What Is Epidiolex?
CBD has transformed from a substance which was illegal less than a decade ago to a booming industry with a variety of scientific research and a massive growth in revenue. CBD’s growth has been driven by multiple factors, including increased scientific awareness about the differences between CBD and marijuana and a liberalizing legal scene which has seen CBD become legalized in dozens of countries, including much of western Europe and the United States.
While much of CBD’s popularity have come from its use as an over the counter supplement, it is by no means the only way in which CBD is now available. At the moment, there is one CBD-based prescription drug available in the United States: Epidiolex.
What Is Epidiolex and What Is It Used For?
Epidiolex was approved for prescription by the Food & Drug Administration in June 2018. At the moment, it is the only FDA-approved drug which contains marijuana-based CBD. At the time of its approval, it was also the first FDA-approved drug for Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex is manufactured by GW Research Ltd, a subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals. It is used for the treatment of two rare and devastating childhood seizure disorders: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
These two seizure disorders are more than just the occasional seizure found in patients with disorders like Epilepsy. They lead to a variety of other negative symptoms, including delays in cognitive development, a variety of physical issues, behavioral challenges and more. Indeed, these seizure disorders could have devastating impacts on the quality of life of those who suffer from them. These disorders are not mere inconveniences – they dramatically and negatively alter the lives of individuals who suffer from them.
Epidiolex has been studied only in patients who are older than two and is given to patients orally. Common side effects are roughly the same side effects as experienced by individuals who have side effects from CBD use and include fatigue (which GW Pharmaceuticals says will get better with repeated use), diarrhea and sleeping problems.
It is important to note that, unlike over the counter CBD, Epidiolex is covered by insurance and available for Health Savings Account reimbursement, just like any other prescription drug.
Furthermore, hopefully, this will just be the start of CBD and marijuana-based medication. As the experience with Epidiolex indicates, CBD and marijuana both have legitimate scientific potential. A variety of scientific research has indicated that CBD may have the potential to treat a variety of illnesses, but more rigorous research is needed in order to meet the high standards expected by the Food & Drug Administration.