Developing cannabis oil for use in cancer treatment
A new form of cannabis oil is being developed by a group of American scientists to treat patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The new oil could be used in the treatment of chronic pain and could be an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
The oil developed by the University of Michigan is called GW-16 and is a derivative of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
It was developed by Dr. Eric G. Nisbett, associate professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo and the director of the Center for Cannabis Therapeutics.
Nisbett said GW-8, the THC derivative developed by his team, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in Europe and the United States.
He said the FDA approved it in January 2016.
The American Cancer Society’s cancer institute and the National Cancer Institute said they were reviewing the GW-15 research to determine its clinical efficacy and potential therapeutic value.
Nesbett said the new THC oil could also be used to treat severe pain and seizures associated with cancer treatment.
He noted that THC is already used to prevent nausea and other symptoms of cancer.
Nasbett said in one study, his group found that in the first five weeks after chemotherapy, patients taking GW-9 had lower levels of nausea, vomiting and fever, and decreased the number of patients who vomited.GW-16 is an even more potent version of the original THC oil, Nisbert said.
He added that it also has fewer side effects, including the loss of appetite.
The FDA has not yet approved the GW drug, and Nisbet said he has not had the chance to review the data from clinical trials yet.
Nadir F. Shahid, a spokesman for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said GW has been on the market for a few years and has shown promise.
The drug is licensed for use by physicians to treat pain, but Nisbetts group is working to develop a safer and more effective form of the drug.NISBITTS group is also developing the THC oil to treat nausea and anxiety associated with chemotherapy, said Nisbets associate professor.
The oil can be administered as an inhaler or swallowed.
Namaz Chishti, a clinical scientist at the Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in the research, said her group is developing a new strain of the THC-based cannabis oil called GW16-T that contains no THC and is intended to be used for pain and anxiety conditions.
Nizbetts team also is working on a more potent form of THC-containing oil called GT-16, which is also approved for pain.
Nizbett said his group has been working with GW-14 and other companies to develop their own forms of THC for cancer.
The team has developed a test for toxicity, and the test could be rolled out in early 2019, Nizbets said.
GW-20, the other new strain developed by Nisbes team, was approved by FDA in May.