What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 1

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

As legalization proceeds and barriers to medical marijuana research are knocked down, we are becoming more aware of just how powerful wide-reaching medical marijuana is. One of the cannabinoids getting the most attention is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can help a myriad of conditions. In this series, we will discuss some of the many conditions CBD can treat.

Numerous studies have suggested CBD can reduce anxious feelings in those with anxiety disorders, and that it can effectively treated a variety of anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder. Studies also suggest CBD could benefit those who suffer from depression. Animal studies have shown CBD acts on the serotonin pathways in the brain, allowing it to act as an antidepressant, and one study found CBD reduces anhedonia, which is a symptom of depression that prevents people from feeling joy or happiness. CBD can also stop nausea and vomiting. One study found CBD effectively helped treat nausea in patients who did not get relief from traditional treatments. CBD may also help those with diabetes, and animal studies have found the cannabinoid slows the progression of diabetes and diabetic inflammations, as well as benefit complications associated with diabetes. CBD may also protect against diabetes, and one study found CBD prevented at-risk mice from developing the condition.

Perhaps the most well-known success story for CBD is its ability to treat epilepsy. CBD has acted as an anticonvulsant in animal models, and GW Pharmaceuticals have been testing their CBD oil Epidiolex with success. In the study, 25 and 50 mg/kg a day lowered seizure frequency by half while producing few mild side effects. Additionally, a 2013 survey of parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy found 84% reported reduced seizure frequency with CBD use. Lastly, and contrary to previous beliefs, CBD may treat schizophrenia and mental illnesses related to psychosis. It has been found to be as effective as antipsychotics with fewer side effects, and scientists believe this could be attributed to the stimulation of anandamide production. One study found CBD helped with hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotion, and reduced social functioning. CBD can also benefit those with Parkinson’s disease, and various studies have found CBD can help treat the sleep disturbances and psychosis associated with the disorder without worsening motor symptoms and while improving overall quality of life.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In tomorrow’s post, we will continue to discuss some of the conditions CBD is able to treat.

Study Finds CBD Reduces Potentially Fatal Seizures In Children

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

A new study led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the liquid form of CBD treatment called Epidiolex reduced the number of seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy. The 120 children and teenagers from the U.S. and Europe who were involved in the study took a teaspoon of Epidiolex or placebo oil twice a day along with their traditional anti-seizure medications over the course of 14 weeks. Patients who took CBD saw a decrease in serious seizures with convulsions from 12 per month to 6. Three of those patients became seizure free. Those who took the placebo saw no change. Epidiolex did produce some side effects, however, and patients who took the medication experienced more frequent diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, 12 patients removed themselves from the study, nine of which were on the drug and three of which were taking placebo. 

Still, the information is positive, and Devinsky says, "This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for this medical problem." This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

GW Pharmaceuticals Continues to See Positive Results from Epidiolex

Photo Credit: Getty

Photo Credit: Getty

GW Pharmaceuticals began their exploration of Epidiolex, a CBD-based medicine, on symptoms of two treatment resistant forms of epilepsy back in early 2016. They have now recently published the results of their third phase of the study, and study author Elizabeth Thiele, M.D., Ph.D., says, "For many children with treatment-resistant Dravet Syndome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and other epilepsies, CBD appears to be an effective - sometimes extremely effective - treatment that is safe and well-tolerated overall."

The controlled study looks at 120 children with Dravet Syndrome for 14 weeks, with 61 receiving Epidiolex twice a day and 59 receiving placebo. Those who received the medication experienced an average decline in seizures per day by an average 39%, with three of the patients eliminating seizures all together, while those who received placebo only experienced a decline in seizures by about 13%. The study also tracked 171 children and adults between the ages of 2 and 55 diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome over the course of 14 weeks. Similarly, the patients were administered their doses twice a day, with 86 receiving Epidolex and 85 receiving placebo. Those who received Epidiolex witnessed a drop in seizures by 44%, with those receiving placebo only witnessing a reducing by 22%. 

This information has been provided by Marijuana Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Studies: CBD Treatment Reduces Refractory Epileptic Seizures

Findings from several clinical trials suggest cannabidiol (CBD) can mitigate treatment-resistant seizures. One trial from the Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed the effects of CBD treatment over the course of a year in 18 patients who suffered from refractory epileptic seizures as a result of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). They found CBD reduced the median weekly seizure frequency by half, and that the treatment was well-tolerated. A case reports found in Frontiers of Pharmacology found CBD resulted in complete seizure remission in a seven-year-old boy who suffered from Dravet syndrome, as well as a ten-year-old girl with refractory epilepsy. 

A trial from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Texas Children's Hospital assessed the use of Epidiolex, an oral pharmaceutical medication composed of extracted CBD, in seven children with persistent refractory seizures due to febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES). In six of the patients, seizure frequency and duration was reduced, and the participants also eliminated their use of four anti-epileptic drugs. Another trial found patients diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome experienced reduced seizure frequency as a result of Epidiolex use, and they tolerated the medication well.  

