The frequency of epileptic seizures among 10 children treated with whole-plant cannabis medicine fell by an average of 86%, according to research published in the journal BMJ Paediatrics Open outlined by SciTechDaily. None of the children in the study had responded to any other conventional treatments.
Just two of the children who participated in the study responded to Epidyolex, the only purified CBD product children with seizure conditions are allowed access to under England’s National Health Service (NHS). The children who participated in the study ranged from ages one to 13, with an average age of six, and had a range of epileptic conditions, including infantile spasms, learning disabilities, and global developmental delays, the report says.
The children had tried an average of seven conventional epilepsy drugs, which fell to an average of one each after starting the medical cannabis regimen — seven of the children stopped taking conventional drugs completely. On average, the children took an average of 5.15 milligrams of THC and 171.8 milligrams of CBD daily, although the researchers are still conducting a full chemical analysis of the whole-plant products.
Parents and caregivers reported significant improvements in their child’s sleep, appetite, behavior, and cognition after they started to take whole-plant cannabis medicine, and only a few minor side effects, such as fatigue, were reported.
“Further research is required to elucidate the mechanisms by which the respective additive constituents of whole-plant products lead to superior clinical results,” the researchers wrote.
“We believe that our data on whole-plant medical cannabis in childhood-onset severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, provide evidence to support its introduction into the NHS within current NICE prescribing guidelines,” the researchers concluded. “Such a move would be hugely beneficial to the families, who in addition to having the psychological distress of looking after their chronically ill children, have also to cover the crippling financial burden of their medication.”
The average monthly cost of medicinal cannabis products was 874 British pounds ($1,158). One child that participated in the study had obtained their prescription for free on the NHS.
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