First cannabis-derived medication gets unanimous recommendation from FDA advisory committee


The Federal Drug Administration’s 13-member advisory committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend approval of the first marijuana-based medication to treat specific rare forms of epilepsy.

The medication, known as Epidiolex, is derived from cannabidiol, also known as CBD, and is formulated as a syrup to be taken orally. It does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

According to the company’s website, the drug showed significant reductions in seizure activity for patients during clinical trials compared to those taking a placebo.

It’s still unknown what mechanism in CBD reduces seizures, according to the FDA. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company, would market the medication.

FDA approval could come as soon as June. Once approved, doctors could prescribe it for other conditions.


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