CBD reduces seizure frequency by 39% in patients with Dravet Syndrome
A study conducted by New York University Langone Medical Center and published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine concludes that cannabidiol (CBD), a derived from cannabis without psychoactive properties, reduces the frequency of seizures by 39% in patients with Dravet Syndrome, a very aggressive type of epilepsy.
This is the first large-scale randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial –the gold-standard design- conducted with CBD. The research director, Orrin Devinsky, points out that this is not the panacea for the cure of epilepsy but that for patients with severe symptoms and who have not responded to other more usual treatments, may be a light of hope. In a relatively short period of time it can bring alternative treatments that may work.
The study involved 120 children and youngsters with Dravet Syndrome aged between 2 and 18. For 14 weeks, one half have been given a liquid compound of CBD and the other a placebo. Those who took CBD went from having an average of nearly 12 seizures per month before treatment to about six. Three patients stopped having epileptic seizures completely and eight had to stop treatment because of its adverse effects.
Dr. Devinsky has commented that further studies are needed to better understand the effectiveness of CBD. Future research will examine whether safety and tolerability could be improved and also if it’s possible to maintain the effectiveness of the CBD at lower doses.