Cannabis Spray Gets Go-Ahead

Cannabis Spray Gets Go-Ahead
Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2005 at 08:02:05 PT
By Tavia Grant
Source: Globe and Mail
Canada is the first country in the world to approve a cannabis spray that relieves pain in people with multiple sclerosis, Health Canada said Tuesday.The announcement sent shares of the U.K. maker of the drug, GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, up as much as 14 per cent in London. Germany's Bayer AG will market the drug in Canada.
Sativex, which is administered through a spray in the mouth, relieves pain in patients that suffer from MS, the government agency said. It's expected to hit the shelves by late spring.“Effective pain control and management are extremely important in a disease like MS,” said Dr. Allan Gordon, neurologist and director of the Wasser Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, in a statement. “The approval of Sativex in Canada reflects the urgent need for additional treatment options in the field of neuropathic pain in MS.”Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, is a common symptom of MS and can occur in as many as 86 per cent of people with the disease, Health Canada said. The pain has been described as freezing, cold or burning sensations of the limbs, most often in the lower extremities. Many MS patients experiencing neuropathic pain haven't found relief with current treatment options.“Sativex will likely be welcomed by the many people with MS, whose quality of life has been further compromised with neuropathic pain,” said Dr. William J. McIlroy, National Medical Advisor, MS Society of Canada.Sativex was found to both relieve pain and reduce sleep disturbance, Health Canada said.The drug is derived from two compounds of the cannabis plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.About 50,000 Canadians have MS and the disease of the central nervous system is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada.The drug has been approved with some conditions, and the authorization “reflects the promising nature of the clinical evidence which will be confirmed with further studies,” Health Canada said. Side-effects from the drug, usually “mild or moderate,” can include nausea, fatigue, dizziness and reactions at the application site.Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:  Tavia GrantPublished: Tuesday, April 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:GW Pharmaceuticals Approves Pharma Drug in Cannabis First Approves Cannabis Drug 
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Comment #23 posted by Duzt on April 20, 2005 at 07:19:30 PT
pharmos and GW
Although pharmos stock has gone down (they make the synthetic version) GW Pharma's stock has been going up (they make sativex from the whole plant, no synthetic or chemical anything). GW is going to do well with their meds because they work. I don't know that I would put money into pharmos but I did put some into GW as I feel they will be the ones to get things done in the US eventually.
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Comment #22 posted by goneposthole on April 19, 2005 at 19:51:54 PT
not a stockholder of PARS
Hash is a cannabis extract. PARS closed at $0.60 per share today. It was a $4.25 dollar stock. A penny stock along with all of the others. People stick their necks out when they put up the capital to begin a venture.Venture capitalists expect results and business plans achieved successfully. If Pharmos can do it with 
Sativex, it isn't a bad thing.Dexanabinol failed in tests on Traumatic Brain Injury and that is why the stock fell from 4.25 to 0.51. The information provided for Traumatic Brain Injury results was detrimental to the stock price and some stockholders are unhappy when dexanabinol failed to produce favorable results.The goal is to bring prohibition to an end. Any step in the right direction won't hurt that much.It is far better than a continued underground network of growers living a life of quiet desperation. Not that they'll be driven from business, on the contrary, the present day cannabis growers could be the providers to Pharmos. Why not?Legalization and regulation. It can be done. Change is good. Change is needed.I am not an owner of any of Pharmos stock, but at 60 cents per share, it looks better than most stocks. Buy it if you want to, a hundred shares will cost you sixty dollars. I can think of other things that cost sixty bucks but aren't worth sixty bucks. It's a gamble. It is also hard work for Pharmos. It's not rocket science, but it's close to it.
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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on April 19, 2005 at 19:49:49 PT
Overheard in a Local 'Drug Store'
"That new one, Oxy...something, didn't work for her." and"For your arthritis we have a medicine that's really two in one: one for the pain and one for the stomach irritation."Pharmaceuticals, go figure. Will Health Canada now provide more MMAR Exemptions for the thousands of patients who are using the services of compassion clubs or the black market, because they were unable to obtain the coveted Federal Exemption Cards that have been issued to only 753 (as of December 2, 2004) fortunate ones? Who will pay for the prescriptions? How can the Canadian government-sponsored healthcare system, which is already overburdened, afford to cover these expensive delivery systems? Sativex will, undoubtedly, be a blessing for some who need its special qualities and benefits. However, for many the inexpensive home-grown plant is more cost effective and is the preferred choice of the patient. One thing for sure, the Schedule One Lie is dead!Activists spark up marijuana protest. 
Falls site of pro-pot rally for second year. 
Osprey Media Group Inc. - Niagara Falls Review. 
