It comes as no news to patients that have been using topically-applied cannabis preparations that this stuff works for us. There have even been some clinical studies supporting the efficacy of external-use cannabis for conditions like skin rashes or lesions as well as joint and muscle pain and inflammation.
I had the pleasure and honor of being able to speak with Dr. Yehuda Baruch from One World Cannabis Pharmaceuticals in Israel this week via phone about the research they are doing in the area of topically-applied cannabis medicines for pharmaceutical use.
OWC is currently working on two topically-applied cannabinoid studies, one is a cream for psoriatic lesions, which is the first study that Dr. Baruch said will conclude this year. The second study concludes early next year and will test the efficacy of lipid-based cannabis ointment for more penetrative applications such as joint pain and inflammation.
But Dr. Baruch also spoke to me about some of the initial observations and results he’s had already in the process of formulating these new topical cannabis medicines for clinical study. So let’s start with the first one:
“CBD ONLY” topical cannabis lotions and other preparations are not effective. Dr. Baruch says that he’s just not seeing efficacy with “CBD ONLY” in topical applications–and he was also kind enough to give me a breakdown of what they were testing for topical applications:
1 5 — Not effective
8 8 — Some effectiveness
12 4 — This concentration seems to have the most efficacy right now
Dr. Baruch was very clear that these numbers do not represent any final clinical results, just his professional observations at this point. It will certainly be exciting to see the first clinical results that come out of these new studies.
And I think these studies really outline what we really need in terms of legal support for topical preparations here in the states that are prepared with enough cannabinoids to be effective–including, and especially THC, according to the observations Dr. Baruch has made so far.
For example, Washington State recently had a measure that would limit the THC content in topical preparations to 0.3%–and that’s far below what most patients find that works well for them as a topical preparation.
It’s going to be a number of years before we can expect a pharma cream or ointment that you can get from your doctor, but no doubt if these studies show enough efficacy to pass through FDA approvals in the future, these pharma-developed topical cannabis preparations may eventually be a medicine that your insurance will cover.