It is known that CBD can help in the treatment of epileptic seizures. A recent American study shows that the effectiveness of the cannabinoid becomes stronger after a longer period of therapy. Both the frequency and the severity of epileptic seizures decrease significantly in the second year of treatment.
CBD reduces epilepsy seizures
The study at the University of Alabama, USA, involved 169 people with treatment-resistant epilepsy, 89 children and 80 adults, who received a CBD preparation (Epidyolex). The researchers defined a response to the treatment with cannabidiol by a reduction in the frequency of seizures by 50 percent or more.
This treatment response was significantly more frequent after two years of treatment than within the first month of starting the therapy. In addition, the research team found that this effect was more pronounced in the 80 adults after one year than in the 89 children in the study. 44 percent of the children achieved a reduction in seizure frequency by half or more in the first month. 41 percent achieved this result in the first year and 61 percent in the second year. Among the adults, the percentages were much higher: 34 percent achieved the goal in the first month, 53 percent in the first year and even 71 percent in the second year.
The Greatest improvement in adults in the second year of therapy
Seizure severity was also significantly reduced by the CBD preparation: Children showed a 52% seizure reduction in the first month, a 51% reduction in the first year and a 75% reduction in the second year. In adults, the severity of seizures was improved even more effectively. There, the figures were 60% in the first month, 81% and 85%. In comparison, adults reported greater improvement than children after two years of therapy.
Refractory epilepsy – resistant to treatment
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), epilepsy affects about 50 million people worldwide. It is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases. The disease is characterized by recurrent seizures that affect either the whole body or only a specific part. Occasionally, people with epilepsy may also lose consciousness during seizures. Refractory epilepsy is a difficult-to-treat form of the disease that does not respond to antiepileptic drugs.
Gaston TE, Ampah SB, Martina Bebin E, Grayson LP, Cutter GR, Hernando K, Szaflarski JP; UAB CBD Program. Long-term safety and efficacy of highly purified cannabidiol for treatment refractory epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Mar 2;117:107862. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107862. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33667843