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Use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy is expensive, NIH says

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The use of Epidiolex, a cannabis oil to treat epilepsy is expensive as per NIH. The medical advisory of the UK has said that this drug can reduce seizures in epilepsy. But, due to its high cost, one can’t use it to treat epilepsy in children.

Can cannabis oil treat both types of epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the CNS. It affects the activity of the brain and can lead to unusual behavior and loss of awareness. It can also cause seizures to occur. The symptoms of seizures may vary broadly.

A group may just blankly stare for a few seconds while the other may frequently twitch its arms and legs. A single episode of seizure doesn’t imply that one has epilepsy. But two unprovoked seizures can lead to a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Often, medicines and surgery can control seizures. Some people may need lifetime therapy to reduce seizures while in others, after a time, the symptoms go away. But in children with epilepsy, the condition may worsen with age.

The evidence has shown that prescribing cannabis oil can control seizures in these children. But then again, the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy is too costly. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has stated that it doesn’t allow the use of Epidiolex to treat two severe forms of Epilepsy.

Thes are; Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epidiolex is cannabidiol mixed with clobazam (an anti-seizure drug). The NICE doesn’t advise this drug because of its unclear long-term effects besides the high cos

 Epidiolex can reduce the number of seizures in epileptic children

The Department of Health and Social care has asked NICE to check whether the NHS in England can use the cannabis oil, used in the U.S. to treat rare conditions that begin in childhood. The NICE has found that this oil has no psychoactive component like THC, which makes a cannabis user ‘high’.

And it has said that this oil can reduce the number of seizures but still the body has concerns about the validity of its economic models. The NICE committee has also stated that the GW Pharma (the company that provides this oil) hadn’t assessed the possibility of oil to become less efficient over time. That is also the case in other medicines to treat epilepsy.

Currently, only a limited number of parents have a medical license for using cannabis oil to treat epilepsy. Besides having a valid UK license, some people have resorted to buying it from abroad. At present, the UK hasn’t approved the use of Cannabidiol, but this may change in the future.

Also read- Can Hemp Oil Treat Epilepsy in Dogs?

A Professor at Imperial College London has stated that the useful medicines on the NHS, derived from cannabis, can be ‘a lost cause’ after the lack of these guidelines. A spokesperson for the Cannabis Patient Advocacy Support Services has also told that this news was quite upsetting for the parents, as this oil has helped children in many cases.

Overall, the draft guidance by NICE has shown that the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy is too costly and it may have long-term effects. The GW Pharma has assured that by working with NICE, it is trying to focus on the issues raised in the draft guidance. And it has aimed to ensure that patients can have access to this medicine on the NHS.

 

 

 

 

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United Kingdom has still a long way to go before legalizing cannabis in the country

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Though the United Kingdom is in favor of cannabis legalization, it is still illegal in the country. Let us go through the marijuana sector of the United Kingdom.

Some facts about cannabis consumption in the United Kingdom 

The people residing in the United Kingdom strongly favor the legalization of cannabis. But it is limited only to the back door market. There are more than 2.5 million cannabis users in the UK who buy it illegally as reported by the Cannabis Consultancy Prohibition Partners. It makes up almost 4% of the total population of the United Kingdom carrying a worth of more than £5 billion. 

It is important to note that 22% of the country’s population smokes tobacco, which makes up the revenue of almost £18 billion annually. Whereas, 60% population of the country drinks alcohol regularly ranging a worth of almost £68 billion. 

Legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom

In 2018, the UK legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The major reason behind its regulation was many high-profile cases of epilepsy in children came to light. Cannabis-related medications became the pain reliever for those patients suffering from such high profile epilepsy cases. Still, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is extremely less. 

Only the specialist consultant from General Hospital can prescribe it. The UK also allowed hemp oil and CBD, containing less than 0.2% THC, in the country. But a medical license is mandatory for using them too.

 Which country is the largest exporter and producer of legal marijuana across the globe?

Although the stance of the government of the United Kingdom is much strict for cannabis users, it is the largest exporter as well as the largest producer of legal medical marijuana in the world according to the reports of United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. This clearly shows that the UK exports all the legal cannabis products manufactured by the country.

There are only two products of medical marijuana in the UK that have a license. One is Sativex which is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals and the other one is Nabilone owned by Eli Lilly. 

The contradictory policy of the United Kingdom

It is evident from all the facts mentioned above that the government of the United Kingdom is still confused about whether to legalize marijuana in the country or not. While it is the largest exporter and producer of cannabis, it is very tough for patients of the country to have access to the products of medical cannabis. 

This shows the sanctimonious face of the country and it would probably cause difficulties for the cannabis industry in England including the monopoly of licensed manufacturers, high cost and barriers for the new entrants.

Some top-notch stocks of the United Kingdom

Though there are many difficulties for marijuana companies in the UK, there is a large range of public companies. According to the London Stock Exchange, most companies have other side businesses too other than cannabis. Some top cannabis stocks of the United Kingdom are GW Pharmaceuticals, Futura Medical, Integumen, AfriAg, and Sunrise Resources.

