Epidiolex Removed from Controlled Substance List by DEA

Red Cannabis Plant
  • The only plant-derived cannabis drug approved by the FDA is no longer considered a controlled substance.
  • Epidiolex is used to treat forms of epilepsy.
  • This marks the first time in history that the DEA has removed a form of cannabis from Schedule 1.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only ever approved one plant-derived cannabis drug: Epidiolex.

And now, this drug that is used to help treat rare forms of epilepsy is no longer considered a controlled substance, removing it from the list of Schedule 5 drugs that includes certain narcotics that are typically used to treat diarrhea and tussive-related issues.

This announcement by the DEA allows for an easier path for physicians to prescribe Epidiolex because they will no longer have to notify the agency when doing so. As a result, this medication will become widely available for patients in need of it.

Aside from granting easier access for epilepsy patients, this removal from the controlled substance list will provide a rise for the manufacturer’s stock price.

A biopharmaceutical company in London, named GW Pharmaceutical, saw a rise in their stock price by 5.9% only one day after the DEA announced it would no longer consider Epidiolex a controlled substance and remove its status as a Schedule 5 drug under the federal Controlled Substance Act.

Although marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, the derivatives used to make Epidiolex are considered Schedule 5.

GW announced that it will now begin “implementing these changes at the state level” and through their distribution network.


With Epidiolex no longer considered a controlled substance, you can expect to see even more of a push by U.S. adults and lawmakers to legalize marijuana at a federal level and remove it as a Schedule 1 drug.

As a result, it will become easier for patients and recreational users to gain access to these products, while also helping to reduce the stigma around both THC and CBD products.



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