CBD and epilepsy

Oral cannabis extracts were effective in one third of children with epilepsy in an open study

About one third of children suffering from different forms of epilepsy experienced a more than 50 % reduction in seizures by the use of oral cannabis extracts, researchers at the Medical Campus of the University of Colorado in Denver reported in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior. They conducted a retrospective chart review of children and adolescents who were given cannabis extracts. Seventy-five patients were identified of which 57% reported any improvement in seizure control and 33% reported a more than 50% reduction in seizures (responders).

The responder rate varied based on epilepsy syndrome: Dravet 23%, Doose (Myoclonic astatic epilepsy) 0%, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome 88.9%. Additional benefits reported included: improved behavior/alertness (33%), improved language (10%), and improved motor skills (10%). Adverse events occurred in 44% of patients including increased seizures (13%) and somnolence/fatigue (12%). Rare adverse events included developmental regression, abnormal movements, status epilepticus requiring intubation, and death.

Press CA, Knupp KG, Chapman KE. Parental reporting of response to oral cannabis extracts for treatment of refractory epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2015;45:49-52.

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