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Early Results: Epidiolex Decreases Seizure Frequency and Severity

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

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. 

This information has been brought to you by Marijuana Industry News and the Salt Lake City Tribune and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Doctor Hopes Medical Marijuana Clinical Trials Could Make Pot Schedule II

Photo Credit: Ryan Bushby (HighInBC) - Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Ryan Bushby (HighInBC) - Wikimedia Commons

After completing Phase one of clinical trial testing on the use of medical cannabinoids for the treatment of epilepsy, lead researcher and epileptologist Dr. Paul Lyons released positive results of his study at a symposium hosted by the Winchester Neurological Consultants. The double-blinded study conducted over the course of four months involved a group of 14 children who suffered from severe LGS epilepsy, and not even Lyons knew who received the cannabinoid-based medication Epidiolex and who received placebo. Lyons discussed the results, saying, "We've had a significant reduction in number of seizures, severity of seizures, and increase in the number of seizure-free days, and just as importantly, improvement in cognition."

These results go beyond offering children with epilepsy a safe and effective medication for treating their symptoms. Dr. Lyons hopes this research will confirm marijuana's potential as a powerful medicinal alternative to pharmaceuticals and will lead to its rescheduling from Schedule I to a Schedule II substance, a move that would open the doors to more substantial research. He explains, "I hope that this would move the dialogue on the medical indication for medical cannabinoids in the U.S. and clearly distinguish that from recreational use... In that way, the federal government, through the FDA and the DEA, could be the leaders on establishing logical, rational, and readily available research for these kinds of diseases so patients don't have to wait years for clinical trials as they did with this case."

This information has been provided by the Virginia news outlet Your4State and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Results for GW Pharma’s Epidolex

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

In the first of four phase III clinical studies surrounding the cannabis-based epilepsy medication Epidiolex, the manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals revealed its medication successfully treated a severe form of epilepsy in children. The study involving 120 children found Epidiolex syrup was able to reduce the monthly number of seizures for kids suffering from Dravet's Syndrome by 39%, while the placebo only reduced the seizures by 13%. GW Pharmaceuticals will now seek regulatory approval from the USFDA.

This information has been brought to you by the Marijuana Business Daily and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

UAB Presents First Results of CBD Oil Studies at Neurology Meeting

Photo Credit: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Photo Credit: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Investigators from ongoing CBD oil studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Children's of Alabama are releasing their preliminary findings from the studies they launched in April of 2015. An abstract of the early results from the study reveal that of the first 51 subjects who enrolled in the studies, 50% responded to the CBD oil therapy with sustained improvement in seizure control over a six-month period. Those who responded positively experienced a reduction in seizures by 32-45%, depending on the dose. Two of the patients became completely seizure free, but nine patients dropped out of the study to a lack of efficacy or negative side effects.

While it's still too early to say, investigators are positive about the preliminary findings. Principal investigator and professor in the Department of Neurology Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., says, "The studies are ongoing and we have a lot more to learn; but these preliminary findings are encouraging... Among our goals was to determine the safety of CBD oil therapy, and it appears that, in many cases, patients tolerate the oil quite well. The evidence of seizure reductions gives us hope that, the more we learn about CBD oil, the better we will be able to tailor this therapy to proved relief for those with severe epilepsy."

We look forward to learning about the final results when the study is complete. This information has been provided by UAB News and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Marijuana as Epilepsy Treatment? Two New Studies Agree That It's the Best Cure for Hard-to-Treat Cases

Photo Credit: Latinos Health

Photo Credit: Latinos Health

Not one, but two new studies have been released attesting to the claims that medical marijuana is an excellent treatment option for treatment resistant cases of epilepsy. In the larger study, which we discussed in a recent post (see: Landmark Study Confirms Marijuana Extract Is Amazing Aid to Prevent Seizures in Children With Epilepsy), 261 patients who completed the trial received cannabidiol (CBD), a natural derivative and cannabinoid of marijuana, for three weeks. The trial resulted in a decrease of grand mal or tonic-clonic seizures by about 50 percent, and about one of every ten patients actually became seizure free.

The other study took place over the course of 12 months and involved 25 children with epilepsy who averaged around 9 years old. The children received Epidiolex, and by the end of the trial about 40 percent of the patients experienced a decrease in seizures by about 50 percent. One of these children had a particularly severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy that generally does not improve with other treatments, and by the end of this trial the child was seizure free. That being said, in contrast with these promising results, 48 percent of the participants stopped taking Epidiolex due to lack of improvements, and one child stopped its use due to worsened seizures.

