Cannabis-based medicine made the U.S. news this week. CBD is set to be fast-tracked into the National Health Service (NHS), which is the publicly funded healthcare system for England, allowing thousands of children with severe epilepsy to be prescribed the life-saving drug. Last month, the NHS finalized a deal with GW Pharmaceuticals to drop the price of Epidiolex, which is a seizure drug approved for children over the age of two who suffers from seizures from two forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. This drug has shown success in treating these rare and severe forms of epilepsy. (1) This is exciting news for the world of CBD based drugs and treatment.
CBD based treatment has made the news previously for the treatment of epilepsy from Dravet syndrome with the drug Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web is named after Charlotte Figi, born October 18, 2006, whose story has led to her being described as the girl who is changing medical marijuana laws across America (2). The drug was created through crossbreeding a strain of marijuana with industrial hemp. This process created a variety with far less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and more CBD than the typical varieties of marijuana. Her physicians noted a reduction of her seizures after her first dose at five years of age. Her usage of the drug was featured on the 2013 CNN documentary, “Weed”. The media coverage by a well-respected network increased exposure and demand for this drug and others, and they have been successfully used to treat epilepsy in children.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat seizures. Recent anecdotal reports, accumulating animal model data, and mechanistic insights have raised interest in cannabis-based antiepileptic therapies. Recently, mounting anecdotal reports and media coverage have sparked intense interest among parents, patients, and the scientific community regarding the potential of medical cannabis to treat seizures. A potential alternative or supplement to current AEDs, the cannabis plant includes >100 diverse phytocannabinoids that, in part, target an endogenous endocannabinoid signaling network, as well as other networks. Two major phytocannabinoids
derived from cannabis are psychoactive Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Both Δ9-THC and CBD can prevent seizures and reduce mortality in animal models of seizure with low toxicity and high tolerability (3).
CBD has a multitude of uses but needs support and recognition from more national healthcare groups, so it can help more people. CBD has the potential to change the way we look at healthcare treatment entirely and offer exciting options for recovery.
FDA Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or prior to using any CBD products.