Tel Aviv, Israel: Adults with treatment-resistant focal epilepsy (epilepsy characterized by seizures arising from a specific part of the brain) respond favorably to the adjunctive use of plant-derived CBD dominant cannabis extracts, according to data published in the journal Neurological Sciences.
A Colombian investigator assessed the efficacy of high CBD/low THC extracts in a cohort of epileptic patients. Of those who maintained a cannabis-treatment regimen for at least three months, 80 percent experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in seizure frequency at 12 weeks. Only a minority of patients reported any side-effects.
“The reduction in seizures frequency is maintained over time.” the study’s author concluded. “The CBMF (cannabis-based magistral formulation) is a highly effective and safe therapy to treat adult patients with DRFE (drug resistant focal epilepsy).”
Israeli data published in June similarly reported that children with refractory forms of epilepsy experience significant reductions in seizure frequency following the long-term use of plant-derived CBD extracts.
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration granted market approval to Epidiolex, a prescription medicine containing a standardized formulation of plant-derived cannabidiol for the treatment of two rare forms of severe epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Shortly after approval, the US Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified Epidiolex to Schedule V of the US Controlled Substances Act — the lowest restriction classification available under federal law.
Full text of the study, “Cannabis based magistral formulation is highly effective as an adjuvant treatment in drug-resistant focal epilepsy in adult patients: An open-label prospective cohort study,” appears in Neurological Sciences. Additional information on cannabis and epilepsy is available from NORML.