Experimental marijuana-based drug – Epidiolex – has succeeded in the reduction of convulsive seizures among epileptic patients in a clinical trial conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals – the drug maker.
According to the UK-based manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, Epidiolex has managed to achieve the intended goal of reducing convulsions arising from epileptic seizures. The drug is under study to identify treatment for a rare kind of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. The manufacturer is currently in talks with relevant federal regulators in the United States to have Epidiolex approved. If all sails well with the approval, Epidiolex will be the first marijuana-based prescription drug in the country.
Marijuana is illegal in many states
Despite marijuana being illegal in many states, it has been discovered that many parents with epileptic children have resorted to marijuana-derived drugs other than the available conventional drugs for treating this condition. Further, a number of states have gone to the extent of passing legislation that seeks to have marijuana-based products easily available. This aims at making epileptic patients have access to these products that are said to be curative.
A great percentage of patients who have used marijuana-based treatments in controlling epileptic seizures have reported substantial reductions in seizures. Despite the existence of such appealing records, medical experts are still vigilant of the anecdotal reports. For accuracy and efficiency, experts suggest that the proposed treatments should be compared with relevant placebos.
Cannabidiol content in Epidiolex
In essence, Epidiolex has almost 100% pure cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a key component of marijuana that is said not to make users high. According to research, CBD slows down the brain’s chemical and electrical activities that are responsible for seizures. Previous numerous studies have revealed that CBD has a wide range of therapeutic effects that include anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, analgesic and anti-anxiety among many others.
Many concerned and relevant authorities are still, however, in the view that more research is needed regarding the approval of the drug. Epidiolex might be the first marijuana-based prescription drug in the U.S, but there are two other drugs made from marijuana extracts that are available in the market. Derived from THC (marijuana component), nabilone and dronabinol have been approved to treat nausea as a result of cancer chemotherapy. The latter has also been approved for appetite and weight loss in patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
The manufacturer of the drug has so far acknowledged the results from the trial terming them as impressive. The company has also said that it is soon going to meet with the FDA to seek approval of the drug for use in the United States.