Synthetic healing

The February 28 Wall Street Journal reported on a number of pharmaceutical companies hoping to profit by mimicking the natural healing powers of cannabis.
? Atlantic Technology Ventures Inc, based in New York, has created a synthetic compound called CT-3, claimed to have THC’s pain-relief properties, but without the high. The drug faces four years of testing before it can be marketed, but the company expects it to be a bigger seller than Tylenol.

? The Albany College of Pharmacy in New York is testing a patch designed to deliver synthetic THC through the skin. Researchers are using human skin left over from plastic surgeries to evaluate the absorption rates of different compounds.

? Researchers at London’s Imperial College are testing a THC-based pain relief drug that is to be delivered via spinal injection.

? Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals is growing 50,000 plants and producing 15 tons of pot each year for research. Founder Dr Geoffrey Guy is studying pharmaceutical extracts of the entire plant, hoping to use cannabinoid combinations to achieve varied medicinal effects.

GW’s first product allows a a cannabis extract containing both CBD and THC to be squirted under the tongue. To prevent “abuse” the dispenser will have a limited number of daily squirts. This could hit markets as a pain-reliever by 2003.