While many states allow medical marijuana, the federal government still refuses to acknowledge that any form of cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes. But that could change in the very near future.
Epidiolex is a drug made from cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis. Epidiolex has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce seizures in even some of the most severe forms of epilepsy. And recent news indicates that Epidiolex could become the first CBD-based medication to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
First, a new paper on Wednesday said that Epidiolex helped reduce seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, one of the most severe forms of epilepsy. This comes shortly after a panel of scientists convened by the FDA gave unanimous approval to Epidiolex's safety and efficacy, and two large clinical trials have shown promising results.
And now, Shlomo Shinnar, the president of the American Epilepsy Society and a professor of neurology and epidemiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says he believes Epidiolex "can and should be approved" by the FDA for people with epilepsy.
There are indications that the FDA will approve the drug as well. In 2016, the agency gave the drug a "fast track" designation, which allows it to get through the approval process quicker than other medications.
All of this indicates we may soon reach the major milestone of the FDA approving a cannabis-based medication.
(h/t Business Insider)