FDA approves first drug derived from marijuana

Patients suffering from rare forms of pediatric epilepsy will be able to find relief in the first FDA-approved drug made from cannabis.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an epilepsy treatment created by GW Pharmaceuticals on Monday, earning the distinction as the first approved drug derived from from marijuana compounds, reports Reuters.

Known as Epidiolex, the drug has undergone several successful trials proving to be effective against severe forms of epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), both of which can develop in children as early as two years old.

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

Epidiolex contains concentrated amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) — a medical compound extracted from cannabis plants. The drug also contains contains less than 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that gives users the “stoned” effect.

There is no set launch…

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