Thanks to heightened media coverage over the past several years – particularly Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s report on the dramatic, life-changing effect that THC and CBD-rich therapeutic cannabis oil has had on a young patient with a severe seizure disorder – cannabis has recently been thrust into the spotlight for its potent anti-convulsant properties.
With so much recent buzz, it may be surprising to learn that anecdotal accounts about the use of cannabis as a seizure treatment have been around for centuries and documented since at least 1881. However, research regarding its effects on epilepsy and seizures is still in the early stages.
As a result of families pushing for access to CBD for their sick children (and moving to states where it is legal and available in limited quantities), the need for research is more urgent than ever.
According to Orrin Devinsky MD, Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and Director of NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center:
There remains an enormous unmet need in a range of pediatric and adult treatment-resistant epilepsy syndromes, which affect approximately 750,000 Americans. Some of the greatest needs are in children with severe epilepsy syndromes such as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut, where frequent seizures often persist despite high doses of multiple anti-epileptic drugs.