|Photo: Drog Riporter|
|Sativex, unlike the pill Marinol, has more than 60 of marijuana’s cannabinoids instead of just THC.|
Sativex, a cannabinoid-based liquid medicine sprayed under the tongue, has been approved for use in Great Britain to help treat the muscle spasticity suffered by multiple sclerosis patients, it was announced on Friday.
Sativex is a natural marijuana extract that is provided by British-based GW Pharmaceuticals. It was approved in 2005 for use in Canada to treat neuropathic pain.
“Once again, the scientific community has confirmed that marijuana is medicine and it can provide safe and effective relief to patients suffering from certain conditions,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Sadly, our federal government, through the Drug Enforcement Administration, has blocked effective research into the therapeutic effectiveness of marijuana,” Kampia said. “The United States could be leading the world in the development of cannabinoid-based medicines, but instead our government has ceded this industry to the U.K., while intentionally prolonging the agony of patients in this country.”
The Food and Drug Administration has already approved for medical use in the United States the pill Marinol, which contains only marijuana’s principle psychoactive component, THC.
|The spray is administered like a breath freshener.|
But unlike Sativex, Marinol does not contain all of marijuana’s more than 60 different cannabinoids, and therefore doesn’t offer the full therapeutic potential of marijuana. Among patients, Marinol is notoriously ineffective, to which your Editor can personally attest.
“The good news is that this announcement buttresses our argument that marijuana is an effective medicine,” Kampia said. “To have liquid marijuana legal for medical use for marijuana illegal would be like having coffee legal but coffee beans illegal.”
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 14 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. This year, more than a dozen state legislatures considered or are still considering medical marijuana laws.