The First Ever Marijuana-Based Prescription Drug Could Soon Hit The Market

For years, scientists studying seizure disorders have observed the powerful effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on difficult-to-treat seizure disorders like Dravet Syndrome and epilepsy.

Animal studies have shown CBD, found naturally in cannabis, consistently prevent convulsions - and, according to the American Epilepsy Society, anecdotal evidence suggests it's also highly effective in children with hard-to-treat types of epilepsy.

According to a small study of 19 children whose parents treated their seizures using so-called artisanal CBD preparations, like concentrates and edibles.

"Sixteen (84%) of the 19 parents reported a reduction in their child's seizure frequency while taking CBD. Of these, two (11%) reported complete seizure freedom, eight (42%) reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizure frequency, and six (32%) reported a 25–60% seizure reduction. Results from this study for CBD treatment are displayed in the graphs below:

Enter the experimental drug Epidolex. The CBD-based drug developed by GW Pharmaceuticals is designed to control seizures. It's a purified formula of cannabinoid CBD, meaning no more guesswork in terms of dosage, and a reliable product for parents already treating their children's seizure disorders with CBD.

If Epidolex wins FDA approval, it'll be a first in the U.S. While drugs like Nabilone and Dronabinol approximate delta-9 THC - the principal cannabinoid of marijuana - those preparations are entirely synthetic. Epidolex would be the first prescription drug sold in modern America actually derived from the plant.

GW Pharmaceuticals remains in talks with the Food and Drug Administration to get Epidolex approved for use in the United States.

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