Marijuana is seen as a wonder drug by people who suffer chronic pain and seizures, although critics are wary of its hallucinating side effect. To prevent the negative effects of cannabis, scientists have tried extracting specific non-addictive components from marijuana to assess their health benefits.
One of these compounds is cannabidiol (CBD), which was investigated in great detail through a series of studies presented during the recent Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Philadelphia.
The first study tested 261 children (age 11 on the average) diagnosed with epilepsy. The participants were given increasing doses of Epidiolex, a liquid form of CBD created by GW Pharmaceuticals. Results showed about 45 percent decrease in the frequency of seizures. Children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome exhibited the most significant reduction in seizures at 71 percent.
A second study looked into the long-term effects of taking Epidiolex. After one year, the participants were found to have seizure frequencies reduced by half.
The third research was a pre-clinical study on the safety and effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for seizures. The tests conducted on lab mice revealed “significant anticonvulsant effects and was well-tolerated in rodents,” as reported in a news article.
The fourth study assessed the impact of CBD on anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) for patients who experience seizures. Results of rodent testing showed that CBD enhanced the positive effect of levetiracetam, but it adversely affected the efficacy of clobazam and carbamazepine.