Study: Cannabis Plant Extract Cuts Epilepsy Seizures In Half


by April M. Short

on April 14, 2015

In a recent, non-placebo-controlled assessment of 213 patients with hard-to-treat epilepsy, ages 2 through 42, cannabis extract made from the non-psychoactive part of the plant turned over encouraging results. Tested on patients with treatment-resistant conditions, the extract — consisting of flavored CBD — cut seizures in half as reported by Bloomberg. The cannabis product used was produced by the company GW Pharmaceuticals Plc.

According to the Bloomberg article, “The results were consistent across different types of epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome, a rare and intractable form with few treatment options, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, marked by a brief loss of muscle tone that triggers ‘drop’ seizures.”

According to the study’s lead researcher Orrin Devinsky, director of the New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, many of the study’s participants were already taking up to a dozen medications.

“For this group that has failed multiple medications, the response is quite positive,” Devinsky said to Bloomberg. “Over time it’s certainly the hope that this would replace other therapies,” if studies that use comparison groups are successful.

The findings were released Monday, April 13 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting next week in Washington.