Bengaluru — The US health regulator approved GW Pharmaceuticals’s epilepsy treatment on Monday, making it the first cannabis-based drug to win approval in the country and opening the floodgates for more research into the medicinal properties of cannabis. The drug’s approval permits its use in patients aged two years and older with Dravet Syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), rare childhood-onset forms of epilepsy that are among the most resistant to treatment. "This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programmes that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies," said Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The drug, Epidiolex, is made up of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the hundreds of molecules found in the marijuana plant, and contains less than 0.1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that makes people high. GW Pharma grows its own supply of cann...

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