Australia has launched the world’s first medicinal cannabis wafer that offers a simplified solution compared to other cannabis products. The product, dubbed Xativa, is in the form of a tablet and is capable of dissolving under the tongue. According to research, it can ease pain, nausea, and some motor diseases.
Solving three common problems
The product is a brainchild of a Queensland, Brisbane-based company iX Biopharma. According to the producer, the tablet solves three main problems in the delivery system of medical cannabis: the absence of fixed dosages, erratic bioavailability, and incoherent absorption. The company could also use the technology to benefit other medications.
It’s a highly porous little disk….we developed it to improve the administration of a variety of drugs. The wafer itself actively disintegrates so there’s no need to swallow it which can be an advantage when looking at certain populations, said Janakan Krishnarajah, the COO at iX Biopharma.
The drug could be useful in dealing with certain conditions prevalent in both young and old people.
It’s the ease of use with a wafer – it goes into the mouth and it’s absorbed quite rapidly into the body. The wafer I see being quite helpful with children who won’t necessarily be able to swallow a pill or tolerate an oil which can taste a bit different, said Dr. Ben Jansen of Cannabis Doctors Australia.
Currently, Cannatrek, which is the distributor of the first cannabis wafer, continues to harvest medicinal marijuana with government permission at an undisclosed facility in Brisbane. The facility also houses the already-processed Xativa wafers.
Conditions for access
“It’s a fixed dose so the patient knows they’re taking a fixed amount all the time,” said Craig Thompson, a patient access consultant with Cannatrek. According to Thompson, the product is currently available to Queensland residents provided they meet the strict GP approval.
One is a chronic condition lasting longer than three months and the other is having failed on the first line medication or experiencing side effects, the consultant explained.
The law currently classifies wafers as an unapproved product. However, they are available under the Special Access Scheme of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. To access the product, a patient has to pass through a doctor who makes an application to the TGA on his or her behalf. If approved, the patient takes the approval and the prescription to a certified pharmacy and orders the wafers. The process is a bit long and can take around five days.