The FDA made history recently by approving the first ever medicinal drug derived from cannabis. The drug is cannabidiol and is sold under the name Epidiolex, it was developed by GW pharmaceuticals, a UK based company. It is drug used to treat sever epilepsy, it was developed by GW pharmaceuticals and has been on the road to declassification for more than a year. What this means for the future of cannabis derived medicine and CBD in general is not entirely clear, it could be a big step in the right direction or a very very small one.
What is Epidiolex used for?
Epidiolex was developed as a treatment for a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Much publicity has been given to the drug in its ability to treat this condition, which affects mainly children. What should be noted is that this is by no means an affliction that affects people in childhood, but a disease that is so devastating that individuals rarely survive past childhood. What might be the most important takeaway from this article is not that Epidiolex is the first cannabis derived drug to be declassified, but that this is the first therapy that has been approved to treat this terrible disease. Martin A. Lee, director of California-based Project CBD was quoted in saying the decision by the FDA was “a lightening bolt of sanity”. During clinical trials, participants reported a drop in seizures by over 40%.
What is Epidiolex?
Epidiolex is a drug that contains over 90% cannabidiol, often referred to as CBD. Something that we should note very clearly is that there is a difference between the CBD in this drug and the CBD that is generally available on the marketplace. In order to ensure consistency of the CBD, GW pharmaceuticals developed a patented cannabis plant specifically to produce CBD for this drug. The unique plant with a highly scientific process was able to meet the rigorous standards laid out by the FDA for approval. The science for how the drug exactly works is not actually clear. Most doctors believe that the CBD which generally interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain may also react with non-cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for the frequency and severity of seizures. What is not in the drug is the psychoactive element of cannabis, THC, patients who use Epidiolex do not get high.
What does this mean for the CBD industry?
In 2018 the federal government passed the Farm Bill which declassified all hemp plants that have less than 0.3% THC, this opened the floodgates for the CBD market in America. Many feel that with the passage of the Farm Bill and the declassification of the CBD used in the drug Epidiolex signals a change of guard in how CBD is viewed by the government. Others think that this signals a very slow change where specific drugs will be approved one by one.
Here at Santtam CBD we feel that first and foremost that any medication helping children who are suffering is a good thing. We are also committed to keeping our valued readers up to date with the latest in CBD and hemp news and how that affects the online CBD shopping experience. We hope that more people are able to have access to the right CBD and we will continue doing everything we can to share our knowledge and experience with you!