Cannabis, along with certain cannabinoids, have presented positive results on the treatment of several neurological diseases that affect humans.
Past studies have proved favorable findings when studying the effects of CBD on people with migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer disease, Dravet syndrome and various other neurological disorders.
Preclinical and clinical studies show that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
During these studies, researchers deduced these characteristics can provide significant neuroprotective qualities and an improvement on the symptoms of numerous pathological disorders.
Epileptic activity was reduced in various pre-clinical studies that experimented with CBD treatments, these studies involved human epileptic subjects, that were considered resistant to standard antiepileptic drugs.
Past animal and human studies that have taken place in the last three years, have proved CBD has anticonvulsant effects, benefiting patients with epilepsy and generalized epilepsy.
With general epilepsy, the patient experiences generalized seizures, as opposed to focal seizures. These seizures impair consciousness and distort the electrical activity of the whole or a larger portion of the brain (which can be seen, for example, on electroencephalography, EEG), according to ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy, 2021).
A 2018 study evaluated the effectiveness of CBD-enriched cannabis oil extract for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy, on fifty-seven epileptic subjects, with a young age spectrum (from 1 to 20 years of age). They were treated for three months, with median follow-ups of 18 months. Forty-six patients were included in the efficacy analysis. 56% of these subjects experienced a reduction of 50% of their monthly seizure frequency.
This study found that younger patients, under ten years of age presented a better response to this treatment. This study concluded that adding CBD-enriched cannabis oil extract to the treatment regimen of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy may result in a significant reduction in seizure frequency.
GW Pharmaceutical conducted a randomized placebo-controlled study in 2018, evaluating the effect of CBD oral solutions on Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and proved the same efficiency of CBD for seizures associated to these syndromes.
This led to the FDA (USA Food and Drug Administration), to approve Epidiolex, a highly purified CBD oral solution that reduces seizures for patients who suffer these syndromes.
In conclusion, studies on cannabis and cannabinoid compounds have shown benefits in a variety of neurological disorders in humans and animals. CBD has been found to be a promising compound that appears to be safe and efficacious. For this reason, the FDA approved and supported CBD medications such as Epidiolex.
Further studies are expected to explore many more of the benefits this cannabinoid can offer people who suffer neurological diseases that cause inflammation, seizures, and pain.