NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Medical marijuana has been touted as a treatment for everything from PTSD to epilepsy.
It's controversial, but as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez explained, you can now find it in a chewing gum to treat a painful condition.
It's a legal, non-psychoactive extract of the marijuana or hemp plant that's micro-encapsulated into chewing gum.
The exciting part is that the gum may be good therapy for irritable bowel disease, or IBS -- a painful condition that affects millions.
"Most times cramping and bloating," Nebil Candemir said, "Very painful."
Candemir suffered from gout for years until a friend recommended he try 'CanChew' a cannabis chewing gum to ease his joint pain. Then he realized that his irritable bowel syndrome was also less painful.
"I realized I feel better every time I chew gum for my gout," Candemir said.
CanChew is not really a medical marijuana product. It's a micro-encapsulated form of cannabidiol, an extract from industrial hemp that contains virtually no THC -- the psychoactive component of marijuana. It's legal, and it's in chewing gum for a reason.
"Gum delivers active ingredient to mouth and bypasses the gut. Within 20 minutes, 90 percent of active ingredient is absorbed," George Anastassov, Axim Biotechnologies said.
Preliminary reports of effectiveness against IBS has led CanChew's manufacturer to start a clinical trial on 40 IBS patients in the Netherlands. It's a double-blind, placebo controlled study, so that neither patients or doctors will know when they're getting the active gum.
If the trial is successful, Axim will double the dose of CBD -- the active ingredient -- and test it against IBD, more serious diseases like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.
"I feel much better in daily life using it," Candemir said.
The gum tastes like mint chewing gum and does not get users high.
It's completely legal and available on the web.
Another reason it comes in a gum is that swallowing deactivates the CBD and converts it into toxic byproducts.
The results of the trial should be available by late spring.
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