Epidiolex Becomes First Cannabis Based Drug Approved By FDA

As cannabis becomes increasingly mainstream, the market for cannabis products is expanding. CBD products are being sold online and consumers can find seemingly anything infused with cannabis. Only on June 25th, 2018, however, did the FDA finally make the announcement that it will approve its first ever cannabis based medication. In a statement, released on it’s website, the FDA said, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.”

What Does Epidiolex Do?

According to the FDA’s release, “Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.” They continued by stating that, “Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo.”

The efficacy of Epidiolex in reducing the number of seizures in patients should come as no surprise to those familiar with the cannabis plant and CBD itself. There have been multiple studies that have shown CBD is an effective anti-seizure compound. One study found “CBD to be superior to placebo in reducing the frequency of convulsive (tonic-clonic, tonic, clonic, and atonic) seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome.”

Why CBD Is So Widely Loved

CBD has active anti-inflammatory properties which is what makes it so popular as a treatment for a number of ailments including seizures. Because it has no psychoactive effects, CBD has no major side effects. In fact, the FDA found that the main side effects of Epidiolex were “sleepiness, sedation and lethargy.”

The fact that CBD-based medication has so few side effects and can actually lower the number of seizures a patient with Dravet’s syndrome bode well for its prospects of mainstream success. The FDA finally embracing cannabis-based medication is a sign that Epidiolex and others like it will have staying power.


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