First Marijuana Plant-Derived Drug for Epilepsy Approved In U.S

Publish Date : 2018-06-27

Recently, GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s epilepsy treatment was approved by the United States health regulator, which makes it the first cannabis-based medication to win endorsement in the nation and opening conduits for more research into the medical benefits of cannabis.  The approval of the drug enables its appplication in patients of two years old and more diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS), uncommon childhood-onset types of epilepsy that are among the most impervious to treatment. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration expressed that this drug approval fills in as an update that advancing sound improvement programs that appropriately assess active ingredients present in marijuana can prompt imperative medical treatments.  The medication, Epidiolex, is comprised of cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of the several substances present in marijuana plant, and consists of under 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element that makes individuals high. GW Pharma develops its own supply of cannabis in specialized nurseries made of glass in the United Kingdom to guarantee consistency in the genetic composition of the plants. They are then refined into a liquid form of cannabidiol.

 Though THC may initiate hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety, CBD has the contrary impact and has been referred to by researchers as a potential treatment for psychological issues. While supporters of approving marijuana say the choice is a positive development, organizations dependent on the plant must argue with the government's prohibition on its usage. In terms of the potential for abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sorts’ synthetic compounds into five schedules, with Schedule 1 substances - like heroin and marijuana - considered the most lethal and esteemed to have no health advantages. Thus, the launch of Epidiolex stays at the circumspection of the DEA, which should now assess the medication and consider reclassifying it as a substance that has therapeutic properties, in order to enable GW to start offering it. GW said it anticipates that the reclassification will happen in 90 days. The organization has not yet set a cost for the medication and said it would work with insurance suppliers to guarantee the drug would be secured under health plans.