New Therapy for Patients Who Suffer from Debilitating Seizures
Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are two extremely severe forms of epilepsy that both typically appear in early childhood. Dravet syndrome is also called severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) and affects roughly one in 20,000 children. It is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system – the body’s processes that are not consciously controlled, like body temperature. Dravet syndrome is often accompanied by other problems such as delayed speech, learning difficulties, orthopedic issues, and chronic infections.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is even rarer, affecting 0.2 in 100,000 children. Like Dravet syndrome, LGS is associated with developmental delays. The seizures caused by LGS are catastrophically severe and debilitating. Until recently, LGS was resistant to all known anti-seizure medications.
CBD as a New Drug for Epilepsy
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of these conditions. In essence, Epidiolex is nothing more than highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
Scientists have long suspected that CBD oil can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in some cases of epilepsy. However, legal roadblocks have prevented research from progressing. For example, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is known as a leading medical research institution in the United States. But due to legal restrictions in Alabama, researchers at UAB were not permitted to begin investigations into the health benefits of CBD until 2016.
The situation was so dire that families of children with seizure disorders in Alabama were moving out of state to seek legal CBD treatment. Thankfully, with the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil is now legal in every state, allowing patients to seek the treatment they need.
The fact that CBD oil was ever illegal in the first place is confounding to many. Some forms of CBD oil, such as MARK3 Full-Spectrum CBD Oil – a purified and organic product – contain no THC at all. THC is a cannabinoid compound that produces a psychoactive effect in users, causing a “high.” CBD and the other cannabinoids found in MARK3 CBD Oil have no such psychoactive impact.
CBD oil has been proven to have anti-anxiety benefits without psychoactive effects. Millions of people use CBD oil successfully to help with sleep, relieve anxiety, and even lessen the effects of depression.
FDA Approval of CBD Products
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notoriously high standards for approval of new drugs. Approval will not be granted until the drug has been demonstrated to be effective in humans and safe under most conditions. In the case of seizures, CBD oil has now passed these hurdles successfully.