Plants are a potential source of new medicines, as they contain natural compounds that target and cause a reaction inside the body. Researchers are beginning to explore the possibilities of using plants as sources of drugs. As the world warms, more land will be released from permafrost, allowing new varieties of plants to emerge. This will provide new sources for drugs.
Are Plants a Source of New Medicines to Integrative Care?
Traditional systems of medicine are still widely used, but the rising population has caused a shortage of available medicines. Additionally, the cost of these medicines has become prohibitive, and drug resistance is increasing. This has led to a renewed focus on plant-derived medicines. But there are challenges associated with using plants as a source of new medicines.
Plants are an important source of medicines and are a valuable resource for the pharmaceutical industry. Many plants are used to treat infectious diseases, cancer, pain, and other ailments. The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a Model List of Essential Medicines (1), which includes a variety of plants and fungi that have therapeutic properties for human health. However, the high demand for these medicines has resulted in the extinction of some medicinal species.
Plant-derived ingredients are present in 25% of prescription medicines. However, only a small portion of plants have been studied for their pharmaceutical potential. Several programs are increasing the rate at which plant-derived compounds are discovered. China, for instance, has an estimated 30,000 species of plants, many of which have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. This indicates that many Chinese plants could be important sources of new medicines in the future. (2)
The rainforests of South America and the Andean Mountains are excellent sources of plant biodiversity. (3) The richness of a local flora can have a direct impact on the availability of medicines for different diseases. However, the widespread overharvesting of plant species threatens their species’ survival, and it may limit the future availability of plant-derived medicines in the region.
They are a source of ingredients
Plants are a rich source of natural ingredients for the development of new medicines. They are not only useful for health care, but also play a vital role in human cultures around the world. Some plants are used for food and nutrition, while others are used for their therapeutic properties. Some examples of medicinal plants include ginger, pepper, turmeric, walnuts, and green tea.
These natural products have been used to develop new medicines for many centuries. In fact, the earliest medicines used chemical compounds found in plants. Before the establishment of national food laws, these plants were used for human nutrition. Their safety was generally accepted because of their use and experience over many centuries. However, foods made from new varieties of plants are rarely subjected to rigorous testing. Some are, however, subject to laboratory tests for substances that could potentially be harmful.
They are a Source of Alternative Medications
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that plants can provide new medicines. Many of the most promising plants are indigenous to developing nations. However, governments in these countries may not be stable enough to guarantee a steady supply of raw materials. In addition, there is a risk of losing these unique genetic sources due to extinction. The development of new medicines from plants could help save these unique resources.
However, plants can be difficult to cultivate and extract, and these materials are expensive to produce. Furthermore, they contain many compounds in very low concentrations. For example, penicillin is a compound derived from fungi, but when the first patient was treated, he or she died because there was no longer any available supply.
New medicines from plants must go through rigorous testing to be approved. Conventional pharmaceutical research is expensive and involves massive capital investments. The development of new medicines from plants is an important group of complementary and alternative medicines. Although many companies have shied away from using plant-derived medicines, some have succeeded. Examples include Arteether, an endoperoxide sesquiterpene lactone derived from Artemisinin, and Nitisinone, a semi-synthetic derivative of morphine.
The process of using plants as a source of new medicines began as early as the 1960s. Medicinal plants are the oldest sources of medicines, and many of the oldest known drugs were extracted from plants. The development of new medicines based on plants is more efficient and less likely to lead to adverse side effects.
What does the Research suggest?
Traditional plant medicines have been used for centuries to treat different health conditions. This anecdotal evidence about efficacy and safety can help to shorten the time needed to develop a new medicine. In recent years, advances in communication and education have made this data more accessible. In addition, global standards have made it easier to identify potentially effective medicinal plants.
While most drugs derived from natural sources are derived from terrestrial plants, recent research suggests that oceans may be a rich source for new medicines. However, regulators have generally opposed the use of plant-derived medicines. As a result, many companies have shied away from plant-based medicines.
There are thousands of plants that are used in traditional medicine. While many westerners are sceptical of their medicinal value, more studies are showing their potential to help cure common diseases. In addition, a new wave of companies has begun focusing on plant-derived medicines. Some of these products are already in clinical trials.
Because of their diverse properties, natural products can help researchers discover new medicines. In many cases, they can also serve as lead drug candidates. Furthermore, natural products have chemical diversity unmatched by synthetic chemical collections. For example, they can contain complex bi or tri-dimensional structures that can be absorbed into the body. Natural-derived molecules are often more efficient than their synthetic counterparts, but they do present some challenges.
Cannabis as a Plant
Recent cannabis legalisation amendments in Canada, Europe, some parts of the United States, and other parts of the globe have helped promote research and use of this multipurpose crop. (4)
What is little understood is that there are ‘four groups of cannabis, ‘non-intoxicant (some C. sativa accessions),’ ‘semi-intoxicant’ (some C. sativa accessions), ‘intoxicant (C. indica),’ and ‘wild’ (C. ruderalis). Cannabis includes C. indica, C. ruderalis, and C. sativa. However, it has also been proposed that these three groups all belong to a single species (C. sativa) and the taxonomic classification among these proposed species remains a debated issue in Cannabis taxonomy’ (5)
For decades, seed propagation in cannabis has supported agricultural needs and facilitated genetic improvement. Legal hemp for CBD production, as well as the medical cannabis market, is growing rapidly. Cultivators are now turning to advanced scientific methods, such in vitro, micropropagation and scalable cannabis varieties, which are healthy and of high quality. There is a need to produce cannabis at a low cost to meet the demand. However, it’s also important to characterise and create cultivars that are similar to traditional agriculture, with a consistent THC content and cannabinoid composition to match specific drug and therapeutic needs. Legalisation has made it possible to access more mainstream applications of research. This has increased the demand for some additional cell technology applications on this crop.
