Cannabis drug halves the risk of an epileptic fit

A supplement derived from cannabis halves the risk of suffering a seizure in 44 percent of epilepsy sufferers, new research suggests.

Taking cannabidiol (CBD) alongside the commonly-prescribed medication clobazam also makes 10 percent of epilepsy patients drug-free, a US study found.

The dual treatment also enables up to 26 percent of sufferers to reduce their medications’ doses, the research adds.

Introducing CBD into epilepsy patients’ drug regimens also makes 14 percent feel more alert and better able to communicate, the study found. 

CBD is a cannabis-derived nutritional supplement that is thought to possess a range of medicinal benefits and has been reported to help people suffering from migraines, psoriasis, acne and depression.

It does not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive component of cannabis that makes users ‘high’.

Nearly one in three epilepsy patients are resistant to existing treatments and continue to suffer seizures. 

A supplement derived from cannabis halves the risk of seizures in 44% of epilepsy sufferers


Cannabis users are more likely to experience negative emotions, particularly feeling alienated from others, research suggested in January 2018.

People who use marijuana are significantly more likely to feel that others wish them harm or are deceiving them, a study found.

Brain scans also reveal the class-B drug increases signal connectivity in regions of the brain that have previously been linked to psychosis, the research adds, which is associated with severe depression.

Teenage cannabis users are particularly affected as their brains are still developing, according to the researchers from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse in Bethesda.

The scientists analyzed 60 people, half of which were cannabis dependent.

The study’s participants completed a questionnaire that asked them about their feelings of stress, aggression, reactivity and alienation.

Brain scans were also taken of all of the participants. 

In the US, 44 percent of those aged 12 or over have used cannabis at some point in their lives. 

Around 2.1 million adults in the UK use marijuana every year.   

How the research was carried out 

The researchers, from Vanderbilt University, analysed the medical records of 108 paediatric epilepsy patients, which were collected between January 2006 and December 2016.

The study’s participants were separated according to whether they took CBD, clobazam or both. 

Their seizure frequency was assessed.  

The findings were reported in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior. 

Alcohol damages the brain more than cannabis 

This comes after research released earlier this month suggested alcohol damages the brain more than cannabis.

Unlike booze, marijuana does not affect the size or integrity of white or grey matter in the brain, even after years of exposure, a study found.

Grey matter enables the brain to function, while white controls communication between nerve clusters.

Study author Professor Kent Hutchison from the University of Colorado Boulder, said: ‘While marijuana may also have some negative consequences, it definitely is nowhere near the negative consequences of alcohol.’

The scientists add, however, research into cannabis’ mental effects are still very limited.

Lead author Rachel Thayer said: ‘Particularly with marijuana use, there is still so much that we don’t know about how it impacts the brain.’

In the US, 44 percent of those aged 12 or over have used cannabis at some point in their lives.

Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Colorado have legalised marijuana for medical or recreational use.