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UK licenses cannabis-based drug

Posted on June 21st, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisA new drug made from cannabis has been licensed in the UK. Sativex, a tincture of extracts from the plant, is sprayed under the tongue up to 12 times a day, as a treatment for the stiffness and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. The Home Office has rated it as having zero abuse potential. Britain is the first country to give the drug full regulatory approval, although Canada gave Sativex a limited license to treat neuropathic pain in 2005. It is made from plants grown at a secret location in southern England by GW Pharmaceuticals, whose shares have risen 60% in the last six months in anticipation of the new product.

The medicinal benefits of cannabis have been known for at least 2,000 years. Its analgesic properties were described by the British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper in 1653. Two drugs containing a synthetic form of the active constituent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were used in the UK for more than 30 years to treat nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

There are at least 60 active constituents of cannabis and scientists believe they can harness them to alleviate a range of aliments. Millions of pounds (and dollars) are being invested by drug companies to test medicines derived from the plant as treatments for pain, epilepsy and inflammatory conditions. (The Independent, June 22)

Photo by Drome

 

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