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FDA Approves first Cannabis Medication: Epidiolex

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The good news just keeps coming in the intriguing world of CBD.

During the week of June 23, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a cannabis-based drug for the first time in history, giving the green light to patients suffering from epilepsy to use an oral CBD solution called Epidiolex, for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – in patients aged 2 and older.

Epidiolex is the first drug to have achieved the high standards and rigorous criteria the FDA requires before approving a cannabis-derived drug for medical therapy. Now, the parents of children with these very unfortunate and debilitating conditions have a great treatment option for their child, rather than traditional treatments such as prescription medication.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive healing agent found in the cannabis plant, and has been gaining praise for ability to help with common conditions like pain and anxiety, inflammation, lack of focus, mood disorders, epilepsy, and more.

Here, we give you the scoop on the first ever CBD medication approved by the FDA, Epidiolex.

What Can Epidiolex Treat?

The two conditions this new drug will treat – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – are both rare and severe types of childhood-onset epilepsy.

To provide a better understanding of the conditions, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome usually starts in children between the ages of 3 and 5. It is characterized by frequent seizures, many of which are tonic, meaning there is a sudden stiffening of the muscles in the limbs and other parts of the child’s body.

Almost all of the children diagnosed with this condition develop intellectual disabilities, which can result in necessary assistance for daily activities like eating and playing.

The other type of childhood-onset epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, appears in the first year of infancy, and begins with febrile seizures, where an infant or child’s body temperature rises due to infection or inflammation. This increase in temperature often causes seizures or convulsion.

In addition to febrile seizures, other types of seizures are experienced as Dravet syndrome advances. Some children also develop something called “status epilepticus,” where they experience continuous seizures that require emergency intervention. If this happens, patients with this syndrome develop poor language ability, impaired motor skills, hyperactivity ,and may find it difficult to relate to others as they get older.

All in all, these difficult-to-control seizures that babies and children experience have a profound impact on their quality of life, making it challenging for both the child and parent to live a normal life.

Thanks to CBD-based Epidiolex, these seizures should be significantly reduced and therefore, enhance the quality of life for the children affected.

How this CBD Medication is Helping

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb reported in an official statement that: “It was based on well-controlled clinical trials evaluating the use of this compound in the treatment of a specific condition,” referring to the decision to approve Epidiolex.

According to Dr. Gottlieb, Epidiolex will provide a significant and needed improvement in the therapeutic approach to caring for people with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome patients.

The CBD-based medication was tested in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, that revealed that the drug is indeed effective in reducing the frequency of seizures in children with two types of syndromes.

Dr. Gottlieb stated the approval of the medicine demonstrates the FDA’s commitment to ensuring any new therapies from marijuana and its constituents are “safe, effective and manufactured to a high and consistent quality.”

Takeaways

  • Epidiolex is the first CBD medication approved by the FDA, and is significantly improving the lives of those with epilepsy.
  • Epidiolex can help treat two types of syndromes where epilepsy is prominent, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome – in patients aged 2 and older.
  • CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce the “high” that is associated with the consumption of marijuana.

Daintri’s focus is on health and wellness. We curate only the best of the best CBD products to help you live your healthiest life. If there are any questions about products, manufacturing processes or extraction methods, please let us know. We are on a mission to help as many people as possible with the health ailments of CBD.


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