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Potential Cure for Epilepsy: Cannabis Vastly Reduces Seizures in Boy with Dravet Syndrome

Potential Cure for Epilepsy: Cannabis Vastly Reduces Seizures in Boy with Dravet Syndrome

cannabis-oilScientists are looking at the potential use of cannabis to treat and potentially cure severe forms of epilepsy.

The medical benefits of medical marijuana for neurological conditions like epilepsy are highly debated.

Examining the potential use of the drug, a series of articles in the journal Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, looks at its potential use for treating the syndrome.

Edward Maa, from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health in Denver, Colorado, looks at a case study of a child with Dravet syndrome – a very severe form of epilepsy.

In the case, a mother provided her child with a strain of medical marijuana high in Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) known as Charlotte’s Web.

When used with the child’s normal drug regime, seizures dropped from 50 convulsions per day to just two or three per month.

Another article in the series looked at current evidence surrounding medical marijuana and its use for epilepsy and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

“There is a critical need for new therapies, especially for childhood-onset treatment-resistant epilepsies that impair quality of life and contribute to learning and behavioural disorders.”

Peadiatric research director Maria Roberta Cilio

While THC and CBD display anticonvulsive properties in animals, the research was not carried out in acute animal models and the data was limited when looking at chronic recurrent seizures.

Recent studies also suggest that cannabis strains high in CBD and THC are more effective at seizure control, but the data was flawed.

Maria Roberta Cilio, director of research in paediatric epilepsy at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, said the development of new drugs for epilepsy is paramount.

“There is a critical need for new therapies, especially for childhood-onset treatment-resistant epilepsies that impair quality of life and contribute to learning and behavioural disorders,” she said. “Rigorous investigation of the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana or individual components such as CBD are necessary for patients with epilepsy before any conclusion is made.”

Orrin Devinsky, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Centre at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, added: “While cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy for centuries, data from double-blind randomised, controlled trials of CBD or THC in epilepsy is lacking.

“Randomised controlled studies of CBD in targeted epilepsy groups, such as patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, are in the planning stages.”

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  1. Is CBD oil just for kids? I am so sick of side effects from drugs. I want to try it. Can my epileptologist prescribe it? I live in Florida where it is legal but I don’t think Doctors are on board. Thanks and Peace! Mary Jane. mjlevell@yahoo.com

  2. Hi Mary Jane,

    Testing of medical grade CBD has only been done on children with serve epilepsies. I would NOT buy over the counter hemp oil CBD.

    In Florida you have to have a 90 day relationship with your doctor. He/she must have taken the mandatory course as well. If he/she has and wants to prescribe it for an adult they can. The prescription goes to the Florida Dept. Compassionate Use Registry for approval and then you can get it from one of the Florida producers of medical CBD. This is the current 2014 law/rule. It will be changing this year after the passing of Amendment 2.

    You are correct in that many doctors are not that familiar with the law and success rate of CBD. Event though it is legal in Florida it is technically illegal still by the federal government so many doctors are shying away from it.

    • Thanks for responding. It was very informative. Peace ve with you! Mary Jane

    • You are welcome. We have a couple good webinars on it in the Webinar Archives section up in the tabs you may want to look at as well. The medical Director and I discuss the laws and medical CBD vs. non-medical. Very informative.

    • Chuck, Just curious–what med. do you take? Secondly, if the doctor does prescribe CBD oil, can one get it in pill form from the pharmacy? I doubt very much he will prescribe as he just believes in meds.

  3. Mary Jane,

    Right now in Florida it only is in oil form. In some some states it may be available in capsule for. Who is your doctor? He/she may want to watch the webinar. CBD is a medication and another option for those whose seizure are difficult to control. It has also shown no side affects. I do not have seizures. My mother did. I have been the Executive Director of a regional Florida Epilepsy Association of 25 yeas now.

    I don’t like taking medication(s) either and the side affects. I know how you feel. I take 6 different medications a day for another medical condition and it makes me tired, have stomach issues, irritable at times and more. I wish I had another option to look at like CBD. Good luck, the Florida law will be changing this year and it will be expanded quite a bit.


    • Thanks Chuck once again for info.. My doctor is Erasmus Passaro. Sorry about all the meds. you take. Take care ! Mary Jane

    • You are over in the St. Pete area then? I know of him but have never met him. I know my counterpart over their with Suncoast Epilepsy Association use him for some of their clinics/patients.

      You take care as well and thanks. We are here for you if you need our assistance. Chuck

  4. Yes, I live in 0 downtown St Pete in a Senior Bldg. Presbyterian Towers. It is good for me since I take the bus. Take care, Mary Jane

  5. Nice. I have a grandson that is 13 that lives in Yacht Club Estates right where you cross the bridge to Treasure Island.

    The have done so many nice things to downtown St. Pete. We come over a lot and then go downtown to dinner. Central Diner for breakfast is a favorite spot as well.

  6. I have lived in St.Pete for five years. I used to live in Tampa. but I walk a lot and I am close to everything so St.Pete is better for me.. There is always something going on in North Straub Park or Vinoy Park and I am just about a block away. My daughter likes my living here because where I cross the street, cars have to stop and if I happen to have a seizure.I won’t get hit. She saw me have a seizure and I stopped in the middle of the street. I wear a medical alert bracelet which she bought so if I have a seizure. her telephone number is on the back. Take care. Mary Jane

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