Clinical Studies of Cannabinoid Capsules for MS Expected Later This Year

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Cannabis MS drug

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease characterized by the destruction of insulating covers on nerve cells by the immune system. The most common form for the disease, relapsing-remitting MS, is characterized by clearly defined attacks of decreasing neurologic function (relapses) followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions). Research into novel therapy approaches continues to investigate safer, more effective alternatives to the currently approved MS therapies. The use of cannabinoid-based therapies in particular appear to show promise for controlling relapses in those with the disease.

MMJ PhytoTech, a drug development company working on cannabinoid-based therapies, plans to initiate clinical studies of new capsule formulations derived from cannabis for the treatment of MS later this year. Their phase 1, safety-oriented clinical studies have been approved by various ethics committees and public health organizations. The company has been actively investigating a new capsule that offers many advantages over smokeable cannabinoid formulations, as oral administration is much more controllable and user-friendly. Furthermore, the company is confident that their capsules can withstand room temperature storage for extended periods of time. In this way, the need for refrigeration is eliminated resulting in lower shipping and storage costs.

In the end, the company believes that these advantages will give rise to a low cost cannabinoid alternative with potentially high patient compliance. The safety of these Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol capsules will be tested in a small group of volunteers to test for adverse effects. They are expected to have a low frequency of side effects and, if proven as such, the company plans to conduct Phase 2 clinical studies to investigate the efficacy and optimal dosing schedule for MS patients. After the studies are complete, the company will need to develop Phase 3 clinical trials to assess efficacy, effectiveness and safety of the drug in around 1,000 MS patients.

The availability of clinical trials is important for medicine as it helps in the development of the treatments of tomorrow. Patients participating in clinical trials help researchers get closer to discovering new and effective therapies and/or cures for the disease. Moreover, clinical trials also give patients access to experimental therapies that are otherwise unavailable and that might offer enhanced treatment benefits than currently approved therapies for MS.

The main goal of this research is to enhance the availability of highly effective cannabinoid extracts to the general public while lowering costs and developing and easier and more stable formulation, which could tremendously impact patient outcomes for those with Multiple Sclerosis.

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Diogo Bruno is a OB/GYN resident at Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental and Hospital Prof. Dr. Fernando Fonseca. He has recently obtained a Harvard Medical School certificate in clinical research, and is also a lecturer and medical writer. He has also worked on various research internships, is a certified trainer and has presented works in gynecology and obstetrics at several key health meetings.
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  1. dani says:

    This article is unclear about what, exactly, this experimental drug will treat. Is it to treat the MS disease and reduce relapses? Or is it to treat symptom-specific pain and spasticity? The article implies the former, but when you go to the company’s website, it states the latter.

  2. Susan Jessel says:

    I am interested in a trial where medical cannabis is the treatment of choice rather than baclofen and klonipin. I have sent a precious request for another cannabis trial for MS, for pain, spasticity,and also interested to try for disease modifying possible effects, reduce inflammations, help,with my cognition and anger outbursts.
    I am also currently taking muedexta and Copaxone.
    Thank you

    • Rob says:

      Miss Susan, my name is Rob. I’m 37 and got MS for my 34th birthday. I’m a stay at home Dad to my 2 boys, a 2 year old and a 4 month old. I was experiencing everything you described in the beginning. I was a good guy in high school, A-B honor roll my whole life, played sports, was very popular being voted into the “Who’s Who” of my senior yearbook, but contrary to what everyone else knew, I was a HUGE POTHEAD too! LOL! My parents always told me if I was at a party drinking and wasn’t gonna call them to pick me up, ask the POTHEAD for a ride home, NOT the drunk! I’d stopped smoking when I began working and had not smoked in about 20 years. Since starting back, my quality of life has increased by sender MILLIONS, LITERALLY! Reading the things you’ve described here, if I had it I would pay you a MILLION DOLLARS to try marijuana for 2 weeks, smoking it daily, and if after that 2 weeks you DIDN’T see an improvement, the million would be YOURS! Of course, there are other ways to use it rather than “Smoking” it. I only say “Smoking” it because that’s what I do. September 2016 will be 4 years for me living with MS, and I have literally FORGOTTEN what spasticity felt like! Cognitively it has helped me by providing the “Mellowed Out” feeling that almost EVERYONE gets from smoking marijuana. The ONLY problem with marijuana is the “Disinformation” that our government has dealt out to us, the American people. Honestly, just think about what the roads would be like if drunk driving was replaced with WEED USERS? There wouldn’t be a speed limit in the country over 30 miles per hour!! HAHAHAHA!! Anyways, all I can say is that it has helped me tremendously, and personally, I think it would help many others if it were to be made legal. Good luck Miss Susan!!

