If you can’t smoke it, why not spray it? That’s the idea behind Sativex, a new marijuana-based product aimed at relieving pain. The developer, British company GW Pharma, is currently in advanced clinical trials with the spray, and hopes to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration by as soon as 2013.
The product contains delta 9-THC and cannabidiol–two well known components contained in marijuana–distinguishing it from other marijuana-based drugs that only use synthetic equivalents of pot. It has already been approved in a number of countries, including eight in Europe as well as Canada and New Zealand.
GW Pharma’s website describes Sativex as “a cannabinoid medicine for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis,” but cites other possible therapeutic uses such as cancer pain and neuropathic pain.
Research for the drug was originally approved by the British government to “draw a clear line between recreational and medicinal use,” a line that is still blurry in the United States. Presently, laws allowing medical marijuana exist in only 16 states and Washington D.C. If Sativex were to receive approval from the government-run FDA, the U.S. attitude toward medical marijuana usage could be dramatically altered.