Saturday, January 28, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The pressure is on for researchers and pharmaceutical companies to develop drug-based, non-synthetic versions of marijuana for medical use, as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to approve such varieties in the near future. But this potential approval appears to be reserved only for Big Pharma, as the marijuana plant itself could continue to remain a controlled substance at the federal level with no recognized health benefits.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that GW Pharma, a British pharmaceutical company, is currently undergoing advanced clinical trials for the world’s first drug made from raw marijuana, which it will seek FDA approval for by the end of 2013. There are currently a number of synthetic cannabinoid drugs on the market that have been approved by the FDA, but none that incorporate actual marijuana (http://www.justice.gov/dea/ongoing/marinol.html).
Known as Sativex, the marijuana spray contains both delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, which are considered to be raw marijuana’s two most well-known active components. GW Pharma is hoping to receive US FDA approval of Sativex for the treatment of cancer pain, as the drug has already been approved in several other countries for the treatment of muscle spasm pain caused by multiple sclerosis.