CBD IN THE NEWS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older. This is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana. It is also the first FDA approval of a drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome.
CBD is a chemical component of the Cannabis sativa plant, more commonly known as marijuana. However, CBD does not cause intoxication or euphoria (the high) that comes from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
It is THC (and not CBD) that is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
The most common side effects that occurred in Epidiolex-treated patients in the clinical trials were: sleepiness, sedation and lethargy; elevated liver enzymes; decreased appetite; diarrhea; rash; fatigue, malaise and weakness; insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep; and infections.
Mice with pancreatic cancer treated with a combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and chemotherapy survived nearly three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone, according to a new study that spotlights the potential for human treatment.
CBD, the non-psychoactive (non-intoxicating) compound in marijuana, has already been shown to improve side effects of chemotherapy like nausea and vomiting. The latest results provide more justification for testing in humans, building on prior animal research that uncovered possible anti-cancer properties of the compound.
"Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics [in the UK], which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials, said lead researcher Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London.
"The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available, Dr. Falasca added in a press statement. Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven percent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed."
The more we learn about the potential of these compounds, the more it seems clear that decades of research being blocked by federal law deprived us of medical advances that are only now starting to surface.