Researchers have developed a mouth spray containing cannabis, which is capable of reducing the pain of cancer patients who cannot be treated by other medicines.
The spray, which works like a mouth freshener, was able to reduce pain levels by 30%, according to the researchers from Edinburgh University.
It was tested on 177 patients in the Edinburgh area who had not responded to morphine or other medicines.
It works by activating the body’s cannabinoid receptors, molecules which stop pain signals being sent from the site of pain to the brain. It also does not alter patients’ mental state like cannabis.
Edinburgh University’s Professor Marie Fallon said: “These early results are very promising and demonstrate that cannabis-based medicines may deliver effective treatment for people with severe pain.
“Prescription of these drugs can be very useful in combating debilitating pain, but it is important to understand the difference between their medical and recreational use.”