Cannabis has been in the news lately, and it is because of its medical benefits. The main components of marijuana that are making headlines are Cannabidiol or CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. These two cannabinoids are among over 300 found in the cannabis
There have been many studies into the use of CBD as medicine. These studies have shown that CBD can bring relief to people with many conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, cognition, and movement disorders. CBD has also been proven to treat insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, inflammation and Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has supported the use of CBD as medicine. However, health authorities do not permit unsupported claims of diseases that CBD can treat. According to the FDA, it is important for clinical studies to be conducted before the government can approve CBD-based products to be sold to the public as medicine.
So far, the FDA has only approved one CBD-based drug which is meant for the treatment of epilepsy. Epidiolex is the name of the first CBD-based drug to be approved in the US. This medicine, which is produced by GW Pharmaceutical, is meant for the treatment of seizures caused by two rare and severe forms of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is intended for children two years and older who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Dravet syndrome is described as a rare genetic condition that usually affects children during their early years. Dravet syndrome is characterized by frequent fever-related seizures which are also called febrile seizures. Children who suffer from Dravet syndrome usually experience poor language and motor skills. This disease also causes hyperactivity and difficulty in relating to other people.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome affects children from an early age. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome causes multiple seizures which frequently happen especially during early childhood. This illness affects children aged 3 to 5 years old. The seizures that Lennox-Gastaut syndrome triggers usually cause the muscles in children to contract uncontrollably. Just like Dravet syndrome, children who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome also have difficulties learning and developing motor skills. These children also experience intellectual challenges.
“The difficult-to-control seizures that patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experience have a profound impact on these patients’ quality of life,” said Billy Dunn. M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, said. ” In addition to another important treatment option for Lennox-Gastaut patients, this first-ever approval of a drug specifically for Dravet patients will provide a significant and needed improvement in the therapeutic approach to caring for people with this condition.”
Epidiolex will bring relief for children suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. However, this CBD-based drug has some side effects such as sleepiness, sedation, and lethargy among many others.