Amid growing global support for medical cannabis, an increasing number of countries and states have approved the use of a non-psychoactive cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) to treat childhood epilepsy. However, a new study in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Lawindicates that full-spectrum cannabis medications containing the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be more effective at reducing the frequency and severity of seizures.
Cannabis’ potential to treat childhood epilepsy began to gain widespread attention in 2011, when a new cannabis strain called Charlotte’s Web was developed as a medication for young girl named Charlotte Figi, who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. Containing mostly CBD and only trace amounts of THC, this new cannabis variety put a halt to Charlotte’s relentless seizures, which had previously occurred around once every 30 minutes.
Based on this data, the study authors call on the authorities to expand access to full-spectrum cannabis medications through the National Health Service.