Cannabis-Based Medicine Shows Potential as Diabetes Treatment
GW Pharmaceuticals, the company behind Sativex – a cannabinoid based medicinal spray that’s approved in over 20 countries – is currently in the process of studying a new cannabis-derived medicine which is aimed at treating diabetes. According to researchers at GW, a mid-stage study has shown promising results.
The study examined the effect of this new substance – currently known exclusively as GWP42004 – on 35 patients, and found that it helped improve the pancreas’s ability to produce insulin, in addition to dropping blood sugar levels between meals.
The new medicine is made using a compound – THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) – which is found naturally in the cannabis plant; the THCV used is plant-derived, and not chemically derived like most other pharmaceutical drugs that attempt to mimic compounds found in cannabis (such as Marinol).
GW will be publishing the full, comprehensive study later this year in a scientific journal. In the meantime, the company continues to expand the international presence of Sativex; Italy became the 21st country to officially accept the substance’s use earlier this month, with it pending approval in at least 9 more.