The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, a.k.a. the DEA, recently classified the CBD-based EPIDIOLEX® oral solution from GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) as Schedule V, the lowest restriction classification.
$32,500 per year EPIDIOLEX®, which was approved by the FDA on June 25th for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older, is the first prescription pharmaceutical formulation of highly-purified, non-psychoactive, plant-derived cannabidiol, and the first in a new category of anti-epileptic drugs.
While marijuana is still sitting alongside heroin in the Schedule 1 category, now categorized as Schedule V, CBD-based EPIDIOLEX® joins some of the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals in the United States. This is a step in the right direction, but still leaves all other marijuana-based medicine sitting in no-man’s land.
The crazy part is, marijuana and its naturally occurring cannabinoids such as CBD are all way safer than just about every other drug under the Schedule V classification.
5 Common Schedule V Substances
According to the DEA, “Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.”
One commonly known example of a Schedule V substance is promethazine with codeine. Additionally, Schedule V covers combinations of calcium and codeine, as well as combinations of pseudoephedrine with codeine.
You know that ultra-addictive sizzurp that Lil’ Wayne and other rappers drink out of a styrofoam cup? That’s the stuff!
Another well-known Schedule V drug is Lyrica (Pregabalin), which is used to treat pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and spinal cord injuries, as well as fibromyalgia and more. Even though Lyrica is far less dangerous than cough syrups containing codeine, the scary side effects will make you wonder why weed is still Schedule I. Meanwhile, marijuana is already proving to be beneficial for some patients with fibromyalgia.
A quick read through the side effects of Lomotil (Diphenoxylate and Atropine), a commonly-prescribed anti-diarrhetic, sounds like it gets you higher than ten hits of Captain Krypt. According to WebMD, common side effects of Lomotil include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, tiredness, blurred vision, and dry mouth.
The next most commonly known Schedule V substance on our list, Motofen, is another anti-diarrhetic which has nearly identical side effects to Lomotil.
Last, but not least, is Parepectolin which commonly causes flatulence, and nausea. Although it sounds like Parepectolin causes the same mess that a drunken 2 A.M. trip to Taco Bell does, it is actually prescribed to stop diarrhea.
For fairness sake, the FDA-approved labeling for EPIDIOLEX® warns that it can potentially change patients’ appetites or cause drowsiness, weakness, lethargy, and more. All things considered, those side effects sound like a small price to pay for fewer or less-severe seizures.
Once marijuana is eventually re-scheduled, more research can be conducted to definitively prove pot’s efficacy for various conditions and ailments. Until then, be sure to subscribe to free Cannabis Industry Updates here so you never miss an important update.
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