Authors: G. Pesántez-Ríos, L. Armijos-Acurio, R. Jimbo-Sotomayor, S.I. Pascual-Pascual, G. Pesántez-Cuesta


An Explanation of Epilepsy

Having a medical condition is difficult enough, but if that condition doesn’t respond to medical treatment, life can become a constant battle. Refractory epilepsy is also known as uncontrolled or drug-resistant epilepsy. This means that a person who is suffering from refractory epilepsies is not responding to traditional medicine and thus is unable to effectively manage his or her neurological disorder.

As of 2014, 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy (more than Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy combined), and it is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States. Of that 50 million, approximately 1/3 – over 16 million – are unresponsive to antiepileptic medication and other medical treatments.

Published on August 16, 2017, the study Cannabidiol: its use in refractory epilepsies explores the use of CBD as a therapy on patients whose seizures had been non-responsive to prior treatments.


Study Parameters and Results

A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:

  • Frequency of seizures: Decreased in 40% of patients, disappeared completely in 27% of patients.
  • Level of patient-control over seizures: 60% of patients were able to control 50% of their seizures.
  • Neurocognitive changes: Many patients experienced improvements in behavior, language, sleep, and eating habits. Moreover, 100% of the patients reported that their mood had improved after the use of CBD.
  • Side effects: Most common were drowsiness and fatigue.

The impact of this study could be far-reaching both for patients with refractory epilepsy as well as patients with epilepsy who feel compelled to try other treatment methods.