FDA Approved First Cannabis Based Prescription Drug to Treat Epilepsy

Cannabis-Based Drug Approved By The FDA

Recently, the FDA decided to approve a new drug called Epidiolex for treatment of patients who have a rare form of epilepsy. This drug is only approved for patients that are over the age of two years. The main ingredient of this new drug is cannabidiol. This ingredient if found within cannabis plants. However, this particular component of the plant used in the drug will not get its users high.

The approval of this drug by the United States health care regulators is a milestone for the industry. It could end up being the start of more research into this particular drug which mostly remains illegal to use recreationally throughout the country. This is despite the growing legalization of the drug for both medical usage and recreational usage.

While this drug for epileptic patients is made with ingredients from the cannabis plant, it is not quite considered medical marijuana. It is still being researched as to why the ingredient, referred to as cannabidiol, is effective in helping those suffering from seizures find relief and a minimizing effect from the drug.

GW Pharmaceuticals is a drug-maker in Britain that has been studying this particular drug in over 500 adults and children to see the effects it has on rare forms of seizures. This company had to overcome a lot of legal hurdles in order to research this drug using cannabis in the ingredients.

The FDA released statements saying that the patients who used this drug in combination with other, older forms of epilepsy drugs saw a major reduction in the amount of seizures they were having. Scott Gottlieb, the chief of the Federal Drug Administration, stated that his section of the FDA agency has been very supportive of the effects on cannabis for medical use for many years now. He also stated that this approval was a reminder that there are many sound programs in developmental stages finding ways to create powerful medicines for people that contain components of marijuana in them.

There have been other drugs using ingredients of cannabis approved by the FDA before this one. One synthetic version was used in medical facilities to help patients infected with HIV lose weight.

Epidiolex is basically a version of CBD oil that is pharmacy-grade. There are already some parents who are using this type of CBD oil to treat their children with epilepsy. There are more than 100 types of chemical components found in the marijuana plant. The ingredient in marijuana that gives a mind-altering affect is known as THC. This ingredient is not used in medical-grade CBD oils and is not used in the creation of Epidiolex. Physicians who agree with CBD oil used in the medical field all agree that it needs to have strong government regulations that are consistent.

As with any type of drug that you can get prescribed, Epidiolex does come with some possible side effects from use. Some of the more common possible side effects include sleep issues, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea.

The immediate impact that this new approved drug by the FDA will have is yet to be clearly seen. The chief of the FDA has always warned about the use of other CBD oil products because they have no proven medical research to back up the claims and the safety of using the products. The promotion of some of these types of oils across the country may keep patients needing help from accessing the appropriate and regulated therapies they need to treat their sometimes serious or fatal types of diseases. It is important to only trust claims of CBD products that have been tested and approved by the FDA.

The Environment Hates Plastic Straws

The Environment Hates Plastic Straws

When it comes to plastic straws, opinions are diverse. They can be needed for those that have a disability in order to drink, but they are also incredibly bad for the environment, so what is someone to do? The two priorities of disability rights and environmental protection are usually compatible, except when it comes to plastic straws. The question is then asked, what is more important?

The European Union recently banned plastic straws in addition to cotton swabs. Vancouver has already announced plans to ban the straws and Scotland plans to ban plastic straws by 2020. Taiwan also is banning all single-use plastic items, straws included, by 2030.

In the United States, there are plenty of efforts to also ban plastic straws. New York City, cities in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Washington all have legislation that is pending in order to help ban plastic straws, in order to protect the environment.

Straws can be a luxury for some people, but for many others who can’t pick up cups due to a disability, they become life saving. Many people think the option is to buy reusable straws, and people who rely on straws do use them at home.

However, what can be done at public establishments that only have plastic straws available? Many are already accustomed to having plastic straws ready when out in public, but if more places are banning them, restaurants and establishments will no longer be able to cater to people with disabilities. It is unrealistic for those who rely on straws to bring their own from home when they are out.

There could be alternatives to plastic straws, but there hasn’t been a solution yet that makes sense. Otherwise, it would already be implemented in order to help protect the environment. Metal and wood straws can be dangerous and ineffective for those with disabilities.

Metal and bamboo straws prove too strong, so they can be difficult to use for people with Parkinson’s disease. Paper straws become too soggy and can create a choking hazard as they start to disintegrate. Reusable straws and other compostable straws are more expensive.

This not only poses a problem for the establishment that should be providing the straw, but also for those with the disability. Poverty is more common with those suffering from disabilities.

If plastic straws are going to be banned, they need to be available for those that actually need them. A solution that can help the environment is to have plastic straws on an on-demand system, where people who need them will request them and those who don’t need them can go about their lives.

In order for this to work, establishments do need to make the straws available, without questions. Those who need straws shouldn’t be shamed for them. While this could be a temporary solution, there should still be an effort on banning plastic straws with the disability community in mind.

Banning plastic straws is only a small part of the puzzle when it comes to helping the environment. Recent bans on plastic bags have helped the issue as well. Those with disabilities want to help the environment, there just needs to be a more creative solution besides an outright ban on plastic straws.