New Study Finds CBD Useful For Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

By | Updated on October 6, 2023

Medically reviewed by
Kimberly Langdon

Evidence Based 2

A new study out of Colombia reported promising findings on the effects of CBD for drug-resistant epilepsy.

CBD is already known to treat rare, severe types of epilepsy that aren’t relieved by other medicines, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. That’s why the FDA approved the CBD drug Epidiolex to treat these conditions.

But what’s special about this study is that it looked at a wider range of treatment-resistant epilepsy cases unrelated to these three rare types.

How the Study Was Done:

  • The study involved 78 patients with various types of drug-resistant epilepsy, with an average age of 24.
  • Before using CBD, these patients, on average, had 30 seizures a month and were using around three anti-seizure medications.
  • They were treated with CBD for around 14 months.

Key Findings:

  1. After CBD treatment, on average, patients experienced a 67.8% decrease in their seizures.
  2. About 68.8% of patients saw their seizure frequency drop by half or more.
  3. 11.5% of patients became completely free of seizures.
  4. The use of another drug, clobazam, didn’t significantly alter how effective or safe CBD was.
  5. However, it’s important to note that 28.2% (or 22 out of 78 patients) experienced side effects related to CBD, but 78.2% continued with the treatment despite these effects.

Conclusions: CBD appears promising in practical, real-life settings as an additional treatment for epilepsy types not currently covered by the FDA’s approval.

These findings provide good evidence that CBD can benefit a broader range of drug-resistant epilepsy cases than it’s currently recommended for. Still, more controlled studies are needed to fully validate these conclusions and determine if CBD can be widely recommended for such conditions.

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