TABLE 10.1 Cannabinoids Under Development for Human Use as of July 2000

Name of Drug

Possible Indication(s)


Stage of Development

FDA Status

HU-211 (Dexanabinol)

Neuroprotection (Neurotrauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson 's, Alzheimer's)

Pharmos Corp.

Phase II trial completed March 2000 in Israel; Contract for Phase III trial awarded June 2000



Antiinflammatory Analgesia

Atlantic Pharmaceuticals

Phase I trial in France


THC (Marinol)

[see text]

Unimed Roxane Labs

Phase I trials in U.S.


Marijuana Plant

Multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, pain

GW Pharmaceuticals

Phase I trial completed in England; Phase II trial begun May 2000



HIV-related appetite stimulation

Donald Abrams, University of California at San Francisco

Phase I trial completed May 2000


Source: Adapted from Institute of Medicine. 1999. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, p.209.

tentative conclusions about the present state of cannabinoid drug development. First, nearly all of the investigators listed are either small companies or individuals, who are generally willing to assume greater commercial risk than a large pharmaceutical company. Because such small enterprises typically obtain funding from venture capital, stock offerings, or collaborations with larger companies rather than from sales, they can pursue riskier goals.

Second, except for THC and marijuana, no plant-derived cannabinoids appear in Table 10.1. While a number of such compounds have shown promising results in animal and human experiments (see Chapter 2), commercial interest in them appears

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