The administration of whole-plant cannabis extracts rich in the cannabinoid cannabidol (CBD) is associated with reduced seizure frequency in patients with refractory epilepsy, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.
Researchers performed a retrospective chart review of the clinical records of 272 patients who were taking whole-plant CBD extracts.
Eighty-six percent of those treated observed some clinical benefit (a reduction in seizure frequency) while ten percent experienced a complete clinical response. The remaining patients were either not responsive to treatment or reported an exacerbation of seizures during therapy.
Beneficial side effects, such as improved mood, better sleep quality, and increased appetite were reported.
“The cannabinoids’ novel mechanisms of action are an attractive consideration for possible seizure control,” authors concluded. “In patients with refractory epilepsy that have a low likelihood of responding to a subsequent AED (anti-epileptic drug), a trial of artisanal cannabis formulas may be indicated.”