Un enfant qui tient une feuille de cannabis

New use of cannabis could effectively relieve epilepsy in children

Although the first studies on medicinal properties of cannabis started around 1843, they are still very limited. After several decades of legal and political struggle, this aphrodisiac plant is finally integrating itself little by little into modern medicine. Currently there are already extracts cannabidiol (CBD) used in the treatment of diseases such as epilepsy.

However, recent studies suggest that the CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are not primarily the components that give cannabis its medicinal qualities. Indeed, this plant embeds more than 400 chemical entities still little exploited and whose virtues remain unknown to this day.

Recently, scientists in the UK carried out preliminary tests on ten children with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy (Dravet syndrome). It was discovered that taking a medicine based on whole cannabis would have reduced the frequency of seizures by 86%.

The other components of cannabis are said to be much more potent than CBD alone

Currently, cannabis-based drugs approved in the medical market generally contain only one CBD extract. However, recent studies suggest that the combination of the other components of cannabis may be more beneficial thanisolation of cannabidiol.

Moreover, hemp contains several categories of chemical compounds, in particular, flavonoids which are present in some medicinal plants. In the latter, its chemicals would be 30 times more effective than aspirin for reduce pain and inflammation.

There are also terpenes, another class of cannabis compounds with molecular structures very similar to that of garlic. Thus, they could contribute to improve cardiovascular health and have anti-carcinogenic properties.

Impressive results, but not yet complete

Following the first preliminary tests, the parents reported much better results with the whole plant than with any other. conventional antiepileptic treatment. They also reported improvements in their children’s cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

“This study establishes the feasibility of whole-plant medical cannabis as an effective and well-tolerated drug for reducing the frequency of seizures in children with intractable epilepsy. “

Rayyan Zafar, PhD, Imperial College London Brain Sciences Department

However, this study has yet to go through randomized and placebo-controlled trials on a larger sample. This is a necessary step for the therapeutic value of a whole cannabis plant is recognized as an epileptic treatment in children.


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