The Weekly Roundup: Cannabidiol Compounds (4.27.18)

April 27, 2018 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

The times they are a-changin’. Compounds found in cannabis are rapidly gaining appreciation from the mainstream medical community. Last week, the FDA announced its support of a cannabidiol compound for its potential to treat seizure disorders. The treatment would be marketed under the name Epidiolex by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals and, according to CEO Justin Gover, the approval of the drug “will mark a sea change in the acceptability of cannabinoids as therapy.” The deadline for approval is at the end of June, but many are speculating the unanimous support from the advisory panel indicates a slam-dunk for the drug maker.

As of March 2018, 28 states and the District of Columbia have followed California’s groundbreaking 1996 foray in legalizing medical marijuana. Proponents say various compounds within the plant can be used for everything from pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. Check out this extensive listing of conclusions from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in a 2017 report, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. According to some estimates, the industry could reach anywhere from $24 billion to $44 billion by 2020.

One thing is certain: The industry continues to evolve. CEs around the topic have been popping up at most pharmacy conventions, and pharmacists have been wading slowly into the pool. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of dissenters. Of note: Ultra-potent synthetic cannabinoids have been tied to serious health risks. And of course, there are always bad actors. A recent outbreak of serious illness and death in Illinois was tied to a synthetic substance intended to mimic the chemicals found in marijuana that was laced with rat poison. Caveat emptor.

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

  • Is it better to sell out than to fade away? CVS is hoping so. Check out this great piece in the business press on the big squeeze facing independent pharmacies.
  • Generics-makers on the block: Prosecutors inching toward indictment in price-fixing probe.
  • Tackle smoking. Check out these tips on making a cessation program work.
  • Be careful of the company you keep. Study finds some bad bugs have propensity to impart antibiotic resistance in nearby germs.
  • Feeling frazzled? Here are some time management ideas to consider when work and personal priorities conflict.

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So, we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at

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Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors. 

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