit from having people like those employed at BOD representing the subject.