Cannabis-based experimental therapies currently under research, in particular Epidiolex, show significant promise to treat therapy-resistant epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome, according to a recent review.
The report “Investigational cannabinoids in seizure disorders, what have we learned thus far?” published in the journal Expert Opinion in Investigational Drugs, provides an overview on the recent advances of investigational cannabinoids (cannabis-derived active ingredients) for the treatment of epilepsy.
Currently, there are four cannabinoids under investigation for the treatment of seizures: cannabidiol (the active ingredient of Epidiolex, developed by GW Pharmaceuticals); cannabidivarin, Δ9- tetrahydrocannabivarin, and; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
Of those, only cannabidiol and cannabidivarin have protected against seizures in multiple non-clinical models of epilepsy, including animal models of Dravet syndrome.
Positive results obtained for both compounds in animal studies made their way into clinical trials, to be tested in patients with childhood-onset epilepsies difficult to treat, including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.