Medical cannabis will be legalized in Ireland for the first time later this year, according to an article in the Irish Times. Specifically, the cannabidiol (CBD)/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) drug Sativex will be able to be prescribed to help treat multiple sclerosis:
Last year the Irish Medicines Board approved the cannabidiol drug Sativex for use on prescription. The drug is used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a progressive, degenerative neurological condition that affects the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body.
Already approved in the UK and Canada, Sativex is a synthetic CBD/THC combination pharmaceutical that has been paving the way for legalized use of cannabis-based medicinal products in Ireland:
[Medical cannabis] will shortly be legal to use it for medical reasons, so the Department of Health has been engaging with experts to identify how best to legally prescribe authorized cannabis-based medicinal products, while maintaining existing controls on cannabis and cannabis substances.
Cannabis has been found to help ease the symptoms of spasticity. Indeed at present, some Irish people with MS buy the drug from dealers in order to manage their symptoms, while it is estimated that 10-30 per cent of MS patients in Europe smoke cannabis to ease the pain and other symptoms of the condition.
Sativex is not yet available in the United States other than for use in FDA approved clinical trials. Sativex is approved for use in Canada. Read the full article at the Irish Times and learn more about cannabinoid science and Sativex at the GW Pharmaceuticals website.