While we don’t know exactly how marijuana effects epileptic seizures in adults, a new study finds CBD provides great relief for teenagers struggling with epilepsy.
Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research centre at UNSW Sydney found that CBD successfully treats teens whose epilepsy does not respond to conventional drugs. The findings are published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
According to UNSW, preliminary research suggests that cannabinoids have the power to “dampen down convulsions” and that one of the cannabinoids, CBD, shows promise for curbing seizures all together.
Researchers go on to say that:
Clinical trial data showed that CBD used in addition to standard epileptic drugs was more effective than a dummy (placebo) drug at cutting seizure frequency by 50 percent or more and improving quality of life.
The bad news here is the side effects, both dizziness and drowsiness. Those who experienced these effects were 24 percent higher than those using a placebo, and those who experienced serious side effects were twice as high among those taking cannabidiol.
Pooled data from 17 of the observational studies showed that seizure frequency dropped by at least 50 percent in just under half of the patients and disappeared completely in nearly one in 10 (8.5%) in eight of these studies. Quality of life improved in half of the patients in 12 of the studies.
Researchers conclude that “Pharmaceutical grade CBD as adjuvant treatment in paediatric onset drug resistant epilepsy may reduce seizure frequency” and that “existing [randomised controlled trial] evidence is mostly in paediatric samples with rare and severe epilepsy syndromes; [randomised controlled trials] examining other syndromes and cannabinoids are needed.”