By Spencer Grey
The weed news of the past week has been relatively tame (no huge synthetic weed overdoses, or anything), but there’s still plenty to learn about! This week we tackle weed news on Epidiolex, insomnia, and those damn kids.
We recently reported on the FDA approval of the cannabis-based drug Epidiolex. This drug has been shown to reduce seizures in kids with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome by up to 75 percent. But what many families hoped would be a godsend has turned into something slightly nightmarish.
GW Pharmaceuticals has quietly released their estimate of the drug’s cost. According to the average weight and dosage for patients, a full year of treatment with Epidiolex will cost $32,500. That works out to just over $2,700 per month. While it’s not comparable to the cost of treatment for cancer, that’s still a huge cost for the average American. While insurance co-pays will significantly lower the cost, we all know how difficult it is to get insurance to do anything.
The money grab involved in the development of this drug is disgusting, especially considering that CBD-rich and CBD-only products are readily available in legal marijuana markets. It’s also worth noting that the side effect list for Epidiolex is a doozy, including such symptoms as rash, lethargy, and “infections”—none of which are an issue with cannabis or CBD. In what world does it make sense to take something that works on its own, add in a host of other additives that cause side effects, and then turn around and sell it for a massive premium?
CBD oil alone is infinitely cheaper, and it’s the active ingredient in Epidiolex anyway. Hopefully families affected by these tragic conditions find a way to access the healing aspects of cannabis without the pharmaceutical middlemen.
Anybody who’s taken a few too many tokes and woken up after an 87-hour nap knows that cannabis can make you sleepy. Insomnia is one of the most common reasons people pick up the pipe, but there’s been great controversy on whether or not it truly helps.
A recent study from the University of New Mexico has confirmed a cannabis nightcap is beneficial to a good night’s sleep. The study asked 409 people to complete 1,056 “medical cannabis administration sessions”, and tracked their responses over multiple categories.
The subjects answered questions after each session, using an app called Releaf. They were asked about their administration methods, the products they used, how they dosed the products, and any side effects they encountered. By the end of the study, patients reported an average of -4.5 points on their 10 point insomnia scale. This isn’t the most scientific study ever conducted on the subject, especially since it deals with self-reporting. However, the sheer volume of responses increases the validity enough to make this study worth considering.
The unflagging point that anti-marijuana advocates cling to is “THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN”. Thanks to a new study from University of California San Diego, we now know we don’t have to worry about that too much. This new study disputes claims that more dispensaries near schools means escalated teen use.
According to this study, involving 117 randomly selected 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, was clear in its findings. Their main conclusion:
The distance from school to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary (within 0- to 1-mi and 1- to 3-mi bands) was not associated with adolescents' use of marijuana in the past month or susceptibility to use marijuana in the future, nor was the weighted count of medical marijuana dispensaries within the 3-mi band of school.
Guess the haters are going to have to find a new crusade slogan! That’s all for this edition of weekly weed news. See you soon!