[A novel analgesics made from Cannabis]
Bayer AG has recently announced that it acquired exclusive rights for the marketing of GW Pharmaceuticals’ new medicine Sativex in Europe and in other regions. Sativex is a sublingual spray on Cannabis extract basis, and is equipped with an electronic tool to facilitate accurate dosing and to prevent misuses. It is standardized for the THC and CBD. The new analgesic is proposed for the treatment of muscle spasticity and pains accompanying multiple sclerosis and as an efficient analgetic for neurogenic pain not responding well to opioids and to other therapies available. The entirely new mechanism of action through the recently discovered cannabinoid receptor system may offer a real therapeutic potential to the drug. Although the Government of Netherlands has authorized the sale of pharmaceutical grade Cannabis herb by pharmacies in the Netherlands, the availability on the pharmaceutical market of the registered preparation may render requests for the authorization of the smoking of Cannabis herb (marihuana) by individuals suffering of multiple sclerosis, neurogenic pain, AIDS wasting syndrome unnecessary. Nevertheless, the “old chameleon” plant Cannabis appears to gradually regain its previous status in mainstream therapy and pharmacy. As long as the plant Cannabis and its products continue to be classified as narcotic drugs, medical use of the new preparation will need close supervision.