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Research on marijuana's medical potential, though slow, could soon yield prescription options
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' A British pharmaceutical company is working its way toward FDA approval for the world's first prescription drug developed from raw marijuana instead of synthetic equivalents, a medical milestone that could presage a new era for the plant and the nation's uneasy relationship with it.
GW Pharma has developed a mouth spray called Sativex that contains marijuana's two best known components_delta 9-THC and cannabidiol. It's already been approved in Canada, New Zealand and eight European countries for relieving muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
The company is in advanced clinical trials to get its product approved in the United States as a treatment for severe cancer pain. It hopes to seek clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put it on pharmacy shelves by the end of next year.