Time to look at medical marijuana for illnesses: Dr. Mike

For the first time ever, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved a marijuana-derived medication, Epidiolex, which is used to treat multiple forms of epilepsy, like Dravet syndrome, in children and infants, and a new tick-borne illness.

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Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, commonly known as “Dr. Mike,” told FOX Business this is a major medicinal development.

"It's time that we start taking a look at the marijuana plant, the cannabis derivative, and trying to find medical uses for it," he said to Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria."

The chemical used in Epidiolex, cannabidiol, is a component of the cannabis sativa plant, but does not carry the same psychoactive effects or "the high" that results from pure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) consumption. Because of this, parents don’t have to worry about their children actually feeling the effects of THC from the oral solution medication.

Despite marijuana being federally banned, the medical field and the FDA have made strides towards more research on cannabis-derived medicine given its effectiveness in treating many different illnesses.

However, Varshavski said efforts to fully legalize medical marijuana is complicated from a national standpoint. 

“It’s a more complex issue that needs to be more well-researched, because it just hasn’t been done in the last five years and research takes time,” he added.