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WIRE: Studies indicate CBD treatment reduces refractory epileptic seizures

Boston, MA — Cannabidiol (CBD) administration is associated with the mitigation of treatment-resistant seizures, according to the findings of several recent clinical trials.

In one trial, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital assessed CBD treatment over a 12-month period in 18 patients with refractory epileptic seizures due to Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Researchers reported that CBD treatment reduced subjects’ median weekly seizure frequency by half. Authors concluded, “[T]hese findings suggest that cannabidiol may be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with refractory seizures in TSC.”

In a separate trial, investigators at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Texas Children’s Hospital assessed CBD administration, in the form of Epidiolex, in seven children with persistent refractory seizures due to febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES). Cannabidiol dosing reduced seizure frequency and duration in six of the seven subjects. Participants in the study also eliminated their use of four anti-epileptic drugs.

In another trial, Epidiolex treatment was associated with reduced seizure frequency and was well tolerated in subjects with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy, in a recently concluded Phase III trial. Epidiolex is an oral pharmaceutical formulation of extracted CBD that has received Fast Track Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Finally, the administration of CBD extracts was reported to be efficacious in a pair of case reports summarized in the journal Frontiers of Pharmacology. Authors reported that CBD dosing resulted in “complete seizure remission” in a seven-year-old boy with Dravet syndrome and in a ten-year-old girl with refractory epilepsy.

For more information, please visit: http://norml.org/library/item/epilepsy.

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