Cannabis extract reduces epileptic seizures by half


#1

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#2

Interesting that there was no placebo control group. Results still seem statistically significant, though since it works with averages (episodes cut by half) there’s way to understand the distribution of the effect seen.


#3

Good point. In terms of drugs if there’s no placebo control group, then it’s not science.


#4

Why don’t they just talk to the tens of million of the cannabis culture this is just big business


#5

Maintaining the status quo is good for business, and enforced by government.


#6

GA recently passed a law on allowing cannabis oil for a few illnesses, but chiefly seizure disorders. I know that several families were living split because Colorado allowed it and GA didn’t. This is one of the few laws passed this year’s legislative session that I thought were a step in the right direction (well, maybe the transportation bill).


#7

Non-prescription CBD extracts from cannabis have been available through medical MJ dispensaries for quite a while, and recently CBD-only extracts have been cleared for OTC sales - you can buy them on Amazon these days.

CBD has long been used to treat seizure disorders, with considerable success. This is not news to anyone in the Medical Cannabis community.

The big difference here seems to be concentration - the label on this prescription drug indicates it contains 100 mg/ml.

That’s very concentrated. Most OTC CBD tinctures contain about 100 mg per OUNCE, and an ounce often costs $20-40. Cheeba Chews CBD taffy, a common dispensary item, only contains 50 mg. CBD per taffy, which retails for about $20.

This drug form makes very high dosing easy - and my understanding is that anti-seizure uses involve very high doses, so this is a good thing - especially since medical insurance may pay for it.


#8

non-psychoactive cannabidiol

Is that the right word? Clearly, if it’s reducing seizures it very much does have an effect on the brain.


#9

That’s not so. Sometimes a placebo is unethical - if, for example, a drug is known to save lives, how do you choose who gets the placebo? IANAS, but I think there are other ways of constructing a control.

What concerns me is, effective or no, this medication contains naughty molecules (NaTy) and there is no known method of removing them. Will nobody think of the children?


#10

THC gets you high (is psychoactive). CBD does not get you high but does have many other effects on the brain, including decreasing seizures. Thus it is not-psychoactive.


#11

But does it have to get you high to be psychoactive? Isn’t altering brain chemistry enough? SSRIs are psychoactive.


#12

Yes, psychoactive drugs are a sub class of drugs that affect the mind and/or behavior.


#13

Sorry my previous reply was rushed and I wanted to give a more thoughtful reply.

You are absolutely correct in that psychoactive describes a broader set of effects than just getting high. SSRI’s that decrease depression have a psychoactive effect.

But if we narrow are focus down to the medical cannabis industry, the usage in this context is used to differentiate between treatments that get you high and treatments that do not. This can matter a lot in conservative states starting to accept this as a valid treatment and in getting children the help they need without running into the obvious issues of getting a kid high.


#14

What is Hillary Clinton’s stance on the war on drugs or Marijuana prohibition? any chance of seeing any change there?


#15

I have a seizure disorder myself and I am sceptical of DIY treatments. Having said that I think the mood stabilisation side effect of the tegretol I take contributes to seizure avoidance. Cannabis could be having a similar effect.

But also, I am wary of drug interactions. I take the tegretol. Nothing else. I doubt this effect is additive.


#16

The problem with epilepsy meds is what works well for one person might actually induce seizures in another. Cannabis extract might be excellent for some but do nothing for others and have adverse effects for more people. That doesn’t change the fact that it does work for some people.

It’s a PITA area to find new drugs for - most epilepsy medications only ended up as such because they were trialed for other treatments and reducing seizures was a side effect. I’m honestly not sure how useful a placebo group can be for things like that.


#17

I am waiting to see whether the DEA or big pharma fights harder to keep pot illegal. I predict that a pharmaceutical company will make a prescription-only pot pill for some ridiculous price and try to push back the tide when it comes to legal weed. I also think they’ll lose considering the tax $$$ that legal weed generates.


#18

What part of “no currently accepted medical use” in the schedule one definition do these commie pinkos not understand? If you start to allow/do research that shows utility, there goes one big part of “the war on drugs”! It’s a slippery slope!


#19

We promote and advertise the pediatric use of pharmaceutical-grade amphetamine (whose euphoric side effects and high abuse potential have been known for over a century) in order to improve kids’ focus during study and classroom instruction. This drug, now prescribed in many profitable forms, is used, and abused, daily by American youth in every rank of the educational system.

Meanwhile, ‘concerned’ adults, some possessing legislative power, are wringing their hands over a concentrated plant extract with no addictive qualities that apparently can shut down the cerebral lightning storms of treatment-resistant epilepsy that make it difficult to hold a book, let alone read it.

I agree with you that language, as usual, is the tricky part to cultural acceptance (or failing that, legal approval) of cannabis-derived medications. What this tightrope act reveals, however, is not actual concern among such skeptics but their ignorance, bias, and hypocrisy.


#20

Well, there’s a lot of synthetic cannibanoid analogues that have already been invented and outlawed. Some of them may even be more useful than basic Delta-9-THC or CBD.

Stuff like JWH-019 or cp 47497, or HU-210.

There’s a whole alphabet soup out there with a lot of pharmacological potential. But synthesizing structural analogues or molecules with appreciably similar pharmacological effects to already-Scheduled drugs was made illegal by the DEA as an emergency measure, back in 2011.

I say, let the pharmacological industry make cannabinoid analogues. Leave the low-grade weed to the recreational users. The real money is figuring out how to make new, previously illegal molecules that have some properties of THC or CBD, but not others, and find cheap ways to synthesize them.

What if GSK makes an analog of CBD that works just as well for seizure prevention, but only costs 10% as much to make, and has fewer side-effects, like sleepiness and possibly anxiety (there’s conflicting evidence about whether CBD can cause anxiety, while THC is pretty uncontroversially known to cause anxiety in a significant portion of people.)? I’d think that’s a good thing.

The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t oppose legalization of weed anymore than the fire departments oppose the rampant popularity of garden hoses. The pharmaceutical industry has much better things to spend it’s money and time on than trying to prevent weed from going legal, and in many cases, legal weed can be really profitable for the pharmaceutical industry too.