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Companies continue CBD research despite Brexit and Trump concerns

The year 2016 was an extraordinarily volatile one for companies trading on the world’s major stock markets, following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. GW Pharmaceuticals based in London, England, revealed that revenue plummeted by 62 percent in 2016.

But the uncertainty has proved temporary, with GW, which produce CBD therapy products, bouncing back in style – its stock spiked by 5.5 percent as trading resumed. GW Pharmaceuticals manufactures a CBD therapy treatment called Epidiolex, which is one of the company’s best-selling products. Epidiolex is commonly used to treat Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome, rare epileptic conditions normally found in children that cause severe, often life-threatening seizures.

GW’s Chief Executive Officer, Justin Glover, appeared encouraged by the new numbers in a post on the pharmaceutical’s website.

Glover said GW was making “very good progress” in preparing an NDA submission, Britain’s version of the FDA, with the main goal of getting Epidiolex into the hands of patitents as soon as possible.

Focusing on epilepsy conditions like mentioned above, Glover added that the CBD-infused Epidiolex medicine is essential for affected children as seizures have been “resistant” to prescribed medication.

Epidiolex has been found to significantly reduce seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome, according to Orrin Devinsky, M.D., of New York University Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Devinsky is also the Principal Investigator of the Dravet Syndrome trial.

The American Epilepsy Society has been running an Epidiolex program, with the aim of finding reliable, quality data on how CBD (cannabidiol) can be used to help. Devinsky said that in future, CBD could be standardized, pharmaceutically tested and prescribed to patients as a mainstream treatment.

Epidiolex gaining full approval by the FDA could send shockwaves through the federal government, which has stood firm against medical marijuana. To be prescribed to U.S. patients, Epidiolex would have to be federally legal, and the only way to achieve this would be by the DEA downgrading cannabis from Schedule I. This would be a huge step forward for medical and recreational marijuana.

However, GW Pharmaceuticals remains hesitant about political proceedings in the United States, saying Trump’s election could negatively affect them on foreign trade, as well as approval and importation legislation concerning Epidiolex and other GW products.

Tonic (stiffening) and atonic (drop) seizures are most prominent in patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. Dravet syndrome first occurs in infancy and is a lifelong epilepsy condition. It is very rare but extremely debilitating, with prolonged seizures a common symptom. Dravet patients can experience multiple seizures a day.

With Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet often resistant to standard, old-fashioned prescribed medication, the families of children with these conditions have been understandably excited about the growing awareness and acceptance of CBD, nd the potential the non-intoxicating marijuana compound has.

Glover called Epidiolex a “compelling product” and said that GW investors were “genuinely excited” about their work and the hope this CBD treatment is offering.

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