Study shows CBD oil can help reduce epilepsy symptoms

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University of Alabama at Birmingham finds significant properties in cannabidiol

Thanks to Alabama’s “Carly’s Law” from 2014, a study has been able to positively show that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, oil can greatly reduce the number of seizures experienced by patients with epilepsy. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Epilepsy Center, in conjunction with the Children’s of Alabama, were able to conduct clinical trials of CBD because of wording in Carly’s Law.

Beginning in 2015, the study was launched and focused on 132 patients – 72 children and 60 adults – that have intractable epilepsy that was not responding to traditional treatments. According to UAB’s Bob Shephard, “The study analyzed data from the 132 patients at baseline and at visits at 12, 24 and 48 weeks. Seizure frequency decreased from a mean of 144 seizures every two weeks at baseline to 52 seizures over two weeks at 12 weeks into the study. The reduction remained stable through the 48-week study period.”

Researchers were able to find a parallel decrease in both the severity and frequency of the seizures and the use of CBD oil. The use of the oil had a direct effect on the number and intensity of the attacks.

Dr. Martina Bebin, professor in the school’s Department of Neurology and lead investigator for the pediatric portion of the study, said, “This is a highly significant reduction in the number of seizures that the majority of patients experienced, nearly a two-thirds reduction across the entire study population. Some patients experienced an even greater reduction of seizure frequency.”

Because of the research, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new seizure drug this past June. Epidiolex is used for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – and is derived from pure cannabis. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated, “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development.”