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Cannabidiol (CBD) helps children with epilepsy

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Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that is characterised by epileptic seizures, episodes resulting from abnormal brain activity. However, CBD gives hope for the treatment of epilepsy. But, what do scientific studies say? Here we focus on specialist studies examining paediatric patients.

The effect of cannabis on epilepsy has been explored since the 1970s, and epileptics are nowadays an expanded choice because, unlike specialised drugs, CBD-containing products are natural and have few side effects. Patients often choose cannabis because other medication does not work. [1]

Positive examples from Italy, USA and Israel 

The fact that cannabidiol (CBD) limits epileptic seizures is the prerequisite, as well as the result of research by the Italian scientist Emilia Peruccia, who provided doses of CBD, over the period of a year, to patients with epilepsy. The patients, however, did undergo other therapies during the year, so the results were not purely due to the effects of CBD. Peruccia examined two types of childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In both cases, the effects of CBD were two to three times higher than the placebo. [1]

Stanford University researchers called on parents of epileptic children, associated in a specialised facebook group, to participate in CBD based research in order to help their children. There were a total of 19 children aged 2 to 16 years in the research group, and the average number of drugs tested prior to this study was 12. A total of 84% of parents experienced a noticeable reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures, of which, in two cases, seizures completely ceased. As a positive side effect, families reported improving mood, alertness and better sleep for their children. Negative effects were fatigue and drowsiness. [2]

Israeli scientists examined 74 epileptic children (1-18 years old) across clinics throughout the state. For 3 to 6 months, they were given dissolved cannabidiol (CBD) and THC in olive oil in a 20: 1 ratio. A significant improvement was seen in 89% of patients, 18% of whom reported a 75-100% decrease in seizures. Five patients experienced a worsening of seizures, and as such stopped using CBD. [3]

These studies, as well as many others, evaluate CBD as a very promising alternative for the treatment of childhood epilepsy. The results of the research are very positive, and the use of CBD-enriched hemp extract is becoming more and more popular among epileptic patients, due to the potential for significant reductions in the frequency of epileptic seizures.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767492

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4157067

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26800377

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