A marijuana-based drug was given the go signal by the FDA.
The FDA approved a new drug containing a chemical found in marijuana.
The drug is called Epidiolex, and it’s used to treat epilepsy.
This is the first time a federal agency has approved actual components of marijuana in a prescription drug.
A major milestone for CBD (cannabidiol) believers was reached last Monday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever prescription epilepsy drug containing CBD, just one of the 80 chemicals found in marijuana plants.
Researchers have long hoped that marijuana can be utilized in medicines to treat conditions like glaucoma, cancer, and multiple sclerosis; and the approval of the FDA on the new drug gives marijuana advocates hope for the future of other cannabis-based medication.
Up until now, only synthetic versions of the chemical found in marijuana plants have been used in several medications.
Cosmopolitan reports that the new drug on the other hand contains actual elements of marijuana, making this “the first time a federal agency has given any part of pot itself a nod of approval.”
Known as Epidiolex, the strawberry-flavored syrup is tested and proven to reduce seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes — in patients as young as 2 years old, the report added.
It doesn’t give users a high either, and Epidiolex is a pharmaceutical-grade version of the CBD oil you might already see being sold commercially, the Associated Press reports. Neither one contains THC, the chemical in marijuana that gives you the high when you smoke it or consume it recreationally.
As Epidiolex has been tested, regulated for potency, and is provided with reliable dosing directions, it’s poised to be much safer than over-the-counter alternatives. Epidiolex’s possible side effects — like sleepiness, mood changes, and more — have been studied and documented so patients know what to expect, Cosmo’s report adds.
“This is an important medical advance,” wrote FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., in a statement, but added that it was also important to note that it was not an approval of marijuana or all of its components in all types of medication.
“This is the approval of one specific CBD medication for a specific use,” he added.
The FDA has issued warnings to consumers claims of healing and wellness by unapproved, unregulated commercial CBD products, which so far has included capsules, teas, lotions, and more; may be “overstated and potentially dangerous” for patients with chronic disease who believe these remedies will cure them.