Experts and researchers from Toronto managed to find out what precise dosage of a specially formulated cannabis oil is safe enough to be tolerated by children suffering from Dravet syndrome. This is a rare form of epilepsy that triggers lifelong seizures.
Testing cannabis oil with CBD and THC
Researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children have been testing the cannabis oil which contains the compound called CBD (cannabidiol) and also a minimal amount of the psychoactive ingredient from the plant, THC.
They analyzed 20 kids suffering from the Dravet syndrome whose seizures were not that well controlled with standard anticonvulsant medication.
Cannabis oil that contains only CBD has been shown to feature anti-seizures effects in kids with Dravet’s, but the team also wanted to asses the benefits of a preparation that also includes THC.
The primary goal was to determine a safe pediatric dose and all potential side-effects of the drug.
Results showed a reduction in seizures
Children who suffer from Dravet’s syndrome can experience ongoing seizures, and they can have more than 100 such episodes in one single day.
This can lead to developmental delays and problems regarding the learning abilities. The syndrome causes 30% of all cases of epilepsy and the medical issue, unfortunately, does not have a cure.
“We saw an overall median reduction (in seizures) of 70%,” said neurologist Dr. Blathnaid McCoy, lead author of the study which was published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
“And one of the things we tracked was seizure-free days … which went from a mean of 11.8 days to 18.3 days, which is essentially an extra week (and) which is clinically very meaningful.”
It seems that not all the kids responded well to the treatment because four of them experienced seizures increased in frequency while being treated with oral doses of the oil.
McCoy stated that this could be due to the nature of Dravet’s.
What’s the next step?
McCoy stated that the next step is to design a more extensive study of at least 200 children with any kind of epilepsy, not only the one that’s caused by Dravet syndrome.
The goal is to assess the effect of the CBD-THC oil in better controlling seizures.
“Our study provides us now with an idea on dosing and safety,” she explained. “Now we need to have much greater numbers before we can say more about effectiveness.”
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up till now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.