Local News - Monday, April 18, 2005   02:00
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Comment #20 posted by global_warming on April 19, 2005 at 17:30:16 PT
A Safer Place
We would all be safer if we understood the passion of the US Constitution, and the history of blood that brought the gifts to this birthing. These new swaddling cloths were drenched with human blood and they were important, the fruits of the New World, are the sweetest tasting on this world."We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."I would love to hear from some Christian Conservitives, regarding the part about "insure domestic Tranquility," or "promote the general Welfare," maybe "establish Justice, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, "This country is based on the simple understanding that Justice, and the security of our Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, and must not forgotten.This is not a religious document, it is a legal and binding document, that you can take to any court in this land, and be assured Justice and all of the provisons that this legal document has to offer.Perhaps some of our political leaders have forgotten some parts of this contract, and the oath they swore to uphold, perhaps we all need to be sworn in and allowed to openly acknowledge and swear allegiance to this agreement.Peacegw
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Comment #19 posted by Toker00 on April 19, 2005 at 17:27:04 PT
We have to put nature first and technology in it's
place. We have to fight the Federal government to change the laws, we have to fight the prejudicial mentality of over half the US citizenry to vote for change, and we have to fight the Corporate conspiracy that we know exists. Sounds like petitions, community education programs that show cannabis's history and undeniable benefits from hemp to Sativex, and boycotting major corporations. Not to mention standing up for our rights to do these things. Anyone up for it? I am! Let's take it to the streets! Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize! (medicine)(energy)(nutrition) 
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Comment #18 posted by stoner spirit on April 19, 2005 at 16:36:55 PT:
Marijuana dirivetives
I'd rather smoke the plant, than getting some spray that causes alergic reactions and all kinds of junk. The U.S. government is looking for more chemicals to shove down our throats, just because they think they know what's best for us. I'd be safer growing my weed in the woods some where.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 16:34:32 PT
I don't want you to think that I meant Cannabis was a troublemaker because it isn't. Cannabis is a natural, good medicine. It seems so humble and the war that rages around it so insane.Thanks for trying and if you get a good copy that would be great but if not you get an A for effort. The thought means so much. Thanks again.
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Comment #16 posted by Shishaldin on April 19, 2005 at 16:27:35 PT
Cannabis doesn't cause Reefer Madness...
I'll have to take issue with your characterization of Cannabis as a troublemaker. It's those with ulterior motives, usually greed, power, or job security, that cause all of the issues regarding our Jah-given Tree of Life. Cannabis does it's part by growing just about anywhere, needing no fertilizers or pesticides to thrive. Regarding Sativex, not to disparage the good Dr. Russo's work, but I think that this could be a huge stumbling block toward freeing our beloved Cannabis, contrary to most opinions I've been seeing of late. I'm with dongenero on this. Yes, it will show the government's position to be untenable (if it is OK'd here in the US), but it could and probably would be just another excuse for ONDCP and DEA folks to use to block rescheduling the "crude plant matter", because it's just "not 21st century medicine". I don't even want to get into the whole Barfwell connection... FoM, I'm still trying to get a digital copy of the Jack Herer speech in Monterey from a week and a half ago. I attempted to record it on an old Hi-8 camera while the microphone setup was horribly inadequate and a noisy bar was roaring next door. I've contacted another filmmaker who was there, and I'm waiting for my copy from him. When I get it, I'll post it online. Sorry for the wait...Peace and Strength,Shishaldin
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Comment #15 posted by global_warming on April 19, 2005 at 16:17:18 PT
More Bull Shit
“Sativex will likely be welcomed by the many people with MS, whose quality of life has been further compromised with neuropathic pain,” said Dr. William J. McIlroy, National Medical Advisor, MS Society of Canada...Sativex was found to both relieve pain and reduce sleep disturbance, Health Canada said."How is that the Canadian MS doctors can say that Sativex was found to both relieve pain and reduce sleep disturbances, yet the US MS Society has this to say.."
