The first Cannabidiol based medicine gets FDA approval

On April 6 2020 GW Pharmaceuticals and it’s US Subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences Inc. announced that their cannabidiol based medicine EPIDIOLEX, which is a oral solution, is no longer a controlled substance. While there are no other CBD medicines with FDA approval, this announcement places EPIDIOLEX as the first cannabidiol based medicine that gets FDA approval.

The DEA also confirmed the non- controlled status of the medicine, fully establishing that the medicine is no longer a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Epidiolex is a cannabidiol based medicine that gets FDA approval for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gausetaus Syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older. As explained before on this page, CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the cannabis sativa plant, and it has several beneficial effects while not producing any high. Epidiolex contains a pure form of the cannabinoid derived from marijuana plants.

What is Epidiolex good for?

medicinal hemp

In the official FDA press release it is mentioned:

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Controlled clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of a drug, along with careful review through the FDA’s drug approval process, is the most appropriate way to bring marijuana-derived treatments to patients.

Because of the adequate and well-controlled clinical studies that supported this approval, prescribers can have confidence in the drug’s uniform strength and consistent delivery that support appropriate dosing needed for treating patients with these complex and serious epilepsy syndromes. We’ll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high quality products. But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims. Marketing unapproved products, with uncertain dosages and formulations can keep patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.”

In terms of testing the efficiency of the medicine prior to it’s approval: “Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo. The most common side effects that occurred in Epidiolex-treated patients in the clinical trials were: sleepiness, sedation and lethargy; elevated liver enzymes; decreased appetite; diarrhea; rash; fatigue, malaise and weakness; insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep; and infections.”

What changed for the cannabidiol based medicine?

After receiving the first FDA approval, Epidiolex was in Schedule V of the CSA, GW was than got a post-approval supplement with FDA to remove Schedule V designation for the medication.

This approval from the FDA along with the letter from the DEA means that all federal contralled-substance restrictions have need removed. The changes take place immediately and the company starts to implement the changes at state level in the entire distribution network. Once each state is ready, prescriptions for EPIDIOLES wil be valid for one year making it much more accessible. More doctors will now be able to prescribe this medicine without the requirements of state prescription drug monitoring programs.

CBD is now in the spotlight giving a chance for researchers to examine it’s effects. Furthermore, this are good news for the cannabis community and a glance of hope that more research about the properties of cannabinoids will be made and new medicine will appear and have a chance at approval for prescription.

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Legal cannabis resulted in a decrease in opioid prescription

A new study analyzed a database of 1.5 billion people with opioid prescriptions between 2011 and 2018. The publishing date was on Dec. 14 2019 in Journal of Health Economics. The study concluded that, there were reductions of 11.8 percent and 4.2 percent of opioid prescription.

Another study, which examined 2011 to 2016 Medicaid data had similar conclusion. “In this population-based, cross-sectional study using the all-capture Medicaid prescription data for 2011 to 2016, medical marijuana laws and adult-use marijuana laws were associated with lower opioid prescribing rates (5.88% and 6.38% lower, respectively).” In addition, the study from December examines all type of prescriptions not only the Medicaid. The conclusion, that Legal cannabis resulted in opioid prescription decrease, is similar to previous studies.

How can cannabis help with the opioid crisis?

CBD cannabis

Since pain began to be a common affection, doctors are treating it more aggressively. As a result, the number of opioid prescriptions quadrupled in the firstfifteen years of the new millennium. “Opioids are used to treat both chronic and acute pain, though their efficacy in treating chronic, non-cancer pain is limited (Boudreauet al., 2009; Chou et al., 2015, 2009).”. In addition to them not being efficient, they have severe side effects and sometimes destabilize patients even more.

As mentioned on the Harvard page, the most common use of medicinal marijuana is for pain control! Also there are several studies out there showing the benefits of CBD and THC for pain management. Because of those reasons, cannabis becomes one of the solutions for reducing the abuse of opioids.

