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New Cannabis Drug Has Success Treating Rare Form of Epilepsy

Published on March 20, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

cannabis_epilepsy

Derrick Broze

A new experimental cannabis-based drug has succeeded in treating children with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

A study conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals has shown that Epidiolex can successfully treat children with Dravet syndrome. GW claimed that a 120-patient trial showed patients taking Epidiolex were able to reduce their convulsive seizures by 39 percent, compared with a reduction on placebo of 13 percent.

“This shows that cannabinoids can produce compelling and clinically important data and represent a highly promising new class of medications, hopefully in a range of conditions,” Chief Executive Justin Gover told Reuters.

Cannabinoids are active receptors found within the cannabis plant and the human body. According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids “activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.”  The NCI admits that cannabinoids “may have benefits” in the treatment of cancer-related side effects. A 2014 study published in theMolecular Cancer Therapeutics journal found that the two most common cannabinoids, THC and CBD, may do more than treat cancer-related side effects — they can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Gover said GW will now request a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss plans for regulatory approval for treating Dravet syndrome. GW already has approval for a cannabis-based multiple sclerosis treatment in more than 20 countries, but not the United States.

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