You may or may not have heard of Epidiolex, but it is likely that you have heard of cannabidiol (CBD). If you have yet to hear about Epidiolex, you are about to get in deep. Epidiolex is one of the first medications to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that contains only CBD. does Epidiolex do? And of course, who can benefit from Epidiolex. All of these questions and more will be answered. Let’s start with the basics.
Cannabidiol: what is it?
CBD is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis sativa plant is naturally found and comes in a variety of different variations. One of the variations is something that you have heard of but, possibly, did not understand. The hemp plant is one of the variations. This plant contains high amounts of CBD and at or lower than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
As of 2018 because of the Farm Bill the hemp plant is legal to grow and sell throughout the United States (with restrictions is some states). Why is this? This is because the low 0.3% of THC cannot get users inebriated. THC is another cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. This cannabinoid, however, creates a ‘high’ or feeling of euphoria. Because of this, the marijuana plant is not legal in all 50 states. The marijuana plant has high percentages of THC and therefore causes the inebriating ‘high’ effect. The use and growth of the marijuana plant has been legalized in a handful of states for recreational and/or medical purposes.
So, how did they use this naturally found plant and make it into a medication?
CBD to Epidiolex
What is Epidiolex? Who uses it? Epidiolex is the first FDA approved medication that contains CBD with no THC. This medication helps those with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is used to treat the seizures associated with the two syndromes. This medication must be prescribed by a health care professional and is best used by people who are two years old and older. As with all types of medications, there were side effects listed. These included sleeping problems, decreased appetite, increased liver enzymes, feelings of sleepiness and weakness, and diarrhea.
There are also a handful of other CBD medications that assist those going through anti-cancer treatments and the nausea it may cause. These are called Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone). Again, these medications can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional so when purchasing CBD products ensure that the claims aren’t saying they are medications. Epidiolex is not for those who do not have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.
Other ways that CBD is used
Now that you know there are medications that contain CBD, how else is CBD used? Here is a list of other reasons people choose to use CBD.
- Promote a sense of calm: Promoting a sense of calm in those who have feelings of anxiousness may be quite helpful to some. In this study, they used brain imaging to test subjects who have SAD (social anxiety disorder). Those who were given the CBD showed a decrease in their social anxiety disorder via brain scans. Those who did not receive the CBD did not have any decrease.
- Skin health: Although CBD topicals usually never reach the bloodstream this does not mean that they cannot assist in skin health. In this study they concluded that those with and without skin conditions had improved skin health after the use of CBD topicals. They used several tests to test before and after the use of a CBD topical. Their evidence was enhanced by photographic evidence.
- Antibacterial properties: There has been information coming to the forefront of the potential antibacterial properties of CBD. And this information may be true. In this study they concluded that CBD had the capability to kill certain types of bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: CBD has been researched for the possibility of joint health benefits. Panacea Life Sciences has done our own research regarding this aspect. We looked at dogs who are older and have joint health issues. During this study, we asked pet owners to administer CBD to their dogs two times a day for four consecutive weeks. The owners were to take a weekly test to show if anything had improved. At the end of the four weeks pet owners described their dogs to be more mobile. Therefore, the CBD may have helped with their joint health!
When starting to use CBD it is important to speak to a healthcare professional. We also recommend that you start with a small amount and slowly increase until you feel the desired effects.
Now that you understand the reasons that people choose to use CBD, what products can you choose from?
- Softgels: A soft gel is a capsule that is full of CBD. Once the capsule is swallowed it goes through the digestive tract and then lands in the stomach. Once there the CBD is absorbed as the capsule is broken down. The CBD is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream from there.
- Topicals: CBD topicals are a bit different than the others as they usually never reach the bloodstream. They, however, can reap benefits from the pores on the surface of the skin. These are best used frequently and in the same area. They come in lotions, salves, creams, and even hand sanitizer for antibacterial purposes.
- Tinctures: This type of CBD gets into the bloodstream quickly. When the dropper full of CBD is placed in the mouth it is absorbed into the bloodstream from there. A tincture is an oil like substance that is added to carrier oil. Some tinctures come flavored to mask the earthy hemp taste that some do not enjoy. Although tinctures give the CBD effects quite quickly, they have been described to last not as long as other products. These are similar to tablets in their bioavailability.
- Tablets: A tablet is placed in the mouth and dissolves there. It enters the bloodstream from the mouth as the tincture does. You can add or subtract amounts of CBD with a dropper, but tablets are made with the same mg every time making it easier to know how much you are getting.
There are so many things that we still need to learn about CBD but, with all this information it is becoming more relevant and popular each day. As always feel free to contact us at [email protected]