FDA approves first marijuana-based drug - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

FDA approves first marijuana-based drug

The drug will be used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. (Source: GW Pharmaceuticals/ Greenwich Biosciences via CNN) The drug will be used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. (Source: GW Pharmaceuticals/ Greenwich Biosciences via CNN)

(RNN) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it's approved a marijuana-derived drug for the first time.

The drug, Epidiolex, contains a chemical from the Cannabis sativa plant called cannabidiol, or CBD.

The administration pointed out that unlike THC, a more well-known chemical component of marijuana, CBD doesn't cause intoxication.

Epidiolex is a twice-daily oral solution which doctors can prescribe to treat seizures related to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

Patients age 2 and up will be able to use the drug.

An FDA advisory committee recommended approval of Epidiolex in April; it had until this week to make a decision on the recommendation.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that while the announcement represents a significant scientific achievement, the public shouldn't take it as an overall stamp of approval for marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug with known risks.

"This is an important medical advance. But it's also important to note that this is not an approval of marijuana or all of its components. This is the approval of one specific CBD medication for a specific use," Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb also said the "path that made this possible" is "a path that's available to other product developers who want to bring forth marijuana-derived products through appropriate drug development programs."

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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