JUN 27, 2018 07:06 AM PDT

Cannabis-Based Therapy Drug For The Treatment of Epilepsy

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A drug derived from marijuana has been the first to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment epilepsy.

The drug, which will be marketed under the name Epidiolex, will specifically seek to treat two serious forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These syndromes are known to begin in childhood and persist in adulthood.

Epidiolex is made from purified cannabidiol (CBD), a compound present in the cannabis plant. CBD is known to have medicinal effects, however, it does not exert the mind-altering high that results from THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

"This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies," explains FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

A few states have approved CBD oil in the treatment of intractable epilepsy or seizure disorders.

A drug made from a derivative of marijuana has been approved for patients with certain forms of epilepsy. Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images

"Our biggest concerns with the artisanal [or supplement] versions of CBD were related to the consistency," Carson says. "We can't guarantee the consistency."

Carson believes he will likely prescribe Epidiolex in the future. "I'm always excited about the potential for a new therapy that has been well-studied and has a great potential for benefit," says Carson.

Multiple investigators are examining the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of psychiatric conditions. For example, a clinical study is now underway to examine whether CBD can effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol use disorder. Additionally, another clinical study will test whether CBD could be a potential treatment to help prevent relapse in opioid abusers.

Such approval of Epidiolex will help open the doors to more studies on CBD, which will lift a regulatory hurdle. As of now, the Drug Enforcement Administration placed CBD in the heroin and LSD category as a Schedule 1 substance which mean that these drugs have no medical use potential and only a high abuse substance.

According to Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director of regulatory programs at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research , when CBD is approved as a medical use drug- the DEA will change its classification.

"The DEA will need to make a different scheduling decision for CBD...because it now has an accepted medical use," explains Throckmorton.

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
OCT 18, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 18, 2018
Potential Drug Target for Tactile Allodynia
According to research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in collaboration with a study led by the National Institutes of Health, a new...
OCT 24, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 24, 2018
Peptide Ruptures Viral Membrane of Zika Virus
According to a recent study at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), a newly engineered antiviral peptide will aim to attack the vir...
OCT 31, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 31, 2018
Cytostatic Drug Proved Potent For Cancer
A study published in journal Angewandte Chemie, describes how a cytostatic drug, consisting of therapeutically active molecules that is linked to specific ...
NOV 15, 2018
Drug Discovery
NOV 15, 2018
Making Cancer Disappear?
Neuroblastoma is one of the most common childhood cancers and the leading cause of cancer deaths among pediatric patients younger than 5. The cancer is fre...
DEC 18, 2018
Drug Discovery
DEC 18, 2018
Increasing Misuse of Prescription Drugs
According to a study published in Psychiatric Services in Advance, misuse of prescription drugs accounts for more than 17 percent of overall use. In the st...
JAN 14, 2019
Drug Discovery
JAN 14, 2019
Vitamin D Proved Non-Beneficial for Individuals Aged 70 and Over
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at Newcastle University have confirmed that older individuals, over the age...
Loading Comments...