A review found that while medicinal cannabis could provide significant relief for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy, cost and access barriers still exist.
According to evidence from a small number of patients, cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) can provide significant relief from intractable epilepsy.
Prof. David Nutt and Rayyan Zafar of Imperial College London examined the impact of combined CBD and THC-based products on the frequency of epileptic seizures in a study of ten cases of severe childhood-onset epilepsy.
They discovered that when patients received whole plant extract cannabis treatments—which are not currently licensed in the UK—caregivers reported a 97 percent reduction in monthly frequency of seizures, indicating a clear benefit among this group. Despite the clinical benefit, they point to the high cost of the treatments and the difficulty in obtaining them in the UK.
“Patients and their families deserve better,” said Zafar, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Brain Sciences. “We implore policymakers, regulators, and public health bodies to prioritize the health of these individuals and help them access medicines that are making a dramatic improvement in their lives.”
The full study is available in Drug Science, Policy, and Law.