Medicinal Cannabis and Epilepsy – Two New Articles

Two new articles published in Epilepsy Behavior describe the effects of cannabis on the frequency of epileptic seizures in the US and Australia.

Epilepsy Action Australia conducted a nationwide online survey on the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy. 976 responses were obtained. Their results showed that 15% of adults with epilepsy and 13% parents/guardians of children with epilepsy were currently using or had previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. 90% of adults and 71% of parents reported reductions in seizure frequency after using cannabis products.

In a US study of 272 epilepsy patients from Washington State and California who used cannabis, a decrease in seizure frequency was also observed.  54% of patients experienced a greater than 50% decrease in overall seizure frequency with 9.5% experiencing no seizures at all. Overall, adverse side effects were mild and infrequent while beneficial side effects such as increased alertness were reported.

These data support the many reports in the literature that show cannabis is useful in decreasing frequency of epileptic seizures.

Clinical Trials, Studies and Publications (click to access):

The Current Status of Arisinal Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy in the United States.

Authors: D Sulak, R Saneto, B Goldstein

Epilepsy Behavior 2017 Feb 18 doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.12.032

Clinical Trials, Studies and Publications (click to access):

An Australian Nationwide Survey on Medicinal Cannabis Use for Epilepsy: History of Anti-Epileptic Drug Treatment Predicts Medicinal Cannabis Use.

Authors: AS Suraev, L Todd, MT Bowen, DJ Allsop, IS McGregor, C Ireland, N Lintzeris

Epilepsy Behavior 2017 Feb 23 doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.02.005

Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy


“Severe childhood epilepsies are characterized by frequent seizures, neurodevelopmental delays, and impaired quality of life. In these treatment-resistant epilepsies, families often seek alternative treatments. This survey explored the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.”

Clinical Trials, Studies and Publications: