Orrin Devinsky MD, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University, was recently awarded FDA approval to conduct a clinical trial that will study the safety and tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD) in children with epilepsy.
“At this point, I think we really lack much data,” said Devinsky, who points to promising results in animals, but says the real push came from the anecdotal evidence provided by parents in Colorado.
“I’ve spoken with these parents, and I think they’re solid, good, loving parents, who’ve had very good experiences. Whether this will be borne out by scientific studies is uncertain,” he said.
CBD research is finding its way into the news more often. As clinical trials on CBD and epilepsy continue to conducted on the substance, Dr. Alan Shackelford — who oversaw the treatment of nine-month-old Kaitlyn Pogson's Dravet syndrome, a type of epilepsy that causes her to have 300 seizures per week (that’s one about every half hour of every day) — had this to say about administering high-CBD medical marijuana to the infant:
“The response was instantaneous,” Shackelford told the Star by telephone. “After the first dose, the seizures stopped … and she didn’t suffer a seizure for seven days.”
Charlotte now suffers one seizure every other week, Shackelford says, “a remarkable and heretofore unprecedented change.”
The key is a strain of marijuana that is high in the active substance Cannabidiol (CBD) but very low in THC, the chemical that gets you high.
Industrial hemp, a cousin to the marijuana plant that is legal to import and consume in the United States, is naturally high in CBD and very low in THC.
Have a look at all the clinical trials being conducted on CBD and epilepsy at PubMed, a service of the National Institutes of Health. Read the full article about Kaitlyn Pogson’s plight and the potential of CBD at the Toronto Star.