There is common ground

Due to legalization in several states, more research could be conducted. More and more of the benefits of cannabis are now surfacing in the academical world. Even though research advances, it is difficult to introduce cannabis in nowadays medicine. Doctors also could have a difficult time in prescribing anything else than what the FDA approves. Because of political interest, it is difficut to get a cannabis based medicine to be FDA approved. This seems like ignoring several previous studies for personal gain. This makes it difficult even for the doctorss who advocate cannabis use to actually prescribe it. Doctors prescribe opioids which can have many side effects and can more addictive than medicinal cannabis.

legalize it

The study from the Journal of Health Economics suggests that Recreational and Medicinal access to cannabis are reducing opioid prescriptions. The results also fall in line with previous research on smaller populations. The authors also suggest that Recreational access has a more influential effect on the reduction than Medicinal access. This can be because of the wider access that recreational use gives and also not having to fulfill medicinal requirements. Legal cannabis resulted in opioid prescription decrease due to patients being able to manage their pain with cannabis.

Intersection with other pain medication

The article also mentions that prescribing NSAIDs, such as Advil or Aleve, decreases also by the passing of the recreational and medicinal cannabis laws. Those non-steroidal anti inflamatory drugs are less dangerous than opioids but can still be a difficult to use for people with kidney problems or ulcers. The reason why the laws decrease the consumption of NSAIDs and opioids is because patients get access to use cannabis products to treat pain. Furthermore, the patient are even more inclined towards using cannabis which is a plant, in comparison to the synthetic alternatives.


While cannabis proves more and more efficient in pain management, it is slowly replacing other alternatives that produce unwanted side effects. The risks of using cannabis are there, but they still are much lighter than those of opioids. By conducting more research it will be possible to know how to use this plant and minimize it’s side effects, while maximizing the therapeutic effects. It was too long that this plant was in the shadow, and it is time for humanity to stop hiding it and start using it to it’s entire potential!

As in many other situations, I will say that cannabis is not the fix to everything. BUT, it has many beneficial effects on humans and if we do not explore them we will never be able to understand the power of this plant entirely. Legal cannabis can help decrease opioid prescription and abuse. Here is a quote from the end of the article:

“While the results here do not suggest that cannabis access laws are the only tool to address prescription opioid use, they do suggest that cannabis access laws could play a meaningful role in addressing the opioid epidemic”

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Indica vs Sativa: How to choose cannabis strains?

Since cannabis is legal in some US states and other countries, it might be difficult to choose a cannabis strain. Usually, there are three categories of cannabis at the majority of dispensaries or coffee shops: indica, sativa and hybrid. This leads to a indica vs sativa clash. Consumers and sellers use two of those, indica and sativa, to describe strains that either are physically sedating or invigorating. Hybrids usually represent a combination of those effects.

While the traditional belief is that those effects are common for those kind of plants, some researchers say that the chemical profile is not much different. That would mean that it is more a difference between strains than types of plants. The three categorizations can help growers, as they describe the way plants grow and how to take care of them. In terms of effect, it is better to look at the cannabinoid percentages and terpene profiles of the strains you are looking for!

Physical differences between cannabis plant types

The indica, sativa and hybrid categorization is convenient for beginners and can still offer some information about the strain, especially in terms of how it grows! There are several differences between how these three plants grow and that is also where the names come from. Indica plants are shorter than Sativa ones. Indicas have wide leaves and robust stalks while sativas have long branches with large distance between nodes. Ruderalis is another kind of hemp plant that grows in colder environments. It doesn’t have huge or powerful yields but it goes directly into flowering cycle. Ruderalis is responsible of the auto flowering gene in other strains.

Those three type are present all around the world! Indica comes from the Middle East, countries like Afganistan, Pakistan and Tibet. Sativa comes from Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Lastly, Ruderalis is coming from colder places such as Eastern Europe and Russia.

Hybrids are results of people crossing strains all around the world. Nowadays it is extremely rare to find a seed of a strain that is 100% indica vs sativa or the other way around.

While there is no scientific evidence that the type of plant has any influence on effects, terpenes and cannabinoid profile actually do. The effects are influenced more by the cannabinoid content of the flower or concentrate but also the terpenes.

This just means that not necessarily all sativas will make you energetic and not all indicas will put you to sleep! So Indica vs Sativa might be outdated at this moment in time. Now we will give more details on the things that do have an influence on the effects.


The effects that cannabis have on the body are possible because of the chemicals inside of the plant, namely cannabinoids. Like THC and CBD, the most popular ones, cannabinoids are the main elements that produce the recreational or medicinal effect. They bind to the endocannabinoid system in the brain.

