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U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves drug made from marijuana

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first cannabis-derived drug for sale, which has shown to control seizures in children with life-threatening forms of epilepsy.

Epidiolex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK, is made from cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. It was made for children 2 and older who are diagnosed with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two serious forms of epilepsy that cause life-long developmental delays.

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It’s not clear how quickly the drug will be available for prescription.

The goal is have it available in pharmacies by the end of the year, said Orrin Devinsky, a pediatric neurologist and director of the New York University-Langone and Saint Barnabas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in Livingston, who co-authored the research.

First, the FDA must confer with the Drug Enforcement Administration to decide when to “reschedule” cannabidiol, better known as CBD, Devinsky said.

Cannabis, including CBD, is a “schedule 1” drug, meaning it has no medicinal value and poses a high risk for abuse. This status has stifled rigorous research, because the federal government will not pay for it.


Source: newjerseytales.com

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