A recent research study on the use of cannabis in treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy differs from previously held beliefs about CBD versus THC.1 The study, conducted in Australia, found that parents treating children with medical cannabis extracts saw a great reduction in epileptic symptoms, up to 75 percent, however, products surprisingly contained relatively low levels of CBD (cannabidiol). CBD has generally been considered to be the key constituent in the therapeutic benefit of cannabis.
Extracts studied, tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) & its sister compound THCA
In most of the extracts studied, tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) and its sister compound THCA were present, though not in amounts that caused psychoactive affects. Over half of the extracts were associated with a seizure reduction of 75-100 percent. This does support animal studies on the anticonvulsant benefits of THC and THCA. Other benefits were also seen, such as cognitive improvements (35 percent) and language skills (24 percent).
Surprisingly low levels of CBD and THC
The surprisingly low levels of CBD, as well as THC, led researchers to consider the whole plant of cannabis as working synergistically, rather than an isolated constituent action in lone fashion. Corresponding author and academic director of the Lambert Initiative, Professor Iain McGregor, said: “Although the illicit extracts we analyzed contained low doses of CBD, three in four were reported as ‘effective’, indicating the importance of researching the cannabis plant in its entirety for the treatment of epilepsy.
Concentrations did not differ between samples perceived as ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’
Furthermore, he commented that “despite the overwhelming presence of generally low levels of THC, concentrations did not differ between samples perceived as ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’.”
- Suraev A. Lintzeris N, Stuart J, et al. Composition and Use of Cannabis Extracts for Childhood Epilepsy in the Australian Community. Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 10154 (2018)
Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_yacobchuk’>yacobchuk / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia though naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.