San Francisco, CA–(ENEWSPF)–November 22, 2012. Cannabis inhalation is associated with significantly reduced incidences of convulsions in a pair of epileptic patients, according to a forthcoming case report in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.
Investigators at the University of California, Epilepsy Center summarized the cannabis use history of a 43-year-old subject and a 60-year-old subject, both of whom suffered from severe epileptic seizures.
In the first subject, cannabis inhalation reportedly reduced the frequency of nighttime seizures from an average of five-to-six per evening to an average of one-to-two. After the subject ceased using cannabis, the subject experienced ten evening seizures. Following dosing with oral cannabis, the subject subsequently reported only a single nighttime seizure.
The second subject reported inhaling six-to-eight cannabis cigarettes daily. Upon cessation of his cannabis use, the subject experienced five seizures in a 12-hour period.
Neither subject responded favorably to conventional anticonvulsant treatments.
Authors concluded, “These cases … suggest that, for at least a subset of patients with focal epilepsy, marijuana use may provide an anticonvulsant effect. We believe this possibility warrants further study.”
To date, only two small double-blinded placebo-controlled studies are available in the scientific literature assessing the use of cannabinoids in patients with epilepsy. In both studies, the subjects received daily doses of oral cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis. In one study, CBD administration over a 30-day period was associated with a significant reduction in convulsions in 7 out of 8 patients. However, a second study reported no significant change in seizure frequency among epileptic subjects.
Full text of the study, “Seizure exacerbation in two patients with focal epilepsy following marijuana cessation,” will appear in Epilepsy & Behavior.