December 2004—A great deal of attention has been focused on the potential role of marijuana and its derivatives in the treatment of MS. Because of large numbers of anecdotal reports from individuals who indicate they have received relief from some of their symptoms, people are eager to hear more from the scientific and legal communities about ways to incorporate marijuana into MS treatment. It is important for everyone to realize that we still do not have the necessary scientific information to determine the safety and efficacy of marijuana for medical use in MS.Anecdotal reports, that smoking marijuana (produced from the plant, Cannabis sativa) reduced MS spasticity, led to a number of very small clinical trials in people with MS to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC—the active ingredient in marijuana) in treating spasticity, tremor, and balance control. The results of these studies were quite mixed, and participants reported experiencing uncomfortable side effects, including weakness, dry mouth, dizziness, mental clouding, short-term memory problems, and some general discomfort, as well as feelings of being "high." In addition, smoked marijuana carries health risks that are similar to, or more severe than, those associated with tobacco. Other, well-tested, FDA-approved drugs are available to treat spasticity—including baclofen and tizanidine—which produce side effects and pose no threats to overall health." Notice the free use of the word "anecdotal", one has to wonder who controls science and and any true research in this US.baclofen-Possible Side Effects
Side effects that typically go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue for several weeks or are bothersome: drowsiness or unusual tiredness*; increased weakness*; dizziness or lightheadedness; confusion; unusual constipation*; new or unusual bladder symptoms*; trouble sleeping; unusual unsteadiness or clumsiness*.Unusual side effects that require immediate medical attention: fainting; hallucinations; severe mood changes; skin rash or itching.tizanidine-Possible Side Effects
Common side effects that may go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue for more than two weeks or are bothersome: dryness of mouth; sleepiness or sedation; weakness*, fatigue*, and or tiredness*; dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position; increase in muscle spasms, cramps, or tightness; back pain.Common side effects that should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible: burning, prickling, or tingling sensation*; diarrhea; fainting; fever; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; pain or burning during urination; sores on skin; stomach pain; vomiting; yellow eyes or skin; blurred vision*." like a corporate drill that one must be able to recite in order to prove that one is an American.The medicine that is currently available sounds like it is not much more effective than that old Cannabis plant, yet a lot more costly. Pity to those who are trapped in those MS bodies, for even your Government has forsaken you for some profit. Profit that will taste good when going down, but will fill your belly with the beast that will consume both your flesh and soul from within.If you understand, you know what the devil enjoys, you know the
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 15:36:12 PT
Cannabis The Troublemaker
It's a beautiful spring day where I live and I've been sitting by our sliding glass door and just enjoying the breeze and letting the news about Sativex settle in. I do hope that history records the trouble that this wildwood weed has caused and remembers the cost on all sides of the debate. I never believed in my wildest imagination back in the mid 70s that this would be an issue at all in 2005. It really is amazing that it is an issue at all anymore. 
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Comment #13 posted by Sukoi on April 19, 2005 at 15:07:21 PT
Is it possible that Montel actually got to her when he was shoving that cannabis tin in her face? I wouldn't count on it especially since she was recently in Illinois spreading her same tired BS, but it sure would be nice for one of Walters' former right hands to turn pro MMJ! 
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Comment #12 posted by goneposthole on April 19, 2005 at 12:23:26 PT
Andrea Barthwell
She was a toker for some 15 years. She has a pretty good idea what cannabis does. Time to give her the benefit of the doubt.With Sativex as a tried and true medicine, the sky is the limit for cannabis and cannabis-based medicine. It is from the cannabis plant. It also means that cannabis must be grown to obtain the raw material for Sativex to be what it actually is. That definitely means that more cannabis will be grown than ever before and for medicinal purposes, too. Nothing wrong with that.
what you don't want
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 10:51:59 PT
I didn't understand why they said two parts of the plant because Sativex is a whole plant medicinal spray. I believe two different types of the cannabis plant might be blended into the spray but not just two parts of a plant. That's what I think from what Dr. Russo has said in the past unless I read it wrong.It would be like having some sativa and indica and putting them together in my opinion but I sure could be wrong.
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Comment #10 posted by Taylor121 on April 19, 2005 at 10:51:49 PT
MPP email on Sativex
The Canadian government has just delivered a body blow to the U.S.
government's irrational prohibition against the medical use of
marijuana. Today, Canada approved the prescription sale of a natural
marijuana extract -- for all practical purposes, liquid marijuana --
to treat pain and other symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.In short, the Canadian government has just certified that virtually
everything our own government has been telling us about marijuana is
wrong. Please visit to help the
Marijuana Policy Project capitalize on this opportunity to lobby
Congress and select state legislatures to make medical marijuana legal
in the U.S.Sativex, produced by GW Pharmaceuticals in Britain, is literally
liquid marijuana. It is nothing like Marinol, the synthetic THC pill
sold in the U.S. and sometimes falsely touted as an adequate
substitute for marijuana. Rather, Sativex is a whole-plant extract,
containing the wide variety of naturally occurring compounds called
cannabinoids that are unique to marijuana. It also contains trace
elements of other compounds in the plant, which scientists believe
contribute to its therapeutic value.Sativex is to marijuana as a cup of coffee is to coffee beans. If
Sativex is safe and effective, marijuana is safe and effective.And Sativex is safe and effective. Studies have shown significant
effect against pain and other symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis
and other debilitating conditions, and over 600 patient-years of
research have established a remarkable record of safety.Sativex should certainly be approved in the U.S., but the process may
take years -- if it is allowed to happen at all, given our federal
government's reflexive hostility to the medical use of marijuana.And more importantly, now that we know beyond doubt that marijuana is
a safe, effective medicine, how long will our government continue to
arrest patients who use it?Please visit to give MPP the money we
need to continue lobbying to end our government's war on medical
marijuana users.Even if Sativex is approved in the U.S. someday, it won't be the
answer for every patient now benefiting from medical marijuana.
