Clearing up questions about Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug that treats seizures

Near the end of June, the Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, a cannabis-based drug, for the first time.

It's active ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD), which is still classified as a "dangerous" drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration. So, why was the drug approved?


Epidiolex helps to treat rare form of epilepsy that can cause seizures. It can't be sold until the DEA changes how it classifies CBD.

Right now, it is labeled as a Schedule 1 drug, which usually have the highest potential for abuse according the DEA. The agency considers CBD a marijuana extract, therefore it's considered a dangerous drug along with cocaine and heroin.

"There are parties that are working to get the scheduling changed for marijuana and marijuana extracts, but right now federally what is legal is CBD and that is what was approved in the drug," said Matthew Cane, a marijuana industry expert.


According to the current 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, growing industrial hemp is legal on a federal scale only for research purposes or if it's under a pilot program in select states that have legalized it.

The Senate recently passed the newest farm bill, which includes provisions to remove hemp derived CBD from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list.

It's unclear whether the House version of the bill will include a provision to further define the legality of CBD and hemp-derived products and if it will pass.

Article By: thv11

Victor MadrilComment