It has already been established that marijuana can be used as a medicinal drug for several different illnesses. This was, in fact, the basis of the legalization of marijuana. Studies are still being conducted to understand the depths of the benefits that the usage of marijuana could bring to a certain patient.
One of the most recent studies will be presented next week—April 22nd - 28th, 2017—at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston. A few leaks from the study have already revealed one of the aspects that make marijuana a great medicine. According to the information, Cannabidiol—a form of medical marijuana—can help deteriorate the symptoms of even the most severe cases of epilepsy like LGS—Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Cannabidiol, according to the research, can cut LGS seizures by half. However, this does not apply to everyone as only a portion of the subjects—both children and adults—in the controlled clinical study showed the difference. Cannabidiol is only a molecule from the marijuana plant. It does not possess the characteristics that cause the ‘high’.
To be specific, 40% of the total subjects with LGS had a reduction in drop seizures. This is immensely high when compared to another group that took placebo for treatment. This group only showed the reduction in drop seizures by a mere 15% which goes on to show the positive effects of marijuana. Drop seizures change the muscle tone of the person which leads to the collapse.
Drop seizures are not the only culprit in LGS. Several adults and children also tend to have tonic-clonic seizures causing an entire-body spasm and loss of consciousness. The thing that makes these seizures even worse is that most conventional medications don’t offer much help in controlling them. The fact that LGS impedes the intellectual development in patients only adds to the adverse aspects of this disease.
The only good thing that might exist about drop seizures is that they don’t normally exist for prolonged periods. However, statistics have shown that those who get the fits often injure themselves and are rushed to a hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Managing Director—Anup Patel—said,
“Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control,”
Anup Patel is also the author of the study that is to be presented next week. He is also the MD of Ohio State University College of Medicine as well as a member of the infamous American Academy of Neurology.
The study featured 225 people for 14 weeks. The average age of the subjects was sixteen. These participants were a critical case of LGS having 85-drop-seizures monthly. The saddening fact is that they had also consumed six drugs for the cure on average, yet there were little to no results. During the study, these participants were given doses of Cannabidiol according to the extent of their illness.
This was in addition to the drugs the subjects were already taking at the time. A portion of the 225 people was given placebo instead of Cannabidiol.
According to the results, those that took a higher dose of Cannabidiol had a 42% reduction in their seizure while 40% of the total reduced the seizures by half. On the other hand, those taking a lower dose of Cannabidiol saw a 37% decrease in drop seizures. The placebo group had a 17% reduction in their seizures.