Would You Try Marijuana Gum For Multiple Sclerosis?

marijuana gum for multiple sclerosis

If upcoming study results are positive, people with multiple sclerosis may have a marijuana gum available for treatment of symptoms by 2017. The gum is made by AXIM Biotechnology, Inc. and is called MedChew Rx.

Advertisement

The marijuana gum has been tested for treatment of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and the company expects the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to approve the product for this use. MedChew Rx contains 5 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) and 5 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and will be available by prescription.

Cannabidiol is one of more than 100 cannabinoid chemicals found in marijuana plants. It does not make people high and has been shown to possess multiple health benefits, including an ability to treat seizures and other neurological conditions. THC, another type of cannabinoid, has psychoactive properties as well as medicinal abilities.

How marijuana gum works
According to Dr. George E. Anastassoy, MD, DDS, MBA, chief executive officer of AXIM Biotechnology, the marijuana gum is unique because of its “precise, controlled release mechanism to the oral mucosal capillary circulation,” which means it bypasses the liver. Obtaining the marijuana components via chewing also is safer, associated with fewer side effects, and more socially acceptable than traditional methods, such as smoking or oral consumption, according to Professor John Zajicek, an expert on medical cannabis and the individual responsible for conducting AXIM’s clinical trials on pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Zajicek noted in a company statement that “Chewing gum is a potentially good route as it would avoid respiratory irritations” that some people experience when smoking and that “it will deliver a prolonged dose without peaking too much.”

The gum also provides “neuroprotective and neurostimulatory benefits” derived from chewing, an activity which itself has a therapeutic impact. In fact, research has shown that chewing (mastication) promotes generation of neurons (neurogenesis), stimulates the cardiovascular system, and enhances oral health, as well as helps with stress reduction and loss of cognition associated with aging.

Advertisement

Other marijuana and MS studies
Previous research has shown that marijuana can be an effective and safe treatment option for people with multiple sclerosis. Numerous studies have focused on Sativex, an oral marijuana spray that also contains both THC and CBD, and its effectiveness in managing pain and spasticity.

Other studies have used marijuana capsules, such as a 22-center placebo-controlled effort involving 279 patients. The capsules contained both THC and CBD and were found to provide significant benefits over placebo for muscle stiffness, spasticity, muscle spasms, sleep quality, and pain.

Bottom line
AXIM Biotechnology is based in New York and Ridderkerk, the Netherlands, and is hoping to price the mint-flavored marijuana gum at a price less than its closest competition, Sativex (about $30/day). This product has not yet been approved in the United States.

The company also hopes its marijuana gum proves to be helpful for individuals beyond those with pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Some of those conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, glaucoma, restless leg syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease, among others.

Also Read: Alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis
Marijuana for MS debate heats up with new find
4 things to know about chewing gum

SOURCES
Globe News Wire. AXIM featured by Reuters
Multiple Sclerosis News Today. Can cannabinoid chewing gum treat multiple sclerosis pain and spasticity?

Advertisement

Comments

I would gladly sign up for a clinical trial with the marijuana gum. I have used marijuana for my symptoms and it works wonderfully!! However, I don't like the side effects of smoking it. I need the treatment properties of it without the "high" or the "munchies" that occur with it. I VOLUNTEER with vigor!!! PLEASE contact me with any info and/or participation in the study!!! I want to be first on the list. I am waiting for Lemtrada treatment, which is help up waiting on financial copay assistance. I have been 20 weeks without an MS treatment and my symptoms are raging. I want to smoke some SO bad to help, but just don't want the other effects.
I'm willing to try this gum, to see if it helps with my MS that I have been living with for 16 years!!
My son suffers from severe Crohn's disease and has failed every traditional medical offering. He would love to be a candidate to try this gum for his disease. Please contact me with any information. Thank you.
Rhonda: Thank you for your question. This study covered the use of marijuana gum for MS, although as I mentioned, there has been some research using marijuana for Crohn's disease. If you live in a state that has passed medical marijuana laws, you should talk to your healthcare provider about possibly getting a prescription for this purpose. You also can check to see if there are any clinical trials (ClinicalTrials.gov) involving the use of marijuana for Crohn's disease. Best of luck to your son.
I suffer from RRMS and I've been on several times of multiple sclerosis medications. Some work for short periods of time and stop. Currently, I have a lot of scar tissue damage on my brain. I used medical marijuana when I lived in another state that worked for pain management and depression. I would love to be part of this study.
I suffer from SPMS and have severe spasticity in my left leg now going to my right as well from initial diagnosis in 2011. I am desperate to try anything that might help. I am a 58yr old female. I have been on pregabalin 75mg twice daily but doesn't work