Sativex (Nabiximols) is a specific extract of Cannabis that was approved as a botanical drug as a mouth spray to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Sativex is the very pharma-sounding marijuana-based patented pharmaceutical that has been approved in over 24 countries and counting.
Available as a peppermint-flavored mouth spray, it is the first pharmaceutical drug of its kind. It is currently being prescribed as a method of coping for patients with MS (multiple sclerosis) in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, and Canada. It could be approved for use in the United States too.
This article will seek to answer the question, “what is Sativex?” It will touch upon how it’s made and try to clear up just how the legality of this marijuana-extract actually differs from the still-illegal-in-the-USA marijuana.
GW Pharmaceuticals is the UK-based company behind the drug, and they are quite open about the fact that Sativex contains the very same compounds as cannabis.
So, what is the difference? Well, the drug is manufactured using modern processes that standardize the medicine, resulting in a chemical compound called “Nabiximol.” This means that each and every bottle of the spray created contains the same concentration of ingredients, including a 1:1 equal ratio of THC to CBD.
When it comes to medical marijuana, it’s the lack of standardization that throws up an obstacle for doctors uncomfortable in lending their support for legalization.
Sativex is created using cannabis, and while the aforementioned ratio of THC to CBD can be lower than other, more potent strains of cannabis, it can still produce a high similar to that of smoking marijuana.
This means the most commonly reported side effects of using Sativex typically include fatigue and dizziness.
Medical marijuana users are now often quite savvy in avoiding the negative effects of smoking in general, opting for vaporizers to circumvent issues of oral discomfort. This isn’t the case for a portion of Sativex users, who have reported oral discomfort after administering the mouth spray.
Although the compounds are similar, it’s the method of consumption and levels of standardization that marks Sativex out as different from medical marijuana.