Cannabidiol may work wonders in children suffering epileptic seizures as per the findings of several new studies.
Epilepsy is a syndrome that poses many difficulties in treating. With some medication available on prescription, epilepsy usually requires a lifelong regular treatment. Cannabidiol is naturally produced in cannabis or marijuana plants. Several derivatives using the non-psychoactive compound have appeared on the market targeting epilepsy. Haleigh’s Hope or Charlotte’s Web are just some of the names of these derivatives, yet none of them have undergone clinical trials.
The parents of the children who took these cannabidiol-based drugs took a risk from this perspective. None of the products came with safety tests or reviews clinical trial results. Nonetheless, the parents reported extraordinary progress with their children.
However, the first studies to assess the safety of cannabidiol in treating epilepsy have only been conducted. The findings are presented within the meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, taking place in Philadelphia.
The study included 313 children from 16 centers nationwide and was led by Doctor Orrin Devinsky, neurologist with the New York University Langone Medical Center. Over the course of the study, 16 percent of the children withdrew.
The results achieved with the 261 participants remaining suggest that cannabidiol may work wonders in children suffering epileptic seizures. Over the three-month trial, the number of convulsive seizures reduced by approximately 50 percent on average. Even after the end of the trial, some of the children experienced continuous benefits of the cannabidiol treatment. According to Doctor Devinsky, 9 percent of the participants became seizure free. In addition 13 percent of the patients suffering from Dravet Syndrome epilepsy also became seizure free.
For many of the children this is a first time experience.
In another study led by Doctor Maria Roberta Cilio, pediatric neurologist with the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, the majority of children experienced the same benefits following the cannabidiol treatment. However, one of the children experienced an increase in seizures as the dose of cannabidiol increased as well.
Some of the children participating in the study led by Doctor Devinsky also experienced an increase in the frequency of seizures. However, the doctor is not sure if the cannabidiol treatment is to blame or if other factors may be at play.
Several other studies and clinical trials are planned to explore the full extent of cannabidiol treatment in epilepsy patients. To fully assess the effect of cannabidiol in epilepsy patients, trials longer than three months are needed.
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