The Skill To Defend You

FDA recommends first cannabis-based medicine

As the stigma surrounding marijuana decreases, many people are looking to the drug as a potential solution for many medical conditions. Patients have smoked, ingested and topically applied cannabis and cannabis-derived products in an attempt to treat medical conditions ranging from chronic pain to glaucoma. One cannabis derivative called cannabidiol, or CBD, has garnered major support—and controversy.

CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical that is found in cannabis and is typically ingested as an oil. Its supporters say that it is a promising treatment for a variety of ailments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees: The administration has made its first-ever recommendation for a drug that is derived from cannabis.

Cannabis and seizures

Recently, the FDA voted to approve a drug called Epidiolex, which is made with CBD. Epidiolex uses the chemical to treat Lennox-Gastaur syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes intractable seizures. The medication went through several rounds of stringent testing before receiving approval from the FDA. It has been approved for patients aged 2 and up and will soon be available throughout the country.

The future of CBD

The administration’s decision is historic. It will have major implications for medicinal cannabis and its derivatives. The approval of Epidiolex holds promise for patients who suffer from epilepsy, but patients with other ailments who support the medical use of CBD are likely to be disappointed. Currently, CBD is banned in most states, including Indiana. It remains to be seen whether the FDA will approve more medications that use CBD or other forms of cannabis. For now, though, Hoosiers do have legal options when it comes to using cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes.