People in Texas with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other medical conditions now have access to cannabis-infused lozenges, Surterra Texas announced.

Under a Texas Compassionate Use Program, cannabis-containing therapies may be prescribed to help treat various neurological and other diseases, including terminal cancer, spasticity, autism, and epilepsy, as well as MS.

“We are excited that Surterra Texas is the first medical cannabis provider to offer cannabis-infused lozenges to patients in Texas,” Marcus Ruark, the company’s president, said in a press release. Surterra Texas is a division of the multi-state wellness company Parallel, which specializes in cannabis products.

Cannabis is a plant that naturally produces several biologically active compounds; because of this, it has a long history of medical and recreational use. Among the most widely known compounds produced by cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis — that is, it induces the “high” associated with recreational cannabis use. CBD is not psychoactive — it does not induce a “high” — but it does have various other effects on the body.

Cannabis-based medications have shown efficacy and been approved to treat certain types of seizures.

Accumulating evidence also indicate that cannabis-based products may benefit people with a range of other conditions. For instance, they may stimulate appetite in people with cancer or cystic fibrosis. In multiple sclerosis, data indicate that cannabis-based medicines can reduce spasticity (muscular stiffness or involuntary spasms).

Surterra Texas’s lozenges will be available as two product brand lines: Soothe Watermelon Lozenges, which have a one-to-one ratio of CBD to THC (2.5 mg CBD and 2.5 mg THC per lozenge) and Relief Watermelon Lozenges, which have a one-to-nine ratio of CBD to THC (0.5 mg CBD and 4.5 mg THC per lozenge).

The lozenges are sold in child-resistant packages; each package contains 20 lozenges and costs $30. They are sugar free, and contain natural watermelon flavor, the company reports. The lozenges are taken under the tongue (sublingual administration), and chewing the lozenge is not recommended.

A doctor’s prescription is required, and lozenges are available via delivery only to patients who are permanent state residents.

The introduction of lozenges marks the state’s second product offering by Surterra Texas in the past two months — the company previously made available cannabis-containing tinctures.

“Our latest product offering reflects Surterra’s commitment to continuous product innovation, a wide variety of products to choose from, and the development of advanced, high-quality, natural cannabis remedies for Texans,” Ruark said.

According to Parallel, the company follows rigorous practices to ensure the quality, safety, consistency, and effectiveness of its products.

Marisa holds an MS in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the
University of Pittsburgh, where she studied novel genetic drivers of
ovarian cancer. She specializes in cancer biology, immunology, and
genetics. Marisa began working with BioNews in 2018, and has
written about science and health for SelfHacked and the Genetics
Society of America. She also writes/composes musicals and coaches
the University of Pittsburgh fencing club.

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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.


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