Room For Debate: Can Cannabis Curb Seizures?

Bazil, a professor of clinical neurology and director of the Division of Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Sleep Center at Columbia University in New York, knows there are many anecdotal reports of cannabis aiding people with epilepsy, but says the studies don’t prove it. “Individuals who think that cannabis improved or cured their seizures could have improved for other reasons,” he says. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved dronabinol (Marinol), which contains THC and is used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy as well as wasting disease caused by AIDS. It has also approved nabilone (Cesamet), which is made of a synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC and is used to treat the same conditions. Another drug, Sativex, is being used in the United Kingdom to treat multiple sclerosis and it is now in Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. for cancer pain. Related News: Can One Pill Reduce the ‘Haze’ of Medical Marijuana Use More Information Needed Another journal article discusses scientific evidence of CBD being used to treat epilepsy and other neurological or psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and addiction. Previous studies found that THC, the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis, and CBD, the main non-psychoactive ingredient, display anticonvulsive properties in animals. But data presented in the research is limited for chronic episodesand missing entirely for human cases.
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