After GW Pharmaceuticals announced positive results of late-stage trials of a cannabis-based drug meant to treat children's epilepsy, CNBC's Jim Cramer said the medication could someday replace the opioid oxycodone as a leading prescription painkiller.
Prices for the British company's U.S.-listed shares more than doubled on Monday on news of the test results for Epidiolex.
Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" the drug could make doctors in the U.S. less hesitant to prescribe cannabis-based drugs. "If you want to prescribe actual medical marijuana, a real doctor is reluctant to do it because there is no uniform standard, and all you really want is the pure cannabinoid," he said.
"This is a way to get rid of a terrible, terrible drug, oxycodone," Cramer said.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, there were 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014, with 18,893 overdose deaths tied to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 fatal overdoses related to heroin that year.
In a statement, GW told CNBC it is not investigating cannabinoids as a replacement for oxycodone. "Today's Phase 3 results of Epidiolex (cannabidiol) were not studying the medicine as a possible treatment for pain. Epidiolex is being investigated for Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), three rare, extremely debilitating epilepsy syndromes that begin in infancy or early childhood."