DEA Deschedules Cannabis-Based CBD Medication

The DEA has removed Epidiolex, the CBD-based epilepsy medication made by GW Pharmaceuticals, from the federal controlled substances list.

Full story after the jump.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has given up its influence over Epidiolex, the cannabis-based CBD epilepsy medication from UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals.

Epidiolex is currently the only FDA-approved CBD medication; it was approved in 2018 to treat cases of severe epilepsy and DEA had originally scheduled the drug as a Schedule V substance, the lowest restriction possible under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

“This notification from DEA fully establishes that EPIDIOLEX, the only CBD medicine approved by FDA, is no longer a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. We would like to thank DEA for confirming the non-controlled status of this medicine.” — Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, in a press release

The scheduling shift removes many of the barriers to access Epidiolex. Patients, for example, will still require a doctor’s prescription to access the drug but the prescription will now last up to a year and patients will be allowed to change pharmacies and still have access to their medication.

Early reports on the drug suggested that a year’s worth of the CBD-based medication would cost about $32,500.

While Epidiolex has been removed entirely from the CSA, the cannabis plant itself hypocritically remains a Schedule I substance, which designates an extremely dangerous substance with no accepted medical value.

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