In both studies, the patients knew exactly what they were receiving, meaning the studies were not placebo-controlled or double-blinded. The results of the studies should be taken "with a grain of salt," and a larger, randomized, and placebo-controlled study is currently in the works. This information has been brought to you by Latinos Health and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Epidiolex Shows Promise in Latest Study

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

The latest study surrounding Epidiolex, a CBD-derived medication produced by GW Pharmaceuticals, has shown promising results in the treatment of intractable seizures. The trial lasted three months and involved 313 children who suffered from seizure disorders and did not experience relief from conventional treatment methods. The ages of the children varied, but the average age was about 11 years old. Participants were given Epidiolex in addition to their regular medications, and approximately 84% of the children witnessed a reduction in grand mal seizures by an average of about 50%. Lead author of the study, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, said 9% of all of the patients, and 13% who suffered from Dravet Syndrome specifically, became seizure free, something that they had never been before.

That being said, the new medication did not work for everyone. About 16% of participants eventually withdrew from the study due to a lack of improvement or to adverse side effects like diarrhea, fatigue, decreased appetite or altered liver enzymes. In addition, the study is not without its limitations. Researchers and participants knew what medication was being administered, which at times produces biased results. The study also neglected to include a control group to look at whether or not a placebo effect was involved. In order to get a truly accurate study, Epidiolex should be researched within a double-blinded and controlled study. Nonetheless, researchers are still hopeful about the medication and hope to continue their research.

This information has been provided by Marijuana Investor News and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Shows Link Between Medical Marijuana and Seizure Prevention

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

With all of the claims made by parents of patients who suffer from various seizure disorders or by the patients themselves regarding marijuana's ability to reduce or eliminate seizures, it almost seems common knowledge that the plant has anti-seizure properties. That being said, this anecdotal evidence is only as good as the clinical research that is able to support it, and unfortunately United States drug laws severely limit this research. 

Now, a recent analysis performed by doctors Daniel Friedman and Orrin Devinsky seems to back these claims. The doctors reviewed several clinical trials involving cannabinoids and realized there was potential for treating epilepsy. Friedman explained, "When you look at the combined weight of animal data, it appears that cannabidiol appears to have the most consistent anti-seizure effect." In addition, Epidiolex, which is 99% CBD, reduced seizures by 50% or in 2/5 of all patients in one study, or eliminated seizures by 50% in 137 of 213 patients in another study. 

Even though the current clinical research on medical marijuana is lacking, many medical communities and research foundations are coming out in support of removing barriers and allowing access to the plant for further studying its effects on epilepsy. Even the Epilepsy Foundations expresses an interest in exploring CBD's ability to treat seizure disorders. 

Many states on a local level have enacted CBD-only laws, but these laws seem insufficient, as research suggests cannabinoids work better supplementing each other in what is called the entourage effect. On a national level, the United States still has a long way to go to improve access to medical marijuana and remove barriers to researching it's therapeutic properties. 

Visit Marijuana Investor News to read more about these recent studies that back the claims that  marijuana is an effective way for reducing or eliminating seizures. 


Groundbreaking Research Suggests Medical Marijuana Could Reduce Seizures In Children

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

For children who suffer from epilepsy and other seizure disorders, there may be a new treatment option approved by the FDA in the near future. The drug Epidiolex, which is derived from cannabidiol (CBD), is the first FDA-sanctioned drug to undergo several clinical trials for the purpose of examining its effects on children who suffer from intractable seizure disorders. The American Academy of Neurology released very encouraging preliminary results from the trials. Data revealed that over 50 percent of 137 epileptic children and young adults who were treated with Epidiolex for a period of three months saw a reduction in their seizures.

These results are only preliminary, and should not be taken as hard scientific proof yet, but now there is research that seems to support what people have been saying all along: medical marijuana can reduce seizures in children. The clinical trials for Epidiolex will continue for several months, and the complete results of the trials should be available next year. 


The Role of Cannabis in Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Epilepsy is a clinical syndrome in which a person suffers repeated seizures over time that are unprovoked by an acute systemic or neurological insult. Current treatment options can range from a combination of pharmaceuticals, to monitoring diet, and even undergoing surgical intervention. As the medical benefits of mmj are explored, there is hope that medicine high in CBD may offer a new treatment option for those with epilepsy.

In preliminary animal studies, CBD was shown to have anitconvulsant effects in mice when seizures were induced. CBD has passed through the trials necessary to deem it safe and nearly side effect free, which allowed it to be researched in clinical trials in the form of the pharmaceutical Epidiolex, a 98% CBD compound drug. In 27 patients, 44% noticed a reduction in seizures.

Charlotte's Web, a medical marijuana strain very high in CBD, offers more promising results. Of 200 children treated at the Realm of Caring, 78% experienced a reduction in seizures, and 25% found it almost completely eliminated their seizures.

Because current treatment options are inconsistently effective and sometimes create undesirable side effects, we hope that high CBD strains and oils may be an effective therapeutic alternative for epileptic patients.

http://bit.ly/19Qst4R (Medical Jane)
http://bit.ly/1ocTVur (Medical Jane)