This past Thursday, April 19th, a milestone in both the world of medicine and cannabis occurred as federal advisors on the panel for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pushed for the approval of the first prescription cannabidiol (CBD) medicine. The prescription would be for treating rare and severe forms of epilepsy. The advisory committee vote was unanimous in favor of recommending approval of the drug now known as Epidiolex.
Epidiolex is made by GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company. The drug would be prescribed to people of all ages across the country suffering from two rare forms of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These two forms of epilepsy are among the most difficult types to treat. Despite all currently available medications being prescribed, patients who suffer from these forms of epilepsy continue to have seizures frequently, according to the FDA, and sometimes multiple times a day. These conditions put children, who are the most susceptible to these forms of epilepsy, at high potential risk for developmental and intellectual disabilities, and they can even lead to death.
The FDA board is hoping that this new CBD prescription drug could, in turn, be used to save many of these children’s lives and offer relief from their suffering. In case studies, one three-year-old girl went from having over 300 seizures per week to only two a month after taking high levels of CBD.
There are currently an estimated 30,000 children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and fewer with Dravet syndrome, meaning Epidiolex is classified as an orphan drug — one that treats and prevents rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the country.
Overall, there are nearly 3 million people in the United States that have a form of epilepsy, and currently, one-third of Americans who suffer from epilepsy have been unable to find effective therapies that will control and prevent their seizures, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. That’s close to a million people that this CBD based prescription could also potentially be benefitting. Just because Epidiolex will be FDA-approved for use to treat two of the most rare and severe cases of epilepsy does not mean it will not, in turn, be beneficial for these individuals as well.
“Epidiolex represents hope for the many individuals living with intractable seizures and rare epilepsies, who every day face incredible challenges and disabling seizures, and live with the continual risk of serious injury and death,” - Philip Gattone, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation.
Outside of Epidiolex, CBD could now be tested and approved in the near future for a variety of other medical uses. Although the FDA approval of the prescription drug would be specifically for epilepsy patients, doctors would be capable of prescribing Epidiolex “off-label” for many other uses.
Epidiolex is an oral solution with cannabis-extracted CBD oil that consists of a 99% purity from CO2 extraction, much like each of the products available at Green Garden Gold. The only difference between Green Garden Gold’s CBD oil products and Epidiolex is where the cannabidiol is extracted from. While Epidiolex is extracted from the cannabis plant, Green Garden Gold extracts full spectrum CBD oil from industrial hemp, which is legal in every state of the country for use as a health and dietary supplement. If you are interested in exploring the different types CBD oil products available, you can check them out here.
Outside of pharmaceutical epilepsy treatment, CBD oil products are currently being used by millions of people to boost their health in a variety of ways. The CBD market is projected to be over a billion-dollar business in the next few years, according to Forbes. This is because people are realizing the truth behind the cannabidiol compound, and how it is a completely separate entity from the more notoriously known compound THC, which causes the ‘high’ from cannabis.
Here is a list of the other benefits people are looking to CBD oil products to provide in order to boost their overall health and wellness:
- Pain and Inflammation
- Boost the Immune System
- Better Sleep
- Acne and Other Skin Conditions
- Quit Smoking
If the FDA is to follow this recommendation, which is expected, it would serve as a major milestone in American history — being the first cannabis-derived prescription medicine available in the United States. This, in turn, could open the door for cannabis-extracted CBD oil products of all types to be made legal nationwide for their multitude of potential medical benefits. The official vote for approval by the FDA will be in June, so stay tuned for the final results.