According to a groundbreaking, peer-reviewed study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, cannabidiol (CBD) could be the key to treating children with epilepsy.
The 14-week study included 120 children between the ages of two and 18 who suffer from Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes severe seizures and kills up to 20% of sufferers by the time they reach the age of 20. Currently, there are no drugs specifically approved to treat Dravet.
Sixty of the children in the study were given CBD oil in addition to their regular regimen of treatment, and 60 of the children were given a placebo. Neither the children’s families nor their physicians knew which subjects were receiving CBD, resulting in a double-blind study which ensures the accuracy of the study’s findings.
“Seizure frequency dropped in the cannabidiol-treated group by 39% from nearly 12 convulsive seizures per month before the study to about six; three patients’ seizures stopped entirely,” wrote the study’s authors.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center said, “Quite remarkably, 5% of the children in the active treatment group with CBD were completely seizure free during the 14 weeks of the trial, and these were kids who were often having dozens of seizures, if not many more than that, per week.” He added, “These are some of the children I care for [who] were in wheelchairs, were barely able to open their eyes in an office visit and really showed no emotion and … now they come in, they’re walking, they’re smiling, they’re interactive. It’s like a different human being in front of you.”
London based company GW Pharmaceuticals sponsored the trials, and the CBD administered in the trials was branded as Epidiolex, a product which the company plans to ask the FDA to approve this year. If the FDA approves Epidolex, it could lead to the reclassification of cannabis from Schedule 1, an important change that would open up opportunities for cannabis research in the United States.
At The Green Solution®, we know that the potential uses for cannabis have only begun to be discovered, and we’re looking forward to the expansion of medical cannabis programs here and around the world.