The United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Epidiolex, created from CBD, a therapeutic cannabinoid found in marijuana, fired up officials — including the FDA Commissioner — who took to Twitter to share praise and support of this historic approval.
“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said during an announcement of the drug’s approval June 25, 2018. “But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims.”
Gottlieb, after announcing the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex, posted a tweet explaining the medicinal application of the CBD-based drug for two types of hard-to-treat epilepsy: Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
My statement on today’s FDA approval of the first drug with a compound derived from marijuana for treatment of seizures associated with certain rare, severe forms of epilepsy https://t.co/rgc4GNnzbZ pic.twitter.com/zfXqTjxRDv
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) June 25, 2018
“The most common side effects that occurred in Epidiolex-treated patients in the clinical trials were: sleepiness, sedation and lethargy; elevated liver enzymes; decreased appetite; diarrhea; rash; fatigue, malaise and weakness; insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep; and infections,” according to Gottlieb’s statement.
Minutes after the FDA’s announcement, Nevada Democratic US Rep. Dina Titus tweeted, “the administration needs to remove additional barriers to scientific research and broaden the supply of products for testing.”
Important announcement today from the FDA approving the first prescription CBD. The administration needs to remove additional barriers to scientific research and broaden the supply of products for testing. https://t.co/fvdR7XewNq
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) June 25, 2018
A popular decision, even among elected officials in the non-medical marijuana state of Nebraska, state Sen. Laura Ebke took to Twitter to express her satisfaction with the FDA’s announcement.
Very pleased with the news in this article: https://t.co/to9Yi9MjMn
CBD has long been thought to have medical therapeutic effects. Several medical… https://t.co/to9Yi9MjMn
— SenatorLauraEbke (@SenLauraEbke) June 25, 2018
Meanwhile, in the Sunshine State, Florida Republican US Rep. Matt Gaetz proved that you can be a staunch defender of President Donald Trump, a proud member of the GOP, and still support medical marijuana. After the FDA made its announcement on Monday, June 25, 2018, Gaetz issued a press release calling for more research into medical cannabis.
“I strongly agree that more research is crucial. This is why I have introduced HR 5634, the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018, legislation which reduces the legal and bureaucratic hurdles facing American scientists who wish to research medical cannabis,” the Florida representative said in a statement.
The FDA’s approval comes after an April Quinnipiac poll found record-high support (93 percent) for legalizing medical marijuana — even among Republicans (86 percent).