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Epidiolex: FDA panel recommends approving marijuana-derived drug

Posted: 11:24 AM, Apr 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-20 15:24:09Z

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could soon approve what would be the country's first prescription medicine  derived from marijuana .

On Thursday, an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended approving the drug  called Epidiolex . A U.K. pharmaceutical company created it to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

During clinical trials, patients given Epidiolex to help treat Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome saw the frequency of their seizures "significantly reduced," GW Pharmaceuticals  said in a statement .

The medicine's active ingredient is cannabidiol — a chemical found in cannabis. Unlike medical marijuana, which contains a compound that can produce a high, cannabidiol isn't psychoactive.

The FDA will reportedly decide by the end of June if it'll approve Epidiolex.