Medicinal cannabis would now be available as a prescription in Sweden after Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray, was approved by the Medical Products Agency for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
“This is great news for those who can’t get any relief from the most common drugs,” Jan Hillert, an MS researcher at Karolinska Institute and said the institute is planning to closely monitor prescriptions for Sativex to ensure against abuse.
The cannabis-based mouth spray does not result in a “high” as the cannabinoids included — a near 1:1 mix of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — are not administered in large enough doses, according to both the agency and Sativex manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows medicinal cannabis and prepares the extract in Britain.
Sativex spray is used sublingually (under the tongue), has been shown by a series of medical studies to be successful for alleviating multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.
“Evidence generated from clinical trials shows that Sativex® has a positive impact on spasticity in multiple sclerosis, while alleviating associated symptoms including pain, bladder or sleep disturbance,” GW Pharmaceuticals said in a press release. “By relieving the symptoms of MS, Sativex® can improve patients’ quality of life and allow them greater independence in performing their daily activities.”
The cannabis spray is already available as a prescription medication in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Canada and New Zealand, according to GW.