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J Cannabis Ther 2003(3/4):001-29

Introduction

Cannabis: From Pariah to Prescription

Author
E. Russo

Abstract
Cannabis has been employed in human medicine for more than 4000 years. In the last century, political prohibition led to its disappearance from the conventional pharmacopoeia, but this trend is reversing due to the broad acceptance and application of this forbidden medicine by patients with chronic and intractable disorders inadequately treated by available therapeutics. This study addresses the "road back" for cannabis medicines, and reacceptance as prescription products. Current pharmacology of the two primary therapeutic phytocannabinoids, THC and CBD, is reviewed with respect to herbal synergy and as pertains to treatment of pain, spasm and the wide range of therapeutic applications and adverse effects of cannabis. In particular, the efforts of GW Pharmaceuticals to develop cannabis based medicine extracts (CBME) are documented including cultivation of genetically-selected medical-grade cannabis cloned strains in glass houses with organic and integrated pest management techniques, and their processing employing supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and winterization. These CBMEs are then available for formulation of dosage forms including sublingual extracts and inhaled forms. An optional Advanced Delivery System (ADS) is also discussed.


Keywords
Medical marijuana, cannabis, THC, cannabidiol, herbal treatment, alternative delivery systems, psychopharmacology

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