Sativex cannabis based pain releif

GW Pharmaceuticals is licensed by the UK Home Office to work with a range of controlled drugs for medical research purposes. Sativex a cannabis based medicine is currently in phase III multiple sclerosis trials and may be available for prescription this year

Managing Director Justin Gover said: “This will be the first modern prescription medicine derived from cannabis, although it has been used in tincture for 5,000 years”.

marijuana sativex
Sativex (Cannabis based drug)

GW has a marketing deal with Bayer, which will pay it £14 million when UK approval is granted. GW also hopes to get clearance to use Sativex in Europe and Canada, but admits that the US will take longer.

GW maintains control over all aspects of the product development process – botanical research, cultivation, extraction, formulation into drug delivery technologies, clinical trials and regulatory affairs.Cannabis cultivation and production capability have recently been scaled up in preparation for the launch of Sativex.

Sativex is a medicinal mouth or nasal spray for the treatment of pain in multiple sclerosis and is developed from the major components of marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

It would be the first prescription drug that uses real marijuana extracts and not a synthesised form, according to its proponents.

As a wayward youth growing up in the ’70s I obviously dabbled with cannabis; smoking the odd reefer, baking marijuana cookies and playing with the hubbly-bubbly pipe. I have tried it since and couldn’t see the attraction.

As I discovered, Cannabis based medication can be prohibitively expensive. This, as any of us UK-based patients will know, precludes the NHS from dispensing it willingly.

It was because of this, that I decided to look into possible alternatives.

Cannabidiol Hemp based CBD extract

looked like a real possibility, so I purchased some of these oils. Despite acquaintances claiming it did nothing for them.

I intended to use the oils in their vape format, as I figured this would be the easiest way to administer it. However, after persisting with CBD for a few weeks, I concluded that this hemp extract was not for me. Not only was it not working for me, it was actually worsening my vertigo and giving me headaches.

Clearly, I had hoped that CBD was a cannabis extract. It is not, it is a hemp extract.

NEWS: Canada has processed its regulatory review in just seven months and Sativex will soon be available in Canada.

Latest: Sativex has now been approved in Canada for the treatment of nerve pain associated with multiple sclerosis. Dr Geoffrey Guy, Executive Chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals said, ” We are delighted that Sativex has received regulatory approval in Canada. This event marks the world’s first approval of cannabis derived medicine.”

Footnote: I saw my GP today (16 Jun 2015) and Yes Sativex is now available but she wasn’t willing to prescribe it for me until I had seen a neurologist!

References

Sativex (nabiximols) – factsheet at Multiple Sclerosis Trust

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