Two years ago, the University of Utah's Division of Pediatric Neurology and Primary Children's Medical Center embarked on their journey to study the effects of the CBD-based drug Epidiolex on the treatment of intractable epilepsy in children and young adults. This trial is to be the first of three clinical trials analyzing the effects of this GW Pharmaceuticals drug, one being an observational-trial in which everyone receives Epidiolex, and two being controlled trials focused on specific forms of epilepsy and administering both Epidiolex and placebo. About 30 individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy will have participated in the three trials at some point.
According to one of the authors and neurologist Francis Filloux, early results revealed participants reduced the frequency and severity of their seizures by 40 percent, with one participant even becoming completely seizure free. Families also noticed improved alertness and better sleep patterns. Some children experienced minor negative side effects, however, like nausea, diarrhea, or appetite changes. Because the results are generally very positive, GW Pharmaceuticals' next step will be filing a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration, and then continuing with the next trials which, according to Filloux, should be complete within the next few years.