  3. Amy Bowling says:

    Would love to sign up for this trial. Not currently taking anything, stopped about 5 years ago, due to side effects, and have had RRMS for 20 years and have started getting new symptoms. Any info you can send me?

  4. Joan Tamulevich says:

    Am very much interested in medical marijuana treatment for M.S. My ms started back in the 1970’s with optic neuritis along with extensive neuropathy that traveled from my feet to my waist. Also in my face and head. Life went on for me, forgetting about the ms, being an active single woman, working and pursuing higher education. I now have an AS in Mechanical engineering, BS in psychology, MA in counseling psychology, and Mass. state licenses as licensed mental counselor, and rehab counselor. Post graduate study in Client Server Technology.
    Diagnosed with mutltiple myeloma in 2007, stopped working, ms symptoms seemed to start following two stem cell transplants and are continuing. The ms currently is affecting my quality of life from head to foot. Symptoms are becoming unbearable. The cancer is currently in remission but the ms continues. I am not the type of woman that appreciates doing nothing as my younger days were spent playing sports. I recently had to stop playing golf and bowling due to an accident that caused a complete shoulder replacement. Now for the end of this “comment”, I am very much interested in giving medical marijuana a try. I have seen news reports and read about the large growing, cultivating, laboratory etc., in Franklin MA. It is getting larger and more patients are using the various forms of the drug. I would be interested in more news etc., positive outcomes for some patients and for what type of symptoms. Clinical studies for canabinoid capsules and ms are expected later later reported by ms news

    The future looks great for us with the research of marijuana for treatment and the positive results. Joan

  5. Judy Epstein says:

    I am already on your Canabidiol/medical marijuana MS trial mailing list and very much look forward to being in the next future clinical trial. Many thanks!

  6. Rob says:

    Hopefully, I won’t get into trouble saying this being from a state where marijuana is illegal, but I smoke EVERY SINGLE DAY! Has it helped? If you all ONLY KNEW how MUCH, and not only with this or that symptom only! I’ve actually FORGOTTEN what “Spasticity” issues felt like! It helps cognitively by “Mellowing” me out, and also has helped me with my appetite. I played high school sports as well which caused little aches and pains just like most guys have. Since my diagnosis, and AFTER I began smoking it, my quality of life has gotten BETTER than it was 5 and 10 years ago! MS has been a blessing to me, my wife, and 2 little boys. I wouldn’t give back my MS for ANYTHING! It is a worrisome issue for me being a stay at home Dad living in a state where it’s still illegal. I have never and would never use it around my BOYS or where they could see me using it(unless it becomes legal). I wish SO VERY MUCH that I could PROVE to everyone with MS to simply “Try” or “Attempt” the 2 things that have made my life WONDERFUL, the 2 things being “Marijuana” and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord has blessed me beyond my WILDEST DREAMS, and marijuana keeps me on my “A Game”! Seriously, who makes over 100k per year, has a wife 6 months pregnant with their first little boy, wakes up blind, is diagnosed with MS, goes on disability, is able to buy a new home and pay mortgage, bills, buy groceries, etc. off just a disability check, and has the MOST WONDERFUL, BLESSED life ever? Well, the “Who” in that question is ME! I HAVE!!

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