Have you heard of Sativex Spray?
Sativex is a pharmaceutical product manufactured by a British company, GW Pharmaceuticals. Real cannabis is in the drug (Sativa – Sativex). It is a peppermint flavoured mouth spray, used to treat painful muscle spasms caused by MS and other conditions. It is available in 28 countries, at the time of writing.
This cannabis-based product was developed in the United Kingdom at heavily guarded farms where they grow over 20 tons of cannabis annually. This is then processed and the cannabinoids THC and CBD are extracted to be made into an alcohol-based tincture. In Germany for example, Sativex costs around £300 for a 20 day supply.
If patients were allowed to grow their own cannabis they could produce a generic copy of Sativex for around £10 for the same 20 day supply!
It is clear to see what big Pharma wants to do – make huge profits from supplying manufactured drugs, and keeping the growing and use of cannabis illegal.
Ironically, the product is made in the UK where marijuana is illegal even for medical purposes. The producers were allowed to grow marijuana for research and development purposes only a couple of years ago.
Regardless of the enormous profits being made at the expense of sick people, cannabis buds and oil are far superior to Sativex because you benefit from the full and complex profile of cannabinoids, not just from the THC and CBD. Also, many patients who use Sativex complain of mouth ulcers, burning sensations in the mouth or the unpleasant aftertaste of alcohol – none of which are experienced when using cannabis normally.
There are other manufactured products on the market, and no doubt with many more to come. Synthetic cannabinoids such as Nabilone and Cesamet are available as prescription drugs in many countries. These synthetic copies of cannabinoids are expensive and compare poorly to cannabis plant extracts.
When it comes to medical marijuana, it is the lack of standardisation that throws up an obstacle for doctors who are uncomfortable in lending their support for legalisation. However, any cynic will say that doctors get lots of perks, incentives etc. for promoting certain drugs, and they would not profit from the legalisation of cannabis for people to administer themselves.