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Seizures Decrease By More Than Half With CBD According To New Study

According to a new study published on May 25, 2017, in The New England Journal of Medicine, the oral administration of CBD (cannabidiol) reduces seizure frequency in children with intractable epilepsy.

The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with CBD, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo (adjusted median difference between the cannabidiol group and the placebo group in change in seizure frequency. The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43% with CBD and 27% with placebo.  

The patient’s overall condition improved by at least one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol group as compared with 34% of the placebo group. Additionally, the frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with CBD, but there was no significant reduction in nonconvulsive seizures. The percentage of patients who became seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0% with placebo.

The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with CBD, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers randomly assigned 120 children and young adults with the Dravet syndrome and drug-resistant seizures to receive either cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day or placebo, in addition to standard antiepileptic treatment. The primary end point was the change in convulsive-seizure frequency over a 14-week treatment period, as compared with a 4-week baseline period.

The trial was funded by GW Pharmaceuticals.