Medical Marijuana

New Cannabis-Based Epilepsy Drug Makes Mockery of FDA



Chmee2 / Wikimedia Commons

new cannabis-based drug, designed to treat children with severe epilepsy, is showing "promising" results in clinical trials.

The drug, known as Epidiolex, is made from purified cannabidiol—a chemical compound extracted from marijuana plants—and is being used to treat children with rare and difficult to manage forms of epilepsy. From The Independent:

Epidiolex is being tested on children with Dravet Syndrome and other forms of epilepsy that do not respond to existing drugs.

Its manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, said most of the 60 children in the trials so far had seen the frequency of both "drop" and convulsive seizures fall.

The Independent goes on to quote Elizabeth Thiele, director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, who was "very encouraged" by preliminary results:

"I believe that Epidiolex has the potential to be an important advance in treatment for these treatment-resistant children and will likely have a significant role as a future therapy," she added.

The success of Epidiolex should be embarrassing to the federal government, which still lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. From the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control:*

Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. [emphasis added]

The clinical trials of Epidiolex were able to occur with FDA approval despite its Schedule 1 status. The irony appears lost on the feds.

*Correction: The sentence original referred to the Food and Drug Administration as the relevant federal agency for drug classification.

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  1. This just in: New cannabis drug targeting your children hits the streets.

    1. You know who else targets my children?

      1. Pedobear?

      2. Democrats?

      3. The police?

      4. The purple Teletubbie?

    2. Are you afraid if the sky falling, too.
      Tell us how well prohibition works, TIA
      What sort of message are you sending when the kids see Authority figures blatantly lying to them? The “message to the kids” rhetoric is Red Herring. After alcohol prohibition was repealed, it became harder to get a drink because the industry was now being operated by legitimate business people who abided with the laws and regs.
      “THE CHILDREN” If they really cared for the children they’d legalize and regulate marijuana. If they really wanted to keep any substance out of the hands of “The Children” they first must take control of distribution away from black market dealers. They haven’t accomplished that in 40+ years at a taxpayers cost in the hundreds of billions. It’s time to treat marijuana as we do alcohol. My 28 year old still gets “carded ” when buying alcohol, yet your 13 year old can buy anything the black market dealer has, for a price, whether it be money or “something else”. FACT: Your kids have a better chance dying at the hands of someone enforcing marijuana laws than they do from ingesting it. (ZERO %).

  2. The irony appears lost on the agency.

    There is no irony. You might be under the impression that “currently accepted medical use” means that doctors and other health professionals might use the substance to treat a condition. You’re wrong. A “currently accepted medical use” exists if a committee of nitwit Congresscritters say it exists. Because nothing qualifies you to determine pharmacological properties like winning a popularity contest.

    1. You don’t understand! All decisions must be made by disinterested government parties! They’re not motivated by icky profits! You see, doctors and other health professionals can’t be trusted because they are in search of icky profits! But when someone becomes part of government, a miracle occurs! They lose all self interest and only think of the greater good! They can be trusted because they’re not seeking icky profits!

      1. I know you’re living up to your namesake, but I have heard this argument in favor of the FDA (among others) so many times it makes me sick.

    2. This is why Drug Warriors are so evil, that the only solution is to extirpate them from society.

      Only the boats can rid of us this scourge and ensure that their agony be a warning to any of their twisted kind that are born afterwards.

      1. Why the boats? Can’t we beat them to death using their own children? Or put them in a dumpster, give Warty some PCP and crack, and lock him in there with them?

    3. Or, to put it another way “This is a bureaucracy, sir. Nothing is SUPPOSED to work.”

      from CEREBUS THE AARDVARK some issue before the author lost his sense of humor in the divorce.

  3. Oh shit, shouting match on CNBC.

  4. Not really that great in terms of ending the drug war since cocaine is schedule II because it has a medically accepted use as an anasthetic for ocular surgury. Lots of drugs can land you in prison even though they have accepted medical uses.

    1. No doubt. Heroin has a number of accepted medical uses . . .

  5. Reporter’s confusing FDA with DEA, and also is making a big tsimmes about something that’s been true since a THC prep got FDA licensure as Marinol. An extract from a living thing has a different regulatory status from that of the living thing itself.

    1. I don’t fault him for confusing the DEA and the FDA as the legislation is pretty much intended to be obfuscated and baseless, practically since inception.

      Well before Marinol, many of the drugs on the list had current or commonly accepted medical use when the CSA was drafted and this was the intent. Not to make sure people used the correct drugs the correct way, but that using any substance in an unapproved manner (including simply buying and selling) was a crime.

  6. The Govt knew MJ had medicinal purposes. What they did was ban the results of this study they paid for with your tax dollars and let this potential cancer fighting tool remain banned.…..-research/

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