MAR 18, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

Consensus: Advice for Treating Epilepsy with Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A group of Australian clinical experts have developed consensus advice about medical cannabis recommendations for patients living with epilepsy. Epileptologists, clinical pharmacists, pharmacologists, and cannabis researchers compiled data to help clinicians decide how and when to recommend cannabis products. The advice was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in an effort to establish guidelines for supporting patient-doctor discussions about cannabinoid treatments, dosing, potential drug interactions, and seizure management efficacy.    

Many epilepsy patients are interested in trying medical cannabis for different reasons. Some patients find that traditional Anti- Epileptic Drugs (AEDs) such as keppra, clobazam and lamotrigine do not effectively control seizures, or they cause severe side effects such as depression, lethargy, increased heart rate, and mood swings. 

The consensus advice provides a critical foundation for establishing the most effective treatment plans. Treatments should take into consideration age, weight, seizure frequency, and other health factors in order to identify the most effective CBD:THC ratios for an individual. Studies have shown that high CBD and low THC products reduce seizure activity and increase seizure threshold, so many clinicians recommend starting with small doses of high cannabidiol (CBD), low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for children with severe, intractable forms of epilepsy like Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. In studies comparing seizure control efficacy of full spectrum cannabis oil and Epidiolex (a purified CBD isolate FDA-approved for intractable childhood epilepsy), full spectrum oil proved to be more effective in reducing seizures. 

This consensus advice will be updated as more research studies on cannabis-based epilepsy treatments are conducted. Senior study author Jennifer Martin explains the importance of these guidelines for the epilepsy community: “In the absence of a registration dossier, scientific experiments and case reports are helpful to provide some guidance to optimized dosing.” The consensus advice will play a critical role in advancing medical care and quality of life for many epilepsy patients.  

Sources: 

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Eureka Science Alert

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
FEB 15, 2022
Health & Medicine
Gamechanger Treatment? NFL Launches Study of Cannabis and Pain Relief of Athletes
FEB 15, 2022
Gamechanger Treatment? NFL Launches Study of Cannabis and Pain Relief of Athletes
The National Football League (NFL) awarded $500,000 to University of California San Diego’s Center for Medicinal C ...
MAR 29, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Teen Mental Health: A Key Factor in Transitioning from Vaping to Cannabis Use
MAR 29, 2022
Teen Mental Health: A Key Factor in Transitioning from Vaping to Cannabis Use
Georgia State University (GSU) researchers conducted a study to understand the link between teen e-cigarette use and sub ...
APR 09, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Advances in Cannabis Sciences at the 2022 Labroots Virtual Event
APR 09, 2022
Advances in Cannabis Sciences at the 2022 Labroots Virtual Event
Labroots hosted its 5th annual Cannabis Science Virtual Event on March 23, 2022. The speaker roster for this free confer ...
APR 27, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Why Is Weed So Much Stronger Than It Used To Be?
APR 27, 2022
Why Is Weed So Much Stronger Than It Used To Be?
Weed is stronger these days than ever before. What's behind this development?
MAY 11, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Legal Recreational Cannabis Reduces Prescription Drug Demand
MAY 11, 2022
Legal Recreational Cannabis Reduces Prescription Drug Demand
A research study published in Health Economics found a link between the availability of legal recreational cannabis, and ...
JUN 10, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Funding For Research on Weed's Role in Cancer Treatments
JUN 10, 2022
Funding For Research on Weed's Role in Cancer Treatments
The government is now starting to fund cannabis's role in cancer treatments. Here's how it's developing.
Loading Comments...