A British pharmaceutical company is in advanced clinical trials to develop the world’s first prescription drug developed from the key ingredients of marijuana.
Possessing marijuana is illegal in the UK, but around 10 years ago the founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, Dr Geoffrey Guy, received permission to grow it to develop a prescription drug.
GW Pharma has since developed a mouth spray called Sativex which contains two of the best known psychoactive ingredients in marijuana- Delta-9 THC and cannabinoids.
The drug is already approved in Canada, New Zealand, and eight European countries, including the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Sweden for relieving muscle spasms for patients with multiple sclerosis.
The company is now in advanced clinical trials to get the spray approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as treatment for severe cancer pain.
The main effects of cannabinoids are listed as anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic and neuroprotective, and the main effects of TGC as analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-tremor and anti-inflammatory. Common side effects of Sativex are dizziness and fatigue.
Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law in the US, although 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana in some form.
However, GW Pharma hopes to receive US government approval by the end of next year.
Doctors and multiple sclerosis patients are cautiously optimistic about Sativex.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012