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CEO of GW Pharma talks about Epidiolex getting FDA approval

The DEA must accurately categorize CBD within 90 days of the approval

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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On Monday, Justin Gover hit a milestone in his career. He is the CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals – a company that created a cannabis-based medicine called Epidiolex. Not only is Epidiolex being used to treat two forms of epilepsy but also, it is non-psychoactive, what with it containing the cannabis compound Cannabidiol (CBD).

Oh yeah, and it just bagged federal approval, making it the first ever cannabis-derived drug to gain such recognition.

GW Pharmaceutical will explore the use of cannabinoids in medicine

Justin Gover is the CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals

With the go-ahead, Gover and his team are headed in the right direction for creating more drugs that may have potential in the medical industry.

“This signals that cannabinoid science has arrived,” Gover said.

The process involved in making cannabis-derived drugs is not a simple accomplishment. Cannabis prohibition is heavily swayed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which still classifies the plant as having “no recognized medical use.”

However, with Epidiolex getting the green light, it appears that things are about to change. The DEA must now accurately categorize CBD within 90 days.

When this happens, doctors will be legally allowed to prescribe CBD, since this cannabis compound will be categorized separately from marijuana.

“After 20 years of researching cannabinoids, it [was] a historic day,” Gover said.

Epidiolex could influence the future of cannabis-based medicine the first-ever cannabis-based medicine to gain FDA approval, Epidiolex is sure to send a ripple of change throughout the medical industry.

For example, other companies that develop drugs using the cannabis compound CBD will have an easier transition into the medical world. This doesn’t just apply to products made with CBD but also, for other drugs made using the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

“This hits home at the reality that the FDA can and will approve cannabinoid-based medications that meet the standards of quality, safety, and efficacy,” said Gover.

Pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t expect their products to slot straight into the market, however. Just like with any other drug type, clinical trials must first be conducted.

This will prove that the company has rigorously tested the cannabis-derived treatment to represent its worthiness for FDA approval.

GW Pharma knows all too well how tedious the process can be. Before Epidiolex was approved by the FDA, the company teamed up with leading university researchers and prepared in-depth clinical trials that revealed powerful results.

Various other applications are being considered by GW Pharma, who will also explore different types of cannabis compounds for their ability to treat medical conditions like chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS) and even cancer.

“While these areas are at an earlier stage of development, the evidence we have, it’s very much a science-led program,” Gover explained. “There’s promising early stage evidence here and it certainly warrants more formal investigation.”

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CEO of GW Pharma talks about Epidiolex getting FDA approval