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On Thursday, January 22, CNBC will be presenting a program called Marijuana Inc., which goes into depth about the big business of marijuana. But besides the illegal uses of marijuana, there are many medical uses. For example, the Journal of Neuroscience reported that the active ingredient in marijuana can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found that cannabinoids can help prevent mental deterioration through the reductions of Alzheimer's related inflammation.

Even members of the government are starting to change their tune on the drug. Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, who had historically opposed medical marijuana use, has done a complete turnaround and now supports the adult use of medical marijuana. He is now a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project.

So are there any public companies that can benefit from the marijuana sector? There seems to be a grass roots effort to get this budding industry growing, or maybe it is just a pipe dream.

A couple years ago, a Canadian company, Cannasat Therapeutics Inc. (OTC:CANNF), went public, which trades on the Toronto Venture Exchange. The company is involved in the development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products, which are utilized in the treatment of neuropathic pain, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and movement disorders. In addition, the company had owned, but recently sold, part of Prairie Plant Systems Inc., the only Canadian government licensed grower and distributor of medicinal cannabis. Cannasat is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Cannasat had entered into a collaborative agreement with IntelGenx Corp. [IGXT.OB] a few years ago to develop cannabinoid-based product based on IntelGenx's proprietary drug delivery technologies. IntelGenx is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Its rivals include U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals (OTCPK:GWPRF), which makes Sativex, an oral spray created with tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and is approved in Canada for treatment of multiple sclerosis related pain and spasticity. This is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Amigula Inc. [AMJL] claims to be the world's first publicly traded marijuana company. They grow and distribute medical cannabis under a license from the Canadian government, which patients with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, arthritis, glaucoma, AIDS, anxiety and stress use for pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. They also own 51% of Medical Cannabis Inc. This is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Pharmos Corp. (OTCPK:PARS) is a New Jersey based biopharmaceutical company which makes CB2-selective cannabinoids for inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. Their synthetic cannabinoid compounds, Cannabinor, has completed a Phase 2a clinical trial for pain relief with an intravenous formula. This is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Solvay SA (OTC:SVYSY) is a Belgian pharmaceutical company that makes Marinol, which is made from Dronabinol, a pure isomer of THC, the main isomer in Cannabis.

Although a small part of the business, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) makes nabilone, another form of synthetic THC, which is available commercially in Canada as Cesamet, and which has also received FDA approval.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is Psychemedics Corporation (PMD), which is a Massachusetts based provider of testing services to detect abused substances from the analysis of hair samples. It uses mass spectrometry to detect presence of marijuana, and other drugs. This is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.

If you like drug stocks, maybe you should consider Highest Yielding Big Pharma Stock, Gene Therapy Stocks, and Anti-Depression Drug Stocks.

Source: It's Not Just About Getting High - Seven Marijuana Stocks