The first approved cannabis-based drug made from marijuana is now available by prescription.
Back in June, the Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in patients 2 years and older. But it’s not quite medical marijuana.
The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant — but not the one that gets users high. It’s not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol, or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.
FDA officials said the drug reduced seizures when combined with older epilepsy drugs.
Epidiolex is essentially a pharmaceutical-grade version CBD oil, which some parents already use to treat children with epilepsy.
CBD is one of more than 100 chemicals found in marijuana. It doesn’t contain THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana its mind-altering effect.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.