CBD and Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy

Key Takeaways from webinar on CBD and Medical Marijuana recorded on December 12, 2022.

This webinar was presented by Dr. Christopher Skidmore from Thomas Jefferson University, who provided an overview on the history of cannabis, the basic science and clinical data supporting its use in epilepsy, as well as a review on the various products that are available in the state of Pennsylvania.

We excited thrilled to share with you the key takeaways from the webinar on CBD and Medical Marijuana Epilepsy. If you missed the webinar, a recording of the session can be found on the EFEPA YouTube Channel and be sure to download a copy of the key takeaways which has a list of useful resources discussed during the webinar.

CBD and Medical Marijuana is a drug and should be considered carefully and in consultation with your neurologist / epileptologist.

  • There is medical data that cannabidiol and medical marijuana can help some individuals with epilepsy.
  • Currently there are 37 states that have medical marijuana programs and 11 states with low THC and high CBD programs.
  • Cannabis plant (marijuana) comes in different species with chemical compounds such as cannabinoids. Two major cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
  • There are Cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBD has been found to have anti-seizure properties. There have been clinical trials that have shown that CBD reduces seizure frequency.
  • Most common side effects of CBD treatment are fatigue, decreased appetite, fever, diarrhea, and elevated liver function.
  • CBD is not absorbed well by the body and is absorbed better with food intake. It lasts about 10-17 hours in the body and is metabolized in the liver. It has drug interactions with clobazam, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and valproate.
  • Only FDA approved medical marijuana product for treatment of epilepsy is Cannabadiol (Epidiolex) and its used for Dravet, in Lennox-Gastaut and Tuberous Sclerosis.
  • Medical marijuana is not regulated at federal level but it’s approved at the state level. State access is different depending on what state you live in.
  • At a dispensary it is recommended to request medical marijuana that has greater than 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC concentration. High CBD and low THC is important for seizure treatment.
  • Before starting any CBD product it is recommended to get blood count and liver function tests and there should be on- going monitoring.

This webinar was brought to you by a collaboration between the EFEPA, ItsYourEpilepsy.com, Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Alliance, and the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation.

Read and download the printable resource.

Click here to access the recorded webinar.

To learn more about cannabis and adjuvant therapies, click here.

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