The city of Blue Ash is looking into how it can regulate and restrict medical marijuana businesses within the city.(Photo: File)
News on the medical marijuana front arises from Dr. Michael Privitera, director of the Epilepsy Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute and immediate past president of the American Epilepsy Society.
Epidiolex, made from purified cannabidiol, a compound in the marijuana plant, will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval soon, Privitera said, and the drug could be approved as early as near year.
“Three major trials have shown positive results,” Privitera says. “This is a very important advance in the treatment of epilepsy.”
The UC Epilepsy Center was one of 20 sites for a phase 3 clinical study of Epidiolex for adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Two other trials at other sites used Epidiolex to treat children with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome.
Parents of children with epilepsy have pushed for legalization of marijuana. In 2015, Addyson Benton, 4, formerly of Butler County, became a face of the ballot initiative in Ohio that year. The proposal failed at the polls, but the state legislature did create a medical-marijuana program that is still in its formative stages.
“The goal is to get a medication that works for people without making them high,” Privitera says. “You don’t want an 8-year-old who lacks seizure control to be high in class. We’re trying to extract what works for seizures and leave the other stuff behind.”
Epidiolex, the drug used in UC’s study, is made from purified CBD by GW Pharmaceuticals. It was dissolved in oil and squirted into the mouth of patients who participated in the trial. It contained no THC, the substance responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.CBD is not psychoactive.
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