The Country's First Marijuana Based Medicine Has Been Approved by the FDA!
On Monday, June 25th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a medicine which utilizes cannabidiol (CBD) from marijuana to grant relief to patients suffering from Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, both forms of severe epilepsy. Epidiolex is given as an oil and was shown to reduce seizures in up to 40% of patients. This drug is also important because while there are other medications you can take for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, there are none currently approved for Dravet Syndrome, besides Epidiolex. This is also big news due to what this really means for marijuana and its legality. CBD, the compound in marijuana that is known for its alleviating effects, and marijuana itself, are now considered schedule 1 drugs. This means that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and FDA currently believe that they possess no medicinal value while presenting a large potential for abuse and addiction. However, the FDA now is beginning to acknowledge that CBD and marijuana actually do have some real potential for providing functional medicine. The DEA also must reschedule CBD so that this drug can be marketed, which is expected to happen within the next few months. Because of this, it may also affect the legality of marijuana. A schedule 1 drug is higher on the “scheduling chain” than methamphetamines, cocaine, oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl. It quickly becomes clear that marijuana should be rescheduled for the simple reason that more medical research would be able to be performed on it. This would open more doors than ever before, and allow our society to find the true potential of cannabis and how it can help people who need it the most. If it were rescheduled to a schedule 2, 3, or even 4 drug, the fight for recreational legalization would also be pushed more than ever before. This is why the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex is extremely important in the fight for providing marijuana based medicine to people suffering from a wide range of ailments, and also people who want to use it recreationally. As the saying goes, this is “opening the floodgates” to a new age of marijuana based medicine. While a large amount of work, research, and legislation still must take place, this is a positive and big step in the right direction of a marijuana friendly country.