Marijuana Chewing Gum Could Be Available By Prescription, Could This Be The Product To Sway Baby Boomers?

Marijuana chewing gum could be available by prescription as early as next year. AXIM Biotechnologies Inc. is working on a cannabis-based chewing gum for treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The New York-based company says it has secured a major price reduction on cannabis through the Dutch government, which the company affirms “has a policy of promoting the drug for medicinal use,” according to the Sun Times network. AXIM Biotechnologies hopes that their marijuana chewing gum will eventually become available to patients to treat MS symptoms.

The marijuana chewing gum called MedChew Rx hopes to rival Sativex spray developed by GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, which remains banned in the United States due to federal marijuana prohibition.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says that MS is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system that “disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” It is believed to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Reportedly, MS causes inflammation, although some researchers think it may be a form of inflammation. It causes muscle weakness, lessened coordination, and even death. While there is no official cause of MS, experts believe it is triggered by unknown environmental factors and affects people who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease.

MedChew Rx medical marijuana chewing gum has been tested for treatment of pain and spasticity in MS. The company developing the chewing gum expects the Food and Drug Administration to approve the product for this use. MedChew Rx medical marijuana chewing gum contains 5 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) and 5 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It would be available by prescription.

Marijuana chewing gum, according to the company, uses a “precise, controlled release mechanism to the oral mucosal capillary circulation” and bypasses the liver. The developers hope that marijuana in the form of a chewing gum will be more socially acceptable than traditional methods. Could it be just the product delivery mode that would make baby boomers more comfortable with using medical marijuana?

Professor John Zajicek, an expert on medical cannabis who is working on the medical marijuana clinical trials, believes it may be safer than traditional routes as well.

“Chewing gum is a potentially good route as it would avoid respiratory irritations,” Zajicek said, adding that the marijuana chewing gum “will deliver a prolonged dose without peaking too much.”

Reportedly, the marijuana chewing gum will also provide the patient with neuroprotective and neurostimulatory benefits from the actual chewing activity. Chewing (mastication) reportedly promotes the generation of neurons (neurogenesis) and can help with stress reduction and loss of cognition. It will also cost less than the alternatives, the company boasted.

MS patients suffering from spasticity are often treated with the muscle relaxant baclofen. Botox, an injectable alternative therapy, is expensive and only offers localized treatment.

Bedrocan is, according to MS Unites, the only company in the world that produces full bud, standardized medicinal cannabis. Bedrocan has a contract with the Ministry of Health of the Netherlands and provides the marijuana base for AXIM’s clinical trials.

Dr. Paul Wright, the chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, says that there could be a role for marijuana chewing gum to play in MS treatment, but added, “I am fearful of the potential for abuse,” according to the Bangor Daily News.

The company announced that it began clinical development of its patented medical marijuana chewing gum for registration as a drug to treat patients suffering from pain or spasticity associated with MS in August. Reuters covered the announcement, and the article was called a “groundbreaking story.”

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