Cannabis has been helping people with illnesses for millennia. However, research on this were scarce. But not anymore...
Researchers and scientists have uncovered different molecules that make up cannabis. Among these are two main molecules called THC or 9-tetrahydrocannabinol which makes the user feel "high" and CBD or cannabidiol which is believed to give the plant its medical benefits. And just recently, researchers from GW Pharmaceuticals have shown that the latter can stop seizures.
They gathered 120 participants aged two to eighteen who have Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that "usually starts at childhood and has no known cure," says Daniel Friedman, a professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Participants were randomly divided into two groups: one took 20mg/kg of CBD per day for three and a half months while the other group had a placebo. The CBD were in a liquid form called Epidiolex which is manufactured by GW pharmaceuticals.
Results showed that the CBD group had an average of six seizures per month instead of twelve, and three people stopped having seizures altogether. Meanwhile in the placebo group, they had about 14 instead of 15. However, 93 percent of the people in the CBD group had side effects such as nausea, sleepiness, liver abnormality and diarrhea. Eight of them didn't even continue with the experiment because of the side effects.
Freidman says that these side effects could be caused by the mixing of CBD with other medications that the participant was already taking. “It’s hard to tell what are the specific side effects if somebody were to get CBD without anything else,” he added. The amount of dosage and the longevity of the experiment also plays a role, seeing if a higher dose for a long time would be more effective or not.
Nonetheless, Friedman says that these queries will be addressed in future studies. Hope this would lead to a better future for people with such illness.