Ireland’s Department of Health has announced that in the coming weeks it will introduce regulations which will allow for the use, possession and pharmacy-distribution of cannabis-based medicines such as Sativex, a medical spray made from the cannabis plant which contains one part THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and one part CBD (cannabidiol).
“This will be a prescription product, so MS sufferers will have the prescription written by their GP and then dispensed by the pharmacist,” says Pat O’Mahony, chief executive of Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority, formerly the Irish Medicines Board. No exact time was given on when the regulations will be released.
“Ongoing research into the benefits of medicinal cannabis and cannabis-based medication extract for the symptoms of MS has shown the efficacy of such treatments to alleviate spasticity, sleep disorders, pain and other symptoms associated with MS,” says Ava Battles, director of the organization MS Ireland, which has been working to allow for the use of cannabis medicines. Battles praises the decision by the nation’s Department of Health. Although Sativex and similar products are made from cannabis, the use of cannabis will remain prohibited.