Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective treatment of a rare and severe form of epilepsy. The study, which was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, involved 225 people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome who received a CBD agent free of THC over the course of 14 weeks. Before enrolling in the study, participants had tried an average of 6 traditional anti-epileptic medications without success, and experienced an average of 85 weekly "drop seizures," which occur when the muscles become limp and cause an individual to fall. During the study, patients received either high doses of CBD (20 mg/kg), low doses of CBD (10 mg/kg), or placebo, of which 40% of high-dose patients and 36% of low-dose patients experienced 50% or greater reductions in drop seizures. High-dose patients experienced a decrease in drop seizures by 42%, on average, per week, and low-dose patients saw this decrease by an average of 37%. Those who received CBD were 2.6 times more likely to say their condition had improved than the patients who received placebo and experienced a 17% reduction.
Study author Dr. Anup Patel writes, “Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control.” Patel noted that those who received CBD were more likely to experience side effects like a decrease in appetite and sleepiness, but that these side effects were mostly well-tolerated.
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