Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most common non-transmissible neurological diseases. It is defined as a brain disorder that predisposes to seizures and has associated physical, psychological and social consequences. Approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy have seizures that are resistant to antiepileptic medications. These patients do not respond well to the conventional antiepileptic drugs. Moreover, there are many side effects associated with them such as osteomalacia and anemia. Anti-epileptic drugs were shown to often interact with other drugs or substances. 

In the case of epilepsy, it seems that some cannabinoids of cannabis and particularly cannabidiol (CBD) can affect the lives of those who are resistant to traditional drugs or treatments. Here and now, CBD is considered the main cannabinoid of interest.  

CBD was shown to have an impact on people with certain forms of epilepsy. Apart from rare cases, CBD has few psychotropic effects, which opens the door to non-invasive and non-addictive medication for young people. 

CBD oil is a medicinal formula prescribed by doctors to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome or tuberous sclerosis complex. 

However, more studies need to be performed as there is an increasing interest in developing cannabis preparations for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy as they are observed to be more efficacious with less side effect profile. Hence, we encourage research in this area to help decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with drug-resistant epilepsy. 

Key words: Cannabidiol, CBD, epilepsy, resistant epilepsy, young people, neurological disease, seizures, traditional treatments

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(2) Zaheer, S.; Kumar, D.; Khan, M. T.; Giyanwani, P. R.; Kiran, F. Epilepsy and Cannabis: A Literature Review. Cureus 10 (9), e3278. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.3278. 

(3) Perucca, E. Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last? J. Epilepsy Res. 2017, 7 (2), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.14581/jer.17012. 

(4) Maa, E.; Figi, P. The Case for Medical Marijuana in Epilepsy. Epilepsia 2014, 55. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12610. 

(5) Mediengruppe Deutscher Apotheker. Ölige Cannabidiol-Lösung 50 mg/mL / 100 mg/mL / 200 mg/mL / 400 mg/mL (NRF 22.10.). In: DAC/NRF 2020/2. ; 2020. 

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