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Cannabidiol Shows Promise as a Seizure Treatment



February 17, 2016

A note from the publisher: Since the publication of this article, the FDA has approved a CBD-based prescription drug for two special types of epilepsy.

Cannabidiol could be an effective seizure treatment for otherwise untreatable patients suffering from a drug-resistant form of epilepsy:

Treatment for a drug-resistant form of epilepsy may come from an unlikely source, Scientific American reports.

A study published in The Lancet Neurology in December 2015 indicates that cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive chemical in marijuana, may be an effective treatment for epileptic patients with no previous treatment options. 

In the study, the researchers treated 162 patients with an extract of 99 percent cannabidiol and monitored them for 12 weeks. This treatment was supplemental to patients' existing course of treatment.

The patients who received cannabidiol had motor seizures at a reduced rate of 36.5 percent. Even more promising: 2 percent of patients became completely seizure-free. 

Despite these results, the exact effects of the drug are still questionable. Cannabidiol inhibits liver enzyme function, so it's possible that taking it simply concentrated the effects of the other medications already in the patients' systems. 

Still, researchers and clinicians remain optimistic that this compound in marijuana could be an effective treatment for hitherto untreatable patients.


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