Israeli researchers evaluated the efficacy and safety of artisanal CBD-rich extracts in a group of young people with types of epilepsy that are resistant to therapy. 51 percent of patients who received extracts for at least a year saw a significant decrease in the frequency of their seizures. Patients only had minor negative effects from CBD therapy.
“Artisanal cannabidiol-enriched cannabis may be an effective and safe long-term treatment for refractory epilepsy,” the authors wrote in their conclusion.
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of Epidiolex, a prescription drug used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two uncommon forms of severe epilepsy. Epidiolex contains a standardized formulation of cannabidiol produced from plants. The US Drug Enforcement Administration promptly downgraded Epidiolex to Schedule V of the US Controlled Substances Act, the category with the fewest restrictions permitted by federal law.
Full text of the study, “The long-term effectiveness and safety of cannabidiol-enriched oil in children with drug-resistant epilepsy,” appears in Pediatric Neurology. Additional information on cannabis and epilepsy is available from NORML.