The Food and Drug Administration understands that the interest in the use of cannabis and products extracted from it for treating medical conditions is increasing. FDA has not approved any marketing for cannabis for the treatment of any health condition or disease. However, the agency has approved one product that is derived from cannabis, named Epidiolex, which is basically cannabidiol. FDA has also approved three synthetic cannabis-related drugs These are Syndros, Cesamet, and Marinol.
You will need a prescription from a healthcare provider with a valid license to buy the drug products that are approved by the FDA. Moreover, the agency has not approved any other cannabis, cannabis-derived, or CBD products. The agency has approved the use of Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. The approval of the FDA means that the agency has confirmed that the product is safe and effective for the intended use.
Syndros and Marinol are also approved by the FDA for use in the US for chemotherapy-related nausea and anorexia related to weight loss in AIDS patients. Dronabinol is the active ingredient in Syndros and Marinol. Dronabinol is a synthetic variant of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound present in cannabis plants. This is the compound that offers the high associated with cannabis use. Cesamet is the other cannabis-related drug that is approved by the FDA, and its active ingredient is nabilone. Nabilone has an identical chemical structure to THC and is derived synthetically. Cesamet is also intended to be used for nausea related to chemotherapy.
FDA is aware that unapproved cannabis or cannabis-derived products are used to treat conditions like neuropathic pain, AIDS wasting, spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and nausea related to cancer and chemotherapy. Patients can be confident that the drugs that are approved by the FDA are safe, efficient, and are closely monitored by the FDA. However, using products that are unapproved by the agency might have unintended and unpredictable results, which include safety risks. Moreover, the FDA has not reviewed any data from clinical trials to support that the unapproved cannabis-derived products are safe and effective for the therapeutic purposes for which they are being used.
FDA always supports scientific and sound research into the use of drugs that contain cannabis or compounds derived from it and continues to work with companies that are trying to bring quality, safe and effective cannabis-derived products into the market.