An experimental drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy is on the brink of becoming the first of its kind to win US government approval.
The drug is called Epidiolex, and its active ingredient is cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound in marijuana thought to be responsible for many of its therapeutic effects but not linked with a high. No FDA-approved medications currently include a marijuana compound derived from the plant; only one drug that includes lab-produced THC is on the market.
According to new research, CBD appears to help reduce seizures in two of the hardest-to-treat forms of epilepsy, known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Positive findings published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that two different doses of Epidiolex significantly curbed the number of dangerous seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut.