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The Pharmaceutical Industry Is About To Release A Marijuana Plant Product In The U.S.


pharmaceutical companies medical marijuana patentA synthetic pharmaceutical, Marinol, was approved by the FDA in 1985. It was the pharmaceutical industry’s answer to people that wanted to use medical marijuana legally. For a variety of reasons, Marinol does not help that many people. No synthetic form of marijuana will ever be as good as a medicine that is derived from the whole marijuana plant, as any patient will tell you. The pharmaceutical industry knows this, which is why they have been scrambling to get a product to the market that is derived from the cannabis plant, and not a synthetic product that is meant to mimic the cannabis plant.

Despite objections from long time medical marijuana activists, it appears that some of our worst fears will become a reality as soon as early 2016. Per the Huffington Post:

Look for the first naturally-derived, Big Pharma-produced cannabis product to be on the market by the first half of 2016, perhaps even sooner.

Epidiolex is a liquid formulation of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD) manufactured by the British company, G.W. Pharmaceuticals. It is currently on the FDA Fast Track and has entered its final Phase 3 study for pediatric epilepsy disorders such as Dravet’s and Lennox-Gastaut’s syndromes with results scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.

Barring an unlikely catastrophic finding, there are plenty of signs that Epidiolex will breeze through this final stage and will thus have cleared the FDA’s testing requirements. For any other drug the remaining details would be purely administrative but Epidiolex is derived from cannabis and that puts a few more hurdles in the way before marketing can begin. There are, however, plenty of signs that government officials are literally paving the way for this new player.

Among the most significant occurred on June 24, 2015. Before a packed hearing room, the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, established in 1985 to “expand international cooperation against drug abuse and narcotics trafficking” took on the decidedly domestic issue of what to do about medical cannabis. The meeting was chaired by two unlikely medical cannabis proponents, Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

On one hand, I like to see patients getting relief. On the other hand, I do not trust the pharmaceutical industry, which is in the business of getting people to buy medicine, and not the business of helping people feel better so that they no longer need to buy pharmaceutical products. I have always felt that the pharmaceutical industry has no place in the medical marijuana world. Once this product is available nationwide, I think we will see a halt to non-CBD medical marijuana legislation, and we will hear a lot of politicians say something like, ‘Medical marijuana? Yeah, we already handled that. go get some Epidiolex.’ That’s what they have done for Marinol for so long, and it has always frustrated me. I think it’s time for activists to double down on their efforts and get out in front of this new product. We need to push state legislatures to legalize REAL medical marijuana in states that don’t already have it. Otherwise if we don’t, we will be left with choosing Epidiolex, or breaking the law to obtain raw cannabis.


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Johnny Green


  1. Charles Waller on

    “Cultivation methods have been developed to reproducibly produce plants with defined THC or CBD concentrations.”
    No, hybridization is responsible for the cannabinoid specific varieties of cannabis GW Pharma is developing, cultivation methods do not affect the cannabinoid content of plants unless those methods either stress the plants or deprive them of required nutrients. Cannabinoid content in a specific variety of cannabis is primarily determined by genetics.

  2. Clinical trials aren’t cheap and they have to prove it works, based on the data so far they have. CBD alone does work and they will also be testing CBDV, as in medicine you only want the chemical active/s that are shown to work on ”x” thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(15)00379-8/fulltext

  3. No pharma company is criminalising ”the real cancer cures.” Do you really think that the people who work for them don’t get cancer nor their friends or families either?. Also clinical trials cost a few hundred million and takes around 10-12 years to prove something works

  4. In adults when it’s taken by mouth, cannabinoid entry into the body is erratic. As little as 4% of an oral dose reaches the bloodstream – too little to be reproducibly and therapeutically useful (PubMed PMC2689518)

  5. Cultivation methods have been developed to reproducibly produce plants with defined THC or CBD concentrations. GW Pharmaceuticals has produced two standardized extract preparations, Tetranabinex, which is high in THC, and Nabidiolex, which is high in CBD. Sativex contains equal proportions of Tetranabinex and Nabidiolex, and, hence, almost equal amounts of THC and CBD. THC and CBD represent approximately 70% of the product, with 5% of other cannabinoids, the remainder being terpenoids, flavonoids, sterols, alkanes, and other chemicals

  6. Elijah Risingsun on

    while many of us die (I now have liver cancer) as we watch them collect billions off of Cancer poisons and criminalize the real cancer cures. This is an atrocity that should not go overlooked by the public while many kids, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are taken from us by Cancer and all they are worried about are their profits and just how much they will lose if they legalize it while we lose lives DAILY.

  7. Charles Waller on

    It’s only new in the US, just like Sativex – also produced by GW Pharmaceuticals. It is not synthetic, it is whole plant extract derived from hybridized plants cultivated by GW in the UK. Sativex contains THC, Epidiolex does not. I do not support GW, I support factual information.

  8. True medical cannabis will never go away and the fear that pharmaceuticals will replace it is flawed. It’s funny, millions of people fear losing access to medical cannabis while forgetting that demand is the ultimate determiner of supply. People know, or will quickly learn, that real medical cannabis and full-strength extracts work much better than Epidiolex or anything the pharmaceutical companies will ever produce. Because of this, they will demand full-strength extracts, and it will be impossible for governments to criminalize them.

  9. The price is going to be extremely high and CBD alone does not heal just like all there man made shit so what is the sense of taking it you know it wont get you buzzes even and its really not medicine so you figure it out

  10. Lawrence Goodwin on

    In the exact same way that federal and state politicians managed to erect a totally fraudulent ban against seedless, female cannabis flowers, starting in 1937 with official use of the deceptive legal term “marihuana,” federal and state politicians are AGAIN successfully dividing and conquering public perception of cannabis by singling out the cannabinoid ‘cannabidiol.’ This story about G.W. Pharmaceuticals and Epidiolex has been widely reported, including by such notables as Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his CNN “Weed” series. And it is only a small part of a much larger outrage. Cannabis plants ALSO yield very tough fibers and amazing pulp from the stalks, as well as highly nutritious seeds from pollinated female flowers. We must NOT let our elected leaders, nor the large private corporations to which they routinely give such access, get away with this modern type of fascism any longer. Enough is enough.

  11. passionate cannabinoid on

    passionate cannabinoid • 4 minutes ago

    Local government 2035: Strategic trends and implications of

    new technologies

    It should be an expectation because cannabinoids (cannahe) are as
    extremely important as algorithms.

    The choice has to be there because. . . who controls
    “OY VEY”!

    Mimic pharma with what is natural.


    [Some radio guest said that 50,000? heart related deaths
    were the resule of eating microwave popcorn.]


    To see the contrast with big pharma, look at secret warranties :: automotive ::

  12. It is still full prohibition if we HAVE TO buy this one form of concentrate.

    It’s not about having access to a form of cannabidiol,

    it’s about the right to produce our own harmless form of CANCER KILLING and anti-inflammatory/antispasmodic medicine.

    We don’t have to worry about dosing problems….there is no harm caused with an ‘overdose’ other than sleepiness and heck, that’s what a lot of us use it for is sleep anyway.

    You only need strict dosing regulations when the product is dangerous to your health in high doses.

    They(big pharma) MUST keep cannabis illegal for as long as possible.

    They are spending billions on cancer drug research and cannabis(grown at home) could replace all chemo and radiation therapies known.

    One small capsule of ground herb eaten that has low % thc/ high % cbd will replace acetaminophen for the next 6-8 hours with NO buzz!

    Could it be that they are concerned about losing their domination and control?

    It is up to us to make sure ‘home grow” is on every ballot or piece of legislature presented.

  13. Some of us enjoy our gardens and our freedom of choice. It’s wonderful to have tightly controlled meds available especially since not all people are capable of growing their own or processing the plant for concentrates. However, I haven’t seen prohibition smashed in UK or the USA but we already have 4 states with legal weed and much of that was legalized by hard working people. We also don’t appreciate your condescending bullshit like telling us to grow up. Fuck off! Most of our good growers and can grow circles around GW shit and testing has shown that their meds are still inferior to raw plant products. Hell, they haven’t even entered the CBD market yet.

  14. If you don’t confer with your pharmacist prior to starting a new medication it can be a huge mistake.

  15. But nobody else did do it.
    It’s amazing how many people take the easy road of criticism while others are doing the actual work.

  16. championpuffa on

    i dont think they outwitted prohibiton mate more like they managed to pursuade the government to do a deal solely with them and only with them ensuring the governments policy of prohibition stays intact but at the same time allows them to profit from the medicine that cannabis can offer. its nothing amazing for them to have achieved, anyone could have done it had they had the money and brains and contacts to do what gw pharma did. its jus gw pharma got there first in 1998 before medicinal cannabis was even remotely mainstream knowledge. it was only a matter of time before some one decided to jump on that bandwaggon. he didnt smash prohibtion lol. its due to him and his company that sick patients in the uk can not get prscribed decent medicine they just get told ” we already have cannabis based medicine available called sativex so you do not need raw cannabis” but try getting it prescribed is a completely different story as its been made pretty much impossible for uk residents to get even tho its manufactured and grown and produced right here. peter you really need to stop praising gw pharma an making out they have smashed uk prohibition it doesnt take a genius to figure out what really happened here an what is really going on in this industry. gw pharma have a corrupt monopoly on a plant that should be freely and easily available to anyone and everyone that needs it. put simply if gw didnt exist the medicinal cannabis community would hsve more chance of getting legislation introduced that would stop making them criminals for just wanting to feel normal and well.

  17. If you have more than the “alloted” number of plants, or if you sell some of your excess to your neighbor, guess what? You get fined, penalized, taxed, what have you. Regulation is not beneficial for freedom. Some things should be controlled, when they have the ability to harm others…In this type of thing I am citing, the “state” is the one that claims the harm.

  18. Are there states or cities that tax individuals for legally growing weed for their own use? Where? In Colorado, commercial growers are taxed and retail end users are taxed, but no one is collecting anything from home growers. And what does that have to do with Obamacare? I don’t think it covers sick plants of any sort.

  19. I’m not sure why the approval and sale of such a product would mean this is the only “REAL ‘medical marijuana’,” since lots of medical uses rely on THC and other components that G.W. apparently is removing, leaving only CBD, which appears to be effective for a relatively small number of conditions. And why would the approval of this product mean “the end of cannabis prohibition?” It should be obvious by now the FDA, DEA and other regulators can maintain whatever irrational, inconsistent policies they please, including approving this stuff and still maintaining cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance.

  20. Huntsman smoker on

    Get the Feds to legalize. Now THATS progress. Furthermore look at what the big pharmaceutical companies do to us, they hook us and kill us on legal dope. No wonder I don’t trust them. I was given 3 diagnosis of which each had a different med that my doctor said I would be on for the rest of my life. I have stopped each disease in its tracks, but I am one of the very few exceptions. They are full of shit. The money is in the treatment not the cure. They never cared about us and never will. It’s not time to grow up, it’s time to be realistic. If this drug is what it claims to be then great , I hope it works for those who need it but all the trust we gave the big companies to save our asses cost us billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives we trusted them to save. If this company, or doctor, or any body else in medicine wants to impress me then they can make medicine a NOT FOR PROFIT BUSINESS like it should have been from the very beginning of medicine to the very end. If you believe it is a basic human right to get help when they are sick then you would agree. If you don’t then please enlighten us why not.

  21. Let’s just not forget that the power to tax is the power to kill. Taxation at the point of literal commerce, wherein one sells to a retail establishment and then the retail establishment sells to people, is the only place taxation ought to be in the equation. If you don’t want to grow it and process it yourself, then you could need to pay tax for it. Your choice…Otherwise it’s Obamacare in drag.

