Marijuana drug wins FDA approval—a first that may change federal regulations
Marijuana now has an accepted medical use.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced today, Monday June 25, the approval of the country’s first marijuana-based prescription medication. The drug is called Epidiolex and is a plant-derived oral solution of cannabidiol (CBD)—a chemical component of marijuana that does not cause intoxication or a euphoric “high.” The FDA approved it for use in patients aged two and older who suffer from rare and severe forms of epilepsies known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which can develop early in childhood. Epidiolex’s approval also marks the first time the FDA has approved a drug to treat Dravet syndrome.
With the historic approval, the London-based company behind the drug, GW Pharmaceuticals plc, is expecting another consequential decision in the coming weeks: getting the US Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify CBD. The move could open the doors to other marijuana-derived medications as well as ease heavy restrictions on marijuana-related research.