Natural Products used for Integrative Care
Plants and their metabolites have long been important sources of drug development candidates. In the past, scientists have used natural products to develop new antibiotics, immunosuppressants, and other medicines. Today, these natural products are still a significant source of new medicines and clinical candidates. They have helped scientists develop new therapies for diseases such as immunosuppression and neurological disease. They have also boosted the profitability of many pharmaceutical companies.
Developing medicines derived from plants is not easy. Plants are a rich source of chemical compounds that undergo rigorous testing. The pharmaceutical industry should capitalise on this abundant source of potential new medicines. This way, they can make use of traditional knowledge and develop better treatments. However, plant-derived medicines must still undergo rigorous testing to be approved by the FDA.
There are many reasons why plants and their metabolites are such an important source of development candidates for new medicines. First, they can serve as good lead compounds. Second, they have unique chemical and biological properties that are advantageous during drug development. For example, secondary metabolites derived from plants exhibit striking structural diversity and can be useful templates for new medicines in the pharmaceutical industry.
While natural products have historically played an important role in drug discovery, these sources are now less common sources for new medicines. Despite their lower availability, they are still a major source of lead compounds. Technological advances in analytical methods have helped improve the use of natural products as a source of development candidates. Moreover, natural products contain unique structural diversity that is unmatched by synthetic compounds. These unique features make them complementary to synthetic molecules.
CannaTelehealth, specialises in providing online consultations for various healthcare needs, including assistance with alcohol addiction. Our platform is designed to facilitate the use of advanced telehealth technology by medical professionals, ensuring the security and privacy of patient information in compliance with regulations.
We have developed an online system that simplifies the process of booking appointments with qualified and experienced General Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners, who can assist patients in accessing prescriptions for Medicinal Cannabis for their medical conditions. Our telehealth system is fully supported by our clinical team, guaranteeing that all consultations are conducted by appropriately qualified healthcare professionals.
Our doctors are authorised to prescribe Medicinal Cannabis under Schedule 8 of the Therapeutic Goods Act. In the initial consultation, your nurse or doctor will collaborate with you to determine the suitability of Medicinal Cannabis for your specific symptoms and conditions. If deemed appropriate, they will then apply for TGA approval for your electronic prescription, which can be presented at your pharmacy of choice.
Medical Cannabis Doctors Online Treatment and Consults
CannaTelehealth’s doctors have extensive experience in assessing patients for medicinal cannabis. Prior to having an online consultation with our healthcare professionals it is a good idea to write down your questions before your consultation so that you don’t forget them.
Our doctors will review your medical history and confirm that you meet the criteria for a medicinal cannabis prescription under the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Special Access Scheme. We will then either prescribe medication through the Authorised Prescriber pathway or submit your application to the TGA and you should receive your product within 2 business days.
All our doctors are trained under the TGA authorised prescriber scheme and have detailed knowledge of how cannabis affects the body. Our doctors are also able to recommend the best dosage and type of cannabis for your condition. Our doctors are able to prescribe all forms of medicinal cannabis including capsules, tinctures, sprays and vape cartridges.
The cost of your medical cannabis will vary depending on your condition and the specific product that is recommended for you.
Our clinic offers bulk billing for patients who have been approved by the DVA. This is worth checking for your eligibility criteria for this discounted online consultation.
Book a consultation – Follow the simple steps to engaging with an online health professional who will assess your eligibility for alternative treatments such as medicinal cannabis and what might be the cause of your chronic pain.
To contact us at CannaTelehealth you can either go directly to the website and add your details directly to our ‘Contact Us Form’ We will contact you within 1 hour. Normally our online healthcare professionals who are pain medicine specialists will have a booking time within 1 day if suitable. Alternatively you may contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How to conserve threatened Chinese plant species with extremely small populations? Sergei Volis∗ Plant Divers. 2016 Feb; 38(1): 45–52.
- Plant and animal endemism in the eastern Andean slope: challenges to conservation
Jennifer J Swenson, Bruce E Young, Stephan Beck, Pat Comer, Jesús H Córdova, Jessica Dyson, Dirk Embert, Filomeno Encarnación, Wanderley Ferreira, Irma Franke, Dennis Grossman, Pilar Hernandez, Sebastian K Herzog, Carmen Josse, Gonzalo Navarro, Víctor Pacheco, Bruce A Stein, Martín Timaná, Antonio Tovar, Carolina Tovar, Julieta Vargas & Carlos M Zambrana-Torrelio BMC Ecology volume 12, Article number: 1 (2012)
- Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Tissue Culture: Present Status and Future Potential Dinesh Adhikary,1 Manoj Kulkarni,2 Aliaa El-Mezawy,3 Saied Mobini,2 Mohamed Elhiti,4 Rale Gjuric,4 Anamika Ray,2 Patricia Polowick,5 Jan J. Slaski,3 Maxwell P. Jones,6 and Pankaj Bhowmik5,* Front Plant Sci. 2021; 12: 627240.
- Small E., Jul P. Y., Lefkovitch L. P. (1976). A numerical taxonomic analysis of Cannabis with special reference to species. Syst. Bot. 1 67–84. 10.2307/2418840
- McPartland J. M. (2018). Cannabis systematics at the levels of family, genus, and species. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 3 203–212.