CBD and Epilepsy

Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical component derived from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. Although CBD is one of over 400 cannabinoids in cannabis, it is one of the most popular. Besides CBD, another popular cannabinoid is called Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. A lot of studies have been carried out into how CBD and THC affect the body. The finding reveals that CBD and THC have medicinal proprieties. However, they are both different. While CBD does not have psychoactive effects, THC is responsible for the ‘high’ that people feel when they use marijuana. However, CBD and THC have a similar chemical structure.

The US government recently legalized the growing of hemp in the country. The 2018 Farm Bill made the growing of industrial hemp legal across all 50 states in the US. Health authorities also support the use of CBD as medicine. However, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more research needs to be conducted into CBD food products.

In June 2018, the FDA approved a CBD-based drug for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy. These forms of epilepsy – Lennon-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – usually affects children. Epidiolex is the name of the first CBD-based drug that the FDA approved. Epidiolex is meant for children who are two years and older suffering from Lennon-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. GW Pharma manufactures Epidiolex; this company is also working on their CBD-based medicines.

The Commissioner of the FDA Scott Gottlieb, M.D. said Epidiolex was approved because it passed clinical studies.

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” the FDA Commissioner said. “Controlled clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of a drug, along with careful review through the FDA’s drug approval process, is the most appropriate way to bring marijuana-derived treatments to patients. Because of the adequate and well-controlled clinical studies that supported this approval, prescribers can have confidence in the drug’s uniform strength and consistent delivery that support appropriate dosing needed for treating patients with these complex and serious epilepsy syndromes. We’ll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high-quality products. But at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims. Marketing unapproved products, with uncertain dosage and formulations, can keep patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal disease.”

Every day there seem to be new CBD products hitting the shelves. There are many CBD products on the market already including oils, tincture, sprays, and gummies. Now CBD-based drinks are being released. CBD-infused beverages may be the next wave of CBD products to be released. However, the FDA has cautioned that there needs to be more research.