In contrast to CBD oils, which contain auxiliary cannabinoids that increase their pharmacological effectiveness, Epidiolex is the first cannabis-based medication to receive FDA approval. It contains 99 percent pure CBD with no other cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant-based cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant. It is derived from hemp’s leaves, stems, and roots using various extraction methods to obtain CBD oil. It can be administered directly through oral solutions, topical creams and lotions, vapes and vape juices, tinctures, oils, and epidermal patches. Epidiolex is a pharmaceutical brand name for a drug derived from CBD obtained from hemp that is used to treat various mental illnesses such as Dravet Syndrome (DS) or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. In particular, it is meant for patients older than two years and above to manage the occurrences of seizures.
FULL SPECTRUM CBD
Lachenmeier & Diel (2019) noted that hemp is the source of full spectrum CBD, also known to contain additional chemicals besides CBD. It is well known that full spectrum CBD also contains additional cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBN, and CBDV. It also has terpenes and flavonoids, responsible for its unique flavor and scent. In particular, it has a harsh, bitter flavor and an earthy fragrance. THC is present in full spectrum CBD as a psychoactive molecule that the federal government still holds as a restricted substance. Still, several states are attempting to legalize it for recreational use. The 2018 Farmers bill restricted THC content to 0.3 percent by dry weight. Since the amounts are so small, one cannot get high from them. THC is crucial, though, as it is a key ingredient in the ‘entourage effect,’ which is one of the main effects of marijuana. Although research on this phenomenon is ongoing, Calapai et al. (2020) suggested that it may help decrease the barrier between the brain and cannabis, which facilitates cannabinoid absorption in the brain. This effect is additionally known to offset some of the negative effects of THC, like sedation. Baron (2018) stated that full spectrum CBD might assist in reducing inflammation, joint discomfort, muscular stiffness, and recovery. In addition, Koubeissi (2017) stated the benefits of CBD in reducing the number of seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome. The fifty percent decrease in the number of seizures made it the first FDA plant-based drug to be approved for treating seizures.
Černe (2020) found that Epidiolex is a brand name for a drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved FDA as a treatment option against Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. This mental condition attacks one in infancy and is characterized by numerous seizures, which can often prove fatal if not handled early. Epidiolex is made from CBD isolates which contain 99% pure CBD extracts. This compound can only be obtained from hemp as prescribed by law. Epidiolex was approved for use for the first time in 2018 and was scheduled as a controlled substance. Nonetheless, Epidiolex is no longer a controlled substance as of April 2020 due to changes made in the original act. The law describes a controlled substance as a drug or substance that can be abused or lead to dependence.
Furthermore, the federal government controls how it is used and distributed nationally. At its approval, Epidiolex was classified as a Schedule V prescription medicine. Higher-ranking substances (such as those in schedule V) are less likely to be abused than lower-ranking drugs (such as schedule I). Federal and state regulations limit the number of prescription refills that can be provided for prohibited substances. The recent amendments have made it easier for doctors to prescribe Epidiolex as a medication making it easy to fill and transfer their prescriptions for Epidiolex easily.
PRESCRIPTION AND DOSAGES: FULL-SPECTRUM CBD VS. EPIDIOLEX
The FDA does not regulate CBD-containing products, so there are no official dosage guidelines. Some manufacturers promote CBD products with unverifiable health claims. The quality and safety of these products also vary, so be careful when purchasing full-spectrum CBD. Before using any other CBD products, seek medical advice from a qualified doctor. The dosage a person takes is determined by the method of administration, the specific product, and various factors linked to the user. Administration methods include orals, vapes, topicals, and tinctures. The method of administration determines the bioavailability of CBD, which determines the effectiveness of the dosage applied. Other factors that affect the effective dosage include the rate of body metabolism, age, weight, and issues related to an individual’s genes. New users handling issues such as anxiety and pain should typically begin with dosages of no more than 50mg of CBD. One can gradually increase the effective dosage with time to 600 mg as your body adjusts to the effects of CBD.
The principal constituent of Epidiolex is CBD. This drug comes in as an oral solution to be administered twice daily. Oral solutions are first swallowed and absorbed by the gut lining before passing into the blood. This makes it important to always take Epidiolex after meals, preferably 30 minutes after having your dinner or breakfast. Always take this drug with foods with a high lipid profile as it aids in the absorption of CBD. When starting Epidiolex doses, a doctor might advise starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing the amount of medication until you reach the dose they believe is appropriate for you. When that dose has been reached, the doctor will assess your response. If necessary, your doctor may increase your dose to increase the drug’s effectiveness.
Epidiolex is a brand name of a drug approved to treat seizures in patients with Lennox-Gestaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It is mainly made of CBD, cannabidiol, which interacts with the body through the Endocannabinoid system. Full-spectrum CBD is a hemp extract that contains all the hemp extracts, including limited amounts of THC. However, as recent restrictions over the usage of both full-spectrum CBD and Epidiolex have been amended, it is important to always have a doctor’s prescription before using either of these substances.
Baron, E. P. (2018). Medicinal Properties Of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, And Flavonoids In Cannabis, And Benefits In Migraine, Headache, And Pain: An Update On Current Evidence And Cannabis Science. Headache: The Journal Of Head And Face Pain, 58(7), 1139-1186.
Calapai, F., Cardia, L., Sorbara, E. E., Navarra, M., Gangemi, S., Calapai, G., & Mannucci, C. (2020). Cannabinoids, Blood–Brain Barrier, And Brain Disposition. Pharmaceutics, 12(3), 265.
Černe, K. (2020). Toxicological Properties Of Δ-Tetrahydrocannabinol And Cannabidiol. Archives Of Industrial Hygiene And Toxicology, 71(1), 1-11.
Koubeissi, M. (2017). Anticonvulsant Effects Of Cannabidiol In Dravet Syndrome. Epilepsy Currents, 17(5), 281-282.
Lachenmeier, D. W., & Diel, P. (2019). A Warning Against The Negligent Use Of Cannabidiol In Professional And Amateur Athletes. Sports, 7(12), 251.