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New Jersey still waiting to Regulate Cannabis for Recreational Purposes

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The members of the Senate of New Jersey were going to vote on the bill of expungement on September 12. This bill was related to the convicts of marijuana and also involved some recommendations from Governor Philip D. Murphy.

But, as mentioned by one of the articles of NJ Advance Media, Senators including Teresa Ruiz, Sandra Cunningham and Stephen Sweeney, the President of the Senate of New Jersey, launched a new legislation. In light of the article, the new legislation will widen the restrictions on the offenders charged with cannabis-related offenses to entreat expungement.

But the bill could not pass because the Democrats failed to gather enough support in the Senate on 12th September.

History of marijuana legalization in New Jersey

In New Jersey, only medical cannabis is legal yet. Though Governor Philip D. Murphy along with other Democrats tried several times to regulate recreational cannabis, they failed to gather enough support to pass the bill.

Governor Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act of New Jersey in 2010 to regulate marijuana for patients suffering from chronic illness. This year, Governor Philip Murphy passed the Jake Honig Law. This law relieved the restrictions including the amount of medical marijuana any patient could buy and the number of visits to physicians required to purchase it.

For recreational marijuana, Senator Scutari first launched a bill on 17th May to regulate adult-use marijuana. But the Governor of New Jersey at that time, Chris Christie, opposed this legalization. As a consequence, the bill rejected. When Murphy was elected as the Governor of New Jersey, he launched a campaign to regulate marijuana in the state. Governor Philip Murphy had full control of the Democrats in the Senate as well as in the Assembly. But he could not succeed to legalize recreational cannabis. The major reason for failure was the disharmony among the party. Also, African American members of the senate strongly opposed this bill.

The people residing in New Jersey favor the regulation of adult-use cannabis. According to the Cannabis Business Executive, a survey conducted by Monmouth University suggested that 62% of adults of the state were in favor to legalize a small amount of marijuana in possession for recreational purposes. The survey also indicated that 74% of the adults were in favor to remove the charges on offenders charged for cannabis-related offenses. In the United States of America, 33 states have legalized the use of medical cannabis. Whereas, only 11 states including Oregon, Massachusetts, Alaska, and California have allowed recreational marijuana.

Some advantages of the legalization

There are many advantages of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. It would not only create new job opportunities but also increase tax revenue. According to the article of NJ Advance Media, the Governor of New Jersey believes that $80 million would be collected by the state as a cannabis tax revenue in the upcoming year. It involves $20 million from cannabis for health purposes and $60 million from cannabis for recreational purposes. This regulation will also allow cannabis companies to enlarge their businesses across the state.

 

 

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What Do the British Have to Say About Cannabis?

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Many British leaders from political parties in the United Kingdom are of the belief that the UK will be fully legalizing cannabis in the coming decade.

Political leaders from the Labor’s party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats highly appreciate the legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom. The world is in an economic crisis. Many nations are looking forward to methods that will expand their economy.

Cannabis offers the brilliant potential for expanding the global market and help it reach up to the mark. This is because cannabis has over 500 applications in the industry. Moreover, the amazing influence it has on the medical sector is rudimentary for its popularity.

CBD has benefits in almost all kinds of industries like medicines for inflammation, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chemotherapy nausea and emesis, epilepsy, endometriosis, and others. It has also been proved to relieve anxiety. Also, it has found uses in replacement therapy and others. Harvard Medical School states its seizure alleviating properties.

Is Cannabis legal in the United Kingdom?

Cannabis is illegal in the United Kingdom at the current moment. However, it is regarded to be the most popular drug in the country. Thirty percent of the adults out of the total population have tried the substance for once at least in their lives.

Much of the opinion of the British politicians in the United Kingdom was not in favor of the legalization of cannabis. However, the sudden upsurge about the emerging industry in Canada and the United States of America has quite changed their perspective.

They want to legalize the market and regulate it, so the business shifts away from underground gangs. This way, more young people will purchase and sell the substance more responsibly and safely. The black market will fail to thrive under such approval. However, there will be a dire need to organize the distribution in the country properly.

The opinion of Liberal Democrats on cannabis legalization

Liberal Democrats have moved forward with the campaign to legalize the substance in the United Kingdom. Though refined products like cannabidiol oil can be bought over the counters in the United Kingdom, oils containing the psychoactive compound THC are not legal.

Some consumers have found that the oil containing THC does not cause a high. Instead, it has helped them get better sleep. They believe that this oil is purely for relaxation purposes. On the contrary, this oil is legal for recreational purposes.

Opinions against the legalization of cannabis

Some British politicians are not truly in favor of complete legalization but are open to the idea. There is a need for more analysis before the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. The experts suggest that it would take around a decade to fully comprehend the specifications before full legalization.

While the world is moving forward with making the global economy better, some political representatives are against legalization. They criticize that the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived product will not eliminate the black market. In addition, they also believe that the full legalization does not fully address the harms of drug dependence.

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