  22. Honest competition mate. Grow your own should always be an option. And not 4 plants. Not 40 plants. 400 plants. So if you need to grow a few lbs to cure cancer it will not be a problem.

    In fact I’d like to see homegrown cannabis treated like home grown tomatoes. No limit.

    Rules require enforcers.

    I’m sick and fookin tired of enforcers.

    More government is not the solution to too much government.

  23. Harryjasslinger on

    UK cannabis #prohibition is alive and well
    I saw GW PHARMA setup
    Rookies homie. You have no idea what medical marijuana looks like!
    It’s cannabis fuktatd
    Got to weedmaps
    “Pot valet
    Look at those photos of how we do
    And shut yout monkey assup

  24. We saw it coming.
    FED LUBE somebody needs to get these dinosaur ass plolitricksters to bend over and deschedule
    While farmers get #prohibition
    Rather support Americans farmers
    We got the kush
    Hey if these clowns get epidolex to
    “The children ” What’s wrong witdat
    They got our Govmnts to bow to the king and queen “fastracking ”
    And we’re footing the bill with cannabinoids as medicine patent pending held by US

  25. I thought America was supposed to be the land of the free, of free enterprise, where courage, innovation, enterprise and business skill is admired?

    So when a small business (£30 million annual revenue) cleverly outwits prohibition of cannabis both in the UK and shortly, on a federal level in the USA, all that some people can do is moan, carp, criticise and complain. That’s before we move on to the delusional, stoner conspiracy theories about ‘Big Pharma’. (Pfizer, for instance, has annual revenues of $50 billion. Now that is big).

    The confusion, misunderstanding and paranoia in the USA about GW Pharma’s products is ridiculous. I thought socialism was despised in America yet that’s what so many seem to espouse in their anti-business, old hippy rhetoric.

    GW grows cannabis to the very highest standards. It then blends harvested flowers to achieve the cannabinoid ratios it specifies and produces a whole plant extract by high pressure, CO2 process.

    This is the end of cannabis prohibition. This is REAL ‘medical marijuana’. Get over it, grow up, this is how progress is made.

    The Man Who Smashed UK Cannabis Prohibition – And Looks Set To Do The Same In America. http://clear-uk.org/the-man-who-smashed-uk-cannabis-prohibition-and-looks-set-to-do-the-same-in-america/

  26. Huntsman smoker on

    Pharmacists are not doctors. Pharms make compounds, doctors study whether it will be good for your health or not. You don’t go to the pharmacy for diagnosis do u? The big pharm companies are prescription dope dealers. They don’t know you or care about you. Bottom line, if this med will make a small amount of people extremely rich, DONT TRUST IT!!! Look at all the people who trusted that their meds were ok to use and died for it. Did the pharm companies give a shit still. Any reparations made. No. Apologies made. No. Any body even go out in public and say “well I do feel bad though” NO. They didn’t care then and they don’t care now. visit the poorest doctor you know and they’ll truly help you the best they can. Medicine should have always been a selfless business.

  27. marvinmcconoughey on

    This is truly amazing: “No synthetic form of marijuana will ever be as good as a medicine that is derived from the whole marijuana plant, as any patient will tell you.” Imagine, merely by becoming a patient who uses natural forms of marijuana, one becomes so magically endowed with knowledge of mankind’s future that he or she is able to accurately forecast that no synthetic will “ever” be as good. Individuals with this new and novel form of prediction accuracy should, at the very least, become weather forecasters.

  28. AFreedomFighter88 on

    All the data from the Center for Disease Control clearly supports cannabis legalization. It is absolutely clear that cannabis is safer than the legal serial killers tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs which kill over 650,000 US citizens annually. Nothing the least bit complicated or hard to understand about these statistics taken directly from the CDC dot gov web site:
    Numbers of deaths per year in the USA
    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems
    So, which is safer?
    Legalize, regulate and TAX!

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