Marijuana’s effect on the body has garnered more and more interest as it becomes legal for medical and recreational use in different states. People who are against marijuana legalization cite the potential for addiction and other dangerous side effects, but a new report may debunk this popularly-held belief. On Dec. 13, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a cannabis compound called cannabidiol (CBD) “could have therapeutic value” for epilepsy-related seizures. Additionally, the WHO says that CBD is not likely to be misused or create dependence, unlike other cannabis compounds like Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC).
Since medicinal cannabis has become a more commonplace alternative for a well-established list of ailments, patients are finding a place for it next to their Advil and Tums. But unlike many other chronic illnesses that can be managed with over-the-counter supplements, epilepsy requires a specific cocktail of chemicals not readily available at the local corner store.
WASHINGTON DC — Patients with intractable epilepsy in Alabama felt better overall one year after initiating a daily cannabidiol (CBD) regimen, according to a study presented here, despite also reporting declining social support and more stressful events over the course of the year. Epilepsy patients started taking daily doses of CBD. One year later, a significant number felt better. The state-funded study did not directly assess CBD’s impact. “I can’t say that” CBD was a factor, said lead researcher Barbara Hansen, now a sociology professor at Henderson State University (Arkansas). She did confirm that every patient in the study was indeed administered CBD, when she spoke to Leafly.com at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting earlier in December.
It’s a buzzy trend in the wellness world, and while CBD is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, don’t worry — it won’t get you high. Here’s what you need to know about the latest ingredient everyone’s talking about. What is CBD? CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in marijuana and hemp. You’re probably already familiar with THC, which is another compound found in the cannabis plant. But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, it’s not what gets you stoned. It’s also different from medical marijuana, which has been shown to reduce pain.
Cell-sized cannabis factories could soon be producing medical treatments for epilepsy. A non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants called cannabidivarin (CBDV) has shown promise in the treatment of severe cases of epilepsy. However, to treat just 10 per cent of people with epilepsy would require around 1500 tonnes (tons) of pure CBDV. To obtain this amount using current methods, you would need to plant large quantities of marijuana and extract their small supply of CBDV. “There’s so little of this chemical in plants it would actually be impossible to harvest it by traditional means,” says Kevin Chen, who runs Hyasynth Bio, a start-up in Montreal, Canada.
Treatment with cannabidiol reduces some major symptoms in mice with a genetic condition recapitulating Dravet syndrome, a devastating childhood brain disorder. Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance among the several active compounds derived from Cannabis plants. This molecule can also be produced synthetically. The results of its use to treat Dravet syndrome are reported in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has reported that its cannabis-based epilepsy gel ZYN002 (cannabidiol [CBD] gel) has failed to meet the primary point in a phase 2 clinical trial. The trial dubbed as STAR 1 was held in 188 adult epilepsy patients with focal seizures across 14 sites in Australia and New Zealand. When compared to placebo, ZYN002 during the treatment period could not show a statistically significant decrease in focal seizures in comparison to the baseline period for either the high or low dose cohorts. STAR expands to Synthetic Transdermal Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy. The patients in the phase 2 trial were randomized to be treated during a 12-week period for every 12 hours with either 195mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel, 97.5mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel or placebo gel. The primary...
New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used anti-epileptic drugs. It is important for clinicians to consider such drug interactions during treatment of complex conditions.
We are often judged by the company we keep, even unfairly. For decades, that has been the fate of cannabidiol, a chemical compound that has the bad luck to occur naturally in marijuana, the world’s most controversial plant. Because cannabidiol is subject to the same tight legal restrictions on personal and scientific use as is marijuana, its potential medical benefits have been underappreciated — at least up until now.
New open-label data from the expanded-access treatment program involving the cannabidiol Epidiolex (GW Pharma) show the median reduction in frequency of convulsive seizures after 3 months of treatment was 45% in all patients but higher in those with Dravet syndrome, among the most severe types of epilepsy. The data are “very positive and promising,” said lead author Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor, neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, and director, New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.
After 2 years of delays, appeals and uncertainty about availability, high-CBD, low-THC Medical Cannabis grown in Florida will finally be available next week to patients with prescriptions. Trulieve, located in Tallahassee, Florida, have announced that they have received the first formal authorization from the Florida DOH (Department of Health) to commence sales and dispensary of medicinal cannabis products. These CBD products are approved for persons with uncontrollable seizures and cancer and possibly other conditions. Children with Dravet syndrome and intractable and other hard-to-treat types of Epilepsy are expected to be greatly helped by the availability of high-CBD cannabis derived medicine. For more information check out Orlando Weekly, Miami Herald, or Orlando Sentinel and many oth...