Cannabis Spray Helps Ease Chronic Pain. (Article)

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Posted by Paco ( on September 09, 2001 at 12:32:28:

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters Health) Sept 05 - A cannabis spray used under the
tongue helps to relieve the suffering of multiple sclerosis patients and people with
chronic pain, a British doctor said Monday.

The spray allows doctors to control dosage effectively and measure the effects. So
far, preliminary results have been encouraging.

"We are finding it is useful for a lot of patients," Dr. William Notcutt of James Paget
Hospital in Great Yarmouth in eastern England said here at the British Association
for the Advancement of Science Conference.

Dr. Notcutt tested the spray, which was developed and supplied by the British
company GW Pharmaceuticals, in patients with experience in using cannabis as well
as in those who were not familiar with the drug.

The spray totally relieved pain in some patients, while it helped others get a good
night's sleep. "Our goal has been to return people to an active life," Dr. Notcutt said,
adding that one patient had returned to work and others had resumed driving.

The study provided not only valuable information about the effectiveness of the drug,
Notcutt told the science conference, but also data on the best dosage and side
effects. "We need much more basic information on how to use this," he said.

Only three patients out of the 23 in the two groups said they received no benefit
from the spray. Side effects included a high level of euphoria, panic attacks and

Notcutt refused to discuss whether his research would provide further support to
those seeking to legalise cannabis.

GW Pharmaceuticals, set up in 1997, operates under licenses from the British Home
Office, or interior ministry, to cultivate, possess and supply cannabis for medical
research. It grows cannabis in secure, computer-controlled greenhouses in southern
England. The plants used in the trials were grown to maximize the benefits of the
active ingredients in cannabis.

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