Cannabinoids are a collection of over 100 chemicals that are derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these chemicals and research has said it has anti inflammatory effects when induced on animal cells, without unwanted psychoactive side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals that gives off a psychotropic effect in animals brains. Endogenous cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endocannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids to bind and work in the body. This study will look at how cannabidiol can be used to treat patients with epilepsy.
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CBD seems to be an effective therapy for epileptics
Epilepsy has a massive effect on cognitive and behavioral function and quality of life, and the treatment of seizures poses a challenge and a rare opportunity. In recent times, there has been plenty of interest on cannabidiol (CBD), the major non psychotropic compound of Cannabis sativa. Basic research studies have given strong evidence for safety and anticonvulsant properties of CBD. However, the lack of pure, pharmacologically active compounds and legal restrictions have stopped clinical research and confined data on effectiveness and safety to anecdotal reports. Pure CBD appears to be the perfect candidate among phytocannabinoids as a therapy for treatment‐resistant epilepsy. A first step in this direction is to systematically investigate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and interactions of CBD with other antiepileptic drugs and obtain an initial signal regarding efficacy at different dosages. This data can then be used to plan trials to test the effectiveness of antiepileptic drugs.
More clinical trials needed to evaluate CBD efficacy
Although many new medications were approved in the last 15 years, there is still a desperate unmet need. Treatment‐resistant epilepsies reduce the quality of life and promote the long‐term cognitive and behavioral disorders. These patients often receive high doses of multi‐AED regimens that cause significant side effects. These AED’s are the normal drugs given to epileptics. Very few AEDs were carefully studied for long‐term adverse effects. Therefore, it is understandable that patients, parents, and families would be interested in medical marijuana to treat epilepsy, particularly with increasing anecdotal reports of dramatic benefits. The crucial first step is systematic investigation of CBD. Characterizing the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products and their potential role in treating epilepsy in children and adults depends on gathering rigorous clinical experience and data from controlled trials, whether of medicinal marijuana or single compounds such as CBD.