About Epidiolex and medical cannabis

On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered the available clinical trial results available for Epidiolex and subsequently approved an oral solution of the drug. Epidiolex was approved for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. Epidiolex became the first FDA-approved cannabidiol-based drug for use in adults and children older than two years. As expected, many independent research inquiries were conducted to ascertain the efficacy and safety of the new drug in the target population. Since its approval, Epidolex has shown impressive results in the treatment of the two rare forms of epilepsy for which it was indicated. 

To a large extent, the approval of Epidiolex started the much-publicized green rush and also created positive promotional headlines for cannabis and cannabis-derived products. For the first time in a long time, modern medicine turned to a cannabis-derived product for succor and considered other cannabis-derived products as a potential game-changer in human medicine. 


Impacts of Epidiolex on the cannabidiol industry

The approval of Epidiolex was an additional catalyst to a rapidly expanding cannabinol industry. One of the first noticeable impacts is the sudden increases in the total market share of the CBD industry. Before 2017, there were only a few market research reports on the valuation of the global cannabidiol market. However, in 2018, the approval of Epidiolex prompted different market analysts to monitor the market of this new drug. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global cannabidiol market was valued at $4.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.2% from 2019 to 2025. 


Impressive cannabis stock valuation

Before the approval of Epidiolex, cannabis companies listed on the stock market in different countries only deal in hemp and cannabis-derived products such as extracts, gummies, oil, and CBD-infused cosmetics. Epidiolex has positively impacted the stock valuation of GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH)—the company responsible for its development and sale. As an immediate effect, the shares of GW Pharmaceuticals rose in after-hours trading to $150—a staggering uptick of 3.62%. In the first quarter of 2020, the sale of Epidiolex in the United States alone was valued at $106.1 million. During this period, the sale of Epidiolex in Germany and the U.K totaled $10 million. 

GW Pharmaceuticals has also completed plans to introduce the CBD-based drug to Sweden and Italy after a successful entry into France. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the global sale of Epidiolex keeps increasing. GW Pharmaceuticals has also filed a supplemental New Drug Application with the FDA in a bid to secure approval for Epidiolex in the treatment of seizures with tuberous sclerosis complex. As an expected ripple effect, Epidiolex has spiked investment interests in other cannabis stocks globally.  



Increased cannabinoid research and new drug development attempts

Following the approval of Epidiolex, many researchers have turned to cannabidiol and different CBD/THC combinations in medical research. Different surveys and drug candidate screenings have also commenced. These researches and clinical trials are, if successful, are expected to increase the number of CBD-based drug candidates available for review and approval. In a bid to expand the market valuation of Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals has begun a clinical trial, currently in Phase 2, in the hope of securing approval for Epidiolex in the treatment of spinal cord injury spasticity and post-traumatic stress disorders. There are also other Epidiolex-based clinical trials investigating the potential benefit of the new drug in the treatment of Sturge-Weber syndrome, cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder, and symptomatic management of Covid-19 patients. New CBD-based drug approval and successful clinical research are expected to positively impact the global cannabidiol market in the nearest future. 


Increased product revenue for the global cannabis industry

The global cannabidiol market is divided into different sections depending on product interest. There are separate valuations for the CBD beverage market, CBD nutrition market, CBD oil market, CBD-infused personal care, and cosmetics market, and the CBD pharmaceuticals market. Since its approval in 2018, Epidolex has positively improved the valuation of this market. In the launch year, Epidiolex added a whopping $269 million as added revenue to the global sale of CBD-based pharmaceuticals and supplement products. With a planned launch in countries outside the United States, the value is expected to increases steadily over the years. This new drug has also created a global awareness for cannabis and especially, CBD-based products. The CBD oil market, which was rarely studied before 2017, is now projected to grow at a CAGR of 31.90% for the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. Other sections of the cannabidiol market have also been projected to expand rapidly in the next few years. 

Judging from all market analysis reports available, the global cannabidiol market has experienced an impressive boom since the approval of Epidiolex and it is widely considered that the room for continued growth in the future is substantial. 



Anthony Tribunella

Having experienced the benefits of CBD first hand when it was starting to gain popularity, Anthony decided to spend his working life championing it to the public and his peers in the wider CBD community. As a CBD innovator himself, Anthony likes to remain at the leading edge of scientific and product development to ensure that the potential of CBD has every chance of being fully realized.

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