Cannabis extract cuts seizures for epilepsy patients: study

MIAMI – The first large-scale clinical trial of a cannabis derivative known as cannabidiol shows it was able to cut the frequency of severe epileptic seizures by 39 percent, researchers said Wednesday.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is derived from cannabis plants, but does not cause users to get high.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine comes after years of anecdotal evidence of cannabidiol’s effects.

It focused on young patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

“Cannabidiol should not be viewed as a panacea for epilepsy, but for patients with especially severe forms who have not responded to numerous medications, these results provide hope that we may soon have another treatment option,” said lead investigator Orrin Devinsky, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center.

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“We still need more research, but this new trial provides more evidence than

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