Several studies and user-generated feedback seem to elucidate the cloud of doubt surrounding CBD and cannabis-based medicine. Also, a credit to innumerable blogs and publications which eloquently put forth CBD’s medical health benefits, including its profound potential as a cancer treatment, CBD for mental health, CBD for epilepsy, CBD for sleeplessness, etc.
However, a less well-known condition that has responded better to CBD than 95% of other conditions is Dravet syndrome. A rare form of childhood epilepsy, Dravet is not a household term like cancer or even general epilepsy.
What Is Dravet Syndrome?
Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), commonly known as Dravet Syndrome, is a uniquely severe form of epilepsy with early childhood onset. It is classified as epilepsy with seizures which is recurrently stimulated by high temperatures and fever. It often occurs within the first year after birth.
Symptoms Of Dravet Syndrome
The study of Dravet Syndrome is in the preliminary phase. This makes its diagnosis a difficult one. However, some of the symptoms which are commonly observed across all kids with Dravet are:
- A wobbly gait and difficulty balancing
- Sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights, especially when caught by surprise
- Potential cognitive impairment and behavioral disorders (hyperactivity and impulsiveness)
- General motor deficits.
CBD For Dravet Syndrome
It is widely known that CBD is an effective treatment for epilepsy in adults, but Dravet is very different in its mechanism. Additionally, the infant brain is structurally alien compared to the adult version, so studying seizures in adults and children are two entirely different undertakings.
The New England Journal Of Medicine carried out a study of more than 120 kids and adolescents who were more or less related to the disease – Dravet Syndrome. They were given the CBD by the oral route of administration. In order to compare the efficiency of the CBD, some of them were randomly chosen to be operated by the placebo effect. The CBD dose which they felt might just work was set at 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. The treatment was carried on for 14 week period.
Breaking down the studies
The same study by The New England Journal Of Medicine deduced that
- “The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo;”
- “The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43% with cannabidiol and 27% with placebo;”
- “The patient’s overall condition improved by at least one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol group as compared with 34% of the placebo group (P=0.02);”
- “The frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03);” and
- “The percentage of patients who became seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0% with placebo (P=0.08)”.
In Dravet Syndrome hit kids, CBD resulted in weakening the convulsion and its frequency in comparison to the placebo group. The conclusion was reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning stated above.
The good news for all the inhabitants of the United States is that Cannabidiol has received “orphan drug (a special drug which is developed to treat a rare medical condition/disease)” status in their country, for treatment of Dravet syndrome.