In an historic moment for medicinal cannabis in the United States, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the very first drug containing an active ingredient from the cannabis plant.
The medicine in question is Epidiolex, an oral solution containing cannabidiol, or CBD.
Predominantly used for Epileptic disorders, the FDA have approved the medicine in the U.S. for two specific conditions, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Both of these Epileptic disorders are extremely rare and extremely dangerous.
While there have been a number of synthetic cannabis based medicines approved by the FDA, this is the very first drug that contains a cannabinoid directly from the cannabis plant.
This breakthrough means that Epidiolex can be prescribed by doctors and covered by medical insurance.
However, just a small percentage of the population of the United States will be able to access the medicine. Only 3 in around 115,000 children are born with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
And yet this long overdue approval by the FDA will provide them with the medicine they so desperately need.