As always HarryZ, I enjoy how anything I say, regardless of its accuracy, you disagree with.
It's too bad that you took one small comment and sort of blown it out of proportion. But if that's the way you feel, then that's the way you feel.
I deal with these issues every single day and have done so for the past 3 years (only), albeit in Canada. But given that medicinal cannabis is directly within my area of expertise, I feel qualified to comment on it - otherwise, I would not. The only reason I take the time to do this is because I believe that people should receive accurate, reliable information that is free of personal bias and emotion.
You can comment all you want but I have had actual experience in obtaining this drug and have done so through an expert pain neuro in Canada.And this is what I am basing my comments on.
Sativex IS new... 6 years IS absolutely a new drug in the actual medical world (perhaps not to all patients, but we're referring to prescription practices in the medical world). In all countries, it is still under intense investigation to continue to discover its various properties as well as short- and long-term effects (the latter are not known, which makes this a new drug all the more).
Depending on a docs experience with Sativex, it can be totally new or a drug that he/she has been using for 6 years. The same goes for rx actual MJ. Docs who have been rx Sativex or MJ for a number of years are quite comfortable with it. New ones are likely scared to death.
Many drugs are synthetic! And they work just fine. All depends on the compound and its mode of delivery. So the criticism that a drug is synthetic does not hold true when it comes to efficacy/ side-effects. STUDIES suggest that Marinol has some efficacy in treating various symptoms related to MS. Research has been done in all of the 4 compounds that I noted.
I stated that my comment on Marinol came from the net from MS patients who actually used it. They said it was all but useless for them. It very well might help some patients but that wasn't the case on those who commented.
The active ingredient of cannabis is THC; synthetic THC = Marinol.
This is why it was developed; because it was believed that the psychoactive component of cannabis can be beneficial in treating symptoms without the exposure to smoke inhalation.
The neuro who I got my information from stated that ingesting MJ provided the same kind of MS symptom relief albeit not as fast as smoking it. Many of his patients who used MJ preferred this method because they did not want the smoke inhalation problem. He has spent years studying MJ for pain use and has conducted several trials in this area.
Sativex is derised from the C. Sativa (plant) directly; which means it contains all of the ingredients; however, most of these do nothing to the human body in terms of symptom alleviation. The only notable one is CBD (the latter is not a psychoactive ingredient and does not induce any of the effects typically associated with "high" as THC does). The benefits of the addition of CBD are unclear (it is not known IF there are any effects to having CBD but it may be involved in dampening the effects of the THC somewhat, producing less effect, good or bad, at a given dose of THC).
My wife used Sativex for a number of months and she experienced relief from her MS symptoms without ANY side effects. So far, from what I have read about Sativex, there doesn't appear to be any major problems that have been found. As you are aware, it is being approved by a number of countries, albeit very slowly.
While I respect opinions on "the net", individual opinions are not generalizable to everyone (many people find Sativex undesirable and ineffective as well; this too does not apply to all).
Just like ANY drug that is used.
I have never seen the actual evidence based on the majority of patients studies objectively that suggests that Marinol is "useless". The weight of the evidence suggests that Marinol can be beneficial for some, not all, individuals; Sativex also may be beneficial for some, not all, individuals.
Again, it's what I read about Marinol by those who used it. And again, what works for some people won't for others.
While many studies have noted benefits of one over the other, the only consistent benefit noted in favour of Sativex is that it can be self-titrated via additional sprays. However, the issue is that more effective results requiring much higher dosages are associated with increased risks of side-effects that are undesirable. So it's all a balancing act, as with any drug, but more so here because the psychoactive ingredients may lead to undesirable effects in naive users.
If Sativex is unavailable for use given that it is new (from the perspective of medical science), keep in mind that Marinol, Cannador, and Cesamet are all cannabis-based medicines also. Their immediate risks have been studies (not the long-term ones) and suggest that risks of severe
adverse effects are low and therefore they are safe to try.
Of course the patient can choose which medication he/she feels is right for them. But the person in this thread wanted to obtain Sativex and I was only tyring to help him attain his goal.