Kingdom: Marijuana extracts administered under the tongue greatly reduce pain,
muscle spasms and bladder dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis, according
to results of a Phase II study recently completed by GW Pharmaceuticals in England.
Seventy subjects participated in the study. Patients consumed marijuana as a
sublingual spray, which allows it to be absorbed rather than swallowed. Patients
began experiencing relief two to three minutes after administration, GW Pharmaceuticals
spokesman Mark Rogerson said. "It makes the pain go away," Rogerson
told Bloomberg news. "It also helps multiple sclerosis patients control
their limbs and get a good night's sleep" because they can control their
bladders. Patients' neurological function was also improved by medical marijuana,
The company announced that it expects to begin Phase III trials shortly, and will also be commencing preliminary trials in Canada. A 1999 study by the U.S. Institute of Medicine reported: "Basic animal studies ... have shown that cannabinoid receptors are particularly abundant in areas of the brain that control movement and that cannabinoids affect movement and posture in animals as well as humans. The observations are consistent with the possibility that cannabinoids have antispastic effects ... and carefully designed clinical trials testing the effects of cannabinoids on muscle spasticity should be considered." GW Pharmaceuticals has been growing medical marijuana for research purposes in cooperation with British Home Office authorities since 1997, and hopes to bring a medical-marijuana spray to market by 2003.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.
Quelle: NORML - Weekly News, 2. Mai 2001