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NICE has discouraged the use of CBD drug for epilepsy

CBD Oil For Epilepsy

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a reputed institution of research and analysis. Recently the research establishment totally ruled out the recommendation of Cannabis Oil for Epilepsy. It has counselled to refrain from using Epidiolex with clobazam for treating epilepsy, Dravet, and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes that are treatment-resistant. 

But, NICE is open to discussion on the matter with certain disclaimers attached to it. It has also drafted guidelines concerning the effectiveness of treatment. It has acknowledged that CBD with clobazam has reduced the major kinds of seizures and the symptoms connected with it, yet the long term efficacy of these drugs is quite uncertain. 

CBD or cannabidiol is derived from the hemp plant which is a byproduct of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana also is extracted by the same plant but there are differences between both. On one hand, the THC portion in marijuana is higher, CBD has less than 0.3% of this psychoactive compound. The more the THC the greater effect it has on our brain and behaviour. CBD is anti-inflammatory and does not have any mind-changing compound in it.

Ever since the farm bill has legalised the growth of hemp plant, CBD has taken the health care market by storm. Inclusion of CBD in many drugs is effective in the treatment of several illnesses. Epilepsy patients have experienced great relief in their condition especially after taking CBD infused medications. For seizures too, people have experienced no seizures after taking these medicines. Apart from these conditions, CBD also has shown the brighter side for treating ailments like depression, joint pains, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. 

NICE also has mentioned that it is concerned with the overall affordability of the drug also. But, it is ready to sit and discuss how it can work the financial. They also intend to give their inputs on cost-cutting. 

This will be discussed with the manufacturer because there has been no information about it. The director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, Meindert Boysen recently said that even though people taking CBD with clobazam had experienced major relief and reduction in seizures, they are still not convinced about the effectiveness in the long run. 

He also told that the way the company promoted the product as something very effective for a better quality of life is misleading. The current evidence that NICE has is more than enough to stop using the combination for the ailment. 

NHS London early this month highlighted the lack of data was a major roadblock for their patients to obtain CBD drugs. It has assumed the responsibility of addressing these concerns in the best possible manner especially now that the law is allowing prescription of CBD drugs.

The head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Prof David Nutt has added to the concern by saying that producing CBD drugs can be an expensive affair. Hence, traditional companies are not able to produce them. He also told at the Science Media centre that Cannabinol by itself is not successful or treating conditions of epilepsy. The Cannabis oil also contains other variants like d9THC and THCV that anti-epilepsy in nature. 

To establish its effectiveness a lot of research is yet to be done. Conducting such research where combinations of a compound have to be used can be an expensive affair. The whole exercise becomes futile especially when there is a higher probability of NICE not reimbursing any portion of the cost. This very much explains why major pharmaceutical companies have not entered the field in the active mode. 

America has legalised the growth of hemp plant but the farmers have to ensure that the THC level is 0.3% or less. CBD has been popularized over the years especially in the health care industry and cosmetics industry. Major personalities like Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian are about to launch their specialized range of skin and hair care products with CBD. Their belief in CBD has increased manifold which is why these personalities have are constantly investing in such ventures.

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People also have heard a lot about CBD though they have not read much material on it. Experts and researchers now have to orient their effort towards researching CBD on humans so that the overall effect can be established. Currently, many large institutions are not confidently embracing CBD because they want more evidence supporting it. NICE is ready to sit for discussion but the future is still unknown.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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