The Future of CBD

Recently, the company GW pharmaceuticals and the CBD-based drug it manufactures, Epidiolex, made headlines around the world. Epidiolex shows promising results as an effective epilepsy medication for young sufferers of various rare forms of the disorder; even those deemed “medically intractable”.

At the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, GW produced the results of its expanded access program study. They found after 3 months of treatment almost half of the 261 children in the study experienced a 50% or greater reduction in their seizures.

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The FDA has yet to give the drug its blessing, but is slated for approval sometime next year. 

This drug has the opportunity to bring a fair amount of relief to parents of children suffering from epilepsy disorders not responsive to other forms of treatment. There are an estimated 466,000 childhood patients in the United States alone! That’s a lot of relief to be had. The community at large has taken the opportunity to ask a pretty vital question –  who is GW Pharmaceuticals? What will the future of cannabis look like in their hands?

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Some of you may already be familiar with GW. Remember Sativex? GW’s drug is designed to help with cancer pain and spasms resulting from Multiple Sclerosis. So far Sativex, approved for legal use in 28 countries, has yet to benefit patients in the U.S. as it is still undergoing FDA approval. As far as how cannabis will look in the hands of Corporate Medicine? GW Pharmaceutical is no different than the mass of pharmaceutical companies in that it starkly opposes cannabis legalization (cue “stock interests” rhetoric). Doesn’t look like they’ll be using the money it receives from cannabis to make cannabis more easily accessible… The state and federal government’s desire is to put cannabis in the hands of corporations rather than individuals rooted in the medical cannabis community (such as the Stanley brothers), so GW should be right in line with their aims. Some marijuana consumers are uneasy thinking what the cost of these treatments might end up being. 

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A slight amount of hypocrisy is both obvious and necessary in GW Pharma’s utilization and demonization of cannabis. A hypocrisy made only more odd by the fact that, whether they politically back the plant or not, the success of the drug will only aid in legalization efforts. What will the future look like for a company specializing in cannabis-derived medicines come legalization? Perhaps GW will address these questions following the release of the Epidiolex safety results in the near future. 

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