Dutch Government Funds $1.5M Study on CBD Oil for Child Epilepsy

By | Updated on April 14, 2023

Evidence Based 2

The Dutch government will provide the UMC Utrecht Brain Center with $1.5 million (€1.4 million) to launch a four-year research project examining the effects of high-CBD oil in 50 children living with severe epilepsy. About 20,000 children with epilepsy live in the Netherlands, and one-third don’t get relief from standard medication. 

Researchers plan to administer whole-plant high-CBD oil made from cannabis provided by Bedrocan, a dutch supplier of medical cannabis. The study will monitor “quality of life markers” such as seizure length, sleep, and alertness. 

Floor Jansen, a pediatric neurologist at UMC Utrecht, is leading the study and hopes that the grant will allow neurologists to better predict which patients CBD will be most effective for.

Dr. Jansen emphasized the importance of knowing which participant will respond to CBD or not, given the drug’s potential side effects and its high cost:

“For patients who we expect to respond to the drug, we can then decide not to wait too long with treatment. And conversely, patients in whom we expect no effect are not unnecessarily exposed to possible side effects. Ultimately, we strive for the most effective, safe and affordable possible treatment for individual patients.”

This study seeks to build upon previous research, which indicates that CBD can be a helpful treatment for specific epilepsy-related syndromes. Unfortunately, pediatric epilepsy remains a challenging area of medicine, and effective treatments remain elusive for many children.

Hopefully, this study can provide more insight into how children respond to CBD oil so that they can receive the most effective and safe treatments possible. The trial will begin this summer, with the first patients commencing therapy by the end of the year.

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