THC is making people feel hungry and high, helping with relaxing, pain and nausea. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and helps peple with anxiety, pain inflammation and many others. Researches found around 144 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but familiarizing yourself with THC and CBD is a good start!

So instead of choosing your strain based on Sativa, Indica or Hybrid, you can now look at the cannabinoid profile. This would naturally lead us to three new categories: High THC Strains, High CBD Strains and Balanced Strains. High THC Strains are for people who search for potent euphoric experiences or trying to treat pain, depression, insomnia and more.

Although the most popular strains, some people do not want the side effects of THC. High CBD strains are used by people who get anxious from THC, or people that want to quit THC. It is also popular among patients that need to stay sober. Balanced strains offer the best of both worlds, having a mild high effect but also the therapeutic side of CBD.


If you ever practice aroma therapy or like to play around with smells in your house, you already have the basics of terpenes. Plants and fruits produce different aromatic compounds with the name of terpenes. They make cannabis smell like cheese, lemon or fuel.

A question that still stands is how are the terpenes and different combinations of them influence the effects of different strains.

More information about terpenes in general, but also the ones found in cannabis is accessible here.

Choosing a strain

In order to get the most suitable strain it is important to know the reason of consumption in the first place. If it is for medicinal purposes or for recreational ones, and also what is their experience with cannabis. Based on the cannabinoid content, rather than the indica / sativa categrization, it is easier to choose from the vast menu of strains out there.

On the Cannah website, we provide 2 guides on how to choose the perfect strain. We feature High THC strains, High CBD strains and also Balanced ones. Even if we present some high THC strains, we actually recommend the Balanced or High CBD strains even for recreational use since they are also providing therapeutic effects. First article is about the best cannabis strains for depression and anxiety, and the second one is top 10 cannabis strains for indoor outdoor cultivation in 2020!

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5 benefits of CBD for skin care

One of the main things people need to know is whether applying CBD to the skin offers any exceptional advantages. For what reason would you take CBD topically when you could eat or vape it?

Above all else, some people need a more approachable way for this controversial herb to be used. Numerous individuals are as yet reluctant about ingesting it yet at the same time, they want to experience the benefits of CBD for themselves.

From facial masks and day creams to serums and shower bombs, the list of skincare items infused with CBD is countless. For instance, applying CBD lip balm to dry and windburned lips or rubbing on a CBD lotion can be a truly agreeable approach to open themselves to all that CBD brings to the table.

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The best part is that in addition to the fact that CBD offers some inside medical advantages when you apply it topically, including relief from discomfort and neuroprotection — it might even help your skin look better.

As per an ongoing report by the monetary administrations bunch Jefferries, the CBD beauty market could reach $25 billion worldwide in the following decade and make up 15% of the complete skin care market. Be that as it may, is there actually any advantage to utilizing items with CBD for skin care, or is everything simply advertising? Right now, will concentrate on the potental advantages of CBD for healthy skin.

Understanding the human skin

The human skin is the largest organ of the body which consists of about 15% of your whole body weight. It has three particular layers which are restored each 28 to 30 days. The skin plays out a few capacities running from protection against harmful effects of the sun and radiation, temperature regulation, offers mechanical help, prevents loss of essential body liquids, and entrance of poisonous substances. Your skin is the main line of protection against attacking pathogens and poisons; along these lines, satisfactory consideration ought to be taken to guarantee it is healthy and kept fit as a fiddle.

Why CBD is recommended for skin care?

The skin contains a network of nerves and receptor cells which assume active roles in homeostasis and fill in as the main line of protection against injury and disease. It is answerable for temperature regulation and guards the body from cruel natural conditions. The endocannabidiol system (ECS) receptors present on the skin has been recognized to assume some important benefits in both healthy and diseased skins including the following.

1. Remedy for skin problems

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have been effectively researched in the control and the management of skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. It has likewise served to diminish the development of sebum in sebaceous cells and hinders cell expansion on the skin.

The reason for the sebum is to shield our skin from the outer condition. Notwithstanding, it tends to be caught inside a pore when blended in with dead skin, or earth. The clogged pore becomes acne.

Along these lines, numerous creams, moisturizers, serums, and balms have hit the market offering new treatment choices for a wide scope of conditions like:

Dry Skin

A typical regular issue for some, dry skin can be awkward. Be that as it may, CBD’s hydrating properties re-establishing moisture, relieve irritation, and heal dry skin.


The overproduction of sebum oil is related with the most widely recognized type of acne. The investigation additionally uncovered that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties blocked inflammatory cell-flagging proteins that assume a role in trating acne. Likewise, CBD’s antibacterial and antifungal properties may likewise give skin inflammation insurance by guarding skin against natural factors that contribute to acne.

Variables, for example, stress, diet, hormone irregular characteristics, or meds can likewise cause skin acne. An examination in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) found that CBD balance oil production and furthermore had calming impacts on oil-delivering organs. This assists with diminishing any future skin inflammation.


CBD items developed explicitly for treating skin inflammation are turning into a famous treatment choice. By collaborating straightforwardly with receptors that impact vibes of torment and irritation, CBD can facilitate these indications and bring alleviation.


CBD is utilized by certain patients to manage the development of overactive skin cells related with this immune system issue. It additionally decreases aggravation and diminish torment and itching.


CBD’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help lessen redness and aggravation related with rosacea. (Furthermore, when ingested, it can likewise help lighten basic erupt triggers like stress and anxiety.)

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2. Anti-aging and antioxidant effects

About 90% of skin harm is brought about by the outside condition, for example, the sun, contamination or pollution. Inner harm is brought about by our collagen production system that works against us, being weakened over time. CBD slows the signs of aging by smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and by hydrating, tightening, and brightening the skin for a more youthful look.

Furthermore, CBD is so effective in light of the fact that it’s rich in:

Vitamin A: CBD is plentiful in vitamin A, which helps collagen production and assists skin with remaining firm. It likewise assists skin with adjusting pigmentation and hold moisture.

Vitamin B3 (or niacin): CBD contains vitamin B3, which recuperates harmed skin and indications of aging. Niacin promotes an energetic, sparkling appearance.

Vitamin C: CBD additionally offers the advantages of vitamin C, which lights up dull skin and helps sun harm relief. It additionally bolsters collagen creation and diminishes the presence of wrinkles.

Vitamin E: CBD is also reach in vitamin E, which assists hinder with free radicals that attack healthy cells, and decreases the appearence of scars.

Researchers claim that the body creates less and less collagen as we age. The collagen production is evaluated to decrease by 1% consistently after we hit our twenties. That implies the aging procedure starts gradually from that point. This prompts weak muscles, droopy skin, and loose connective tissues that creates the old look.

Utilizing CBD in skincare items may assist with slowing down the indications of aging. Its cell reinforcement properties prove to be useful in killing the destructive impacts of free radicals. Information gathered from research shows that CBD inspires a cell reinforcement which keeps your skin healthy.

3. Soothing effects

Stimulating the ECS receptors can inspire soothing effects on the brain by releasing wellbeing hormones. It has additionally been recognized to promote the wound healing, muscle spasms, control the chronic pain and much more.

It’s considerable calming and alleviating effects can help the delicate skin from redness, irritation or sensitivities. Regardless of whether you believe that your skin isn’t excessively sensitive, it can likewise assist with relaxing your skin tissues after peeling or waxing.

Topical utilization of CBD as facial creams, lotions, and serums can create skin-normalizing impacts, keeping you fresh for throughout of the day. CBD-based skincare products are high in basic unsaturated fats like Omega 3, 6, and . In this manner, it prevents moisture loss while keeping the skin all around hydrated. Furthermore, a recent report found that CBD additionally assists with advancing oil production for overseeing dry skin.

Sun exposure, poor diet, and stress harm our wellbeing and skin more than we can imagine. CBD is relaxing our body and mind, improving rest to help give our body time to recover our harmed skin cells and remove toxins. The outcome is reasonable, youthful looking, and fresh skin. The skin-soothing properties of CBD make it the perfect option for all skin types.

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4. Antimicrobial and protection against UV radiation

Including CBD in our skin care routine can help us fight against microbial intrusion. It frames a defensive layer on the skin protecting it against microbe assault. UV radiation can likewise be unsafe to our skin. The presence of UV radiation can cause early aging of the skin, wrinkles or other more serious skin issues. There are numerous CBD sunscreens available to help relieve and decrease the aggravation and torment related with burn from the sun.

