Epilepsy and Cannabis: A Literature Review

Epilepsy is considered to be one of the most common non-communicable neurological diseases especially in low to middle-income countries. Approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy have seizures that are resistant to anti-epileptic medications.Clinical trials prior to two years ago have shown little to no significant effects of cannabis in reducing seizures. These trials seem to be underpowered, with a sample size less than 15. In contrast, more recent studies that have included over 100 participants showed that CBD use resulted in a significant reduction in seizure frequency.

New UK Expo Puts CBD Centre Stage

“People are starting to realize the potential of CBD ,” says expo organizer, Tom Prendergrast. “A significant knock-on effect of that is a change in perception. CBD is a way for people to realize that you don’t need to have the psychoactive element to enjoy cannabis. CBD has so many benefits for people across the age range. It’s like the PG version of cannabis.”

The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids

As a therapeutic agent, most people are familiar with the palliative effects of the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (CS), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule active at both the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor subtypes. Through the activation primarily of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, THC can reduce nausea, emesis and pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During the last decade, however, several studies have now shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists can act as direct anti-tumor agents in a variety of aggressive cancers.

Cannabis, cannabidiol, and epilepsy–from receptors to clinical response

Recreational cannabis use in adults with epilepsy is widespread. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is also becoming more prevalent. For this purpose, various preparations of cannabis of varying strengths and content are being used. The recent changes in the legal environment have improved the availability of products with high cannabidiol (CBD) and low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.

Potential of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Viral Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) pose a major health problem globally and if untreated, both viruses lead to severe liver damage resulting in liver cirrhosis and cancer. While HBV has a vaccine, HCV has none at the moment. The risk of drug resistance, combined with the high cost of current therapies, makes it a necessity for cost-effective therapeutics to be discovered and developed.
These findings suggest that CBD could be further developed and used therapeutically against HCV.

Cannabinoids in Pediatrics

Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.