There is an increasing interest in the use of marijuana products to treat grave neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. However the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has said in a position statement that anecdotal evidence is not enough to support this use because:
- Its efficacy is not supported by properly conducted clinical trials
- Its clinical safety is still being questioned for long-term use
- Its interaction with prescription medications is still unknown
The AAN has requested the reclassification of marijuana-based products from their current Schedule 1 status according the DEA guidelines in order to allow its use under International Review Board (IRB) clinical protocols. This administrative step is especially needed to protect the investigators who study patients with grave diseases and/or children with vulnerable brains. Most of the standardized preparations used in clinical trials are not available in the USA and the results cannot be extrapolated to non-standardized weed. Moreover most marijuana products sold in the USA are not controlled by any federal agency, for which they may not contain the labelled ingredients.
Epidiolex is a purified, 99% oil-based Cannabidiol (CBD) product that delivers known and consistent amounts of drug in each dosage; the FDA has given selected Epilepsy centers the permission for its “compassionate use” in some the 30% of patients who do respond to the traditional therapies. An open-label study—without a placebo control—of this drug that included 214 patients aged 2 to 26 years old with epilepsy refractory to currently available treatments showed that seizures decreased an average of 54% in the 12 weeks. Patients taking Onfi had a better response than those who did not. Two studies of the use of Epidiolex in the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and the Dravet syndrome have recently been completed with encouraging results.
The most common side effects observed in the 214 people were: sleepiness (21%), diarrhea (17%), fatigue (17%) and decreased appetite (16%). The safety data from the trials with epileptic children had similar side effects.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.