Epidiolex is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s the first and only FDA-approved prescription cannabidiol (CBD) and is designed to treat two specific forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. These are both rare but severe medical conditions that typically start in early childhood or infancy.
The CBD market has exploded over the last few years, and if you’ve done any sort of research, you’ve probably come across Epidiolex. This is a product that is helping to revolutionize the world of CBD. Thanks to its FDA-approval, Epidiolex is helping to demonstrate to society the incredible medicinal potential of CBD.
Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) Quick Summary
“My eight-year-old son has been using Epidiolex for the past three months, and we have seen significant improvements in his condition.”
What Is Epidiolex?
Epidiolex was finally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in June 2018. The manufacturing company behind Epiodolex is British-owned GW Pharmaceuticals. It is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.
Marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug, which means that according to the Controlled Substance Act, it has a high potential for abuse. This is one of the main reasons why it took so long for the FDA to approve Epidiolex.
So what’s the full story behind Epidiolex? It all started with an 11-year-old boy who suffered from treatment-resistant epilepsy. He became the catalyst to bring Epidiolex to the United States. In his family’s search for a consistent and effective drug, they discovered GW Pharmaceuticals.
GW Pharmaceuticals was making significant progress with the drug in the United Kingdom. The boy responded incredibly well to the drug, and this led the company to build the largest clinical trial program for Dravet and LGS to date. The results from the study led to the forming of US-based Greenwich Biosciences and the FDA approval of Epidiolex.
Essentially, Greenwich is the subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals. Epidiolex went through the rigorous FDA-approval process to ensure that it’s stable, consistent and produced with efficacy and safety in mind.
It’s important to note that FDA-approved medications are prescribed by a doctor and are only available to purchase through a pharmacy, not a dispensary. Furthermore, you cannot just go online and purchase Epidiolex as you can with other CBD products.
Here are some of the things that stand out about Epiodolex:
- The Natural Approach: Epidiolex is sourced directly from cannabis plants that produce a large amount of CBD. The drug is not synthetic, i.e. it’s not manufactured in a lab.
- Consistency: Unlike many unapproved CBD products, lab tests prove that every bottle of Epidiolex contains the exact ingredients that are listed on the package. This means that ingredients are consistent from batch to batch.
- High-Quality: All cannabis plants are grown in highly regulated, state-of-the-art greenhouses – ensuring that the product is free of contaminants like pesticides, fungicides, and heavy metals.
- Comprehensive Website: The Epidiolex website is extremely detailed and contains everything that you could want to know about the product. From side effects and precautionary notes to benefits, dosage recommendations, and production methods, you can find all the important details on the website.
Patient Stories: There is a patient stories tab on the website where you can find firsthand consumer reviews and experiences.
Epidiolex: Negative Thoughts
Perhaps the most significant problem with Epidiolex is that it’s not available to just anyone. Although FDA-approval is a huge achievement, it means that you need a prescription to get your hands on this drug.
Thus far, there are two rare forms of epilepsy (as we mentioned above) that have been approved to be treated with Epidiolex. If you or your child suffer from either one of these conditions, you will need to get a prescription to purchase the product.
Not everyone can get a prescription for Epidiolex, but anyone can buy other high-quality CBD products online or at dispensaries across the U.S.
“The best medication that I’ve ever used to treat my seizures. They are so much fewer and less frequent.”
Epidiolex Product Overview
Epidiolex contains CBD, and it comes in the form of a liquid solution that’s taken by mouth. Clinical studies have discovered that Epidiolex is successful in reducing the number of seizures in people who use the drug.
When a seizure strikes a patient, it doesn’t only have significant effects on themselves, but also on those around them. The intense, around-the-clock commitment that is necessary takes a big toll on the family. When medications or other therapies fail to reduce seizures, it’s both disappointing and devastating.
Epidolex is believed to be one of the most powerful treatment options for reducing seizures. In fact, it’s the first and only medication of its kind to reduce seizures in people living with Dravet and LGS.
As with all medications, the cost of Epidiolex can vary, depending on where you purchase it from. But, as we all know, prescription medication isn’t known to be cheap in the U.S., and Epidiolex doesn’t seem to be an exception.
Shortly after the FDA confirmed the approval of the drug, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that patients should expect to pay around $32,500 per year for the drug. The company’s CEO, Justin Grover, has stated that this is in line with the cost of other epilepsy prescription drugs available on the market.
“I recently managed to get my mother a prescription for Epidiolex. The effects have been life-changing.”
Final Thoughts on Epidiolex
The FDA-approval of Epidiolex marked a very important moment in history. It’s the first drug derived from cannabis that has been federally-approved.
It is a schedule 5 drug, which means that it has proven medical use and low potential for abuse. Although this is the lowest restriction classification, you will still need to get a prescription from your doctor to use it.
If you or a family member suffer from a seizure condition, specifically Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome, then Epidiolex certainly seems to be the best medication to use.