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.
On Thursday, a panel of outside experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously in favor of the drug’s safety and effectiveness. Their recommendation will play a key role in the FDA’s approval decision for the drug, which is made by GW Pharmaceuticals.
If the FDA gives final approval — a decision is expected in June — the new drug would be sold under the name Epidiolex as a syrup. It would be the first drug whose active ingredient is cannabidiol, the compound in marijuana thought to be responsible for many of its therapeutic effects.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, doesn’t contain THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, and is not linked with euphoria or the drug’s characteristic high.
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