Epilepsy comes in many forms and can be a genuinely crippling disability for some. It can also be fatal, as severe seizures could randomly occur, causing severe injury. Seizures date back centuries, but it is only in recent years that scientists have had a breakthrough regarding effective medication.
Some forms of epilepsy have proven problematic, if not impossible, to treat with pharmaceutical drugs. Some patients even complain that the side effects of these treatments greatly outweigh the expected positive results. For that reason, epilepsy and other seizure disorders are of high priority in medical research.
Naturally, when the anticonvulsive effects of Cannabidiol (CBD), became apparent, medical researchers took a keen interest in extensive research as to how CBD could be considered an alternative option.
The medical cannabis industry witnessed a significant breakthrough as the FDA formally approved ‘Epidiolex’ almost a year ago as an approved treatment of both Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. These are two of the most severe forms of epilepsy.
This is the very first drug to be approved for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome, which has previously been treated with off-label CBD products.
So, what is in Epidiolex?
Epidiolex has one active cannabinoid, and that is CBD. As opposed to a full-plant extract, which is the method of many CBD oils, Epidiolex is made using CBD isolate.
Epidiolex is available as a pale yellow crystalline solid or as an oral solution containing Cannabidiol at 100 mg per ml, along with inactive ingredients such as alcohol, sesame seed oil, sucralose, with a strawberry flavor. This is essentially a higher potency version of the all-natural CBD oil that can be purchased online or in retail stores.
Epidiolex is more expensive than CBD oils and tinctures, but there is a possibility that you could claim Epidiolex via an insurance policy.
Does Epidiolex get you ‘high’?
Quite simply, no. In fact, Cannabidiol has been cited by the World Health Organisation for its lack of side effects or potential for abuse. This lack was a big part of the drug being approved by the United States’ FDA and the grudgingly slow movement of acceptance by the NHS (National Health Service).
CBD is a separate molecule from the better known and psychoactive cannabinoid, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). It was the false equivalency between CBD and THC. THC is the cannabinoid that incurred the stigma that had surrounded cannabis for generations due to its psychoactive effects.
Most non-pharmaceutical CBD products are derived from industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive member of the cannabis family. These plants contain high levels of CBD, and contains a level of below 0.3% THC; this is THC count that distinguishes the plant as hemp instead of the recreational “drug” cannabis.
It has been seen that CBD oil can help in treating epileptic seizures in people of all ages. Thanks to Farm Bill 2018, CBD extracted from Hemp is legal everywhere in the states. The reason is obvious; CBD extracted from Hemp contains only 0.03% THC. So, it doesn’t produce the ‘High’ effect.