In a study out of the New York University Langone Medical Center, researchers conducted a year-long study to see the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD), a medical marijuana derivative, was effective in reducing seizure frequency and well-tolerated and safe for most children and young adults. The study was published in Lancet Neurology.
In 11 epilepsy centers across America, patients were given the oral treatment over a 12-week period. In an open-labeled trial, where both the patients and the researchers know what treatment the patient is taking, 214 patients between 1 and 30 years of age with intractable, or treatment-resistant, epilepsy were enrolled in the trial.
Results showed a median 36.5 percent reduction in monthly motor seizures, with the median monthly frequency of motor seizures falling from 30 motor seizures a month at the study’s start to 15.8 over the 12 weeks. Overall, the treatment was safe, apart from some adverse isolated events.
Adverse events were reported among participants, including drowsiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue and convulsion. Most were mild to moderate and transient, but 20 patients had serious adverse events related to CBD use -most commonly status epilepticus, or seizures that last too long or too close together. Five patients had to discontinue treatment due to these adverse events.
More research needs to be done they said, “Before we raise hopes for families who regularly deal with the devastation of treatment-resistant epilepsy.”
For more information, read the full study.