Scientists do not yet fully understand how the substance reduces the intensity of seizures.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved for the first time a prescription drug based on marijuana, the Associated Press reported . According to the agency, the drug is designed to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, which usually begin to develop in patients aged two years.
The medicine “Epidolex” is intended for patients with the Drave syndrome (severe form of child encephalopathy) and congenital Lennox-Gasto syndrome (a form of child epilepsy). It is a strawberry-flavored syrup, its main component is the purified form of cannabidiol, which is part of cannabis. The drug was tested on 500 volunteers, but scientists do not yet understand how the substance reduces the intensity of seizures in certain forms of epilepsy.
The agency notes that cannabidiol does not cause a state of drug intoxication, so it differs in properties from medical marijuana. The process of obtaining permission took a long time because of the legal status of marijuana, the production of the medicine will be launched in the fall.
The sale and use of recreational marijuana is allowed in nine states of the United States and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is allowed in 20 states, but the government regards it as a substance that is controlled by law, without medical use, and refers to the same category as heroin and LSD.