Key marijuana drug approval looms as cannabis goes mainstream

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) – Evidence that cannabis can ease epilepsy and other conditions is building as a British company counts down to what would be the first U.S. government approval for a prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant.

GW Pharmaceuticals, which has spent 20 years developing medicines from cannabis, is hoping for a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) green light by June 27, after winning support from an advisory panel in April.

Some parents already use cannabis to help children with severe forms of epilepsy, but such therapy is not monitored or licensed.

Scientists told a briefing in London on Thursday that new research was unlocking the potential of certain cannabis compounds.

“We’ve learnt a huge amount about cannabis,” said Valerie Curran, head of the clinical psychopharmacology unit at University College London. “It is still early, but it is proving a treasure chest of potential medicines.”

The researchers warned, however, that unregulated products

... read more at: