A groundbreaking drug made from cannabis has brought hope for kids with rare seizure disorders. We talked to parents, doctors, and the company’s CEO to find out if it lives up the hype.

August 13, 2019

Epidiolex Aubrie Krowel

A new drug that’s made from a component of cannabis called CBD became available in the US last year to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. That makes it the first cannabis-derived CBD drug in the US.
The medicine, Epidiolex, has a list price of $32,500 a year and has proven lucrative for drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals.
Business Insider spoke with the parents of four kids who have taken the drug about what it’s been like. For most of their kids, the treatment has helped to some degree, but they also recounted sometimes-severe side effects and long delays at the pharmacy.
The hype around marijuana and CBD raised hopes for many that Epidiolex would be a miracle cure, they and doctors who prescribe the treatment say.
Experiences with Epidiolex foreshadow the issues that other cannabis-based drugs could grapple with as more come to market.
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Aubrie Krowel, who’s now four, had her first seizure at eight months old. They worsened as she got older, sometimes lasting as long as an hour or two.

These frequent and extended seizures are characteristic of the rare type of childhood epilepsy that Krowel lives with.

Medications helped for a time, but they didn’t fully stop the seizures. Aubrie’s parents always knew that they would eventually try out a component of cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment.

CBD, a marijuana component that doesn’t cause the drug’s signature high, has become all the rage of late in consumer products like chocolate and gummies, but it’s also thought to have big potential as a medication. It has long loomed large in the small world of childhood epilepsy, where CBD oils have had remarkable effects for some kids. Broad use has been limited, though, by …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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