Sativex, an oral cannabis-extract spray developed by the British company GW Pharmacueticals, is expected to be in Canadian pharmacies this summer. Initially intended to treat neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis, the spray may also be used by people suffering from MS spasticity, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal injuries, and bladder dysfunction. GW is awaiting government approval in the U.K. and is "in the early stages" of seeking permission to sell the product in the U.S.
Since it is absorbed in the mouth, Sativex addresses concerns about the respiratory effects of inhaling marijuana combustion products (which can also be avoided by using a good vaporizer). It is faster-acting than Marinol, the FDA-approved THC capsule; does not require a steady stomach; and can be sprayed repeatedly until the appropriate dose has been reached. But GW still must contend with the FDA's preference for synthetic, isolated chemicals and the U.S. government's suspicion of anything derived from cannabis, including fiber and nonpsychoactive food products.
[Thanks to John Bradford for the link.]