Cannabidiol (CBD) is but one of the many active cannabinoids found in marijuana but according to a growing pile of evidence, it may be one of the most important.
New research has shown that in addition to its previously established benefit for some adults, CBD might, according to two new studies, also prove beneficial to some children – those suffering from seizures as a result of epilepsy.
HealthDay reports that the researchers planned to report their findings on Monday at the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting in Philadelphia.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, the lead author of the larger of the two studies and a neurologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, indicated that over the course of the three-month long trial, which began in 2014 with 313 epileptic kids, 16 percent of the children participating withdrew because the CBD treatment either had adverse side effects or proved ineffective, NPR reported. However, of those that continued, grand mal seizure rates dropped, on average, roughly 50 percent.
Twenty-five percent of the patients from the larger study were followed for a year in a second study. The second study’s findings saw some patients do better while one actually did worse. In the case of that particular child, the pediatric neurologist who led the study, Dr. Maria Roberta Cilio with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, noted that as the CBD dose increased, the “increase was paralleled with an increase in seizure frequency.”
For one particular child, the more the dose of (cannabidiol) was increasing, that increase was paralleled with an increase in seizure frequency
As all of the participants across the two studies were aware of what they were taking, experts claim that the findings could have impacted by the placebo effect.
Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, who was not involved in the study, was quoted by HealthDay as having said that placebo rates are known to be “as high as 30 percent,” sometimes even higher. Subsequently, Brooks-Kayal, who is the president of the American Epilepsy Society as well as a pharmaceutical sciences and neurology professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, stated that the “real effect” of the CBD oil will remain unknown “until we complete the studies that are ongoing that are placebo-controlled and blinded.”
We know that our placebo rates can be as high as 30 percent, and sometimes higher (…) We don’t know the real effect of the cannabidiol, and we won’t until we complete the studies that are ongoing that are placebo-controlled and blinded.
Unlike the other major chemical compound found in cannabis, THC, cannabidiol does not induce intoxication in humans.