Medical cannabis, CBD, and THC all have possible side effects. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved EPIDIOLEX (cannabidiol, CBD) oral solution. CBD oil has become a trendy cure-all, treatment of epilepsy is the only daily dose of pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD) experienced. Information about the use of cannabis oil for epilepsy to gain seizure control.
epilepsy side effects cannabidiol cbd
The condition is associated with learning difficulties and developmental delay and is treated with various epilepsy drugs, but response to treatment is often poor.
The term "cannabis oil" refers to an extract called cannabidiol CBD that is taken from the cannabis plant. It doesn't contain any tetrahydrocannabinol THC , which is the psychoactive substance that gives cannabis users a high, and unlike cannabis, it is legal in the UK. This trial randomised more than participants with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome to different doses of cannabis oil or to a matching placebo.
Interpreting this study is a bit difficult. Cannabis oil certainly isn't a cure and caused side effects such as drowsiness and diarrhoea, in several children. There is currently no compelling evidence that cannabis oil will help with more common types of epilepsy. Funding was provided by GW Pharmaceuticals. Despite its potentially misleading headline, the Mail's reporting of the study is accurate and makes clear it relates only to the rarest form of epilepsy.
This was a randomised controlled trial RCT aiming to see whether cannabis oil cannabidiol could reduce seizures in people with Lennox—Gastaut syndrome. This is a notoriously hard to treat form of epilepsy and most people with it will need help with day-to-day activities. The trial was double-blind and with a placebo control, so neither participants nor researchers knew what they were taking.
A double-blind RCT is the best way of investigating the effectiveness of a possible new treatment. The size of any benefit would need to outweigh any possible risks to make it a viable treatment. It recruited people with Lennox—Gastaut syndrome aged from 2 to 55 years who were taking regular antiepileptic drugs and experienced at least 2 drop seizures a week. The main outcome of interest was the number of drop seizures experienced over 28 days.
The researchers also looked at other types of seizure and adverse effects. A total of participants were included, who were of average age 15 years and were taking around 3 antiepileptic drugs. Before the study started, they were experiencing between 80 and 90 drop seizures per month.
There was a similar difference with other types of seizure. Side effects such as sleepiness, poor appetite and diarrhoea were common across all groups. In total, 6 patients in the cannabidiol groups and 1 in the placebo group withdrew from the trial because of side effects.
The most common side effect related to cannabidiol was raised liver enzymes. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is hard to treat and people with it generally have a poor outlook, despite treatment. Seizures are common, and most children have developmental delays. This trial provides evidence that cannabidiol may help improve drop seizures.
However, the question is whether this improvement is great enough to make it a feasible and safe treatment. There is also no good scientific evidence to support suggestions that the addition of THC in combination with CBD increases the efficacy of cannabis-based medicinal products for children. We welcome the rescheduling of these products from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 that will enable their investigation in clinical trials.
The BPNA also recommends that where children are already taking other cannabis-based products that contain higher proportions of THC, they should be transitioned on to CBD until strong evidence for these products can be produced through clinical trials. The Government has no plans to legalise the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Possession of cannabis is illegal. This includes cannabis for medical use unless it has been prescribed for you. Cannabis-based medicinal products can only be prescribed by a specialist.
A GP cannot prescribe the medication but could refer you to a specialist. The specialist will discuss all other treatment options with you first before considering a cannabis-based product. A prescription for medicinal cannabis would only be given when all other treatment options have been tried or are considered unsuitable, and would only be given if the doctor considers it to be in your best interests.
MHRA is working with individual companies to ensure that CBD-based products that make medicinal claims should be licensed and meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health. To date, the MHRA has licensed no other cannabis based medicinal products as medicines. Skip to main content. In this section What is epilepsy? Diagnosing epilepsy Epileptic seizures Treatment Medication for epilepsy Ketogenic diet Vagus nerve stimulation therapy Epilepsy surgery Deep brain stimulation Care and treatment: Cannabis oil for epilepsy.
What is medicinal cannabis? The Government has defined a cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans as one that: What does the guidance say? The guidance states that non-licensed medicinal cannabis should only be considered for children who: What is the evidence?
What is the evidence around THC?
Cannabis oil may help treat rare type of epilepsy
Epidiolex contains cannabidiol (CBD) from the marijuana plant. It is approved to How It Works Side Effects, Risks, and Interactions. View All. The 2 primary phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD.3,5 A direct agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the psychoactive effect of THC is secondary CB1. Only certain patients have access to the cannabis-based oil under Texas' cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, available to some epilepsy patients.