CBD oil for epilepsy first drew public attention after CNN’s Doctor Sanjay Gupta featured the story of a little girl called Charlotte Figi whose desperate parents began dosing her with a form of CBD oil later dubbed “Charlotte’s web” in order to get her uncontrollable epileptic seizures under control. She used to have a seizure every 30 minutes on average, but now she has only two seizures a month, and her parents are completely convinced that this success can be attributed to CBD oil.
A stream of parents comes forward
Although the CBD oil for epilepsy used by Charlotte’s parents doesn’t contain enough CBD to make their daughter high, it was a brave move on the part of her parents when they went public with their story. The results were predictable: some positive, some negative. Of course, headlines across the US screamed “Parents give child medical marijuana”, implying that the Figis were giving psychoactive drugs to their child.
On a more positive note, a stream of parents whose children have similar problems are coming forward. They either hope to solve their children’s seizure disorders with CBD oil, or have already tried it and want to share their success. There seems to be a new news report on the subject every week.
CBD oil for epilepsy: what does medical science say?
It comes as no surprise that CBD has attracted the attention of the scientific community. But when research is done, scientists want to zero into one compound and a single effect. As a result, few if any trials have involved a whole plant CBD extract. This approach has been criticized by Dr Sanjay Gupta, who believes that the so-called “entourage effect” in which multiple compounds work together may be part of the reason for the Charlotte Figi success story.
Nevertheless, trials are underway, and are showing great promise in reducing seizure frequency in patients who haven’t responded to any other anti-seizure medication. To the layman, the results may seem lukewarm. Preliminary results for seizure reduction using CBD only show an average 50% seizure reduction in 39% of patients. However, when compared to other anti-seizure medications this is already a very high success rate.
This research finding by no means mirrors the anecdotal stories coming from parents using CBD oil for epilepsy in their children. Many seem to be reporting a far greater success rate than that indicated by the trials using CBD only, lending credence to Dr Gupta’s support for Professor Mechoulam’s entourage effect theory.