Marijuana derivative CBD may help with hard-to-treat epilepsy

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 — A purified oral version of a marijuana compound may help with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, two new clinical trials show.

The researchers found that the compound, cannabidiol (CBD), helped reduce seizure frequency in children and adults with two hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

The drug is still experimental, and doctors stressed that it did not help everyone and is not a “cure.”

On the other hand, they called the results “very encouraging,” given how difficult it is to manage the seizure disorders.

“It’s always a good day when we have a potential new option to offer these patients,” said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado who was not involved in the research.

She had another caveat, however: The CBD used in the trials is a “purified, pharmaceutical-grade” pill.

“This is very different from medical marijuana,” Brooks-Kayal said.

Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, one of

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