Different strains of marijuana work better for some conditions and
less well for others. Sativex just comes in one formula, and it won't
be right for everyone.And Sativex will be expensive. Will we force patients to buy a pricey
pharmaceutical version of a plant they could grow themselves for
pennies? We could end up with a policy every bit as silly as telling
coffee drinkers that they can buy a cappuccino, but they'll be
arrested on sight if caught in possession of coffee beans.Visit to learn more about the issues
associated with Sativex.With Canada taking such a significant step toward recognizing
marijuana's safety and effectiveness as a medicine, it's becoming
harder and harder for U.S. officials to defend arresting and
imprisoning medical marijuana patients in our own country. Help us
hammer the nails into prohibition's coffin by visiting to make your most generous donation
today.Thank you,Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.
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Comment #9 posted by Taylor121 on April 19, 2005 at 10:40:45 PT
No reclassification
"Will Cannabis be reclassified soon maybe?"We can continue putting pressure on the government to reclassify, but I predict they won't budge on it for quite some time. They will argue that cannabis has many other impurities and that drugs such as marinol and now the emerging sativex is pure and safe. I noticed that it said it was based on 2 cannabanoids, delta 9 and cannabidiol. These are by far the 2 most important therapeutic properties cannabis has to offer, but there are some others. I thought sativex isolated more cannabanoids than just those 2 though. I thought it isolated quite a few, but I could be wrong. Maybe they just mentioned those two because they are the mother load.Americans For Safe Access is leading the effort to the reclassification of cannabis here in the U.S. hope they succeed, but I honestly think we will have to either rely on the Raich case or on Congress.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 10:23:20 PT
I understand what you are saying. We really live in a strange and difficult time.
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on April 19, 2005 at 10:07:27 PT
Sativex in US?
I wonder if and when it will receive approval in the US.If Sativex and other pharmaceutical, patented cannabis compounds are approved, The US Gov will try to say there is no longer a need for people to grow their own medicine and use it for leverage against anyone growing or possessing cannabis.Of course, this also means it would have to be taken off of schedule 1, which should lower penalties. Not that it will be a great consolation to anyone arrested as they will surely crack down harder than ever on "illegal" use. I think the Feds will probably do that in order to maintain control, and have impunity to go after whichever "illegal" users they please, medical or not.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 10:02:31 PT
Schedule I 
Will Cannabis be reclassified soon maybe?
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Comment #5 posted by fearfull on April 19, 2005 at 09:44:45 PT
anything for money
Barthwell = (anti)pot whore. 
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Comment #4 posted by jfrolang on April 19, 2005 at 09:43:24 PT
I suppose they would deal with it the same way they do with Marinol, show your prescription and they ignore the positive THC results.I don't know what threshold level they're looking for to distinguish marinol from real cannabis, but based on the testimony of being "too stoned" on marinol, it's probably far above that of the average cannabis user. I don't think I'd be able to prevent myself from smoking my favorite plant if I had a prescription to a drug that contains THC, it's practically a free pass :)
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 09:31:15 PT
I am totally confused as to how I feel. I'm happy for Dr. Russo just because I really like Dr. Russo but I know that it will be too expensive for people without insurance here in the states. A plant doesn't cost anything if grown outside in front of God and everyone. I do have a question. How would they know when a person was drug tested if they used the whole plant or Sativex made from the whole plant?
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on April 19, 2005 at 09:03:51 PT
Pro and Con
I want to be excited about this, but I confess I am horrified that they are paying Andrea Barthwell money. That's just wrong, I don't care what the reason is. (But then again, maybe a professional liar is exactly what a modern Big Pharm corporation needs).If GW does succeed in the US with their product, I foresee one good result: insurance companies will become our friends. When they are forced to start paying out tens of thousands of dollars per year for each patient on the inhaler, natural medical cannabis will start looking awfully good!  Their lobbyists will be running around saying "yeah! yeah! open more MMJ dispensaries! change state laws to allow it! we're ALL for it!"
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 19, 2005 at 08:03:45 PT
Related Article from the BBC UK
Cannabis Drug Approval Buoys Firm:
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