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J Cannabis Ther 2001(3/4):133-152

Cannabis-Based Medicines

Prospects for New Cannabis-Based Prescription Medicines

Author
B.A. Whittle, G.W. Guy, P. Robson

Abstract
Cannabis is now emerging from a period of prohibition and being revisited as a potential source of treatments for conditions ill served by synthetic substances. Previous research focussed primarily on effects produced by synthetic cannabinoids such as THC, or cannabis of unknown cannabinoid content. Chemovars of cannabis characterized by high content of specific cannabinoids (primarily, but not only THC and CBD) have been developed. Clinical research using defined extracts from these chemovars is now underway in the UK. Many diseases are multifactorial; a variety of receptors need to be targeted to produce a therapeutic effect. A defined botanical may better achieve this than a single synthetic compound as the components can act synergistically. A new generation of cannabis based medicinal products takes advantage of increasing understanding of the mode of action of cannabinoids, evidence-based research on clinical uses and new technology for realization of products, in anti-diversionary presentations.


Keywords
Cannabinoids, cannabis, CB receptors, new chemovars, clinical research, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, neurogenic pain, botanical extracts, secure dispensing, alternative delivery systems, harm reduction

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