A pharmaceutical company in the UK recently announced the completion of the first-recorded clinical trial to test the effects of cannabis-based medicine against cancer cells.
According to a press release, GW Pharmaceuticals has just concluded the initial phase of a series of clinical trials to examine the positive effects of their drug Sativex on Glioblastoma Multiforme, which is the most common and deadly from of brain cancer diagnosed in the United States.
The treatment being tested -- Sativex -- is a spray containing and equal ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, which is administered under the patient’s tongue. Even though the drug has not been approved here in America, many European firms have already given the drug their approval and it has become a popular prescription for those suffering from multiple sclerosis.
However, it has not been until now that a pharmaceutical company has set out to research cannabis-based cancer treatment.
"We are very excited about moving this compound into further human study and the prospects of cannabinoids as new anti-cancer treatments. This is GW's first clinical study of cannabinoids as a potential treatment to inhibit tumor growth," said Dr. Stephen Wright, Director of Research and Development at GW. "We believe this clinical program demonstrates the flexibility and broad application of GW's cannabinoid platform to treat significant, unmet therapeutic needs."
In addition to GW Pharmaceuticals’ clinical trails with Sativex, the company was also recently approved by the Federal Drug Administration to begin clinical trials for a cannabis-based epilepsy drug in the US called Epidiolex.
Unfortunately, researchers say they does not intend to develop a case for Sativex as a replacement for chemotherapy, but rather, to prove it effective when used in association with current treatments.