Cannabis spray helps teen cope with painful disease

Cannabis spray provides welcome relief in fight against debilitating disease.

Medicinal cannabis has provided a breakthrough for a teen battling a rare brain illness, but the cost of the unregistered, unfunded drug could prevent the youngster getting long-term treatment.

Carterton's Grace Yeats, 13, was an active, playful youngster until May 2012, when she was hit by severe basal ganglia necrosis, a brain disease that left her cognitively unimpaired, but unable to walk or talk, and wracked by painful spasms.

But she found some much-needed relief when she was approved last month for medicinal cannabis spray Sativex, the only cannabis-based treatment legally available in New Zealand.

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