Terpenes, which are similar to essential oils, provide cannabis plants their distinctive aromas and flavors. Many terpenes, such as β-amyrin and cycloartenol, have been shown to possess antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as a study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal in 2018 indicated.

5. Hair and scalp nourishment

CBD oil is full of amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants, all essential nutrients for healthy hair. It may also support production of the oils that protect and nourish the hair and scalp. Through its interaction with the ECS, CBD may also help regulate sebum production. Sebum-producing glands surround each of our hair follicles, secreting these natural oils to help our hair (and scalp) stay healthy and hydrated.

Antioxidants: CBD oil additionally contains a considerable amount of antioxidants, including vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Antioxidants work against free radical damage, which can cause hair loss. Studies have additionally demonstrated antioxidants to help keep hair vibrant and shiny.

Amino acids: CBD oil is wealthy in amino acids – the complex of proteins that reinforce hair and hair follicles. Around 88% of our hair is made of keratin, a protein compound from 18 distinctive amino acids. Amino acids additionally assume a huge role in red blood cell production, which supplies nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles.

Fatty acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6 unsaturated fats are famous in nourishing enhancements for hair growth. Since the body doesn’t deliver them all alone, we have to secure these unsaturated fats from outside sources. CBD oil gives a rich stock. One key Omega-6 unsaturated fat in CBD oil is gamma linolenic corrosive (GLA). GLA shows incredible guarantee in combatting hair loss. Researchers believe that this is because it promotes blood flow to the scalp.

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Endocannabinoid system: How does it work?

There are several reasons why we can feel the certain effects that a cannabis strain can have and differentiate them! The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that was found almost 40 years ago. Components of the ECS are endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. There is some research that points out that the ECS might help regulate a variety of functions like sleep, mood, memory, appetite and pain sensation.

The endocannabinoid system is functioning insde everybody even if they never consumed cannabis.

Endocannabinoids are small molecules that our bodies produce. They are similar to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. One of the endocannabinoids is anandamide which acts on CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, modulating the central or peripherial nervous system.

Endocannabinoid receptors

You can find cannabinoid receptors throughout your body, on the surface of cells. Endocannabinoids bind to them and transmit information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell.

There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
  • CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells

Metabolic enzymes

The enzymes ensure that after using endocannabinoids they are cleaned out. Their functions is to make sure that the endocannabioids are used wherever is needed, but no longer than necessary. This process distinguishes endocannabinoids from many other molecular signals in the body, such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters, which can persist for many seconds or minutes, or get packaged and stored for later use.


All the potential functions of the endocannabinoid system are still to be a subject for studies. There are, however, some scientific articles that link the ECS to the following processes:

  • appetite and digestion
  • metabolism
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation and other immune system responses
  • mood
  • learning and memory
  • motor control
  • sleep
  • cardiovascular system function
  • muscle formation
  • bone remodeling and growth
  • liver function
  • reproductive system function
  • stress
  • skin and nerve function

These functions all contribute to homeostasis, which refers to stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force, such as lack of sleep or pain, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS helps your body return to its ideal state.

How does the ECS interact with THC and CBD?

Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the most known cannabinoids, and the one that is responsible for the psychoactive effect. After it is in the body it binds, like endocannabinoids, to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Because it can bind to both, this cannabinoid can induce a wide range of effects. Some beneficial and some not so beneficial.

While THC binds to the same receptor as some cannabinoids, the effects differ because the way of binding differs but also the fact that the enzymes do not effect THC.

The cannabinoids that come from cannabis also interact with many other receptors in the brain, a good example being CBD. Because of binding to more receptors, cannabinoids induce different effects than endocannabinoids, even if they activate the same cannabinoid receptors.

CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 in a different way, and it may be that it binds to a receptor that is not found yet. CBD also affects overall levels of endocannabinoids in the brain. It inhibits enzymes which break down endocannabinoids, increasing the anandamide levels. The inhibation of those enzymes are a useful strategy for treating anxiety, which might be a reason why CBD can help with anxiety and depression.

Finding more about the ECS could help in treating many conditions, and develop a better understanding of how it works!

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