A number of multiple sclerosis sufferers have turned to marijuana to ease the pain and symptoms of the debilitating disease.
A New York-based biotech company is hoping that some relief from the pain and spasticity of MS is just a stick of cannabis gum away.
AXIM Biotech recently announced it will begin a series of clinical trials of its patented cannabinoid controlled-release chewing gum. The trials for MedChew RX gum, which contains 5 milligrams of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive component of cannabis, and 5 milligrams of THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, will be carried out in Europe.
The biotech company hopes that the marijuana-infused chewing gum will provide a discrete, safe and effective pain-management medication for MS patients.
“Obviously the safety/efficacy issues need to be proven out by clinical trials – nonetheless, I am quite excited to see a new method for delivering effective pain medication,” said Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc. which is invested in AXIM Biotech.
AXIM sells CanChew, a cannabinoid chewing gum with no THC, but that product makes no medical claims, according to MarketWatch.
MedChew RX “should allow for predictable and controlled release of the active ingredients,” said AXIM chief executive George Anastassov.
A recent North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) survey found that the vast majority (95.1 percent) of MS sufferers are in favor of legalized medical marijuana. About 16 percent of the survey respondents reported using marijuana for their MS. More than 80 percent of MS sufferers said they would consider using marijuana if it were legal in their state.
“The results show that a large percentage of patients with MS are interested in the issue of marijuana,” said Stacey S. Cofield, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics, who conducted the NARCOMS survey.
Cofield noted that in her experience, most MS patients who tried marijuana said it helped with their symptoms, including reducing pain and spasms and improving mobility. She said 5 percent of MS patients reported that marijuana didn’t help their symptoms.
AXIM said the clinical trials are to begin in 2016, and if successful it would pursue FDA approval. The FDA has not yet approved any product containing cannabis.
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