High cannabidiol (CBD) strains of cannabis are being tested for their efficacy in treating pediatric epilepsy.
Tilray, a major player in the medicinal cannabis space, is working with SickKids hospital in Toronto to study the effects of high concentrations of CBD on pediatric patients with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy.
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A recent trial sponsored by Tilray used a 2:100 ratio of THC to CBD, meaning each dose contains 2mg/ml of THC and 100mg/ml of CBD. This is the “highest concentration of cannabis-extracted CBD in a medical cannabis product available through Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR),” Tilray said in a press release earlier this week.
“We developed this product around a strong existing evidence base that CBD may be used in
treating seizures when other anti-seizure drugs have failed,” said Catherine Jacobson, Director of Tilray’s Clinical Research Program.
The product is currently only available to pediatric patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, but Tilray said it will be made available to additional patients in need as supply increases.
In May 2017, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study on the efficacy of the cannabinoid for the treatment of drug-resistant seizures in Dravet Syndrome patients. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 120 children and young adults.
Convulsive seizures decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with CBD, while the placebo group only saw a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1. However, patients given the chemical were more likely to experience diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and other adverse events.
Results from the SickKids and Tilray study have no been published but will be made available to the public soon.