Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in marijuana that has numerous health benefits but doesn’t give users the high normally associated with the plant. This makes CBD a popular ingredient in various cosmetic and health products.
The value of the CBD industry is estimated to be roughly $1 billion, but because of it’s unclear legal status, this industry remains only hypothetical. However, the Food and Drug Administration is set to deliver a decision at the end of June on whether or not the compound will be allowed in prescription drugs which is potentially the first step to seeing it in many more products.
Currently, many products that contain CBD exist in a legal gray area as no official rulings have been made on it. However, Drug Enforcement Administration public affairs officer, Barbara Carreno, expects a “sea change” following the upcoming FDA decision which could open the door for a lot more companies and retailers looking to sell products that utilize marijuana’s health benefits.
This “sea change” is a real possibility according to experts who say that even though the FDA’s decision is not to be released until June 27, the outcome looks positive for GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that’s been presenting evidence to support their CBD-based drug. The drug is called Epidiolex and meant to treat symptoms of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
“I’d personally be very surprised if this drug was not approved,” said Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Health and a lead author on some of the GW Pharmaceuticals studies to Business Insider.
Epidiolex’s approval would result in the DEA changing the classification of CBD from “no recognized medical use” to either a Schedule 2 or 3 drug. This would clear up a lot of the legal gray area in which companies utilizing CBD currently operate as well as open the door for other companies to experiment with the compound.